HomeBuying GuidesCamping & OutdoorsSleeping Bags - A Buyers Guide

Sleeping Bags – A Buyers Guide

sleeping bag

Looking to buy the best sleeping bag? Check out our guide below and you’ll be well-placed to select the correct one for your needs.

A nice sleeping bag might mean the difference between a few sleepless hours and the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had.

Making the proper decision is critical, but it may be difficult.

The sheer number of designs and features available can be overwhelming.

This tutorial will help you distinguish between a box wall and a stitch-through, as well as a one-season bag and a year-round cocoon.

Ratings by season and level of comfort

When purchasing a sleeping bag, the first thing to consider is the type of weather you will be using it in.

Seasonal ratings are provided to sleeping bags to assist you choose the right one for your needs.

What exactly do season ratings imply?

It may seem self-evident, but a bag that is comfy in the summer may not be so in the winter.

From April to September, a large, thick bag will make you sweat.

1 season sleeping bags are ideal for hot summer nights or indoor use in places like hostels.

2 season sleeping bags – for late spring to early autumn nights when you won’t be too hot but won’t be too cold.

3 season sleeping bags are excellent for mild to cold nights with minimal frost but temperatures that may drop below freezing.

4 season sleeping bags are meant for exceptionally cold winter nights when frosty and snowy weather is predicted.
Although these bags are larger, they will keep you warm in temperatures as low as -10°C.

Sleeping bags rated for 4+ seasons – some sleeping bags are rated for 5 seasons.
This word refers to backpacks designed for extreme adventures in extremely cold climates, and which frequently include down insulation.

What are comfort ratings and what do they imply?

Climates change seasonally all across the planet.


There are significant variances in the extremes of Australian and Norwegian summers, for example.


The EN 1357 comfort grading system offers more detailed numerical data that can be used in any climate.
The top and lower limit temperatures at which you will be comfortable at night are known as maximum and minimum comfort levels.

The greater the difference between these figures, the more adaptable the sleeping bag.

Extreme comfort rating – a test for absolute emergencies, this is the lowest temperature that a lady in this bag can withstand.

But keep in mind that this does not imply ‘comfort’ in the traditional sense.

The bag will not give any additional protection beyond this extreme level.

Consider the following factors:

Some folks are simply more sensitive to the cold than others.

If you’re sensitive, lower your comfort temperature by 3-5 degrees Celsius.

Consider your camp’s elevation as well.

At higher altitudes, air temperatures are cooler, therefore add -1°C for every 150 metres climbed.Insulation materials

The feature of the bag that has the most impact on your warmth and comfort is the insulation (and the cost)

Down and synthetic insulation are the two most common types of insulation.

The puffy feathers of waterfowl, generally geese or ducks, are known as down.
Artificial attempts to replicate this are referred to as synthetic insulation.

Down

Pros: Down’s natural insulation is unrivalled by anything humans have been able to develop in a laboratory.

It ‘lofts,’ meaning it expands to trap warm air between its fibres.

In a nutshell, it is warmer than synthetic materials

It’s also quite light, with a high warmth-to-weight ratio, and it can be compressed to a considerably smaller size.

When down is damp, the fibres cluster together and the loft collapses, reducing its insulating characteristics.

When washing and storing down filled bags, more care is required, and they are also more expensive than synthetic bags.

Synthetic

Polyfibres are less expensive than down.

Synthetic insulation is also more effective when damp, keeping 50% of its insulating characteristics, and is easier to maintain, requiring less cleaning and storing.

Cons: Synthetic has historically been less effective than down in terms of creating warmth.

Labs have improved the warmth-to-weight ratio in recent years by altering the construction to match natural loft.

It is, however, significantly less compressible and insulating than down in general.

Technology & Fabric

The type of insulation used in your sleeping bag will determine the price, but it is the face fabric that will cover that insulation and the inside fabric that you will feel on your skin that will determine the price.

Face Fabrics

Nylon: This material strikes a nice balance between comfort, durability, and breathability.
It’s also fairly soft to the touch.

Ripstop is a lightweight and extremely durable fabric.

The material prevents tears from spreading (thus the name “ripstop”), and any damage is quickly repaired.

DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish: This keeps moisture out of the bag and keeps the insulation from collapsing, which is especially critical for down bags.

But keep in mind that this isn’t the same as being waterproof.

