Sleeping Bag, How to Use It, Material, Maintenance and Transportation

Comes the time of rest and few things are more pleasant to get in the sack, but at the same time is one of the moments of the day in which most costs you warm. Touching sleeping discomfort are not accepted as good face, moisture and cold are not tolerated as. When sleep you should be invading and relaxing sore muscles, there is your best companion, your sleeping bag. And it is important that everything works, it may depend on your performance the next day and the success or failure of an expedition, so we either have to go through high How to choose the best place for camping or bivouac on the mountain to do.

How can you keep you warm your sleeping bag?

The human being is constantly producing heat as a radiator that will not turn off, and to feel comfortable should lose heat to the rhythm that produces it, is what is known as thermal equilibrium.

During a busy day, this do it taking you clothes if it is hot or warming yourself up if it’s cold. At night, when you want to sleep, you are inactive and do not produce much heat, even less if you’re tired, or if you’ve gone cold during the day, but the little heat that produces is essential and should catch it with any insulating barrier. This is the work that meets your sleeping bag. Your sleeping bag, by itself, does not heat, what it does is catch the air and the air your heat.

The body always tends to match with the environmental temperature, therefore, the main function of the SAC is to keep your body temperature. The best insulator that exists is the air, dry and motionless within the SAC, your body will do the rest by heating the air.

So, want to retain hot air, the more better, therefore bags manufacturers use different materials filling and different types of manufacture.

When choosing your bag you will have to take into account some key points:

  1. Sleeping bag stuffing:

Basically there are two materials filling, down (and derivatives) and synthetic fiber, which in turn will be arranged in “cells” or “partitions. Choose one or another and larger or smaller amount of filling depending on the activity to be carried out. It is not the same go to a summer camp, an expedition to the Himalayas, a Speleological expedition of several days or a bivy down a ravine that also will vary if it is Alpine or tropical.

Within each type of filling, in addition, there are multiple options, but in general the materials of your sleeping bag can be:

  • Bags of feathers but they need more care and lose performance in humid environments, are hotter to equal weight. Also compress much more important quality if we have to carry it in our backpack.
    • The quality of filling can vary considerably, but there are two fundamental steps that you have to look at:
      • Quality down. It is determined by two numbers. Example 92/8 where the first digit indicates the percentage by weight of down comforters (duvet) (at high quality) and the second the of small feathers angled (lower quality)
      • Cuin (cubic inches in English). Measuring the “Fill Power” or capacity of inflation down. The higher number of “Cuins”, greater inflation. Normally varies between 400 and 900 cuin.
  • Synthetic fiber bags are less delicate and well accepted the humid environments, but equality of benefits, they occupy much more than the feathers. You can find many types of fiber to fill a sleeping bag, Trevira®, Hollofil®, Qualofil®, Hollowfibre®. Polarguard®, Thinsulate®, Thermolite®, etc. In recent years have gained special relevance all Coreloft® and Primaloft® (One, Sport, Eco, Infinity, etc.) since they have some amazing features even damp (the Primaloft One just loses a thermal capacity of 4% being completely wet) due to its quick drying, low water absorption and high insulating power. While frequently called him “synthetic down”, much less reach the benefits of this in dry environments.
  1. construction of the sack sleep:
  • Form. Type blanket, Mummy closed, open Mummy, left or right, attachable rack, etc.
  • Outer fabric. Normally of fibres with a minimum water resistance and high breathability.
  • Fabric inside and tabicado. Resistant and dense to avoid the displacement of the filling. The Pertex® in any of its forms is much appreciated.

In the market there are many possibilities and we must tell us to find the best balance between several factors such as weight, volume, size, features, extras, price, etc. In function of the type of activity you want to. It is that you have a sleeping bag with temperature – 10 ° C comfort, but if only sales in summer in warm areas the only thing that you will do will be to pass heat and you will not use the qualities of this sleeping bag.

How to use your sleeping bag?

