If there’s one thing that makes camping and hiking trips appealing, it’s the summer nights around the campfire or lying outside watching the night sky without light pollution. However, once the flames die down and it’s time to get a good night’s rest, you’ll want to have the best summer sleeping bag.
You’ll want a model that will keep you warm and cozy once the temperature goes below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the warmth-to-weight ratio is just as important – your summer sleeping bag also needs to be lightweight and easy to pack away.
To help you out, I’ve put together a list of the market’s 8 best summer sleeping bags and took a closer look at their most important features. Towards the end of the article, you’ll also find a handy buying guide that will help you find the right summer sleeping bag for your needs.
If you are in a hurry or just don’t want to read the following review, this Marmot brand is my favorite sleeping bag, and it comes at a very affordable price.
Table of Contents
- 1 Reviews of the Best Summer Sleeping Bags
- 2 Best Summer Sleeping Bags Buying Guide
- 3 The Conclusion
Reviews of the Best Summer Sleeping Bags
1. Nemo Disco 30 Degree
- Thermo Gills feature – unzip for ventilation
- 30D ripstop shell fabric resists wear and tear
- Draft tube along the anti-snag zipper
- Spoon-shaped mummy bag – great for side sleepers
- Accompanied by a stuff sack
- High price
Going on a camping adventure in the middle of summer doesn’t mean that you’ll never have to deal with the cold. Nights can get pretty chilly in any part of the world, especially in the northern hemisphere. With a comfort rating of 30 degrees Fahrenheit, the newest Nemo Disco can and will keep you warm during these chilly summer nights.
Due to the fact that it features a pretty decent sleeping pad, the Nemo Disco 30 Degree is also one of the best 3-season sleeping bags. The weight and bulk of this quite large summer sleeping bag are actually some of its most important advantages – the model easily fits taller people (over 6 feet).
In terms of weight, the Nemo Disco 30 Degree weighs just a bit over 2 lbs and is therefore quite lightweight. Its 650-fill power down, on the other hand, is RDS-certified, PFC-free, and hydrophobic.
And that’s not all – it packs down very small, almost to the size of a regular loaf of bread. In other words, this is one of the best summer sleeping bags when it comes to packability (and therefore portability too). Once you put it into the stuff sack (also known as the compression sack), which is included in the package, the bag takes up very little space.
Another great thing about this Nemo summer sleeping bag is that its ¾-length zipper goes both ways, allowing warm-weather camping enthusiasts to get some venting if the warmth becomes unbearable. The anti-snag zipper tape, on the other hand, is there to prevent the shell fabric from getting caught in the zipper.
Finally, this Nemo summer sleeping bag sports a very unique spoon-like mummy shape and is designed with additional room at the knees and elbows. As you can already guess, this turns it into a fantastic choice for side sleepers and all those who don’t like sleeping on their backs.
2. Rab Neutrino 200
- Exceptionally low weight (a tad bit over 1 lb)
- Hand-filled & water-resistant (hydrophobic) down
- Fantastic warmth-to-weight ratio – 800-fill power goose down
- Super durable and tear-resistant Pertex Quantum outer fabric
- Internal zippered stash pocket
- No separate drawcords for internal collar & hood
Founded 40 years ago in Derbyshire, UK, Rab is one of the world’s most respected and beloved manufacturers of sleeping bags. Here, I’ll be taking a closer look at one of the company’s best summer sleeping bags – the Neutrino 200. If you’re looking for a lightweight model that will still keep you warm during chilly summer nights, this one is among your best options.
With a temperature rating of 44 degrees Fahrenheit, the Rab Neutrino is an ideal choice for long summer hikes. And while it doesn’t provide as much warmth as, say, summer sleeping bags made by Feathered Friends, it can and will work in cooler temperatures too, especially once it’s combined with a quality sleeping bag liner.
Due to its lightweight materials and tapered design, Rab Neutrino 200 weighs just a bit over 1 lb. Because of this extremely low weight, this sleeping bag can be easily packed into a compression sack. Of course, the stuff sack is included in the package, along with a well-made cotton storage sack.
The primary zipper of Rab Neutrino 200 comes down three-quarters of the way. One thing we particularly liked is the fact that two Neutrinos can be easily zipped together into a (sort of) double sleeping bag. Pretty impressive, wouldn’t you say? As you can already guess, this will allow you to snuggle with your partner right there under the stars.
