Buying the best sleeping bag for your child is often challenging. There are many types of kids sleeping bags available, all suitable for different situations. Unless you regularly go camping, understanding what features are best suited for a child’s sleeping gets confusing.
From temperature ratings to seasons, sleeping bag terminology isn’t the easiest to understand, but you obviously want to ensure you get the right product to keep your kid warm, dry, and comfortable.
Check out the buying guide below for tips on what to look for in a kids sleeping bag to make sure you get the best product possible.
Extra Space is Always Recommended
You should always look to buy a sleeping bag with extra space when its for a child. This is because children are always growing, so you want to avoid buying them a sleeping bag they are going to grow out of in a short time.
The best sleeping bags aren’t the cheapest so the last thing you want is for it to become too small after a few uses. Therefore, you may want to go a few sizes up to accommodate their inventible growth.
However, if they have a younger sibling, cousin, or friend, then buying a smaller size bag is less of an issue. This is because you can hand it down to ensure it gets reused and you’ve not wasted your money.
Kids Sleeping Bag Styles
Sleeping bags come with two main styles - square and mummy. Square sleeping bags are among the cheapest and offer lots of space to move around in, making them good option for sleepovers. However, their insulation isn’t as efficient as a mummy style.
Mummy style sleeping bags are notable for their tapered design, getting narrower at the base of the bag. This style is also much tighter around the body. While some kids may find this uncomfortable - especially wrigglers and restless sleepers - it does serve a purpose.
Tighter fitting fabrics means that there is less space for heat loss, so mummy style sleeping bags keep you warmer. They often come with better insulation as well, mainly because they are designed for outdoor use.
So, generally speak a square sleeping bag is good for sleepovers but less suited for camping. They can be okay for outdoor camping, although its best left for warmer months during the summer.
Mummy sleeping bags are always the best choice for camping. They work well for sleepovers too, especially when they come with soft padding and improved insulation.
Choosing the Right Insulation Materials
Sleeping bags come with various types of materials for insulation. While certain materials offer better insulation, they aren’t always guaranteed to be better, especially when considering things like the weather.
For example, cotton is a natural material that offers a good level of insulation and is very affordable. However, it performs very poorly if exposed to moisture, making it almost useless as soon as it gets wet. Therefore, it’s best saved for a sleeping bag that’s only used indoors.
Synthetic materials are a popular choice for sleeping bag insulation. These fibres are designed with insulation in mind, so tend to have suitable properties for a sleeping bag.
This includes offering great insulation, being lightweight and breathable, while maintaining its performance when wet. They’re also quite affordable and don’t add much weight, which is good for long treks when camping. It’s a versatile insulation and one recommended for most kids sleeping bags.
Another natural material that is very popular for sleeping bags is down. This is basically fluffy feathers that add the upmost comfort and insulation, retaining heat better than most materials while remaining lightweight.
That said, down has a big drawback - it becomes useless when wet. Any sort of moisture or dampness ruins all the good properties of this insulation, so it may be best avoided for outdoor camping. It also requires careful handling to ensure it stays in good condition, which is never guaranteed when a child is looking after it!
Another type which is becoming more popular is the wearable sleeping bag which enables you to keep it on while walking about or doing other tasks.
To make life easier for consumers, manufacturers provide season ratings on sleeping bags to indicate what time of the year they are suitable for. Pay close attention to these ratings if your kids sleeping bag is getting used for outdoor camping, as you may end up getting one that is too warm or too cold for the seasons.
You’ll find that 2 or 3 season is the best rating as they are suitable for the most common temperatures during peak British camping season. 1 season is also suitable for indoor sleeping bags.
Andes Pichu Childrens Camping Sleeping Bag
Andes is a reputable sleeping bag manufacturer, so their products are very reliable, especially for outdoor camping. The Andes Pichu model is a great polyester sleeping bag for kids of most ages, giving enough space for older kids and ample room for younger ones too.
With a 2-3 season rating, it’s suitable for camping outside throughout most of the year, including peak camping season. It will keep them warm and snug even if temperatures reach as low as 0°C. This is due to the synthetic hollow fibre filling that provides exceptional insulation.
Although a mummy style sleeping bag, it can be completely unzipped and used as a duvet, so it’s a good option if you ever have company sleeping over and need a makeshift cover. When zipped, there is an elasticated hood to keep the head warm, while the interior has a storage pocket for holding bits and pieces.
