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It appears as if various sleeping bag ratings possess no consistency at all.
Sleeping bag temperature ratings are set by the manufacturer, but there is an improved way in 2013 and beyond.
Temperature ratings persist to be rated only by the makers of the bags. My 3-pound Sierra Designs bag, for example, was rated to 20 degrees. To tell you the truth, it never kept me as warm as my 17-ounce Western Mountaineering sleeping bag, which is only rated down to 40 degrees. is not this an issue when you buy a bag ? Perhaps a 45-degree bag will keep you warmer than a 30-degree bag will.
Consistent Sleeping Bag Ratings
No matter what temperature a bag is rated for, in accord with any system of testing, it won’t necessarily keep you warm to that temperature. We can’t solve the issue of folks having varied metabolisms and bodies. A particular bag might be good for one individual down to 20 degrees, at the same time as for one other it is only good to 40 degrees. You generally can figure out if you are a cold or a warm sleeper, but that doesn’t aid if you are not aware of whether a bag is rated too high or too low.
You ought to to be aware of that if a bag says 30 degrees it will keep you warmer than one that says 40 degrees. With that, even if you add or subtract 10 or 20 degrees for your personal tastes, you can still figure out which bag is the warmer one. How do we get this consistency ?
Begin testing with any sleeping bag, by putting a bag of water in it that is human-sized, weighing perhaps 160 pounds. Have 3 standard sizes for small, regular and huge sleeping bags. Always begin with the water temperature at 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and measure how long before it drops to 90 degrees. External air temperature has to always be the same too, whether it is 60 degrees or 40.
The numbers are not crucial. What’s important here is that once the standards are chosen, every bag is tested the same way, with the same conditions (even the temperature and material of the testing platform would have to be the same). This is what will give consistency to the sleeping bag ratings for warmth.
Now, if a bag rated to 40 degrees keeps the water above 90 for two hours, a bag rated for 30 would obviously have to keep it above 90 degrees for a longer time. Pegging heat-retention instances to specific temperature ratings would be a bit grueling at first. However, once done, each new bag on the market could be submitted to the testing and rapidly given a consistent rating. We would be aware of that a lower rating would always mean a warmer bag, degree-by-degree. We could even have old bags tested to see if it is time to alternate them.
Manufacturer Acceptance ?
Would manufacturers pay a private testing company to have their bags rated ? Some, at first, because it would be a an advantage for those businesses who are already conservative in their temperature ratings. They would have “proof” that the bags are even warmer than they were claiming. Then, eventually, all bag makers would feel some motivation to have their sleeping bags tested, because consumers would be watchful about paying for ones that weren’t tested.
I hope someone will take this thought and run with it. An existing consumer rating company, like Consumer Reports, could do this on their own accord and report the results to folks. Even if they listed the bags without temperature ratings, but in absolute order by which held the heat in the best, it would be extremely useful. One could appear at the list and if their current bag kept them warm to 25 degrees, they would know that any bag higher on the list would be warmer. Isn’t it time for consistent sleeping bag ratings in this current time ?
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