What does it all mean?
In Europe, the EN 13537 standard normalizes the temperatures at which a sleeping bag can be used. Tests provide four temperatures:
Upper limit is the highest temperature at which a ‘standard’ adult man is able to have a comfortable night’s sleep without excess sweating. This rating is not normally used by sleeping bag manufacturers.
The three key rating to look at are:
Comfort rating is based on a ‘standard’ adult woman having a comfortable night’s sleep.
Extreme rating is a survival only rating for a ‘standard’ adult man. This is an extreme survival rating only and it is not advisable to rely on this rating for general use.
So when you’re selecting a sleeping bag for your trip look at the temperatures you are likely to experience and pick a sleeping bag with a COMFORT RATING which matches the lower temperature you will find.
Getting a good night’s sleep!
When in your sleeping bag you lose more heat through the ground than the air, so it’s important to insulate yourself by using a good sleeping mat, we recommend an inﬂatable mat with built in insulation such as the Thermarest NeoAir or Exped Synmat (see: http://goo.gl/amdpp ), which both have built in insulation. While in your bag it’s also a good idea to tighten the shoulder collar and hood drawstrings in order to trap your body warmth inside the bag.
If you feel the cold, it may be a good idea to add a ﬂeece liner to your kit list which will add extra warmth to your sleeping bag. Also getting up in the middle of the night for a pee is an easy way to get cold, so consider taking a pee bottle, to save getting up. For Outdoorhire’s selection of sleeping bags and liners which have been tested for their selected environment see: http://goo.gl/QOzi9
Special thanks to outdoorhire.co.uk for writing this blog for Charity Challenge.