After a long day hiking up the mountain or trekking through the wilderness, there’s nothing more rewarding than crawling into your sleeping bag for a well-deserved night’s sleep. Snuggling up against the soft fabric and plush down filling whisks you to sleep in a matter of seconds, allowing you to peacefully dream about tomorrow’s adventure.
As you’re well aware, having the right camping sleeping bag is crucial if you plan on spending any amount of time outdoors. However, finding the best women’s sleeping bag, that’s lightweight, warm, comfortable, and versatile can be tricky, especially considering how many types of sleeping bags are on the market today.
That’s why we put together this camping sleeping bag buying guide for women. We’ll explain exactly what you should look for when choosing a sleeping bag and tell you which bags we’ve used that have lived up to our high expectations.
Why Trust This Guide?
Both of us are born campers who have spent endless nights sleeping in the great outdoors around the world. We’ve stayed everywhere from rustic cabins to campsites and have even spent a fair amount of time camping in the middle of the wilderness all over Europe! Which is why we can honestly say that a durable sleeping bag is crucial to getting a good night’s sleep.
However, we’ll be the first to admit that we haven’t always been as prepared as we are now. A few years ago, we decided to camp at the top of the Transfagarasan in Romania. This was during the summer, so we thought it was okay only to bring a sleeping bag liner.
Unfortunately, we soon discovered that the peak of the mountain was much colder than expected. In fact, it was freezing! We spent all night shivering and doing whatever it took to warm up (including a few failed attempts on boiling water for our hot water bottle).
From that moment on, we knew that we had to invest in a camping sleeping bag that we could take with us wherever we went.
Why You Need a Camping Sleeping Bag
A camping sleeping bag provides warmth and comfort when sleeping outdoors or in a tent. In general, a sleeping bag is all the portable bedding you’ll have on your trip (compared to a pillow, air mattress, sheets, etc.), which means it’s important to find one that’s both comfortable and insulated.
Unless the idea of hauling an air mattress and bedding in your backpack sounds fun, you’ll likely need to bring a camping sleeping bag with you. But don’t worry – many types of sleeping bags can be incredibly warm and cozy, just like the bed you have at home!
Difference Between Sleeping Bags for Men and Women
Despite what you may think, not all sleeping bags are made equal! While many sleeping bags can be used by both men and women, a sleeping bag made specifically for women can be more comfortable.
Generally speaking, women’s sleeping bags tend to be smaller, which offers a more snug and form-fitting feel. This also keeps you warmer at night since there is less airflow around your body. Longer or loose-fitting sleeping bags will have the opposite effect – leaving you with cold toes while you sleep!
Women’s sleeping bags also are better fitted around the hips since they are crafted specifically to a woman’s shape. This provides better insulation which will help you stay warm throughout the night.
Different Kinds of Camping Sleeping Bags
When researching sleeping bags, you’ll likely come across three different styles – summer, winter, and three or four-season. Deciding which kind to buy will largely depend on where and when you plan on camping.
|Bag Type||Temperature Rating Male (°C)*|
|Summer season||15°C (59°F) to 0°C (30°F)|
|Three or Four season||0°C (30°F) to -10°C (15°F)|
|Winter season||-10°C (15°F) to -25°C (-13°F)|
|*Note: Women need sleeping bags of 5 to 10 degrees warmer than men!|
Made to withstand temperatures down to 0°C (30°F), a summer sleeping bag doesn’t require a lot of fabric or insulation. As a result, it’s exceptionally lightweight and has the ability to pack down very small. You’ll also find that most summer bags don’t come with pillows or hoods, as you don’t particularly need extra fabric in warm weather.
Most winter sleeping bags are built to keep you warm in temperatures down to temperatures of -10°C (15°F). They’re usually made with thick fabric and a lot of insulation, which in turn can make them large and bulky. You’re also more likely to find hoods, draft collars, or zippered draft tubes on winter sleeping bags compared to other styles.
You can read our cold weather camping hacks for more inspiration!
Three or Four-Season
If you’re looking for a versatile sleeping bag that can be used for different trips, then we recommend looking into a three or four-season bag. These styles can handle a wide range of minimum temperatures (usually anywhere from (10°C) 15°F to 0°C (30°F), which makes them a great choice for spring and fall. More expensive models might also come with cold-weather features like detachable hoods or draft collars.
What to Look Out for When You Want to Buy the best women’s sleeping bag?
Choosing the best women’s sleeping bag can be confusing, especially with so many different styles, models, and brands out there. However, there are a few specific things to keep in mind to help make your decision easier.
First and foremost, your sleeping bag should be able to keep you warm, which is why the type of insulation used is very important. For winter, Goose-down is by far the best, as it’s lightweight, compressible, and undoubtedly the warmest kind of insulation on the market.
More affordable sleeping bags tend to use synthetic insulation, which is great for those with down allergies. It’s not ideal for cold climates, but should be sufficient if you’re camping during the summer.
Every sleeping bag comes with a temperature rating, which describes the lowest temperature it can handle. In the US, this is measured by a specific temperature in Fahrenheit. For example, a sleeping bag with a 20°F (-6.6C°) should keep you warm even down to temperatures of 20°F (-6.6C°).
You may also see the universal standard measure of temperature often used in Europe called EN 13537. In addition, newer sleeping bags will have an ISO rating, which is the new standard meant to replace the EN rating. These bags will have the following ratings:
- Upper Limit: The lowest temperature the average man can comfortably sleep (without profusely sweating) with the zippers open and his arms laying outside the bag
- Comfort Level: The lowest temperature the average woman can comfortably sleep
- Transition Range: The temperature where the average man might feel cold, but not shivering
- Extreme Limit: The range of temperature where one might feel very cold. You should only sleep in this range in an emergency, as the risk of hypothermia may be high.
