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Sleeping Bag Frequently Asked Questions

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How long has Mont been designing sleeping bags?

More than three decades ago the first Mont down sleeping bags were handmade by Andrew Montgomery, the founder of Mont Adventure Equipment. Today Andrew and the team at Mont continue to design the best down sleeping bags for camping in all conditions.

The Mont Sleeping Bag range includes ultralight and lightweight backpacking sleeping bags, ultralight bike packing sleeping bags, down sleeping bags for cold and extreme cold weather, alpine and backcountry snow sleeping bags, high altitude mountaineering sleeping bags and synthetic sleeping bags for hiking, travel, and general camping. All Mont down sleeping bags are filled with responsibly sourced down that has been independently certified for purity and loft.

What sizes are Mont sleeping bags available in?

Mont Sleeping Bags are available in a range of sizes allowing almost anyone to find a sleeping bag right for them.

Standard
  • User height up to 185cm
  • User shoulder circumference up to 160cm
Women's
  • User height up to 170cm
  • User shoulder circumference up to 155cm
  • Slimmer throughout for greater efficiency & reduced weight & bulk
Extra Large
  • User height up to 200cm
  • User shoulder circumference up to 170cm
2 Extra Large
  • User height up to 200cm
  • User shoulder circumference up to 176cm

Why do sleeping bags have a women’s and men’s temperature ratings?

On Mont sleeping bags two temperature ratings are given; Women's and Men's. Generally, but not as a rule, women sleeping 4 to 5ºC colder than men. But, if you are a woman who sleeps very warm then you can certainly take reference from men's temperature rating on Mont Sleeping Bags.

Why are some sleeping bags available with Left or Right zips?

Generally, left-handed users are more comfortable with a Right Zip sleeping bag, and right-hand users with a Left Zip sleeping bag. Offering both left and right-hand zip sleeping bags also allows two sleeping bags to be joined to make a double sleeping bag.

The Zip Side is the side the zip is on when you’re lying on your back in the sleeping bag. A Left Zip will be on your left side, a Right Zip will be on your right side.

Why do Mont sleeping bags have double zip sliders and how do I use them?

Double zip sliders are useful on sleeping bags for ventilating. Double zips can be tricky to use and sometimes it is thought that the zip is faulty. Rather than a faulty zip, often the issue is incorrect use. Follow these instructions to properly use a double zip on your jacket.

  • Start by seating the two zip sliders together and at the bottom of the zip.
  • Hold the base of the zip beside the zip sliders with one hand between thumb and forefinger. Do not put a finger underneath the zip sliders as this can cause the zip sliders to move up the zip prematurely.
  • Hold the base of the zip on the non-slider side with your other hand between thumb and forefinger.
  • Push this non-slider side down and through both zip sliders.
  • Once the zip is seated in both zip sliders and the bottom of both zip sides is level, you should be able to move the top zip slider up the zip easily.

If the slider does not move easily, the zip is not through the sliders far enough, or the sliders are not seated together correctly, or the sliders are not at the base of the zip. Give the top zip slider a jiggle with downward pressure and try again.

How to care for your sleeping bag

  • Between trips always store your bag in its storage sack to help maintain the loft & warmth of your bag.
  • We recommend using a Mont Inner Sheet with your bag; this will help keep it clean & maintain the loft & warmth of your bag.
  • Using a camping mat under your bag will help keep the bag clean & will provide thermal insulation from the ground.
  • Always air your bag after each use & store completely dry.

How to wash a down sleeping bag

We recommend hand washing your bag in a large tub with down-cleaner. Do not dry-clean. Do not use bleach or fabric softener. Do not use a top loading washing machine.

  1. Turn your bag inside out or unzip completely.
  2. Fill the tub with lukewarm water enough to cover the bag, add down-cleaner as per the manufacturers instructions.
  3. Gently knead the bag to work water & cleaner throughout taking care not to lift the bag out of the water.
  4. Empty the tub & compress the bag to expel as much soiled water as possible.
  5. Refill the tub with clean water & knead the bag to rinse out the soiled water; this step may need to be repeated.
  6. Empty tub & compress bag until thoroughly drained.
  7. Roll bag into a ball & lift with two hands. Lifting a wet bag loosely can cause the fabric to tear.

