- C) Cotton
For the mountain we will never use a cotton sleeping bag despite its softness and good moisture absorption capacity generated by perspiration.Cotton sacks are very heavy, and when cakes can be difficult to unpack.Therefore, they are only recommended for camping, so we will not discuss about them in this article.
Fill quantity and weight
The amount of filler is the one that is going to fix the capacity of retention of heat of the bag, so that the more filling, the greater the temperature that the bag can retain inside.But we must take into account that it does not hold the same 1 kg of down than 1 kg of synthetic fiber, although many of them can get almost similar results.Therefore, this feature will always match the type of filler described above.
Many manufacturers specify the amount of fill in gr / m2 instead of indicating the total number of grams of the same.
The total weight of the bag is also an aspect to take into account when we will carry it in our backpacks and perform a trekking.Although to a greater extent the weight is given by the amount of filling that the sack has, it will also have to be added the outer fabrics, zippers, compression sack, etc.
The partitioning refers to the distribution of the filler material along the bag.All partitions have in common to divide the sleeping bag into small areas separated from each other in which to introduce the material.This is done so that the down or fiber does not pile all in the same part of the bag, and thus is evenly distributed.
On the one hand, the filling of the filler, on the other hand, is the beginning of another point of heat loss, since the seams to make the different areas of the fence will not have filler material that prevents the loss of heat .Manufacturers use different types of partitions to avoid this problem.
Here, aesthetics often masks functionality.Normally, many partitions, or asymmetrical partitions, signal a careful design and performance, especially in light garments.
Capacity of inflation or expansion
The fill capacity refers to how much the interior filler expands and, therefore, how large the layer of air that is formed and will prevent the loss of heat, as we have discussed above.
In the down, the inflation capacity is measured in “cuins” (cubic inches), and the higher the capacity, the greater the inflation capacity.We can find three great types:
- Up to 500 cuins -> Poor quality.
- Between 500 and 600 cuins -> Average quality.
- More than 700 cuins -> High quality.
European cuins are more demanding than the American ones, since they are measured in conditions of bad humidity and with the less dry down, whereas the Americans measure it in conditions of null humidity and with the totally dry down.
This measurement is not used when the filling material is synthetic fiber, since it does not have an inflation capacity.
The goose down rarely exceeds 600-650 cuins, while the goose down has reached up to 900 cuins.
The outer material is the most visible material of a sleeping bag and protects the filling material.However, its construction is also very important and we often forget to give it the attention it deserves.
A very fine fabric will obviously be lighter, so we will gain in weight, but it can be less resistant and let through the filler material, so we will have to be more aware of its care and handling. In addition, a fabric is usually poorly resistant to moisture, although it allows faster drying and better evaporation. The density or grammage of a fabric is measured in Deniers , the mass in grams per 9,000 meters of fiber, usually indicated by a number followed by a “D”.
We can find sleeping bags even with impermeable membrane, like Gore-Tex, although this is reserved more for vivid covers.
Compression and volume capacity
The compression capacity measures how much the filler material will reduce.This factor, together with the compressibility of other materials (such as the outer fabric), will determine the final volume of the folded bag, which is very important when transporting it inside a backpack.As mentioned earlier, the down has much more compressibility than synthetic fiber.
Typically, manufacturers report volume by the outer dimensions of the uncompressed and compressed bag.
The sacks usually come with a cover where you can store and carry it more comfortably.If this sheath also has tapes for compressing the bag, it is called a compression sheath.It is important to note that the bag should spend as little time as possible inside a compression sleeve (only during backpacking), however, we will treat the subject of maintenance and care in a separate article.
Temperature ranges according to manufacturer
According to the European standard EN13537 on requirements of sleeping bags, all must show in their labeling 4 temperatures: the maximum maximum temperature, the comfort temperature, the limit temperature and the extreme temperature.These temperatures are obtained from tests performed with different dolls and simulating the meteorological conditions, hence they serve only as an orientation.It is important to keep in mind that each person’s metabolism is different, and their resistance to cold is also different.
- The highest maximum temperature is one that a man can sleep without sweating excessively with the hood open and arms out (in some cases the labels omit this value).
- The comfort temperature is the temperature at which a woman can sleep comfortably in a relaxed position.
- The limit temperature is the temperature at which a man can sleep huddled all night without waking up.
- Extreme temperature is one that a woman can endure up to 6 hours without danger of death by hypothermia.
For this classification is considered a man of 25 years, with a height of 1.73m and a weight of 73kgs;And a woman of 25 years, with a height of 1.60m and a weight of 60 kg.
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