Whether you’re setting up camp in a rooftop tent, pitching up in the winter frost, or sleeping wild under the warm summer sky, the right sleeping bag is vital for getting a good night’s rest. There’s not much worse than waking up with 10 ice cubes for toes. And sweating through the night in a plastic-like liner can be equally as unpleasant. When it comes to selecting the best sleeping bag for camping there’s certainly a lot of options to choose from.
- The best single sleeping bags for camping
- The best double sleeping bags for camping
- Things to consider when choosing the best sleeping bags for camping
Size and weight may be some of the most important criteria when picking a sleeping bag for backpacking, but the best sleeping bags for car camping aren’t necessarily the lightest nor the smallest. In fact, when you’re travelling by car you can afford to exchange size and weight for a little extra comfort. Active sleepers might prefer a roomy rectangle sleeping bag to a classic mummy bag, while wintertime campers will need a well insulated bag which can handle minus temperatures.
So, whether you’re preparing for your next epic road trip or packing the trunk for a weekend in the wilderness, take a look at our recommendations for the best single and double sleeping bags of 2018.
|Product||Temperature rating||Size||Insulation type||Cost|
|Mountain Hardwear Down Flip||1ºC / 35ºF||Single||Down||$$$|
|Kelty Galactic 30||-1ºC / 30ºF||Single||Down||$$|
|Sea To Summit Traveller TrI||10ºC (50ºF)||Single||Down||$$$|
|Coleman Brazos Cold Weather Sleeping Bag||-6ºC (20ºF)||Single||Synthetic||$|
|Marmot NanoWave 45F||7ºC (45ºF)||Single||Synthetic||$$|
|Big Agnes Dream Island 15 Double Wide||-9ºC / 15ºF||Double||Synthetic||$$$$|
|The North Face Campforter Double 20||-7ºC / 20ºF||Double||Down||$$$$$|
|Teton Sports Mammoth Queen Size Sleeping Bag||-7ºC / 20ºF||Double||Synthetic||$$|
|Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed Duo 700||2ºC / 35ºF||Double||Down||$$$$$|
|Kelty Tru Comfort Doublewide 20||-7ºC / 20ºF||Double||Synthetic||$$$|
The best single sleeping bags for campingThe Down Flip sleeping bag from Mountain Hardwear is one of the most versatile sleeping bags on the market. Its clever design, which features more down fill on one side than the other, makes it suitable for camping in a range of temperatures. The semi-rectangular bag provides plenty of wiggle room, too. It can also be fully unzipped to function as a blanket on warmer nights or zipped to another bag to make a double sleeping bag for you and your camping buddy.
The Mountain Hardwear Down Flip may not be the cheapest on the market nor suited to the most extreme weather conditions. However, it does provide a higher than average water-repellency and a is multi-purpose sleeping bag which you can use on many types of camping trips.
- Versatile usage
- Roomy semi-rectangular shape
- Water-repellent fabric
- Not suitable for extremely cold conditions
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The Kelty Galactic 30 combines the comfort of a rectangle sleeping bag with quality 600 Fill DriDown insulation. This is quicker to dry and more resistant to water than regular down insulation. The Galactic 30, therefore, performs well in temperatures as low as -1ºC (30ºF). Made from a 50D 300T polyester taffeta shell, the Galactic 30 is durable and rip resistant.
We like that the chevron baffles prevent the filling from piling up at the base of the bag, and that the two-way anti-snag zipper gives you the option to fully open the bag. Alternatively, just unzip it part way to let some air circulate around your toes. On colder nights the top drawcord can be used to trap hot air and keep warm.
When it comes to value for money, Kelty is known for producing high-quality camping gear for affordable prices. The Galactic 30, with its included stuff sack, is no exception.
- Comfortable and roomy design
- Good quality insulation
- Suitable for warm and colder conditions
- Less versatile than the Mountain Hardwear Down Flip
The Traveller TrI is a comfortable option for summer camping trips. It’s fitted with a durable YKK side zipper which can be opened from inside or outside. The full-length zipper also allows it to open like a blanket, be reversed, or joined to another sleeping bag. On cooler nights the tapered rectangular shape, with collar and foot drawcords, will let you trap hot air without compromising on comfort. The Traveller TrI is insulated with duck-down fill which is water-resistant and able to retain heat even when damp. It’s worth noting, however, that with a recommended temperature level of 10ºC (50ºF) the Sea to Summit Traveller TrI won’t keep you warm during the winter and is limited to use during spring and autumn.
Instead of a 3-season sleeping bag, Sea to Summit offers a versatile, extremely compact, and lightweight product which is one of the best summer sleeping bags for car camping, hammock camping, or backpacking. As you might expect, the Sea to Summit sleeping bag comes with a premium price tag which is a step or two higher than other items on our list.