How to dry a sleeping bag after washing it

  1. Carefully carry with two hands to a tumble dryer.
  2. Tumble dry on a delicate & low heat setting. Check the bag frequently to make sure it is not overheating. A few clean tennis balls in the dryer will help prevent the down clumping.
  3. Intermittently massage the bag to break up any down clumps.
  4. Carefully feel the down to ensure it is completely dry before storing. Mont recommends laying the bag out for several days after drying before storing.

6 Steps to Stay Warmer in a Sleeping Bag

Staying warm and comfortable in a sleeping bag isn't easy for everyone, even if the sleeping bag is rated appropriately for the conditions. Here are a few steps to help you get the most warmth out of your bag and a better night’s sleep. Listen up cold sleepers!

Prepare your sleeping bag

Lay your sleeping bag out at least an hour before you go to bed. Give it a gentle shake from the top end to encourage air into the sleeping bag to assist the down to 'loft'. After 30 minutes or so check that the down is spread evenly throughout the sleeping bag. Down can sometimes clump during storage or compression creating cold spots.

Warm your sleeping bag

Most Mont sleeping bags are made with a Toaster Pocket in the foot section. The Toaster Pocket is designed for an air-activated heat pad that helps circulate warmth through the bag. Perfect an hour before getting into bed. Alternatively, put a hot water bottle in your sleeping bag. Ensure it is a reliable container as this method comes with obvious risk; a burst water bottle will soak your sleeping bag rendering it useless!

Eat a good dinner

Fuelling your body properly will not only help you enjoy your adventures, it will also help you stay warm overnight. A healthy mix of simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates, fats, and proteins gives your body short-term and long-term fuel to generate heat and help recover from the activities of the day. Your body uses more calories to stay warm in cold environments, so while two-minute noodles are a quick and easy option, you will burn through the limited amount of energy they provide very quickly and can wake feeling cold in the early hours of the morning. Opt for more complex carbohydrates like pasta and rice. If you must have two-minute noodles, make sure to compliment it with more filling ingredients like freeze-dried peas and corn, and tuna or salami. There are some great freeze-dried and dehydrated meals and ingredients on the market that make it quick and easy to cook a well-balanced meal in the backcountry.

Warm yourself

An important step to staying comfortable on very cold nights is to ensure you're warm before climbing into your sleeping bag. If you're sitting at the camp shivering and then climb directly into your sleeping bag, chances are that you will stay cold and uncomfortable for much longer. Down doesn’t generate its own heat, so you need to climb into your sleeping bag already warm so that the air in the bag heats more quickly. Do star jumps, jog on the spot, go for a run; raising your body temperature before going to bed will ensure greater warmth and comfort for the night.

What to wear in a sleeping bag

The most effective clothing to wear in a sleeping bag is an even layer of thermal clothing, socks and a beanie. This allows the heat generated by your body to permeate evenly through the sleeping bag and maintain the warmth of your entire body.

What not to wear in a sleeping bag

Wearing a large puffy down jacket inside your sleeping bag might sound like a good idea, but this will often be counter-productive. A majority of body heat is generated by your torso, the area of your body with the greatest mass. By wearing a down jacket, this heat will largely be trapped inside the jacket, rather than permeating throughout the sleeping bag. Your torso might be warm, but you may feel uncomfortable because your legs are cold!

When mountaineering and camping at high-altitude basecamps, wearing a down expedition suit and down booties inside your sleeping bag may be required. This creates an even layer of insulation over your entire body, maintaining even insulation inside your sleeping bag.

Other important points to staying warm in a sleeping bag

  • Use an appropriately insulated sleeping mat
  • Stay hydrated, dehydration can cause your core temperature to drop, sometimes drastically.
  • Use a sleeping bag inner sheet to minimise the amount of sweat and body oils that gets on your sleeping bag, overtime these will gather on down and reduce its ability to loft and trap warmth. It is far easier to clean an inner sheet than your entire sleeping bag.
  • Use a sleeping bag liner to, slightly, increase the warmth of your sleeping bag.

