Whether car camping with the family or backpacking into the wilderness, winter camping can be a fun and adventurous way to spend some time outdoors. But when the temperatures drop, it’s vital to ensure you have the proper gear to keep you warm and comfortable. It includes a suitable sleeping bag.
Many people ask if they can use two sleeping bags instead of just one when winter camping. The short answer is that we can’t exactly recommend it as per our experience, and here’s why:
First, the cold air can easily get in between the layers and make you cold. Second, moving around and staying comfortable in two sleeping bags is difficult. And finally, two bags take up a lot more space than just one, which can be an issue if you’re trying to pack light for a backpacking trip.
To some extent, you may use it as a sleeping bag liner to add some extra warmth & no weight issue. But if you’re genuinely looking to stay warm during your winter camping trip, it’s best to invest in a quality single sleeping bag rated for cold weather conditions.
There are a few benefits to using two sleeping bags together, primarily if you have weight concerns or don’t have access to a single high-quality bag.
The primary purpose of using two sleeping bags is to trap heat and stay warm, especially in cold conditions. This method is more effective than using one bag because it creates insulation by layering two bags. If you use one bag that is rated for a colder temperature range, it will be even more beneficial.
2. Long Lasting
Another benefit is that using two bags together will last longer than just one. This is because you can alternate between the two bags, which will help them maintain their shape and loft. It also allows you to use one bag for warm-weather camping and the other for cold-weather camping trips.
Another reason you might use two bags is that you can’t find a single bag that meets your needs. For example, you might need a bag rated for below-freezing temperatures but can only find one rated for 30 degrees. In this case, using two bags together would be the next best option.
Two bags together also offer more comfort than one. This is because you have more space to move around and don’t have to worry about the bag constricting your movement. Additionally, two bags will keep you more stable and prevent you from rolling over in your sleep.
There are a few disadvantages to using two sleeping bags instead of one.
The primary downside is the weight. Two sleeping bags weigh more than one and can be cumbersome if you carry your belongings on your back. Additionally, they take up twice the amount of space, which can be problematic when packing lightly.
Another disadvantage is that using both sleeping bags simultaneously might be difficult. This is because you must worry about the chilly air circulating between the layers and making you cold. It can be tough to move and remain comfortable in two bags.
As two bags mean the chance of trapping heat, it can make the inside of the bags quite stuffy. If you don’t have a way to ventilate the bags, you may feel hot and sweaty at night.
There are a few different ways you can set up two sleeping bags. Like:
1. Nesting Bags
To nest sleeping bags, start by placing one bag inside the other. Then, zip the two bags together at the foot end and stuff them into your sleeping bag stuff sack. This method is the most effective way to trap heat and prevent cold air from getting in between the layers.
If you lay the bags side-by-side, start by zipping them together at the foot end. Then, unzip them about halfway up and lay them side-by-side with the zippers facing each other. Once they’re in position, zip them back up. This method is less effective at trapping heat but does provide more space to move around.
Sleeping bags aren’t all made equal, and when you combine them, it’s critical to pick ones that will play nicely together. Here are a few things to think about:
The fill is the material used to insulate the bag and trap heat. Down is the most common fill type because it’s lightweight and compressible. However, it does have a higher price tag. Synthetic fill is a cheaper alternative but is heavier and doesn’t compress as well.
Loft measures how much space the fill material takes up in the bag. The more loft, the warmer the bag will be because more air is trapped between the fibers.
3. Temperature Rating
Each sleeping bag has a temperature rating that indicates the lowest temperature it can be used in. When using two bags together, choosing one with similar ratings is essential. For example, if you have a bag rated for 30 degrees and one rated for 20 degrees, it’s best to use the 20-degree bag on the bottom.
Sleeping bags come in various shapes, so choosing ones that work well together is important. For example, if one bag is rectangular and the other is mummy-shaped, it’s best to put the mummy bag on the bottom. It will provide the most warmth and prevent cold air from getting in between the layers.
When using two bags together, it’s important to choose ones that are the same size. This will provide the most warmth and prevent cold air from getting in between the layers.
What Are Some Alternatives to Using Two Sleeping Bags?
There are a few alternatives that can provide you with similar benefits.
1. Sleeping Bag Liner
A sleeping bag liner is a thin, lightweight piece of fabric that you can use to add extra warmth to your sleeping bag. It’s typically made from cotton or synthetic materials and can be used in conjunction with any sleeping bag.
2. Down Blanket
A down blanket is a thick, quilted blanket filled with down feathers. It’s typically used as a bedspread or comforter and as an extra layer inside your sleeping bag.
3. Heated Mattress Pad
A heated mattress pad is a mat that goes underneath your sleeping bag and uses electricity to generate heat. It’s a good option if you don’t want to use an electric blanket inside your sleeping bag.
While there are some benefits to using two bags instead of one, there are also some significant disadvantages. Weigh the pros and cons carefully to decide if this is the right option for your next winter camping.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s best to wash your sleeping bag in a front-loading washing machine on a gentle cycle. Use cold water and a mild detergent designed for delicate fabrics. Avoid fabric softener as it can reduce the loft of the fill material. Once it’s finished washing, tumble dry on low heat or air dry.