If you don’t plan on spending the night outdoors but want to plan for the possibility then an emergency sleeping bag is a good addition to your backpack. In an emergency situation, and especially an overnight one, it is often going to be essential to get out of the weather and in to something warm, so that you don’t get too exposed to the elements. But at the same, you don’t want to be carrying a big, heavy sleeping bag, just in case of an emergency.
Emergency Sleeping BagWhat to look at when you want an emergency sleeping bag.
- Warmth – In an emergency situation you’re not likely to be crawling out of your clothes and in to a sleeping bag. Rather, you’re going to be jumping in with everything on, for maximum warmth, so it’s not essential that your sleeping bag be warm enough to be cozy and comfortable, but rather just warm enough so that you’re not in danger.
- Size and Weight – A piece of emergency gear, by definition, is not something that you are using on a regular basis. It’s the piece of gear that you throw in the bottom of your backpack and forget about, until you need it. So any good emergency sleeping bag is going to be small and lightweight.
Best Emergency Sleeping BagSome of the very best emergency sleeping bags.
- SOL Emergency Blanket - This is, as the name suggests, just an emergency blanket, so not really a sleeping bag. It measures 84 inches by 56 inches, so it's quite big, and will shelter you from the wind and the rain, as well as reflect approximately 90% of your body heat back at you. It's also reusable, which is nice, and at just 2.5 ounces, or 70 grams you'll hardly even know you're carrying it.
- Liberty Mountain Space Metallized Emergency Bag - This is the same material that reflects about 90% of your body heat back at you, but shaped like a sleeping bag, so that you can crawl right in. It's not quite as durable as the SOL blanket above, but it will keep you out of the wind and the rain, and at just 4 ounces, or 113 grams it's light enough to throw in your backpack and forget about until you need it.
- Western Mountaineering HighLite Sleeping Bag - If you'd prefer a real sleeping bag to take along, the HighLite makes an ideal choice for emergency situations. At just 1 pound, or 453 grams it's extremely lightweight. It uses high quality 850 fill down and a half length zipper, among a few other things, to get that low weight. It's also mummy shaped, and down is very compactable, so it will take up a minimal amount of room in your backpack. It only has a minimum temperature rating of 35 degrees, but in an emergency you just need to be warm enough to not be in danger.