Trekking Sleeping Bags: Features & Buying Guide
What are Sleeping Bags?
Trekking Sleeping bags are an insulated covering for a person that is made from different materials like down or synthetic. The primary function of trekking sleeping bag is to keep the person warm when sleeping outdoors. Good quality sleeping bags could also provide some additional bedding when used with a sleeping mat.
Trekking sleeping bags come in variety of shapes, sizes, quality and usage ranging from affordable ones that can be used in warm climates to expedition quality extreme cold weather sleeping bags that can protect in temperatures ranging up to -40.
What are the different types of sleeping bags?
Trekking Sleeping Bags are categorised into three different classifications.
1) Trekking sleeping bags based on the temperature.
2) Trekking sleeping bags based on the shape.
3) And sleeping bags based on the material.
Trekking Sleeping Bags based on the temperature.
1. Summer Sleeping Bags
Summer Sleeping bags are designed to be lightweight and provide just enough warmth to provide you with a good night’s sleep. The temperature rating is suited for 15 -20 Degrees Celsius and over.
Because they are designed for use in the summer, summer trekking sleeping bags use less insulating fabric making them super lightweight.
These sleeping bags will also have full-length zippers running down the length of the sleeping bag which would allow you to open them up in the night in case it gets too hot.
Tip: If you’re primarily going to be using them in South India, we recommend a simple summer sleeping bag. Not only are they affordable, but they also are lightweight and can be easily packed and carried around.
2. Three Season Sleeping Bag
3 Season trekking Sleeping Bags are designed for use in temperature ranges from 0 degrees Celsius up to 15 degrees Celsius. They are not suitable for use in hot climates as you will end up sweating profusely. These 3 season sleeping bags are best suited for summers in the Himalayas and lower regions of Himalayas in winters. They are not suitable for use on expeditions.
They come with features like hoods and extra insulation to combat the cold. They will always use the mummy style design as they help you retain more heat inside. Look for a snug fit, if its too loose, the warm air generated by your body will escape and cold air could come in.
Gipfel Lexi Sleeping Bags
Gipfel Siachen sleeping bag is perfect for hiking and backpacking.
The two-way YKK zipper has a generous drift tube on the side as well as a flap to prevent wind chill effect.
3. Extreme Cold Weather Sleeping Bag
Extreme cold weather sleeping bags are designed for use on expeditions and in extremely cold climates which fall below 0 degrees centigrade. These sleeping bags have heavy-duty insulation to keep you warm in the night. With features like cinch-able hoods, draft collars, zipper draft tubes, the extreme cold weather sleeping bags tend to be heavier than normal 3 season sleeping bags.
Some of the best extreme cold weather sleeping bags available in India are mentioned below
Gipfel Siachen Sleeping Bags -40
Gipfel Siachen sleeping bag is an extreme cold weather sleeping bag designed for use in the higher altitudes of the Indian Himalayas. These types of extreme cold weather sleeping bags are designed for and used by the Indian Army. Because of the nature of the sleeping bag, these bags are made only on special orders. This extreme cold weather sleeping bag uses 90% pure imported down and weighs only 1.8 kg.
Gipfel Cora Sleeping Bag -10
Another extreme cold weather sleeping bag made by one of the best climbing equipment manufacturers in India, The Gipfel Cora extreme weather trekking sleeping bag can withstand temperatures up to -10.
Gipfel Ina Sleeping Bag -1
This sleeping bag is perfect for treks where the temperature might drop to 0° C.
Trekking Sleeping Bags Based on the Shape
Almost all lightweight summer trekking sleeping bags are largely made in this shape or design. The rectangular trekking bag design allows more air circulation preventing you from sweating while you sleep inside them. The design also provides more space around your feet giving you enough room to move around.
Coleman Palmetto Sleeping Bag
Coleman Palmetto Sleeping bag is designed for temperatures 30⁰ F to 50⁰ F (-1.11⁰ C to 10⁰ C). Its is suitable for heights up to 5ft 11-inch (1.8 m). Polyester cover and soft tricot fiber blend liner
Higher quality summer trekking sleeping bags usually come with a semi-rectangle design. This design is very similar to a rectangular design but the edges will be more rounded. This design helps trap more warm air inside the sleeping bag. Sleeping bags with this design will be more suitable for climates with medium to chilly nights.
3. Mummy Shape
Gipfel Cora Sleeping Bag -10
Mummy Style sleeping bags by Gipfel
Mummy shape sleeping bags are designed to be more tapered towards the feet and provide a snug fit from the torso down. This reduces air circulation and helps trap warm air which will keep you warm through the night. Mummy style trekking sleeping bags also have a cinch-able hood that protects your head and prevents warm from escaping from your head.
Sleeping bags based on the material
1. Down Sleeping Bags
Down sleeping bags are very similar to down jackets in terms of the material, coating and construction. Down trekking sleeping bags will be super soft but since they would be used in extremely cold climates, they might be bulky. Down sleeping bags will also be extremely breathable similar to down jackets. It is not practical to use down sleeping bags in warm temperatures.
2. Synthetic Sleeping Bags
Coleman Palmetto Sleeping Bag
A lightweight mummy sleeping bag that can be easily packed up and stored in a very compact area—optimal use for motorcyclists on the road with little storage capability.
Synthetic sleeping bags are commonly found and the affordable versions ate more suitable for southern India. These types of sleeping bags can range from really low priced low-quality bags to affordable good quality bags that can be used for extreme cold. Synthetic sleeping bags would be lightweight and more water resistant than down sleeping bags. Please note, some really good quality down sleeping bags can be used even in very severely cold climates based on the manufacturer’s rating.