While buying a sleeping bag for a camping trip, we often find ourselves totally confused with all the jargon terminology the salespersons use. We don’t really know what to look for unless we have had some past experience of buying one. Here is a list of all the things that constitute a sleeping bag, so you won’t have to feel awkward while shopping for the next one.
Anatomy and Features of a Sleeping Bag
- The Hood of the Bag
The hood is designed in such a way that ensures maximum comfort and its insulation preserves the heat inside the sleeping bag.
- The Shell Casing (Chill, not the bullet kind!)
The shell of a sleeping bag is the fabric that constitutes the exterior of the sleeping bag. The shell fabric or casing as I call it, is far more durable than the inner lining. In some bags, the shell may also include breathable and waterproof fabric technology.
- The Inner Lining
The inner lining is made of a soft and comfortable fabric for ensuring a good sleep. In some sleeping bags, the inner lining may feature a technology that doesn’t let moisture enter or stay inside.
- The Baffle Seams
Baffles in a sleeping bag are what keep the insulation of the bag in place. They are the seams that run through the shell case of the bag.
- The Side-Seams
The side seams are precisely what connect the shell casing’s back and front, for providing a cosy sleeping experience. Some sleeping bags are more thermally efficient as they have ground level seams which help the front shell cover the whole body.
- The Hood-Pocket
The hood of the bag has a pocket that can be used for stuffing clothes or putting a pillow to support your head while sleeping.
- The Draw-Cord Collar
Just like a jacket hood draw-cord collar, some sleeping bags also come with this to prevent heat loss.
- The Head Gasket or Draft Collar
This is what essentially stops the heat from escaping the sleeping bag. It is an insulated collar around the hood of the bag.
- The Stashing Pockets
Not all but some sleeping bags come with extra pockets in the hood, chest or around the feet which help you in stuffing things that you think you might need and keep ready at hand.
- The Insulated Draft Tube
A typical sleeping bag comes with an insulated tube installed around the zipper in order to keep cold drafts from entering the sleeping bag.
- Zipper Tips
Among the sleeping bags, those with no zippers are ideal if you want to travel lightweight. In case you go for half-length zippers, they are still less-heavier as compared to the full-length zipper bags which make regulating the temperature and getting in and out of the bag very easy. On the other hand, two-way zippers are ideal in case you need to access only one of the sides.
- The Trapezoidal Area
The trapezoidal area is where your feet are supposed to rest comfortable. In some sleeping bags, there is enough space for storing hot bottles to keep warm or boot-liners.
- Hanging Loops
Some sleeping bags have loops at the foot of it. The intention is to make it able to hang for drying, while keeping the insulation loft intact.
- Padded Loops
The purpose of pad loops on either side of the bag is to connect with the tent to keep the sleeping bag in place.
Now that you are familiar with the things you need to look for in your sleeping bag, the only thing left is to decide the shape of the bag. You can choose among three options- mummy bags, semi-rectangular bags and rectangular bags. The only difference among them is leg space. Take your pick and you are camp-ready.