A note about sleeping bag liners. Some manufacturers make synthetic sleeping bag liners with claims of temperature improvements of up to 10ºC. These claims are misleading and dangerous. For example, a 300g fleece liner simply cannot make a 0ºC rated sleeping bag into a -10ºC rated sleeping bag. If you take a 0ºC sleeping bag and one of these fleece liners to -10ºC, you will almost certainly be very cold and possibly at risk of hypothermia.

Sleeping Bag Season Rating Classification

A widely used classification for sleeping bags is the season rating.

A 2 Season sleeping bag is considered appropriate for Spring and Summer and includes sleeping bags for camping in warm weather. 2 Season Sleeping Bags may also be appropriate if you're using a sleeping bag for travel or using a sleeping bag in a hut. 2 Season sleeping bags are very lightweight and compact but not as warm as many other sleeping bags.

A 3 season sleeping bag is warmer and appropriate for Autumn camping as well as Spring and Summer camping.

And a 4 Season sleeping bag is the warmest and includes winter sleeping bags, snow camping sleeping bags, mountaineering sleeping bags and sleeping bags for extreme cold. A 4 Season sleeping bag has high insulation level and while it is called a 4 season sleeping bag, it will be far too warm for many Spring, Summer and Autumn camping conditions.

You will notice that relying purely on the season rating for choosing a sleeping bag is not very helpful as a 'season' is very arbitrary; Spring in Tasmania is very different to Spring in Queensland for example. For this reason, you should also consider the sleeping bag temperature rating when selecting a sleeping bag for camping.

The Mont Sleeping Bag Temperature Rating Guide includes our entire sleeping bag range with information on Season Rating, an Ideal Use definition, and a Women's and/or Cold Sleeper and Men's and/or Warm Sleeper temperature ratings with temperatures provided in Celsius and Fahrenheit. Women generally have a lower metabolic rate than men and for this reason, among others, women typically sleep a few degrees colder than men. These are generalisations, and your personal experience should be taken into account when reviewing temperature ratings.

Important considerations when choosing a sleeping bag

The stated temperature range on a sleeping bag is an indication of the potential comfort range and minimum temperature that may be possible. This should be used only as a guide. Ratings can vary dramatically depending on whether you are a warm or cold sleeper.

Other factors that will determine your comfort in a sleeping bag are the type of sleeping mat used, whether you're wearing thermals, socks or headwear, your health, metabolism, age and fatigue, hydration levels and what you've eaten. Hydronaute XT shell will increase the warmth of a sleeping bag.

If you have any questions about Mont sleeping bags or need help selecting the right sleeping bag please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Mont Customer Service Team.

Should I roll or stuff the sleeping bag into the sack?

You should always stuff the sleeping bag into its stuff sack; there are several reasons. Firstly it is much easier to stuff a sleeping bag than to roll a sleeping bag. Secondly, it is much faster to stuff than roll. And most importantly, rolling a sleeping bag can tear the internal mesh in a down sleeping bag because of the potentially high torsion applied.

How to stuff a sleeping bag into its stuff sack

Mont Sleeping Bags are supplied with ultralight and compact stuff sacks or compression stuff sacks. These are designed to compress the sleeping bag as small as possible.

Start by getting down on one knee with the stuff sack on the floor in front of you. Begin at the foot of the sleeping bag by grabbing a handful and pushing it right down into the base of the stuff sack. Repeat this grab-and-stuff process, occasionally turning the stuff sack and sleeping bag about 45º so as to keep the stuffed sleeping bag spread evenly in the stuff sack.

Turning the sleeping bag inside out at the start of this process can make it easier. This is because the internal circumference of many Mont sleeping bags is smaller than the external circumference, and as such, an inside-out sleeping bag is already partially compressed.

You should never store your sleeping bag in its stuff sack, use the stuff sack only while you're on an adventure. Most Mont sleeping bags include a large storage sack to store your sleeping bag in at home.

How to store a sleeping bag

Most Mont sleeping bags are sold with a large 25L or 50L storage sack. These storage sacks are made from breathable Nylon and allow the sleeping bag to remain puffed up when in storage. Leaving a sleeping bag in a compression stuff sack for too long can reduce the synthetic or down insulation's ability to loft to its full potential. Always store your sleeping bag completely dry and in its storage sack in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

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