Three things to keep in mind while looking for a sleeping bag

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These days sleeping bags come with almost as many options as a minivan. But deciding on the right bag really comes down to three variables:

Fill type: Down or synthetic. Down is usually lighter, more packable and feels nicer. Synthetic is hypo-allergenic, easier to clean and comes in a growing number of recycled options. Plus, synthetic fill is warm when wet, down is not.

Temperature: Take the coldest temperature you plan on experiencing and subtract five degrees. As a general rule, 5° to 0° is good for summer camping, —10° covers three seasons, and —15° works for winter trips.

Price: Here's where the options come into play. Draft collars are great for windy and cold places. A full zip is nice, unless weight is key. Each option costs a bit more.

Once you've narrowed the field, lay out the contenders in the store and climb into them. Zip them up. Roll around. Cinch them tight. Look for a zip that doesn't snag and a snug, but not claustrophobic, fit.