Both the shell material and the lining of this mummy sleeping bag have a very soft feel to them. Obviously, this only adds to the overall comfort of the bag. This is also one of those summer sleeping bags that are hand-filled with duck down, and, as you already know, down insulation is always a better choice than synthetic insulation if you’re looking for the best warmth-to-weight ratio.
The proportional cut and the angled foot box of Rab Neutrino 200 provide quite a lot of room for wiggling. In other words, you’ll never feel as claustrophobic and constricted as you would in some of the cheaper mummy sleeping bags. All in all, the model is one of the best products of this type and a purchase you certainly won’t regret.
3. Big Agnes Anvil Horn
- A great choice for warm summer nights
- Packs down to a compact size of 8” x 7”
- Comes with a built-in sleeping pad sleeve
- A vaulted foot box provides plenty of room for one’s feet
- Full-length 2-way zipper
- No padding underneath
Big Agnes is yet another well-known name in the world of sleeping bags. Many trekkers call this company “the mother of comfort” due to the fact that their bags provide unparalleled coziness and warmth. Can the same be said for one of their best-selling summer sleeping bags – Anvil Horn?
Behind this peculiar name hides a model that’s a great option for all those looking to shave off as much weight as possible. While the model’s weight isn’t as low as that of some of the other summer sleeping bags on this list, Big Agnes Anvil Horn is still a lightweight model, at only 3 lbs. The overall compactness of this mummy bag is bound to come in very handy whenever you decide to go on a long camping trip deep into the backcountry.
The Down Tek insulation of the Big Agnes Anvil Horn has a fill power of 650 and is combined with rip-stop water-repellent polyester. In addition, this full-length backpacking sleeping bag comes with anti-snag zippers. As you can already guess, these are extremely useful when it comes to warm weather camping – you’ll be able to go in and out of your Big Agnes bag without any hassle. Unfortunately, the bag’s bottom features no insulation, although it does incorporate a pad sleeve where you can slide in your sleeping pad.
Many outdoor enthusiasts consider the Big Agnes Anvil Horn to be the best summer sleeping bag because of its unique design. There’s a very good connection between the sleeping pad and the bag itself (you won’t have to worry about sliding) and there’s also quilt-like insulation at the model’s top. This kind of design also greatly reduces the bag’s overall weight.
Another great thing about Big Agnes Anvil Horn is that it comes with a built-in pillow pocket, letting you create more head support if you ever feel the need to do so. The model’s zippers, on the other hand, will allow you to connect this bag with another one whenever you’re up for some cuddling and additional body warmth.
Finally, the more rectangular shape of this summer sleeping bag gives users lots of space for wiggling. And the best thing is that one doesn’t have to sacrifice backpack space to get this – the model’s smart insulation arrangement makes sure of that.
4. Kelty Cosmic 40 Degree
- Low price – the best budget bag on the list
- Foot box provides plenty of space
- The outer shell dries fast & breathes well
- Outstanding compressibility & loft
- Great insulation – water-resistant DriDown
- Sleeping pad required due to the bag’s thinness
Here we have yet another summer sleeping bag made by a renowned company – Kelty Cosmic 40 Degree. In my opinion, this particular model is a great choice for all those who tend to sleep hot. Fortunately, that’s not the only good thing about this summer sleeping bag.
With a temperature rating of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, this bag stays cozy and provides sufficient warmth in the low to mid-40s. However, Kelty Cosmic 40 Degree also won’t cook you when you’re sleeping in warm weather, which is, as we’ve said above, of huge importance to all those outdoor enthusiasts who tend to sleep hot.
The full-length, relaxed mummy shape of this summer sleeping bag is yet another great thing about it. The way in which it is designed saves quite a lot on space and weight (the bag weighs a bit more than 1 lb) but does not restrict the sleeper in any way whatsoever. Furthermore, once you put this sleeping bag into its compression sack (which is included in the package), you’ll hardly notice it in your backpack – and that’s always a huge plus for me.
In terms of insulation, Kelty Cosmic 40 Degree uses DriDown insulation with a fill power of 550. This specially treated insulation is warm to boot, compressible, and light, and it’s also made out of sustainably sourced materials. The model’s dual zippers, on the other hand, come together with an anti-snag draft tube and allow quick and easy heat regulation. Of course, once they’re zipped and locked, you won’t have to worry about potential heat loss.
Another thing I liked is how sizable the bag’s hood is – you’ll be able to easily stuff some clothes into it and make a pillow out of them. However, the real thing that has turned this model into one of the most beloved summer sleeping bags on the market is its price. This sleeping bag has a great price point for the quality it offers, and it’s undoubtedly a great option for all those looking to save some money.
