If there is one thing you can never leave out of your camping checklist, it’s a reliable sleeping bag that will keep you warm and dry while you spend the night under the stars. The best summer sleeping bags are highly compressible, packing down to a size that doesn’t take up too much space in your pack. They are insulated to protect you against moisture and humidity, and they add minimal weight on your shoulders when backpacking. In order to help you choose among hundreds of different models, we have selected the five best summer sleeping bags available on the market, accounting for price, warmth and, of course, comfort.

For more of our top gear recommendations, check out the Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags

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Hiking Gift Guide

 

Quick Answer - The Best Summer Sleeping Bags

  1. The North Face Dolomite 40
  2. Big Agnes Buffalo Park 40
  3. Exped MegaSleep 40
  4. Big Agnes Wiley 40
  5. Marmot Hydrogen Down

 

Comparison Table - Best Sleeping Bags for Summer

PictureNameWeightInsulationShapeTemperature RatingPriceRating
The North Face Dolomite 402 lbs. 9 oz.Synthetic Rectangular40 Degrees$$4.3
Big Agnes Buffalo Park 402 lbs. 15 oz.Synthetic Semi-Rectangular40 Degrees$$3.9
Exped MegaSleep 401 lb. 10.1 oz.Synthetic Rectangular40 Degrees$$4.5
Big Agnes Wiley 401 lb. 12 oz.DownMummy30 Degrees$$$4.9
Marmot Hydrogen Down1 lb. 7.3 oz.DownMummy30 Degrees$$$4.7
PictureNameWeightInsulationShapeTemperature RatingPriceRating

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Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - Best Summer Sleeping Bags

The North Face Dolomite 40

Specs
  • Insulation: Synthetic
  • Shape: Rectangular
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 9 oz.
  • Temperature Rating: 40 Degrees
Features
  • Built With Sustainable Materials
  • Roomy Cut & Old School Style
  • Sturdy Zippers On Both Sides

BEST FOR: THE OLD SCHOOL HIKER

Don’t be deceived by the beautiful old-school look of the North Face Dolomite 40 – its modern construction and eco-friendly insulating material offer maximum comfort during summer nights spent in the backcountry.

The synthetic fill of this rectangular sleeping bag is composed of 30% post-consumer recycled fibers that will make you feel like you are sleeping in a cloud. In warmer temperatures, the double, full-length zippers can be opened for extra ventilation, and when a cover is not necessary at all, the bag can be used as a soft blanket or as an insulated sleeping surface.

Big Agnes Buffalo Park 40

Specs
  • Insulation: Synthetic
  • Shape: Semi-Rectangular
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 15 oz.
  • Temperature Rating: 40 Degrees
Features
  • Extra Wide
  • High Compressibility
  • Exterior Loops For Hang Drying Or Storage
  • Sleeping Pad Sleeve

BEST FOR: THE “COMFORT-FIRST” BACKPACKER

While not as lightweight as other sleeping bags on this list, the Big Agnes Buffalo Park 40 can be compressed down to a minimal size that will not occupy too much valuable backpack space. Engineered to provide maximum comfort, this semi-rectangular sleeping bag includes a pillow holder, a sleeve to insert your sleeping pad for extra insulation and stability, and hand pockets to wrap the bag around your shoulders as you would with a comforter.

The outer loops are useful when you need to hang the sleeping bag for drying or storing, and the inner loops allow the attachment of a sleeping bag liner when an additional layer of warmth is necessary. The tapered shape stops the formation of cold air pockets, but leaves enough room for your feet to move around.

Exped MegaSleep 40

Specs
  • Insulation: Synthetic
  • Shape: Rectangular
  • Weight: 1 lb. 10.1 oz.
  • Temperature Rating: 40 Degrees
Features
  • Quick-Drying Microfiber Insulation
  • Built With Sustainable Fabrics
  • Ultra Lightweight
  • Zippers On Both Sides

BEST FOR: THE ENVIRONMENTALLY-AWARE ADVENTURER

The Exped MegaSleep 40 is a 3-season sleeping bag built with treatment-free fabrics tested for harmful substances and produced sustainably. It is filled with synthetic, quick-drying microfibers that provide excellent insulation while remaining extremely lightweight, making this sleeping bag ideal for summer backpacking trips.

The rectangular shape creates a comfortable and roomy space, perfect for those who tend to move around often in their sleep. The Exped MegaSleep can also be zipped to a second sleeping bag of the same kind to form a double-wide bag that fits two people.

Big Agnes Wiley 40

Specs
  • Insulation: Down
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Weight: 1 lb. 12 oz.
  • Temperature Rating: 30 Degrees
Features
  • Extra Foot Room
  • Increased Insulation
  • Internal Stash Pocket
  • Heater Pocket In Footbox

BEST FOR: QUALITY CONSCIOUS TRAVELER

This high-end summer sleeping bag caters to hikers looking to carry the minimum amount of weight on their shoulders while not skimping on additional features. Thanks to its mummy shape, the Big Agnes Wiley 30 will trap the heat close to your body and occupy a small amount of space once packed.

The duck down fill undergoes a treatment during which every single plume is coated in a water-resistant repellent, while the shell fabric is engineered to resist tearing. When full protection is not necessary, a fold-down second zipper can be opened for extra ventilation.

