Best Summer Sleeping Bags

Summer Sleeping Bags - Reviews & Guides For 2020

Our Top Summer Sleeping Bags

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Summer Sleeping Bag Buyers Guide

A sleeping bag is paramount to ensure comfortable sleep for a refreshing morning. Whether you go for camping, expeditions, or stay over, a sleeping bag can make a significant difference. When you're looking for a summer sleeping bag, the choices drastically narrow down.

However, it can still be a perplexing task to find your perfect choice due to the countless options. There are specifications like seasons, comfort levels, and shapes that play a vital role in determining the ideal bag type.

More importantly, each person has a unique taste and requirement for sleeping comfortably. Therefore, we are bringing you a complete guide to break down your needs. Not only will you learn about different terms and what to consider, but learn about factors to consider before you should buy a summer sleeping bag.

Overall, the guide will help you make an informed decision. So, without further ado, let's begin:

Advantage of using a summer sleeping bag

If you're one of the campers who choose to travel without a sleeping bag in summer, it's time to reconsider. Here are some of the brief advantages of using a summer sleeping bag:

Comfortable sleep at night

Rough or hard surfaces, even inside your camping tent, wouldn't provide a comfortable sleep. You may get up with an aching neck or muscles. A proper good night's sleep is vital for your body's recovery.

You may end up with a stiff body after sleeping on a hard surface. Some people find it harder to sleep, and all of this will compromise your camping excitement.

Proper temperature regulation

Out in the wild, you don't have a home's comfort of an air conditioner or electronic ventilation system. You're at the mercy of nature and the natural wind circulation. A sleeping bag would provide proper circulation of air for ventilation.

You wouldn't feel suffocated or uncomfortable due to the rising temperature inside the sheets. More importantly, a summer sleeping bag can keep the body temperature cooler. Therefore, you may even eliminate sweating profusely during sleep in a scorching climate.

Protect yourself from dangers

You're going to rest in unknown territory. Whether it is the forest or a camp site, there are dangers everywhere. A summer sleeping bag does more than provide a comfortable surface for you to sleep. It protects you from the possible invasion of creatures like bugs, insects, and snakes from crawling up to you.

There are some other benefits to using a sleeping bag in summer. For instance, protection against the hot summer winds that could prove to be critical during a trip.

Factors to consider before buying a summer sleeping bag

Now that you understand the advantage of using a summer sleeping bag, it's about time to get down the factors and other considerations. With the help of this guide, you will be able to find a perfect choice for you.

Furthermore, from countless companies available in the market, you can choose the one that is a perfect fit for you, so let's begin by understanding:

Different types of sleeping bags

There are many different shapes available for a sleeping bag in the market. Each one of them is designed to offer a specific quality. Some are more spacious and freer to move, while others are restrictive. To understand the type of summer sleeping bag that would fit you, it is indispensable to learn about various types of sleeping bags:

Square sleeping bags

Also known as rectangular sleeping bags, these are the most commonly used bags. They are easy to afford and have a zipper closing around to pack you inside. You can undo the zipper to completely separate the top half from the bottom half in some models.

It would allow you to use it as a comfort blanket. These are spacious for your hands and feet to move inside the bag.

Double bag

These are utterly similar to square sleeping bags. The only difference is the size as double bags are for two people to sleep together. Hence, it is a popular option among couples.

There are standard square sleeping bags that come with the ability to zip together with other square sleeping bags to become a double sleeping bag. Alternatively, it is an excellent option for anyone who wants a lot of space to move their arms and legs for a good night's sleep.

Mummy sleeping bag

Now mummy sleeping bags tightly pack a person inside them. They are generally used for camping in frigid climates (even sub-zero). Usually, they pack the most warmth and heat.

For a summer sleeping bag, it is a poor choice. However, it is available in materials that are good for summer with cold nights. Mummy sleeping bags are great for those who like to pack themselves during sleep. Alternatively, they are useful if you seek to travel light.

As these bags are not roomy, the bag will roll over with you if you decide to roll over.

Semi Rectangular bag

A semi-rectangular bag is a blend of square and mummy bags. These are designed for people who might want a roomy little bag with an embrace of the mummy bag. Often, for people with different body shapes, these are the most comfortable options.

These can be a better alternative for a sleeping bag for summer that offers lightweight and portability of a mummy bag with spacious insides like a square bag.

Sleeping pods

Now here you have the best option available for a summer sleeping bag. Sleeping pods have apt width (half of the length, at least), and they prove to be quite roomy without a tight zip fit. Generally, if you don't want to carry a double bag for yourself, this is a great option.

Sleeping pods are spacious and available in a range of material that makes it comfortable for summer. Overall, these are the best summer sleeping bags available in the market.