All in all, this bag is worth a serious look, particularly if you’re someone who doesn’t camp that often and never goes hiking in cold weather. It’s one of the cheapest lightweight (1 lb 7 oz) bags I’ve seen so far and one that’s bound to get you through the temperatures most trekkers encounter while exploring the wild.
5. Marmot Always Summer
- The foot box features a heater pocket – keeps the feet extra warm
- Excellent hydrophobic down insulation with good compressibility
- Internal stash pocket for gadgets and smaller items
- Draft tube along the model’s zipper keeps the cold at bay
- Full-length 2-way zipper for easy ventilation
- High price
Do you always feel cold when you’re camping in the summer, even despite the higher temperatures? If that’s the case, Marmot has got you covered – their Always Summer model is one of the best backpacking sleeping bags that provide a sufficient amount of warmth without adding extra weight.
Just like most of the best 3 season sleeping bags on my list, this one also features down instead of synthetic insulation. While it’s true that some summer sleeping bags that utilize synthetic insulation have a lower overall weight, their warmth-to-weight ratio isn’t as nearly as good. The duck down used in Marmot Always Summer (as well as its tapered design) is bound to keep you toasty and warm even at 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
One particularly great thing about Marmot Always Summer is its trapezoidal foot box. Not only is it exceptionally comfortable and snug, but it also comes with a special heater pocket. As you can already guess, this turns Marmot Always Summer into a phenomenal choice for trekkers who often have issues with cold feet, even when they’re camping in July or August.
The down that has been used in this bag’s insulation is treated with Down Defender and is, therefore, sufficiently water-resistant. However, this won’t really protect the said down from losing its loft in case it does get soaked – if you want a genuinely water-resistant summer sleeping bag, you’ll have to opt for one that uses synthetic insulation. But still, Marmot Always Summer comes with two hang loops that will allow you to dry it out if it ever gets damp.
Even though it feels really plush and has lots of useful features, Marmot Always Summer weighs only about 2 lbs. What is more, this sleeping bag packs down to just 7” x 14” (into the stuff sack you’ll be getting together with the bag). Both the liner material and shell are quiet, soft, and durable, and the stitching is top-notch.
The conclusion? Marmot Always Summer is a fantastic backpacking sleeping bag – that much is certain. While it’s a bit expensive, it’s one of the best summer sleeping bags you can get on today’s market, particularly if you’re looking for a feature-rich model.
6. The North Face Eco Trail Down 35F
- Comfort-cut mummy bag with lots of room
- Equipped with a wraparound zipper – increased venting & mobility
- Can be secured to a sleeping pad via tie-down loops
- Zipper baffle keeps the cold at bay
- Equipped with an internal accessories pocket
- Not as compressible as other sleeping bags
If you know a thing or two about outdoor clothing and footwear, you know about the North Face. The quality garments of this company are held in high regard by outdoorsmen all over the globe. Is the company just as good when it comes to designing sleeping bags for summer backpacking trips?
While it’s certainly not the best backpacking sleeping bag we’ve had a chance to test so far, the Eco Trail Down 35F is undoubtedly a worthwhile consideration. As far as I’m concerned, this is an exceptionally versatile sleeping bag – it sports a low weight and comes equipped with many interesting features. But is it the right 3-season sleeping bag for your needs?
As the name suggests, this is not one of those extremely lightweight synthetic sleeping bags – this model uses ProDown (with a fill power of 700) in its insulation. However, the bag still sports a relatively low weight of only 2.4 pounds. What is more, it packs down to dimensions of just 8.5” x 15” – you only have to stuff it into its compression sack and you’ll have no trouble transporting it from one place to another.
The wraparound zipper Eco Trail is equipped with allows users to open up this bag completely, and then use it as an insulated blanket. Pretty impressive, wouldn’t you say? The sleeping bag temperature rating of 35 degrees Fahrenheit, on the other hand, tells us that this bag can provide enough warmth even on chilly nights. Moreover, you’ll never have to worry about heat loss thanks to the model’s zipper baffle.
Another great thing about this North Face sleeping bag is that it features extended width in the knees area, which translates to enhanced mobility and comfort. There is also a vaulted foot box that adds some extra warmth. If there’s too much warmth, on the other hand, you can simply use the 2-way zipper to allow cool air to enter the bag at the feet area.
With a temperature rating of 35°F and lots of interesting features, this North Face model stands as a great option for all those looking for a comfort-cut mummy bag. It’s one of the most versatile summer sleeping bags in my roundup and one that you certainly won’t regret purchasing.
