All it takes is one faulty piece of gear to tear down a majestic outdoor camping experience and turn it into miserable slog. Kids’ sleeping bags are one of the easiest ways to do this because many parents mistakenly believe that the cheap, blanket-style bags their kids already own (which were designed for indoor slumber parties and the rigors of your living room floor) will hold up in the Great Outdoors. Take it from us, it will not. They are heavy, cold, and completely out of place when central air conditioning is removed. When it comes to ensuring your child has positive experiences in the outdoors, it’s time to skip anything with Baby Yoda or the latest Disney princess and instead get one of the best children’s sleeping bags you can find.
Which bag you select is a matter of size, temperature rating, and comfort. If you’re within walking distance from the car, you can go heavier, but if the nearest road is miles down single track, favor weight and packability. Finally, consider shape, which affects how much room your child will have to wriggle during late-night ghost stories. The way to nurture a lifelong camper is to ensure he or she isn’t traumatized during those first experiences in the backcountry or campground, and a good children’s sleeping bag is the first step in a lifetime of nights spent outdoors.
The Best Sleeping Bags for Kids
This three-season mummy-style bag takes your youngster down to 30 degrees, which would include most shoulder seasons. It's also great because of the offset construction, ensuring top and bottom seams never overlap and therefore don't leak heat. An accessory pocket on the inside keeps a flashlight close by.
Designed for the young through-hiker, this lightweight, synthetic-insulated bag is ready to log miles. Rated down to 30 degrees, it also features a hood for further temperature regulation. Our favorite feature is an integrated stuff sack that allows the bag to be rolled up into it for breaking camp quickly.
Down bags tend to be warmer, pricier, and highly compressible, while their synthetic counterparts are more economical and offer better moisture resistance. This shrunken-down sleep sack (for anyone under 5 feet) features SpiraFil high-loft synthetic insulation rated at 30 degrees. Inside, kids will enjoy a comforter-like feel and anatomically shaped footbox.
One of the best kids sleeping bags on the market, the explorer uses a tough polyester shell, a soft poly liner, and ample synthetic insulation to keep your little camper toasty. Cinch down the ergonomic hood to seal in precious heat, then secure it with a neatly positioned Velcro strap so it doesn’t release in the middle of the night. Assuming no spooky noises (and temps in the 30s), your kid will be out cold — or rather, out warm.
This versatile 30-degree bag has a zippered extension that adds an additional 12 inches to the footbox, so you can size it accordingly. With quilted, double-layered construction and Kelty’s patented CloudLoft insulation (which blends hollow and softcore fibers to trap heat), the Big Dipper is a great option for viewing its namesake on clear summer nights.
Stuffed with lightweight Coletherm polyester (with hollow fibers to reduce weight) and outfitted with a generous contoured hood to keep kids warm around the ears, this is a budget-friendly bag for cool weather camping. Assuming your child is under 5 feet tall, it will keep them plenty warm down to about 30 degrees.
Core outdoors brand Western Mountaineering makes serious gear for serious situations, and if you're looking to outfit your budding outdoorsman or -woman, then this is your bag. For children just over five feet or shorter, it surrounds the sleeper with 850-fill goose down sealed with a draft-proof full-length zipper. Bonus: Despite warming the wearer down to 30 degrees, it weights a mere 19 ounces.
At home, if your kid gets scared, they can sleep in your bed. That’s tricky while sleeping outside — unless you own a “family” bag like this monster from Teton Sports. At 14 pounds, it isn’t something you’ll want to carry into the backcountry, but the Mammoth is perfect for car camping (where you park and camp nearby). Teton makes a 20-degree model and a (slightly more expensive) 0-degree model.
This is a 'wearable' sleeping bag with Gingerbread Man-style arms to give children a bit more movement as they drift off. Featuring heavy-duty white duck down for maximum warmth and weighing just 6.5 ounces, this bag can handle the backcountry, your back yard, and everywhere in between.
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