When compressed the it’s not too large or cumbersome, measuring 30 x 20cm inside the carry bag, so is easy to carry when out camping. This is also useful for storing at home, ensuring it doesn’t take up too much storage space.
Mountain Warehouse Apex Mini Patterned Kids Sleeping Bag
This kids sleeping bag from mountain warehouse is suitable for most outdoor camping climates. The 2-3 season rating means it’s appropriate for camping outdoors from late spring to early autumn, although it may be too warm during those extra hot summer nights - not that we experience many of these here in the UK!
The lowest temperature rating for the sleeping bag is 0°C, so you’ll find it is a good option for your child if they enjoy camping outdoors. Obviously, it’s not the best for extreme colds, but nobody usually camps during the cold winter months anyway.
Insulation is provided by hollow fibre, which is a versatile synthetic material that helps keep warm in cooler nights and avoids overheating on those hotter nights. It’s also durable, with moisture not reducing its insulation rating, which is good news if there’s an accidental leak in the ten
As a mummy style sleeping bag it features a tapered design that further improves insulation. This includes an elasticated hood at the top of the bag, which does a great job keeping their heads warm. Although it offers good insulation it’s not the heaviest, weighing 0.9kg and compressing into a compact shape for easy transportation and storage.
Vango Wilderness Junior Sleeping Bag
If want to get a cute sleeping bag that also keeps your child safe and warm then look no further than this awesome product from Vango. It features a cute penguin design that younger kids will espiecally appreciate, although this is not just a case of style over substance.
Made from soft-touch microfibre fabrics, this sleeping bag feels so soft to touch and does a great job insulating heat. Rated 2 season, it’s a suitable sleeping bag for cooler nights you find in late spring and early autumn but shouldn’t feel too warm when the temperature is a little higher.
It’s a mummy shaped style, which adds to the insulation, keeping the feet and head warm while offering some space to move around. The overall size is suitable for older children too, with enough room to comfortably sleep a 10-year-old.
This style also makes it a good choice for carrying longer distances, as the sleeping bag folds into a very compact size into a four-strap compression sack. While great for outdoor camping, it’s still a good choice for sleepovers and chilling out at home too, not being too warm to use inside.
Mountain Warehouse Summit Mini Square Sleeping Bag
The Summit Mini Square Sleeping Bag is another great option for children, whether it’s used for camping outside or sleeping over with friends. While the square design does mean there isn’t as much insulation compared to a mummy style product, the sleeping bag still comes with good quality insulation.
For example, it’s suitable for temperatures between 0 and 5°C, giving it somewhere between a 2 and 3 season rating. This makes it suitable for outdoor camping throughout much of the camping year, including from spring to late autumn.
Another cool feature from this product is the fact it includes a 2-way zip function. This allows the sleeping bag to be attached to a second one to create a larger double bag - great for siblings, sleepovers, or even cosying up with mum or dad.
There is also a hood at the top of the bag which offers pleasant cushioning and helps further insulate, while the polyester lining is very soft to touch, resulting in a very comfy sleeping bag the children will love.
In terms of size and age range, the sleeping bag measures 65cm x 160cm, so should offer enough room for young kids, although once they reach around ten, they will likely have outgrown it.
Azuma Children’s Kids Junior Mummy Sleeping Bag
This Azuma sleeping bag is soft and lightweight, offering the upmost comfort for those cooler evenings. Available in a range of colours, its good for camping and sleepovers, although may not be the best for colder nights outside.
With a 1-2 season rating it’s best used in warmer seasons when temperatures are around 5-10°C and above. This means the sleeping bag is ideal for outdoor camping throughout most of the spring and summer months. Colder nights, such as those during late autumn, may be too chilly even with this sleeping bag, so be mindful of this if camping outdoors.
The fabrics are all synthetic so should be okay if they exposed to moisture. For instance, the filling material is a mono fibre polyester mix that offers great insulation and keeps the bag lightweight. While it’s never good to get the bag wet, it shouldn’t lose much insulation if this happens.
There is a hooded section at the top of the sleeping bag that offers a comfortable place to rest their heads while keeping them warm. The bag is also secured with Velcro at the top, measuring around 65cm in length. This makes it good for young and older kids, although it may be too small for anyone around 9-10.
Kids Sleeping Bag