You’ve probably noticed how easily feathers can pierce pillow covers.

An extra layer of nylon is used in the downproof construction to keep your insulation from exiting the bag’s interior.

This maintains it fully insulated and prevents holes in the cloth from forming.

Fabrics on the inside

The inner fabric of most sleeping bags is nylon.

It’s breathable to keep the bag from getting clammy and damp.

To improve comfort, look for bags with a specific soft-touch finish.

Polycotton is a popular fabric for summer and single-season bags.


It feels incredibly soft on the skin, but it takes a long time to dry, making it unsuitable for expeditions or colder climes.

Shape

The form of a sleeping bag has an impact on the amount of warmth and comfort it can provide.


Rectangular and Mummy are the two most common sleeping bag forms, though there are several minor variations within these.

Rectangular

A bag having a basic rectangle shape and thick padding that is sometimes referred to as a “square” bag.

Pros: Rectangular bags are typically less expensive and more spacious, allowing for more movement and a more restful night’s sleep.

Another method is to unzip the files and make a ‘duvet’ out of them.

They’re great for indoor or outdoor use throughout the summer.

Cons: In cold weather, the increased space is a disadvantage because cool air has more room to circulate.

They’re also bigger and heavier, so they take up more space.

Mummy

These bags are wide at the top and taper around the torso and feet, giving them the appearance of an Egyptian mummy.

Pros: Because these bags have a tight fit, there is less room for cold air, making them ideal for colder weather.

Unlike rectangular bags, which expose the head, the hood provides additional thermal insulation.

Mummy bags are also less bulky and lighter, making them ideal for trekking and backpacking.

Cons: They can be constrictive, giving you less room to move around.
The tapering form provides an odd shape for a duvet if you wanted to open the sleeping bag up.

Shapes that are specific to each gender

Mummy sleeping bags can be made in a variety of gender-specific shapes.

Because women sleep colder than males, the women’s sleeping bag will have more insulation in areas of increased heat loss.

These bags are also shorter in length and thinner at the shoulders, reducing bulk and weight while avoiding heat loss.

They are frequently seen in the premium price levels.

What exactly is a footbox?

Because your feet take up more space than your lower legs, many sleeping bags have a flared or trapezoidal footbox to suit your feet’s form without sacrificing a snug fit.

Aftercare & Maintenance

Taking care of your sleeping bag might add years to its life.

If you’re going to spend a lot of money on a bag, it’s definitely worth it to take care of it.

Taking care of a technical bag isn’t as simple as throwing it in the wash, but it isn’t too difficult either if you follow the right steps.

Washing

Rinse out your washing machine’s drawer and drum.

This prevents prior cycles’ chemicals from polluting your wash.

Select the appropriate cleaning for your bag.

Different products benefit synthetic and down bags.

Down wash is an excellent single-step solution for down sleeping bags, while Tech wash is an excellent two-step technique for cleaning and preserving the DWR of synthetic bags.

However, there are a variety of other cleaners available.

Before you use them, make sure they’re suitable with your bag.

Standard household chemicals should be avoided.

These can be too harsh for the materials in your sleeping bag, and they can also remove any water-repellent coatings.

Wash bags at 30 degrees for a 30-minute cycle as a rule of thumb.
After that, do a quick spin.

Washing balls can be used to stir the insulation while it is being washed, resulting in a thorough cleaning.

Drying

This is perhaps the most important aspect of sleeping bag maintenance, so make sure you do it correctly.

Tumble dry on a medium heat setting.

Remove the bag from the dryer and spin it for 20-30 minutes before shaking it.

If required, repeat the process.

Add another hour of drying time once it feels completely dry to ensure the insulation is completely dry and not clumping.

It can take anywhere from 4-6 hours for a synthetic bag to dry.
It can take up to 8 hours to fill a down bag.

Storing

Both down and synthetic bags will benefit from good storage, but down bags in particular will benefit from proper lofting.

A sleeping bag should ideally be hung full length.

This will take up space in your wardrobe, but it will be worth it to maintain the bag performing at its best.

If room is limited or you’re storing the luggage for a trip, stuff sacks are another alternative.

Make sure your stuff sack is made of breathable mesh.

Liners for sleeping bags

Another fantastic option to extend the life of your sleeping bag is to use a sleeping bag liner.
It guards your bag against tearing and other harm.

