Whether you’re taking your children on a family touring holiday, to a festival or packing them off to Guide or Scout camp, knowing their snug at night will help both of you sleep better at night. Here’s my pick of the 10 best sleeping bags for kids.
This mummy-shaped sleeping bag is perfect for toddlers (up to 80cm tall). Its shape allows good space for movement without compromising on insulation. But rather than the traditional mummy-shaped hood, it has a flat head rest which is much safer for little ones. With a 2 season rating, it has a double layer construction and insulation features that stop any cold spots from developing and disrupting their sleep. Unlike many other mummy-shaped bags, it can unzip all the way to the bottom meaning you can also use it as a cosy blanket.
For kids under 12* (up to 150 cm tall)
Both the boys and girls versions of this high-quality 2-season sleeping bag have gorgeous designs and offer the great quality that you’d expect from Outwell. As well as a two-layer loose shell construction to minimise any cold spots, these sleeping bags also have a ridge hood and additional insulation around the shoulders to prevent warm air from escaping the bag. Extras include a big pocket on the front for book storage and a torch in the zipper puller. At 165cm long, it’s ideal for kids aged 3-10.
What’s different about this bag is it’s shape. It’s wider and roomier than most bags which means your child can sleep in pretty much any position they like. It’s 165 cm long, so is again probably best suited to children aged 3 – 10. Made of polyester (with a polyester lining) and with a 2 season rating, the Gelert Junior Sleeping Pod is a good and inexpensive option for sleepovers and general camping. It comes in a range of vibrant colours.
This bag is great for children who want a ‘grown-up’ looking bag. Providing warmth and confort for general camping, it’s included in the Duke of Edinborough recommended kit. It has a 2 season rating, and at 175cm long, it’s likely to suit ages 3 – 11. It’s not as light and small, when packed down, as some bags, but it’s good value for money.
Particularly perfect for girls who love pink! This 2 season, envelope-style bag affords wrigglers a little more room to stretch their legs. It comes with a ridged hood to help shelter your child’s head and some good technical features including cosy poly-cotton lining rather than polyester, which many of the cheaper bags have. It’s 160cm long and incredibly lightweight.
Good for warm weather camping and sleepovers, this 170cm long, 2 season rated sleeping bag offers good value for money. It’s lightweight without compromising on warmth, has a soft touch lining and comes in vibrant fun colours.
A reliable bag for colder camping trips, this 3-4 season bag can be used in conditions from -5° to 15°. Unlike most other bags, the Sonno Junior is not designed to be rolled tightly into a ‘stuff’ bag, but folds neatly into a holdall. This takes the stress out packing it up, but obviously requires more room.
This 1-2 season sleeping bag is an inexpensive option for light use in warmer conditions – perfect for cub scout camping or sleepovers. It has comfy poly-cotton lining and at 170cm offers plenty of growing space.
Tweenies and teenagers
Most kids sleeping bags are designed to fit children up to 152cm tall (5 ft). So if your child is a tween or teenager, it’s probably best to invest in an adult bag. These two Vango bags offer both quality and affordability.
A very roomy 2-season bag. Designed for temperatures from 6°C to 20°C, this bag is well suited for British summers and festivals. Its shaped hood, insulated shoulder area zip baffle all combine to keep draughts out and trap your warmth in the bag. It’s also lightweight and packs down well.
A basic but comfortable sleeping bag that’s great for adventurers, festival lovers and youth expeditions. Recommended for use for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, this 2-3 season bag is durable and warm. It has a tough shell and the ripstop polyester is light and strong. With adjustable 3D hood, it has extra insulation around the shoulder area and a two-way auto-lock zip to seal in the warmth.
Notes for parents
*The age range will obviously depend on the size of your child. I’ve given some approximate age guidelines based on average UK height/age charts, but always double-check your child’s height and ensure the bag you choose is at least twenty centimetres longer than their actual height.
Sleeping bag rating systems and specifications aren’t particularly easy to get to grips with. If your stumped, Go Outdoors have a no-nonsense guide about choosing the right sleeping bag for your needs.
Which sleeping bags are in your top ten?
If you liked this blog post, check out my other festival and camping posts.
Image credit: Stephen Depolo (commons on flickr)