Buying Guides

10 Of The Best Sleeping Bags Australia for 2020

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When it comes to picking the best sleeping bags Australia has on offer, it completely depends on where you intend to travel.  If you’re heading up to Darwin you’ll probably need a different sleeping setup to travelling in the alpine high country.

It also depends on how you’re travelling.  Hikers and bushwalkers have different priorities to a family travelling in a 4WD.

So, this buying guide is different to the others.  There won’t be a single best sleeping bag, because that won’t work.  Instead, I’ve put together some sleeping bag reviews (Australia) covering the best of the following main types and usages:

  • All-round sleeping bag
  • Cold weather sleeping bag
  • Lightweight sleeping bag
  • Down sleeping bag
  • Synthetic sleeping bag
  • Hiking sleeping bag
  • Budget sleeping bag
  • Kids sleeping bag
  • Compact sleeping bag
  • Sleeping bag for bike touring

However, before I get into the nitty-gritty of the reviews, I’ve put together some information about sleeping bags that will help you make the choice of what is the best sleeping bag for you.

However, if you’re good with all this, and you want to cut to the chase, so to speak; then skip down to the summary table with mini reviews of the best sleeping bags Australia by clicking here.

Features and Benefits of the Best Sleeping Bags for Australia

What features do you need to take into account when choosing the best sleeping bag? Here you can have a read to find out.

Sleeping Bag Fill

The fill is the material that makes a sleeping bag work.  It insulates the camper from the outside by stopping body heat escaping. There are two basic types – natural and synthetic.

Natural – been used for a long time and is goose down.  It is the soft, fluffy plumage underneath the main outer feathers.

Pros

  • down is nature’s way of keeping birds warm, so it is a very effective fill,
  • it is very light, durable and doesn’t take up a lot of volume.

Cons

  • it is relatively expensive,
  • not as waterproof as synthetic counterparts,
  • ethical issue of the use of animal products.

Synthetic – has been evolving and under constant development for decades. These days it’s pretty good.

Pros

  • overall, more cost effective
  • has better waterproof properties than natural fill

Cons

  • tends to take up more volume, and make the sleeping bag bulkier,
  • not as effective an insulator as natural fill.

What is best?  Natural or Synthetic?  The old answer – it depends.  If you’re camping around the majority of places in Australia, it will boil down to cost, weather tolerance and convenience.  However, if you’re looking for space saving, weight and performance, then down is the best choice.

Seasonal Ratings

Sleeping bags come in a range of shapes and sizes, and it’s mainly about the season rating.  There are five categories:

One season – these are the coolest, lightest of sleeping bags, and are best suited to camping in warmer climates, or during the summer months.

Two season – very similar version of the one-season sleeping bag, but with the capability to be used in a wider range of temperatures spanning spring, through summer and autumn.

Three season – generally the most versatile of sleeping bags, capable of keeping the sleeper comfortable through spring, summer, autumn and warmer winter nights.

This would be my ‘go-to’ sleeping bag for the majority of travel around Australia, as they represent the best compromise between flexibility and comfort.  If you get warm during the night, it’s easier to unzip the sleeping bag than look for ways to stay warm when the mercury drops. 😊

Four season – this is where we’re getting into the serious side of things. Great for colder nights, as they will often come with a hood and have a more body-hugging shape.  All in the name of preserving body heat.

Expedition – also known as ‘five-season’, they are heavier, fitted with hoods and minimal internal room. They will come with waterproof, breathable outer material to stop rain and snow soaking into the sleeping bag.  Suited to extreme environments.

Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings

There is a standard for classifying a sleeping bag temperature rating.  It was originally European standard, EN 13537 to be exact.  It has been superseded by an ISO standard: EN 23537, which is essentially the same thing.

Firstly, there is no equivalent standard here in Australia, and there is no legal obligation for manufacturers to conform to this standard, no matter where they are based.

However, reputable brands will adhere to the guidelines in these standards when labelling the temperature rating of their products.

In summary, there are four temperature measures covered by the manufacturer

  • Upper Limit – the temperature you can sleep at without excessive sweating/discomfort.
  • Comfort – as the measure suggests, this is the optimal temperature for a comfortable night’s sleep.
  • Lower Limit – you’re good, but wouldn’t want the outside temperature to go any lower. I’ve quoted this number in the reviews below to make it clear what most consider as a reasonable lower limit to still sleep satisfactorily.
  • Extreme – this is the ‘survival’ area, and it is meant to stave off hypothermia and frost bite. Not where you ever want to be.

