SLEEPING BAG OWNER’S MANUAL
WARNING: KEEP ALL FLAME AND HEAT SOURCES AWAY FROM THIS SLEEPING BAG
Do not use stoves, candles, matches, heaters, or open flames of any kind in or near a sleeping bag.
This sleeping bag is made of flame-resistant fabric. It is not fireproof. The fabric will burn if left in continuous contact with a flame source.
A WORD ON TEMPERATURE RATINGS
Hotcore uses a common method of Comfort and Limit ratings. Our Comfort rating is where your average adult user can expect to be warm through the night. Our Limit rating is the upper rating where a warm sleeper and someone acclimatized to cold conditions can be warm through the night. Neither are absolutes. Someone who knows they are a very cold sleeper or someone not used to cold weather camping should factor that into their decision. Both ratings assume the correct use of the proper gear – sleeping pad, tent, and sleeping bag should all be rated for the conditions.
Most manufacturers agree that temperature ratings are merely a starting point for the discussion of comfort.
Temperature ratings are not absolutes; there are many factors contributing to how warm a person sleeps. Be realistic with your expectations and err on the side of caution regarding temperature ratings.
Insulation– Synthetic and down insulations are great, but they are only designed to trap warm air from your body and slow the movement of air. It is this trapped air that insulates you and helps keep you warm. It is important to remember that sleeping bags are not heaters; if you are cold when you get into a sleeping bag, chances are you will remain that way. Follow the tips provided to improve your chances of a warm night’s sleep.
Metabolism– Consider age, fitness level, body size, warm or cold sleeper, male or female (females generally are colder sleepers). Also consider your physical condition upon retiring – if you are dead tired and out of energy you are much more likely to be cold during the night. If you are not acclimatized to cold-weather camping then factor that as well.
Equipment– Temperature ratings assume the use of a proper sleeping pad (this insulates below you), appropriate tent for the season and outside conditions, and proper use of the sleeping bag. Discuss this equipment with your outdoor retailer. If you are a cold sleeper consider buying a sleeping bag that is warmer and form fitting to your body.
*With all these variables the perception of warmth and comfort can vary. Discuss these factors with your local outdoor retailer when choosing the best sleeping bag for your needs.
USING YOUR SLEEPING BAG ON A TRIP
Selecting your gear– Your sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and tent need to match the OUTSIDE CONDITIONS you will encounter. For example, if you are 3 season camping (includes spring and fall) the insulating capability of your sleeping pad and your tent need to be 3 season. Consider all of this as part of your sleep system to battle the outside weather.
If you are a cold sleeper, or might encounter surprise cold temperatures, consider a warmer, fitted sleeping bag, a sleeping bag liner, overbag, and/or appropriate sleepwear to help augment the temperature rating.
*Humidity – everyone knows it feels colder when the air is humid vs dry. Keep this in mind when choosing a sleeping bag.
Using your sleeping bag– Unpack your sleeping bag as early as possible to allow the insulation to loft. It is this lofted insulation that will trap warmth from your body and in turn insulate you from the cold.
If your sleeping bag has a hood then it must be used correctly for maximum warmth. Also the draw cord around the neck/ shoulders needs to be snug to minimize the loss of heat through the top of the sleeping bag.
*You cannot rely on the temperature ratings if 2 sleeping bags have been zipped together.
Clothing– Keep your sleeping bag clean by using designated sleepwear. Cotton is ok for warm weather, but use only synthetic or merino wool underwear and socks in cooler temperatures. Use a fleece or wool cap as necessary – you can lose a lot of heat through your head. Do not sleep in clothes you wear when cooking and eating, this could attract bears.
Condensation– It is common for sleeping bags to have some condensation on them in the morning. This is virtually unavoidable, and nothing to worry about. The outer fabric is treated with a light water-repellent coating that will help keep the sleeping bag dry. It’s ok to air out your bag during the day to dry and refresh it. Try to avoid unnecessary and prolonged exposure to UV rays.
Repacking– Grab a handful of the sleeping bag at the bottom (foot) of the sleeping bag and start randomly “stuffing” into the compression bag. Make sure the first few handfuls are all the way to the bottom of the stuff sack – any dead space at the bottom of the stuff sack will mean spill over at the top and the sleeping bag may not fit. You can always upgrade to a larger compression stuff sack if you need to – discuss with your local outdoor retailer.
Zippers– Take care when using the zippers; DO NOT FORCE them to move. There may be some dirt or other reason they are not sliding. Dirt or sand can be removed with a small brush. If fabric gets caught in the zipper, stop immediately, gently reverse the zipper slider, and start over.
UV Ultraviolet light– Prolonged exposure ultraviolet light from the sun will cause damage to the sleeping bag fabrics, both colour fading and strength. Avoid leaving your sleeping bag out in direct sunlight as much as possible.
CARE & MAINTENANCE
Always store dry– Absolutely make sure your sleeping bag is COMPLETELY DRY before storing it between adventures. Any moisture will cause water and mildew damage to the fabrics. This is not covered under any warranty.
Storage– Synthetic sleeping bag insulation has a “memory”, and long-term storage in a compressed state will degrade the lofting capability of the insulation, and from that the sleeping bag will not be as warm. The less loft, the less warm air the insulation can hold between its fibres.
It is recommended you store your sleeping bag loosely in a large breathable bag, in a cool and dry environment. The idea is to have the insulation completely lofted during storage. Every month or so give the sleeping bag a repack to allow air to circulate to different parts of the sleeping bag. DO NOT store the sleeping bag in its carry bag.
Cleaning the sleeping bag and zippers– Follow the instructions on the sleeping bag. Wash only when necessary as repeated washing will cause wear and tear on the delicate microfiber insulation, and over time, lessen its effectiveness. This is true of all insulations. DO NOT DRY CLEAN.
Allow the sleeping bag to COMPLETELY DRY before storage.
If your sleeping bag is likely to need frequent washing, consider using a liner which can be machine washed on its own.
*To restore some of the loft lost over time you can tumble dry for a few minutes using a large heavy duty dryer on low or no heat and delicate cycle. Make sure to check the sleeping bag many times to reposition – this will ensure to avoid hot areas that can damage the fabrics and insulation.
Zippers should be cleared of dust and dirt using a small brush. This is a great way to extend the life of your zippers.
Reproof fabrics– It is possible to extend the life of your sleeping bag with some great products from Nikwax, ReviveX®, and McNett®. The have great cleaning and repair products for your sleeping bag, as well as DWR reproofing products like Nikwax TX Direct Spray-On and ReviveX Instant Waterproofing Spray. Make sure to read the packaging on any product and make sure it is ok for your gear. Follow the instructions.
TIPS FOR A WARM NIGHT’S SLEEP
- Unstuff your sleeping bag early so it can regain loft.
- Use a proper sleeping pad and tent/ shelter for the season and conditions.
- For the best thermal efficiency, choose a sleeping bag that fits your body shape and metabolism.
- Wear suitable clothing to bed, even a toque. No cotton underwear in cool temperatures.
- Eat some food before retiring to stoke your internal engine. Avoid alcohol and empty your bladder.
- Consider light exercise to create body heat before going to sleep.
- Use the hood when available. If no hood we encourage the wearing of a fleece or wool toque.
- Bring warmth into the sleeping bag with you – fill up your Nalgene-type bottle with hot water and place inside your sleeping bag and your insulation will trap this extra heat.
- If you are normally cold in the early morning, keep a silver “emergency” space blanket nearby for a quick warm up. An inexpensive solution to this common problem.