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Sleeping Bag Features, Options and Accessories

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Sleeping bags and sleeping systems can be quite sophisticated. Which of the following accessories or add-ons are important? How important is simplicity in this context, eschewing most if not all of the options listed below?

What about the following zipper options?

·               snag free zipper,

·               left and right hand zippers for zipping two bags together,

·               two-way zippers for ventilation,

·               draft tubes to cover the zipper,

·               quarter or half length zippers to save weight,

·               ¾ or full length zipper in order to use the bag as a quilt?


What about the following design elements at the top and bottom of the bag?

·               hoods (yes bags are available without them),

·               a hood that folds flat on warm nights,

·               draft collars,

·               chest pocket for small items,

·               extra length to store extra clothes or boots,

·               draw strings or zippers in the foot box area for adding or subtracting foot room and for increased ventilation?


What about the outer shell?

·               dark colored shell to absorb radiant heat from the sun,

·               waterproof and breathable shell covering for sleeping out in the open,

·               waterproof and breathable shell only at the foot and hood with a water resistant body,

·               built in pockets for a sleeping mat and/or a pillow?


The above options only cover a part of the accessories commonly available, but you get the idea. Click on this link for an overview of sleeping bag/sleeping system designs: Alternative Sleeping Systems.

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