It also keeps it clean and raises the temperature of your luggage during the night.

Cotton, silk, and fleece are the most common types of liners.


Which one should you pick?

Cotton

Cotton liners are inexpensive and durable.

Cons: They provide very little insulation to the sleeping bag, and significantly less when wet. They’re also quite hefty due to their big pack size.

Silk

Pros: Small pack size and low weight.
They provide a higher thermal boost than cotton and are quick to dry, preserving their thermal properties even when damp.

Cons: Expensive and not as long-lasting as cotton.

Fleece

Pros: Adds around 5-6 degrees Celsius to the warmth of your sleeping bag.
They’re reasonably priced, quick to dry, and keep their thermal properties while wet.

Cons: They are useless on hot evenings since you will be overheated.
As a result, the sleeping bag will only be protected on colder nights when the lining is inserted.
In addition, fleece liners are bulkier and heavier than silk liners.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Sleeping Bag 3 Seasons (Summer, Spring, Fall) Warm & Cool Weather - Lightweight,Waterproof Indoor & Outdoor Use for Kids, Teens & Adults for Camping Hiking, Backpacking and Survival (Black Grey)
  • DESIGNED FOR COOL AND COLD WEATHER - Our sleeping bags have a waterproof, weather-resistant design to keep you warm even in extreme conditions - this is achieved through double-filled technology.
  • USED FOR 3 SEASONS - Rated temperature 41-77℉(5-25℃). Comfort temperature is 50-68℉(10-20℃).Portable,lightweight & compact design which is convenient to carry along for emergency, and its ability to withstand extreme weather conditions – certainly the best sleeping bag for backpacks and adventures.
  • EASY TO CARRY AND CLEAN – The sleeping bags are also extremely easy to clean as they are safer for machine wash. Each sleeping bag comes with a travel-friendly carry bag, a compression sack with straps, which makes it quite convenient to store and carry the plush sleeping bag along.
  • BOTTOM ZIPPER DESIGN - Separated zipper at the bottom can also make your feet often come out through the wind , you can sleep well. Sleeping bags are available in a variety of colors, personalized for the whole family to choose,and it is the best gift for boys and girls.
  • MATERIAL - Outer Cover Material:210T Nylon, Cozy, Waterproof and Breathable Fabrics;Lining Material: 190T Polyester Pongee; Fill-Material: 100% hollow fiber.The sleeping bag is a good gear for traveling and walking.
Bestseller No. 2
Coolzon Sleeping Bag Adults 3-4 Season Warm Weather & Winter, Lightweight,Waterproof Indoor & Outdoor Use for Kids, Teens & Adults for Hiking, Backpacking and Camping
  • CONVENIENT STORAGE-Each sleeping bag is equipped with a compression bag with straps. Our compression bag has the biggest advantage of its large capacity, which makes it easy to store and carry. It can be packed into an ultra-compact bag in a few seconds without folding or Rolling, saving you more time
  • ROOMY AND COMFORTABLE - They are incredibly roomy for any adult or child. It's easy to get in, get out and turn around to find a comfortable sleeping position. The zipper stays closed, and the plush filling means you'll sleep like a baby.
  • WATERPROOF, BREATHABLE AND WARM-We found the best balance between waterproof, breathable and warmth to make you more comfortable when using.
  • ADVANCED MATERIALS- This sleeping bag is durable,high quality fluffy cotton fabricis very soft ,the highest grade of 100% polyester fiber is used as the surface material,and hollow cotton is used as the fillerto ensure light weight,durability and easy to carry,it can help you get rid of the hard work,Hike and a hard day,bring you a relaxing warm sleep.
  • BEST CHIOCE- we strongly stand behind the great craftsmanship of these sleeping bags. If you aren’t satisfied with the comfort, the size, the weight or for any reason at all then just let us know and we’ll be happy to give you a full refund – no hassles, no delays, no questions asked.
Bestseller No. 3
Milestone Camping Insulation 26700 Single Envelope Sleeping Bag | 2 Season | Full Length Dual Zip | Grey & Orange | Packs Down Tight | 170cm x 75cm
  • SINGLE ENVELOPE SLEEPING BAG – This single envelope sleeping bag is the perfect size to keep a keen adventurer warm and cosy on camping trips and at festivals.