These ranges are determined by rigorous testing with mannequins in a cold chamber lab, which simulates the real temperature one might experience in the outdoors. The bags are also tested out in nature, to ensure they hold up in a real-world setting.
When purchasing a camping sleeping bag, you should also consider the shape of the bag itself. We believe the mummy-style sleeping bag is the most comfortable style to look for when it comes to the best women’s sleeping bag, as it’s lightweight and form-fitting. They also tend to be warmer than rectangular sleeping bags, as there won’t be as much airflow in the sleeping bag.
Other styles like rectangular and semi-rectangular are also popular choices. These types of bags can unzip to lay flat and provide more than enough space to spread out like a blanket. But while they are more spacious, they tend to not keep you as warm as mummy-style sleeping bags.
Top 5 Best Women’s Sleeping Bags
As we mentioned, you’ll have a seemingly endless amount of options when it comes to choosing the right sleeping bag. However, we curated this list of the top 5 best women’s sleeping bags to help point you in the right direction!
The North Face One Bag | Best 4 Season Women’s Sleeping Bag
Comfort temperature: -15, -7 or 5°C (5, 20 or 40°F) depending on which layer(s) you use
- Very versatile
- Affordable price point
- Goose-down filling
- Not very compressible
- On the heavier side (when complete sleeping bag is used)
True to its name, the North Face One Bag is the best woman’s sleeping bag for any type of trip. This 3-in-1 system has interchangeable layers that make it suitable for both warm weather and cold climate camping.
The lightweight outer layer is perfect for temperatures up to 5°C (40°F), while the mid-layer provides warmth down to -7°C (20°F). If you’re camping in extra cold destinations, both layers can be combined together to keep you snug and cozy even in -15°C (5°F) temperatures.
We’ve been thrilled with the One Bag and use it for practically every camping trip we go on. For example, we only took the outer layer with us on our cycling trip to Switzerland, and it kept us nice and cool during those warm months.
Sea to Summit Flame Fml Ultralight | Best Women’s Sleeping Bag for Summer
Comfort temperature: 5°C (48°F)
- Body forming
- Packs down small into a compression sack
- Goose-down filling
- Not meant for tall women over 5ft 7in
The Sea to Summit Flame Ultralight sleeping bag is made specifically for warm weather camping, with a temperature rating of 5°C (48°F). The 850 fill goose-down insulation is warm yet fully breathable, so you can still rest easily even in the middle of summer.
Nemo Aya Women’s 800-Fill | Best Women’s Down Sleeping Bag
Comfort temperature: -8,5°C (17°F)
- Comfortable and soft
- Water-resistant and warm
- Built-in air vents
- Lifetime warranty
- Goose-down filling
- Heavier than similar models
- Expensive price point
Have the best sleep of your life while you snuggle up with the Nemo Aya Women’s 800-Fill sleeping bag. The epitome of comfort, this bag has 800 fill-power ethically-sourced hydrophobic down, meaning it was collected in a humane way that lives up to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS). The down is also treated with water-resistant Nikwax, which means it stays dry and warm even if you’re camping in wet and cold climates.
The mummy-style body shape is tapered to your curves, so you won’t have to worry about any drafts or cold breezes keeping you up at night. We also love that it has zippered ThermoGill vents to increase airflow in case things get too toasty inside your tent.
Best of all, all Nemo products come with a lifetime warranty against defects and materials, which is a testament to their award-winning reputation.
Sierra Designs Cloud 20 | Best Women’s Lightweight Sleeping Bag for Backpacking
Comfort temperature: -1°C (30°F)
- Innovated zipperless designs
- Cool foot vent
- Goose-down filling | 30°F temperature rating
- Not as warm as advertised
Weighing in at just 1 pound 13 ounces, the Sierra Designs Cloud 20 is one of the lightest sleeping bags for women. Made from 800 fill treated DriDown and a nylon liner and shell, it barely takes up any weight in your pack, which is ideal for long-distance hikes or cycle trips.
We like that the entire bag is zipperless, which means you won’t feel constricted no matter how often you toss and turn during the night. And the self-sealing foot vent is great for those warmer trips when you need some air and want to kick your feet out from underneath the covers.
Because this is a lightweight bag, it’s best suited for warm conditions. Although it technically has a -9.5C (15°F) temperature rating, you might find that anything below -6.5C (20°F) is just too chilly. But if you’re staying in warmer areas, it’s the perfect travel companion to take with you on your trip.
Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree | Best Budget Women’s Sleeping Bag
Comfort temperature: -6C (20°F)
- Great price point
- Soft and comfortable
- Cozy footbox
- Built-in pockets
- Duck-down filling
- Heavier than some models (2lbs 9oz)
A fraction of the price of other durable sleeping bags on this list, the Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree is an affordable alternative to many expensive models. This three-season sleeping bag is made from a 600-fill down and water-resistant nylon layer that can withstand temperatures down to -6.5C (20°F). Not to mention, the super-soft 50-denier polyester lining is guaranteed to feel like the softest sheets you’ve ever slept in!
In addition to comfort, the Kelty Cosmic 20 also has a form-fitting foot box as well as an insulated hood and draft collar. It also has a built-in pocket so you can keep your phone or valuables close by at all times.
We Love to Hear From You!
The importance of a durable, high-quality camping sleeping bag should not be underestimated. We want you to wake up ready and refreshed to tackle whatever Mother Nature has in store for you! What feature is important to you when choosing a women’s sleeping bag? What types of sleeping bags have you tried in the past? Let us know in the comments below!