Types of Sleeping Bags: How To Choose The Right One For You

Rilor Staff
Update: August 7, 2020
Table of Contents

There are a lot of considerations to make when you are choosing the right sleeping bag. It can be the size, the length, the texture, the price, the features, the insulation, or the shape.

There are also a lot of types to choose from and there are things that you must ask yourself first. You need to think things through like, where are you going to use this sleeping bag? What kind of place do you intend to go? Who will be using it? Is the one that is going to use the sleeping bag a warm sleeper? If it is you who are going to use it, think if do you get cold easily? And most importantly, always consider your budget.

In this article, we are going to help you and guide you to find the right answers from the questions mentioned above that matches you. We will talk about the things you need to know to understand why it is important to choose the right sleeping bag for you and not just choose the cheapest you can get out there.

Choosing The Right Shape Of Sleeping Bag

Sleeping bags have different shapes and those shapes are not just for design but it also serves different purposes.

About Rectangular Sleeping Bags

If you are more comfortable moving around when you are sleeping, this shape of a sleeping bag is the best choice for you. This sleeping bag has a lot more space to toss and turn while you are sleeping. Because of its wide-free space, you can easily stretch your arms and legs. 

But, given that it has a bigger space for your body to move, it also let the heat inside escape. This does not give enough warmth for your body that is why it is advisable to use during warm-weather conditions. You can also fully unzip this from head to toe based on how you want it if you feel hot during your camping trip.

 This sleeping bag has a cheaper price compare to the others because of its simpler design. It also not easy to pack because it is not compressible. 


  • If you are on a budget but still looking for a good sleeping bag
  • If you love moving around when you are sleeping
  • If your camping place has a warm-weather condition


  • If you are a warm sleeper and you get easily cold at night even on warmer weather
  • If you are going on a backpacking trip because it is not lightweight and easy to pack

About Semi-Rectangular Sleeping Bags

Semi-rectangular sleeping bags are like rectangular sleeping bags but it gives more warmth and its bottom is a little bit narrow. Unlike the rectangular sleeping bag, this often has a hood to trap the air even more inside. 

This is the best option to choose if you are going to camp on warm to cool weather conditions. But this is not advisable to use for winter season because it does not tolerate extremely cold weather. 


  • If you want that you can still move inside during your sleep but also want a warmer feeling at night.
  • This is easier to pack than the rectangular sleeping bag.
  • If you are camping from warm to cool weather places.


  • If you are going to extremely cold weather places.

About Mummy Shape Sleeping Bags

This sleeping bag is commonly used for cooler weather conditions. It offers the best warmth feeling among any other shape of sleeping bags because it copies the shape of your body and it is really compact to your skin. 

Because of that, the heat remains inside and your body also naturally releases heat. Mummy shape sleeping bags have a hood that you can pull and adjust base on what you want. You can pull it until the only exposed part of you is your eyes and nose. 

It also uses less material that made this sleeping bag lightweight and very easy to pack. It is advisable to use for backpacking because it is not heavy. 

The only downside with this is that your body cannot move freely inside.


  • If you are going to a place with a cold-weather condition.
  • If you are a warm sleeper and you love the warmth to embrace your body during your sleep.
  • If you are going on a backpacking trip.


  • If you are going on a summer camping trip, it will only make you feel roasted and hot at night.
  • If you want to move your body freely inside the sleeping bag or if you are claustrophobic.

Choosing the Right Sleeping Bag Based on Insulation Needs

There are two types of insulation for sleeping bags. The down insulation and synthetic insulation. 

Down insulation is made of goose or duck feather undercoats. It is the reason why down insulation has more warmth than synthetic insulation. This also weighs lighter than synthetic insulation but this option is a bit more expensive. The downside with this is that it does not perform well in wet conditions. It does not easily dry up that’s why you need to make sure that you are going to use this in dry places. This can also last longer than synthetic insulation if you take care of it properly.

While synthetic insulation is made to copy or imitate the down insulation, the warmth it can give can really not level the down insulation. But this is also a good choice especially if you are on a budget because this offers a much cheaper price. Also, it is still effective when wet and it dries up easily. The downside of this type of sleeping bag is that it is heavier and has a shorter life span.


  • If you want more warmth and you are not on a tight budget
  • If you are sure that you are not going to wet places
  • If you want a sleeping bag that lasts longer
  • If you prefer a lightweight sleeping bag


  • If you are on a budget but still want a sleeping bag that serves its purpose
  • If you are going to damp or wet camping sites
  • If you are thinking of unexpected rains
  • If you want a sleeping bag that is easier to clean
  • If it is okay for you to have a heavier sleeping bag

Choosing the Right Sleeping Bag Depending on Weather Conditions

In choosing the right sleeping bag for you, you should also consider the weather condition. Think if you are you going to use it for summer, winter, or 3-season.

Summer Season

During summer, the temperature plays around 35℉ and above. You need to have a thinner sleeping bag and the least option you can make is to choose a mummy sleeping bag. It will only make you uncomfortable at night and sweat will run over your body. 


  • You can use a rectangular shape sleeping bag because its features are the best for warmer weather conditions because it can be fully unzipped if the weather gets too hot.
  • Make sure that you are going to choose a sleeping bag which you can well ventilate during hot summer nights
  • Sleeping bags for the summer season are commonly lightweight because it is thinner

Winter Season

Winter season has extremely cold weather and its temperature plays around 10℉ and below. You need to have a thicker sleeping bag during this season that offers good heat retention. You don’t want to freeze yourself to death during your camping trip because it is supposed to have good memories!


  • If you are not a tight budget, opt for down insulation sleeping bags or mummy shape sleeping bags. These sleeping bags are the best for the winter season
  • You can also choose synthetic insulation if you are on a much affordable side but make sure to check its temperature limit.

Note: Temperature limits indicate the average type of sleepers. It shows the sleeping bag’s optimal temperature to have a comfortable sleep at night. Make sure to add adjustments especially if you easily get cold.

3-Season Needs

3-season is an all-around season. Its temperature plays around 10℉ to 35℉. Weather conditions during this season can be from warm to cool. This is usually during fall or autumn. Any type or shape of a sleeping bag is okay during this season but the most recommended is the semi-rectangular sleeping bag because it is not too hot on the body and it can give enough warmth if it gets cold.

Tips When Buying Your Sleeping Bag

Now that you know the different types of sleeping bags and their different purposes, you are now ready to purchase your own. Here are some tips for you when you are going to buy a sleeping bag:

  1. List down what shape, what type of insulation, and what season you are going to use it so that you can choose and scan options easily.
  2. If you are going to buy on a physical store, make sure to fit it so that you will know if it is the right size and length for you. Also, for you to know if you like the feel of the sleeping bag.
  3. If you are going to purchase online, make sure to read the reviews and comments of previous buyers so that you will have an idea of what size best suits you.

Choosing the right sleeping bag for you can be a little tricky and complicated but with the information mentioned above, you can now easily understand what you really need for your camping trip.

The right sleeping bag varies from people to people, that is why it is you who can better understand and realize the type of sleeping bag that really suits you. 

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