Double Sleeping Bag Buying Guide

Double sleeping bags are the perfect solution for couples who are looking to snuggle up after a hard day’s hiking and experience the great outdoors, quite literally, side by side.

When it comes to buying the perfect double sleeping bag, there are lots of things to consider, from its shape to its filling. But how do you know which bag is best for your needs?

In this handy guide, Winfields has put together a few pointers to help you make an informed choice on the very best double sleeping bag for you and your next adventure. We’ll guide you through the all-important questions and factors for buying.

Read on to discover more about double sleeping bags and the best options for 2021…

Why Choose a Double Sleeping Bag?

There are many benefits that come with choosing a double sleeping bag. For a start, the combined body heat of you and your loved one will help keep you extra cosy during the night.

You’ll also have plenty more room to wriggle around in and find the perfect sleeping position inside a double sleeping bag than you would with a single sleeping bag or mummy bag – there’s even enough room for the kids.

Using a double sleeping bag will also help you cut down your gear list, with only one bag to worry about instead of two.

Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings

A basic requirement of any sleeping bag is to keep you warm during the night, and different sleeping bags have different temperature ratings.

Many sleeping bags are given a rating in degrees, either as a limit or a series of temperatures. So, if your sleeping bag has a limit of -6°C it means that it will keep you warm down to external temperatures of -6°C.

Here’s a quick guide to sleeping bag temperature and season ratings:

  • 1 Season: an overnight temperature of 10°C or higher, ideal for summer
  • 2 Season: an overnight temperature of 5°C or higher, better for cool nights
  • 3 Season: an overnight temperature of 0°C or higher, ideal for cold nights without frost
  • 4 Season: an overnight temperature of around -5°C or higher, better for winter, frost and snow

Another rating to look out for is the ‘season’, which is designed to give you a rough idea of whether it’s suitable for summer (rated as a 1 season sleeping bag) or right throughout the year (rated as a 4 season sleeping bag).

These two ratings tend to go hand in hand. The better the temperature rating, the more seasons the sleeping bag is going to be useful for. However, these two attributes depend on a number of factors such as the insulation type, the lining and the shell materials.

Sleeping Bag Filling

Another key feature to look for in your double sleeping bag is the kind of insulation it is filled with. In general, sleeping bags come in two types of insulation:

Synthetic filling – This is a man-made filling that uses polyfibres. It is generally considered to be the more affordable option, and has a number of advantages over duck or goose down filling. As well as being cheaper, it is also easily washable and dries out much quicker if it gets wet.

Read more: How to wash & care for a sleeping bag

Down filling – Down is the fine layer of fluffy feathers that you find underneath the normal feathers on ducks or geese. A down filling is warmer than synthetic filling and is a bit more rugged, so it lasts a lot longer. However, down doesn’t dry out as well as synthetic filling, meaning that if you get your sleeping bag wet you may have a cold and uncomfortable night’s sleep.

Sleeping Bag Shape

Unlike single sleeping bags, which can come in a range of shapes, from classic rectangle to super-snug mummy, double sleeping bags only really come in rectangular or ‘envelope’ form, as this is the best shape to create the necessary extra space.

A rectangular double sleeping bag is the most basic shape, and is good for those who like their head and neck to have plenty of room. The only downside is that cold air can get in around your shoulders. However, some double sleeping bags are available with hoods to help combat this.

Key Features

Double sleeping bags expand on the standard bag offering with unique details and features. We’ve picked them out below to provide you with as much understanding as possible when buying for your next trip.

Inner linings – Fine nylon or polyester are the most common materials used for lining sleeping bags. Flannel or cotton are also popular for sleeping bag linings, although lightweight and breathable, cotton traps moisture so isn’t recommended for cold conditions.

Compression Sack – Because they’re larger than single sleeping bags, double sleeping bags can be quite cumbersome to pack away. However, a compression sack will make packing easier and reduce the size of the bag for better storage.

Outer fabrics – Outer shells are commonly made of nylon – ripstop is popular as it is highly durable. Dryloft is a water-resistant, breathable fabric that is often used for sleeping bags.

Two-sided zips – Having zips on either side of your double sleeping bag will help ensure that you don’t disturb your partner should you need to get up in the night.

Inner pockets – A couple of inner pockets near the top of your double sleeping bag are really handy for safely storing valuables such as wallets and phones.

Hood – Much of your body heat is lost through your head, so a shaped hood is a great way to keep in heat. Many of our double sleeping bags come with a cosy half-moon hood.

Essential Extras

Camping mats – However good your sleeping bag is, it’s important to have another layer between yourself and the cold ground. So it’s a good idea to invest in a good double camping mat.

Read more: Camping & Airbeds Buying Guide

Browse our full range of camping sleeping mats.

Airbed – For ultimate comfort, a double airbed is a great way to guarantee a good night’s sleep – provided you have the room.

See our full range of airbeds.

What is the best double sleeping bag?

With the 2021 camping season here, we’ve picked out some of the best double sleeping bags available. Read on to find out more…

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, its 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

Vango Aurora Double Sleeping Bag

Popular among campers and caravanners, the Aurora sleeping bag collection offers incredibly durable home from home comfort. Combining a double layer of insulation and plush 100% cotton flannel lining, the Aurora provides supreme luxury comfort and warmth. This is a 3 season rated sleeping bag and has the added benefit of being able to separate into two single sleeping bags.

Discover more about the Vango Aurora Double Sleeping Bag

Outdoor Revolution Sun Star 300 Duvet

For all adventurers, the Outdoor Revolution Sun Star 300 Duvet is the perfect sleeping accessory and alternative to a sleeping bag tp sit on top of a flat sheet. Internally, double layer filling comprises of a 30% single hole siliconized fill and 70% polyester insulation for optimum warmth-to-weight ratio. It also features its own carry pack for ease of storage and transportation.

Discover more about the Outdoor Revolution Sun Star 300 Duvet

Sleeping bags are just part of the essential kit you need for a camping adventure, so you should now be fully up-to-speed on everything you need to know about them before buying.

Click on the links below to discover more camping essentials, for a tent or motorhome.

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