In the old days, brands tested sleeping bags in their o […]
In the old days, brands tested sleeping bags in their own labs using a variety of methods, so there was no way to know if one company’s 30-degree bag was truly just as warm as another’s 30-degree bag.
The bag industry solved this problem by agreeing to test bags the same way for all brands. Today most brands send their sleeping bags to an independent test lab that assigns bag temperature ratings.
EN (European Norm), was the original standard adopted by the sleeping bag industry. Today, a new entity, the ISO (International Standards Organization), oversees bag testing, but the method is almost identical to the EN bag test. (Because ISO testing is so similar to EN testing, you can compare your old EN-rated bag to a newer bag that sports an ISO temperature rating when you shop.)
Standardized laboratory tests produce a rating range for each sleeping bag, with two temperature ratings within that range specifically called out:
Comfort rati ng indicates the temperature at which a cold sleeper might feel comfortable. This is the temperature rating brands use on women’s bags.
Lower limit rating (which is always lower than the comfort rating) indicates the temperature at which a warm sleeper might still feel comfortable. This is the temperature rating brands use on men’s bags.
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