Backpacking, camping and scouting are great outdoor activities for children and adolescents, but they do require some proper equipment such as a good backpack, sleeping pad, sleeping bag etc. A good sleeping bag keeps your child comfortable and warm while he/she is camping out in nature. The offer of high-quality sleeping bags for kids is, unfortunately, very limited in comparison to the many options for adults. However, some brands do make great sleeping bags for kids. Note that the sleeping bag must fit the size of the child to be thermally efficient. Sleeping bags for kids are therefore shorter and narrower than sleeping bags for adults to snugly enclose the body of the young outdoor enthusiast. Using a too big sleeping bag is almost like wearing a too big insulated jacket – it will not keep you warm because a big percentage of the body-warmed air will escape to the outside through the gaps. A too spacious sleeping bag also takes longer to heat up for a small person because a bigger volume must be filled with body-warmed air.
Below we selected and reviewed the best sleeping bags for kids to make your buying decision a little easier. We only listed high-quality sleeping bags that come for a great price. The sleeping bags in this review are suitable for children who measure from 3′3″ (100 cm) to 5′6″ (167 cm) in height – see the table below. Two of them are adjustable in length to follow the growth of your child. If you are looking for a sleeping bag for a toddler/baby you should check out our first-hand review of the Morrison Outdoors Little Mo. All sleeping bags in this review are suitable for three-season outdoor activities; spring, summer and fall.
1. Buying a Kid’s Sleeping Bag – What is important?
Sleeping bags have either synthetic or down insulation. Down insulation provides better warmth for the weight and compressibility but is also very expensive and quickly loses its insulating properties if it gets wet/moist. Synthetic insulation, on the other hand, is cheaper and retains warmth even if it gets wet or moist.
Sleeping bags for kids typically feature synthetic insulation because they have a limited utility span – at some point the child will need an adult sleeping bag and thus it doesn’t make sense to buy a very pricey down sleeping bag. Furthermore, down sleeping bags are mostly aimed towards pros who need super light gear for their demanding trips. Note that synthetic insulation comes in a range of qualities and that the best can almost compete with down. On this list of the best sleeping bags for kids we made it a priority to include products with high-quality synthetic insulation. Some of the products do come in down versions as well, but unless your kids are going camping in very cold weather, synthetic insulation should do the job.
Weight and Packed Size:
A sleeping bag should be relatively light and pack small, especially if it will be used for on-foot outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking and scouting. Light equipment will allow your child to hike faster and easier. In this selection we listed the lightest sleeping bags for kids we could find without compromising quality.
The face fabric should be sturdy to extend the lifespan of the sleeping bag. It should also be water-resistant to prevent the sleeping bag from getting soaked in case of rain or high humidity.
As mentioned above, the length of the sleeping bag should fit the height of your child somewhat in order to be thermally efficient. Sadly, fewer and fewer children’s sleeping bags can be adjusted in length, so it can be expanded gradually to follow the growth of your child. Check out the table below to see which height(s) each listed product fits.
Since the widely used EN 13537 temperature rating standard does not apply to children (it applies only to adult men and women), manufacturers of sleeping bags for kids typically use their own methods to determine which temperatures their sleeping bags are suitable for. Note that these ratings do not apply perfectly to everyone because for example women get colder faster than men. Therefore, it is important to test the sleeping bag close to home before using it for real.
In this review we only listed mummy sleeping bags as these are the most versatile; they snugly enclose the body to provide good warmth and can be unzipped for ventilation.
We only list top-tier products. Read how our selections of best hiking products differ from others here.
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2. The Best Sleeping Bags for Kids Review
The Best Sleeping Bags for Kids – List
- Big Agnes Duster 15
- Kelty Kids Mistral 20
- Morrison Outdoors Big Mo 40
- Marmot Kids Trestles 30
- REI Co-op Kindercone 25
|Feature/Product||Big Agnes Duster 15||Kelty Kids Mistral 20||Morrison Outdoors Big Mo 40||Marmot Kids Trestles 30||REI Co-op Kindercone 25|
|Weight||2 lbs. 14 oz. (1300 g)||2 lbs. 10 oz. (1200 g)||1 lbs. 3 oz. (539 g)||2 lbs. 9 oz. (1162 g)||3 lbs. 3 oz. (1474 g)|
|Fits Heights (Metric)||4'5" to 5'6" (135 cm to 168 cm)||Up to 5 feet (152 cm)||Up to 4´6´' (137cm)||Up to 5 feet (152 cm)||Up to 5’6’’ (167 cm)|
|Adjustable||Yes (by snap fasteners)||No||No||No||Yes (via stuff sack)|
|Insulation Type||M4 synthetic fill||Synthetic CloudLoft||Hi-Loft Polyester||Marmot SpiraFil||Polyester fibers|
|Face Fabric||Polyester Rip-stop||190 T Polyester Taffeta||100 % Ripstop Nylon||70D 100% Polyester embossed||Ripstop nylon|
|Packed Volume/Size||9 x 20 in. (23 x 51 cm)||10 x 17 in. (25 x 43 cm)||8 x 15 in. (20 x 38 cm)||8.27 liters||12 x 16 in. (30 x 41 cm)|
|Limit Temperature||15° F (-9° C)||20° F (-7° C)||40° F (4° C)||30° F (-1° C)||25° F (-4° C)|
1. Big Agnes Duster 15
The Big Agnes Duster 15 is great sleeping bag for kids as it is adjustable in length; it accommodates youths from 4’5″ to 5’6″ (135 cm to 168 cm). You adjust the length of the sleeping bag by folding the end of it and securing it with snap fasteners. The Big Agnes Duster 15 is also equipped with hooks and loops which allow you to adjust the width of the sleeping bag and has a sleeve at the bottom for easy attachment to a sleeping pad. In terms of insulation, the Big Agnes sleeping bag is the warmest sleeping bag on this list with its high-quality M4 synthetic insulation. The face fabric is sturdy and water-repellent, while the lining is a smooth and comfortable polyester. F0r easier drying it is equipped with two loops at the bottom. Big Agnes also offer high-quality sleeping bags for smaller children: The Little Red (up to 4’=122 cm) and Wolverine (up to 5’=152 cm). They all come with a stuff sack and are only available in red.
