When you're ready to do some car camping, tent camping, or even some off the grid boondocking in the warmer weather, you need to look for a sleeping bag that will keep you comfortable at night when the temperatures are higher. A simple refresher tells us that a temperature of 15 degrees (Fahrenheit) or lower makes for a good wintertime sleeping bag, 15 to 30 degrees can work as an all-season bag, and 30 degrees and higher is meant for warmer weather. Each person has their own individual needs in a sleeping bag, which means that even in warmer weather, some folks still have a desire for a warmer bag, more interior space, or a different material. Temperature ratings for good sleeping bags can be less important when it comes to spring and summer camping, especially considering what you wear while sleeping, the humidity and wind conditions, your metabolism, and a few other factors. We don't know what your sleeping habits are exactly, but we can hopefully help provide some info on what to look for, plus a few great options.
What to Look for in a Spring and Summer Sleeping Bag
First, it's worth it to distinguish the varied kinds of sleeping bags you can purchase. There are five basic bag types: rectangular, semi-rectangular, mummy, double bag, and kid-sized bags. Semi-rectangular and mummy bags are meant for maximum warmth; double bags are more for couples or those who prefer maximum roominess; and rectangular bags allow for plenty of room for your legs and arms to stretch out. Some rectangular bags can be completely unzipped and used like a blanket. Kid-sized sleeping bags are just smaller and shorter versions of adult-sized sleeping bags, and almost exclusively come in rectangular shapes.
Insulation in a sleeping bag is far less of a concern for warm weather, but it's still worth it to share a little extra info so you know what you're buying. Synthetic insulations are non-allergenic and more cost effective, whereas down insulation is lightweight and compresses well for easy packing. Down is more costly. Most bags come with a bag shell for ease of storage and traveling, but some also come with stash pockets or an included hood.
Our recommendations are mostly value-driven: get a warm weather sleeping bag with synthetic insulation and good construction (strong zippers, tight seams, and durable/easily washable material). A mummy or semi-rectangular bag will cut down on size and be easier to carrying, and a hood is not a requirement, but serves more purpose than merely warmth. If you're willing to spend more, than a mummy-style sleeping bag from a reputable brand is worth the investment.
Best All-Around: Big Agnes Lost Dog
This Big Agnes (a well-respected camping gear brand) Lost Dog Bag checks all the boxes for warm weather. Theres's a durable and water-resistant ripstop shell, a full-length zipper to open it all the way, and a built-in sleeping pad retainer to keep your bag and pad working together for the most comfortable night's sleep as possible. There's a Free Range footbox and Free Range hood for lots of wiggle room, and even though it rings in at $169.95, it might be the last sleeping bag you wind up buying for any sort of spring, summer, or fall camping.
Best Down-Insulated Bag: Marmot Always Summer
This is called the "Always Summer" bag for a reason. Marmot is another trusted brand making great camping gear, and this bag has a ton of great features. It uses duck down as a reliable, lofty insulation, which has been given a "Down Defender" treatment to extend the insulation's life. This bag has a mummy design so it packs down well. There's also a stash pocket for things like a headlamp or cell phone. It's just under $200, but we would argue it's worth the price.
Best For Packability: BESTEAM Ultra-Light
This packable sleeping bag is ideal for warm weather and great for kids and teens. If you have several kids, these will help keep the packing space to a minimum if you want them all to have the same gear. Since it is so easy to travel with, kids can also pack more of their other required gear if you opt for this BESTEAM sleeping bag. It is also waterproof and comes in five great colors, so everyone in the family can choose their favorite and easily keep them apart.
Best for Car Camping: Tough Outdoors All Season XL
Ideal for the big and tall campers who need a little more room, these Tough Outdoors bags are extra large, waterproof, and has a hood for those who want a little more coverage. Even if you aren't a particularly large person, the roominess can provide for a better overall experience for active sleepers. It packs all the way down to 16 x 8 x 8 inches, plenty small enough to be packed in a trunk or even under a captain's seat in your vehicle.
Best for Turning into a Double Bag: REDCAMP Ultra Lightweight
This 1.5-pound REDCAMP sleeping bag is available either with or without a hood, with a $5 difference between the two options. A really unique feature is its reversible zipper which allows two bags to be zipped together and serve as one large double bag. REDCAMP even offers a 365-day money back guarantee, ensuring that they'll take care of any dissatisfaction as you try out the bag. It's easy to compress, there are multiple colors to choose from, it's earned high ratings, and it's marked at a great price. You may be buying more than one of these.
Best Budget-Friendly Option: Coleman Sun Ridge
Coleman camping gear rarely disappoints, and the Sun Ridge Seeping Bag is no exception. It uses polyester for the filling and the bag material itself, which keeps the cost down below $40. The liner uses a soft tricot fiber blend for a better next-to-skin feel. Coleman's ZipperGlide tailoring makes for a smooth closing/opening process, even around the corner. Best of all, it's machine washable, so you won't have to worry much about getting it a little dirty.
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READ MORE: 6 BEST HEATED JACKETS FOR MEN AND WOMEN
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