If you intend to spend the night in the woods, then you need to put some thought into your choice of sleeping bag. Choose the right sleeping bag and you wake up refreshed and ready for the next day’s adventure. Get it wrong and you fuss through the night while waking up the next day with pains all over your body. If this happens, you are bound to have a negative experience during your camping or hiking trip.
When it comes to sleeping bags, hikers have to make a choice between comfort and size. While ultralight sleeping bags are easier to carry, they may not be comfortable enough for most hikers. Bulkier sleeping bags may be more comfortable but be a burden to carry. Ultimately, you have to find a balance between weight and comfort. This article focuses on how much sleeping bags weigh. Continue reading to learn more.
How Much Does a Sleeping Bag Weigh on Average?
Most sleeping bags weigh around 2.7 lbs on average. However, there are some ultralight models that weigh as little as 12 ounces while the bulkier ones weigh over 5.5 lbs.
Rectangular Sleeping Bags
Average weight: Around 3 lbs
Rectangular sleeping bags are the most conventional sleeping bags. Having a rectangular shape, this type of sleeping bag have plenty of space and you can be sure of having enough space to stretch or roll over.
Due to the size of rectangular sleeping bags, they don’t retain heat. Generally, rectangular bags are optimized for comfort rather than warmth. This makes them ideal for use in warm weather. If it becomes too hot in a rectangular bag, you can easily unzip it and use it as a comforter.
If you are the type that moves a lot while sleeping, you’ll do well to go for a rectangular sleeping bag especially if you are camping in warm weather. People that feel claustrophobic in form-fitting bags will also benefit from rectangular sleeping bags.
The major drawback of rectangular bags is that they are not ideal for use in warm weather. They are also bulky or heavy for hikers, backpackers, or campers that want to pack ultralight.
Semi-rectangular Sleeping Bags
Average weight: 1 – 2 lbs
Semi-rectangular sleeping bags are more slender than rectangular bags. Their tops are usually rounded and come with slight tapering at the bottom.
Semi-rectangular bags provide a balanced mix of warmth and roominess. They are warmer than rectangular bags although they aren’t as spacious. Still, they have enough room for hikers and campers to be comfortable. Semi-rectangular sleeping bags are ideal for use in warm weather, especially in areas where it becomes chilly but not frigid at night.
Mummy-style Sleeping Bags
Average weight: 1 – 3 lbs
Mummy sleeping bags are designed to fit snugly. As a result, they are shaped to align with the contours of a human being. The main focus of mummy-style sleeping bags is warmth. They are designed to retain as much he’s as possible and they do this by minimizing the amount of air space around your body when you are in the bag. And this makes mummy bags ideal in cold and frigid conditions when you need to be warm.
The major drawback of this type of sleeping bag is that it’s not spacious. There’s no room to move about or rollover. So, if you are a fussy sleeper or move around a lot in your sleep, you’ll roll with a mummy-style sleeping bag instead of inside it.
Mummy-style sleeping bags also tend to be lighter than other sleeping bag designs since they don’t have much room and are designed to conform to the body. There are ultralight models for people that are conscious about the weight they carry.
Average weight: Less than 1 lb
Quilt or hoodless bags are super light, around 20 to 30 % lighter than comparable sleeping bags. The reason for this is that quilts don’t have hoods, hence why they are also referred to as hoodless bags, and provide insulation where it matters most, which is the top of the sleeper.
The reduced weight of quilts means they pack extremely small, something that’s incredibly appealing to ultralight outdoor enthusiasts. Modern quilts are designed to be warm, almost as warm as compared to traditional sleeping bags. Since quilts don’t have hoods, you’ll have to utilize the hoods on your jacket or wear a beanie to keep warm at the head region.
Double Sleeping Bag
Average weight: 4 – 8 lbs
As the name implies, double sleeping bags are designed to fit two people. As a result, they are very bulky with some models weighing 6 to 8 lbs. Double sleeping bags are great for couples as they can snuggle together and stay extra cozy during the night.
However, the size of double sleeping bags becomes an idea when backpacking. But if you are car camping, then the weight won’t matter as much. Your sleeping partner may also make or break your experience with a double sleeping bag. If your partner moves around a lot in their sleep, you may not enjoy a good night’s rest.
What Influences the Weight of a Sleeping Bag
There are several factors that determine the weight of a sleeping bag. They include:
Sleeping bags are usually rated for certain temperatures. Within the temperature rating, you can expect the sleeping bag to perform at its best. A sleeping bag that is rated 5°C and above is ideal for warm summer nights and won’t be as thick as one rated 0 to -5°C. The latter is ideal for a cold night with no frost and as a result will need more insulation to keep the sleeper warm.
In general, you can expect sleeping bags rated for cold weather to be thicker than those rated for warm weather.
Insulation – Down vs. Synthetic
The type of insulation used in a sleeping bag has an effect on the weight. Sleeping bags usually come with down or synthetic insulation. Down is sourced from the exterior feathers of waterfowl like duck and geese and is usually used in sleeping bags rated for cold or dry weather due to its space-saving properties.
Synthetic insulation is usually made of polyester, a synthetic material. It has the advantage of being cheaper than down while being more water resistant. Down loses some of its insulation properties when dry. It also takes a lot of time for down to dry when wet.
However, synthetic insulation is heavier and bulkier than down insulation. So, sleeping bags with synthetic insulation will be heavier than those with down insulation. It’s worth pointing out that synthetic insulation may cause an allergic reaction in some people.
Outside Fabric Material and Thickness
The outside fabric material and thickness have a significant impact on the weight of a sleeping bag. Generally, the exterior or shell of most sleeping bags is made of nylon or polyester. Nylon is heavier than polyester and sleeping bags with a nylon exterior will be thicker than those with a polyester exterior. The thickness of the fabric material will also affect the weight of the sleeping. The thicker the fabric material, the heavier the sleeping bag will be.
Hood vs. Hoodless
As you know by now, sleeping bags can come with or without hoods. Hoodless sleeping bags are generally lighter and easier to pack than those that have hoods. This is why quilts are popular among outdoor enthusiasts that want to pack ultralight.
The choice between a hood and a hoodless sleeping bag is down to the sleeper. For those that aren’t overly concerned about weight, they may decide to go for sleeping bags with hoods.
The shape of a sleeping bag significantly affects its weight with the three most common shapes being mummy, semi-rectangular and rectangular. Mummy-style bags are designed to reduce weight and increase warmth making them one of the lightest sleeping bags as they conform to the body of the sleeper.
Rectangular sleeping bags are geared towards comfort and have more internal space resulting in increased weight. Semi-rectangular sleeping bags offer the best of both worlds of rectangular and mommy bags and have an intermediate weight.
Choosing a sleeping bag is never an easy task, especially for new hikers, campers, and backpackers. You could choose a sleeping bag only to find out it’s too warm or wake up the next morning wishing you got another sleeping bag instead.
Hopefully, you know more about sleeping bags after reading this article. But if you need more help, you can always leave a comment and I’ll respond as fast as I can.