As we’re sure you’ll agree, when it comes to picking a sleeping bag for the Aussie climate, it becomes a little tricky when you factor in our major temperature changes depending on whereabouts you live.
For those of our readers in Darwin, you’re certainly not going to want to choose a sleeping bag that we suggest for our Melbourne readers, and vice-versa. However, there are still a tonne of sleeping bags on offer that are adaptable and work for multiple climate zones.
If you’re looking to head out of Melbourne or Sydney, for example, and into the ranges, mountains or just the farmlands, you’re going to need a sleeping bag that’s able to adapt with the weather though remain safe and comfortable.
To add, it’s also a good idea to choose a sleeping bag that’s able to suit your travel style the best. If you’re taking a car, a sleeping bag that is rather bulky and heavy won’t be an issue. However, if you are hiking or going on a rather long bush walk after you’ve parked your car, your back will certainly appreciate a lighter sleeping bag.
With all that said, in this article we’ll take a look at all of our favourite sleeping bags to help you find the best sleeping bags in Australia for 2021.
What We’ll Look At
We understand that we have a lot of readers spread across the country, and so we’re going to make certain there’s a quality, reliable and comfortable sleeping bag for wherever your camping journeys take you.
That means, for the tropical readers in Townsville, Darwin and Cairns, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the more ventilated and lighter fabric models. For those in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart, we’ll find something a little more plush and temperature regulating.
And for those in Perth and Adelaide, we’ll outline a nice blend between ventilated and warm sleeping bags.
You’ll find some of the following sleeping bags on our list below:
- The best all-rounder
- Our favourite cold weather option
- A lightweight model for hikers
- Our top choice model for kids
- The more affordable models
That said, let’s get into our comparison and reviews of all the best sleeping bags and what we considered when choosing all of these fantastic sleeping bags. You’ll be sure to find something that perfectly fits your requirements and budget without issue.
How We Chose the Best Sleeping Bags
If you’re not sticking around to read our reviews and more interested in going out on your own to find a sleeping bag, we have some pointers and tips to keep in mind when choosing a sleeping bag — the same things we considered when choosing ours.
You’ll always want to make sure you’re choosing a sleeping bag based on where you live and where you want to camp. This will mean taking a look at the typical comfortable temperatures outlined by the sleeping bag, the materials and how thick it is.
Another point to keep in mind is the weight and size of the sleeping bag. You want to choose something that works well for your camping and outdoor activities and also your rucksack or vehicle. If your sleeping bags are bulky, heavy and hard to carry, you’re going to have a nightmare camping experience.
From here we’d suggest you take a good look at the size of the sleeping bags. Most of these products are well-suited to people of all sizes, though if you want a little extra room or a double model, you’ll be able to find these. Just be sure to select something that works well for your body size and how tall you are and you’re on the right track.
To end, the budget should then come into play. Of course, this is a big factor, though it’s important to choose a sleeping bag that you’re going to want to use, have a good experience with and not want to throw out right away. That in mind, we put the budget toward the end of our selection process.
Some other minor additional considerations for us were the materials used, the design and the ability to easily pack up the sleeping bag and how hard it was to store.
And there you have it, how we chose our top sleeping bags and how you can make your choice a little easier this year.
Essential Features to Keep in Mind
When it comes to investing in a sleeping bag and getting the best experience out there, we want to give you a few pointers with what to look for and what to expect.
As a general rule of thumb, you always want to be on the lookout for a sleeping bag that’s going to make your time in the outdoors as fun, comfortable and safe as possible and your sleeping bag has big sway over these factors.
That in mind, there are a myriad of features and perks to look out for in a sleeping bag that might make or break your experience out camping with family and friends.
The Sleeping Bag Materials and Fill
Off the top, it’s important to factor in what the sleeping bag is made of and whether this is going to be comfortable for you or not. A good majority of sleeping bags do come with natural and synthetic fills for you to choose from, which are going to dictate how comfortable these are.
Let’s have a look below.
