Sleeping Bags & Mats
How reliable are the temperature ratings given for sleeping bags?
The temperature ratings according to the EN 13537 standard are generally very reliable.
This statutory regulation allows for easy comparisons between sleeping bags for both consumers and retailers: Every manufacturer selling sleeping bags in Europe is obliged by law to test and label their products according to this industry standard.
Individual sensitivity to the cold is nevertheless subjective and difficult to determine. It depends on several different factors, meaning that this test cannot be 100% accurate.
These temperature ratings are currently the best available method of comparison and standardisation. The following principles form a simplified summary:
The comfort rating represents a range of temperatures within which men and women comfortably sleep.
It would be too warm in the sleeping bag at higher temperatures, whilst it would be too cold at lower temperatures.
The transition rating describes heat retention that is lower at the temperatures stated, but can be compensated for with thicker clothing.
With a risk rating, however, protection from the cold is no longer guaranteed.