Sleeping bags are designed to match your weight, space
and warmth preferences. Knowing your style of camping
is important to selecting the right bag.
When choosing sleeping bags for Romantic Camping COMFORT
is the bottom-line. To optimize your comfort, be sure
the sleeping bags you use are 1) warm, 2) spacious and
3) can easily zip together.
ROMANTIC IDEA: Purchase two sleeping bags of the same
model and brand. Get one with a LEFT side zipper and the
other with a RIGHT side zipper. This way they can zip
Sleeping Bag Fill
Sleeping bags often have shells and lining made of nylon
or polyester. Synthetic fabrics are warmer and more breathable.
Summer bags can be made with cotton canvas or flannel.
These cotton bags are more comfortable. However, they
are only good for car-camping during the warmer parts
of the year.
There are two options for fill. Each has its advantages/disadvantages.
The decision comes down to your budget and camping style.
Down: Down fill
weighs less than synthetic and retains heat better. However,
it usually costs more. Down sleeping bags MUST be kept
dry! If the down sleeping bag gets wet it’s rendered useless.
Despite this issue, down sleeping bags are preferred by
experienced backpackers. They have the BEST weight-to-warmth
REMEMBER: Down sleeping bags are rated by the volume of
down packed per cubic inch. A 600 – 800 fill rating of
down is considered optimal for warmth and longevity.
3D, Primaloft and Thermolite are all good options for
high-end synthetic fills. The primary benefit of these
synthetic fills is that they retain loft and warmth even
when wet. The synthetic options are often less expensive
Manufactures RATE the warmness factor of sleeping bags.
However, there is no perfect method of determining temperature
ratings of sleeping bags. There are too many factors affecting
how warm a person feels. Factors include: sleeping pad
insulation, tent ventilation, food/drinks recently consumed,
level of exertion during the day, humidity, amount and
type of clothing, etc… People and situations differ greatly!
When purchasing a sleeping bag consider temperature ratings
as just a rough guide. There is a range of degrees to
consider. Use the following breakdown:
Summer camping: 40 to 50 F (4 to 10 C)
Spring/Fall camping: 15 to 35 F (-9 to 2 C)
Winter: -5 to 10 F (-20 to -12 C)
Mountaineering: -40 to -10 F (-40 to -23 C)
Sleeping Bag Types
- Romance Size:
The two-person sleeping bag is comfortable, easy and
sexy. These roomy bags are only recommended for car-camping
due to their increased size and weight. Single sleeping
bags that can be combined clearly offer more versatility.
- Mummy: These
sleeping bags are tapered to reduce extra fabric and
fill. Their design makes them the most space and weight
efficient. Mummy bags warm up quickly and keep you warmer
in colder temperatures. Some people find their cocoon-like
feel comforting, while others find it claustrophobic.
The rectangular sleeping bag type is really the most
comfortable. Carrying the extra weight and space can
be a reasonable price to pay for a good night's sleep.
A rectangular bag can also be used for bed padding in
a cheap hotel room or as a blanket at the beach. These
bags are the best for summer camping and car-camping.
These sleeping bags are cross between a mummy and a
rectangular. This compromise offers the best of both
worlds. Semi-rectangular bags (and rectangular) often
provide a more natural fit when two people want to zip
their bags together. Look for bags with right and left
zippers that are compatible.
REMEMBER: If purchasing a new sleeping bag – Jump inside
it! Be certain your sleeping bag offers enough space. Make
sure you have enough room in your sleeping bag to layer
clothing if needed. If you are winter camping, you may want
extra room to store the next morning’s clothes or equipment
(like a camera) at the bottom of your bag.
- Closure Tab:
Found at the top of zippers or on draft collars these
Velcro tabs (or hooks and loops) ensure that the zipper
or collar does not open when you move around in your
- Draft Collar:
This feature seals the warm air inside around your neck
and shoulders. Often tightened with a drawstring.
- Draft Tube:
Runs the length of the sleeping bag inside the zipper.
This crucial feature keeps cold air from seeping through
the zipper teeth.
- Hood: With
the exception of summer bags, most sleeping bags include
an insulated hood. This feature helps retain the body
heat that can be lost through the top of the head. Hoods
are often adjustable using a drawstring.
- Interior Lining:
Soft non-cotton materials are best for warming quickly
and maximizing sleeping bag breathability. Dark colors
are recommending for quickly airing and drying.
- Shell: A waterproof
and windproof outer shell is optimal for staying dry
- Staggered Seams:
These help prevent cold spots by ensuring that seams
of the inner liner do not line up with seams on the
- Stuff Sack:
These waterproof sacks protect your sleeping bag while
in transport. Stuff sacks with a fleece interior can
be turn it inside out, stuffed with extra clothes and
then used as a comfy pillow.
- Zipper: Two-way
zippers are recommended for temperature control. For
Romantic Camping, be sure your sleeping bag zippers
Sleeping Bag Care
Proper care will extend the life of this crucial piece
of camping gear. There are a few things to consider:
REMEMBER: Dirt and body oils and fluids are NOT good for
your sleeping bag. After sleeping bag sex, wipe up with
a dry towel. This will help prolong the life of your bag.
Using condoms can also help keep your sleeping bag clean.
- Machine Washing:
Wash your sleeping bag in a front-loading machine. I
recommend going to the Laundromat. Use a mild soap or
purchase special soap from your local outdoor store.
Wash warm and rinse cold. Use at least two rinse cycles
to ensure you get all the detergent out of the bag.
- Drying: Once
the bag has been thoroughly rinsed, gently roll the
bag up to press out as much water as possible. Be gentle.
Don’t wring out the bag! A wet sleeping bag is at risk
of being ruined if the seems are stressed by the wet
fill. Tumble dry on medium-low heat. The bigger the
dryer the better (thus the Laundromat suggestion). Add
two tennis balls to the cycle to help fluff the fill.
Be patient. Bring a book. The drying process can take
- Storage: Do
not leave your sleeping bag in its stuff sack for long
periods. Sleeping bags will loose their loft and their
insulating abilities if maintained in a compressed state
for too long. It is best to store a sleeping bag in
a large, breathable sack.