Sleeping bags are a must have for any type of outing in the wild, and before packing a sleeping bag in your backpack, you should take note of its size. The size of a sleeping bag is a crucial factor as packing it and carrying it can determine the outcome of your trip.
This being said, you should know that sleeping bag’s size is determined by two factors: Length and Weight.
Usually, a sleeping bag comes with two standard lengths: Regular and Long. But sometimes, a short version is also available for a short person.
Likewise, the weight of a sleeping bag is determined by the use of materials inside it.
It is not that difficult for you to fit a regular-sized sleeping bag in your backpack. But, how would you accommodate a big-sized bag?
We are here to help you with some of the fitting guides. But first, let us take you through the size of a sleeping bag.
Sleeping Bag and its Size
It is apparent that you choose a backpacking sleeping bag for your adventure based on its warmth-to-weight ratio and compressibility features. But have you ever considered that the size of a sleeping bag has a big part to play in these major features?
As we have already mentioned, the size of a sleeping bag depends on two variables:
Now, let’s discuss each of these factors in a little more detail.
The length of a sleeping bag plays a vital role in determining its shape. Mainly, sleeping bags are designed in two standard lengths for men: regular and long. A regular-sized sleeping bag fits people up to 6 feet height. Similarly, a long-sized sleeping bag can accommodate people up to 6.5 feet height. In some cases, a short version of a sleeping bag is available which best suits people with a height of 5 feet and 6 inches.
On the other hand, women’s sleeping bag comes in regular and long sizes. The regular-sized sleeping bag fits people up to 5 feet and 4 inches in height. Whereas a long-sized sleeping bag gives space to people with the height up to 5 feet and 10 inches.
Another factor that determines the size of a sleeping bag is its weight. Typically, we categorize sleeping bags into two types: Lightweight and Heavyweight.
Lightweight bags are those which are crafted with high-quality insulation that are lighter in weight. When we talk about down sleeping bags, they are regarded to have a lighter weight due to the use of fill power which ranges from about 600 to 900. The use of higher fill power down insulation fills the same space with less weight than the insulation with lower fill power.
Heavyweight bags are those which make use of synthetic insulation. The insulation type makes these bags cheaper at the expense of added weight. This is the reason why synthetic bags are not recommended for lengthy and difficult trips.
Big-Sized Sleeping Bag Fitting Guide
If you want to enjoy a comfortable outing, then you should always prioritize the appropriate size of a sleeping bag. The better your sleeping bag fits in your backpack, the warmer and comfortable it will be for you. But at the same time, you should not fit the bag so tightly that it would be uncomfortable to move and walk.
There are some essential guides to consider while packing your sleeping bags. These may range from size dimensions and shape to the sleeping bag accessories.
The size dimensions can be divided into three major factors:
You are already familiar with different lengths of sleeping bags offered to both men and women. The length of a sleeping bag plays a crucial role. If you want to maximize warmth, you should opt for the shortest length sleeping bag that perfectly fits you in. Always remember to buy a sleeping bag that is some inches longer than you. This will help to maintain adequate warmth and also offers a comfortable space to move freely.
For proper measurement of a bag, you need to get inside it and zip yourself. During the process, you should pay attention to where your toes end. For a comfortable fitting, there should always be a little space between your toes and the bottom of the sleeping bag.
Another important dimension that you should take note of is shoulder girth. It is defined as a circumference of the sleeping bag across your shoulders. Mostly, the shoulder girth for men can range from 60 to 64 inches. Meanwhile, it is around 56 to 60 inches for women.
The most efficient way to determine your preferred shoulder girth is by trying out the sleeping bag and see whether there is a couple of inches difference between the width of your shoulder and the width of your bag. This will give you a perfect fitting and make your sleep a comfortable one.
Hip girth can be defined as the circumference of the sleeping bag across your hips. The width differs based on whether it’s a men’s or women’s sleeping bag. Comparatively, women’s sleeping bag tend to be wider at the hips than men’s sleeping bag. The standard hip width of women’s bag is at around 60 inches whereas for men’s it is around 58 inches.
Like the shoulder girth, you should try out the sleeping bag to determine your preferred hip girth. This is also a key method to fit a sleeping bag which can be big in size. Just try to consider some extra inches between the width of your hip and the width of your bag for comfort.
Another key factor to take note of while fitting the sleeping bag is the size of the hood it offers. The hood plays an essential role in your warmth and comfort so proper consideration should be given to it while fitting a sleeping bag.
You can place your head inside the hood to see if it perfectly fits or not. The hood should wrap comfortably and naturally around your head to keep you secured from the cold breeze. In the meantime, it should also be comfortable enough for movement. If you can move your head left and right without any issues, you are good to go.
Sleeping Bag Shape
The sleeping bag fitting guide also depends on how well you understand the shapes of sleeping bags. We are going to discuss the four most common shapes of sleeping bags.
Mummy Sleeping Bag
The mummy sleeping bag comes with an efficient shape which makes it lightweight and easily packable. This type of bag is broadest at the shoulder and least wide at your feet. With no room for extra air, it is regarded as the warmest option.
However, the tapered shape in the bag means there is less room for turning. It could make it less comfortable for some people.
Rectangular Sleeping Bag
The rectangular sleeping bag is considered the most traditional sleeping bag which is ideal for the one who likes extra room while sleeping. Although, with the extra space, the sleeping bag sacrifices some of its insulating properties. Another feature of a rectangular sleeping bag is that it is less efficient at heating but also less restrictive while sleeping.
These type of bags are generally larger and heavier, making them quite challenging to fit in your backpack.
Semi-Rectangular/Tapered Sleeping Bag
It is a hybrid between the mummy and rectangular bag shapes. These bags are a go-between for fair-weather campers who require warmth and also the extra space for comfort. Semi-rectangular bags provide great comfort for shorter backpacking adventures.
Double Sleeping Bag
The double sleeping bags are designed to accommodate two grown-ups inside comfortably. If you like to snuggle with your partner at night and also find a single sleeping bag restricting, then double bags are perfect for you. You can also unzip some of the double bags to make two separate sleeping bags which aids to its versatility.
However, the primary defect of this bag can be the loss of warmth sometimes. Some loose fitting of double sleeping bags may let excess cold air inside which can take away your warmth.
Sleeping Bag Accessories
If you want to get more comfortable with your sleeping bag, you can always accessorize it. The extra stuff you can add may include pillows or cushions, sleeping pads, and blankets. If this is the case, you need a sleeping bag that can fit some of these accessories in it. However, you don’t want your bag to be so big that it won’t fit in your backpack.
To avoid such problems, you should take note at how much a particular bag can stretch to accommodate your extra stuff. You can see exactly how a sleeping pad or a liner would fit inside your bag. Once it fits, you can get inside and see for yourself how much extra room is left for you. Always take note to keep the weight of a sleeping bag modest for a comfortable fit.
The size of a sleeping bag always has a massive impact on how well you can conclude your trip. And if your sleeping bag is big in size, you need to take note of a fitting guide before commencing your adventure.
The best way for you to find the right fit is to try them by yourself. First, see whether the sleeping bag provides you the required warmth or not. After that, take note of the extra space available for you to manoeuver freely. Always make sure that the space available in your sleeping bag isn’t excessive. Or else, you will end up carrying a heavier sleeping bag which is not an ideal fit for you.
Have a wonderful trip!