Check the fabric

The material of your summer sleeping bag is pivotal to ensure a comfortable night in the summer season. You're looking for a breathable fabric to maintain a proper flow of air. Apart from a tent's ventilation, your sleeping bag should be breezy.

Polyester, nylon, and taffeta are the best choices for a sleeping bag. They are highly breathable and prove to be easy on the body. However, waterproofing quality might make it harder for them to regulate. So, if you're sure that you don't need waterproofing, then you can get a bag with better air circulation and breathability.

Most of the camping bags come with waterproof ratings, and it is pivotal for you to check for it. It is camping fundamental to always carry something that has waterproof material. For tents, jackets, and sleeping bags, it is an indispensable requirement, so make sure you have it.

Start with the size

There are four standard sizes a sleeping bag is available in Expedition, general, race or ultra-light, and lady. You'll also find other measures such as adult, women, and kid's size.

Adult size is built for an average adult man. Women's size is for average adult women, and kids are for children. Expedition, general, race, and lady are similar in consideration. However, there's a better way for you to find your perfect fit.

Try your sleeping bags.

That's right! The best thing you can do to find out your size is to try the sleeping bag. Get inside it and start rolling, spread your arms and legs. If there is a padding option, try it on and move around it.

If you want a better size inspection, then wear an adequate layer. For instance, you will wear thin layers in a summer sleeping bag. So put them on and roll around to see if it is comfortable. Most of the shops will allow you to test your bag.

Check the zip

The zip of your bag is the most integral part, as it will hold you inside. There are different types of zippers, and one that you pull from inside, others that work from outside. Furthermore, there are dual directions to work from inside and out.

Some bags have interconnecting zippers to connect with other bags and create a double bag (or even a larger bag). So, check that out, as well. If you want to prevent zip snagging, you might need a zip guard, and some bags come with this feature. For others, you can get a guard installed.

Right hand or left hand

For user convenience, companies offer a left hand and right-hand zipper. If you're a left-hander, then a right-hand zipper is right for you and vice versa.

The interconnected bags usually have an awkward zip position to work opposite of each other. It is essential to consider because the wrong hand size can be very inconvenient for the user.

Time to test portability

The bag's packed size is the most overlooked factor, but crucial if you are traveling a long distance. Its packing size and overall weight will determine how comfortable the trip will be for you, especially the hiking part.

You have a complete backpack with clothes and other items, so you need to see if you can lower that weight. A heavy bag can make a significant difference. Some bags show you the maximum size and chest expansion with package size. That's an excellent way for you to 'select the size.'

There are fold type, roll-type, and compression type bags. So packing is essential to determine its portability.

Compressor bags

Getting a compressor bag for your sleeping bag could be handy. For most of the bulky bags, compressor bags press the bag to conserve space. While it won't impact your bag's weight, it will undoubtedly make it occupy less space.

Compressor bags are great to increase the portability of a bag. Alternatively, these are known as stuff sacks or storage sacks to provide ease of carriage on vehicles.

Cleaning and maintenance

Inevitably, sooner or later, you'd have to clean the bag to maintain it. Cleaning is vital to make sure that your bag lasts long. Of course, if you sweat around it, then cleaning would be more frequent.

Cleaning and maintenance for any item to maintain hygiene are paramount. Check out the cleaning options your bag offers. Some can dry out fast. Others require minimal to no chemicals.

Liner

A liner acts like an extra cover for your bag to prevent it from getting dirty from the inside. Liners tend to make your sleeping bag a little warmer. It is good to have a liner if you want to prolong your bag's life and ease up on the cleaning factor.

With a liner, you wouldn't have to clean your bag regularly.

Other additional features

Apart from the above-given features, some extra leisure can make your summer sleeping bag handy. Here are some that you can look for:

Pillow pocket

A pillow pocket allows you to stuff clothes inside to make a comfortable pillow for your head.

Sleeve pad option

A sleeve pad is a type of insulation option available for your summer sleeping bags in case of cold temperatures. You have to buy these separately for your bag. This is for rare instances where you might have to use the sleeping bag in winters, and you can't invest in a new one.

By getting padded sleeves, you can turn your summer sleeping bag into a viable winter sleeping bag.

Stash pockets

Some bags have internal stash pockets to store minor things such as watches, pens, notepads, earphones, and other small items.

Draft and hood

As stated above, a draft would make the bag warmer and prevent heat from releasing. Hood offers coverage for your head for more enclosed sleeping requirements.

Ratings for a summer sleeping bag

If you want to choose a decent summer sleeping bag, all you need to check is the season rating and temperature rating of a bag. Some bags offer a comfort rating, which is slightly different from season and temperature. Often, bags would only offer season ratings, while others would showcase temperature.

