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The Best Sleeping Bags for Adults and Children, Cold and Warm Weather

from Outdoor Equipment Report

What to Look For in a Sleeping Bag


Down Filled Sleeping Bags

Backside 5 Degree Goosedown Sleeping Bag (Black)

Review Excerpts:

The sleeping bag is everything the picture shows, very nice and easy to use and it is well made. ... a happy customer. ...

- EAGLE20000899, on Amazon.com

Fish Hawk 30 Degree Sleeping Bag - In Your Choice of Styles

Review Excerpts:

... I love it. I've been packing since 1969, and the Big Agnes system, is without a doubt the most comfortable I've ever tried, AND the lightest. ... not only more comfortable than a minimalist system, it's more comfortable than ANY other system I've experienced. ... it's impossible to slip off the pad, ... plenty of room to go fetal ... It's a minimalist system with the comfort of a feather bed.

- T. R. Emerson, on Amazon.com

Sawtooth 15 Degree Sleeping Bag - In Your Choice of Styles

Review Excerpts:

(None available - OER)

Backside Down Under 0 Degree HM Down Sleeping Bag (Green/Black)

Review Excerpts:

(None available - OER)

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Synthetic Filled Sleeping Bags

Wenzel 2008 Windy Pass 0-Degree Mummy Sleeping Bag (Black/Red)

Review Excerpts:

... roomier than most bags of its kind, ... it actually keeps you warm. ... never would have known it was 35 degrees outside ... a great buy for the money.

- Eric M. Bessette "Zombie Specialist", on Amazon.com

You can't beat it for the money. ... roomier than other mummy bags I have tried, which is nice. ... I've been sleeping in it every day for the last month. ... snug and warm ... This bag is a great value for $35!

- Trickshot Trav "Trickshot", on Amazon.com

Wenzel Sunward +30-Degrees Rectangular Sleeping Bag

Review Excerpts:

... good quality and feels warm. ... it is great deal from amazon.

- Rahul Agrawal "rahulagrawal", on Amazon.com

... really warm and has a lot of cushion. Would recommend this to anyone.

- mom of 4, on Amazon.com

... longer than what i tought, so i have plenty of space, ...

- Enrique Gutierrez "mystic_tree", on Amazon.com

Eureka! Casper 15-Degree Mummy Sleeping Bag

Review Excerpts:

The Eureka Casper sleeping bag is excellent. ... warm, light weight and compact. ... a great bag for camping or backpacking. ... fit into an internal frame backpack. ... large enough for an adult to fit into but small and light enough for a youth to easily carry. ... To receive these qualities at the affordable price was amazing.

- C. Kirby, on Amazon.com

I had four requirements ... needed to be compact, light, moderately priced, and warm. ... this bag passed with flying colors ... overall I was impressed. The bag is light and the stuff sack works great plus it fits nicely into the lower pocket of my hiking backpack. ... a few touches like a Velcro strap to hold the zipper handle and an internal pocket that makes it feel like a more expensive product. ... first night it got down into the mid 30's and the bag kept me warm. ... I'm 6'2 and about 170 lbs and the bag fit me fine. ...

- CarolinaGuy, on Amazon.com

... amazing product and it is an absolute steal for the price ... I slept outside in 35 degree weather and was completely warm ... Packs down to a nice, small, compact size ... the stuff sack has a great compression system. ... I can't believe I got such a great bag at such a low price. Definitely recommend.

- Miguel A. Bravo, on Amazon.com

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Children's Sleeping Bags

Lafuma Warm n' Light 800G Down Jr 35-Degree Sleeping Bag - Acid Green/Deep Grey (Left Zip)

Review Excerpts:

got the bags for backpacking with my two grandchildren. They are very light weight, compact and a good price for a down bag. ... a very good deal for the price

- Susan, on Amazon.com

Eureka! Lady Bug Sleeping Bag

Review Excerpts:

We took this bag to Moab in October and it kept my 4 year old warm and toasty. ... great summer bag for mountain camping as well. ...

- Shannon N. Finch "mountain camper", on Amazon.com

... perfect for my 7 year old son, ... warm, light, and the perfect size ... we used it to death, ...

- Sarah Park "Mom with three", on Amazon.com

... exactly what I was looking for in a sleeping bag for my young daughters. Eureka has always made quality products. ...

