banner-image

Sleeping Bag Guide

What sleeping bag do I need?

There are 11 options in the First Ascent sleeping bag range. But which one do you need? Are you spending 5 nights in winter in the Drakensberg, or adventuring through the Fish River Canyon? We have an option to suit every adventure.

Purchasing a correctly specified sleeping bag is fundamental to ensure you sleep well, and safely. This guide will assist you understanding our range, and ensure you equip yourself with the best sleeping bag option for your trip.


Let's get started by answering the below questions to ensure you understand what type of sleeping bag you need.

What conditions will I be sleeping in?

Weather can be incredibly unpredictable – especially in South Africa. One moment we have sunshine, the next cloud, rain and high winds. Besides weather changes, usual day into night temperature fluctuations can swing wildly from a hot sunny day to a frigid below zero night, even in summer.

It is therefore very important to understand the weather conditions on your trip as this will determine what comfort temperature rating of sleeping bag you will need to sleep well.

How warm does the sleeping bag need to be?

Now that you know what conditions you will be sleeping in, it is important to know how warm your bag will need to be to sleep comfortably.

The primary number you must consider is the comfort rating of the sleeping bag. This rating is based on a person having a comfortable night's sleep (it is not advisable to purchase a bag based on the transition rating).

The trick here is that everyone has a different metabolism and will need a slightly warmer or cooler bag to sleep comfortably. As an example, your friend might need a 5⁰C bag but you might need to add a thermal liner to the same spec bag to sleep comfortably.

How much weight will I be carrying?

Seasoned adventurers understand how important it is not to carry too much weight and having to make compromises on what to take vs what to leave.

One item you should never compromise on is the sleeping bag you take with you. The last thing you need is to have your trip ruined by poor sleep by either being too cold (insufficient sleeping bag insulation) or too uncomfortable while trekking (sleeping bag is unnecessarily heavy).

Do I need down or synthetic insulation?

The type of insulation fill in a sleeping bag is the primary factor that affects its temperature rating.

DOWN SYNTHETIC
Greater warmth-to-weight ratio Synthetic insulation performs better when wet
Highly compressible and packble, perfect for travelling Dries quickly
Long-lasting if taken care of Easier to care for

Need more help with choosing a bag?

Read our comprehensive article on how to choose the best sleeping bag for your needs or carry on below where we take you through our sleeping bag range.

DOWN SLEEPING BAGS

Our down sleeping bags are designed and engineered to ensure that you are kept warm and have a comfortable night's sleep. Filled with 92/8 goose down (sourced from Responsibly Sourced Down Suppliers) and shelled with soft touch Microtex fabric.

First Ascent Ice Breaker Down
Ice Breaker Down
Ideal For

Hiking/Camping in very cold conditions

The perfect all-round bag suited for cold conditions, this popular bag won't let you down. With a comfort rating of -3°C this sleeping bag ensures warmth on a variety of adventures, from backpacking around Europe to local trips in the Drakensberg.

First Ascent Ice Breaker Sleeping Bag Temperature Rating
Comfort Rating

-3°C

Weight

1.62 kg

Down Fill

92/8 Goose Down

Seasons

4 Season

Amplify Down 900
Amplify Down 900
Ideal For

Kilimanjaro / Everest Base Camp

A hugely versatile bag which is designed for more extreme conditions. If expeditions such as Mt.Kenya, Kilimanjaro and Everest Base Camp are on your list, then this is the bag that will ensure warmth and comfort when needed most.

First Ascent Amplify Down 900 Sleeping Bag Temperature Rating
Comfort Rating

-3°C

Weight

1.71 kg

Down Fill

92/8 Goose Down

Seasons

4 Season

Blue Wolf Down
Blue Wolf Down
Ideal For

Everest / Extreme Cold

This is a bag for the serious mountaineer, planning on spending some quality time with Mother Nature's dark side. It is a serious bag for serious conditions. Comfort rated to -15°C, and extreme rated to -40°C, this sleeping bag will keep you warm in some of the coldest environments.

First Ascent Blue Wolf Sleeping Bag Temperature Rating
Comfort Rating

-15°C

Weight

2.6 kg

Down Fill

92/8 Goose Down

Seasons

4 Season

Amplify Down Light
Amplify Down Light
Ideal For

Summer Hiking/Camping in cool conditions

A super light and compact sleeping bag, popular with Adventure racers, travelers and climbers wanting a summer bag. Comfort rated to 9°C, and extreme rated to -5°C, this sleeping bag will keep you warm on cool summer evenings and moderate winter nights.

