3 season sleeping bags are a must if your heart is set on a spot of autumn or winter camping. They’re designed to keep you warm on chilly nights and can be snug not sweaty when the weather is warmer. Read on to find out why you should be adding a 3 season sleeping bag to your camping checklist. 

Of course, as with a lot of camping equipment, there are many different 3-season sleeping bag brands out there - so it’s easy to become confused or overwhelmed by choice. Our advice? Follow our 6 essential rules for finding a successful sleeping bag. 

Season: Autumn - Winter

Weather: Mild - cold nights without frost

Night temp: 0°C and higher

What this means: You’ll stay warm when the temperature is zero, but you’ll feel the cold if it drops further.

1 - Filling

There are two main types of filling to choose from for sleeping bags; down or synthetic. Down insulation is made using animal feathers. This could be duck or goose feathers. Synthetic filling is the most popular and typically polyester. If there is a chance the ground may become wet on your camping trip it will dry quickly and a great option for winter camping trips. 

Top Tip: If you want to keep a down sleeping bag dry, pack it into a waterproof bag instead of the stuff sack it is provided in. Our Vango Waterproof Dry Bag set is perfect for this.

2 - Weight

The size and weight of your sleeping bag depends on how you’re going to use it. If you’re going to camp in places that are easy to reach, you can afford to carry a slightly heavier and roomier bag. If you’re going to be trekking for long periods of time, a lightweight 3 season sleeping bag with a down filling might work better.

Check out the Vango Microlite Sleeping bag for trekking. This bag weigh a mere 1kg, synthetic lined and made with explorers in mind. 

3 - Shape

Did you know the shape of your sleeping bag will effect your nights sleep? You have two shapes to choose from; rectangular and mummy shaped. The mummy is the most fitted and tapers towards the feet to keep your toes toasty and retain your body heat inside the bag. Mummy sleeping bags are also typically hooded to trap the heat around your head and shoulders keeping you nice and toasty. If you opt for a rectangular shaped sleeping bag it provides space and room to move, available in singles and doubles and zipped all the way around so you can open it flat and use like a blanket.  

Top Tip: Rectangular bags are less effective at keeping the heat in, if your wanting to stay warm and cosy all night opt for a mummy shaped bag. 

4 - Temperature rating

All sleeping bags come with a temperature rating (also known as a comfort rating). The comfort rating you choose depends on where you’ll be camping and what temperature you’re happy sleeping in. We recommend opting for 3 season sleeping bags that offer at least 10 degrees more warmth than you will need. Afterall, there’s nothing worse than shivering your way through a cold autumn night - plus, if your bag is too hot, you can always unzip it.

Check out our recommendation from Outwell. The Celebration Lux sleeping bag has a soft thick lining and an ideal rectangle 3 season sleeping.

5 - Size

The better a sleeping bag fits, the warmer it will be. The general rule of thumb is that you want to minimise the amount of air you have around you once you’re inside your sleeping bag - that means there’s less air for your body to heat up. 

To get the right sized sleeping bag for you, consider the length of the bag for your height, the width of your shoulders, and the width of your hips. Women’s sleeping bags tend to be narrower at the shoulders and wider at the hips than the usual sleeping bags. This is to prevent extra air from circulating. You’ll also find that there is extra insulation on the feet and torso.

Check out the Suncamp Heritage sleeping bag in super deluxe. This sleeping bag is popular with campers and caravaners too. For a generous 203cm and affordable price you can see why.

6 - Personal Preferences 

We all have different needs when it comes to being comfortable. Some people hate sleeping with their face partially covered, other people find they quickly get chilly at home if they don’t have socks on or have an extra blanket on their bed. 

Whatever you need to stay warm and to sleep well at home you’ll need to factor into your choice of sleeping bag. If you feel the cold more, then choose a 3 season sleeping bag that’s designed for 20 degrees lower than you expect it to be. If you hate sleeping with the sheets tucked in, consider if you’d be able to sleep comfortably in a fitted mummy sleeping bag.

As always, we’re here to help you choose the right 3 season sleeping bag for you. We hope you have found this blog helpful. If you need any extra advice or you have any questions, please come in-store or get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to assist you. In the meantime, happy camping!