Best Sleeping Bags for Kids

When people think about taking kids camping, their biggest concern is almost always how are people going to sleep (and WILL sleep actually happen???). And with good reason – it’s hard for kids to do change sometimes…and even more so when they’re suddenly in a sleeping bag instead of a bed. Because of this we did some extensive testing and rounded up the best sleeping bags for kids.

Not only have we tested out the best sleeping bags below, we also have awesome round-ups on Sleeping Pads for Families and Best Family Tents.

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Best Sleeping Bags for Kids – WHY?

Not sure WHY kid-specific sleeping bags are worth it?

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 sleeping bags for kids 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 sleeping bags for kids 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.

You’ll notice that our focus here is on more serious camping. These aren’t go-on-a-sleepover bags that you would use indoors. They’re not meant to be cutesy, but rather keep your kids warm and happy while camping.

Three kids in a tent in sleeping bags.

Temperature Ratings for Kids Sleeping Bags

As a parent, it is important to note that sleeping bags for kids don’t always have a temperature rating.

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, and socks).

Kids in REI Kindercone Sleeping Bag

Built-In Pad Sleeve for Kids Sleeping Bags

Sleeping pads are key to keeping warm while camping and are important in conjunction with sleeping bags for kids. When you roll off of them (or spin or nudge or whatever your kids do), you lose a ton of warmth.

Big Agnes Sleeping Bags have an integrated sleeve that keeps your bag and your pad attached. So, the only way you are going to be separated from your pad is by completely ditching the whole system.

Two of our favorite sleeping bags are the for young kids are the Big Agnes Little Red 20 and Big Agnes Wolverine 20. They’re both synthetic, both have pad sleeves and both keep kids really warm. We also like the “neck pillow” to trap warm air in the bag.

For most campers camping in colder temperatures, these are perfect. However, they are, obviously, heavier than carrying a down quilt + a pad (like the Enlightened Equipment ones shown below).

Down Sleeping Bags for Kids

There are limited down bags for kids, in fact Feathered Friends is the only company we know of making them. They are definitely more expensive than synthetic bags, but you are buying a much lighter weight bag that will pack small. All of the down sleeping bags are mummy shaped.

Feathered Friends sleeping bags are one of the best options for lightweight and warm kids’ sleeping bags. They pack super small, are warm, and fit kids’ bodies. The price tag reflects this, but they’re worth an investment especially for backpacking families.

Amelia – TMM Founder
Kids using a down quilt and REI sleeping bag.
Kids using a down quilt in the front and a REI Downtime Sleeping bag second (not currently produced).

Feathered Friends Flicker 20

The Flicker 20 is a fantastic bag for kids that grow (um, like they all do) and for kids that aren’t crazy about having their feet locked in a mummy bag. It has a cinch at the bottom you open to allow toes out AND a cinch to tie off for kids shorter than 5 feet.

  • Temp rating: 20 degrees
  • Weight: 1 lbs. 9.5 ounces
  • Length: 5′
  • MSRP: $369
Feathered Friends Sleeping Bag

Feathered Friends Fledging 20

This 22 ounce bag packs down small and is perfect for backpacking with kids. It fits kids up to 5 feet tall and has a mummy shape for warmth.

  • Temp rating: 20 degrees
  • Weight: 1 lbs. 6 ounces
  • Length: 5′
  • MSRP: $349
Feathered Friends Sleeping Bag

Synthetic Mummy Bags for Kids

If packing down small and staying warm with less bulk are priorities, a mummy shaped sleeping bag is the way to go (the backcountry quilt works well too).

These are all synthetic which means keeping it completely dry is less important. They do weigh more and not pack as small as the down options and backcountry quilts. Synthetic sleeping bags always cost less than a similar down bag.

Kids sleeping in Big Agnes Sleeping Bags

Big Agnes Little Red 20

This is a short and a fantastic bag for kids with an integrated sleeve option. This is the shortest stand-alone, traditionally shaped bag (no arms). It also is nice and lightweight and will pack down well for backcountry trips.

  • Temp rating: 20 degrees
  • Weight: 1 lbs. 11 ounces
  • Length: 4′
  • MSRP: $99.95
Big Agnes Little Red 20

Big Agnes Wolverine 20

This bag is longer than the Little Red and a bit heavier as a result. It has a half pad sleeve and like the Little Red, a DWR (durable water repellant) finish.

  • Temp rating: 20 degrees
  • Weight: 1 lbs. 11 ounces
  • Length: 56”
  • MSRP: $119.95
Big Agnes Wolverine 20

Marmot Kids’ Trestle Elite Eco 30

This mummy bag from Marmot is a narrow, efficient to heat sleeping bag. It is filled with a recycled fiber insulation and compresses well for the price. It comes with a compression sack which is nice for backcountry trips. It does run less roomy than the other synthetic mummy bags. The size has been great for my petite child.

