When it comes to the best sleeping bags Australia offers, there is a range of different shapes and sizes; they are made from all types of materials and rated for a variety of different temperatures. So when it comes to buying one, how do you know which is the best sleeping bag for your needs?
We used some cheapy sleeping bags for years, and it wasn’t until we did our camping trip through the Northern Territory, we found we had to put some thought into what type of sleeping bag we took with us. We were limited on the amount of stuff we could take in terms of weight and size, and we also needed something that was going to keep us warm at night when the temperatures dropped below zero.
After a lot of research, we soon learned all the ins and outs as to what makes the best sleeping bags for camping and found exactly what we needed.
So if you’re after some good sleeping bags for the family camping trip, or perhaps you need a special kind of sleeping bag for an upcoming adventure, you’ll find this guide particularly helpful. In this best sleeping bag Australia guide, I’ll take you through all the different features you need to consider so you can purchase the right type for your camping needs.
In this guide, I’ll also look at some of the top rated sleeping bags from some of the best sleeping bag brands. I’ll compare their features closely, so you might even find just what you’re after in this guide.
Whether you’re after the best all round sleeping bag, the best lightweight sleeping bag for a special upcoming trip, the best cold weather sleeping bags, or even some good quality cheap sleeping bags, hopefully after reading this guide you’ll be well on your way to buying one that’s right for you.
So let’s get into it and find you the best sleeping bag for camping!
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- 1 Our Choice for The Best Sleeping Bag Australia 2020: Coleman Pilbara -5
- 2 Compare the Best Sleeping Bags Australia 2020
- 3 Do you Need Sleeping Bags for Camping?
- 4 How to Choose the Best Sleeping Bags for Camping
- 5 Best Rated Sleeping Bag Reviews Australia 2020
- 5.1 Coleman Pilbara C-5 Sleeping Bag
- 5.2 Darche Cold Mountain 900 Sleeping Bag
- 5.3 Oztrail Blaxland Hooded Sleeping Bag
- 5.4 Black Wolf Hiker 500 Down Sleeping Bag
- 5.5 Sea to Summit Trek 3 Down Sleeping Bag
- 5.6 Marmot Trestles Elite Eco 30 Sleeping Bag
- 5.7 Oztent River Gum XL Sleeping Bag
- 5.8 OZtrail Outback Comforter Queen Sleeping Bag
- 5.9 Coleman FyreFly Illumi-Bug Kids Sleeping Bags
- 5.10 Oztrail MicroSmart 270 Junior Sleeping Bag
- 5.11 Related posts:
Our Choice for The Best Sleeping Bag Australia 2020: Coleman Pilbara -5
Don’t fancy reading our entire best rated sleeping bag reviews and just want to know what is the best sleeping bag to buy in our view? We recommend the Coleman Pilbara range of sleeping bags if you’re after the best all weather sleeping bag option. This is what we have, and they are perfect for keeping warm at night.
Keep reading below for our full Coleman Pilbara review or click here to check it out now.
Compare the Best Sleeping Bags Australia 2020
In the table below we’ve listed all the top 10 sleeping bags that we review in this guide. The table is a quick way to compare each of the good quality sleeping bags and their features side by side.[table “2” not found /]
Do you Need Sleeping Bags for Camping?
Ok, first things first do you even need a sleeping bag for camping? Well the truth is, no you don’t. You could save yourself the expense and just bring along the sheets and blankets that you have on your bed.
However the reason why I don’t recommend sheets and blankets is that they just take up too much space in your car. If you’re a family and pop in sheets and blankets for every family member, the back of the car would be full with just that.
You’ll be surprised at just how compact the top sleeping bags are. You can get some really good sleeping bags for camping that pack down so small and take up next to no space at all. Some of the best lightweight sleeping bags are so small in fact that they almost fit in the palm of your hand.
So if this is your first camping trip with the kids, then perhaps you could just get away with the sheets and blankets from their beds, however if you think this is something you’re likely to do at least once a year, make the investment in one of the top rated sleeping bags for camping. If you get it right the first time, they’ll last you forever.