The most common natural internal fill for a sleeping bag is down, or goose feathers, and for good reason. This fill is incredibly soft and comfortable and you’re going to be able to rely on it to be incredibly warm and insulating should things get a little too cold in the evening.
It’s also good to note that down fill is quite light in weight, so if you’re hiking or carrying your sleeping bag a long way to camp, this might be the better option for you.
One other thing to keep in mind is that although down is a relatively good choice of material for sleeping bags, it can be more expensive than a lot of other materials out there, so that means you may be paying a little extra for this experience.
With decades of curation and routine improvements in synthetic sleeping materials, we’re confident in saying that you’re not doing yourself a disservice by choosing a synthetic sleeping bag fill.
These sleeping bag fillers are, again, quite lightweight, a lot more affordable than down and can often last a little longer too. With down fill being quite prone to flattening out over time, synthetic materials are designed to make sure this doesn’t happen, which means you have the potential to get a lot more use out of a sleeping bag with synthetic fill.
In all, choosing between the two will rely on your own personal preference, however, down fill is your best bet for being lighter weight and good for those hiking to their campsites. Whereas synthetic fill is more affordable and can last for a bit longer than down can.
Understanding the Seasonal Sleeping Bag Ratings
If you’ve been on the lookout for a sleeping bag for a while, you’ll have noticed that there’s a few different metrics used to rate sleeping bags. Of course there’s the size and the shape, though, another important metric comes into play here — and that’s the seasonal rating.
You’re going to see these sleeping bags split into a number of different seasonal ratings, which is particularly important in Australia.
We’ll take a look at these categories below and how to understand seasonal ratings for sleeping bags.
The One Season Sleeping Bags
Off the top, the single season sleeping bags or the ‘One Season’ bags are what you’re going to be able to use for one single season.
These are often designed to either be very warm, or very ventilated.
For those in Darwin, you’re going to want a one season summer sleeping bag given that the temperature remains high all year round. There won’t typically be a need for a dual season or multi-season sleeping bag in these climates.
The Two Season Sleeping Bags
These sleeping bags have been designed for use in two adjacent seasons which means you’re able to use these for either summer and winter, autumn and spring and so forth.
These are going to be great for those who go camping every now and then and aren’t too prepared for the season as you can trust these sleeping bags to keep your comfortable no matter what the weather is doing.
The Three Season Sleeping Bags
To the more common and the most versatile offering now, and the three season sleeping bags are the option for those to keep you comfortable and temperature regulated in any situation.
Whether you’re using your sleeping bag on a summer night or in the middle of winter, these have the features and the internal materials to keep you perfectly warm or nice and cool depending on how you use it.
For those who want to get the most out of their sleeping bags and head out camping as often as possible, the three-season sleeping bags are going to be your best bet.
The Four Season Sleeping Bags
For our readers who are avid campers and aren’t new to anything related to the temperature regulation features of sleeping bags, you’ll know that the four season bags are your option for keeping warm during colder nights and often come with additions like hoodies and other built in features to keep you warm.
However when it comes time to cool off, there’s plenty of ventilation features and zips to make air flow through the sleeping bag effortless.
The Expedition Sleeping Bags
For the all-out sleeping bags, the expedition models are here to make light work of just about any camping spot.
Whether it’s pouring rain, ice cold or quite warm you’re being kept comfortable here. Not only are these sleeping bags packed with awesome materials, they’re also going to keep you well-ventilated and dry even in storms.
There’s often hoodies included in all these models, though you’re also going to be able to rely on these to be light weight and easy to carry in a rucksack if you’re heading out camping or making your way to a campsite that’s quite a ways from your car park.
If it’s for an extreme environment, the five season or expedition sleeping bags are for you.
The Temperature Ratings for Sleeping Bags
Another key metric we took a look at when finding the best sleeping bags for 2021 were the temperature ratings. As these are standard across the country and indeed the world, it’s good to know that you can rely on these ratings for a solid standard regardless of the product you’re buying.
