Camping sleeping bags
Camping sleeping bags are a good choice to stay on a beach, in some natural park or on some mountain during your holidays. You need a good sleeping bag to rest and wake up in perfect shape. If you travel by car and don’t need to save a lot of room, you can choose some cushy, spacious bag to sleep in different positions. So you may want to tend toward rectangular or roomy mummy bags, instead of very tight mummy ones.
Instead backpacking models are carried in packsacks and need to be lighter and smaller. Frequent hikers who stays out of home for many days or weeks immediately sense the difference between a burdensome bag or a portable, little one: in time they will feel less fatigue and move more. These sleeping bags privilege insulation, waterproofness and portability. Double sleeping bags are still different: they have place for two people. Summer sleeping bags are specific just for summer.
Best Camping Sleeping Bags
REI Co-op Siesta Hooded 25 – Budget sleeping Bags
Weight: 4 lbs. 6 oz.
Dimensions: length fits up to 72 – 78 in. ; shoulder girth: 66
Temperature rating: 25°F
Cons: big size
Pros: warm, many features, hood with space for a pillow
Built in polyester, the REI Co-op Siesta is bigger than an average mummy, down bag and heavier. It’s intended more to be carried in a car than in a pack. The tasty extras are a scarf and draft tube: they keep the warmth inside and the wind out. Thanks to a treatment with water repellent (DWR), the polyester can block humidity and drops of water. But huge quantities of water will penetrate the nylon and wet everything inside.
A tasty detail is the large hood, capable of keeping a regular bed pillow in a camping. And although we enjoy sleeping without pillow, using one gives us always the sensation to be nearer our home. Probably it’s just our imagination, but the feeling is there. Furthermore, a double zipper system allows to unite the bag with a same-model one, creating a double couch. Couples will surely enjoy this opportunity to share space.
Coleman Green Valley ($50)
Price: 4 lbs. 12 oz.
Dimensions: 33 x 75 in.
Temperature rating: 30°F
Pros: great price, confortable in spring and summer
As a low-budget model, the Coleman offers a good deal of room to rest, with a dimension of 33 x 75 inches. With a synthetic filling, it assures insulation down to 30F, but probably you will need some good, thick pyjamas at that point. Of course you can sleep well in it, but it could be softer at touch. With a spartan design, it gives the bare minimum you can expect from a camping bag. A little disappointing, it’s not waterproof.
There is no hood, so count to have also a cap for your naps, neither there is a stuff sack (buy one on your own). Definitely it’s a bag for camping in some friend’s house after a party, or in some hostel for students, or to keep also for the dog. If it’s ever damaged, can be repaired for little. For such insulation power, it can be used from late spring to early autumn, and considering that without a collar and hood the cold will be felt more.
TETON Sports 101R Sleeping Bag
Price: 7 lbs.
Dimensions: 90 x 39 x 3 in.
Cons: gets easily wet,
Pros: limited lifetime Warranty, stuff sack, little budget
This rectangular sleeping bag is made in taffeta polyester, and can withstand temperatures down to 25°F. It has room to move at ease inside while staying also warm. For the hood and the draft tubes along the zippers and the shoulder keep out the cold. The bag can open from the top to the bottom, thanks to a full-length zipper, snag-proof. Thanks to this, the bag can be ventilated during the good season and you will not sweat too much.
The Teton Sports 101R can be easily connect to another similar bag via the zippers, to produce a double bag. It comes in different sizes, but the interior filling stays the same. The quality of sleep is good inside, but if you plan to sleep in a tent, it will be always better to have a sleeping mat, or you may feel the hard soil under your back. The brushed poly flannel interior liner is soft, but not thick enough with the filling to replace a mattress.
The North Face Eco Trail Bed 20
Weight: 4 lbs. 8 oz.