Season rating

A season rating of the bag will help you get a bag suitable for a specific time of the year. Remember, the higher you go on the season rating, the heavier the load will be. This means that season 1 is the lightest bag, while season 5 is the heaviest. Correlatively, Season 1 to Season 3 would be suitable as summer sleeping bags, season 4 and 5 and more for frigid zones.

1 season

This is the best option for the summer season. However, as summer seasons tend to range in temperature, this one is suitable for June to August. Correlatively, if you plan on traveling to a hotter climate, this is the best you can do for comfort and temperature.

2 season

A 2 season rating is also known as 'family camping' rating. It is suitable for autumn or spring seasons. That's the time of the year people usually go for camping. So if you like to camp around that time and consider those seasons as 'summer,' then this is what you need.

3 season

A 3 season bag is more suitable for regions that have 'colder' springs and autumns. This can prove to be a year-round sleeping bag for summer, springs, autumn, and light winter season.

Temperature rating

This rating is generally correlated to the season rating and available in most of the bags. People often confuse it for the temperature that a bag will offer to the person sleeping inside.

It is usually just an easier way for you to select a bag that will survive certain temperatures and provide comfort. A temperature rating has nothing to do with the 'temperature maintenance' of the bag.

Usually, the temperature rating might mean that a bag comes with extra features. The rating you need to look for are:

Summer

A summer temperature rating is around +30 degrees F. Most of them come with an option of full-length zip to remove the cover altogether if the temperature gets warmer. These don't have the support for draft or collar.

Similarly, the summer temperature rating would mean that the bag is very lightweight and easy to carry. Many people use a summer rating sleeping bag as a thin layer of blanket.

3-Seasons

A 3-season rating means the bag is suitable for a temperature around +15 to +30 (F). These are great for camping mountains during the summer season.

You have added options similar to winter's hoods and drafts, in case of colder nights in light summer. So, if you're camping in an area with warm daytime and the possibility of a colder night time, these are great.

Comfort rating

If you want to quickly see whether the sleeping bag is right for you or not, check out the comfort rating. There may be other ratings included, such as transition, risk, and extreme ratings.

These are generally vague but use a denotation of temperature to help you understand. For example, a bag with a comfort rating 5 means it would work optimally at a 5-degree temperature.

Transition means the top limit where it would provide you comfort without compromising much. It means limit, so if your bag has -5-degree transition (limit), then that's the best it will work.

Risk or extreme is when a bag would be virtually useless, except for being a sleeping bag. If your bag has a -15 risk or extreme rating, it means that the bag won't provide you any temperature regulation at that temperature.

Insulation for the sleeping bag

There are two types of insulation available for your bag, sleeping and down insulation. If you're going for a summer sleeping bag, then insulation isn't an important consideration.

The sleeping bags themselves provide quite a comfort and temperature maintenance for colder nights in the summer season. Overall, it would be best if you didn't consider down or synthetic bags (insulation) for the summer season.

FAQs: best summer sleeping bags

Q: Can you machine wash a sleeping bag?

A: Most of the modern sleeping bags come with compatibility to be automatic or machine washed. Some have the option to use cleaning gels. However, it strongly depends on the material of your bag. Some materials bulk up by absorbing water. Therefore, a dry cleaning option would be better for them.

Q: How long does a sleeping bag last?

A: Even if you use a bag regularly, a down sleeping bag can last around ten years, while synthetic bags have around four years of life. That's the maximum life of a sleeping bag after proper care and maintenance with regular use. If you hard-handle your bags, then expect life to half down.

Q: How often should I wash my sleeping bag?

A: The longest you should go without washing a sleeping bag is 25 uses. For optimum maintenance, your bag requires proper and thorough cleaning after 25 uses. Anything more frequently than that can have a negative impact. However, using a liner can extend this requirement by up to 50 uses per wash.

Q: How much warmer would liner make a sleeping bag?

A: A liner could increase the temperature in a bag from anywhere between 5 to 15 degrees F. For summer, you have two options: a bag liner and a travel sheet. Both of them are great for summertime. They are more breathable and don't affect the temperature much.

Q: What is the difference between camping and backpacking sleeping bags?

Both camping and backpacking bags are very similar. Backpacking bags tend to be lighter and easy to fold to be carried by a single person alongside their backpack. Camping bags are bulkier to pack and comparatively heavier than backpacking bags. However, camping bags provide more space while sleeping.

Conclusion

It's not easy to find a bag that is comfortable in summer for camping. Many campers don't want to use sleeping bags in summer. However, a sleeping bag can protect you from crawling creatures, insects, and bugs.

For an added layer of security and comfort, a summer sleeping bag is a wise choice. On the plus side, if you decide to have a night stay with your friends in a random place, these can be an excellent choice for a quick pack and leave.

If you like to have a comfortable and safe camping experience or sleeping options without disturbance, then a summer sleeping bag should be in your inventory.

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