Sleeping Bags: Men vs Women
November 5, 2004 6:27 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking to buy my girlfriend a sleeping bag, is there a substantial difference between men and women's sleeping bags (enough to justify the difference in price)?

I am specfically looking at the North Face Cat's Meow if that helps.
posted by mhaw to Shopping (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There shouldn't be any difference, unless you're paying for some fashion premium. The bags I've seen are sold by size, nothing else. In fact, large or XL bags are often a little bit more expensive than the medium or small bags women generally need.

You might pay a bit more for a left/right zipper combo pair of bags, but it's not usually much more.
posted by bonehead at 6:45 AM on November 5, 2004

If your girlfriend is the sort of girl who gets cold easily, and you're not, you ought to be shopping on quantity and quality of insulation. Otherwise there's no practical reason to have different sleeping bags.
posted by majick at 7:14 AM on November 5, 2004

There is often a difference in the shape and constitution of a women's sleeping bag. They are typically cut shorter and may be cut a bit wider around the middle. They also typically have a different distribution of insulation. If she's always felt that traditional sleeping bags feel floppy at the end and constricting around her hips, a women's bag might be a good choice. Only she can say. If she doesn't know much about sleeping bags, she needs to find out.

The short version is: Whenever a piece of gear involves fit to the body, the body in question has to be involved in the selection.
posted by caitlinb at 7:14 AM on November 5, 2004

Best answer: Some womens sleeping bags are of a (slightly) different shape. This shape might be nominally warmer (or warmer for the weight) because it would hug a woman's body better than a man's. But in general a mummy bag is a mummy bag, even if one has 2" more in the hip area and 2" less in the knees, or whatever.

So I say no. Unless she really wants the sage-lilac-cammomille color scheme.

Backpack, yes. Jacket, yes (maybe). Sleeping bag, no.
posted by zpousman at 7:25 AM on November 5, 2004

It really depends on what the bag is for. If it's a basic rectangular 3-season bag it won't matter. If you're buying her a -10 winter camping bag, then you'll want one that conforms to her shape better, leaving very little in the way of air pockets. It should also be big enough that her body won't compress it.
posted by bondcliff at 7:47 AM on November 5, 2004

...and if you're getting one that isn't meant for backpacking, two bags that are mateable are great, my wife and i are much happier side by side in the same (mated) bag than we would be in two separate bags.

for solo backpacking, i'd go for the girly bag though. i'm sure there's a reason they make women's bags, beyond just the color schemes.
posted by caution live frogs at 8:22 AM on November 5, 2004

If she's anything like my girlfriend, she'll be wanting one of these.
posted by ba at 9:36 AM on November 5, 2004

I have a Cat's Meow. I got it at a huge discount when they were clearing their stocks. But when I went I talked to the plant manager about it, who was an enthusiastic camper, he said for 3 season it is his personal recommendation. So go get that bag.
posted by geoff. at 9:38 AM on November 5, 2004

If she's going to use it for anything serious (ie, backpacking trips that require resupplying at town stops and chipping ice off of springs for water), spend the extra money. If she just likes to go car-camping sometimes, it really doesn't matter.
posted by waldo at 1:36 PM on November 5, 2004

If you are looking at nice bags, you should check out Feathered Friends. Their bags are very high quality and customer service is reportedly exemplary, though I haven't had any problems at all. It's definitely the best sleeping bag I've owned. As far as cocoon shapes for women, it really depends if she would like a form fitting sleeping bag. Some people just need a little more wiggle room to sleep even though they may be sacrificing efficiency.
posted by roboto at 9:07 PM on November 5, 2004

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