A warm and comfy night’s sleep

Many people believe it’s not possible to be warm and comfy when you’re camping with just what you can carry on a bike. But follow our advice and your nights will be warm and comfortable - in fact you won’t want to get out of your sleeping bag in the morning!

There are two things that keep you warm at night when you’re cycle camping (not forgetting about a hot water bottle of course!)
Summer cycle camping in England isn’t that cold generally at night but temperatures can sink lower than you think. In the city, the heat of the day is retained in the buildings and streets: this keeps temperatures up at night.
In the countryside, there’s nothing to stop the heat disappearing into the clear and starry night sky; suddenly there's some fog around and you can wake up in the night shivering.
But on a bike you can carry a good sleeping bag! The thing to remember about sleeping bags though is that although they keep the heat in, you have to start off with some heat to keep trapped. If you’re the sort of person (and we all differ quite a lot in this respect) who is usually quite warm enough at night you won’t have any problems with a standard sleeping bag in a tent.
If however you’re someone who usually has an extra blanket or thicker than normal duvet at home, you may want to invest in a warmer three season sleeping bag and even consider taking a hot water bottle! And while two people in a small tent will usually provide each other with enough heat, on your own you might struggle.
Your head is where the heat mainly goes from so on colder nights think about wearing a woolly hat (and maybe socks as well!). On rainy nights, ironically you may feel too warm and you might even want to keep your tent door open - temperatures don’t drop so much on wet, windy nights as they do on a clear night after a sunny day. And then your body has an even bigger temperature drop to adapt to - sometimes as much as ten degrees centigrade.
There are two things that keep you warm at night when you’re cycle camping (not forgetting about that hot water bottle of course!) and that's yes, a sleeping bag but also a sleeping mat.
Both Blacks and Cotswold Outdoor have a good range of both sleeping bags and sleeping mats.
A good air mattress or mat nowadays is light and comfy but it also keeps you much warmer. Lightweight air mattresses have transformed cycle camping over the last few years. One of the best sleeping mats is the Exped SynMat 7 medium sleeping mat from Cotswold Outdoor. It’s light, very warm and the pump is integrated into the mattress so there're no extra pump to carry. It’s inflated in about two minutes. Thermarest started the self inflating mat phenomenon and you can click here to see the best selling Thermarest Prolite at Cotswold. They don’t need to be inflated (that's the self inflating bit) but they're not quite as comfy (or heavy) as a pumped up air mattress.
Not everyone knows about mats but everyone’s familiar with sleeping bags. You can choose between down (the feathers from a goose) or a synthetic bag. Either will work well, down being lighter, having a smaller pack size and warmer but more expensive. Look for a three season bag for summer cycle camping in the UK. The Blacks Cosmos 200 is a gorgeous down bag. An excellent sleeping bag at an equally good price is the Mountain Equipment Starlight IV from Cotswold Outdoor. It’s heavy but guaranteed to keep you warm at a very good price. The Blacks Aerolite 700 is another good bag at a budget price: synthetic, practical and warm enough for those chillier nights in July and August .
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