- C. Thompson "Grillitout", on Amazon.com

Coleman Kids Explorer Sleeping Bag

Review Excerpts:

... my 5 yr old son, he adores it. ... Kept him very warm without overheating and had sufficient padding for outdoors ... The zipper is easy for him to use, he can get in and out without help. ... he will get several more years of use out of it. ... very well worth it.

- Avid Shopper, on Amazon.com

... It's well made. Good materials. ... I'm 5'2" and I fit fairly snugly into the bag ... This bag is great. ...

- meowski, on Amazon.com

Our kids really like these bags, they fit well and are easy to get back in their stuff bags. ... we use these on camping trips ...

- bozeman mom, on Amazon.com

Eureka Grasshopper Kids 30-Degree Sleeping Bag

Review Excerpts:

... awesome sleeping bag, and a great value. ... temperature dipped into the thirtys, and once into the low thirtys. Our girls stayed toasty warm and comfortable ... These bags also pack well, and have a good zipper. For the money these bags simply can't be beat.

- C. Fletcher, on Amazon.com

I got this bag for my 5-year old for our trip to Yellowstone NP ... He stayed warm and toasty even though ... we awoke to frost a couple of mornings. He loves the bag!

- SR "SR", on Amazon.com

I bought this for my 6yr old daughter ... The 30-degree coverage definitly works for her ...

- David Allen Hazlewood, on Amazon.com

Coleman Girls Lights Out Sleeping Bag

Review Excerpts:

... This sleeping bag is the perfect size for a little kid and she says that its nice and warm. The quality seems really good, too. ... folds and rolls up to a kid friendly size and its easy to carry. ... I am glad we got this one and not one of the toy-ish ones.

- K. DeGroot "ska kid kate", on Amazon.com

Coleman Boys Lights Out Sleeping Bag

Review Excerpts:

I bought these for my 3 year old twins. They loved them. ... This bag is perfect for a younger child, ...

- Melissa Rolaf "Rowanmamma", on Amazon.com

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What to Look For in a Sleeping Bag

The first thing you need to consider is what kind of camping conditions you'll be using the sleeping bag for. For backpacking, small size and low weight are very important, but less so for car camping. Depending on the temperature, you may need a very warm bag, but you will want a lighter bag for summer camping.

If you hope to use one sleeping bag for all weather, you will need a very flexible bag that you can open up in summer but will still keep you warm enough in winter. Look for a "mummy bag" with a wide opening and a good drawstring closure. This will allow you to leave the top wide open in warmer weather, but close it nice and tight when you need to.

Sleeping bags are usually rated for some particular temperature range. Be careful to notice the difference between "20" and "-20"! As you read the reviews, you will notice that the ratings are just about always exaggerated a bit. Most of us would not feel comfortable in a "0-degree" sleeping bag if the outside temperature was actually that low.

Bear in mind, too, that conditions are usually cooler in places where people go camping. Even if it's seventy degrees in your city on a summer night, you'll be glad to have a 30-degree sleeping bag up in the mountains.

Sleeping bags are stuffed with either synthetic insulation or natural down. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

For starters, down is usually the warmest and most durable insulation you can get. Pound for pound, synthetic insulation usually does not insulate as well nor last as long (it tends to clump up in a few years, leaving cold spots with no insulation).

On the other hand, down filled sleeping bags are more expensive than synthetic, and they usually do not compress very well, meaning you'll have a bulkier item to carry.

So, for the occassional car camping trip in summer, an inexpensive synthetic filled sleeping bag should be fine. If you don't use it often, the money you spend for the extra long life of a good down sleeping bag will be money wasted. By the same token, the extra warmth of down might not be important if you only camp in the summer.

If you hope to get a lot of use out of your sleeping bag over many years, consider that you get what you pay for. It might be cheaper in the long run to buy a good down sleeping bag that will last you eight years than to buy a new synthetic one every couple of years.

You can find very warm, very long lasting synthetic sleeping bags that cost as much as down filled bags. The advantage they will have over down is that they can be packed smaller, and they are lighter. These kinds of sleeping bags are for the serious backpacker.

Sleeping bags come in two main shapes: mummy and rectangular. A mummy sleeping bag encloses your body completely, leaving only your face exposed. This is what you want in cold weather. A rectangular sleeping bag is better for warm weather. A good compromise is a mummy sleeping bag with a very wide opening, as described earlier.

Other features you will see when shopping for a sleeping bag include:

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