How to Choose the Best Sleeping Bags for Camping
You’d think buying a sleeping bag would be easy right? But when it comes to buying the best quality sleeping bags, there is quite a lot to consider. So before rushing out and buying the first sleeping bag you find; I urge you to take some time to consider what you really need.
To ensure you purchase a high quality sleeping bag that will last you years and years, consider the following factors.
A sleeping bag is provided with a temperature rating which is a guide of what sort of weather conditions it is suited too. For example, if you’re after the best sleeping bag for cold weather, this will have a different temperature guide as to the best sleeping bag for warm weather.
Unfortunately the problem is that not all sleeping bag manufacturers use a standard temperature rating system and so choosing an appropriate sleeping bag can be difficult. The one universal rating method that you may see on a sleeping bag is the EN13537 rating – the European standard for labelling sleeping bags. This standard expresses temperature ratings in four levels as follows:
- Upper Limit: This is the warmth level required for a male to sleep comfortably. It is based on a male because apparently, the average male needs less insulation to stay warm than women.
- Comfort: This is the warmth level required for a woman to sleep comfortably. It is based on a woman because apparently, the average woman needs more insulation to stay warm than men.
- Limit of Comfort: This is the lowest temperature that a man would feel comfortable sleeping in.
- Extreme: This is the coldest temperature you would survive in, not sleep comfortably, but survive without freezing to death.
It is also important to note that everyone’s body temperature is different. Various factors will affect your body temperature when you sleep, such as:
- Sensitivity to temperature
- Level of fitness
- Gender and age
- Sleeping habits
- Hunger and nutritional intake
- Level of exhaustion; and
- The environment
There are other reasons for your level of comfort inside a sleeping bag, such as your sleepwear, sleeping mattress, and prior exposure to wind, rain, snow and humidity.
Many camping experts suggest that when in doubt purchase a sleeping bag rated at least 5-10 degrees below the average temperature you will be using your sleeping bag in.
If you need a quick guideline of what sort of temperature rating you should be looking for, here are our tips:
- +5 to +10: This sleeping bag is fine during the summer months. This is equivalent to having a light blanket on your bed.
- 0 Degree: This is a good sleeping bag for colder months, like if you had your standard doona on.
- -5 to -10: This is a good Aussie winter sleeping bag. Certainly not ideal for camping in the snow, but fine for your average cold winter’s night – like if you had an extra blanket on the bed.
So before you purchase the best camping sleeping bag, be sure to consider the sort of temperatures that you’re likely to be camping in. If you camp in both warm and super cold temperatures, you may even need to purchase two separate sleeping bags.
Insulation: Synthetic or Down
Another thing you’re going to want to consider is the insulation in your sleeping bag. Insulation is the part of your sleeping bag that keeps you warm and is sandwiched between two layers of fabric – shell fabric on the outside and lining on the inside.
The main types of insulation are either down or synthetic. There are pros and cons of each which I will go through below.
If you’re looking for the best ultralight sleeping bag that will still do a great job at keeping you warm, then the best sleeping bag to buy is one insulated with down.
Down provides the best warmth to weight ratio, meaning a smaller amount of insulation is required for the same amount of warmth as is necessary for synthetic insulation. In other words, if you had sleeping bag insulted with down and one insulated with synthetic side by side both with the same temperature rating, the down sleeping bag would be much more compact and lighter.
The problem however with the best down sleeping bag Australia offers, is that they are far more expensive than even the best synthetic sleeping bag. However, down sleeping bags are incredibly durable, and the best lightweight down sleeping bag will last you for years.
Another negative is that down tends to lose its ability to insulate if it gets wet. To avoid this issue, many manufacturers treat the down with a durable water repellent. This is only an issue though if you think you’ll be getting wet while camping – this shouldn’t be an issue on your average camping trip.
If you are thinking about getting one of the best down sleeping bags Australia has, you’ll need to consider the quality of down. The quality of down is measured by a fill power index from 400 to 900. The higher the fill power index, the better the weight to warmth ratio of the sleeping bag. And the more costly!
If you are going to buy a down sleeping bag, I urge you to buy one where the down has been ethically sourced. That means the animals have not been ill-treated to produce the down for the sleeping bag.
