What is a Summer Sleeping Bag?

A trip outdoors is no fun when you experience uncomfortable sleepless nights. Sense of adventure and dreaming about sleeping under the stars comes in every season. People often wonder about which summer sleeping bag is the best to have sweet dreams in the outdoors.

What is a Summer Sleeping Bag?

A summer sleeping bag is generally rated as +35 degrees Fahrenheit and a higher. Often campers buy summer sleeping bags rated a bit lower in temperature than you expect to encounter when going on your camping trip. Checking the predicted weather conditions is always a good idea to ensure you will select the right sleeping bag for your adventure.

That doesn’t mean a single summer sleeping bag is suited only for a specific environment; however, most summer bags work fine in most situations. What makes the difference is how you use your sleeping bag.

How To Choose a Summer Sleeping Bag?

One of the major things to look for while buying most products is their compatibility with most situations, and things are no different with summer sleeping bags. The bags found in the market these days come labeled with a specific temperature rating. As explained earlier, a typical rating for most summer sleeping bags is 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Buying a bag with a temperature lower than the camping spot you are anticipating is the right choice.

What’s great about summer bags is that you can add liners to increase its heat conduction. These sleeping bag liners work great, especially if your sleeping bag is relatively lightweight. A liner also gives you the freedom to adjust your bag’s warmth as you can use liners in places where the temperature keeps fluctuating.

So basically, you want to choose a bag:

  • That can be adjusted according to your choices.
  • That is versatile in terms of temperature flexibility.
  • That is easy to carry around and keeps you warm and comfortable.
  • That is slightly below the actual temperature of the campsite.

What To Look For When Buying a Sleeping Bag?

There are a certain number of things to look for when buying a sleeping bag. One of them is the material that a sleeping bag is composed of. What determines the overall quality of the bag is the quality of the materials used to manufacture it.


There are two types of insulation in a sleeping bag, and that is either synthetic or down insulation. Each of them has a specific role to play, and your choice may vary according to the campsite, the season, and your needs.

Down-insulated sleeping bags come with a better weight-to-warmth ratio as they provide substantial heat and are relatively small compared to synthetically insulated bags. But their compatibility with moist and damp environments is relatively low as they lose insulation fast; these down-filled bags are also more expensive than synthetic insulated ones.

Surface Material

There isn’t much to consider while looking for the quality of any sleeping bag’s surface material as they have only one role to fulfil. The surface material should be able to protect the sleeping bag against abrasion and repel water/moisture. The most crucial thing is that it is breathable and prevents condensation from the inside.


Sleeping bags can have variable weights, but summer sleeping bags are generally light as they do not require much insulation compared to other sleeping bags for lower temperatures. The quality of the insulation ultimately determines the weight of a bag hence what you should be looking out for is an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio.


All summer sleeping bags come in two sizes. They are either regular sized or long sized. The size depends upon your height. If you are 6 ft or above, you should go for the long length.

Sleeping Bag Temperature Rating

As mentioned before, most summer sleeping bags come with a +35 Fahrenheit degree temperature rating, but what does that mean? It’s a unit of measurement given after lab testing a sleeping bag.

The US rating on a sleeping bag generally indicates the lowest temperature at which the bag will keep a sleeper warm. If the rating on a sleeping bag indicates 25 degrees Fahrenheit, then you can expect the bag to keep you comfortable at around 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

This simple overview provides you a quick understanding of the sleeping bag ratings used:

Sleeping Bag Use Bag Comfort Ratings
Summer/Indoor + 40 degrees Fahrenheit
3-Season (Spring-Fall) Summer high Altitude + 15 degrees Fahrenheit to + 40 degrees Fahrenheit
Winter Camping – 10 degrees Fahrenheit to + 15 degrees Fahrenheit
Polar/Extreme – 10 degrees Fahrenheit or Lower
Are Sleeping Bag Ratings Accurate?

Sleeping bags ratings are lab tested and try to be as precise as possible, but they aren’t 100% accurate. These ratings have no control over human activities such as the things we eat, metabolism, and what we wear during our sleep. You can’t expect the sleeping bag to be moderately warm by wearing a padded jacket to sleep in or consuming high calories before sleeping.

Can You Use a Winter Sleeping Bag in Summer?

Winter sleeping bags will prove to be extensively warm in Summer. You’ll have to consider the site you are about to camp in, and you have to be careful of low temperatures. Still, a 3 season summer sleeping bag can perfectly handle low temperatures in summer; a winter sleeping bag will just be overkill.

For extra warmth when camping in winter, you can  combine your 3-season summer sleeping bag with a winter sleeping bag and use both of them for extra comfort and warmth during your camping trip in cold weather.

Do You Need a Sleeping Bag in Summer?

While it isn’t always necessary to carry around your summer sleeping bag when camping in summer, you must understand that sleeping bags are more than just for comfort. You might find a quilt or blanket much more comfortable than your sleeping bag, but are they as safe as a sleeping bag? Sleeping bags could be the critical factor between having an excellent sleeping experience and a dangerous situation.

So it isn’t a compulsion to carry your sleeping bag with you during camps in summer, but it is highly recommended and much safer than other alternatives you might be considering.

What is a Summer Sleeping Bag? – Now, you Know

You should be pretty clear about the idea of summer sleeping bags by now and why we need warm sleeping bags, even in summer.

Summer sleeping bags are lightweight sleeping bags with an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio and an average temperature rating of about 35 degrees Fahrenheit. They do not require much insulation and have the ability to keep you warm in humid and moist environments.