If you're venturing into the outdoors for camping, hiking or backpacker trip, one of the first things you need to do is to make sure you have somewhere comfortable and warm to sleep. For most people, this means getting your hands on a sleeping bag. With online stores like Argos, Amazon and Decathlon offering so many brands and styles, you'll be spoilt for choice.
The right sleeping bag for you will depend on many factors, such as whether you need the warmest 3 or 4 season design for winter or an ultralight or lightweight one for summer. It could also depend on your size – some are extra-wide or extra-long, while others are doubles made for two! Whatever you're looking for, we'll show you the best fleece-lined and cotton-filled sleeping bags, all costing under £100.
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What you want with a filling material is good insulation, but also something that can breathe and adjust to your needs. This is why hollow fibre cotton and polyester are used. The 'hollow' nature of the fibres traps air, and that helps keep you warm. Both are popular, but polyester is cheaper and easier to care for.
A way of knowing the thickness and density of the filling in your sleeping bag is to look at the GSM number or tog number. Standing for grams per square meter, GSM basically lets you know how dense the padding is. It is usually the case that the higher the GSM, the warmer a sleeping bag will be.
You will also see togs as a measure for this (which is also used for duvets) and the same rule applies – the higher the tog number, the warmer it will be. To give you an idea of how to compare GSM and togs, 250 gsm is similar to a 2 to 4 tog rating.
The lining and outer shell of a sleeping bag have a lot of important work to do. They need to feel comfortable on your skin as that is what you're going to be in contact with, but you also want to make sure that these materials are tough, durable and breathable.
Fine nylon or polyester are the most common materials used for lining. Nylon is also regularly used on the outer shell because of how tough it is. Cotton is popular too and feels lovely on the skin, but lightweight, breathable cotton traps moisture so isn’t recommended for cold conditions.
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To find out how much space a sleeping bag is going to offer, you need to look at the dimensions. A standard single sleeping bag will normally be 70 to 80 cm in width and around 200 cm in length. Double sleeping bags normally have a similar length but are wider to allow for that extra person.
You can find sleeping bags that, by adding an extra few centimetres onto the length and width, accommodate larger people. Some sleeping bags will have a whole range of sizes so you can find one that is just right for you.
It is worth remembering that the larger a sleeping bag is when it's unravelled, the larger it will be when wrapped up, which will make it harder to carry, but this does also depend on the density of the filling.
For those who are planning on driving right up to their campsite and unloading the car next to their pitch, it isn't critical to find a sleeping bag that is nice and light. However, if you're camping as part of a trek or you need to cover some mileage with a pack on your back, check you're buying one that isn't too heavy.
Thicker sleeping bags for winter are going to be heavier and, unfortunately, this is hard to avoid, but if you think you can get away with a lightweight option, it's well worth looking for one. A sleeping bag that weighs in at 2 kg or less is what you want.
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Anyone who lives in Britain knows that the seasons don't always stick to the rules. You might get a gloriously warm day in February or a snow flurry in May, so it's difficult to be prepared for everything. You can get a rough idea, though, of what sleeping bag you should bring from the scale that lets you know the sort of nights to which they're most suited.
The scale is done in seasons, but not the usual winter, spring, summer and autumn. In this case, there are four seasons, too, but they use a number system from 1 to 4. A 'season 1' sleeping bag is one that you can use on summer nights. Season 2 bags are better when things are a bit colder. Season 3 are needed when the nights are cool but there's no heavy frost, and season 4 sleeping bags are the warmest.
If a season scale is not used, you can refer instead to temperature ranges. For a sleeping bag to cope with cold temperatures, it should say it will keep you warm when the temperature is below freezing. Sleeping bags designed for warm weather won't cause you to overheat when the temperature outside is above 20°C. This way of showing you what time of year a sleeping bag is designed for can be more helpful than the season scale as it gives you a more specific and universal specification.
When temperatures really dip, you want every part of your body to be properly covered, and this includes your head. If a sleeping bag is not secure around the top opening, it allows your body heat to escape, not what you want when it's freezing outside.
A hood looks different on different sleeping bags, depending on the climates for which they're designed. Some hoods are very open and could be more accurately described as half hoods. They act a bit like pillows in addition to keeping you warm. For really cold conditions, you're going to want a full hood that you can tighten until all that's exposed is your face.
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Sleeping Bag M300
Drawstring Sleeping Bag for Temperatures as Low as -10°C
Extra Wide Envelope Sleeping Bag
Extra Large Sleeping Bag Provides Additional Space
Pairable Sleeping Bag
Available in a Range of Sizes for the Perfect Fit
Lightweight Sleeping Bag
Cosy Tartan Lining With a Durable Outer
Camping Sleeping Bag
A Clever Design With Holes for Your Arms
Ultra-light Warm Weather Rectangular Sleeping Bag
Lightweight Sleeping Bag for Backpacking and Hiking
Moon Sleeping Bag
Season 3 Double Sleeping Bag for Two
Cotton Sleeping Bag for Camping
Light Sleeping Bag for Warm Summer Nights
Era Double Sleeping Bag
7.5 Tog Double Sleeping Bag Made From 100% Recycled Materials
Envelope 200 GSM Sleeping Bag
Affordable Sleeping Bag for Festivals and Overnight Stays
The thickness and density of the insulation in this sleeping bag make it well-suited to freezing temperatures. Even when the thermostat goes below 0°C, it can keep you warm. To help with this, it has a highly adjustable hood that can be tightened substantially, preventing any heat from escaping.
