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Buying a sleeping bag for yourself is a challenge. But is it any easier to find the right bag when you’re shopping for the kids?
Finding the best sleeping bags for kids can be even more challenging in some ways. So in this article I’m going to try to outline some of the challenges you’ll run into.
With hundreds of nights of guiding backpacking trips, I know what separates good sleeping bags from terrible ones.
You’re about to learn what it takes to pick out a kids sleeping bag without having to make the mistakes I’ve made over the years.
Best Kids Sleeping Bags
Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Sleeping Bags For Kids
- Coleman Kids 30 Degree Sleeping Bag
- MalloMe Single Camping Sleeping Bag
- Kelty Kids Mistral CloudLoft Sleeping Bag
- Coleman Illumi-Bug 45 Youth Sleeping Bag
- All Season Young Adventurer Hooded Sleeping Bag
- Coleman Kids 50 Degree Sleeping Bag
- 3OWL Kids Sleeping Bag 3-Season
Kids Sleeping Bag Reviews
- 30 degree temperature rating
- Mummy bag design
- Synthetic insulation
- For kids up to 5 ft. tall
Coleman is a name that’s been involved in outdoor gear for longer than I’ve been around. For that reason, as well as the warmth and versatility of this kids mummy bag, they’ve taken the top spot on our list today!
Remember, synthetic insulation is my top pick for kids bags. This mummy style bag is meant to be outdoors and can handle some tough camping situations.
Thanks to the smart choice of design and insulation this bag is at home in the living room, backyard, or campground.
Since it’s designed for sleepers up to 5 feet tall, this can easily be the only bag your child needs before they’re an adult.
At that point they can upgrade to an adult bag and there’s no need to worry about getting a new bag every couple years.
It’s machine washable which is perfect with kids. They have a tendency to get things dirty and fancy bags that can’t be washed at home just won’t do.
Best For: Parents looking for the best sleeping bags for kids for all around use and outdoor camping!
- +20 °F Temperature rating
- Waterproof outer shell material
- Adults / Kids
- Polyester construction
One of the strongest aspects of this bag is the hybrid mummy bag and square bag design. I like that it incorporates some of the best aspects of all various sleepings bags into one easy to use design.
While the product is advertised as waterproof outside I would be surprised to see it truly live up to that. Even among high end outdoor products, waterproof shells can be unreliable.
However, there’s really no reason you should be getting your sleeping bag soaked anyways!
If it does happen you’ll be able to keep sleeping if needed thanks to the polyester synthetic outer and insulation. These maintain warmth even in bad conditions.
This bag is designed for kids or adults. According to users even 6’7” sleepers can fit. So this makes a choice for older kids or extremely tall teens.
Your younger kids will probably just end up swimming in it, so find a smaller bag for them.
Best For: Taller kids looking for a very affordable mummy hybrid bag with room to wiggle.
- 20 degree temperature rating
- Cloud loft insulation
- 66D Polyester Taffeta shell
- 5 Feet maximum height
Kelty really nailed it with this bag in my view. It’s a solid mummy bag that’s got enough warmth for outdoor use in 3-season conditions in two colors that will appeal to any kid on your shopping list!
I like this bag a lot for the smaller size compared to some on our list. At a total height of 5’ the smaller kids will fit better in this bag than many other oversized youth bags.
Of course, this comes with the drawback that they will also rapidly outgrow it.
At a total weight of just under 3 pounds, this bag is really quite light compared to many youth models.
Despite the quality, this bag remains remarkably affordable and can make a great kids sleeping bag for a ton of situations.
I really wouldn’t push the bag down to freezing, even though it’s rated for it. However I bet Kelty is pretty close in their rating because they’re a major sleeping bag manufacturer with a ton of experience.
Best For: Parents looking for the best kids sleeping bag for camping that is small enough for the younger kids on your list.
- 45 degree temperature rating
- Synthetic insulation
- ThermoTech insulation
- 5’ 5” maximum height
While this coleman bag does feature many of the staples of a good outdoor sleeping bag, it’s meant for summer use only.
It’s so darn affordable, however, that it’s hard to say no to a bag that just makes sense! I will admit that I’m a fan of the Illumi yellow interior color, but not everyone will be.
Most kids, however, can’t resist a good glow in the dark design like the pattern on this bag! It’s a small feature that most kids will really cherish.
There’s one aspect of this bag that you need to be careful with, though. It’s a 45 degree bag and it’s square cut. That means it won’t really be comfortable below about 55 degrees.