If you want to read up on the full criteria for the ratings and how they are derived, check it out on Wikipedia – EN 13537.

Fill or Loft Power

This is an accompanying rating for sleeping bags, and is often seen as a three-digit number ranging from 300 to 900.  There is science behind it, and the companion measure of fill weight. Without getting too deep into it, the higher the number, the better the quality of the fill.  If you’re looking for a quality sleeping bag, then look to 550+.

Sleeping Bag Shapes and Sizes

There are three basic shapes to sleeping bags.

Rectangular – most sleeping bags are rectangular in shape, as they the most roomy and flexible.  The warmer climate sleeping bags are rectangular, and most of the time they can be zipped open for a makeshift doona/cover.

Mummy – have a body-hugging shape that reduces weight and helps preserve warmth.  Will have a hood to further enhance body heat retention.  Favoured by bushwalkers and hikers going into the more extreme areas.

Tapered – the nice compromise between Rectangular and Mummy shapes.  Have a narrow foot area, but not as body-hugging as the more extreme Mummy shape.  Some may be fitted with a hood as well.

Other Things to Look For

These are general in nature, but cover the overall use of the sleeping bag.

Quilting/Baffles – this keeps the fill in place, and makes sure the product doesn’t develop lumpy spots.

Weather proofing – is the outer material water resistant?  Even if you’re in a tent, if the temperature gets down to low single digits, you’ll get condensation forming.

Liners – sleeping bag liners are great for keeping the inside of your sleeping bag clean.

Cold sleeper vs warm sleeper – how do you sleep? Do you find yourself reaching for an additional blanket when the temperature drops a bit, or are you OK with sleeping under a sheet?  Choose your temperature range according to how you sleep.

Age – if you have children, keep in mind what is the best kids sleeping bag may not be the same as an adult.

Size – if you’re looking for a bit more room, then take a look at a double sleeping bag.

I’m sure this has given you enough information to make an informed decision on making one of the most important purchases for your camping and outdoors gear – getting the best sleeping bag.

Best Sleeping Bags Australia – Summary Table

ProductCategoryImageMini-Review
(+) Pros (-) Cons
Check Prices
Adventure Kings Premium Winter-Summer Sleeping Bag.Best All Round Sleeping Bag(+) Removal flannel liner for wider temperature range
(+) Large size - 240cm x 90cm
(+) Water resistant exterior
(+) Zip together to create a big double
(-) Weight: 5kgs.
Overall: Good Value
Check Price.
Darche Cold Mountain 900 Sleeping Bag.Best Cold Weather Sleeping Bag(+) Large size - 250cm x 90cm
(+) Lower temp limit of -12 DegreesC
(+) Zipped together to form a double
(+) Weight: 2.7kg
Overall: Good for cooler nights
Check Price.
Marmot Always Summer Sleeping Bag.Best Lightweight Sleeping Bag(+) Weight: 760grams
(+) Polyester materials
(+) Insulation fill power of 650
(-) Lower limit of 4 DegreesC
Overall: Light and packs down to bugger all
Check Price.
The North Face Eco Trail Down Sleeping Bag.Best Down Sleeping Bag(+) Down filled - light w/ excellent insulation
(+) Lower limit of -7 DegreesC
(+) Fitted hood
(+) Water repellent finish
(+) Lightweight - 1.3kg
Overall: Excellent product
Check Price.
The North Face Eco Trail Synthetic Sleeping Bag.Best Synthetic Sleeping Bag(+) Synthetic materials - water proof
(+) Lower limit of 2 DegreesC
(+) Recycled materials - eco friendly
(+) All the quality of the Eco Trail Down bag
Overall: Very good product
Check Price.
Vango Nitestar Sleeping Bag.Best Hiking Sleeping Bag(+) Weight: 2kg
(+) Good size: 205cm x 78cm
(+) Packs down to 29cm x 24cm
(+) Lower limit of -3 DegreesC
(+) Insulite - high quality synthetic fill
Overall: Great for bushwalkers.
Check Price.
Caribee Snow Drift Jumbo Sleeping Bag.Best Budget Sleeping Bag(+) Inner cotton liner
(+) Weight: 2.45kg
(+) Roomy - 240cm x 90cm
(+) Less than $100 in price
(-) Quoted lower limit -10 DegreesC, treat as 3 season
Overall: Value for money
Check Price.
Oztrail Lawson Jr Kids Sleeping Bag.Best Kids Sleeping Bag(+) Weight: 1.2kg
(+) 170cm x 65cm (incl. hood)
(+) Non-allergenic fill
(+) Two bags can be zipped together
(+) Lower limit of -5 DegreesC
(+) Less than $50 in price
Overall: Good for kids, small adults
Check Price.
Tentworld Kids Sleeping Bags.Best Kids Sleeping BagRange of good products from Tentworld that will suit all budgets.Check Price.
Vango Venom 400 Lightweight Down Sleeping Bag.Best Compact Sleeping Bag(+) Weight: 1kg
(+) Packs down to 30cm x 15cm
(+) Mummy shape/hooded
(+) Down fill with 700 fill power
(+) Lower limit of -4 Degrees C
Overall: Great product for anybody who has limited space.
Check Price.
Blackwolf Hiker 300 4C Sleeping Bag.Best Sleeping Bag for Bike Touring(+) Specific for bushwalkers, bike touring etc
(+) Weight: 0.9kg
(+) Packs down to 27cm x 15cm
(+) Fill Power 700+
(+) Tapered shape
(-) Lower limit of -1 DegreeC
Overall: Great for those travelling on two wheels.
Check Price.

