Best Sleeping Bags For Camping

Avid campers and newbies alike are both on the hunt for one thing to make their favourite pastimes more enjoyable – a suitable sleeping bag. It seems that camping as a hobby is growing in popularity with more than half of households enjoying at least one trip per year.

A good night’s sleep is always important, but especially when you are camping in the outdoors and are more vulnerable to the elements.

What Makes a Good Sleeping Bag

When it comes to shopping for a sleeping bag, there are a few things to consider. Unless you are a very experienced camper, you might not have thought these details through. First, there are a few different styles of sleeping bags. Some bags are built for warmth and comfort while others, designed for backpacking, are a little more streamlined.

First, choose the style of sleeping bag that will work best for the type of camping you will do most often and go from there. Next, we will get into the nitty-gritty about what makes each sleeping bag good, better, and best.

Seasonal Ratings

Just like some campers prefer to limit their outdoor activities to warm weather and others make the most of at least three seasons, sleeping bags differ to meet those needs. Each sleeping bag has a temperature rating that serves as a guide to let campers know if they will be comfortable in warmer or colder temperatures. Pick the wrong type, and you could end up shivering under the stars, or burning up on a summer night.

A basic, summer-only camping sleeping bag is suitable for temperatures above thirty degrees Fahrenheit. If a sleeping bag does not otherwise indicate a temperature rating, it is safe to assume it is a summer bag. This does not mean that you will be comfortable if temperatures fall into the thirties overnight; it serves as an indicator of seasonal use.

Three-season sleeping bags have a little lower temperature rating going below thirty degrees Fahrenheit, down to fifteen degrees. And, although they are less common, four-season bags are often rated down to zero.

Material

The material (outer and inner covers) and insulation fill all work together to decide how comfortable a sleeping bag for outdoors truly is. If you have ever slept in a bag that sticks to you as sweat in the humidity of summer, you know what I am talking about. The shell material should be a durable material with some degree of water-resistance like canvas, duck cloth, or nylon. The inner lining should be a soft, cosy material. And, if it has moisture-wicking abilities – even better. Flannel and polyester blends are common materials for the inner lining.

In between the outer shell and the inner lining is a layer of insulating fill. This is the layer that helps the sleeping bag hold in heat and keeps you warm during the night. Sleeping bags typically have somewhere between three and five pounds of insulating fill, depending on the seasonal rating of the bag. Summer and most three-season bags have a breathable synthetic material filler.

Cold weather sleeping bags for outdoors are usually filled with either synthetic material or down. Down is the best option for a warm and cosy sleeping bag for the same reason; it is a common material for down comforters in home goods. It is warm. But down is not good for warm temperatures or humid environments.

Hardware

One final detail to look at before investing in a camping sleeping bag is the quality of zipper. The bag might work great, but if the zipper breaks after a few uses, it could end up being worthless.

Zippers tend to break easily anyway, and cheap zippers break far more often than heavy-duty zippers. Once the zipper has broken, you will either have to sew in a new one or resign to using the bag as an expensive blanket. Many shoppers overlook this detail, but a high-quality zipper is important.

Best Sleeping Bags in Each Category

Regardless of what type you are looking for, we have rounded up our top picks in each category to give you a wide selection of sleeping bags.


1) Best Three Season Sleeping Bag: Endor Forest Sleeping Bag

For an economical and durable option that will adequately handle almost any camping situation, the Endor Forest Sleeping bag is perfect for adults and kids. It has a high quality, durable polyester shell and a soft taffeta inner lining for maximum comfort.

Endor Forest Sleeping Bag

And it has a breathable, synthetic insulation layer that will keep you warm on cold nights and allow breathable air movement on warmer nights.

What we like about it:
  • It is water-resistant and warm without being bulky. This bag rolls up into a compact carry roll.
  • It is outfitted with an anti-snag zipper to make sure your sleeping bag has a long, useful life.
  • It is machine washable, which is hard to come by in a camping sleeping bag because most are too heavy for household washing machines.
  • Includes a secret pocket to keep your wallet safe while you sleep.
  • Hood-style allows users to tuck a pillow inside the bag for a cosy sleep.
What to consider before buying:
  • It is a pretty snug fit. If you are taller or chunkier than the average person, you might want to look at other options.
  • It is an envelope-style, not a mummy-style. While it is pretty cosy, some people confuse the two and have different expectations for this bag.
  • It lacks a hook and loop to cover the zipper, so it is prone to coming unzipped as you sleep.

2) Best Mummy-style Sleeping Bag: Professional 300 Mummy Bag

Mummy-style sleeping bags like the Professional 300 is a unique, body-hugging style that matches well for camping in extreme conditions. This one performs best in temperatures from -10 degrees Celsius to +10 degrees Celsius. The drawstring design closes the bag around your head, exposing only your face for maximum warmth.

