Considerations And Recommendations For Choosing A Double Sleeping Bag

Best-Double-Sleeping-BagThinking about buying a double sleeping bag? They can be nice; who wouldn’t want to cuddle up to their significant other on a cold night?

And on a family outing, it’s fun for the kids to curl up with Mom and Dad in their bag. However, a 2 person sleeping bag can also present some unexpected challenges.

Below I’ve put together a comparison chart of some of the best double sleeping bags I have found. After the chart I cover the pros and cons of buying a double sleeping bag, things to consider for finding the right double sleeping bag for your purposes, and lastly I go into detail about the four bags I highlight in the chart.

Comparing Highly Rated Double Sleeping Bags

The Good

Double or family sleeping bags offer a few unique advantages. Undoubtedly, it is comforting to be near your loved ones at night. A two person sleeping bag allows you to benefit from each others’ warmth, both physically and emotionally.

Most double bags are rectangular, or semi-rectangular, giving you lots of legroom. Some are large enough to accommodate one or more children, so the whole family can get cozy.

Some models also unzip to form 2 single sleeping bags, basically giving you three bags in one.

The Bad

However, there are some drawbacks that may not be obvious at first glance. First, although two bodies create more heat than one, the large size of a double sleeping bag means more space to heat. This can actually make them colder than a single mummy bag.

Second, the larger opening at the head creates more opportunity for warm air to escape and cold air to enter. Unless the bag has individual draft collars to keep warm air in, you might lose a lot of heat this way.

Third, a double sleeping bag is often very heavy and bulky, making them harder to pack, carry, and clean.

Finally, the reality of sleeping next to another person is sometimes not as romantic as you might expect. If one or both of you is a restless sleeper, you may find yourself wishing for your own bag when your partner keeps jostling you awake.

With That In Mind

Here is my advice for choosing a double sleeping bag:

1. Know your family. Be realistic about how your partner’s (and children’s) sleep habits will affect you. Be aware of any problems you might face overnight, especially when co-sleeping with small children. Consider how large the bag will need to be for you to peacefully coexist.

2. Buy warm. The roomier the bag, the larger the margin should be between the bag’s temperature rating and the lowest temperature you expect to face. Consider a 15 degree margin or more.

3. Buy for your activity. If you’re car camping, get a cheap, big, comfortable bag. For backpacking, get a light mummy or semi-rectangular bag–with a tight-fitting hood and individual draft collars.

The Best Double Sleeping Bags By Nat

3-Season Camping: Big Agnes Dream Island +15

Big Agnes Dream Island 15 - Best Double Sleeping BagThe Dream Island is big, warm, and reasonably priced. Larger in both length and width than similar Big Agnes bags, it has a hood with individual draft collars to prevent warm air escaping. Like all Big Agnes bags, it has no underside insulation — just a sleeve into which you insert one Hinman (50×78 inch) pad or two 25×78 inch pads.

This has two advantages; it makes the bag lighter (although it’s still almost 10 pounds), and it keeps you from rolling off the pad. Be sure to get the right size pad(s), though, or you’ll end up losing heat to the ground.

Cold Weather Camping: Teton Sports Mammoth 0 Degree

Teton Sports Mammoth - Best Double Sleeping BagThe Teton Sports Mammoth 0 degree lives up to its name — it’s huge! Lots of room to move around, and lots of insulation to keep you warm on cold nights. This adds up to a very comfortable bag — and also an extremely heavy and bulky one. But considering the low,low price, I don’t think you’ll be complaining.

My sister and brother-in-law pulled one of these out on a spring camping trip one year; I must admit I was jealous. They slept soundly while my wife and I shivered, tossed and turned in our 30 degree Kelty Corona.

Lightweight Backpacking: Big Agnes King Solomon +15

I finally realized that a 30-degree bag wasn’t going to cut it for camping in Alaska, so I shelled out the dough for the premium, lightweight, down-filled Big Agnes King Solomon.

Big Agnes King Solomon 15 - Best Double Sleeping BagI wanted a bag that we could use for both camping and backpacking, and this one delivered. It kept us (and our 18 month old) plenty warm on several chilly nights toward the end of summer. It’s just roomy enough, and I absolutely love having the pads integrated into the bag. Rolling off my pad in the middle of the night is one of my biggest pet peeves.

The King Solomon is the lightest double sleeping bag on the market (and consequently the most expensive). Like the Dream Island, it has a substantial hood, well-placed draft collars, and two pillow pockets. It takes two 20×72 pads underneath.

If you’re willing to carry a few more ounces to save some money, the Big Agnes Cabin Creek offers most of the same features at a more attractive price.

Warm Weather Camping: REI Siesta +35

REI Siesta 35 - Best Double Sleeping BagThe REI Siesta has a semi-rectangular shape that offers a nice balance between warmth and roominess. The bag is treated with water repellent to repel moisture and stains, and has a hollow-core insulation that provides insulation even when wet and dries quickly.

It can be zipped apart to make two sleeping bags, or completely zipped apart to create a comforter. It can also be zipped together with other Siesta bags to make a family sleeping bag. A draft collar and draft tube help keep warmth in, although it lacks a hood. It’s fairly heavy and bulky, and only comes with one cotton storage sack — inconvenient if you want to use the bags separately.

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