- Adjustable in length
- Adjustable in width
- Sleeve for sleeping pad
Where to buy?
Also available at:
2. Kelty Kids Mistral 20
The Kelty Kids Mistral sleeping bag for children is available in two versions, rated at 20 ºF and 30 ºF respectively. The Kelty Kids Mistral 20 is insulated with 30.51 ounces (865 g) of Cloudloft Synthetic Insulation, while the lighter version has 26 ounces (740 g) of the same insulation. That makes the Kelty Kids Mistral 20 slightly more bulky when packed, but otherwise the two models weigh the same and fit children up to a height of 5 feet (152 cm). Each version is available in two cool color combinations. The design is child-friendly as the materials are robust, and the baffle construction is offset to prevent cold spots. Included is a conveniently sized stuff sack, so your child can pack up the Kelty Kids sleeping bag by itself rather having someone else (you!) roll and compress it for 10 minutes to fit into some narrow holster.
3. Morrison Outdoors Big Mo 40
Morrison Outdoors provides sleeping bags, or rather sleep suits, for the smallest hikers and outdoor people! The newly established brand, which is named after the founder’s son, offers sleeping bags for babies (age 6 months to 2 years) and toddlers (2-4 years) up to 4´6´’ (137cm) tall, the Little Mo and Big Mo respectively. Each size comes in a down version and a synthetic version. For this list, we chose the Morrison Outdoors Big Mo 40 which utilizes synthetic insulation, thus being suitable for ambient temperatures (40°F to 60°F / 4°C to 15°C). The good thing about the Big Mo 40 (and Little Mo 40) is that it features adjustable open-and-close sleeves, so that your toddler can have the hands free while awake, and tucked away snugly inside the closed sleeve when asleep. The two-way zipper provides total ventilation control, so it can be more or less zipped depending on how warm your child is at night. Read our first-hand review of the smaller, but almost identical Little Mo 40 for children aged 6 months to 2 years here.
- Open-and-close sleeves
- Fully-enclosed footbox
- Two-way zipper for adjustable ventilation
- Price for the limited age range
Where to buy?
Also available at:
4. Marmot Kids Trestles 30
The Marmot Kids Trestles 30 sleeping bag is with its length of 60 inches suitable for children up to five feet tall (152 cm) and is not adjustable in length. The sleeping bag features a robust 70-denier face fabric and comfortable polyester lining. It is filled with 24 oz. (680 g) of SpiraFil LT insulation which is very compressible. The Marmot kids sleeping bag is also equipped with an adjustable hood, a trapezoidal 3D foot box and two zippers; a full length locking YKK two way zipper with an anti-snag slider and a second fold-down zipper for added ventilation and easy access. The Marmot Kid’s Trestles 30 sleeping bag has been around for a while, so you might be able to find it in various color combinations. In any case, it comes with a stuff sack for easy carrying and has drying loops at the bottom.
- Robust face fabric for good durability
- Compressible and moisture-resistant SpiraFil insulation
- Anatomically shaped footbox for extra warmth and comfort
- A bit heavy for the warmth it provides
Where to buy?
Also available at:
5. REI Co-op Kindercone 25
The REI Co-op Kindercone 25 sleeping bag for kids can be adjusted in length to follow the growth of your child like the Big Agnes Duster 15. The method is unassuming, but somewhat ingenious. The stuff sack is attached at the foot box of the sleeping bag, so you can simply cinch it around whatever amount that is superfluous for your child’s current height. The fact that the stuff sack is attached entails that it is impossible to lose, but also makes it a bit harder to pack until your kid has the method down. The REI Co-op Kindercone 25 sleeping bag is equipped with a two-way antisnag coil zipper, so it can be used to ventilate the legs as well. The hood is adjustable with a drawcord, but also has a stretch opening around the face for a good fit. There are multiple colors to choose from; the lightweight durable ripstop nylon shell is a solid color while the interior is made of soft polyester taffeta in funky prints.