Sleeping Bag Draft Collars – Everything You Need To Know
Josiah is a long-time outdoorsman/adventure seeker, whenever he's not doing his day job
as a structural engineer. Read More
Your sleeping bag may have a draft collar but you might not know how it works or what it's made of. Well, a draft collar is a desirable feature found on sleeping bags and quilts.
Over the years I have considered this feature a requirement for both my sleeping bags and quilts. Draft collars are common in premium sleeping bags designed for cooler weather camping and backpacking.
What Is A Sleeping Bag Draft Collar?
A draft collar, also known as a head gasket is an insulated collar made of fabric usually goose down or duck down. You can see it just below or around the hood of your sleeping bag. Draft collars are also located at the head end of a backpacking quilt.
Draft collars work well for cooler weather camping because of their design. They are designed to wrap around the chest area and shoulders like a collar to prevent warm air from escaping through the night.
As we sleep at night we tend to move around and sometimes toss and turn. The draft collar keeps hot air inside by sealing the top of your sleeping bag around your body.
Below is an example of a sleeping bag that has a draft collar.
Western Mountaineering Ultralite 20 Sleeping bag
The Western Mountaineering Ultralite 20 sleeping bag is a one-of-kind bag with an excellent warmth to weight ratio. It is perfect for backpackers because of its weight-saving features and providing significant warmth.
- Materials: 20 denier shell fabric
- Temperature Rating: 20°F
The Western Mountaineering Ultralite 20 sleeping bag has a full-down draft collar that prevents cold air from entering the bag and retains warm air inside. This desirable feature keeps your upper body warm and cold drafts away.
It has a hood that you can clinch around your head to maximize the warmth inside the bag and prevent cold air drafts from getting inside.
This premium sleeping bag is constructed with 5 1/4continuous baffles that allow you to position the down according to your needs.
It has a total weight of 455g, making it remarkably light for its temperature ratings. It has a mummy bag design that hugs your body to retain heat and give more insulation.
The Western Mountaineering Ultralite 20 sleeping bag has a full-length 5YKK zipper to retain body heat inside the bag and prevent cold air from getting inside.
The sleeping bag is constructed with 850+ fill power goose down and 12 deniers Extremelite shell fabric to give you more warmth during the night. The outer fabric has a standard DWR treatment to prevent it from getting damp.
- It has a water-resistant coating
- It is a lightweight sleeping bag
- It is a warm and comfortable bag
- It is a versatile three-season bag
- It is made with high-quality materials
- It has a narrow fitting over the shoulders and chest
- It is a higher-budget sleeping bag
How Do You Make An Improvised Draft Collar For Your Sleeping Bag?
An improvised draft collar can be made by designing a tube filled with a generous amount of heat retaining material and fastening string. Make a binding on the edge of the filled tube to run the fastening string through it.
Attach your improvised draft collar to the upper edge of the sleeping bag using running stitches. Place the fastening edge where you can tighten and loosen it to control the heat inside the bag.
If you are a cold sleeper and can't make a draft collar soon enough, you can use a fleece scarf or an ordinary shirt to wrap around your neck and prevent cold air from getting inside and warm air from escaping.
Can You Use A Draft Collar With A Quilt?
The straightforward answer is yes, you can use a draft collar with a quilt. Many quilts have synthetic insulation instead of draft collars to keep you warm. Draft collars work significantly for both sleeping bags and quilts.
Quilts that have draft collars will keep you warmer than those without because the draft collars prevent you from losing warmth from body heat.
Most people use a sleeping pad with quilts to keep warm underneath. Using a draft collar with a quilt will prevent cold air from entering your upper body. With both a sleeping pad and draft collar you will have a thermally efficient sleep system.
Below is an example of a backpacking quilt with a draft collar.
Feathered Friends Flicker 40 UL Quilt
This Feathered Friends bag was designed for backpackers and climbers who fancy a lighter weight, insulated sleep system. Flicker UL 40 backpacking quilt ensures that you get a warm night's sleep while keeping unnecessary weight away.
- Shell: Pertex® YFuse®
- Lining: Pertex® 20 denier nylon taffeta
- Fill Power: 900+ Goose Down
- Shell: Pertex® YFuse®
- Temperature Rating: 20ºF
It has a down-filled draft collar that goes around your neck that you can clinch tight to keep the hot air inside during cold nights. The draft collar has two drawcords.
It features a full-length zipper that allows you to use the Flicker UL as a fully unzipped quilt. When the full-length zippers are closed, it functions as premium mummy bags. During warmer temperatures, you can fully unzip the quilt to become a down comforter.
The Feathered Friends Flicker UL 40 backpacking quilt has a crossover zipper design that enhances heat retention of the draft tube without the added weight on the bag.
The Flicker has an adjustable foot vent with a drawstring that you can open during warm nights or close during colder nights.
This sleeping bag has continuous horizontal baffles that significantly allow you to place the down fill. It also features adjustable fabric loops attached to the quilt bag's sides, making it possible to use as a hammock under quilt.
The sleeping bag has a water-resistant exterior shell fabric with ultra-light 10 denier Pertex Endurance.
It has a 950+ fill power down, making it significant for cold nights.
- It is warm
- It is a lightweight bag
- It has excellent weight savings ability as it packs down small
- It is versatile
- It is a higher-budget bag
- It is bulkier than other ultralight backpacking quilts
A draft collar is a desirable feature that makes a huge difference in sleeping bags and quilts. The right sleeping bag for colder nights should have one. They add extra warmth and ensure you remain toasty even during cold nights.
While camping, the last thing you want to experience is shivering. Change your camping game today by choosing the right sleeping bag with draft collars.