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Appl Ergon. 2013 Mar;44(2):321-6. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2012.09.001. Epub 2012 Sep 25.

A laboratory validation study of comfort and limit temperatures of four sleeping bags defined according to EN 13537 (2002).

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Department of Testing and Certification, Taiwan Textile Research Institute, 6 Chengtian Road, Tucheng District, New Taipei, 23674, Taiwan.


In this study, we validated comfort and limit temperatures of four sleeping bags with different levels of insulation defined according to EN 13537. Six male subjects and four female subjects underwent totally 20 two-hour exposures in four sleeping bags at four intended testing temperatures: 11.2, 3.8, 2.1 and -9.0 °C. The subjective perceptions and physiological responses of these subjects were reported and analyzed. It was found that the EN 13537 defined comfort temperature and limit temperature were underestimated for sleeping bags MA3, HAG and MAM. The predictions are so conservative that further revision may be required to meet the requirements of both manufacturers and consumers. In contrast, for the sleeping bag MA0 with a low level of insulation, the limit temperature defined by EN 13537 was slightly overestimated. In addition, two individual case studies (-28.0 and -32.0 °C) demonstrated that low toe temperatures were widely observed among the male and female subjects, although the mean skin temperatures were almost within the thermoneutrality range (32.0-34.0 °C). It seems that the IREQ model (ISO 11079) overestimated both the comfort and limit temperatures of the sleeping bags. Finally, traditional sleeping bags may be required to be re-designed to provide consumers both whole body comfort as well as local thermal comfort at feet/toes or users need to be made aware of the higher need for their insulation.

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