Look for companies that follow the Responsible Down Standard. You can find a list of companies that follow this standard here. All the down sleeping bags listed in this guide are by companies that support the Responsible Down Standard.
If you’re after the best budget sleeping bag, then you should opt for one insulated with synthetic. Synthetically insulated sleeping bags are so much cheaper than down, as well as being quick-drying, and they insulate even if it gets wet. A synthetic insulated sleeping bag also tends to be better for people suffering allergies.
The negative about synthetically insulated sleeping bags is that they are bulkier than a down sleeping bag and, so not ideal when space is a premium.
If you’re planning on camping in warmer weather, a synthetic sleeping bag will be just fine. However if you’re after a compact sleeping bag for cold weather camping, then I’d be spending the money on one insulated with down.
The other thing you may want to consider is the weight of your sleeping bag. This may not be so important for the standard camping trip, but if you’re after the best hiking sleeping bag, or a sleeping bag to take backpacking, then the weight is very important.
Sleeping bags come in a range of weights from the ultra-lightweight sleeping bags which can be less than 1 kg to a standard sleeping bag at 4-5kgs plus. The warmer the sleeping bag, usually the heavier to will be. Unless of course, you get a down sleeping bag which can still be extremely lightweight but also extremely expensive.
Sleeping Bag Shape
There are a variety of shapes when it comes to sleeping bags with the main ones being the mummy, tapered rectangular and rectangular. I’ve briefly discussed each type below.
The standard sleeping bay style is rectangular. This type of sleeping bag provides the most space and is perfect for everyday camping. Most completely unzip so they can be used as a blanket.
Some rectangular sleeping bags can even be joined to another sleeping bag if one bag has a “right-hand” zipper and the other a “left-hand” zipper, creating a double sleeping bag.
If maximum warmth is a priority, then a mummy sleeping bag is the best choice. A mummy-shaped sleeping bag is wide at the shoulders and narrows down towards the feet, creating less air that needs to be heated within the bag.
Some people don’t find these mummy sleeping bags very comfortable as they are more restrictive than rectangular shaped sleeping bags. However for a compact and lightweight sleeping bag that is going to keep you nice and warm in super cold temperatures, a mummy sleeping bag is the way to go.
The tapered rectangular sleeping bag is somewhere in between the mummy and the rectangular-shaped sleeping bag. These sleeping bags have a tapered design offering greater warmth and efficiency than rectangular bags, but they’re still plenty roomy for a comfortable night’s sleep.
Women’s Sleeping Bags
Some sleeping bags come in women-specific versions. Basically, a women’s sleeping bag is designed to match a woman’s contours. When compared to a standard sleeping bag, women-specific bags are shorter and narrower at the shoulders, wider at the hips and add extra insulation in the upper body and footbox.
Above we have covered the main things you need to consider when purchasing a sleeping bag, however below a few other things you may like to consider.
Sleeping Bag Shell
The outer shell of a camping bag is typically made of ripstop nylon or polyester for durability. Many synthetic-fill bags feature a shell fabric treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) finish. DWR allows water to bead up rather than soak through the fabric.
The downside to a sleeping bag being treated with DWR is that it tends to be less breathable, trapping perspiration inside the sleeping bag. Trapped sweat reduces the insulations ability to trap heat so you will be colder in a sleeping bag treated with DWR.
Polyester or nylon breaths and draws away moisture. Cotton (flannelette) increases comfort but won’t draw away moisture so you can be left feeling damp.
Most sleeping bags have two zippers so you can easily open your bag from the inside and the outside.
Look for sleeping bags with good quality zippers. Zippers that continuously get caught are a pain and make getting in and out of your bag difficult. Also look for zippers that go all the way around rather than just halfway you can easily open the bag if you get too hot.
Sleeping Bag Hood
The best cold weather sleeping bag is one with a built-in hood, as you lose a lot of heat through your head. When cinched with a drawcord, the hood prevents heat from escaping. Some hoods offer a pillow pocket that you can stuff with clothing to create a pillow.
As well as a hood, for the best winter sleeping bag look for one with a neck collar. Neck collars are great for camping in colder temperatures as they ensure the warmth doesn’t escape from the sleeping bag.
