Choosing the Right Sleeping Bag:

When choosing a sleeping bag consider how you will be using the bag.  Will you need to carry it?  What will the temperature and moisture be like in the places where you will be using it? Overall, major factors to take into consideration when deciding which bag to purchase include weight, stuffed size, temperature and moisture.  In addition, it is important to choose a bag with the appropriate fill for your needs. Sleeping bags are made with goose down fill or synthetic fill.  Down is lighter in weight, has excellent loft, is warmer for its weight and is more compressible than a synthetically filled bag.  However, down does not insulate well when it is wet.  Synthetic bags are durable, transfer moisture away from your body and insulate well when wet.  They are a good choice if you think you will encounter moisture on your trip, but understand that a synthetic bag will be slightly bulkier and a bit heavier than down.   Finally, consider appropriate size and temperature rating for your bag.  Your body will heat the space inside your bag, so you want to reduce that space to conserve your energy and stay warmer.  If you are a small person and have extra space in your bag or are a cold sleeper and will use your bag in cold temperatures, we recommend you choose a bag that is ten degrees warmer than you think you will need.

Sleeping Bag Care:

Sleeping bags, down and synthetic fill, can all be professionally cleaned by cleaners who specialize in cleaning outdoor products.  Never dry-clean a sleeping bag.  It will reduce the loft and your bag will lose warmth. If you would like to clean a bag yourself, it can be machine washed in a front-loader.  Do not use a top loader, the agitator will destroy your sleeping bag.  Zip all of the zippers and turn the bag inside out.  Use the gentle/delicate setting and wash your bag in cold water with mild powder or a special wash for the type of fill in your bag. Transfer your bag from the washer to the dryer by lifting it from the bottom and carrying it all at once, to avoid damage to the bag.  Your bag can be dried in a large commercial dryer ONLY on very low heat.  Home dryer have been known to melt holes in the fabric.  Check it from time to time to be sure your bag is not overheated.  If your bag is down, take it out and gently pull the clumps of wet down to redistribute it.  Some redistribution may be necessary to spread out the bunching for synthetic bags, as well.  When storing your sleeping bag, be sure it is dry.  Then, store your bag in a way that will not compress it.  Keep it out of its stuff sack or the long term compression will damage the loft, reducing its warmth.  Instead, lay the bag flat under a bed, hang it in a closet, or store loosely in a large bag.  Proper care and storage for sleeping bags will lengthen the life of your sleeping bag.

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