Dimensions: length fits up to 78 – 84 in. ; shoulder girth: 66 – 68
Temperature rating: 20°F
Cons: no hood, no waterproof
Pros: roomy, smooth liner
Entirely in recycled polyester, the rectangular North Face Eco Trail Bed 20 is a good deal of price, of restfulness and insulation. The interior is pleasant to sleep in, and the full-length zipper allows to open completely the bag and use it as a blanket. For its price, it has a pretty good resistance to cold, guaranteeing an enjoyable experience at an outside temperature of 20°F, to say, a mild winter situation.
Sadly it doesn’t block water from penetrating, so it must be handled with care when raining or snowing. Also, without a hood we are forced to sleep with a jacket or a cap in winter. The North Face is always a very good brand, guaranteeing satisfaction, and this model makes no exception. However, as with all rectangular sleeping bag, there is a cost in therms of weight and space: it’s heavy and has a stuffed volume of 31.7 liters.
Coleman Kompact 20 – Camping sleeping bags
Weight: 5 lbs. 12.8 oz.
Dimensions: 75 x 33 in.
Temperature rating: 20°F
Cons: a little heavy when compared to other models, small interior pocket
Pros: very compact when stuffed
The Coleman Compact 20 is a rectangular, synthetic camping sleeping bag, focused, as you can guess, on tightness. With a stuffed size of 9.8 x 9.8 x 15.7 inches and a volume of 19.9 liters, it’s smaller than the average 20°F synthetic sleeping bags. On the other side it has some weight, more than the average similar bag. Sleeping in the Coleman is more than pleasurable, thanks to a comfort cuff and a draft tube to seal from external freeze.
The Coleman comes with a 5 years guarantee and an anti-snag zipper. Overall is a good model, and it’s great for moving in different positions in the sleep. But the zipper is not full-length, and doesn’t allow to unite another similar model to create a double bag. As like other models, it comes without a hood, which is not my favourite. Certainly is indicated as a 3-seasons bag, but wind strong wind you should feel the cold more than expected.
Kelty Catena 30 – Camping sleeping bags
Weight: 3 lbs. 15 oz.
Dimensions: 72 x 67 in.
Temperature rating: 30°F
Cons: very little features, bulky
Pros: very affordable, basic model
As a synthetic, basic model sleeping bag, the Kettle Catena 30 is very simple and comes at bargain price. The all-length zippers are robust, and allow it to fully open and be used as a quilt. When testing it we saw it’s really good for basic camping and sleeping in cabins and houses. Despite keeping its insulating power in presence of light humidity, it’s better to do everything to keep it dry, for the moisture gives a sense of uneasiness.
It’s great for summer campers with little insulation need, who don’t care to have a quite heavy bag in their camper or car. Or to have it for friends who need a place to sleep at home. On the contrary, for it lacks hood and draft tube sleeping in some outdoor, cold zone can get complicated and uneasy. Surely IT’S NOT for professional travellers who want to spend days or weeks in the outdoor and need high quality gear.
Kelty Galactic 30 – Camping sleeping bags
Weight: 2 lbs. 11 oz.
Dimensions: 76 x 66 in.
Temperature rating: 30°F
Cons: no collar or hood, not waterproof
Pros: lightness and soft down filling
As a 550-fill-power down sleeping bag, the Kelty Galactic 30 is particularly warm. The thermal insulation is powerful, until 30°F. The down is well distributed on the surface of the bag and no zone remains unprotected. Furthermore, it’s certified to the Global Down Standard (Global TDS). The main advantage is, in my opinion, the lightness combined with the room to sleep well: it’s easy to turn inside and move without opening the zipper. As one camping sleeping bag in down, this model is effective for three-season use.
It could be used also during winter, but in that case it would be better to adopt more a mummy model, more compact and thick for freezing nights. Also, a warm collar and hood are important for such season, and the Kelty Galactic 30 doesn’t have them. With dimension of 7.5 x 15 inches when packed, is very easy to transport. The last little problem is the absence of waterproof treatment, and the inherent need to keep it far from liquids.