- Super lightweight
- Water resistant
- Only suited to summer camping
- High price tag
The Coleman Brazos adult sleeping and is undoubtedly the best budget sleeping bag on the market, coming in at under $50. Its wallet-friendly price is partially due to its synthetic filling that is cheaper than down. Despite this, the Brazos Cold Weather Sleeping Bag is suitable for wintertime camping in temperatures as low as -6ºC (20ºF) and up to 5ºC (40ºF).
When it comes to comfort, the Coleman Sleeping Bag features a soft cuff which lines the top of the bag. Other convenient features include the wide anti-snag zipper, which protects the polyester fabric. And the locking sides and snap cords make packing the sleeping bag both quick and tidy.
- Great price
- Best for cold temperatures
- Clever packing features
- Anti-snag zipper
- Not made with down-fill insulation
- May be a tight fit for taller campers
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This three-season mummy sleeping bag is a mid-priced option for a quality synthetic sleeping bag. The Marmot NanoWave 45F makes use of SpiraFil High Loft Insulation which keeps you both warm and dry when camping between spring and autumn. The cosy mummy design, which features an adjustable hood, internal drawcords, and zipper guard, helps to keep the heat in and the draft out on cool nights. Of course, its narrower shape doesn’t provide as much wiggle room as a rectangular sleeping bag, however, the two-way zipper can be opened part way if you are out camping in the summer season.
The Marmot Nanowave 45F is primarily designed for hiking, biking, and kayaking trips due to its lightweight design and compressibility. However, we think that its high comfort level and compact pack size also make it a very well priced sleeping bag for car camping and road tripping. It is particularly well suited to travellers on long trips or those with limited space in the car.
- Excellent value for money
- Good quality materials
- Suitable for 3 season camping
- Size if a bit small for tall and wide people
The best double sleeping bags for campingThe Big Agnes Dream Island 15 Double Sleeping Bag is one of the comfiest double sleeping bags on the market right now. It is has a breathable nylon lining which is soft on the skin and a dream to snuggle into. The classic rectangular shape offers more sleeping space than most bags while the built-in sleeping pad sleeve means that neither camper should get pushed out of bed. Likewise, the separate hoods and built-in pillow sleeves will keep your head from ending up on a rough surface whilst simultaneously retaining heat on cooler nights.
Considering its quality features, such as its YKK zippers, and the reliable brand name we think that the Dream Island 15 is reasonably priced and one of the best sleeping bags for cold camping with your other half. The only downside is that, if you plan to do some hiking as well as car camping, then the Big Agnes Dream Island 15 is a little on the heavy side.
- Very comfortable
- Reasonable price
- Durable fabric
- Suitable for use in temperatures below 0ºC
- Heavier than most
The North Face Campforter Double 20 may be one of the most expensive sleeping bags on the market but it’s also one of the best double sleeping bags for camping or hiking. The semi-rectangular North Face double sleeping bag gives you plenty of sleeping options. Zip off the top layer to use the bag as a quilt, open either side to allow airflow, or zip it all the way closed on a chilly night. There’s also extra space in the vaulted foot box and the fitted hood is spacious enough for a pillow. Last but not least, the fitted pad loops allow campers to attach a sleeping mat.
The bag itself is made with a highly durable ripstop nylon outer and a comfortable nylon taffeta lining. The ProDown fill insulation is responsibly sourced and comfortable for sleeping in temperatures down to -7ºC (20ºF). This lightweight double sleeping bag is a very wise choice for 3 season camping couples. The only drawback is the premium price tag which comes with this top end sleeping bag.
- Sustainably sources insulation
- Very comfortable
- Versatile design
- Very high price tag
The Teton Sports Mammoth Double Sleeping Bag is another product specifically designed for cold weather camping. The internal lining of this queen-sized sleeping bag is made from a soft and comfortable poly-flannel fabric. Its double-layer construction, coupled with thermal enhancement, prevents cold spots. Meanwhile, the synthetic SuperLoft Elite Fill fibre insulation and mummy hood are designed to trap air and keep you warm between temperatures of -7ºC and -18ºC (20ºF – 0ºF).
Other useful features include the durable compression sack for easy packing. Weighing in at just over 7.2kg (16lbs) you certainly won’t want to lug this family-style sleeping bag around in a backpack. However, for weekend camping trips and winter road trips, the Teton Sports Mammoth is an affordable sleeping bag which comes in a range of attractive colours.
- Ideal for winter camping
- Very spacious
- Affordable price
- Very heavy
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The Sierra Designs Double Sleeping Bag is another quality companion for a couples camping trip. Thanks to its 700-fill DriDown and insulated arm and hand pockets, the temperature limit of this bag is 2ºC (35ºF). To prevent overheating the bag is also fitted with a self-sealing foot vent. Instead of bottom insulation, the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed is fitted with separate sleeping pad sleeves. To maximise comfort the bag has a zipperless design and access is from a front flap, although this does make it a little more difficult to get in and out of the bag.