Some of the best rated sleeping bags have small pockets on the inside where you can store small items, such as your mobile, watch or glasses.
Sleeping Pad Sleeve
On some sleeping bags, the underside insulation has been replaced with a sleeve to fit a sleeping pad to help you stay on your sleep pad during the night.
Best Rated Sleeping Bag Reviews Australia 2020
Hopefully after reading the above, you have a better understanding of what’s the best sleeping bag for your camping style. Below I’ve provided a detailed review of the top ten sleeping bags currently available in Australia.
Our pick for the best all season sleeping bag is the Coleman Pilbara C-5 sleeping bag. We’ve had these sleeping bags for a few years now and have found them to keep us warm at night and overall a good size to take camping. Plus they are machine washable which we just love.
Coleman is one of the best camping brands around and one of the good sleeping bag brands too. The Pilbara sleeping bag is made from good quality fabrics and hardware and features a synthetic 250gsm hollow fibre filling. The outer fabric is made from cotton and the lining is a flannel with a removable fleece liner.
While at 3.3kg, this is one of the heaviest sleeping bags in these reviews, however that’s still reasonably lightweight for a sleeping bag. It’s a good roomy size too at 200 x 100 cm, one of the largest in terms of width. Melissa and I, in fact, just use the one sleeping bag completely unzipped for the two of us when we go camping. It packs down pretty good too at around 30 cm x 30cm.
As well as being able to completely be unzipped to use as a blanket, you can also zip two Pilbara sleeping bags together to create a double sized one. Other great features include the cozy foot fleece for added warmth where you need it, removable flannel liner, which is great for warmer weather, separate foot zipper and internal pocket for valuables.
For the average Aussie camping trip, the Pilbara C-5 is the best Coleman sleeping bag. This is a great quality sleeping bag that will serve you well for many years to come.
If you need something for cooler temperatures, the Darche Cold Mountain 900 sleeping bag is another good option to consider. This sleeping bag should keep you reasonably warm at temperatures of around -5°C, so a great choice if you’re looking for the best sleeping bags for cold weather.
At 2.7kg, it is slightly lighter than the previous Coleman Pilbara, but otherwise it’s similar in size and price. Given it’s for cooler temperatures though it does feature a hood, neck collar and wind baffle to ensure you stay nice and warm.
This sleeping bag is insulated with a two layer hollow fibre filling and has a water resistant 70 denier polyester outer shell and silk like liner. Other great features of this best sleeping bag for winter camping include dual zippers, internal pocket for valuables and it can be zippered together with other sleeping bags to create a double.
For those camping in cooler temperatures and looking for the best sleeping bags for winter camping, that won’t blow the budget then the Darche Cold Mountain sleeping bags are a great one to consider. If you need something lighter, you’ll need to invest in a down sleeping bag that will of course be more than double the price.
If you’re just after the best cheap sleeping bag which is still of good quality, then consider these OzTrail Blaxland sleeping bags. Despite their low price, these sleeping bags are reasonably good quality, lightweight and pack down rather compactly.
The Oztrail Blaxland sleeping bags should do a pretty good job of keeping you warm, even when temperatures get around zero. They feature a synthetic insulation with a ripstop polyester shell and a soft cotton lining.
At just 1.6kg these are really lightweight sleeping bags; however they are rather narrow at just 80cm, which probably has something to do with how light they are. In terms of how they pack down, they are a little larger than the previous sleeping bags but rather compact given how cheap they are.
To keep you nice and warm this best value sleeping bag also has a draw corded hood and draft tubes. Other features of these sleeping bags include the ability to zip two together to make a double, full length zipper, Velcro closure at the top so you can keep the sleeping bag close even when unzipped and zip across the base for greater foot comfort.
If you’re after a cheap compact sleeping bag, the Oztrail Blaxland sleeping bags are certainly worth considering. You get a lot of bang for your buck with these sleeping bags but do keep in mind they are narrower than some other options in this guide and they are not machine washable.
When you’re after a super warm and compact sleeping bag which is also lightweight, you can’t beat a down insulated sleeping bag. Of course down does dramatically increase the cost, but in the long run, it’s an excellent investment. If you’re after the best value down sleeping bag, a good one to consider is the Black Wolf 500 sleeping bag.