The Kids’ Trestle Elite has a unique feature, zippers on both sides. One is a full length, two way zipper as is found in most mummy sleeping bags. The second is a short zipper on the other side which is great for extra venting in warmer conditions. This makes it easier to use this bag in more temperatures.

  • Temp rating: 30 degrees
  • Weight: 1 lb 14 ounces
  • Length: 5’
  • MSRP:$119.00
Marmot Trestle Sleeping Bag

REI Co-op Kindercone 25

This one is a favorite for so many families simply because it truly allows kids to grow, is rated decently for cold nights and is comfortable. The stuff sack is integrated and can be used to close off the toe box leaving less space to heat up.

We have used a Kindercone for years and my kid loves it. While we carry it canoe camping, we put it in a compression sack for those trips. It would be a bit large and heavy for us to carry backpacking.

  • Temp rating: 25 degrees
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 3 ounces
  • Length: 5′
  • MSRP: $69.95
REI Kindercone

REI Co-op Zephyr 25

The Zephyr is REI’s longer mummy shaped bag for kids. It is synthetic, has a full length zipper and fits a little looser than some adult mummy bags. While not as lightweight as some other bags, this is a warm and comfortable bag at a good price.

  • Temp rating: 25 degrees
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 9 ounces
  • Length: 5’6”
  • MSRP: $149.95
REI Zephyr

Kelty Mistral 20 and Kelty Mistral 30

The Mistral collection of sleeping bags is known for its comfortable hood, spacious footbox and cozy CloudLoft insulation with offset quilt construction to prevent pesky cold spots. It is a fantastic deal for a quality bag.

The Mistral 20 would be my choice for the extra $5. It is easier to have kids wear less layers or vent a sleeping bag than it is to warm them up in the middle of the night!

  • Temp rating: 20 degrees
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 10 ounces
  • Length: 5′
  • MSRP: $59.95

Kelty Mistral 30

  • Temp rating: 30 degrees
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 9 ounces
  • Length: 5′
  • MSRP: $54.95

Rectangular Sleeping Bags for Kids

If your child really prefers to have some extra room to move throughout the night, we suggest going with a rectangular shaped sleeping bag over a mummy shape. The following below are the ones we love and recommend.

REI Kindercamp 40

The REI Kindercamp is great for backyard and car camping for slightly warmer temperatures (opposed to some of the bags rated to 15 degrees above).

We like that REI Kindercamp 40 stuff sack is integrated into a pocket at the foot, makes packing up so much easier!

It also zips to other sleeping bags like it to make a big double or as a blanket, which we use more than we thought we would. The bottom also unzips, so you can ventilate your feet if it gets warm.

  • Temp rating: 40 degrees
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 1 ounce
  • Length: 5′
  • MSRP: $69.95

Kelty Kids’ Callisto

If you want a sleeping bag for kids that is slightly warmer and slightly lighter than the REI Kindercamp, go with the Kelty Kids’ Callisto. It is rated to 30 degrees, fits kids up to 60″.

  • Temp rating: 30 degrees
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 9 ounces
  • Length: 5′
  • MSRP: $54.95
Kelty Callisto Sleeping Bag

Kids Backcountry Quilts

While most of us think of only using sleeping bags for kids while camping, there are other options. Backcountry quilts are basically down (or synthetic) quilts that are kid-size (or adult if you go that avenue, but we are just talking about kids here!)

They are our top choice for backpacking because they are so small and light. BUT, you’ll end up spending more than other sleeping bags.

Enlightened Equipment Quilts

You’ll notice that both of these above (from Enlightened Equipment) can be used flat like a quilt, or the toe box can be zipped like below (perfect as you adjust for different temperatures).

How Backcountry Quilts Work

With the quilts, you are sleeping directly on your pad. This allows more warmth with less fabric/material. Remember that when you’re in a sleeping bag, the material under you is compressed and really does almost nothing for warmth (which is why sleeping pads are so essential).

Kids that are really sensitive to how things feel may not love sleeping directly on their pads, but our kids are usually just in long underwear anyway so they don’t even notice.

Boy on a sleeping pad with an Enlightened Equipment Quilt

Enlightened Equipment quilts are made to order (though some are in stock now), which means they take a little longer to get to you, BUT you can also decide how warm you want your quilt to be! Since we live in the mountains and nights are almost always cold, we opted for the colder settings.

In general, down will be warmer and lighter, but synthetic works for most people and costs less. For kid-sized quilts, choose the “short” size.

The quilts come with straps so you can attach them directly to your pad as below to avoid rolling off and losing your warmth. They can also be cinched at the toe box and around the head.

