Next to food this might be the most important item for a pleasant hiking tour and you should really invest some thought and money into your sleeping bag.
For my part I own three of them for use at different temperature ranges, most people neither want nor need to invest in several sleeping bags, just make sure you think it through thoroughly when and how you want to use it and chose a bag that is sufficient for a lower temperature than you plan to use it for. There are few things worse than being cold when trying to sleep after a days hike, while at the same time we can take on a lot of challenges during the day as long as we know we are dry and warm when going to sleep at night.
That said lets get into some details. Though there´s a myriad of different producers of sleeping bags and even more different models it all basically boils down to two main versions when it comes to filling material:
- down – that is lighter, warmer and more easy to compress to a smaller size but at the same time considerably pricier and looses its benefits substantially when wet
- synthetic fiber – to match the temperature range of a down bag it takes more space and weights more while at the same time being more affordable and keeps warmer when moist or wet
I personally prefer down because in my experience the upsides are immense due to my preference for longer hikes. If You primarily are looking for 2-5 day hikes when size and weight matter less, a good synthetic bag will definitely serve You just as well. Especially if You hike in moister regions in which case You might even consider a water resistant bag even considering the increased weight.
Just remember that the quotient between price and quality is very much at work here and I really recommend to hit a sale or outlet to find better quality at a lower price, if You can afford to wait with Your purchase. As previously mentioned the more high end sleeping bags can be almost ridiculously pricy so finding them at a bargain is worth quite a lot for any budget.
Make sure, though, that You find a bag that really fits You body size as both too short a bag as one that leaves a lot of room at the feet will impact Your comfort and temperature negatively.
Good luck, have fun and love the experience!!!
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Peace // Claes