REI Co-op HunkerDown 20
Weight: 3 lbs. 12 oz.
Dimensions: 78 x 66 in.
Temperature rating: 20°F
Cons: good protection against drafts and cold
Pros: not for freezing winter
To start, the REI Co-op HunkerDown 20 is a good rating down sleeping bag and very comfortable. It’s good for camping for its softness, space and a very big hood, able to retain even a pillow. The warm filling surrounds the head and neck and protect greatly these vulnerable parts during the night. With the zippers completely closed, no drafts can come in. With this design it’s one of the most insulating models for camping.
The zipper is also wraparound, and in case of excessive heat allows an easy opening: at the extreme you can also use the bag as a quilt. Moreover, we appreciate the commitment for sustainability by adopting the RDS-certified insulation and bluesign-approved materials. Thanks to a durable water repellent (DWR), the recycled polyester shell is stain and humidity resistant. The only downside, if I can find it, is that isn’t a four-season bag.
REI Co-op Frostbreak 5 – Camping sleeping bags
Weight: 4-5 lbs.
Dimensions: length fits up to 66 -72 -78 in. ; shoulder girth: 62 – 64
Temperature rating: 5°F
Cons: requires space for transportation
Pros: excellent insulation, comfort
Now it’s time to add on this list a sleeping bag for lower temperatures. The REI Co-op Frostbreak 5 is a modern model with four layers of synthetic fill, capable of a more-than-average protection against the cold. The mummy design increases the chances of keeping the inside temperature stable, and the hood has a respectable thickness. A system of draw cords allows to adjust the opening for the neck and face, maintaining warmth.
Certainly it has some weight and size (17 liters as stuffed), but it’s a real four-season bag to carry in winter, and for outdoor activities. If you plan to sleep at a temperature of 5°F (the temperature rating), we suggest to use a more performant bag or warm underwear, to avoid useless and risky exposures to cold. Better to be prudent, for sometimes people descend in hypothermia without even realising it, until it began.
Browning Camping Klondike
Weight: 15 lbs. 9 oz
Dimensions: 92 x 38 in.
Temperature rating: -30° F
Cons: heavy, bulky
Pros: awesome warming power, spacious, affordable
As an item for extremely low temperatures, the Browning Sleeping-Bags Klondike -30 has a very thick synthetic insulation layer. On the inside, a layer of cotton and flannel makes sleep easy and sweet. The TechLoft Silver Insulation, a layer of micro-denier fibers with a siliconized finish, avoids heat dispersion most efficiently. Without waterproofness, this bag must not get in contact with rain or snow, or will become wet as a sponge.
While it can withstand -30°F, and is very good to sleep in, its downsides are its size and weight. Probably you will just want to put it in your car, but not in the backpack, for it would charge really the load on your shoulders. Even if it’s possible to open the zippers and use it as a blanket, we believe it’s a winter-only bag, for extreme conditions. During the other seasons, it would be better to take a lighter, more portable bag.
We end this review by adding that camping is one very relaxing activity and deserves respect. Speaking in genetic terms, we are beings meant to be hunters-gatherers like our ancestors hundreds of thousands years ago. By camping, we reconnect a little with our inner nature. We are sincerely sorry for people who never go camping and enjoy the horizons of the countryside or the mountains, for they lose instants of real peace.
If, by the way, you are looking for some deal price, you can check our review of budget sleeping bags. They are models coming at little price (sometimes in relation to their quality) and yet with interesting qualities. Sometimes we encounter very interesting bargains. However consider the majority of these low-price gears will we somehow, or for some part, inferior to other, more expensive ones. And sometimes demand some repair.
If however you plan to camp in some snowy, cold territory, especially during the bad season, you should consider choosing some warmer model, ideal for cold weather or winter. The thicker, most modern bags withstand freezing well below zero, with high-quality filling and fabrics. Ultralight sleeping bags are instead another topic, for they maximise lightweight and portability above everything else. They address summer hikers and climbers.