Do you want to go camping, but don’t have a sleeping bag? Not to worry!
In this article, I am going to review the top 3-season sleeping bags. I have also included a guide to help you choose the best sleeping bag for your individual needs and preferences.
By the end, I know you will feel more confident purchasing a bag for spring, summer, and fall camping.
3-Season Sleeping Bags Comparison
How to Choose the Best Sleeping Bag : A Buyer's Guide
First Thing’s First
The first thing for you to determine is what type of sleeping bag you need.
Simply ask yourself if you plan to go camping in the winter?
If you think you will use your tent year-around, you are going to want to purchase a 4-season sleeping bag. However, if you will be using your tent primarily in 10 degrees or above, you will want a 3-season sleeping bag.
In this guide, I will teach you how to pick a sleeping bag that caters to your unique needs and wants.
There are 4 factors to keep in mind when making your decision.
How Low to Go
Three season sleeping bags come in different levels of temperature protection. Three season bags will protect you from +10 degrees to +35 degrees.
If you are new to sleeping bag use, don’t worry. When I began camping I didn’t know the front of the tent from the back. Since sleeping bag ratings can be above zero or below zero, the companies use a + or – sign in front of the number.
How low of a temperature do you think you will be camping in?
Subtract 5 degrees and that is how you choose your bag’s temperature rating.
Down or Synthetic
Do you want your sleeping bag filled with down or synthetic?
When I bought my first sleeping bag I thought the only difference was the price. However, there are some key differences between the two fillings.
One important difference, as I mentioned earlier, is price. If you are trying to stay budget-friendly, you should look at synthetic insulation.
Most of this type of insulation is made from polyester, a material that I find dries quickly and even insulates when wet.
If I plan on sleeping under the stars, I usually pack my synthetic bag.
Unfortunately down doesn’t stand up well to a high degree of ruggedness.
The best quality of a down sleeping bag is how small it can be compressed. I find this is great for backpacking when size really counts!
Regular or Water Resistant Goose
There are two different types of down currently available on the market: regular goose-down and water-resistant goose-down.
The only difference is the feathers in the latter are treated to resist moisture.
If you will be in any situation where water might be an issue, I would either go with synthetic or water-resistant goose feathers.
Sleeping Bag Shape
Will you be using your sleeping bag primarily for backpacking or camping?
I have found that is the best way to decide what shaped bag you need.
The following is a quick rundown of all 5:
This is the shape of most bags designed only for camping. Rectangular bags where first and foremost designed with your comfort in mind.
In my opinion, these are the best sleeping bags for sleepovers, summer camp, and family camping trips.
They can be opened fully and used as a blanket, or you can join two together and have a couple’s bag!
I think the best backpacking sleeping bag is the mummy. Mummy bags are among the lightest in the market.
Even though the name sounds funny, there is a logical reason behind the mummy shape. The smaller shoulder and hip width is intended to keep you warm, while saving on weight.
My backpacking bag is a mummy rated to +10, and it has kept me warm in below zero temperatures. Unfortunately, mummy bags can feel restricting and are therefore not right for everyone.
Also known as barrel-shaped, this sleeping bag is a mix between the rectangular and the mummy bag. These types of bags taper a bit at the bottom to keep your feet warm, but keep a rectangular top.
You can usually unzip these bags into a blanket and they may sometimes come with a hood like the mummy sleeping bag. I have found this bag is good for both camping and backpacking.
These sleeping bags are best for car camping, and can usually be unzipped to create two individual bags.
When you lay on your back in your mummy bag, you compress the fill underneath you rendering it almost useless.
It is known some in the ultra light backpacking world are using these bags. They are literally backless sleeping bags.
Review of the Best Five 3-Season Sleeping Bags
Best Car Camping Sleeping Bag
The Coleman Green Valley Cool Weather Sleeping Bag is my favorite bag to use during my car camping adventures in the spring, summer, and fall. I know from experience, this bag is extremely comfortable.
The Green Valley is a rectangular sleeping bag, so it is best for car camping. It weighs in at 5.7 pounds If you want to try backpacking, you might be able to get away with 3-5 miles round trip.
This Coleman is rated to +30 degrees, and with some additional insulation even lower. In addition, there was noticeable insulation around the zipper due to the ThermoLock System.
The type of insulation in the Coleman Green Valley is 100% polyester synthetic.
Synthetic insulation is prevented from moving by Coleman’s Fiberlock Construction. I think this feature is great, because a lower-quality bag I once owned was unusable once the polyester fill shifted.
Another great thing about the Green Valley is the zipper system. If you, like me, hate getting your sleeping bag stuck in your zipper, you will appreciate this bag’s construction.
The Coleman features a No-Snag patented zipper keeps fabric away from the zipper.
In addition, this bag features Zipper Guide Tailoring to keep the zipper running smoothly around corners.
The sleeping bag itself is made of 100% cotton.
Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag
The best backpacking sleeping bag goes to Winner Outfitters Mummy bag.
