Best Warm Weather Sleeping Bags – Reviews and Guide 2020

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Last Update: 09.Jun.2020

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REI Co-op Magma 15

The REI Magma 15 is a three-season sleeping suitable for use in spring, summer, and autumn although it may be too warm for use (without serious venting) in high summer, depending on your location and whether you’re a warm or cold sleeper. Its sweet spot is definitely in the cooler months during autumn and spring, when the days are shorter, the nights are cooler, and you need to a sleeping bag that will keep you warm as your metabolism slows during the longer nights.
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Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag

The Cosmic 20 is one of the cheaper down sleeping bags on the market—definitely from a major manufacturer—but the EN Lower Limit rating of 19 degrees should keep you warm and cozy in most 3-season conditions (the Comfort rating is not provided). It’s true that the 600-fill power down doesn’t offer the same warmth or packability as other sleeping bags on this list, but we love the value and you get the bonus of a hydrophobic treatment for wet conditions.

by Willie Test

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Last Update: 09.Jun.2020

Even in the midday heat of midsummer, nights in the great outdoors can be chilly. So, if you’re headed out to enjoy some quality time in the woods on a camping trip, you’ll want to be sure to pack a summer backpacking sleeping bag so you can stay warm at night.

That being said, there are a whole lot of different warm weather sleeping bags out there to choose from, so it’s easy to be overwhelmed by your options. To get you up to speed, we’ve put together this guide to the best summer sleeping bags, complete with reviews of some of the top models on the market today. Here we go!

REI Co-op Magma 15

If you want to hike ultralight and sleep well at night, look no further—850-fill-power goose down gives the women's REI Co-op Magma 15 sleeping bag our highest warmth-to-weight ratio.
The REI Magma 15 is a three-season sleeping suitable for use in spring, summer, and autumn although it may be too warm for use (without serious venting) in high summer, depending on your location and whether you’re a warm or cold sleeper. Its sweet spot is definitely in the cooler months during autumn and spring, when the days are shorter, the nights are cooler, and you need to a sleeping bag that will keep you warm as your metabolism slows during the longer nights.
Go To Amazon shop
  • Technical specs

Tested Lower Limit

3 degrees (F)

Tested Comfort

17 degrees (F)

Temperature Rating (F)

17 degrees (F)

Temperature Rating (C)

-8.3 degrees (C)

Weight

Long - Right Zip: 2 lbs. 6 oz. Regular - Right Zip: 2 lbs. 4 oz.

Shell

Pertex® 15-denier ripstop nylon (bluesign® approved)

Zipper Location

Right

Insulation Type

Down

Water-Resistant Down

Yes

Fill

850-fill-power goose down (RDS certified and bluesign® approved)

Fill Weight

Long - Right Zip: 24.5 ounces Regular - Right Zip: 23.45 ounces

Fits Up To (in.)

Long - Right Zip: 72 inches Regular - Right Zip: 66 inches

Shoulder Girth (in.)

60 inches

Hip Girth (in.)

57 inches

Stuff Sack Size

7.5 x 15 inches

Stuff Sack Volume

10.9 liters

Compressed Volume

Long - Right Zip: 10 liters Regular - Right Zip: 7.3 liters

Gender

Women's

Sustainability

Down certified to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), Contains materials that meet the bluesign® criteria

Pros

Generous knee and foot space

Very warm

Good value

Cons

Less compressible

Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag

Sleep snug and sound on subfreezing fall nights in the men's Kelty Cosmic 20 sleeping bag. It features soft-as-silk nylon taffeta fabric and a handy stash pocket for your headlamp.
The Cosmic 20 is one of the cheaper down sleeping bags on the market—definitely from a major manufacturer—but the EN Lower Limit rating of 19 degrees should keep you warm and cozy in most 3-season conditions (the Comfort rating is not provided). It’s true that the 600-fill power down doesn’t offer the same warmth or packability as other sleeping bags on this list, but we love the value and you get the bonus of a hydrophobic treatment for wet conditions.
Go To Amazon shop
  • Technical specs

Tested Lower Limit

19 degrees (F)

Tested Comfort

30 degrees (F)

Temperature Rating (F)

19 degrees (F)

Temperature Rating (C)

-7 degrees (C)

Weight

Long: 2 lbs. 10.7 oz. Regular: 2 lbs. 6.6 oz. Short: 2 lbs. 3.9 oz.