Despite being thick and cosy, it still manages to be light, weighing the same as sleeping bags that are a lot less insulating. We love, too, the fact that it caters to tall people. As far as we're concerned, this affordable sleeping bag is a British camping holiday necessity!
It can be difficult trying to find sleeping bags that fit your specific shape, especially if you're larger. This extra-wide and extra-long option aims to cater to those who might not be able to comfortably slide into a standard sleeping bag.
At 1 metre in width, it has plenty of chest space, so it will be much less restrictive and claustrophobic. This is also beneficial for people who aren't necessarily big but just want some extra room to move. It works in cold conditions too, so you can use this sleeping bag on more extreme trips as well.
Most sleeping bags go for a one-size-fits-all approach, but not this one. This mid-range option from Forclaz recognises that humans come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so sleeping bags should as well.
Having a choice of sizes is particularly important if you're looking for a sleeping bag that needs to be tight because it's for cold weather. In these conditions, you want every inch to be wrapped up. The tight mummy-styledesign does that, and even has a hood that you can properly tighten around your head.
The tartan interior of this sleeping bag gives it a charm that is often lacking when it comes to practical camping equipment. This tartan interior not only looks good, but it will also feel comfortable on your skin.
While the inside is soft and cosy, the outside is hard-wearing due to its polyester shell, preventing it from breaking when you're dragging it through more extreme terrains and conditions. The bag also gully unzip to become a tartan blanket with a waterproof bottom - perfect for picnics!
Want to check your phone or read but don't want to take your arms out of your cosy cocoon after finally getting warm? This sleeping bag has solved that problem with an ingenious idea – holes for your arms!
In many ways, this is a normal sleeping bag with a hood, but little adaptations like the holes for the arms and inside pocket, paired with the fact that it is suitable for use in a whole range of temperatures, make it stand out from the crowd.
If you're planning on hiking around somewhere warm, then you'll want to get your hands on this sleeping bag. It is the lightest on this list, weighing in at an incredible 700 g. It's so light, you'll barely notice you're carrying it, and it's reasonably long, allowing taller people to slip in comfortably.
Its style and shape are in line with the temperatures for which it's designed, with the loose rectangular shape allowing for comfort and breathability. Just make sure to refer to the packaging for care instructions, as they've failed to list them online!
Need space for two? This double sleeping bag has enough room to cuddle up and get cosy on a camping trip. It's made of a lightweight material but is still suitable when the temperature dips as low as 5°C.
Like most double sleeping bags, it doesn't have a full hood as you're not able to fasten it up tightly with two of you in there, but then again, you do have each other's body heat to help keep you warm! Frustratingly, it doesn't specify the best way to care for this sleeping bag, so you'll have to be careful when trying to clean it.
Even when it's warm outside, lots of people like to have the comfort of sleeping with something wrapped around them, especially when you are camping and might not have the most luxurious bed setup. This sleeping bag is great for those mild evenings when all you need is a light layer over you.
It does mean that it is not hugely versatile, particularly if you're camping in the UK where temperatures are rarely extremely warm overnight. The lining is made of cotton, which helps make it lovely and cool in the heat, but you might get a bit chilly when it's not so toasty.
People who want to explore nature but don't want to damage nature will love the fact that this sleeping bag is made from 100% recycled materials. And thanks to these breathable fabrics, it is suitable for a wide range of conditions, though mostly during the summer months.
This one is best used as a comfortable sleeping bag when you're in a stationary campsite where you're not having to move around or set up camp in extreme conditions. This is because it is quite heavy, so it isn't the easiest to lug around with you, and it also doesn't have a hood.
If you know you're going to be camping during warm conditions in a safe and secure tent, you can definitely get away with this incredibly affordable sleeping bag. Not only is it low on price, but it's also low on weight, making it easy for you to transport from A to B.
This being said, it is not the best option for hardcore hiking or trekking trips no matter what the weather is, as it isn't the toughest sleeping bag on this list and it doesn't have a hood, either. It requires hand washing, too, so will take longer to get clean.
No. 1：Active Era｜Sleeping Bag M300
No. 2：Trespass｜Extra Wide Envelope Sleeping Bag
No. 3：Forclaz｜Pairable Sleeping Bag
No. 4：GEERTOP｜Lightweight Sleeping Bag
No. 5：Stream｜Camping Sleeping Bag
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