Sleep is key in the backcountry. If you're not sleeping well at night then you're not going to have a good time the following day or days.
Down vs. Synthetic
Down is super light weight and warm, it gets that warmth from the loft or "puffy" nature of the feathers. Synthetic bags are a bit heavier, don't compress as well, but are great when the weather turns wet.
The downside of down is that if it gets wet, the loft goes away along with your warmth. If you're only camping when it's nice out (which is most people), then down will work great. If, for some reason, you like camping in the rain or know you're at risk of soaking your bag, you'll want to find a bag that has a synthetic fill.
Here are some bags that I believe in based on my personal experience and the feedback from others.
- I hiked about 700 miles along the PCT with this sleeping bag in 2017 and loved it. It's by far one of the best bags I've ever used. Incredibly light and filled with quality down.
- When I first saw the Mobile Mummy, I knew I had to try it for myself and once I did, I loved it. Anytime I need to lend a bag out to someone, I always find myself telling them they need to try this bag. It's like wearing a big down jacket!
- I've personally never used this bag, but I've spoken to a lot of folks who have and they swear by it. If you're not a fan of the feel of a sleeping bag, you'll want to check this design out because it's more like a bed than a bag. Probably one of the most unique designs you'll see!
Looking to cut weight? Quilts are becoming more and more popular with out lightweight they are. If you're not familiar with them, just know it's like unzipping your sleeping bag and laying it over you. No zippers, just a blanket!
- Quilts come in a few different designs. You'll want to work with the team at EE to work through what best suits your needs.
Here's what you need to know about sleeping pads; while they may be comfortable to sleep on, they're actually built to insulate your body from the cold ground. When choosing a sleeping pad, you'll want to consider the shape, the weight it can hold without risking puncture, and if you want it to be insulated or not.
- Klymit makes a great pad that won't make you pass out when blowing it up and it's durable as all get out. Be kind to your sleeping pad and avoid sharp rocks and sticks that might pop it.