How To Buy A Sleeping Bag – Best Synthetic Sleeping Bags That Is Right For You
Before you run down to your nearest big box discount or outdoor super store to buy your next sleeping bag, take a little time to asses your needs. What works for me or your friend may not work for you.I have been an avid camper for over 40 years and have learned how to stay warm at night by choosing the right sleeping bag that meets my needs. I will go over the pros and cons of various sleeping bags including goose down and synthetic sleeping bags.
If a sleeping bag cannot keep your warm or comfortable on your camping trip, then you will not have an enjoyable experience. I use both down and synthetic bags for my family.
At the end of the day, most people are looking for a sleeping that is going to allow them to sleep comfortable and warm.
Finding The Best Synthetic Sleeping Bags For Camping
What kind of camping will you be doing?
I like to camp in high elevations like you see in this photo of Bryce Canyon National Park. At 8,000 feet elevation, I need a sleeping bag that is both warm and comfortable.
I can remember going on camping trips with my family when I was still in diapers. My first sleeping bag that I ever slept in was this super heavy flannel sleeping bag with pictures of grizzly bears on the inside. The flannel was so comfortable and felt good on warm summer nights. However, when the mercury dropped below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, I became very cold. The problem was that this bag was made for car camping on warm nights. It was never made for cold Minnesota autumn nights.
Personally, I usually go with a 3 season rectangular sleeping bag that keeps me warm in cold weather and can be unzipped and used as a blanket during the warm summer months.
The 3 Key To Choosing Best Synthetic Sleeping Bags
If you want gloss over all the high-tech mumbo-jumbo of a deciding what to look for in a Best Synthetic Sleeping Bags, you can basically focus on the following 3 key factors:
- Temperature rating: The temperate rating is always a guide line. Europeans use a system called the EN Standard that all companies have to follow. In other parts of the world like the USA, it’s up to the manufacture. Before you believe any rating including the highly reliable EN Standard, read product reviews and listen to what real users have to say. I had a long conversation with a marketing rep from Sea To Summit and he explained that even if you buy a good bag and yet use a lousy sleeping pad, you are going to get cold. A high quality sleeping pad is only half of the equation.
- Weight vs. roominess: If you are an avid back packer or adventure camper, you need to keep weight at a minimum without sacrificing comfort & warmth. With a sleeping bag, you can have both at a reasonable price. I favor warmth over comfort. If I can stay warm, I will have not problems sleeping. But then I like comfort too, so I have always bought rectangular or semi-rectangular sleeping bags because this style of bag provides me with a lot of room to move around in.
- Insulation Material: You are either going to buy a down or synthetic filled sleeping bag. Goose and premium quality duck down fills are very light, compressible, durable and breathable. Because down is so durable, it’s going to give you the best value over time. If you plan to be a frequent camper, down is the way to go. Synthetic fills work wonders in damp climates. Even if the bag gets wet, you will stay warm. They are always cheaper up-front to buy. The down side is that the bag is heavier and not as compressible.
Most most outdoor equipment companies design sleeping bags try to strike a balance between comfort and warmth. Even hard-core back packers desire comfort and warmth.
Down Versus Best Synthetic Sleeping Bags
I have used various versions of synthetic bags and to honest, I was always happy with the performance of a synthetic bag. I owned at least 6 synthetic sleeping bags before I turned 30 years old. Synthetic bags have never lasted me more than 3 years even with the best of care.
Conversely, I have only owned 1 down sleeping in all my years of camping and it is my favorite bag. Wonder why it’s my favorite bag? Down is extremely light weight. It keeps me insulated and I don’t wake up cold even when the temperature falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. I bought a very high quality down bag that is nearly at least 20 years old and it’s just starting to show signs of wear.
This may be a very opinionated review, but because of the diverse types of camping that I do, I have found down sleeping bags to be far superior and less expensive in the long run. But then I have not had to buy a best synthetic sleeping bags for myself in over 20 years. I did purchase 2 synthetic sleeping bags for my growing boys and have managed to get 5 years out of the bags before the loft started going flat. I paid about $70 for each of the bags and got my moneys worth from them.
Does this mean that I am ruling out synthetic bags? Heavens no! I may consider buying a synthetic bag because in last 20 years, synthetic bags are probably just as durable and nearly as warm as down bags.
Sea To Summit Trek Series Down Best Synthetic Sleeping Bags
It’s hard to believe that a sleeping that a sleeping like the Sea To Summit TK I and TKII meets all of the requirements of both down and synthetic bags. It’s the bag of choice for world travelers because it can be compressed so small for lightweight back packing. I like the semi-rectangular bag design. It has all the room that I need.
Because I am a stickler for both size and weight, this bag meets all my requirements for both car camping and back packing. I want a sleeping bag that will fit in a “bug out bag”.
Some folks argue about whether this a good back or not because it’s made with duck down rather than goose down. At the end of the day, if the bag is just as light, warm, and comfortable, I really don’t care. And get this, it’s about half the price of a similar goose down sleeping bag!
Best Synthetic Sleeping Bags
Synthetic Sleeping Bags are great for the price point. Man made materials are now nearly as light as down. However, I have never seen a synthetic bag last as long as a down bag.
Most campers choose bags with synthetic polyester sleeping bags because they perform well for the money.
- Quick to dry.
- Keeps you warm even if it gets wet from a down pour or accident.
- Costs less than down-filled bags.
- Because they are not as compressible as down, you actually get better insulation under your body than down.
Ounce for ounce, they are not as warm as a down bag. They require more space when being stored because they are not as compressible. I have always worn out all my synthetic bags within a few years even when properly stored.
In the past, I have used Kelty, REI, and The North Face brand synthetic sleeping bags. When they were brand new, I was very satisfied.
If you are going to buy a synthetic bag, I would buy from REI or Backcountry because both these companies offer life time satisfaction guarantee on all their equipmpent.
Amazon Best Synthetic Sleeping Bags Search
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There Are Only 2 Sleeping Bag Choices
Good Sleep Or Bad Sleep?
A bag that allows you sleep comfortably all night.
A bag that never lets you sleep because it’s so uncomfortable.
If you took a survey of all the people that say that they hate camping, I would bet my retirement that most say this because they got cold at night because they did not have a proper sleeping bag. My wife used to complain that she felt like an ice berg. I can relate! Most of the time it’s because of ignorance. They were in a hurry and asked a clerk at the Big Box store for a sleeping bag and they grabbed the largest bag on the shelf because it looked warm.
Because I want a sleeping bag that is lightweight, comfortable, and warm, I always choose down.
People buy sleeping bags for one reason-to sleep in. This does not mean to freeze your in. It does not mean to toss and turn all night in. I bought my goose down bag to sleep extremely comfortably in.
There are hundreds of different styles and insulating materials available for sleeping bags and it’s daunting at best to choose one that is perfect for every situation.
Where To Buy A Best Synthetic Sleeping Bags
Whenever I am making a major purchase like a best synthetic sleeping bags, tent, camp stove, etc., the final cost that I pay when I check out is not my major concern. I buy for the long term. I want to know that I can return the sleeping bag if I am not satisfied.
There are few companies that offer this when it comes to high adventure camping equipment.
Amazon is first rate. If you buy from Amazon, you are covered if you don’t like the product.
REI will accept returns on everything except a bad relationship. If your boy friend or girl friend dumped you, you are out of luck. If you ever are not satisfied with a product, they will cheerfully refund your money. End of story.
Backcountry.com has the same generous return policy as REI. They have nearly the same selection. I buy a lot of equipment from Back Country.