Best Sleeping Bags: Reviews & Tips

Choosing the best sleeping bag for your next outdoor experience.

How To Choose Between Waterproof Sleeping Bag & Bivy Sack?

When buying a sleeping bag, you may face a dilemma when choosing the material of its sack and how it exhibits its waterproof capability. There are different variations of waterproof material used in sleeping bags. You may choose either a waterproof or breathable shell fabric such as Gore-Tex shell or bivy sack.

Most people deem that Gore-Tex shell fabrics are more appealing in covering sleeping bags. It is more convenient to bring along as you need not to carry a bivy sack especially on a snowy weather. Moreover, you are also relieved of worrying about potential internal condensation on the outside area of your sleeping are.

 

What is the difference between the bivy sack and a waterproof sleeping bag with a Gore-Tex Shell?

Bivouac or bivy sacks are used by customers to protect their sleeping bags during extreme weather conditions. There are two tiers of fabric in the modern design of bivy sacks – bottom and top tier. The bottom tier is consisted of a nylon coated urethane which makes the material waterproof. On the other hand, the top tier is made of a lighter fabric with a breathable laminate such as Gore-Tex. This covering is great for travelers, climbers, campers, etc.

Gore-Tex can also be used as a shell fabric for the sleeping bag. They are also ideal for extreme weather conditions. It has three layers which includes the membrane, tough outer material and inner lining. The outer material is made from a tough fabric and is attached to the membrane. Moreover, the inner lining is specially developed to last long even after multiple uses.

Both Gore-Tex shell fabric and Bivy sacks provide waterproof capabilities. They are also breathable which makes it comfortable to the user when they sleep. Nonetheless, there are notable differences between the two. One of the key difference between shell fabrics and Bivy sacks are the seams.

It is a common practice of manufacturers do not tape all the seams of the sleeping bags made with shell fabric. This is due to the fact that taping all the seams of the bag is costly. With this, it affects its waterproof capability. On the other hand, most bivy sacks have taped seams. Some are even sealed using a seam sealer. In terms of seams, the point goes to bivy sacks.

How do sleeping bags exhibit breathability and waterproof capabilities?

The shell fabrics used as the exterior of sleeping bags are more breathable than regular waterproof fabrics. With this, shell fabrics are commonly used in sleeping bags to exhibit waterproof and breathable qualities.
Given that shell fabrics may sometimes come as expensive, there are some manufacturers that utilize other materials to make their sleeping bags waterproof.

Some manufacturers make use of DWR coating spray to regular sleeping bag fabrics. It provides the same waterproof function which repel droplets of water that fall outside the bag. However, this coating wears off after multiple washes. Thus, it is handy to have a DWR coating spray such as Nikwax TX Direct so you can reapply it when this happens.

What are the advantages of using shell fabric and bivy sack?

Breathable shells may offer excellent coverage of the sleeping bag’s exterior. Nonetheless, this material tends to trap the user’s perspiration inside the sleeping bag’s insulation. As the perspiration accumulates inside, the ability of the insulation to trap heat is reduced.

With this, here are some advantages of using shell fabric or Bivy sack for allowing your sleeping bag to be waterproof or breathable. Let these information guide on deciding which one is best to purchase and bring along on your next trip.

Waterproof Sleeping Bag with Gore-Tex Shell Fabric

Gore-Tex Shell Fabric are designed using quality materials. It is composed of three layers which have no movement among each other to minimize the wear and tear of the fabric. Here are some of the advantages of using sleeping bags with Gore-Tex shell fabric.

  • Provides comfort during wear
  • Can withstand extreme weather conditions
  • Durable and can last long even after multiple uses
  • Manufactured while using environmental controls on safety and performance

Bivy Sack

Bivy sacks are commonly used by travel enthusiast to keep their sleeping bag dry. Moreover, it also help increase its warming capacity. Here are some of the advantages of using Bivy sacks.

  • Provides multiple ventilation choices which may depend on the length of the zippers.
  • Offers light and breathable sack that is easy to use
  • Makes your sleeping bags water proof using factory-sealed seams
  • Allows your sleeping bags to stay in place using straps for security
  • Offers durable yet comfortable travel-specific features

Which is a better choice – a waterproof and breathable shell fabric of Bivy sack?

Waterproof and breathable shell fabric-made sleeping bags are generally heavier than regular shell fabrics. With this, they tend to be destination-specific as the user may find it hard to transport it. Light weight regular shell fabrics can serve general purposes. Thus, most users gravitate towards it and just supplement it using a waterproof and breathable bivy sack.

As a consumer, you should only get the best sleeping experience in your bags. We recommend you to invest on a product with supports your activities. If your travel does not require you to move places, you can bring along sleeping bags with heavy shell fabrics like Gore-Tex. It provides the utmost comfort when in use. Moreover, it offers waterproof function and additional warming capability.

Nevertheless, if you are an adventure enthusiast and is always on the go, bringing along a heavy sleeping bag make take a toll on you. With this, you can purchase a bivy sack instead. You can bring your light weight sleeping bag with a regular shell fabric and still enjoy the waterproof and breathable functions using your bivy sack.

In general, selecting the right option depends on your purpose of its usage. Weigh down the factors like, price and material quality. If you are still undecided, you can search for reviews online. There are customers who share their experiences in using waterproof and breathable shell fabric and bivy sack. You may learn how waterproof sleeping bags work and the benefits they offer.

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