I'm looking to purchase a camping sleeping bag. I'd like one that's high-quality, durable, and suitable for weekend hiking/camping trips during spring, summer, and fall in New England. (Most of my trips will be hiking with a backpack rather than driving to a campsite.) What factors should I consider when investing in a sleeping bag?
Given that the temperature varies so much in New England, what should I look for in terms of temperature rating?
Does having a camping pad underneath the sleeping bag affect what I
should look for in a sleeping bag?
What type of material should I look for?
Does the shape matter in terms of performance, or do some shapes just provide less bulk so they're easier to pack/carry?
For hiking with a backpack I would recommend the following considerations:
Weight I would go as light as possible. Generally the lighter you go the more expensive you go, but on those long treks it will make a huge difference.
Temperature Rating A good 3-season bag is generally at the 20 degree mark.
Shape Since you will be trekking with this, definitely get one that tapers at the feet and has a hood. They tend to be less bulky but more importantly are warming and allow you to keep the heat in easier.
Material There's really two basic types, synthetic and goose-down feathers.
Synthetic offers a lower price point and dries quicker.
Goose-Down offers a better compressed state (they can generally get smaller the more pressure you use) and are more durable but they are more expensive.
Personally, I'd go with a synthetic just for price.
There are some gender targeted bags, too.
Women's bags are generally a little more narrow at the shoulders.
As for sleeping pads, while they are used for comfort, pads are best for sleeping in really cold places. The pad acts as extra insulation and helps prevent heat loss through conduction with the ground.Tweet