Here are the Best Sleeping Bag Reviews (Australia 2020)

Depending on what your prime need is, here is a list of best sleeping bags that should work for you.  It’s not meant to be extensive; however, it’s a good starting point.

I’ve divided these up into different usage categories, but some would suit more than one usage type – for example, what is a good bike touring sleeping bag would also serve as a good compact sleeping bag.  So, take a look at all of them, they’re all good products and see if there’s one that takes your fancy.

Best All-Round Sleeping Bag

When it comes to all round value for money, versatility and quality, my recommendation is the Adventure Kings Premium Winter/Summer Sleeping Bag.

  • Water Resistant polycotton exterior.
  • Lower limit of -5oC
  • Generous 240cm x 90cm size, will fit almost everybody comfortably.
  • Zip-out flannel liner to give a wider temperature range, so it’s not too hot in the warmer months.
  • Can zip together with another AK Premium Sleeping Bag. Just make sure the other sleeping bag has the opposite zip location (left vs right or vice versa) to create a jumbo double sleeping bag.
  • Fits inside the AK Big Daddy swag.

The only downside to this sleeping bag is its weight.  It comes in a whisker over 5kgs.

Check out the details, reviews and latest price of the AK Premium Sleeping Bag by clicking here.

Best Cold Weather Sleeping Bag

For this one, the Darche Cold Mountain 900 Sleeping Bag is worth considering.  It has a double-layered design for those cooler nights.

  • Lower limit of -12oC
  • Weight of 2.7kg, which is good, yet is a generous 250cm x 90cm.
  • Can be either unzipped to create a doona or zipped together with another Cold Mountain sleeping bag to form a double.
  • Shaped hood.
  • Competitively priced.

Check out the details and latest price of the Darche Cold Mountain 900 Sleeping Bag by clicking here.

Best Lightweight Sleeping Bag

This is a bit of a difficult choice to make.  Best lightweight sleeping bag shouldn’t equate to the flimsiest, thinnest sleeping bag.  Taking on board general quality and looking at a product that weighs less than 1kg, the recommendation here is the Marmot Always Summer Sleeping Bag.

  • It’s advertised as the master space-saver, and it does that well. Weighing in at a tiny 760 grams, and packs down to 4.2 litres. Certainly, the best sleeping bag for bike touring and kayakers.
  • Lower limit of 4oC
  • Good insulation with a 650 fill-power rating.
  • Polyester materials.

It’s a three-season sleeping bag at best, but for most situations where weight and space is a premium it will work well.

Check out the details and latest price on the Marmot Always Summer Sleeping Bag by clicking here.

Best Down Sleeping Bag

This kit is well worthy of the title of the best down sleeping bag, as its specs are impressive – The North Face Eco Trail Down Sleeping Bag.

  • Eco friendly – fully recycled materials, including the natural down fill. Nice!
  • Lower limit of -7oC
  • Tapered shape for preserving body heat.
  • Fitted hood for total warmth and comfort.
  • J-zip arrangement for increased mobility and venting.
  • Water repellent finish.
  • Super lightweight at 1.3kg, packs down to a very compact 23cm x 41cm.