Shell

20-denier nylon taffeta

Zipper Location

Right

Insulation Type

Down

Water-Resistant Down

Yes

Fill

600-fill-power DriDown

Pros

Inexpensive, burly

burly

decent warmth

Cons

Heavier than average

no storage sack

Benefits of using a summer sleeping bag

A hot weather sleeping bag is the perfect buddy on any summer camping trip. While you might think that you only need a sleeping bag when camping in cold conditions, it can get quite cold at night – even in the summer. That’s where a lightweight summer sleeping bag comes into the picture.

Sleeping bags for warm weather can keep you warm at night, without causing you to overheat. These bags are made with just the right amount of down or synthetic insulation to help insulate you from the cold without making you feel like you just jumped into a sauna. Plus, they tend to be quite lightweight and easily packable, so there’s really no reason not to take one on your next summer backpacking trip.

Summer sleeping bag shape

Warm weather backpacking sleeping bags come in many different shapes and sizes. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of each kind:

  • Rectangular. Rectangular sleeping bags have, you guessed it – a rectangular shape. This shape means you have a lot of room to move around inside while you sleep. However, rectangular bags are less compact, so they are bulkier and take up more room in your pack. Plus, they are less efficient at keeping you warm at night.
  • Semi-rectangular. Semi-rectangular sleeping bags provide an ample amount of wiggle room, like a rectangular bag, but taper off at the feet. This makes them less bulky and more efficient at keeping you warm. However, they don’t have as much wiggle room as a rectangular bag and aren’t as warm as mummy bags.
  • Mummy. Mummy sleeping bags have a human-shaped design so that they minimize dead-air space and maximize insulating efficiency. They have very little internal wiggle room but are great at keeping you warm at night. Plus, they are less bulky in your pack.

What to look for when buying a summer sleeping bag

When shopping for the best sleeping bag for summer, here’s what to look for:

Insulation

A bag is nothing without its insulation. Modern bags are made either with down or synthetic insulation, which is designed to keep you warm at night. Down is more compressible and more efficient at keeping you warm. However, it is more expensive and does not function when wet.

Synthetic insulation is cheaper than down but bulkier. It is less efficient at keeping you warm than down, but can still work, even when wet.

Warmth and temperature rating

All backpacking sleeping bags have a temperature rating, which tells you the lowest temperature you should use it in if you want to stay warm. These will be expressed as a degree rating and should be a guideline for use. The best warm weather sleeping bags will have a temperature rating between 30 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Weight

No one wants to carry around extra weight, so it’s important to get a lightweight sleeping bag for your adventures. In general, the lightest bags will be made of down, which is more efficient at keeping people warm than synthetic insulation.

Durability

The last thing people want is to spend money on a bag, only to have it break after a few uses. Durable bags, however, generally use a thicker shell material, which adds weight and bulk to your pack.

Style and size

Modern sleeping bags come in a variety of sizes. Usually, you can get a model in either small, regular, or long, so you’ll need to check the sizes before you buy. Generally, a small is for people shorter than 5’6”, regular is for people up to 6’ tall, and long is for people up to 6’6” tall.

Features

Here are some of the features to look out for in a sleeping bag:

  • Sleeping bag hood. A hood is a part of a sleeping bag that pulls over your head, just as a jacket hood would. This feature greatly increases the warmth of a bag by keeping your head insulated from the cold. You’ll usually only find these on mummy bags, though.
  • Sleeping bag shells. The shell of a sleeping bag is the outer fabric that protects the insulation. Ultralight bags will use a thin shell fabric to save weight and bulk. However thicker shell fabrics are more durable in the long run.
  • Zipper features. Some sleeping bags have full or 3/4 length zippers, while others have none at all. Zippers make it easy to get in and out of the bag, however, they add bulk and weight to your set up. Additionally, you can often get either a “right-handed” or “left-handed” zipper, depending on your preferences.
  • Stash pocket. These days, many sleeping bags come with a small “stash pocket.” This allows you to store your headlamp and other small items in a convenient location in your sleeping bag so you don’t lose them at night.

Conclusion

There are many different warm weather sleeping bags out there, so it’s important to find the one that’s right for your needs. At the end of the day, what’s right for one person may not be the best for another. So, each camper needs to think about what they value in a summer sleeping bag before they buy one.

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