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Camping - Sleeping Bags

You have several things to consider when purchasing a sleeping bag. Most important among these will be the coldest temperatures you expect to use it in. Sleeping bags come with temperature ratings and your bag should exceed the coldest temperature you expect to use it in by about 5-10degrees. If you camp in summer and winter you may want to consider a separate bag for each. Here in Tahoe we rarely get negative temperatures so a zero degree bag will usually do the trick in winter. You also must choose betwen synthetic and down. Here is a quick comparison. Down is usually lighter and compresses more which makes it better for longer trips and tours. It also will satisfy a broader temperature range so on warmer nights you won't get too hot. Down also tends to last longer. Synthetic bags perform better in wet conditions and are usually less expensive. I personally prefer a down bag for the very cold conditions and a synthetic bag for the warmer conditions, when things are more likely to be wet.


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Last Updated November 9, 2008