In 2005 all sleeping bag manufacturers will risk prosecution if they do not adhere to the new European Standard EN13537.
Confusion has reigned previously over the ratings used on sleeping bags as individual manufacturers and countries used their own rating systems with the result that consumers were confused and lives were put at risk, claimed a statement from Ajungilak.
Without a common/standardised temperature rating system charting minimum and maximum ratings consumers had no definitive measure for selecting bags.
"Bags have inevitably been sold that could put lives in danger. A bag that does not offer enough heat on any expedition could result in loss of sleep a major problem which can, if left unchecked lead to the lowering of the senses, awareness, fatigue and in extreme circumstances, hypothermia," said the Ajungilak statement.
The new international regulations will help protect consumers by offering a guaranteed level of testing and labelling which will act as the industry standard and ensure that when purchasing a bag consumers are confident that the product is fit for the purpose intended.
The precursor to the regulations was a research report, The Sleep Well Document produced in association with Ajungilak which sets out guidelines for consumers on how to select and buy a bag together with an insight into how the ratings will operate
The Sleep Well report can be accessed and downloaded at http://www.ajungilak.com