From the living room to a tent in the woods, a comfortable sleeping bag for kids is the ticket to a life long love for camping. Sleeping in a soft,fluffy, mummy-like bag truly is way more fun than any adult can imagine. Like all camping gear, there are all sorts of sleeping bags to choose from coming in at various prices. Not all kids sleeping bags are designed for the same type of child. Where, when and how your child will be using it are a few important questions to ponder before making a final decision. Let’s take a look at sleeping bag shapes first.
- Rectangular – Rectangular sleeping bags are best for RV camping, summer camp and sleep overs in the living room. They are not the warmest bags since there is more air space thorough the bag. If your child might camp in a tent once or twice a year during the warm summer months, a rectangular bag will work just fine. They take up more space, so packing them in a backpack isn’t advised or even possible. Rectangular bags are often recommended for kids 5-8 years of age.
- Mummy - Mummy sleeping bags are primarily designed for tent camping where warmth and pack weight are priority considerations. They are not the best choice for children’s summer camps and RV camping. A mummy sleeping bag would not be the best choice for a young child who moves around a lot or takes up a lot of space when they sleep. It could be confining and uncomfortable for such kids. Mummy bags pack down quite small, so they’re perfect for campers who will need to stash their bag for a hike to the camp.
- Modified Mummy - The modified mummy combines the best features of a rectangular bag and a true mummy bag. Most feature an internal draw sting for enclosing the user’s head. They usually feature better than average temperature ratings for cooler weather and lower weight for carrying. Unlike a true mummy bag, the taper is not as pronounced resulting in a great deal of sleeping comfort. Modified mummies also feature a longer zipper, so it’s easier to get in and out of. Modifed mummies are great for campers who have ventured beyond the living room, but aren’t quite ready for an overnight hike on the Appalachian Trail.
Once you determine the best shaped sleeping bag for your child, now it’s time to sift through the features. Some are necessary, while others will just tack some extra dollars onto your purchase. We mapped out the key features…
Must Have Features
- Synthetic Shells and Liners – Typically polyester taffeta is used because it’s durability and water resistance.
- Double Zippers – Double zippers can be opened or closed from inside or out of the bag. They are often listed as “self-repairable.” If they become separated, a simple re-closing or opening will re-engage the zipper teeth.
- Draft Tubes – These are “tubes” or doubled layer of fabric that run the length of the zipper to keep cold air from seeping in through the zipper teeth and material.
- Tubular Synthetic Fill Insulation – Insulating material fibers are like mini-straws, providing more dead-air insulating space for better temperature control. In recent years, new tubular synthetic fill insulation has even surpassed down as the best insulating material in regards to weight versus performance abilities.