The Best Sleeping Bags for RV and Tent Camping
These Warm and Comfortable Sleeping Bags will Help You Get a Good Night's Sleep
Like campfires, s’mores, and ghost stories, sleeping bags are an indelible part of camping. Even if you’re staying in an RV, sleeping bags are great for adding extra warmth or for when you have a guest join you on your outings. And if you happen to be sleeping in a tent, they are practically a requirement.
But with hundreds of models to choose from, finding the right sleeping bag to take with you on your adventures can be challenging. Fortunately, we have some suggestions on what to look for when shopping for this important piece of gear, along with a rundown of the best bags currently available.
How to Choose a Sleeping Bag for Camping
When searching for the perfect sleeping bag for your needs, there are a few things to keep in mind. As you start the selection process, here’s what you need to know.
All sleeping bags come with a temperature rating, indicating the lowest temperature at which they can comfortably be used. A bag with a 40ºF rating or higher will generally serve you well if you are mostly camping in warmer weather. On the other hand, if your camping excursions extend to the spring and fall, a three-season model with a rating of 15ºF-30ºF will be more useful. And if you camp in the winter, you’ll want a bag rated for 15ºF or lower.
Keep in mind, all sleeping bag temperature ratings assume they’ll be used while sleeping in a tent. Most RVs tend to be warmer inside, even without a furnace. Generally speaking, a sleeping bag rated for 40ºF should be fine when staying in a motorhome or travel trailer, although, in the winter, a warmer bag may be necessary.
When sleeping in a tent, be sure to get a sleeping bag designed to stay warm in the temperatures you’ll be experiencing. If you tend to get cold easily, consider buying a bag rated for cooler temperatures. On the other hand, if you’re a warm sleeper, you can always unzip the bag to allow cooler air in and to vent out heat.
Sleeping bags stay warm and cozy thanks to the insulation that is used in their construction. Most bags use either a synthetic material or down feathers from a goose or duck. Both types work well, but each has its own features that distinguish it from the other. For instance, synthetic down is hypoallergenic, thinner, and less expensive, but down is lighter, warmer, and more compressible, which makes the bag easier to store.
The type of insulation you choose generally comes down to personal preference and price. Modern synthetics perform very well, but down is the lightest, warmest insulation available. Both work well at the campsite.
Most sleeping bags come in two shapes, rectangular and mummy, with a few hybrid variations that combine elements of both. A rectangular model offers more interior space and doesn’t restrict movement, making it a good option for side sleepers. On the other hand, mummy bags have a tighter fit but retain more heat as a result.
A rectangular-shaped bag may be preferred when camping in an RV—where warmth is usually less of an issue. But if you’re sleeping in a tent, where the outside temperature is a bigger concern, a mummy bag may be the way to go. It all depends on the weather conditions and comfort levels.
Gender-Specific Sleeping Bags
In the past, sleeping bags were usually designed with only men in mind, and women were left to make do with a smaller version released in brighter colors. That isn’t the case anymore, as most models now come in gender-specific designs meant to accommodate both male and female campers.
Most sleeping bag manufacturers now shape their bags to accommodate the needs of the male and female body and even position the insulation to better suit the needs of each gender. As a result, women’s sleeping bags are more comfortable and warmer than in the past, and are shaped in way that conforms more naturally to the shape of their bodies.
Double Sleeping Bags
Some sleeping bags are large enough to accommodate two people, which can be great for couples or families with small children. These bags are rectangular shaped and roughly twice the size of regular models, making them fun to share. Zippers on either side allow campers to adjust ventilation as needed and come and go without disturbing their partner.
The Best Sleeping Bags for RV and Tent Camping
Now that we have an idea of what to keep in mind when shopping for a sleeping bag, here are our picks for the best options for RV and tent camping.
Klymit KSB 35 Sleeping Bag
Rated for use in 35ºF temperatures, the Klymit KSB is a comfortable sleeping bag for use in both an RV and a tent. The bag’s mummy-shaped design isn’t as restrictive as some models, and its 650-fill power down insulation is suitable for cool—not cold—temperatures. This model weighs just 2.1 pounds, making it light enough to be carried on backcountry backpacking trips too. The included compression sack also allows it to pack down small for easy storage.
Coleman Kompact 40ºF Sleeping Bag
For campers looking for plenty of room to move inside their sleeping bag, Coleman offers the Kompact 40ºF model. Don’t let the name fool you; this bag has plenty of space inside, and its rectangular shape won’t restrict your movement while you sleep. Rated for temperatures down to 40ºF, this is the perfect option for lounging in a camper van or motorhome during the spring, summer, and fall or warm-weather outings in a tent.
Big Agnes Torchlight Camp 20 Sleeping Bag
Big Agnes makes some of the best sleeping bags in the business, and the Torchlight Camp 20 is an excellent choice for three-season outings. This mummy-shaped model is surprisingly roomy inside while still performing well in temperatures as low as 20ºF. It uses synthetic insulation and has a PFC-free, water-repellent shell to keep you warm and dry. Perfect for use inside and out of the RV, this is a versatile bag made for adventure.
Eddie Bauer Kara Koram 0º StormDown Sleeping Bag
If winter camping is on your list of outdoor adventures, you’ll need a sleeping bag to keep you warm when the mercury drops. Eddie Bauer’s Kara Koram line of bags are comfortable, lightweight, and designed to perform well in the most demanding environments. The 0ºF model may be overkill for most RVers, but it is perfect for tent camping and backpacking during the coldest months of the year. You won’t believe how cozy it will keep you on those long winter nights.
Marmot Trestles Elite Eco 30 Womens Sleeping Bag
The Marmot Trestle is a sleeping bag specifically designed for women. It features eco-friendly, upcycled fabrics, a comfortable fit, and a 30ºF temperature rating. It also utilizes synthetic insulation strategically integrated to maximize warmth for female campers. The bag weighs just 2.25 pounds and compresses down to an impressively small size. That makes it a great choice not just for RVing and car camping but for backcountry outings too.
The North Face Eco Trail Synthetic 20 Kids Sleeping Bag
The North Face helps keep young campers cozy with the Eco Trail Synthetic 20 sleeping bag. Rated for use in temperatures down 20ºF, this model is made with fully recycled materials, including 100% recycled synthetic insulation. The bag’s unique wraparound zipper gives kids a snug fit without being overly restrictive. It also allows them to vent out warm air if they overheat at night. This is a great option for kids, whether used while RVing or tent camping.
Marmot Idlewild 30 Double Sleeping Bag
The Marmot Idlewild 30 is a double-wide model built for two or those who just prefer having additional room for themselves. This sleeping bag has a 30ºF temperature rating, making it a good choice for warm-weather outings. While this bag is on the heavy side at 7.2 pounds, It works well in a camper van, small RV, or while car camping. It comes with durable fabrics, full-length side zippers, an ample amount of space, and internal stash pockets.
Coleman OneSource Heated Sleeping Bag
Coleman found a unique way to keep campers warm with its OneSource Heated Sleeping Bag. While this model does use synthetic insulation, it also comes with two built-in heating pads powered by a rechargeable battery pack. Those heating pads have three different temperature settings and can stay on for up to four hours with the included power cell. That’s enough to help warm the bag before bedtime and provide additional heat when the thermometer drops unexpectedly.
There you have it, a rundown of some of the best sleeping bags currently available for RVers and tent campers. Any one of these bags should keep you warm and comfortable on your outdoor outings.