For that reason I’d keep this bag restricted to summer use only!
Best For: Parents looking for the best Coleman youth sleeping bag for light summer outdoor use.
- 5’ maximum height
- 40 degree temperature rating
- Ripstop polyester shell
- Converts to queen size comforter
This one combines the roominess of a square bag with the warmth of a mummy bag. While it’s not the first bag we’ve seen to do this, it is remarkably affordable.
So what if the kids grow out of it? At least it didn’t cost you an arm and a leg! Normally a 5’ maximum height would be a bad thing on a sleeping bag. Not so for kids bags, though!
Plus, keeping the bag small means it’s lighter and less bulky when packing up for camping or overnights at the friend’s house.
While I certainly wouldn’t push the 40 degree rating on this bag, it’s probably going to be a comfortable summer time outdoor bag or an all year round indoor bag for sleepovers.
Like many of the kids bags on our list this one is offered in a roughly “male” and “female” color scheme. One of the colors should appeal to your camper-to-be!
I have to admit that I’m particularly fond of the compression sack that comes with it. For larger and bulky bags these are a handy way to make them disappear into the backpack or duffel bag without taking up too much space.
Best For: Children’s sleeping bags for camping that won’t break the bank and can pack down tiny!
- Summer time 50 degree temp rating
- ThermoTech insulation
- 5’ maximum height
- Polyester Taffeta shell
Got a kid that just seems to rip and destroy every zipper known to man? Yeah, I used to be that kid.
This Coleman sleeping bag has a way to avoid that which will make everyone’s lives easier when you don’t have zipper repair to do all the time!
Let’s talk more about that zipper. Several of the bags on our list, like this one, feature a new zipper system called ZipPlow.
With these zippers, the zipper itself moves the fabric out of the way as you zip the bag closed. That means less time fiddling with zippers!
One fun kids feature that we haven’t seen much of is the glow in the dark interior pocket. Some of the bags on our list have glowing features, but it’s a fun touch that just doesn’t get done enough. Kids love these small fun features!
Be careful when choosing this bag though. While it’s cheap it’s also a very mild temperature bag. At 50 degrees it’s a warm summer only bag.
Best For: Parents looking for the best sleeping bag for sleepovers or warm summer nights and no stuck zippers! Whew.
- 40 degree temperature rating
- Polyester synthetic insulation
- 170T polyester shell
- Draft tube along the neck
Looking for an all around mild temperature mummy bag made just for kids? If that sounds like you and you’d prefer to keep your dough in the wallet, this affordable mummy bag is an insane value sure to keep the kids happy.
Like any good mummy bag, this one features a few things to keep the heat in. The draft tube along the neck can be cinched down to keep the heat inside the bag.
This leaves an adjustable head space where just your face is poking out!
Of course the bag itself is meant to be used from 40-60 degrees so even the draft tube and mummy bag features won’t do you any good in extreme weather.
For the price, however, this makes a good choices for kids that are out enjoying some late spring, summer, and early fall weather!
Best For : An insanely affordable youth sleeping bag for summer time use.
Kids Sleeping Bag Comparison Table
|Kids Sleeping Bag||Max Height||Temp Rating||Shell||Insulation||Rating|
|Coleman Kids 30 Sleeping Bag||Up to 5'||+30 °F||Polyester||Coletherm® hollow polyester||4.5 / 5.0|
|MalloMe Single Sleeping Bag||Up to 6'||+20 °F||Waterproof Polyester Shell||Polyester fiber fill||4.8 / 5.0|
|Kelty Boys & Girls Mistral Sleeping Bag||Up to 5'||+20 °F||66D Polyester Taffeta||Cloud loft insulation||4.5 / 5.0|
|Coleman Illumi-Bug Sleeping Bag||5' 5"||+45 °F||Polyester Taffeta||ThermoTech insulation||4.5 / 5.0|
|All Season Young Adventurer||5' 1"||+32 °F||Ripstop polyester||Polyester fiber fill||4.4 / 5.0|
|Coleman Kids 50 Sleeping Bag||Up to 5'||+50 °F||Polyester||ThermoTech insulation||4.2 / 5.0|
|3OWL Kids Sleeping Bag||Up to 5'||+40 °F||170T polyester||Polyester fiber fill||4.7 / 5.0|
How to Choose the Best Sleeping Bag for Kids
- Growing Pains
- Sleeping Bag Style
- Choosing Insulation Materials
- Temperature Rating
- FAQs About Kids Sleeping Bags
- Outside Pursuits Overview
Now let’s talk about the features that are important when choosing a kids sleeping bag. It’s easier than you think when we really break it down.