That in mind, if you’re looking to invest in a sleeping bag from a US maker or a brand from the EU, the temperature rating will remain the same.
Although one point to note is that Aussie manufacturers aren’t required to meet this standard or rating, many of them do simply to show customers what their models are capable of.
That said, we’ve outlined below some information on the temperature ratings or measurements as touted by manufactures here in Australia,
These are as follows:
The Upper Limit
This is the maximum level of temperature insulating where you’re able to sleep with little discomfort or as low amount of sweat as possible.
Generally this limit is ideal for most consumers looking to keep warm in relatively cool environments.
The Comfort Rating
As the name suggests, this is the rating or the temperature level where you’ll be able to sleep at your most comfortable during the night with the sleeping bag working to maintain that ideal temperature of around 24º for minimal sweating or night shivers.
The Lower Limit
These sleeping bags are mildly insulated, however, you’re not going to be able to rely on these to keep you warm should temperatures outside drop too low.
Models in this category are good for hotter climates, though they’re still optimal for use across Australia so long as you’re not relying on these products to keep you warm should a cold snap occur, for example.
The Extreme Rating
When it comes to fighting off hypothermia, these are the ratings for you. These sleeping bags are able to fight off ice-cold temperatures and are designed to keep you from dealing with frostbite and other life threatening issues.
You’ll not want to ever sleep in a location where this rating comes to the rescue, though it’s incredibly good to have a sleeping bag with this rating on your side.
In all, you’re able to find more information on temperature ratings on each sleeping bag manufacturers website, though in most Australian climates you won’t need to rely too heavily on these.
The Sleeping Bag Shapes and Sizes
Before we get into our final considerations and our list of the best sleeping bags, we want to take a look at the different shapes of sleeping bags on offer and what you may want to consider with regards to comfort and shape.
Although typical sleeping bags are rectangular and are the ideal shape for most sleepers, there are a few other types on the market.
The no frills and most common sleeping bag design that offers some of the most wiggle room for movement. These are great in that they have simple linear zippers and can be easily opened and closed for ventilation and added warmth.
You can also use your typical at-home bedding with these sleeping bags as they’re the same shape as single and king single mattresses.
These are the sleeping bags which offer a shape that is somewhat body-hugging and gives you more of a warm and cozy feel than a lot of other sleeping bag styles.
You’re able to rely on these types of sleeping bags to preserve your body heat by keeping the infill materials pressed right up against your body.
These are generally a favourite for hikers and bushwalkers who are on their way to the more cold and high altitude areas down to the fact that the body-hugging offers the most comfort and warmth.
The Tapered Bags
The last standard shape for sleeping bags are the tapered models, which are generally a blend between both the mummy and the rectangular sleeping bags. They begin widest at the top by the head and slowly taper down to being quite thin toward the bottom.
That said, your legs will experience the hugging sensation that keeps you warm, though the upper body will not.
Our Final Tips on Things to Look Out For
To end our features and perks to look for in sleeping bags, we have some last-minute essentials that you may want to consider.
Weather Proofing — if you’re prone to not checking the weather before a camping trip, or would like to brave the cold and the wind, then the rainproof sleeping bags are certainly going to be something you keep an eye out for. These are designed to keep out the water and also to keep you warm should storms cause the mercury to fall to single digits.
Liners — a number of sleeping bags do offer interior liners which allow you to keep your sleeping bag nice and clean no matter how often you use them.
Size — when it comes to getting the most space from your sleeping bag, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting a sleeping bag that’s quite large. That said, plenty of sleeping bags do come in various sizes which mean you’re going to have plenty of choice regarding how large you want your sleeping bag to be.
Our List of the Best Sleeping Bags in Australia for 2021
With all of our essential features and list of tips to look out for, we’ve got a fantastic list of all the best sleeping bags on the market this year which check off everything we look for in a sleeping bag.