First Ascent Amplify Down Light Sleeping Bag Temperature Rating
Comfort Rating

9°C

Weight

0.595 kg

Down Fill

92/8 Goose Down

Seasons

Spring / Summer

Explorer
Explorer
Ideal For

Hiking/Camping in cold conditions

The perfect summer bag for hiking or for the traveler wanting a lightweight sleeping bag. Comfort rated to 5°C, and extreme rated to -10°C, this sleeping bag will keep you warm during summer and moderate winter nights.

First Ascent Explorer Sleeping Bag Temperature Rating
Comfort Rating

5°C

Weight

1.0 kg

Down Fill

92/8 Goose Down

Seasons

3 Season

First Ascent Ice Nino Down
Ice Nino
Ideal For

Hiking/Camping cold conditions

Slightly smaller version of the Ice breaker, and with a comfort rating of -3°C this sleeping bag ensures warmth on a variety of adventures, from backpacking around Europe to local trips in the Drakensberg.

First Ascent Ice Nino Sleeping Bag Temperature Rating
Comfort Rating

-2°C

Weight

1.3 kg

Down Fill

92/8 Goose Down

Seasons

4 Season

You might also be interested in

SYNTHETIC SLEEPING BAGS

Our synthetic sleeping bags are designed and engineered with state of the art Thermoshield insulation and feature a soft-touch Microtex fabric outer, ensuring that you are kept warm and comfortable during your outdoor explorations.

First Ascent Ice Breaker Down
Amplify 900 Synthetic
Ideal For

Hiking/Camping cool conditions

When space and weight are concerns, the Amplify 900 is the answer. Ideal for summer or spring backpacking and hiking with new Amplify (expand) technology in knee and hip area to minimize heat loss. This is a great three season sleeping bag up to 2°C. It also features a reflective zip puller and internal pocket for valuables.

First Ascent Amplify 900 Sleeping Bag Temperature Rating
Comfort Rating

7°C

Weight

0.975 kg

Synthetic Fill

100g/m2 Thermo-Shield

Seasons

Spring/Summer

Amplify Down 900
Amplify 1500 Synthetic
Ideal For

Hiking/Camping in cold conditions

Thermo-Shield insulation and a soft touch Microtex lining combine with Amplify (expand) technology in knee and hip area to minimize heat loss, as well as a layer of Illuminate warmth reflector, makes this a great three-season sleeping bag up to -2°C, and extreme rated to -10°C. It also features a reflective zip puller and internal pocket for valuables.

First Ascent Amplify Down 900 Sleeping Bag Temperature Rating
Comfort Rating

5°C

Weight

1.52 kg

SYNTHETIC FILL

200g/m2 Thermo-Shield

Seasons

3 Season

Blue Wolf Down
Amplify 1800 Synthetic
Ideal For

Hiking/Camping in very cold conditions

Thermo-Shield insulation and a soft touch Microtex lining combine with Amplify (expand) technology in knee and hip area to minimize heat loss, as well as layer of Illuminate warmth reflector - makes this a great four-season sleeping bag with a comfort rating of 0°C. It also features a reflective zip puller and internal pocket for valuables.

First Ascent Blue Wolf Sleeping Bag Temperature Rating
Comfort Rating

0°C

Weight

1.89 kg

SYNTHETIC FILL

300g/m2 Thermo-Shield

Seasons

3 Season

PRODUCT FILLING ACTIVITY COMFORT
RATING
TRANSITION
RATING
WEIGHT SEASONS
BLUE WOLF RDS Goose Down 92/08 Extreme mountaineering -15°C -25°C 2.6 kg 4 Season
AMPLIFY DOWN 900 RDS Goose Down 92/08 Extreme mountaineering -3°C -15°C 1.71 kg 4 Season
ICE BREAKER LARGE RDS Goose Down 92/08 Camping / Hiking -3°C -8°C 1.75 kg 4 Season
ICE BREAKER RDS Goose Down 92/08 Camping / Hiking -3°C -8°C 1.6 kg 4 Season
ICE NINO RDS Goose Down 92/08 Camping / Hiking -2°C -5°C 1.3 kg 3 Season
EXPLORER RDS Goose Down 92/08 Camping / Lightweight hiking -5°C 0°C 1 kg 3 Season
AMPLIFY DOWN LIGHT RDS Goose Down 92/08 Camping / Lightweight hiking 9°C 5°C 595 g 3 Season
AMPLIFY 1800 THERMOSHIELD Camping / Hiking 0°C -5°C 1.89 kg 4 Season
AMPLIFY 1500 THERMOSHIELD Camping / Hiking C -2°C 1.52 kg 3 Season
AMPLIFY 900 THERMOSHIELD Camping / Lightweight hiking 7°C 2°C 975 kg 3 Season