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Why Your Sleeping Bag Didn't Keep You Warm?

Dec. 29, 2021

One of the biggest fears of campers is sleeping cold. It can rob you of your fun, as well as your concentration and energy the next day. In extreme weather, this is very dangerous.

So you invest in your sleep. Your chosen sleeping bag seems to tick all the boxes for ultralight materials, hydrophobic down, hood and so on. But you don't sleep soundly this night and you always feel a cold breeze blowing in. You shiver and regret having bought this poor quality sleeping bag.

So that you never have to spend another sleepless night cursing your sleeping bag, here are the top 10 reasons why you're sleeping cold - and what to do about it.

Your pad isn't insulated enough

Buying a sleeping bag is relatively simple - just choose the temperature range that best suits your situation. the EN test is conducted using mannequins, which means the ratings don't perfectly reflect real-world conditions - such as someone walking around in their sleep.

Solution: make sure you choose a sleeping pad that is sufficiently insulated. The right sleeping pad is the basis for a warm sleep system in cold conditions.

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Your toes fall off the mat

Speaking of cold ground temperatures, if your feet or knees fall off your sleeping mat in the middle of the night, you'll be a victim of cold spots. Don't underestimate the rate at which cold, hard ground consumes your body heat.

Solution: choose a sleeping mat that is long enough or surround your mat with your clothes and bag - anything that will allow you to lie on your mat all night.

You sleep cold

Insulation does not produce heat - it only absorbs it. If you sleep in bed cold, your bag will not be able to keep you warm.

Solution: let your body temperature rise before you go to bed. Eat and drink enough, do some push-ups and make sure your inner fireplace is running. Then make sure you're wearing full thermal clothing before you hit the hay.

You've got a dirty sleeping bag.

Missed laundry day more than once? This could be the reason your sleeping bag isn't working to its full potential. Dirt and grease can enter the sleeping bag's insulation from the lining fabric. When it gets dirty enough, your insulation doesn't expand and therefore doesn't absorb heat as well.

Solution: Stop sleeping cold and wash your down or synthetic sleeping bag. Alternatively, use a sleeping bag liner to increase the time between laundry days.

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Sleeping bag shape doesn't suit you

If your bag is too big or too long in certain places, your body will have too much room to heat up. If it is too restrictive, you will compress the insulation and create cold spots.

Solution: get a bag that is just the right shape, size and length. For some people this will be a mummy bag, for others it will be a ladies only sleeping bag.

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