Whether you’re after waterproofing, ultra-warm infill or a well-ventilated sleeping bag for getting some shut-eye on the warmest nights of the year, there’s certainly something on our list for you below.
Our Winner Overall for the Best Sleeping Bag
With the only sleeping bag checking off just about all the features and requirements on our list above, the Adventure Kings Summer and Winter Sleeping bag is our top choice sleeping bag for 2021.
You’re getting optimal comfort here, a size which suits just about all sleepers, large and small, and there’s the assurance that you’ll be kept warm and comfortable in temperatures hitting at low at -5ºc which is great news for those looking to head up into the mountains.
The size of the sleeping bag is a roomy 240x90cm and there’s a zip-out liner here which means if you’re a little too warm, you can quickly reduce the number of layers in the bag to cool you off a little.
Those zippers in mind, this sleeping bag works perfectly for both cool and warm climates.
One thing to note is that this sleeping bag is a little weighty, coming in at 5kg which might be a little much for those hiking with the bag.
Low Temperature Limit of -5ºc
Comes in 240cm by 90cm
Zip-out Liner for Added Ventilation
The Cold Mountain 900 Sleeping Bag by Darche
On to a sleeping bag designed for the cold climates now, and the Cold Mountain 900 is going to be your best bet here. When you consider that there’s a minimum temperature of -12º supported, you’re going to be kept nice and snug just about anywhere you’re camping in Australia, even in the dead of winter.
Adding to the sleeping bag’s warming design, there’s a double layered insert which will do most of the work when it comes to keeping you nice and warm, even on the coldest nights.
There is also a nifty zipper section here which can turn your sleeping bag from a bag into a nice doona or a comforter when you’re in a tent. You could also use this zipper to transform the sleeping bag into a double model, rather than a single.
A few final things to note are that there’s a hood included here as well as some rather low pricing, making it a steal for anyone who often camps in the coldest regions of the country.
Low Temperature Limit of -12ºc
Comes in 250cm by 90cm
Features an Unzippable Design
The Always Summer Sleeping Bag by Marmot
To the sleeping bag that our hiker readers are going to love, the Always Summer model is one of the lightest weight on our list, so no matter how far you find yourself hiking, your sleeping bag won’t be weighing you down.
It’s good to note that this sleeping bag still remains of the highest quality and is robust and sturdy, making it a good fit for placing it down on harsh terrain without ripping the fabrics.
Adding to this, you’ll find that being below 1kg and coming with a packing size of just 4.2 litres, you’ll be able to stuff this sleeping bag into about any rucksack or even a backpack that you take camping with you.
Our final tidbit to note is that this sleeping bag is a three-season variant, which means you’ll be able to rely on it to keep you cool in summer, warm in winter and generally comfortable and well-ventilated at all times.
Low Temperature Limit of 4ºc
Weighs just 760g
Features an Unzippable Design
Designed for All Seasons
Made of Polyester
The Eco Trail Down Sleeping Bag by the North Face
To our sleeping bag choice for those who need something ultra plush, ultra light and exceptionally warm, the Eco Trail Sleeping Bag is going to be a winner. It’s quite small and packs into a tiny space of less than 40cm squared.
This is one of the best sleeping bags for the eco-conscious buyer too, given that the sleeping bag is made with all recycled materials, even the down on the interior.
The design of this sleeping bag is tapered and developed to make sure that your body heat isn’t escaping, but rather enveloping you as you sleep to keep you warm on nights hitting as low as -7ºc.
There’s a built-in hood here too along with a J-shaped zipper, which gives you plenty of avenues for opening and venting the sleeping bag should things get a little too warm during the night.
A final thing to note is that the sleeping bag is water-repelling and you’re able to rely on it to keep you nice and dry should things get a little wet out.
Low Temperature Limit of -7ºc
Packs Down to 23cm by 41cm
Features a J-shaped Unzippable Design
Weighs Just 1.3kg
The Eco Trail Synthetic by The North Face
Our second product coming from the North Face is the synthetic variant of the model above, which is also made of recycled materials.
