A 15° or 20°F bag suffices for most three-season trips. Down is a highly compressible insulation and provides more warmth for its weight than synthetic fills, which are preferable for use in wet conditions. Look for a zipper draft tube, a draft collar, and a trim-fitting design for maximum heat-trapping efficiency. Condensation will dry faster on a dark-colored shell.
Adjust the temperature rating up or down if you’re
a very cold or warm sleeper, or if your typical hike exposes you to sweltering desert temperatures or frigid mountain air. Some companies make bags specially shaped to fit the female form.
Return to Backpacking 101 home