Guide To Buying The Right Sleeping Bag

Whether you’re going solo on an expedition or on a family camping trip, being able to get a good night’s sleep is essential.

Whether you’re going solo on an expedition or on a family camping trip, being able to get a good night’s sleep is essential.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re away with the family at the Lakes for the weekend or visiting your favourite camping site, sleeping well is vital to ensure you’re ready for the following day. Therefore, a good-quality sleeping bag is a must.

However, when it comes to buying the perfect sleeping bag, there are many factors to consider. Winfields Outdoors has made this buying guide to help shed some light on the key information – from filling to sleeping bag types, and the best products based on your needs.

Read on to discover more and find the best sleeping bags for 2022 with Winfields Outdoors…

Sleeping Bag Season Guide

Choosing the right sleeping bag very much depends on the time of year, and the outdoor conditions in which you’ll be sleeping in.

For example, if you’re planning a camping trip during the winter season, you’ll likely need a heavier-duty sleeping bag to keep you warm, instead of a lighter sleeping bag which would be ideal for the summer periods. That’s why they’re made with different season ratings, as explained below:

Spring & Summer

    • 1 Season: For summer or indoor use, an overnight temperature of 10°C or higher
    • 2 Season: Late spring, early autumn, an overnight temperature of 5°C or higher

Autumn & Winter

    • 3 Season: Late autumn or milder winter nights, an overnight temperature of 0°C or higher
    • 4 Season: Cold winter nights, perhaps with frost, an overnight temperature of around -5°C or higher

Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings

As well as understanding the season of the sleeping bag, it’s important to also check the temperature ratings.

Again, where you plan on sleeping and the weather conditions will be key to determining which is the right sleeping bag for you. Sleeping bag temperature ratings are usually broken down into four parts, which we’ll go through below:

Comfort rating – The comfort rating of sleeping bags refers to the temperature at which a standard adult woman can expect to get a comfortable night’s sleep. If the temperature is any less than the comfort rating, then it’s likely the person will feel cold and unsettled.

Limit rating – The limit rating refers to the temperature at which a standard adult male can expect a comfortable night’s sleep. Again, any colder and they are less likely to sleep well.

Upper limit – This temperature at which a standard adult male is likely to be able to sleep well without excessive sweating or discomfort.

Extreme rating – This survival rating is the temperature at which an adult might suffer from hypothermia and other cold-related health issues. If you think your environment will get close to the extreme rating, it’s highly recommended to opt for a warmer sleeping bag.

Synthetic vs Down Sleeping Bags

When it comes to the insulation of sleeping bags, you’ll have the option to go for either synthetic or down insulation, each having its own pros and cons.


Synthetic Sleeping Bags

Most sleeping bags you come across will use synthetic fill – a man-made filling of poly fibre. They are relatively easy to maintain, durable, and often cheaper. They also perform better than down when they get wet. However, their warmth-to-weight ratio is not as good, meaning you may not feel as warm as you do when using a down sleeping bag.

Down Sleeping Bags

Down sleeping bags will likely keep you warmer than their equivalent synthetic counterparts. They are also lighter to carry and will compress easier to a smaller size. However, down-filled sleeping bags are usually more expensive and do not perform well when wet. For example, if a down sleeping bag becomes wet, it’ll most likely clump together –  making it much less insulative. For this reason, it’s better to opt. for a down sleeping bag when visiting a dry weather area.

Sleeping Bag Types: Shapes & Sizes

Sleeping bags come in a range of shapes and sizes, each with slightly different properties and uses. Sleeping bag shapes include the classic rectangle-shaped single to the super-snug mummy and spacious double sleeping bag. It all depends on the type of camping trip you’ll be going on, along with your personal preference.

Regular Sleeping Bags

Your regular common or garden sleeping bag will be rectangular in shape, giving you plenty of room inside to move around. Single sleeping bags will nearly always have a zip that goes down one side and the foot of the bag so it can be unzipped to form a blanket. These bags will also include women’s sleeping bags and some square sleeping bags.

Mummy Sleeping Bags

Mummy sleeping bags are much closer fitting, keeping you nice and snug when you’re asleep and are better at keeping you warm than regular sleeping bags. They taper towards the feet and also have a hood for your head and shoulders. They are also lighter in weight than regular sleeping bags. We recommend considering this type if you plan on hiking, or you’re going on a long-term expedition, as it won’t add much weight to your travel luggage.

Double Sleeping Bags

If you happen to be going on a camping adventure with your significant other, a great option would be a double sleeping bag. This type of sleeping bag will allow you to cosy up together for extra warmth and will also reduce the weight and space of a second sleeping bag. If you prefer to have a little extra space when sleeping, you could always use a double sleeping bag on your own, as these types tend to be square-shaped.