This down sleeping bag will keep you warm at temperatures below zero, while not dragging you down. It’s super light at just 1.2kg and packs down to only 32 x 18 cm – one of the most compact sleeping bags in this guide.
The Black Wolf Hiker 500 is insulated with 500g of 700+ responsibly sourced down. The shell is a 30 denier ripstop nylon as is the lining. To help you stay warm, this sleeping bag has a contoured hood and tapers down to a narrow footbed. It also features a draft flap to trap warm air and avoid it escaping through the zipper.
Other great features of this sleeping bag include a glow in the dark anti snag zipper, hanging loops so you can air out the bag and zippered hidden chest pocket for your small valuables.
The Black Wolf Hiker sleeping bag is among the warmest, lightest and most compact sleeping bags in this guide. Being insulated with down, you get excellent warmth to weight ratio, making it a perfect choice for those after the best ultralight down sleeping bag.
Sea to Summit is known for making excellent quality down sleeping bags, so I had to include at least one in these reviews. This Sea to Summit Trek 3 down tapered style sleeping bag is fairly similar to the previous Black Wolf sleeping bag, however suitable for temperatures well below zero. For anyone after the best ultralight down sleeping bag, this is definitely one to consider.
At just 1.2kg, this is yet another super lightweight sleeping bag. It is however reasonably narrow, but this is partly what helps to keep you warm. Filled with 700g of 650+ responsibly sourced down, this sleeping bag has a 30 denier nylon shell with a 20 denier nylon lining.
This sleeping bag has some great features to keep you warm, including vertical chest baffles to help prevent cold spots, neck collar, a built in hood with a drawcord and zip draft tube. Other features include a large internal zip pocket for your personal belongings, full length anti snag 2 way YKK zippers and a separate foot zipper.
Unfortunately this a reasonably expensive sleeping bag, but that’s just the way it goes if you’re after both top down sleeping bags and the best sub zero sleeping bag. However in terms of down sleeping bags that will keep you warm in below zero temperatures, this is pretty well priced. For anyone wanting a lightweight and super warm sleeping bag, the Trek 3 Sea to Summit is well worth considering.
Another good everyday type camping sleeping bag is the Marmot Trestle Elite Eco 30. This sleeping bag is perfect for cool to warm temperatures and has the advantage of being super lightweight and reasonably compact. This Marmot is a good one to consider for anyone after the best lightweight sleeping bag Australia offers.
The Marmot Trestles Elite features a recycled 20 denier ripstop polyester shell and 20 denier polyester taffeta lining fabric, with a synthetic insulation for warmth. The mummy shape of the sleeping bags helps to create extra warmth by having less air to heat up. Other features to keep you warm include the built in hood and a 3D footbox.
At just 900g this is a really light sleeping bag, in fact, the lightest in these reviews. But do keep in mind that it is a very narrow sleeping bag also, so if you like a bit of extra space, you’ll want to choose another sleeping bag. Other features include a fold down section with a second zipper for increased ventilation, anti snag zipper, external pocket for your valuables and two hang loops for airing your sleeping bag.
If you’re backpacking or hiking, then the Marmot Trestles Elite is an excellent choice for the best hiking sleeping and best backpack sleeping bag. With its lightweight, it won’t drag you down, plus it will keep you warm during a range of temperatures.
For those that are a little taller than the rest of us, or just prefer a bit more space in their sleeping bags, you’ll be pleased to know that there is a range of XL sleeping bags like the Oztent River Gum XL. The River Gum has all the great features required to keep you warm with the bonus of extra space.
The Oztent River Gum XL provides additional space both in length and width; unfortunately this does add to the weight and size of the sleeping bag though. Quite a bit in fact with this sleeping bag weighing in at 4kg, it’s also reasonably bulky, so not something you’d want to take backpacking or hiking.
This sleeping bag is designed to keep you nice and warm, even when the temperature drops well below zero. The sleeping bag has a synthetic insulation and its flannelette lining will feel nice and cozy, while the ripstop cotton canvas outer shell also helps to trap heat inside. For added warmth there is also a removable fleece lining, so you can remove this when the temperatures are a little warmer.
