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Kids’ Sleeping Bags – Are they worth it?

Kids Sleeping Bag Round-Up

Kids grow.  Fast.  Many parents will argue that paying full-price for equipment that kids are going to outgrow in one season (or less) is simply a waste of money.  I get it.  There is a lot of gear out there built specifically for kids that just isn’t necessary.  Modifications of adult equipment can be made, cheaper stuff can be purchased and no one is worse for the wear.

Before having my own children, I was absolutely convinced that kids’ sleeping bags were a “luxury item”.  Something that was cute, weighed a little less, but really served no good purpose.  After getting my facts straight, seeing how my kids manage camping (with their own cute, small bodies), and doing a bunch of research, I would make the claim that kids’ sleeping bags are the KEY to keeping kids warm while camping.

The science behind it is actually pretty simple:  A smaller sleeping bag means less space that a child’s body has to heat up to keep them warm.

That’s it.

So, I went to work trying to get my hands on as many kid-specific sleeping bags that I could.  I wanted to see them side by side.  I wanted my own children to test their features, point out their favorites and do a lot of camping.  We certainly didn’t test them ALL, but we’re working on it!

To see the full line-up of kids bags we have tested, check them out in this post here.

Temperature Ratings:

As a parent, it is important to note that kids’ sleeping bags usually don’t have a temperature rating (and if they do now, they won’t for very long as regulations change.)  

I AM including the ratings in this post because I think they are a great way to help compare the different bags (roughly.)  However, here’s the scoop: there are a TON of factors and variables that change how warm your child will stay in a bag all HAVE to be factored in:

  • Your child’s body in general (if they run cold or hot)
  • Whether or not they are using a sleeping pad (and what kind)
  • The air temperature
  • The relative humidity
  • The wind speed
  • How many bodies they are sharing the tent with (or if they are sleeping outside) .  

Obviously, it’s not very cut and dry.  No matter what bag a child is sleeping in, make sure they are dressed appropriately for the weather (wool or synthetics, hat if needed, extra layers to add on if needed, socks, etc. etc.)

Kids Sleeping Bag Round-Up

Bottom Line: Kids’ sleeping bags are absolutely worth the investment (of around $100, depending on the quality of the bag).  This is definitely a piece of gear where you get what you pay for.

Check out our full line-up of kid bags here!

They keep kids warmer, safer and happier (which can go a LONG way on a family camping trip!)

I want to know!  What bags do you love, which features do you find important?  Which ones have you tried (or want to try)?

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Big Agnes Duster 15° Review - Tales of a Mountain Mama

Tuesday 18th of February 2020

[…] Are you curious if kid’s sleeping bags are really worth it? Check out this post from a few years back to learn why you might want to invest in a kids bag: Kids’ Sleeping Bags – Are they worth it? […]


Saturday 5th of May 2018

Milk and Honey is a company that makes sleep sack style down bags that are 800 fill for babies 3 mths-3yrs. They are pricey but amazing. I took my 5 mth old and (borrowed) one of these and it was amazing. She slept through the night in the tent!


Saturday 5th of May 2018

Also, they are great for that squirmy toddler and have options to fold up and tie off so they can walk around in them in the evening.

Lyndsey Pheister

Monday 16th of October 2017

So, we are outfitting the kids for late fall/early spring backpacking, now that they're old enough to enjoy the challenge. I'm looking at the marmot jr sorcerer because sierra has it on sale and because according to the specs, its lighter than the keltyn and its pack size is smaller. Know anyone who uses those? Ever tried them?


Tuesday 17th of October 2017

I haven't tried it, but I should! I'll see what I can work out to test it!


Tuesday 1st of November 2016

Here we are several years later, and I haven't found any newer/better kid bag reviews yet. I'm comforted to know we're not the first to deal with the wiggly kid problem. We've camped with our kids since our oldest was 4 months old, but now she's bigger, more independent. She turns five next month. We camped last month with her, and 'baby sister' who just turned three, and it was a miserable weekend as far as sleep went. Baby sister, who doesn't have her own bag yet, 'slept' between us (slept = levitating Spirograph, here) and Big sister 'slept' in a corner of the tent, having slid all the way down and off the pad, whining - in her sleep - about being cold (in the 50+ degree night).

Now I've read lots and lots and lots of reviews, and it leaves my question: has anyone found a solution to the slippery bag all over (and off) the pad that doesn't involve the pad sleeve, OR are there quality mfgs with a sleeve other than Big Agnes, OR has anyone tried sewing their own sleeve, straps, Velcro, etc. to a pad? I read somewhere to use puffy paint on the pad to make it stickier, but that sounds like misery to get back in a pack to me.

To complicate matters slightly, we'd like the option of zipping Big sis & Baby sis in a double setup of their own, if it's even remotely possible. Dad & I sure do like our right and left zipped Cat's Meows!

Thanks in advance! Another mountain mama

Also, anyone reading this have good/bad experience with the North Face Dolomite? I read lots of people love their Tigger, but they seem to be out of production.


Tuesday 1st of November 2016

You have inspired me to write an updated post :) Kid Sleeping bags are so tough...but I do have some ideas.

I haven't seen any other than Big Agnes doing the sleeve...but quilts are a big help too. Stay tuned! I'll work on it ASAP!

Chocolate Blog

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[...] ng bag and resew it to make it smaller. I am not really sure about that, what do [...]