Check out the details and latest price of The North Face Eco Trail Down Sleeping Bag by clicking here.

Best Synthetic Sleeping Bag

Again, The North Face has a great synthetic sleeping bag, the Eco Trail Synthetic.

  • Full recycled materials – eco-friendly.
  • Synthetic insulation which is pretty much water proof.
  • Water repellent outer.
  • Lower limit of 2oC
  • Packs down to 22cm x 38cm.
  • All the features of The North Face Eco Trail Down Sleeping Bag.

Check out the details and latest price of The North Face Eco Trail Synthetic Sleeping Bag by clicking here.

Best Hiking Sleeping Bag

The need for packed size and weight limits is top of the list for a hiking sleeping bag, but still having at least a reasonable season rating.  Taking that on board, the Vango Nitestar Alpha 300 Quad Sleeping Bag is a good piece of gear for bushwalking and hiking.

  • Weight comes in at 2kg.
  • Packed size is 29cm x 24cm.
  • Plenty of room at 205cm x 78cm.
  • Lower limit of -3oC
  • Fill is synthetic (Insulite).

Check out the details and latest price for the Vango Nitestar Sleeping Bag on eBay Australia by clicking here.

Best Budget Sleeping Bag

The criteria applied to qualify for a budget sleeping bag, the product must have reasonable quality, insulation and size but be less than $100.  The Caribee Snow Drift Jumbo Sleeping Bag is one that meets all of the above.

  • Weight of 2.45kg.
  • Packs down to 42cm x 25cm.
  • Extra room at 240cm x 90cm.
  • Cotton inner liner.
  • Dual zips so can be zipped together with another Caribee sleeping bag to create a generous double.
  • Quoted lower limit of -10oC, but wouldn’t rely on it. Treat it as a 3-season sleeping bag.

Check out the details and latest price for the Caribee Snow Drift Jumbo Sleeping Bag on eBay Australia by clicking here.

Best Kids Sleeping Bag

Oztrail have been around for a long time, and they put together a good product.  Here is the Lawson Jr Kids Sleeping Bag, which comes in a number of colours, compact, lightweight and is perfect for kids and smaller adults.  Normally can be picked up for less than $50.

  • Weighs in at 1.2kg and packs to 31cm x 20cm.
  • 170cm x 65cm (including hood).
  • Non-allergenic ExoTherm fill, which has very good insulating properties.
  • Cocoon style lip hood for extra warmth.
  • Two bags can be zipped together to form a double.
  • Lower limit of -5oC

Check out the details and latest price of the Oztrail Lawson Jr Kids Sleeping Bag on eBay Australia by clicking here.

or

Also, you can check out some good kids sleeping bags on Tentworld’s website by clicking here.

Best Compact Sleeping Bag

There’s a couple of sleeping bags already covered in this buying guide that would be equally at home in this category, but I’ll add in another product to give you something further to consider.  The Vango Venom 400 Lightweight Down Sleeping Bag is a pretty good product, as it weighs in at 1kg and uses duck down as fill.

  • Weighs 1.0kg and packs down to 30cm x 15cm.
  • Lower limit of -4oC
  • Mummy shape so it’s snug at 78cm (chest) x 48cm (foot).
  • Duck down with 700 fill power for extra warmth and comfort. The down has been treated with a hydro-barrier so it isn’t as prone to getting saturated during damp weather.
  • Maximum user height of 190cm.
  • Recommended by the Duke of Edinburgh Award group as ideal for adventure-based travel.

Check out the details and latest price of the Vango Venom 400 Lightweight Down Sleeping Bag on eBay Australia by clicking here.

Best Sleeping Bag for Bike Touring

For bike tourers, weight and compactness is prime.  Also, because they are out in the elements, thermal performance is also high on the list of requirements.  For this sort of need, a down based sleeping bag is best.  For this activity, the Blackwolf Hiker 300 4C Sleeping Bag is worth considering.  Alternatively, the Vango Venom reviewed above would be the better choice if cycling through cooler areas.

  • Weighs in at 0.9kg and packs down to 27cm x 15cm.
  • Lower limit of -1oC
  • Fill is 700+ loft water-repellent duck down.
  • Tapered shape 220cm x 80cm (chest) x 50cm (feet).
  • Specifically designed for bushwalking, trekking and lightweight travel.

Check out the details and latest price of the Blackwolf Hiker 300 4C Sleeping Bag at Tentworld by clicking here.

 

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