7. Marmot Micron 40 Down
- Mummy-shaped sleeping bag with lots of space
- Good water resistance thanks to the DWR-coated shell
- Brushed lining in chest area & foot box for extra warmth & comfort
- Full-length 2-way zipper with a guard & draft tube
- Internal stash pocket
- No draft collar
Here we have yet another sleeping bag made by Marmot – Micron 40 Down. As its name suggests, this model also uses down for its insulation and is therefore quite cozy and comfortable. It performs very well in temperatures above 38°F and comes at a relatively reasonable price.
Marmot Micron 40 Down is a low-weight (1.37 lbs) sleeping bag that uses down with a fill power of 650 to keep the sleeper warm and comfortable. What is more, there is some Down Defender added to its insulation, so the bag is also capable of keeping the light rain at bay and fending off occasional coffee and beer spills. While the model certainly achieves the quoted comfort factor, it does leave its user with some cold spots due to its sew-through insulation.
This is a full-length sleeping bag that comes equipped with a wrap-around zipper. Just like in the case of other mummy bags with this feature, you’ll be able to unzip the zipper at your feet when you can’t handle the night’s warmth. The model can also be easily converted into a flat blanket, and that’s always a big plus in my book.
Another great thing about this sleeping bag is that it packs down to just 6” x 12”, as well as the fact that it comes accompanied by a staff sack. One thing worth mentioning here is that getting the model out of this sack can be a bit tricky the first time. Do not roll this sleeping bag when you’re trying to place it inside the sack – just stuff it in.
Unfortunately, Marmot Micron 40 Down is far from perfect. While it’s certainly not as feature-packed or well-designed as sleeping bags made by companies such as Feathered Friends, I still think that this model should have a draft collar. Besides that, its zipper can be somewhat fiddly, but that’s not really a serious issue.
With that aside, Marmot Micron 40 Down certainly deserves its place among the market’s best summer sleeping bags. It has a temperature rating of 40°F, which turns it into a suitable choice for summer backpacking trips, and it also comes at a relatively affordable price. If you’re looking for a practical summer bag made by a renowned company, this one is one of your best options.
8. Nemo Forte 20 F
- A very spacious sleeping bag with generous dimensions
- Provides a decent amount of warmth
- A good bargain – relatively affordable price
- Thermo Gills for quick & easy excess heat shedding
- Versatile & comfortable
- The weight – a heavy & bulky sleeping bag
The last summer sleeping bag I’m going to analyze here is yet another model from Nemo. This bag, however, features synthetic insulation but it’s not exactly lightweight – it is, in fact, pretty heavy and bulky. The biggest advantage of this is that Nemo Forte is one of the most spacious synthetic sleeping bags on the market.
Among all sleeping bags in this category, this model features one of the warmer temperature ratings. It is, therefore, ideal for 3-season trekking – in most temperate climates, its synthetic insulation provides enough warmth to keep the sleeper cozy during autumn and spring overnights. One particularly great thing about Forte’s synthetic insulation is that a large percentage of it is made out of recycled materials.
Besides the suitable temperature rating, another great thing about Nemo Forte is that it genuinely excels in the comfort category. The luxuriously roomy dimensions of this synthetic sleeping bag mean that you’ll have a lot of space for wiggling if you’re an average woman or man. However, this spaciousness comes at a price – this sleeping bag weighs over 3.5 lbs for a size “Long”.
Another field in which this synthetic bag excels is versatility. It uses synthetic Primaloft RISE insulation and provides its user with a good amount of warmth even when it’s soaked. I particularly liked the inclusion of Thermo Gills, as these allow sleepers to shed excess heat when they start to feel too warm inside the sleeping bag.
Another excellent feature is the so-called “blanket fold”, which is basically a flap made out of insulating material that can be used as a neck baffle. I also liked the full-length zipper and its Y-shaped slide (which reduces snags), as well as the inclusion of an effective and sturdy compression sack.
While the weight of over 3.5 lbs may be a deal-breaker for some weight-conscious trekkers, I still think that Nemo Forte is one of the best sleeping bags in its price category. Its nice set of practical features and the general spaciousness turn it into a sleeping bag worth considering if you’re looking for a synthetic model.
Best Summer Sleeping Bags Buying Guide
A well-made sleeping bag of this type will always be rated according to EN13537 (“European Norm”). Most manufacturers of these products often quote figures called the “Lower Limit” and the “Comfort Rating”.
