Sleeping bag size selection guide

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Don't know in which bag to hide your body? Read this article and be enlightened!

The woes of fitting a sleeping bag online

We're often asked about sleeping bag sizing. Especially, large people struggle to find a big enough sleeping bag, but an oversized bag means unnecessary weight and reduced warmth for a slender person.

The basic idea

Choose a sleeping bag that doesn't feel like a boa constrictor or turn you into the hunchback of Notre Dame but doesn't feel like an airplane hangar either. Empty space needs to be heated by your body and in very cold weather it isn't up to the task.

The length is usually given as the sleeping bag length or the recommended sleeper length. If the product description has instructions, follow them. If only the sleeping bag length is given, take a bit longer than what you are tall.

Manufacturers often state a width at the shoulders, but it's a flat measurement. We are three-dimensional and your length affects fit as well, so theory only gets you so far.

Varusteleka Customer service helps

Efforts to help our online customers has been a cornerstone of Varusteleka since the start and also one of the reasons we've been successful. Here's another piece of customer service with our flavor: two test persons of different sizes went through our sleeping bag selection and shared their thoughts.

A close-up of a person that appears to be lying on a couch under a sleeping bag that has been pulled up so that only the upper part of the face is visible. The person has a frightened expression on his face.
Santeri dove bravely into the task.


Testing procedure

Santeri is 178 cm (5'10") tall and has a 108 cm (42.5" ) chest), and usually wears the size Large. Lauri is 186 cm (6' 1") tall with a 133 cm chest (52") chest), and 3XL according to charts.

The following chart includes our selection at the time of writing, and by the time of completing the tests, we were able to list them according to size. Where the chart says "snug fit", it means that the bag is usable, "fits well" means an optimum size, and "loose" will be a good choice if you want to use an inner bag or otherwise enjoy some extra space.

BagSanteri (Large)Lauri (3X-Large)
Carinthia Defence 1Snug fitSnug fit
Carinthia TropenFits wellSnug fit
Carinthia Defence 4Fits well185 cm snug fit, 200 cm fits well
Carinthia SA M05Fits wellFits well
Carinthia Defence 6Fits wellFits well

A male standing with a sleeping bag hanging from his left hand. On the background a sales shelf of sleeping bags in a store environment.
Lauri prepares for the fitting. Trying the bag before buying is ideal but not a must. Read the instructions or ask us for more data.


Special notes and tips

If you're a very large person, the shorter and lighter bags from Carinthia may cause claustrophobia. When you look at something for colder weather, Carinthia Defence 4 and 6 as well as SA M05 are good choices. When given a choice in length, choose the longer one and the bag is often wider as well.

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