  • 2 SEASONS – This single sleeping bag will keep you warm throughout the late spring to early autumn nights thanks to the 150gsm hollow fibre filling, and the 170T polyester shell. The sleeping bag features a full-length zip for added convenience.
  • CLASSIC ENVELOPE SIZE – This envelope style sleeping bag is far roomier than a mummy sleeping bag, and can be fully opened to form a blanket.
  • PERFECT SIZE – The lightweight sleeping bag measures 170cm x 75cm, and can be folded up into the carry bag at a size of 33cm x 15cm. This makes it ideal for things like camping trips, fishing trips, and Duke of Edinburgh expeditions.
  • MILESTONE CAMPING – Milestone Camping is the leading manufacturer of everything you need to enjoy the great outdoors. Visit the Milestone Camping page on Amazon to view the whole range today.
Bestseller No. 4
Active Era Premium Sleeping Bag for Adults & Kids – Warm 3-4 Season Waterproof Lightweight Sleeping Bag for Men, Women, Camping, Festivals & Outdoors with Compression Bag (Black)
  • WARM & COSY: This Sleeping Bag for Adults & Kids by Active Era combines a warm 250GSM hollow fibre filling, a temperature-regulating anti-snag zipper and a cosy adjustable drawstring hood, helping to keep you warm and comfortable when camping, hiking or travelling in spring, summer and winter.
  • WATERPROOF & RIP-PROOF: Designed for adventures, this waterproof sleeping bag features an ultra-durable 210T polyester ripstop outer shell which is both tough and waterproof. The soft and warm internal lining lets you get a cosy night’s sleep even in temperatures as low as 3°.
  • INNOVATIVE ANTI-SNAG ZIPPERS: The state-of-the-art anti-snag, double-sided zip avoids fabric getting trapped in the zipper teeth. Unzip on the side or from the bottom to allow cooling air to pass through the sleeping bag during warm summer camping trips.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT & TRAVEL-FRIENDLY: Our compact sleeping bag has the perfect warmth-to-weight ratio and comes with a compression travel bag that slots seamlessly into your camping equipment - it won't weigh you down on long hiking trails and multi-day trips.
  • MACHINE-WASHABLE: Active Era's sleeping bag is easy to clean - just put it in the washing machine at a low temperature. The innovative envelope design also allows you to zip two sleeping bags together or unzip it completely and use as a picnic blanket.
Bestseller No. 5
Trail Envelope Sleeping Bag With Snug Hood, Single Adult, 3 Season, Water-Resistant, Lightweight With Compact Bag, Outdoor, Camping, 250g Filling
  • SNUG HOOD FOR OPTIMUM WARMTH WHEN CAMPING: Single person sleeping bag with hood from Trail Outdoor Leisure. Drawstring to pull the hood tight, stop heat escaping and keep your head, neck and shoulders warm and snug when sleeping.
  • 3 SEASON – LATE SUMMER, AUTUMN & EARLY WINTER: Provides optimum comfort at 5°C with an extreme temperature rating of -5°C and maximum temperature rating of 15ºC. Perfect for autumn, late summer and early winter camping.
  • INSULATED FILLING FOR WARMTH & COMFORT: Water-resistant polyester shell to protect from ground damp and 250g/m2 hollow-fibre filling for ultimate warmth and comfort when you’re sleeping. All-round zipper provides quick and easy access.
  • DRAWSTRING BAG TO EASILY STORE & CARRY: Lightweight with a drawstring bag to conveniently store and carry. Clips and straps keep it ultra-compact when the sleeping bag is stored inside it. Makes it easier to carry with the rest of your gear.
  • SLEEPING BAG SIZE: L190cm x W75cm (L220cm including hood). SIZE WHEN STORED IN BAG: L36cm x W22cm x D22cm. Weight when stored in bag: 1.3kg. Machine washable at 30ºC. Loops allow you to easily hang it up to air dry when wet.
Bestseller No. 6
Active Era Premium Lightweight Mummy Sleeping Bag – Envelope Seeping Bag 3 Season for Adults & Kids for Camping, Hiking & Outdoors
  • Camping sleeping bag, the outer material is made from 170T polyester with 150g/m² hollow fibre lining to ensure a comfortable night's sleep.
  • Temperature resistant, enjoy a more restful cosy night’s sleep within the following temperature range, comfortable: +18°C - 10°C, extreme: +5°C.
  • Suitable for organised overnight sleepovers, outdoor activities, scouting expeditions or summer trips.
