Sleeping bags come in a wide range of types generally the more you pay the better quality the bag will be. I would recommend that you buy a bag which is warmer than you require, if it's too hot you can always unzip it. Always use a sheet liner so you don't need to wash the bag too often. Pockets in bags are handy for keeping valuables close to you at night.
Down is the lightest most compact and longest lasting insulation available. However if it gets wet its difficult to dry and it there is a reduction in performance. Synthetic bags are easier to dry and retain there warmth even when wet.
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Storage: When not in use you should store your bag unpacked in a warm dry place to help it maintain its loft.
Cleaning (Synthetic): The easiest way to clean your bag is to soak it in a bath over night in warm soapy water. Usually avoid detergents and use pure soap. Do not use to much soap or detergent as it may effect the performance of the bag. Rinse and drain it. Great care should be taken as you remove it from the bath as the weight of the filling can cause the outer to rip. You can usually spin dry them and to ensure full loft dry it in a launderette tumble dryer. Some bags can be washed by machine, you'll usually need a large launderette machine to do this in. Always read the label first! Its a good idea to read the label as if you head of in your bag for a prolonged trip the label may not be readable or just not be there on your return.
Cleaning (Down): Down bags are usually best washed by a specialist check with the manufacturer.
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