Find out what to look for when choosing a sleeping bag for camping outdoors.
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Choosing a Sleeping Bag
Emma Brown: Hi there! I'm Emma Brown and this is Camp N Out. For the next 30 minutes, I’ll be your tour guide while we explore the world of camping. Every week here on Camp N Out, our gear guide Jim Lang stops by and today, he’s brought a couple of sleeping bags to show s some of the different characteristics and what you should be looking for depending on what kind of camping trip you're going on. Right, Jim?
Jim Lang: Right. Well, I have brought up two different kinds of bags today. One is a synthetic fill sleeping bag and the other one is a down feel bag.
Emma Brown: Okay.
Jim Lang: And, they have a lot of comparisons and they also have some differences and I’ll just try to explain something, too.
Emma Brown: Perfect!
Jim Lang: This is a synthetic-filled bag. It always has its loft and you can't really compress it without a pop and backpack and it will create your loft. That’s what gives you your warmth. The bag here is a down bag and it has the -- and continue put up by that in order to create that loft with the insulation layers.
Emma Brown: Okay.
Jim Lang: This bag can get wet and still give you some warmth. This bag, when it gets wet, the down starts compressing it and it’s hard to get that loft again so if you think you're going to be wet, this would be a good bag and this bag may not.
Emma Brown: Okay.
Jim Lang: The other difference in this one -- this one goes down to minus 15. You see that the design of it there, it’s got your shoulders, inside’s really got a face and a hood and then you can still draw the string down there in order to pull -- pull it right up there in order to give you a very, very good seal around there to keep your warmth in.
Emma Brown: And what about cleaning them?
Jim Lang: This bag right here is good for the kind of travel -- people on the road trip or you're touring around, going to hostile-hostile. This bag can -- you can sleep in it for months at a time but you can take it to the Laundromat. They don’t mind going into washing machines and dryers. Down bags don’t like to be cleaned a lot in a life.
Emma Brown: You were mentioning something about the zipper?
Jim Lang: Zippers, yeah. You can see it’s on the left hand side. If you are wanting to travel the car and that you’d like to zip the bags together, you should be thoughtful of the idea that this is a lot and one in right hand zipper.
If you had two at the same, one person would be sleeping with the hood facing down on the back and neck and the other person --
Emma Brown: Right, and they wake up like stuck in the hood.
Jim Lang: The other person would have the hood on the top side. See, you want to bite left and right zipper in order to have --
Emma Brown: It all depends on who your partners.
Jim Lang: You can always leave them zipped up. You don’t have to zip them together.
Emma Brown: Okay and I know you were saying that this one -- it’s easily packed.
Jim Lang: Yes, and we’ve got a stuff sack here. You just take the bag and take it from one end and just continually --
Emma Brown: And this whole big sleeping bag is going to fit in this little sack?
Jim Lang: You stuff it in the stuff sack.
Emma Brown: And, I think so many people think you have to roll your bag till you pack them but this is pretty handy.
Jim Lang: Nope. This is exactly how you do down bags and it works really well.
Emma Brown: Not bad.
Jim Lang: It’s not a big bag. This is small stuff sack. Now, when you're travelling and you know you're going to be in a trip where you're going to get wet a lot, you can either put this bag away in a plastic bag in your free pack or I prefer to put the bag inside the stuff sack first and the push the bag inside there. And, that way, the plastic is protected by the nylon outside the bag. And, it’s really important to do that because if you get a wet sleeping bag, they start picking up the weight and you have to get a good night sleep. Now, note the bag is going to give you the good warmth that you need unless you have a good bag as well.
Emma Brown: Can you store it in that bag and just leave that like at home?
Jim Lang: You can put this -- you put in the bag like this when you're hiking and when you get home, the down bags, even synthetic bags, hang it in your closet or put them in a bigger bag where they’re not compressed.
Emma Brown: Okay. Well, thanks Jim. That’s some good information to know.