2021 is quickly becoming the year of the staycation and many Britons are packing up their tents, sleeping bags and roll mats to explore their backyard. Heading out on a camping staycation can be exciting, but the holiday feeling shouldn’t stop hopeful campers from making sure they have the right gear.
All important for a good night sleep in the great outdoors, a sleeping bag is a must on every camping trip. But how do campers choose the right one?
David Scotland, owner of family-run camping equipment retailer Outdoor World Direct, has some tips to help holidaymakers make the right choice.
David said: “Sleeping bags have comfort and season ratings. While this may seem like jargon to new campers, it’s actually really important information.”
The season rating is extremely important: “A one-season sleeping bag will only be suitable for warm summer nights, whereas a three-four season sleeping bag is thicker and better suited to year-round camping but could be too thick for hot summer nights.”
READ MORE: Packing tips for a successful camping staycation this summer
And it’s not just the season rating of their bags that campers need to check, but the weather too: “Each sleeping bag has a comfort rating or suggested usage which will include two temperatures such as -2 to 18 Celsius. That means checking that the forecasted temperatures of your trip don’t fall outside of those temperatures.”
Using the wrong sleeping bag could completely ruin a camping holiday.
Getting a good night sleep on holidays, whether under a tent or in a hotel room, will help tourists enjoy all the activities they surely have planned at their destination.
To get a good night sleep, a sleeping bag that matches the season of the trip and that’s fit for purpose is a must.
Equally as important is a roll mat.
To choose a roll mat for summer camping, Neil Wright of Beds Divans said: “When we think of roll mats, we typically think of them as ways to keep warm — not to cool down. But you can buy specially designed ones if you’re going to be camping during a heatwave.”
A heatwave may seem far off, but Neil’s tips are still applicable all year round.
Neil said: “Look at the R value, weight, and bulk on the packaging.”
What’s a roll mat’s R value?
Neil explained: “The R value will tell you how warm the mat will be to sleep in. The lower the R number, the less insulating it will be.”
In practice, this means: “An R value of 2.0 or lower is ideal for hot climates. A value between 2 and 4 is more practical for the months in between direct summer and winter. And anything more than 4.0 is designed for keeping warm in the winter.”
For those who have decided to go all out with their camping gear and are looking for a camping airbed, Neil also has some tips.
He said: “If you’re looking for an inflatable airbed, again most of them are designed to keep campers warm.”
He continued: “To keep cool, choose an airbed with a polyester pongee coating. This material is very breathable and is comfortable to sleep on even without a sheet.”
A pongee bed really seems to be the way to go, as it’s easy to move around and breathable.
Neil said: “To make things even better, polyester pongee beds are firm when fully inflated and easy to move around. Choose a fabric like this, and you will avoid the dreaded airbed sweat.”
One of the joys of camping is to sleep outside, but not having the right gear may turn a fantastic camping trip into a sweaty nightmare.
With the right sleeping bag, roll mat and camping airbed, Britons should be able to enjoy their staycations to the fullest.