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Sleeping Bags

What type of bag should I get?

There is no one bag for all. There are many things to think about before buying a sleeping bag. The following is list of things Philmont recommends to aid in your decision making process.

  • Temperature Rating: The Guidebook to Adventure recommends a bag with a rating less than 25 degrees. If you are a cold sleeper you may want a bag with a lower temperature.
  • Weight The Guidebook to Adventure recommends a bag weighing less than 5 pounds.
  • Stuff Sack Size: Use a waterproof sack to store your sleeping bag
  • Fill: Down or Synthetic
  • Shape: Mummy, Rectangular, or Semi-rectangular


  • Down: Goose down provides maximum warmth for minimum weight. It takes very little space when compressed and it fluffs up fully and easily once unrolled. It is more expensive than synthetic bags. One problem with down filled sleeping bags is the fact that it loses most of its insulation qualities when wet.
  • Synthetic: Synthetic Sleeping Bag fills try to combine the qualities of down, with better insulation when wet. There are many of these synthetic Sleeping Bag fillings and some of the most common names are Polarguard, Hollofil, and Micro-loft.


  • Mummy: A tapered cut that boosts heat trapping by reducing extra space. It also has reduced bulk and weight.
  • Rectangular: The sleeping bag does not taper which allows for more wiggle room, but in turn is inefficient in heating up quickly. Generally used for car camping.
  • Semi-Rectangular: Semi-Rectangular bags are less tapered more roomy the mummy bags. They are more heat efficient than a rectangular bag.


  • Draft Collar: An insulated tube that wraps around the neck to insulate the body.
  • Hood: An insulated hood that wraps around the head to trap heat.
  • Pocket: A pocket for small item, like a flashlight and watch.
  • Stuff Sack: Storage bag for you sleeping bag.
  • Zippers: Right or left facing, used for zipping bag together. OR Two way zipping, you can open the zipper from the foot for venting.
  • Zipper Tube: An insulated tube that runs along the side the zipper.
  • Pillow Pockets: A special pocket that you can fill to form a pillow.