Enlightened Equipment Quilt showing straps

Pros of Backcountry Quilts:

  • They are very small and light for backpacking in particular
  • They allow more movement than, for example, a mummy bag
  • Some, like the ones from Enlightened Equipment, have built-in straps that keep kids on their sleeping pads <–this is HUGE!
  • They can be used for more than just sleeping (think more like a throw blanket or used like a pillow)

Cons of Backcountry Quilts:

  • They tend to be more expensive than a sleeping bag
  • You are sleeping more directly on your sleeping pad, which has no effect on warmth, but is just something to get used to

Sleeping Bags for Babies and Toddlers

YES, please do take your baby camping. Find our best tips on getting them to sleep while camping here and some other outdoor baby gear we highly recommend here.

While you can certainly put a baby in a larger sleeping bag with you, it always makes me a bit nervous. Instead, we recommend these infant, toddler, and preschooler sleeping bags from Morrison Outdoors (also available at REI). In fact, you can read a detailed round-up of the Mo sleeping bag series from the team. Note – sizing correctly is very important for safety (i.e. don’t size up for your 9 month old!)

Each version of the Mo series comes in a down 20 degree version and a synthetic 40 degree version.

Two kids in Morrison Outdoors Sleeping Bags.

Little Mo

Little Mo is for babies aged 6-24 months.

The synthetic 40 degree Little Mo bag is for warmer weather and has hand cuffs you can open up for warmer weather. The down 20 degree Little Mo has enclosed hand areas, perfect for really cold temperatures.

Little Mo Down Bag

Big Mo

Morrison Outdoor’s Big Mo is for kids aged 2-4 years and just keeps them warm and snug. Again, the 40 degree synthetic is rated for warmer temperatures and has hand cuffs that open; the 20 degree down version does not.

Big Mo 40 degree bag

Mighty Mo

The Mighty Mo bags also come in 40 degree synthetic and 20 degree down versions. The age range is 4-6 years.

Mighty Mo Down Bag

Sooooo….Which One Should We Get?

  • If you’re backpacking and can afford it, go with the Enlightened Equipment Backcountry Quilts or Feathered Friends bags.
  • If you need a packable sleeping bag for the backcountry trips without the cost, go with the Marmot Trestle.
  • If your kids roll a lot, go with a Big Agnes Bag sleeping bags for kids.
  • If you need want the sleeping bag to last longer as they grow, go with the REI Zephyr.
  • If your kids prefer being a little less restricted in their bags and you don’t worry about weight, go with the REI Kindercamp or Kelty Callisto.
  • If you need a quality, affordable bag that will keep them warm, go with the one REI Kindercone or Kelty Mistral.

Related Posts:

Best Sleeping Bags for Kids

©2024 Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

Authors

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  • Amelia lives with her husband and five young children outside of Jackson, WY in Grand Teton National Park. As a mom, she quickly learned that the secret to sanity was to spend more time outside where tantrums don't see quite so bad. Amelia started TMM in 2012 to help encourage all families (including her own) to get outside, no matter the weather. Due to the necessity of having to keep so many kids warm and happy, she has become an expert in kids' gear and loves being able to share it with others.

9 thoughts on “Best Sleeping Bags for Kids”

  1. My mom JUST purchased our youngest a bag for Christmas so… I wish this was posted a week ago 😉 I really like the idea of the pad sleeve in the Big Agnes and might just have to return the one we purchased (from LLBean) to look into this (or the Kelty Try.Comfort!)…. THANK YOU. Loved this post.

    Reply
  2. This is a good rundown of the options, we are at a transition point where our daughter is too tall for her MEC kid’s bag, but small enough that an adult’s bag will be too heavy. I am getting her a lightish mummy bag and sewing her a quilt as an overbag. That way she won’t need to carry the full setup in summer when it won’t be -30°

    Reply
  3. Based on your review we got a Nemo Punk for our two year old. (I also got the Nemo pad) Finished our first camping trip with said two he old and we love this bag The integrated sleep pad sleeve is a MUST for a wriggly toddler that I would have never thought to have looked for! It’s a good weight for summer camping in the CO Rockies. Our trip was unusually warm but I’m confident it will be warm enough for much colder nights sure to come. Also like the boxy (not mummy) shape. My son sleeps like a starfish at home and did not complain or “break loose” in the night. Thanks for posting this review!

    Reply
  4. So my child is almost 9. Her REI Kindercone bag zipper that she has used since she was one-bit the dust. I am torn. Do I buy her an adult bag or another youth bag. She is short but stocky with wide shoulders and chest. We camp usually 3 seasons but with out fall temps often down to about 20 degrees overnight. I am torn. Worry an adult bag will have too much space.

    Reply
    • Hi Kelly – if weight isn’t an issue for you, getting a small adult bag that you could cinch down could work. That said I still have my 9 year old in a youth bag because it just is less to haul and does fit them BETTER. I hope that helps?

      Reply
  5. Thanks for review! I was looking at the Enlightened Equipment quilts – they don’t offer the kid specific versions anymore, but if you order a custom quilt that’s extra short slim, it’s the same size as the kids ones were.

    Reply

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