By Leah Gresh
Did I ever tell you ladies about the one time I borrowed a colleague’s sleeping bag on a trek? As an amateur hiker, I did not know better than to realize that a sleeping bag meant for my tall and large male colleague will not work fine for an average sized female like me.
And my perception of “All sleeping bags are the same, so this one should work just fine” quickly changed into “I should have shopped for my own sleeping bag” on the second day of the hike.
The particular sleeping bag, which was large, was excessively heavy for me to carry around.
Moreover, the sleeping bag was too spacious for me and hence felt very drafty.
I tried stuffing my clothes inside the sleeping bag in a hope of making it more warm and comfortable.
Even though it helped a little bit, I spent most of the night shivering in discomfort.
This horrific experience was enough to make me realize the importance of buying a sleeping bag meant specifically for women.
You may also like: 10 Best Ultralight Backpacking Sleeping Bags The 10 Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags Today I will be talking about the best women’s sleeping bags in the market.
So, stick with me till the end, ladies!
The Shortlist My Top 5 Sleeping Bags for Women Hikers
|Sleeping Bag||Best Feature||My Grade|
|RAB Neutrino 400||Comfortable, rated for the cold and down filled. My top choice.||A 🏅|
|Sierra Designs DriDown Backcountry||Very comfortable||A|
|Mountain Hardwear Lamina Z Flame||Lightweight, breathable material||B+|
|The North Face Cat's Meow||Great in cold weather||B|
|Hyke & Byke Down Sleeping Bag for Backpacking||Very compact||B+|
^^Below, I’ve written more detailed reviews, but you can click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Why Are Sleeping Bags Important?
The main reason why sleeping bags bore so much of importance for hikers and travelers is because they allow you to sleep anywhere and everywhere cozily.
Sleeping bags provide you with warmth which will prevent you from tossing and turning in the cold night air trying to find a suitable position to sleep in.
It is due to the blessings of sleeping bags that your back does not have to be exposed to the hard and cold ground- which knows nothing about showing mercy to travelers.
Sleeping bags not only keep you warm, but also dry and safe from water and insects respectively.
They help your body reenergize for the journey ahead.
Regarding why women should purchase women specific sleeping bags, there are some reasons as well.
Firstly, women’s sleeping bags are shorter and slimmer in order to fit the size of women and hence these sleeping bags are more snugly and cozy.
Secondly, women’s sleeping bags have added insulation in areas such as the foot, core or shoulders where women require more warmth and comfort.
Many women’s sleeping bags are lightweight and easy to carry around compared to men’s sleeping bags.
Something people repeatedly hear me say is that sleeping bags are not a purchase but rather an investment; this is because sleeping bags will become your best friends for any given trip for the many years about to come.
How To Choose Women’s Sleeping Bags?
You have to choose your friends wisely and since we have established that sleeping bags are your best friends, you have to choose sleeping bags carefully as well.
So let us now look at the factors you have to keep in mind before choosing a sleeping bag.
The first thing you want to consider while buying a sleeping bag is the weight as sleeping bags tend to be among the heaviest of your gears.
You want the sleeping bag to be as light as possible so that it does not fatigue you on the trip.
Generally, down insulation bags are lighter with their weight being an average of 25 ounces compared to synthetic bags whose weight are approximately 40 ounces on an average.
The main function of sleeping bags is to keep you warm by trapping the heat in an enclosed space.
They keep the warm air inside and do not allow the cold air from the outside to seep in.
Women sleeping bags have more insulation at the foot, core and shoulder areas for providing just the perfect amount of heat to the specific areas.
There are two major types of insulation: down insulation and synthetic insulation.
Down insulation bags are lightweight, durable and easily compressible.
They retain heat very well.
However, down insulation bags are pricey compared to the synthetic bags which you can purchase for half the price of the down sleeping bags.
Synthetic sleeping bags dry quickly and are better for wet climatic conditions.
They are, however, heavy, bulky and not much durable.
Your sleeping bag must be comfortable and cozy.
An uncomfortable bag will only worsen your sleeping experience which in turn is going to make you more tired and sleepless the following day.
You cannot enjoy a hike in such a condition.
So you have to choose a comfortable sleeping bag for your trip.
Sleeping bags come with various temperature ratings.
This rating will differ as per the climatic conditions the bag is suitable for.
You do not want to shiver and freeze in the cold climates.
So always stick to the safe side and choose a sleeping bag which provides more warmth than what is required.
The general temperature rating of sleeping bags is in between 10F to 35F.
Sleeping bags which have been designed specifically for women are generally shorter in length, narrower at the shoulders and wider at the hips.
The average size of women’s sleeping bags are apt to fit women of 5 feet 8 inches.
Try to choose a sleeping bag which has a snug but comfortable fit, in which you will have plenty of space to move around without the sleeping bag being too loose.
Lastly, you also want to look for extra features in bags such as the number of pockets, zippers, hoods, smart features, foot compartments, draft collars and so on.
The more the features, the better and advanced the sleeping bag.