Read more: Double Sleeping Bag Buying Guide

Sleeping Bag Key Features

Sleeping bags are meticulously designed pieces of kit, and there are several features that go into keeping you warm and comfortable at night. These include:


Zip – Sleeping bag zips usually come in three different ways – full zip, three-quarter zip, and half zip. You can also get double zip bags, which are very handy for ventilation and temperature control.

Zip baffle – An insulated baffle (flap of material) sits behind the zip to stop heat from escaping the sleeping bag.

Zip cover – Some bags will also have a zip cover that goes over the top. This helps stop the zip from coming undone in the night, but also works as an extra bit of insulation.

Hood – Many sleeping bags also feature a hood to help keep your head and shoulders warm. These are often adjustable to ensure a good fit.

Insulation – As we mentioned earlier in the guide, insulation can be either synthetic or down.

Foot box – This is the area around your feet. This is much closer fitting and more contoured on mummy sleeping bags to keep you warmer.

Pockets – Some sleeping bags have pockets in which you can store your valuables.

Neck baffle – also referred to as a draft collar, the neck baffle provides extra insulation around your neck, reducing cold spots.

Outer fabric – Sleeping bags have different outer shell materials depending on their use. Polyester is a common material as it’s breathable, and some will use ripstop fabric for added durability.

Liner fabric – Again, can be made from various materials although polyester is popular.

Sleeping Accessories

For an even better night’s sleep, whether you’re on a campsite or perched on a mountainside, you should consider some of these other pieces of sleeping equipment.

Sleeping Mats

A sleeping mat is another essential piece of kit. Not only do they make the ground you’re sleeping on softer and more comfortable, but they also reduce the amount of heat lost through the floor, keeping you significantly warmer.


For added comfort, you can opt for an airbed, which will feel much more like a mattress compared to sleeping on the ground. We have single and double air beds available, as well as air pumps to help you blow them up.


Of course, you need somewhere to lay your head, and so a good pillow is a must if space in your pack allows for it. We have self-inflating and memory foam pillows to get you a better quality rest.

Sleeping Bag Liners

A sleeping bag liner slips over the outside of your sleeping bag. This acts as an extra layer of insulation and also protects the outside of your bag from dirt, rips and any other substances that may damage it.

What are the best sleeping bags?


Vango Nitestar Alpha 250 Sleeping Bag

To start, we have the Vango Nitestar Alpha 250 Sleeping Bag – a great option for those who are looking for the perfect combination of performance and quality.

This mummy-shaped Vango sleeping bag option delivers excellent value for money, boasting a double layer of insulation and a Polair® Diamond Shell technology.

Moreover, this Vango creation can be used for all occasions and/or outdoor adventures. So, whether you’re looking for an ultra-comfortable sleeping bag for an upcoming festival, a camping adventure or just to have in the house for last-minute sleepovers for the kids – this versatile sleeping bag is an ideal choice.

Discover more about the Vango Nitestar Alpha 250 Sleeping Bag



Sprayway Comfort 300 Sleeping Bag

The Comfort 300 sleeping bag has a double-layered base and top, providing comfort and maximum warmth. The soft handle polycotton outer is quick-drying and durable, while the printed cotton flannel lining is luxuriously soft, so you will be guaranteed to get a good night’s sleep. 100% cotton flannel lining offers great temperature regulation while an internal pocket and storage bag provide practicality.

Discover more about the Sprayway Comfort 300 Sleeping Bag

Kampa Dometic Junior Sleeping Bag

Great for a camping break with the kids, these attractively styled sleeping bags feature a fun eye-catching design that they will love. The Kampa Dometic Junior Sleeping bag benefits from a polycotton shell and soft-touch polyester lining for a comfortable night’s sleep. The sleeping bag packs into a rucksack carry bag when not in use making it easy for carrying.

Discover more about the Kampa Dometic Junior Sleeping Bag

Vango Serenity Superwarm Double Sleeping Bag

The Serenity Superwarm Double Sleeping Bag from Vango is the pinnacle of comfort and warmth. A 3-season bag with a tog rating of 10, it’s perfect from spring to autumn. Constructed from a snug and cosy Polair shell, further enhanced by a Polair lining, it’s incredibly soft to touch and offers an abundance of comfort. A square carry bag eases transportation and quick, easy packing.

Discover more about the Vango Serenity Superwarm Double Sleeping Bag

Lastly, we have the Outdoor Revolution Journey 300 Double Sleeping Bag – an ideal choice for those who are looking for a great late spring to late summer sleeping bag.

Perfect for couples and families alike, the Outdoor Revolution Journey 300 Double features a 190T polyester construction for added durability and comfort, as well as an internal hollow fibre and polyester fill to provide an added layer of warmth.

This Outdoor Revolution sleeping bag is roomier than other options on the market, thanks to the square profile to the bottom of the sleeping bag.

Discover more about the Outdoor Revolution Journey 300 Double Sleeping Bag

Sleeping bags are just one part of the camping essentials that you will need for your next adventure, so hopefully, you are ready to buy your next bed from home to stay snug and warm under the stars!


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