Which sleeping bag to buy for camping?

In the past years I camped in different areas, from islands in the oceanside all the way to mountainside, and during different periods of the year, from early spring all the way to autumn. Temperatures during the night ranged between around 8 degrees Celsium all the way to cozy 25 degrees Celsium. Even though trying out a bunch of different trips, I did most of them with one of the 2 sleeping bags for relatively high temperatures (20+ degrees Celsium) and various clothing. It was not always very comfortable (either to sleep, or to carry those sleeping bags), so I started looking for a more optimal solution for my needs.

Here come the findings I came across, when searching for my perfect sleeping bag for each type of conditions and intent.

Things to consider before buying a sleeping bag

When buying a sleeping bag, you should consider the following things:

Purpose of use

How do you mainly intend to use it:

  1. for camping where you will access the camp with the car, or
  2. for camping when travelling on foot (on trails) or with public transport.

The sleeping bags in the group (1) are usually square-shaped to offer plenty of leg space and more comfort. Usually, 2 same sleeping bags can be zipped together to provide a single space for 2 persons. They are also a bit warmer if the listed temperature is the same as on the sleeping bag in the group (2). In the sleeping bag from the group (1), you will usually sleep in the underwear/pyjamas, while in the sleeping bag from the group (2), you will usually sleep in some other kind of clothes which shall provide additional warmth.

However, sleeping bags from the group (2) are usually considerably lighter and smaller, and therefore much more suitable for carrying in a backpack.

Sleeping bags for camping when travelling on foot
Sleeping bags for camping when traveling on foot should be suitable for carrying in a backpack.

Filling material

The important thing in the sleeping bag is the filling material. The best filling material is natural loft which is highly compressible and offers the best insulation per weight. This is particularly important when the sleeping bag should be light and small when packed. With the larger, warm sleeping bags, cotton is popular as the inside padding to offer more comfort, while in the sleeping bags for hiking, light and thin synthetics are usually used.

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Temperature range

The next thing you want to decide is the temperature range at which you will use the sleeping bag. Will you be using it in the summer and early autumn, in the spring and late autumn, or even in the winter?

Last info check before a purchase

Each of the sleeping bags you can buy, usually carries information about the following:

  • the minimum temperature: this is the temperature at which you may count that the sleeping bag will keep your body temperated, provided that you use it as intended (in lower temperatures, that means that you use padding and don’t sleep on the soil);
  • the comfortable temperature: this is the temperature at which the bag should be comfortable to use,
  • the weight of the total sleeping bag package,
  • as well as the size of the sleeping bag.

Sleeping bag recommendations 

Here are some high quality sleeping bags for camping I can recommend.

  • Sleeping bags for camping with the car:
  • Sleeping bags for camping when travelling on foot:


What are your experiences with sleeping bags?


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Author: Matic

Matic is tech startup guy who loves to spend time outside. In his free time he is an true outdoor freak – he tends to surf, run and ride a mountain bike, and in the winter time just loves powder skiing and snowboarding. Matic also loves to travel, often has to because of work, and even more often because he wants to 🙂

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