(Official discussion) Best sleeping bag

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  • Comments (11)

    • 3

      I would appreciate y’alls thoughts on this.

      I have two kids under 4 years old. I recently bought them kelty mistral kids for our bags. The problem is they’re massive for their little bodies and I’m concerned about each adult carrying two sleeping bags (weight, bulkiness). I’m thinking about returning them.

      My thought is since we live in a region where temps can get down to 4°F, my wife and I would co sleep with each child in the warmer months. But since we both have mummies, it would make cold weather co-sleeping difficult because we can’t fully zip up the bags.  So If it got cold enough I would have the kids share my sleeping bag and I would opt for some type of bivy.  Another idea is to carry one kids sleeping bag and have them co-sleep as needed.

      We plan on carrying a tent which will help, and I’m not opposed to liners or bivys to trap some heat. I just want to make sure I’m sane prepping.


      • 5

        I wouldn’t expect a child under 4 to carry a go-bag. My two-year-old was getting packed up to spend the night with his grandparents last night, and the little backpack he had was making him stumble all over the house. It was adorable but completely untenable in a bug-out situation.

        Kids that age are still new to walking. They won’t move very fast or steady even unencumbered, and if you have to move quickly you’ll probably have to carry them in addition to the go-bags. I would either carry a sleeping bag for them or get a larger regular sleeping bag they can fit in with you.

        Your best bet in such a bug-out situation would be a vehicle. Failing that, maybe a wearable baby carrier that can support their weight or a stroller with nice, big tires that can handle rougher terrain.

        Sorry, probably not what you wanted to hear, but I think it’s the most realistic advice.

      • 3

        Thanks for your feedback. I agree, we currently don’t plan on either child carrying their own gear. That would actually help with my situation if my 4-year-old was able to carry 5-10 lbs. 

      • 6

        I don’t have any kids myself, so take all this with a grain of salt because I truly don’t know what it’s like to go camping with little ones. 

        I would return the bags that you had bought for them and use that money to then buy two new rectangular or semi rectangular bags for you and your wife. These can be your main bags in your BOB and fit your kids in there with you. But you will also have your nice mummy bags for camping or just for later when your kids are grown (they grow fast) and your kids can inherit the rectangular bags and you two parents can go back to the mummy bags. 

        I’m in the market myself for a new sleeping bag and was reading this article today. I am thinking of a rectangular or semi rectangular to give me extra wiggle room. I need to go to an REI or lay down a tape measure on the floor and see how big these actually will be though. I noticed the article had some recommendations for some kids, infant, and toddler bags. Maybe those could be an option? They will probably grow out of them very quickly though.

        Maybe you could do some sort of cowboy bed roll with a blanket for them during the summer months when cold isn’t going to be too bad. You don’t have to use a canvas tarp because they will probably be in the tent with you. Just another thought…

        Sorry I don’t have a perfect answer for you. Prepping with young kids is hard I imagine, but good on you for actually doing it and bonus points for trying to do it in a sane way. 

      • 3

        I definitely appreciate the feedback. I am having a super hard time finding rectangular or semi-rectangular bags that are EN/ISO rated for cold weather and still don’t break the bank. Have you come across any?

        Before I bought our mummies, I was leaning towards TETON Sports’ Celcius line of bags. But I couldn’t find rating information anywhere and they are HEAVY. I was able to get a Marmot for me, and Kelty’s for the wife and kids (all EN/ISO rated and the wife got a women’s variety) for around $175 total and save a pound per pack.

      • 4

        I have a 2.7 year old child and another on the way, and bugging out on foot is not an option. If I cannot use a mobility platform like a vehicle, we are simply staying put. You could consider a two person sleeping bag, plus a 1 person sleeping bag. The two-person could sleep you and your two kids, and have the extra for your partner. Tuck in the excess material to trap more heat. 

      • 3

        This was me 5 years ago and man how time flies! In all honesty I was prepped to shelter in place or car camp if SHTF. Each kiddo had their own child sleeping bag and a “BOB” (youth LL Bean backpack that they eventually used for K-2). Those items were used for camping trips that got the boys used to the mechanics of it all. I also had a heavy but very warm rectangular sleeping bag that could have been used for cosleeping, again with the idea that we are hunkering down at home or in the car. 

        I also had a great 3 wheel jogging stroller that did well “off roading” and could carry both kids and  and a week of groceries (more if I wore the little one) so that could be an option as well if you are in a more urban or not super woody undergrowth area. Biggest thing with that would be practice to make sure you have the stamina. 

        Anyway…if you got the packs at a good deal hold onto them. The kids will be big enough before you know it and in the meantime they could be the BOB for the car or something. If no, return them but don’t know that I would invest in specialty items that would only get a few years use if any considering how kids grow. Like someone else said maybe swap for a quality full sized bag that the kids could share now and one day could be their actual bag then you’d only have to buy one more. 

      • 3

        You offer some good advice Cassandra. We talked a little about jogging strollers over on this forum thread about disabilities. Glad to see someone else is thinking the same way of having it as a possible way to carry groceries and supplies.

        How has your prepping been influenced by having children?

    • 3

      I just wanted to give a quick review of the Sea To Summit Thermolite Reactor Extreme.

      I’ve used it in 2 different situations and it was greatly useful to me.

      Last September I went camping and overnight temperatures dropped to about 5c. I have a cheap Coleman’s rectangular sleeping bag rated to 10c. I have both a Nemo Switchback and a Termarest Neoair Xtherm. I was cold. Like really cold. 2 pairs of socks, sleeping pants, shirt, sweater, head covering. I was still cold.

      This year in May I went camping and I had picked up the Thermolite (just a few weeks before the article on TP). Temperatures at night dropped to around 7c. I had 1 pair is socks, pants and a t-shirt. I got in bed and got instantly warm. I was so hot I had my arms sticking out of the liner and the sleeping bag. As the temperature dropped Ioved my arms into the sleeping bag, and then into the liner and used it to cover my head, I was comfortable no problem at night. My second night I think the temperature ended up maybe around 10c because I ended up uncomfortably hot. I sweat in the liner, so I oscillated between shivers and being too hot. Point is it works.

      This weekend I was camping again. During a heatwave. Overnight temperatures above 20c. I sleep with a single sheet at home at 23c. Camping I didn’t use the sleeping bag and only the liner. I slept comfortably as the temperature dropped and didn’t need to cover my head.

      All in all I really recommend anybody who lives in varying weather like me (20c in summer to -20c in the winter) to get one. It can really help to buffer.

      • 2

        Thanks so much for the review, I have been looking at the Thermolite for a while now and it’s nice to have more information from different parts!

    • 1

      Don’t forget to calculate the weight of your equipment.