Yeah, this has to be addressed. Kids have a tendency to grow right out of stuff and sleeping bags are no different. A good sleeping bag can be an expensive investment to just have your kids grow out of.
There are several options that we can consider. First, you can reuse the sleeping bags with siblings, or kids of friends. This is a good way to get more use out of an expensive sleeping bag!
Second, you can buy several sizes larger. If you do this right, you may only have to go through 2 sleeping bags or so, as your child grows.
It’s less ideal than a perfectly sized sleeping bag, but it’s a far better option than having them outgrow it every couple years!
It can be hard to buy or sell a used sleeping bag – people are just weird about that. However, if you feel comfortable with it this is a good option.
Sleeping Bag Style
Square Sleeping Bags
This type of sleeping bag are cut into rectangle shapes (oddly enough). These bags have no way to close around the neck and torso at the top and they have no head protection or warmth. They do, however, usually have the ability to unzip completely into a large flat comforter.
Mummy Sleeping Bags
This style is tightly cut to the body. They hug the human form closely and usually only partially unzip. They can be cinched around the neck and around the head to completely enclose everything but the face.
So which bag is right for you? It’s hard to say with certainty but let’s think of it this way…
What will you child likely be using the sleeping bag for? If they’re heading to Philmont for a hiking and backpacking experience then go with a mummy bag. If they’re heading over to sleep on a friend’s floor then use a square bag.
Choosing Insulation Materials
So it’s time to buy that sleeping bag but you’re reading through the details and it say “cotton insulation”.
Is that good? Is it bad? Let’s find out what you can expect with different insulation materials!
Is largely regarded as the most technically inferior sleeping bag insulation. Why? It performs poorly when wet and is quite heavy and bulky. However, it’s cheap!
So long as you’re not taking the bag outdoors or into situations where it might get wet, cotton is a cheap and effective insulation. It can be quite a bit heavier than other insulations, though.
Can be a number of different materials. These are all man made fibers that have great properties. Synthetic insulation is affordable compared to down insulation.
It retains the majority of its insulation value when wet. It’s also lighter than cotton but not nearly as light as down. Synthetic insulation packs down much smaller than the comparable fill of cotton.
Blows everything else out of the water – except one small problem. While it is lighter, more compressible, and more efficient than any other type it has a major drawback.
When down gets wet it becomes practically useless. The down feathers lose their loft and insulation value whenever they get saturated which can lead to dangerous hypothermia situations.
So… which insulation type is best for your kids’ sleeping bags? I would vote that either cotton or synthetic makes the most sense in 99% of situations.
For indoor bags that are used on overnight sleepovers I would go with cotton because it’s cheap and requires no special care.
For indoor or outdoor use synthetic insulation are also great. If you’re going camping or sending the kids off on a Scout trip this is the type of bag you want to get right here.
So, why not down if it’s so good?
Because kids are unlikely to take care of it well. If it’s not taken care of or if it gets wet, it’s a total waste. Plus it’s too expensive for most of us to afford when kids are likely to outgrow their bags in a few years anyways.
This is a critical factor of sleeping bag choices. However, it might not actually matter when it comes to kids bags.
Well let’s take on likely situation where kids use sleeping bags – on the floor of their friend’s living room. Kids love sleeping bags but rarely use them in extreme outdoor situations. When this is the case, that temperature rating just doesn’t really matter.
Of course, if you are choosing a sleeping bag for your kids that will be used outdoors or in extreme weather you’ll need to pay careful attention to temp ratings.
When it comes to reputable manufacturers, temperature ratings can usually be trusted. With cheap, off brand bags, however, I rarely take the temperature ratings at face value.
Well, because there’s no real industry standard that governs how temperature ratings are measured and tested. Each maker does them differently and it pays for them to “overrate” their own bags to make them seem better.
Whenever you choose a temperature rating for a sleeping bag there’s an easy way to know how warm you’ll need. I simply look up the average low temperature for the area and season I’ll be camping. Then choose a bag that, if I wear all my clothes, could survive a night at the record low.
FAQs About Kids Sleeping Bags
Q: Should I buy a top of the line sleeping bag for my kids?
A: There are a couple of situations where I think it’s good to spend some extra bucks to get kids top shelf gear. For instance, if you’re sending your kids to summer camp where they’ll be sleeping indoors with no chance of getting wet, buying a cheaper bag would be totally fine.