It’s not as warm or robust as the down model above, however it’s waterproof, well-insulated and rated for an external temperature as low as 2ºc which makes it another good option for Aussies who are camping during the summer and fall months.
You’ll be able to rely on the sleeping bag’s unzippable design and the small packing size to keep you comfortable when hiking as the bag folders into a tiny 22cm by 38cm size, making it easy to fit into just about any bag.
Low Temperature Limit of 2ºc
Packs Down to 22cm by 38cm
Features an Unzippable Design
Recycled Synthetic Material
The Nitestar Alpha 300 by Vango
For our hiker readers, this is going to be our top choice for you. As the best sleeping bag for hiking, the Nitestar Alpha is ultra-lightweight and also offers all of the features you’ll need for any season.
That said, whether the weather changes or if you’re hiking on a day that’s become a little awry with regards to the weather or the temperature, you’re well-covered by this lightweight sleeping bag.
The model comes with a good season rating and you’re able to pack it down to just 29cm by 24cm which keeps its size ideal for hiking backpacks.
To end, the weight is just 2kg which means for the warmness and temperature minimums you’re getting a very lightweight model here.
Low Temperature Limit of -3ºc
Packs Down to 29cm by 24cm
Ultra-warm Synthetic Fill
Comes in 205cm by 78cm
The Snow Drift Jumbo by Caribee
For our readers on a budget or looking for a sleeping bag to use every so often, the Snow Drift might be the best option for you. It’s one of the most feature-packed sleeping bags on the market today, but it’s also one of the more affordable.
In most cases, you’ll be able to find this sleeping bag online and in stores for less than $100 and that means you’re certainly not breaking the bank for this one.
It’s a lightweight sleeping bag at just 2.45kg and you’re going to see it pack all the way down to a small 42cm by 25cm size, which means it’s easy to carry to camp.
On top of this, there’s a lower temperature limit of -10ºc quoted by the manufacturer, which makes it one of the warmest and more trusted models out there.
To end, there’s double zips here which mean you can turn the sleeping bag into a double or simply use it as a doona inside of a tent.
Low Temperature Limit of -10ºc
Packs Down to 42cm by 25cm
Cotton Internal Lining
Dual Zips for Versatility
Comes in 240cm by 90cm
Weighs just 2.45kg
The Venom 400 Lightweight Down Sleeping Bag by Vango
To end our list, we’re highlighting one of the more compact-yet-comfortable sleeping bags out there. You’ll be able to rely on the Venom to keep you nice and comfortable though not take up too much space at camp.
For those who are sleeping in a tent or right by fellow campers, you’re really going to appreciate the compact size of the Venom and enjoy the sleeping bag’s light weight too.
There’s plenty of insulation coming into the play here with down being the primary material, and you’re going to see support for minimum temperatures as low as -4ºc which means winter time is no issue at all.
To add, the shape of the sleeping bag is tempered from 78cm down to a cozy 48cm at the feet which means you’re being cradled and kept warm by this sleeping bag.
One final thing to note is that the sleeping bag is just one kilogram and comes with a water-treated material, which means you’re not getting total waterproofing but you are getting a resistance to water.
Low Temperature Limit of -4ºc
Down Internal Fill
Tapered Design for Comfort
Now that you have all of the essentials about Australia’s best sleeping bags out of the way, and our top picks, you’ll be able to head out to camp this year knowing that you’re going to be kept dry, warm and cozy.
When choosing a sleeping bag, always consider your size, the level of warmness you require and the weight too. You don’t want to be stuck with something that’s too small for your body type, or a sleeping bag that you’re not going to be able to carry for too long due to its weight.
In all, work to get your hands on a sleeping bag that is ideal for your environment, your size and your camping style requirements.
For the hikers, grab something lightweight and compact, for those who camp high in the mountains, something warm and water wicking might be the best for you. For the casual campers, a more affordable and less feature-packed standard sleeping bag might be your best bet.