Professional 300 Mummy Bag

What we like about it:
  • This bag performs well in extreme conditions. If you are looking to go camping year-round, this one is worth a look.
  • It comes with a compression bag and is easy to roll up and easy to transport. Many other cold-weather rated sleeping bags for outdoors are just too bulky to transport.
  • We were impressed with the quality; this sleeping bag has high-quality materials that won’t rip or break on the first use.
What to consider before buying:
  • Like many other sleeping bags, zipper issues are not uncommon with this one – probably because of the snug fit. Luckily this company stands behind their product and have been quick to replace defective pieces.
  • It is a snug bag; if you have not used a mummy-style sleeping bag, keep in mind it is meant to be a close fit from head to toe. Not everyone will find this to be comfortable enough to sleep in.
  • The zipper comes undone easily as you sleep; it seems this bag is missing a zipper cover that could keep that from happening.

3) Best Wide Sleeping Bag – Songmics Wide Sleeping Bag

If the envelope-style and mummy-style bags that we have looked at so far are a bit too cosy for you, roomier options are on the horizon. We found this quality sleeping with outstanding comfort complete with a microfiber lining for a soft feel and fluffy polyester fill.

Songmics Wide Sleeping Bag

This bag is lightweight and machine washable, and best of all, it has a fastener to keep the zipper closed while you sleep. We especially like the generous 84 cm width, slim-fit bags aside, even traditional sleeping bags only measure up to 75 cm wide.

What we like about it:
  • It unzips completely and can be a comforter or a sleeping bag depending on need.
  • It comes with a compression bag and rolls up nicely for transport and storage.
  • A hook and loop fastener on the sleeping bag keeps you securely fit inside all night long.
What to consider before buying:
  • It is a four seasons bag which means it should stay warm enough in cold temperatures. Unless you have a down-filled bag or use a mummy-style sleeping bag, it is hard to stay very warm on cold nights.
  • The advertising indicates it is machine washable, but the filling tends to clump, and the care instructions mention hand washing, so there is some debate on that claim.
  • As with any sleeping bag, zipper problems are not out of the norm.

4) Best Goose Down Sleeping Bag – Naturehike Ultralight Goose Down Bag

Goose down has unparalleled performance in cold weather. If you plan to do a lot of camping in the late fall, or early spring then you need something that will keep you toasty. This bag is filled with premium goose down with a synthetic fabric interior and nylon exterior for the perfect blend of comfort and durability.

Naturehike Ultralight Goose Down Bag

What we like about it:
  • It has a two-way zipper so you can zip two bags together for couples camping trips.
  • It is an ultra-lightweight sleeping bag and folds down to a compact size for easy transport and storage.
  • It’s a good quality bag with quality materials and strong stitching.
What to consider before buying:
  • Goose down is very expensive and drives up the cost of bags like this. If you don’t want to spend the money, other alternatives will do well in colder temperatures.
  • Down sleeping bags have limited use in cold weather; they become sweaty very quickly in humid or warm environments.
  • Goose down needs to breathe when stored. Even though this sleeping bag comes with a bag and can fold down into a small space, it should be allowed to expand when stored for longer periods.

5) Best Budget Sleeping Bag for Kids and Adults – QMQ 3-4 Season Bag

For the occasional camper, a simple and affordable option is better. As a matter of fact, if you only camp once or twice in the middle of summer, you don’t need much out of a sleeping bag. A good zipper is probably the most important detail.

QMQ 3-4 Season Bag

This bag from QMQ is lightweight, durable, and comfortable to the skin with an affordable price tag. It has a weather-resistant design to protect you from the elements and double-filled technology for warmth and comfort.

What we like about it:
  • It is easy to carry and comes with its own travel bag.
  • The S-shaped quilting design keeps the filling in place, so the bag continues to be warm and comfortable with every use.
  • It has a 100% polyester lining which is comfortable against your skin.
What to consider before buying:
  • It is a 3-4 seasons bag, but in terms of performance, that might be questionable.
  • It is easy on the wallet in terms of price, but pretty basic in features. There is no pocket to store your wallet in or fastener to keep the zipper in place.
  • The outer shell is 210T polyester, chosen for durability and weather-proofing, but it doesn’t hold up as well as stronger materials like nylon.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a sleeping bag is dependent on knowing your habits when it comes to camping. If you are staying in a cabin, your exposure to the elements and need for durable weather-proofing is not as significant. Tent campers and anyone sleeping out under the stars will need to be careful to review the bag materials to make sure it provides enough protection from the elements.

The best choice for a sleeping bag depends largely on your preference and how you will use it. The casual camper will be better off with a budget-friendly pick like the QMQ 3-4 season sleeping bag.

In contrast, more serious campers will likely be happier with something that has a few more features like a zipper cover or wallet pocket like the Professional 300 Mummy bag. However, regardless of your needs, every type of camper will be able to find something they enjoy from our list.


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