This sleeping bag is lightweight and portable, perfect for backpacking trips. I like to bring this mummy bag with me when I go out on an extended weekend.
At a measly 2.8 lbs, you will find few lighter sleeping bags.
This bag is 100% polyester, inside and out. The outside of the bag features a shelled coating that provides rip stop technology, waterproofing, and a soft exterior.
Winner Outfitters made the zipper extra weatherproof as well. This sleeping bag includes zipper draft tubes to keep you warm.
The inside of this bag is made of 350T polyester, and I really like how soft this material feels. I am always comfortable in the Winner Outfitters Mummy. The fill is synthetic, but it is also Hollow Fill. Hollow Fill fiber is great for backpackers with allergies.
Another feature about this mummy I really like is the ability to wash it in a machine. It can be rare to find a great machine washable, backpacking bag, but once you do you will refuse to wash another sleeping bag again!
An additional reason this bag is good for backpacking is the included compression sack. Some bags I have owned required I purchase the compression sack separately, and some can be expensive.
Best Budget Sleeping Bag
The OuterEQ Sleeping Bag is the best budget sleeping bag on the list.
I haven’t been able to find another tent yet that beats the cost for the quality. Weighing in at 1.5 pounds, this sleeping bag is ultra light.
My friend has an OuterEQ and she loves to take it backpacking in the spring, summer, and fall. She says the extra few pounds make all the difference in her pack. She also likes the included compression sack, and says it can scrunch her bag down to an incredibly small size to make more room in her backpack.
An additional benefit to having an ultra light sleeping bag such as the OuterEQ is being able start ultra light backpacking. You could definitely hike-in this bag somewhere beautiful and lay it out underneath the stars.
If you have a bug out bag, I think this would be a great sleeping bag to include.
This sleeping bag is made of somewhat different materials than the first two, and that difference is what makes the OuterEQ lightweight.
The outside of the bag is made of nylon, while the inside is a soft cotton liner.
The insulation in this bag is made out of cotton fill, which is a less-used insulator material.
I love that this bag is machine washable!
Best Tall Person Sleeping Bag
If you are on the taller side of 6 feet, it can be difficult to find a 3-season sleeping bag made for your height. Not to worry! I think the Coleman White Water Sleeping Bag might be the perfect bag for you!
My camping partner is 6’2” and it has been difficult for him to find quality tents he can pull over his shoulders.
He purchased the White Water earlier this year, and he likes the way it fits him in terms of length and width.
This sleeping bag is great for camping, but it is a rectangle tent that weighs over 7 pounds so it is not made for backpacking.
In terms of warmth, the White Water is rated to +30 degrees and has a FiberLock System to keep insulation in place. The fill is 100% cotton, and the inside and outside of the bag are 100% polyester.
The Thermolock System works to keep the zipper insulated, so you don’t lose warmth or feel a draft. Not only that, but the zipper is designed to keep the fabric out of its way as it flows.
My partner said he has never had an issue with the zipper snagging or breaking.
Another plus, this sleeping bag is machine washable.
Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag
My pick for the best ultra light sleeping bag is the Teton Sports LEEF.
I chose the LEEF as the best lightweight sleeping bag, because it weighs only 3.5 pounds and is perfect for backpacking when it is on the colder side.
This TETON is rated to +20 degrees, but I have used it in colder temperatures.
With a little extra insulation or an additional layer of clothing, this bag could easily be turned into a 4-season sleeping bag.
The synthetic insulation in this mummy bag is microfiber PolarLite fill that conforms to your body while you sleep.
My favorite thing about the LEEF is the built out, insulated foot box. This addition keeps my feet nice and toasty.
The fabric features rip stop and water resistant technology. Even though I got a hole in my bag from sleeping too close to fire, the fabric has never torn.
Speaking of tearing. The zippers are anti-snag so you won’t have to worry about tearing your fabric or breaking the zipper itself.
Another one of my favorite things about this tent is the interior zip pocket. It is big enough to keep my android phone and other miscellaneous items close by.
I found this sleeping bag to be comfortable on a variety of surfaces, including picnic tables and car seats.
I hope my guide has helped you understand the different types of 3-season sleeping bags, and what you want and need in your own. In addition, I hope my list of 5 best sleeping bags has given you some options to consider in your search.
Although all of the bags on my list are high quality, my editor’s pick goes to the Teton Sports LEEF. This versatile bag is truly a 3-season tent, and I like having the option to take it winter camping.
I go backpacking a lot, but I also car camp a lot. The LEEF is a mummy bag, so at 3.5 pounds I find it perfect to take backpacking.
However, it is comfortable enough for the family camping trip as well. Due to the synthetic fill and waterproof exterior, I don’t have to worry about getting wet if there is condensation in my tent.
The final reason I chose the TETON Sports LEEF as the editor’s pick is the overall comfort and ease of sleep I experienced while using this bag. I have never slept so well in a sleeping bag before.
No matter what 3-season sleeping bag you choose, the important thing is to get outside and start having fun!