If, however, you’re sending your child on a backpacking trip (or taking them with you) where life or limb may hang in the balance, going with a top quality bag is probably a “must”. Remember, cheaper bags can be made with insulation like cotton which is heavy and hard to carry plus, when wet, becomes dangerously cold. By itself there’s no issue, but in a critical situation it could be important!
On top of these factors, kids tend to grow fast so spending a lot of money on a nice bag they’ll outgrow might be a consideration.
Q: Does my child need a mummy bag?
A: Again, this kind of boils down to how they’ll be using the bag. In cold weather, camping outdoors, a mummy bag can be very helpful. Because of their shape and design these bags do a much better job of keeping heat inside than a “square” bag.
For sleeping indoors such as on a cot or a camp bunk bed, a mummy bag is probably not necessary. Simply using a square bag will suffice to act as bedding when you’re camping inside the RV, at summer camp, or on grandma’s floor!
Q: We had an accident, how do we clean the sleeping bag?
A: It happens. Sleeping bags get dirty or soiled, especially when younger kids are involved.
To make sure your sleeping bag gets cleaned properly, follow these steps to success:
- Unzip the bag
- Wash in a front loading machine
- Use a delicate cycle
- Double check manufacturer’s instructions for detergent (usually powdered)
- Hang bag to dry or check manufacturer’s instruction (usually tumble dry low)
- Redistribute insulation evenly by hand or by shaking the bag
Sometimes you can use tennis balls or wool balls in the dryer to help fluff up the insulation in your bag as it tumble dries. This is important because thin spots will cause cold sleepless nights for the little ones!
Q: How can I repair the zipper on my sleeping bag?
A: There are a couple ways to go about it, but before you throw away the bag because the zipper sucks, try these ideas:
- Take it to a tailor or repair shop
- Use pliers to gently pinch together the zipper near the back of the slide where it joins the two sides of zipper teeth [video] (can be easily done in the field)
- Check for loose threads or folds of fabric getting caught in the zipper
For zippers that are splitting open as you zip them, the second tip is a great one to use in the field. It will fix a huge majority of problems quickly and simply.
Q: How can I make my sleeping bag warmer?
A: There are a couple ways to solve the cold camper problem.
First, check to make sure that your kids are sleeping on good sleeping pads. Using a summer pad during the winter is a sure way to get cold, even with a good sleeping bag.
If using a warmer sleeping pad doesn’t solve the problem, then check for clumps of insulation. If you’ve washed the bag, or sometimes simply over time, the insulation in the bag can clump up leaving hot and cold spots.
Still not working? Try using a sleeping bag liner inside the sleeping bag. Avoid putting blankets over the sleeping bag as this usually crushes insulation and reduces the warmth of the bag.
If all of these approaches don’t work you can try tricks like:
- Sleep in your clothes
- Sleep with thick socks
- Sleep with a hat
- Sleep with a warm water bottle next to you
- Eat a candy bar before bed for extra digestive warmth
Outside Pursuits Overview
Kids bags can be hard to figure out. They outgrow them, destroy them, and often have widely varying needs. However, once you narrow down how the bag will be used you’ll be able to tell which bag is about right for you!
On our list is a variety of sleeping bags for kids that vary in size, shape, and temperature rating. It’s up to you to determine exactly which one has the right balance of price and features for you.
Particularly if your kids are just using the sleeping bag for sleepovers it’s probably okay to save a buck or two on these bags.
For those seeking top quality bags for backpacking and hiking, however, you’ll need to pay close attention. Great quality sleeping bags for kids that are worthy of surviving in extreme weather can be hard to come by and difficult to choose!
How We Researched
To come up with the top kids sleeping bags we researched a variety of sources for reviews such as REI, Bass Pro Shops, Cabelas and Backcountry along with our own personal experience.
We also consulted online magazines for product research and reviews to get as much unbiased information as we could. To help weed out fake reviews we used Fakespot.com to make sure we only looked at genuine reviews.
With so much quality gear available, we had to narrow it down based on what we felt were the best options for the price. The author, Casey Fiedler has been leading backpacking trips for over a decade in his native state of Michigan.
To help narrow down the selection he used his personal experience along with recommendations from fellow guides and outfitters.
After extensive research, we came up with our list to help you choose the right one for you.
I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best kids sleeping bag to fit your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a sleeping bag I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.