If you’re after the best double sleeping bag Australia offers, you’ll love that you can grab two of these sleeping bags and zip them together. The anti snag zippers make this a breeze to do also.
This is a great all rounder sleeping bag good for cold nights as well as summer nights thanks to the removable lining. However given its weight and size the Oztent River Gum XL sleeping bag is really only ideal when you’re not limited by space or have to carry your own gear too far.
For couples, an excellent way to save some cash is to purchase a double sized sleeping bag. This will almost always save you money and possibly weight and size too. If you’re after the best sleeping bags for couples, consider this OZtrail Outback Comforter in the queen size, it also comes in a king too.
Designed to keep you warm during a range of temperatures, this is the perfect couple sleeping bag. The OZtrail Outback Comforter has a cotton shell with a flannel cotton lining and a 300gsm polyester filling insulation which is quilted into position to avoid any cold spots.
This sleeping bag has some awesome features that I just love like the top and bottom valance pockets to secure it onto your queen mattress. Other great features include full length anti snag zippers which can be locked into place, Velcro closure at the top to keep the sleeping bag around you, the top and bottom of the sleeping bag can be unzipped entirely so you can have two separate blankets as well as the top blanket being zipped together to create a single sleeping bag when required.
I think this sleeping bag sounds great and I personally would buy this if I were looking for a sleeping bag for a couple. I love how versatile it is, with the ability to create a single sleeping bag when required and of course the fact that overall you’ll save money then if you were to buy two separate sleeping bags. Definitely consider this one if you’re after the best two person sleeping bag.
Now it’s time for some kiddy sleeping bags! If you’re after the best kids sleeping bag that doesn’t cost the earth, I’d recommend the Coleman FyreFly Illumi-Bug sleeping bags. This is what our daughter has, and I love it because it’s machine washable – perfect for kids on a camping trip!
These sleeping bags are pretty lightweight, but not overly compact compared to some of the other sleeping bags in this guide. Mind you they are pretty cheap though. They also aren’t designed for super cold temperatures, but for your average Aussie warm weather camping they are perfect. For something for colder weather, check out the next sleeping bag.
The FyreFly Illumi Bug sleeping bags have a polyester outer shell and lining with a synthetic fill. These best sleeping bags for kids won’t outgrow your kids too quickly either as they are suitable for children up to a height of around 165cm, which is even taller than Melissa! Other features of these best sleeping bags for kids include snag free zippers and internal pockets for their prized possessions.
The kids will love how these sleeping bags have a glow in the dark design on them and parents will love they can throw them in the washing machine after each camping trip. For a good all rounder sleeping bag that doesn’t cost the earth, the Coleman FyreFly Illumi-Bug is one of the best kids sleeping bags.
If your family likes to camp in colder climates or you’re off on a special adventure where the temperature will drop below zero, then consider these OZtrail MicroSmart Junior sleeping bags, designed to keep the kid’s toastie and warm.
Despite being great in cold temperatures, these sleeping bags are still lightweight, in fact lighter than the previous Coleman kids sleeping bags at just 1kg. They are also slightly roomier and even more compact when packed away – mind you, they are around triple the price too!
These OZtrail MicroSmart sleeping bags are insulated with synthetic and have a 40 denier ripstop polyester outer shell and a silk like inner lining. To keep the kids warm, they feature a cocoon style hood with elastic drawcord, neck collar and draft tubes to prevent cold air entering through the zipper.
Other features of this best children’s sleeping bag include anti snag zippers, internal pocket for the kid’s valuables, zipper across the foot and a Velcro closure to keep the sleeping bag closed even when unzipped.
If you need an everyday sleeping bag for the kids, I’d recommend the previous Coleman sleeping bags, however for those in need of something to keep the kids super warm during a cold night of camping then definitely consider the OZtrail MicroSmart Junior sleeping bags.
And there you have it our ultimate guide to the best sleeping bags in Australia. We have plenty of other guides to help you get started too including how to choose a pop up tent, how to choose a camping chair and we even have the ultimate camping checklist here or just download our printable checklist here.
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