A good bed in the great outdoors with mummy sleeping bags

Mummy Sleeping Bag

Mummy shaped sleeping bags have become standard outdoor equipment. It has compact packed dimensions, improved thermal capacity and a lower weight than comparable blanket sleeping bags with the same thermal properties. For more athletic uses like trekking, walking, mountain touring and bike touring, they are a better choice than blanket sleeping bags, which are usually preferred for camping to offer more comfort.
The differential cut distributes the filling in the chambers according to the anatomy of the body. This is because mummy sleeping bags are preformed. Some models have more insulation in certain areas. For example women's sleeping bags have thicker foot regions or alpine sleeping bags have extra warm hoods.
Mummy sleeping bags are very different in terms of their insulating capacity, their range of uses, and their fillings. So here are some simple tips, which should help to simplify your choice when you are looking for the right model.

What do the temperature specifications for sleeping bags mean?

The three guideline values for the insulation rating of a sleeping bag indicate comfort, lower limit and extreme temperature. These refer to lab results on average people, so in practice they only provide rough guidelines. In general women should be guided by the comfort value and men by the limit value. These give the temperatures in which you should be able to sleep comfortably under normal circumstances (not extremely tired, not hungry, adequately hydrated, sober or minimally intoxicated, not underweight). In extreme temperatures you also have be aware of frostbite.
In general the temperature guideline means that you shouldn't need to wear long underwear in a sleeping bag of a given thermal output. However, mummy sleeping bags should generally be used with liners and suitable thermal sleeping mats. Long woollen base layers and warming liners can sometimes considerably increase the temperature capacity of the sleeping bag. The temperature ratings of your thermal sleeping pad should not be less than those of your mummy sleeping bag.

Mummy Sleeping Bag

Which material - down or synthetic fibre?

Mummy sleeping bags are available down sleeping bags or synthetics sleeping bags. Down is a natural filling that has an excellent weight to thermal output ratio. Additionally, down is highly compressible, high loft and odour-resistant. The one disadvantage is its susceptibility to moisture. Synthetic fibres with the same level of insulation are not as compressible and lightweight as down, but will keep you warm even when wet. That is why down is recommended for winter use and lightweight touring in dry climates, whereas mummy sleeping bags with synthetic fibre are three-seasons sleeping bags suitable for high humidity climates.

What else do I have to look out for?

When buying a mummy sleeping bag the size is of the utmost importance for good insulation. There are different lengths, and you need to pay attention to both the inner and outer dimensions. The cut can also vary and sleeping bags with transverse stretch are available. Kids' sleeping bags are also available.
More important features you should consider when looking at mummy sleeping bags by Valandre, Yeti, Mountain Equipment, Mammut and Exped are inside pockets, a draft collar, hood, zip and a coupling functionality.

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