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Sleeping Bags and Accessories

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Sleeping Bag Buying Tips

Whether backpacking or car camping, having the right sleeping bag can make all the difference.

It's important to be warm enough while sleeping, whatever your activity. The temperature rating of your bag should be your first consideration. Choose a summer, 3-season or winter bag. Decide if you are going to be sleeping in temperatures +32 degrees and higher, +10 degress to +32 degrees or +10 degrees and lower. Just remember, your metabolism, sleepwear and shelter can all affect your level of comfort. When a bag is called a "20-degree bag," that means that most users remain comfortable if the air temperature is no lower than 20 degrees F. Keep your own tendency to sleep warm or cold in mind, as this changes user to user.

You'll next want to make sure that you're getting the right insulation type. You will be choosing a synthetic or down sleeping bag. Down is lightweight, easily compressible and works well in cold, dry conditions. Synthetic insulation is quick-drying, insulates you even went wet and is non-allergenic.

Consider the weight and shape next. Most backpacking bags are mummy sleeping bags. It's hard to keep warm in a bag that is bigger than you need, but it is also nice to have some room for comfort. The sleeping bag length is another factor. Most bags come in sizes Regular or Long. Choose a bag that is only as long as you need for your height. Women-specific sleeping bags are usually shorter, narrower at the shoulders and wider at the hips.

There are plenty of features to look into as well. Do you want sleeping bags that zip together? Do you like a hood with a pillow pocket? Draft tubes, collars and face mufflers are also all great features that keep your head and neck warm. Stash pockets, pad loops or sleeves and trapezoidal foot boxes are all options too--it's up to what is important to you.

We stock all of the top-rated and bestselling brands like Big Agnes, ENO, Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, NEMO and our very own REI Co-op brand. Remember: the best bag is the one that gets you outside.