Sleeping during camping doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. In fact, it can be one of the most amazing nights of sleep that you can achieve. With the sounds of nature to lull you to sleep you really can’t get anything better. Definitely avoiding the sounds of honking cars and noisy neighbors is worth being outdoors. However, warm summer nights can be, well, sweltering. So how are you supposed to sleep while it is so hot outside? Luckily the camping industry has designed sleeping bags that are specific to the summer season. Because there are so many options I want to save you some time! So, here are the Top 4 Summer Sleeping bags.
Now I should start off by noting that there are a few different types of sleeping bags. There are three-season sleeping bags as well as ones that will cover you in the wintertime. If you are planning on doing camping in more than just the summer season you may want to consider those types of sleeping bags. The truth is that a multi-season sleeping bag is going to work in summer as well! So you need to know your sleeping bag requirements! Find out more about setting those requirements with our Sleeping Bag Guide.
Quick Look Top 4 Summer Sleeping Bags
Our review took into consideration the material, shape, options, and cost since we are focusing on the summer season. While the list is ranked each of these areas was weighted equally. It is important to note that no product was provided free of charge for testing so each of these reviews is unbiased and honest. All prices provided below are at the time of review.
4. Nemo Forte 35
Shape: Semi-Rectangular (Nemo’s Classic Spoon)
Minimum Temp: 35 Degrees
Weight: 2lbs 2oz
Fill Material: Synthetic (PrimaLoft)
Shell Material: Synthetic
Options: Blanket Fold Collar / Thermo Gills / Stuff Sack
What is Great: High-quality sustainable fill material, Thermo Gill ventilation, Unique “Classic Spoon” shape for side sleeping, Blanket Collar for keeping face warmer, and lightweight
What to watch out for: The zippers on the Thermo Gills and side are easily caught on the material
Our Take: The Nemo Forte 35 has both men’s and women’s versions which you can purchase in a longer length if you are taller. The innovative shape provides the ability for even side sleepers to get a good night’s rest. We also enjoyed the fact that this sleeping bag is light in comparison to most and can compress down fairly small. This makes using it for backpacking very compelling. That coupled with the sustainable PrimaLoft fill means you have a warm and waterproof sleeping bag. The PrimaLoft is an 80% post-consumer recycled material! Additionally, having the Thermo Gills makes it easier to regulate your temperature at night. Overall, the price is also very competitive even for entry-level campers.
3. Kelty Cosmic 40 Degree
Minimum Temp: 40 Degrees
Weight: 2lbs 6oz
Fill Material: Synthetic
Shell Material: Synthetic – Nylon
Options: Stash Pockets / Foot box / Stuff Sack
What is Great: Low price, lightweight, stash pockets in quick reach, foot box for extending your toes comfortably, quick-drying
What to watch out for: Mummy shape is narrow and constricting for larger people, thin material with little support,
Our Take: The Kelty Cosmic 40 degree sleeping bag is a fantastic budget sleeping bag that will get the job done in the summer. Kelty is well known for its quality products at a reasonable price and this is no exception. With a temperature rating down to 40 degrees, you will stay comfortable all summer. The material fill is a little thin which is great for staying cool and comfortable. However, it doesn’t add much in the way of cushion for sleeping. Therefore make sure you get a good sleeping mat.
The Cosmic 40 is lightweight and comes with a foot box for stretching your toes out. I hate that short-sheeted feeling and I don’t have to worry about it here. The bag is narrow overall and that is a bit concerning for rolling in the middle of the night. There is a long version that is available so that may help with the narrowness a bit as well. Finally, the stash pocket makes this one of the very reasonably priced and functional summer sleeping bags on the market. Overall I would recommend this summer sleeping bag for every skill level and budget.
2. Marmot Trestles 30 Degree
Minimum Temp: 30 Degrees
Weight: 3lbs 1oz
Fill Material: Synthetic – Polyester
Shell Material: Synthetic – Polyester
Options: Secondary Zipper / Foot box / Stash Pocket / Stuff Sack
What is Great: Low price, stash pockets in quick reach, foot box for toe comfort, draft tube, secondary zipper
What to watch out for: Mummy shape is tight for side sleepers, some zipper issues noted, heavy for backpacking
Our Take: Marmot is another well-trusted company that helps to make the Marmot Trestles 30 Degree another one of the affordable summer sleeping bags. In fact, for the summer this sleeping bag is near perfect. It includes a secondary zipper to allow for better ventilation on those warm summer nights. This also helps with some degree on the tight mummy shape as well. The foot box helps with the narrow sides too however, if you are a side sleeper you may want to consider something else.
One of the other unique things about this is the draft tube. If you do end up with a chilly summer night the draft tube will prevent air from blowing through the zipper. Finally, I appreciate that the stash zipper and drawstrings are within easy reach while sleeping. Overall, this is a fantastic option for a summer sleeping bag that I would recommend for every skill level.
1. Therm-a-Rest Space Cowboy 45
Minimum Temp: 45 Degrees
Weight: 1lbs 5oz
Fill Material: Synthetic
Shell Material: Synthetic
Options: Ultralight / Reflective lining / Sleeping Pad connectors / Stuff Sack
What is Great: Ultralight, reflective lining, reliable zippers, sleeping pad connectors to prevent sliding around at night, small carry size, zoned insulation
What to watch out for: Pricey, tight-fitting while sleeping, lacks nighttime storage, limited venting options for warm nights
Our Take: The Therm-a-Rest Space Cowboy 45 has a ridiculous name but it is a fantastic option. The price may scare away some campers that are just looking to start out. However, the quality of the fill and material mean that you will get many seasons of use out of it. The best part about this sleeping bag is that it can be used in numerous situations. Due to it’s very low weight if you decide to start doing ultralight backpacking then you can carry this with you. Or just stick with car camping and it will take up less space while you pack!
The reflective lining does help to retain more eat on a cooler summer night, but on those warmer nights, you may get too hot. This is because it does lack some functionality when it comes to venting. That is the trade-off for the lightweight though. If you are a side sleeper this may not be the bag for you. However, if you are comfortable on your back or stomach the sleeping pad connectors are a wonderful option to keep you in place as you sleep.
Overall, the blend of ultralight status, quality build, and innovative connection points make this a great option for skilled campers. However, an entry-level camper may want to splurge a bit if they see themselves digging in and expanding their camping in the coming years.
Final Thoughts on Summer Sleeping Bags
The four options that are provided here are in most cases fantastic summer sleeping bags that even new campers will be able to get into. They are competitively priced, come with some wonderful options, and will provide you with a comfortable night’s sleep. That is the real goal of the sleeping bag. While it is meant to keep you warm it is really there to provide comfort. So if you are planning on doing strictly summer camping then these four sleeping bags are your best choice. Remember though it is important to know what your sleeping requirements are. Identifying that upfront will ensure that you get the sleeping bag that is right for you. Here’s wishing you a wonderful night’s sleep out on the trail!
What are your biggest concerns when sleeping during the summer in a sleeping bag? Share your thoughts in the comments below, on our Facebook, or Reddit!