Choosing a sleeping bag for your truck tent is a difficult job if you’re not acquainted with camping gear. The wide variety of models comes with a large palette of characteristics, from size and weight to form, temperature rating, material, and insulation, but none of the tags specifies whether the bag is better for backpacking, car camping, truck tent camping or other category.
In order to find out which type of sleeping bag is better for your truck tent, you should first review the main differences between this sort of camping and the others. Firstly, truck tent camping basically means you will be sleeping in the bed of your truck. This will save you from the terrain bumps and, of course, the dampness and cold temperature sometimes affiliated with sleeping on the ground. Secondly, car camping delivers two great advantages: mobility and bigger carrying capacity. That means you are able to bring a lot more with you than you could if you went backpacking and that the size and weight of the items doesn’t bear any importance. That being said, you must be aware of the fact that being on a truck bed and not on the ground doesn’t change the season, the outside temperature and humidity, nor any of the region characteristics, which are dramatically important when deciding upon a sleeping bag.
The first component that defines a sleeping bag in what transport and available space are concerned is the type of insulation: synthetic or down. A synthetic insulation sleeping bag has the advantage of better performance under wet and damp conditions and faster drying, it will be cheaper and less pretentious regarding cleaning and care. The downside of it is that it’s heavier and less compressible, making it a less fortunate choice for backpacking, but perfect for car camping. The down insulation is a better heat retainer, it is lighter and easier to compress in a small package, but is often expensive and loses its insulating capacity when it’s wet. It is rather suitable for backpacking in cold and dry conditions.
As with any other type of tent, a truck tent poses the question of available space. There are three common shapes for a traditional synthetic sleeping bag: rectangular, semi-rectangular and mummy. The most common of them is the rectangular, or envelope shape bag that gives you plenty of room to move and has a bigger comfort rate. Semi-rectangular and mummy bags impose some movement restrictions on the body in order to save space and weight but are known to be more heat efficient. However, as your truck bed will ensure plenty of space, a rectangular sleeping bag will work just fine, and even if you choose a double wide one for you and your partner, you will still have enough room to sleep comfortable.
Whichever sleeping bag you choose, make sure to also check if it’s appropriate for the season and its temperature rating is not above of the camping site’s overall temperature span.