It appears that sleeping bag scores have no consistency. Temperature level scores are still figured out completely by the producers of the bags. My 3-pound Sierra Designs bag, for example, was ranked to 20 degrees. Honestly, it never kept me as warm as my 17-ounce Western Mountaineering sleeping bag, which is just ranked to 40 degrees. Isn’t this a problem when you buy a bag? Perhaps a 45-degree bag will keep you warmer than a 30-degree bag.
Consistent Sleeping Bag Ratings
No matter what temperature level a bag is ranked for, under any system of screening, it will not necessarily keep you warm to that temperature. We can’t fix the problem of individuals having various metabolisms and bodies. A specific bag might be helpful for a single person down to 20 degrees, while for another it is just excellent to 40 degrees. You usually can figure out if you are a cold or a warm sleeper, but that doesn’t help if you don’t understand whether a bag is ranked expensive or too low.
You need to know that if a bag says 30 degrees it will keep you warmer than one that states 40 degrees. With that, even if you add or subtract 10 or 20 degrees for your individual tastes, you can still figure out which bag is the warmer one. How do we get this consistency?
Start testing with any sleeping bag, by putting a bag of water in it that is human-sized, weighing maybe 160 pounds. Have 3 standard sizes for small, regular and big sleeping bags. Always start with the water temperature at 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and determine for how long prior to it drops to 90 degrees. External air temperature needs to always be the same too, whther it is 60 degrees or 40.
The numbers are not vital. What is necessary here is that as soon as the requirements are chosen, every bag is checked the exact same method, with the very same conditions (even the temperature level and product of the testing platform would have to be the exact same). This is what will give consistency to the sleeping bag rankings for heat.
Now, if a bag ranked to 40 degrees keeps the water above 90 for 2 hours, a bag rated for 30 would certainly have to keep it above 90 degrees for a longer time. Pegging heat-retention times to specific temperature scores would be a bit challenging in the beginning. Nevertheless, when done, each brand-new bag on the marketplace could be submitted to the screening and rapidly offered a consistent ranking. We would know that a lower rating would constantly indicate a warmer bag, degree-by-degree. We might even have old bags checked to see if it is time to replace them.
Would producers pay a private testing business to have their bags ranked? Some, at first, due to the fact that it would be a benefit for those business who are already conservative in their temperature level rankings. They would have “proof” that the bags are even warmer than they were declaring. Then, eventually, all bag makers would feel some motivation to have their sleeping bags evaluated, because consumers would be cautious about purchasing ones that weren’t checked.
I hope somebody will take this concept and keep up it. An existing consumer score company, like Customer Reports, might do this by themselves and report the results. Even if they noted the bags without temperature rankings, but in absolute order by which held the heat in the finest, it would be really beneficial. One might take a look at the list and if their present bag kept them warm to 25 degrees, ythey would know that any bag greater on the list would be warmer. Isn’t it time for consistent sleeping bag scores?