The Big Agnes Wiley 30 includes interior fabric loops to attach a sleeping bag liner and exterior loops for hang drying or storage. The collar is filled with down and has an easy-access drawcord which can be used to tighten the top opening and reduce heat loss.

Marmot Hydrogen Down

Specs
  • Insulation: Down
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Weight: 1 lb. 7.3 oz.
  • Temperature Rating: 30 Degrees
Features
  • Water Repellent Coating
  • Ultra Lightweight
  • Minimal Packing Size

BEST FOR: THE ALTITUDE CAMPER

The Marmot Hydrogen Down is a plain, dark yellow, 3-season sleeping bag that is ultra lightweight, easy to pack, and water resistant. Built for adventurers that require top-of-the-line equipment, this mummy-shaped bag will keep you dry thanks to its water repellent coating that protects you from moisture and humidity.

The full-length, two-way zipper blocks cold air from entering the bag, while a second fold-down zipper can be adjusted for added ventilation. The shell is made of durable fabric that’s resistant to ripping and an internal stash pocket can be used to keep valuables safe while you are counting sheep.

 

LEARN HOW TO CHOOSE HIKING GEAR FOR YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A SUMMER SLEEPING BAG

Summer is for many the ideal season to go and explore the great outdoors, with comfortable temperatures even at higher altitudes and a lower risk of rainfall. But when it comes to camping, it is fundamental to choose the best sleeping bag to suit your needs. To get the proper amount of rest on the trail after a day spent walking in the backcountry, you’ll need to choose the right sleeping bag for you while considering shape, size, weight, and temperature rating.

SLEEPING BAG SHAPE

Sleeping bags come in three different shapes: rectangular, semi-rectangular, and mummy-shaped.

Rectangular-shaped sleeping bags offer maximum moving space but minimum insulation, as cold air pockets are more likely to form in the empty areas. They are also bulkier, therefore less suitable for backpacking trips.

Semi-rectangular sleeping bags have a tapered shape that gets narrower around the legs and feet. They are usually still wide enough to allow for some movement, but tend to be lighter in weight, given that less material is used in their production.

Mummy-shaped sleeping bags provide the most insulation with the minimum weight, but offer little or no moving space. Their shape is anatomical, meaning that they tend to wrap tighter around the body to reduce heat loss and bulk.

 

TEMPERATURE RATING

Most sleeping bags are tested by independent organizations in a laboratory to establish at what temperature they cease to be comfortable to sleep in. The number that accompanies the sleeping bag’s name refers to the lowest temperature at which the average “cold sleeper” wearing one layer of clothing will be comfortable.

Summer sleeping bags have a temperature rating of 32°F and above, while three-season sleeping bags start at 20°F. If you are planning to hike at high elevation where temperatures drop close to freezing level even in summer, you will want to buy a 3-season sleeping bag with a temperature rating of 30°F or lower. If you intend to camp in a warm climate a sleeping bag with a rating of 40°F + will do perfectly fine.

 

INSULATION

The insulating material that fills sleeping bags is usually either down or synthetic fiber. Down-filled sleeping bags tend to be more expensive than those with synthetic insulation, they perform better in colder temperatures, and they weigh less.

On the other hand, sleeping bags with synthetic insulation dry faster, are non-allergenic, and protect against heat loss even when damp. In summer months, when much insulation isn’t needed, synthetic sleeping bags are usually more than enough to keep you warm.

 

WEIGHT

As for most camping and hiking gear, weight can have a huge impact on the cost of the product. Ultralight sleeping bags often come at a premium price but are worth the investment if you are planning a multi-day backpacking trip, as they are highly compressible and won’t put too much pressure on your shoulders. Summer sleeping bags are lighter than 3-season or winter bags, as less insulation material is required for the fill.

 

COST

Summer sleeping bags are less costly than winter or 3-season bags, but prices vary widely as different materials and technologies are employed in their production. Prices for summer sleeping bags start at around $50 and go up into the hundreds depending on the quality of the insulating material, weight, brand name, and additional features such as extra pockets, double zippers, and waterproof coating.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

TEMPERATURE RATING

The lowest temperature at which an average “cold sleeper” wearing one layer of clothing is comfortable. Summer sleeping bags start at 32°F.

SYNTHETIC INSULATION

Synthetic insulation material consists of polyester fibers that fill the sleeping bag to prevent heat loss. Synthetic insulation materials vary in quality, with the best being comparable to duck or goose down in terms of heat-retention.

DUCK OR GOOSE DOWN

The soft, fine plumage that is found under the feathers of ducks and geese, working as an insulating layer on top of the skin. This type of plumage is often used to fill down sleeping bags for superior warmth and insulation.

FILL POWER

Most duck or goose down summer sleeping bags have a fill power (fp) that ranges between 600 and 700. This rating indicates the number of cubic inches one ounce of down occupies when compressed under a standard weight. In other words, this rating refers to the quantity of insulating material in the sleeping bag, not the quality. Mediocre fill power starts around 500, whereas high-end sleeping bags can have a fill power up to 900.

SLEEPING BAG SHELL

The outer material of the sleeping bag, usually made of polyester or nylon coated with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish.

 

 

READ MORE

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