  • Inner material: very light and durable. Slip into the mummy sleeping bag and experience a comfortable and relaxing night’s sleep.
  • Design: the mummified shape provides all-round sleeping protection in the following dimensions: 210 cm x 80 cm x 50 cm.
Bestseller No. 7
ACTIVE FOREVER Mummy Sleeping Bag 3-4 Season Adults Lightweight Compact Waterproof Design Warm Season Sleep Gear Bag for Outdoor Adventure & Camping
  • Lining is Soft, Waterproof and Breathable; Suitable for Summer Use
  • Built-in storage compartment, Can store phone and headphones
  • Storage bag that can save 60% space; Can be hung on Backpack
  • Windproof Double Zipper Design and Internal Drawstring Collar
  • Size: 210×80 cm; Storage size: 30×20 cm; Weight: 0.8 kg; Polyester Filler: Spray Cotton; Material: 170T
Bestseller No. 8
Vango Cadair 250 Sleeping Bag [Amazon Exclusive]
  • Single-layer stitch through construction - maintains even fill distribution and keeps weight down
  • A soft to touch microfibre lining fabric that is cosy, snug and breathable
  • Mummy-shaped sleeping bag tapers from the shoulders to the foot; reduces packsize and increases thermal efficiency
  • 3-D hood with draw cord closure and shaped sides
  • Colour co-ordinated stuffsack with drawcord
Bestseller No. 9
Milestone Camping Mummy Single Sleeping Bags / 2 and 3 Season Insulation Lightweight and Portable with Carry Sack/Extra Thick Double Layer Interior/Water Resistant (Green, 2 Season)
  • SINGLE MUMMY SLEEPING BAG – This single mummy sleeping bag is perfect for you to take on camping trips and a great size for everyone in your family. It features a drawstring hood to insulate against cold weather and has a double-sided zipper, so it is easy to get in and out. It includes a magic sticker to secure the neckline and prevent the zipper from slipping so you can stay snug all night.
  • COMFORTABLE AND PORTABLE - This double layered sleeping bag has a great 150/m2 hollow fibre lining with a 170T Polyester shell to keep you warm and cosy on cold nights. The sleeping bag is lightweight and portable, so you can take it on all your adventures.
  • CARRY SACK – The sleeping bag comes in a handy drawstring carry sack which reduces the volume of your sleeping bag, so you can easily stuff it in your backpack without eating up too much space.
  • 2 SEASON - With 2 season insulation, this sleeping bag is ideal for use in late spring to early autumn for your typical camping or festival trip and best suited for temperatures between 0-27 degrees. The sleeping bag is also water resistant to protect against damp weather.
  • MILESTONE CAMPING – Milestone Camping is the leading manufacturer of everything you need to enjoy the great outdoors. Visit the Milestone Camping page on Amazon to view the whole range today.
SaleBestseller No. 10
Active Era Professional 300 Warm Mummy Sleeping Bag - 300 GSM Double Layer Filling - 3-4 Season for Camping, Hiking, Outdoors
  • Ultra-Warm & Comfortable: This sleeping bag has been designed with a 300GSM (2 x 150g/m2) double-layer filling making it perfect for use in 3-4 seasons. Whether you are camping, hiking, or travelling this sleeping bag will keep you warm and comfortable after a long day of activities.
  • Cosy Mummy Design: The figure-hugging mummy design tapers in at the leg, this design is more efficient in keeping you warm in colder temperatures than regular rectangle sleeping bags. A built-in hood with drawstring helps to keep your head as warm as your body. Dimensions: 220 x 80 x 55cm bag
  • Water Resistant & Machine Washable: Our sleeping bags are treated with an invisible water-repellent layer to ensure they stay dry in damp weather whilst remaining lightweight and durable. The hard-wearing and easy to clean material means the sleeping bag is fully machine washable too.
  • Upgraded Zipper & Internal Pocket: Our advanced zipper design ensures your zip never gets caught when opening or closing the sleeping bag. Keep your valuables safe by using the internal storage pouch.
  • Money Back Guarantee: We are so confident you will love this sleeping bag it comes with a 100% money back guarantee. If you have any questions, please get in contact with our dedicated customer service team who will be happy to help.

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