As its name suggests, the lower limit specifies the lower end temperature where a warm sleeper or an average male would still feel cozy and comfortable. The comfort rating, on the other hand, indicates a temperature at which an average woman, or a warm sleeper, would still feel comfortable and warm.
While it’s certainly a subjective thing, a temperature rating can still be a pretty good guide when you’re comparing one bag with another. If you want to avoid feeling uncomfortable during chilly nights at all costs, stick to the comfort factor while shopping for a summer sleeping bag. Keep in mind that you can always open the zipper if you start feeling too warm, alternatively, a cold weather sleeping bag, not a zero degree bag, might be a better choice.
Insulation for Warm Weather
The insulation in sleeping bags of this type will be either synthetic or down.
Down is much better in terms of compression and weight. However, down also has a major drawback – it takes a lot of time to dry when it gets wet. This is why it’s very important to make sure it’s hydrophobic if you decide to go for a bag with this type of insulation. Another important thing to keep an eye out for is the fill power – the higher the number, the greater the insulating efficiency.
Synthetic insulation, on the other hand, performs a lot better in wet conditions. Of course, there’s a catch – you need more of it to make the sleeping bag adequately warm. This contributes to the bag’s overall weight and has a negative effect on its compressibility.
When you’re hiking in July or August, a lightweight down model will weigh next to nothing and won’t take up too much room in your pack. If you really need to cut down on weight, you won’t make a mistake by going with a down bag that weighs around 1 lb or a bit more.
Sleeping bags come with a zipper that is located either on their left or right side. Which one of these is a better choice? The answer to this question is actually pretty simple – if you’re right-handed, go for a sleeping bag whose zipper is on the left, and vice-versa.
To cut down on the weight of their sleeping bags, some companies will equip them with ¾ zippers. While they can certainly make going in and out of the bag somewhat awkward, they are fine for the most part. On the other hand, full-length 2-way zippers provide sleepers with much easier access. They also make shedding excess heat a lot more convenient and quicker.
An important thing to keep in mind here is that zippers can easily snag and damage the outer fabric. Therefore, try to obtain a bag with some kind of anti-snag feature. A draft tube is yet another convenient feature to keep an eye out for – it runs along the zipper’s length and keeps the cold at bay.
The Shape – Rectangular or Mummy?
To improve warmth and cut down on weight, a vast majority of manufacturers of these products tend to go with the mummy shape. While these can certainly make you feel overheated and somewhat restricted, they are better in terms of thermal efficiency when compared to their rectangular counterparts. If the area you often hike in gets pretty chilly at night, you can safely go with a mummy-shaped model.
Rectangular bags are better for active sleepers – they provide more space, especially in the feet area. Go with one of these if having the room for wiggling is much more important to you than having that snug, toasty fit.
If you’re someone who never camps in chilly temperatures, or if you’re someone who goes on hiking trips only occasionally, you won’t make a mistake by going for an affordable summer sleeping bag.
However, if you’re a bit more serious about camping and want something rugged that will keep you cozy even during your autumn and spring outings, your best bet is to go for a 3-season bag. Depending on the features, insulation, temperature rating, and the material, these can cost anywhere between $100 to $400 and more.
Other Things to Consider
Most of the models I’ve listed above are quite lightweight, but if low weight is really important to you, your best bet is to go with an ultralight bag such as Kelty Cosmic 40 Degree or Rab Neutrino 200. Ounces add pretty quickly when you’re hiking – if you’re an ultralight trekker, you’ll want to purchase a bag that is as light as possible.
When it comes to durability, pay special attention to how well the hood and the zipper of a particular bag are constructed. Also, make sure that the bag’s length accommodates your height and that it comes together with a compression sack.
The best sleeping bag of this type is the one that will keep you warm and cozy on a summer’s evening without making you sweat and feel too hot. It will also come at a reasonable price, have all the bells and whistles you find practical and useful, and fit inside your backpacking backpack without any issues.
So, which one of the models I’ve analyzed above is actually the best one? I prefer the Marmot bag, a great choice between price and comfort, is still my favorite sleeping bag But, it all comes down to your personal preferences since all of the bags I’ve reviewed in this article are more than suitable for warm-weather camping. Choose one whose temperature rating, weight, shape, and price suits your needs the best.
I love hiking. From the Camino de Santiago to the West Highland Way in Scotland or simply a great day hike on the weekend. Hiking refreshes me, my mind, and keeps my body reasonably fit. So far I have walked three Camino routes and many other long distance hikes in the UK, Canada, and around the rest of Europe. One of the best was my hike up Ben Nevis.