Like the double sleeping bag from Big Agnes, this lightweight and packable sleeping bag comes with a hefty price tag. That said, it’s has the versatility to be used for car camping as well as backpacking. Additionally, due to its hard-wearing ripstop nylon exterior and comfortable liner, you can be confident that the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed will provide you with a good night’s sleep for many a camping trip.
- Comfortable to sleep in
- Well insulated
- Made from quality materials
- Lightweight and compact
- Can be tricky to wiggle into
- Very expensive
Fitted with two built-in blankets and a shared drawstring hood, the Kelty Tru Comfort Doublewide offers a comfortable nights sleep in temperatures ranging from -7ºC (20ºF) and above. The separate blankets let you manage your own temperature so neither camper should wake up with icy toes or sweaty socks. The large front zipper can be opened from either side while the comfort-tuck zipper system keeps out chilly drafts. This sleeping bag is very spacious too, making it suitable for campers of over 6ft. If there’s one minor criticism we could make for the Kelty Tru Comfort Doublewide it’s that, unlike the other double sleeping bags on this list, there are no loops or fitted sleeves for attaching sleeping mats.
- Features two separate built-in blankets
- Comfortable for tall campers
- Comfortable zipperless-sides
- Reasonable price
- No sleeping mat attachments
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Things to consider when choosing the best sleeping bags for camping
Types of sleeping bags for camping
As you will have seen, we’ve divided our list of the best sleeping bags for camping into two categories: single sleeping bags and double sleeping bags. There’s a very obvious difference! But there are also a few other, less obvious benefits of both.
Single sleeping bags
Yes, designed to house only one human being! These are generally more versatile compared with double sleeping bags as you can solo camp. And for the times when you do want to get cosy with your camping partner, many single bags zip together with another compatible bag to form a double bag.
Double sleeping bags
Choosing a double sleeping bag over two singles is certainly a less versatile option. But snuggling up with your partner at night can add a bit of comfort and luxury to your camping getaway. Plus, sharing body heat can mean that everyone’s warmer! Double sleeping bags are also favoured by those who like their dog to enjoy camping in comfort, too. And they are ideal for co-sleeping families. Overall, double sleeping bags tend to be a little lighter and less bulky than two single sleeping bags.
Types of sleeping bags for camping
For in depth information about the differences and benefits of down and synthetic fill sleeping bags, read our article on down vs synthetic. But for a quick reference, here are the main benefits of each:
The benefits of down sleeping bags
- Good warmth to weight ratio
- Sustainable material (providing it is responsibly sourced)
- Packs down small
The benefits of synthetic sleeping bags
- Continues to provide insulation when wet
- Dries quickly
- Considerably cheaper than down
Because weight and packability aren’t really an issue when it comes to car camping, the lower price of synthetic sleeping bags makes them a much more appealing, and sensible option over down bags. However, if you are looking for only one bag for lots of different camping adventures then a compressible down sleeping bag might be a better option.
If sustainability is an issue, then there are more and more synthetic sleeping bags that are made out of recycled fabrics being manufactured. Read our guide to eco-friendly camping gear (coming soon!) for more info.
Most sleeping bags come with a standardised temperature rating. This is a very handy guide that steers you in the right direction when choosing the best sleeping bag for the environment you intend using it in. No point getting a sub-zero sleeping bag if you will be using it throughout the summer in the tropics!
That said, these figures are very much a guide! The ‘limit temperature rating’ indicates at what temperature you would survive in when tucked up in your sleeping bag. And the ‘comfort temperature rating’ is more of an indicator that you’ll probably get some sleep, but you won’t necessarily be toastie and warm all night.
With that in mind, consider the temperature you are likely to be camping in and add a few degrees onto the comfort temperature rating of the most appropriate sleeping bag. That way, you’ll most likely be warm and comfortable, and not just in survival mode!
Sleeping bag shape
Mummy sleeping bags
These generally have a lower temperature rating than rectangular sleeping bags and are designed for use in cooler temperatures. They feature a hood and a tapered shape that provides efficient insulation. These are the best option if you intend using your sleeping bag for backpacking trips as well as car camping. They usually pack down small, and keep you warmer in unpredictable temperatures.
Rectangular sleeping bags
These are ideal for summer camping trips when high levels of efficient insulation isn’t important. They usually unzip completely to form a blanket which is highly desirable in hot conditions. And many of them can be zipped together with other compatible sleeping bags to form a double. Rectangular sleeping bags also provide more space for nighttime wrigglers.
In the ideal world we would all just have one sleeping bag that keeps us cosy and cool in all conditions. Unfortunately, that kind of technology hasn’t been explored, yet! If you’re still not sure what sort of sleeping bag you need then take a look at our guide to the different types of sleeping bags available.
Either way, we hope you’ll find comfort from one of the best sleeping bags for camping on our list.