  1. We normally transported packaged by what we will look for a surface clean and dry and we will remove it gently cover deploying it completely and shaking. Sleeping bag so it will return to take her “Loft” in a few minutes, this is nothing more than the air that then we heat our body.
  2. The principle of operation of sleeping bags is the user to hot air that surrounds it in the sack, so it is particularly important that this air is the minimum possible. Thus, if we measure 170 cm but we carry a sack of 240 cm, may be convenient to fold the bottom of the bag or fill it with boots, clothing, etc. In this way we reduce the air to heat and maintain some of the material to our body temperature (to thank if the outside temperature is cold).
  3. Stationary hot air that traps the bag keeps body heat but does not heat the body, so, if the environment is too cold, it is very convenient to do a few push-ups or muscle contractions before entering it, logically without sweating.
  4. Also it is very convenient to change wet clothing, especially the interior.
  5. Playing with a good hat and some good socks we can achieve balance perfectly our temperature.

Essential accessories for very cold climates. Balaclava and feather peucos.

  1. In daily use, is convenient to aerate it as much as possible to evacuate the moisture produced by our perspiration. Especially important in the pen as with moisture loses its large properties to capture the air.
  2. The mat is the essential complement, must think that under our weight, the filling compresses diminishing its effectiveness.
  3. If you are used to systematically use a sheet sleeping bag, avoid having to wash it after each use, this form will keep the features of your bag for a long time.

And to maintain, wash, store, and transport me sleeping?

If you want your sleeping bag to take care of you and last you for many years, you must devote the time and attention necessary taking care of him.

Some tips for the feathers and the hollow synthetic fibers:

  1. Read the instructions of the manufacturer
  2. Aerate it whenever possible
  3. Wash it when necessary, but do not overdo the washes. The accumulation of fat in your body and other dirt make sleeping bag to reduce their insulating property and the presence of odours. When you wash it, do it with cold water and neutral SOAP special for this kind of clothes and in a “delicate fabrics” program if you do it at the machine.

If you wash it by hand, be sure to rinse well to remove all the SOAP.

Never use fabric softeners for technical garments.

  1. Free to air dry, on a horizontal surface, in the shade and moving it with smoothness and consistency. Those of feathers may take several days to dry.
  2. Always save it uncompressed, in large bags breathable or extended (especially feather bags). Normally this type of cover is included when purchasing your bag together with the compression.
  3. Covers waterproof and with compression straps are used to transport it. Before the compression sleeve straps open the most and the zipper of the bag is closed. SACK is never folded in the same way to avoid filling is cake and not crack the walls that keep the filling in place. It is introduced in the case by the feet, so the air go out the upper SAC and provide us with the job of introducing it. Once we have located the SAC in the case, comes the time to compress it with the straps. It must be symmetrically and constantly readapting the resultant bulk. As soon as possible you must get rid of the compression sleeve. If you prepare it for a post siphon bivy, you must use a waterproof cover that hold the pressure of the water.
  4. Bivy. If you know that you are going to absolutely outdoors and there is rain forecast, it is best to pack your sleeping bag bivy cover within already, thus not will it become damp when using it.

Sack of primaloft® waterproof bag and submerged in gore – tex® bivy

The temperature range of your sleeping bag

For the end we let the famous sleeping bags temperature ranges, in recent years has had special relevance in 13537 European standard which although not being a team of Individual protection (PPE), it is not obligatory, it ensures a minimum quality and rigor in the data shown for each product. Other regulations are being developed but have not yet been incorporated clearly, by what we will focus on the aforementioned in 13537 whose standards have been revised and are in force in Europe from 2014.

The standard attempts to unify the criteria of temperature except military bags and those that are designed for comfort temperatures lower al – 25 ° C.

The main values to take into account are:

  • Maximum temperature: often not relevant, it comes to indicate the maximum bearable temperature inside the bag without having to open it by excess heat.
  • Comfort temperature: is that, for an individual shows female and 60 kg, allows you to sleep comfortably, without extra clothing and cool feeling.
  • Temperature limit or transition: is that, for an individual shows male and 80 kg, allows you to sleep but in the limit of feeling cold before using extra clothing
  • Extreme temperature: frequently it is not taken into account and remains in the hands of the manufacturer. He is supposed to be the temperature from which it is likely to enter into hypothermia with serious health damage.

Example of temperature in sleeping bags

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