Whether you’re planning a family camping trip, packing for summer camp, or prepping for a childhood’s worth of slumber parties, the right sleeping bag can help a kid sleep soundly in an unfamiliar spot.
After comparing 16 kid-size bags over the past seven years, we think most children will be happy to crawl into the REI Co-op Kindercone 25. It’s durable and warm, and it comes with a standout stuff sack. This bag should last from toddlerhood all the way through the tween years.
Of all the kids sleeping bags we’ve tried, this one has the most qualities to love: It’s warm, cushy, and tough. Plus, it was the one that our camping kids liked best.
The REI Kindercone 25 is a spacious mummy bag that’s warm enough for most three-season camping trips. It’s also plush enough for the hard floor of a school gym. And it’s tough enough that parents need not fret if it occasionally morphs into a fort wall or becomes a vehicle for sliding down stairs. Parent and kid testers both particularly appreciated the bag’s built-in stuff sack, which is easy to use and impossible to lose.
This rectangular bag is similarly rugged, but it’s not as warm as our top pick. It lies flat when unzipped, so it can double as a compact comforter at camp or at home.
The REI Co-op Kindercamp 40 has similar materials (polyester fill and a polyester shell) to the Kindercone 25, but this bag is rectangular instead of mummy-shaped. That means the Kindercamp 40 doesn’t have the hooded top and tapered foot that give the Kindercone 25 a cozy, cocoon-like shape. And it’s not as warm: The Kindercamp 40’s temperature rating is just 40 °F, compared with our top pick’s 25 °F. The Kindercamp 40 also doesn’t have the fully attached stuff sack that we love on the Kindercone 25; instead, its sack is attached with a small tether. But due to its rectangular shape, the Kindercamp 40 will feel roomier than the Kindercone 25, and it can double as a comforter when unzipped.
The Little Red is backcountry-ready for kids under 4-foot-5. There’s a sleeping-pad pocket on the back of the bag, for added warmth and comfort; you do have to supply your own pad, though.
For kids who are older than about kindergarten age, the Wolverine is likely a better fit—it works for those up to about 4-foot-8.
If your normal camping weather involves nighttime lows in the 30s or below, the best bet for your kid will be the Big Agnes Little Red or the larger Wolverine. Compared with our other picks, these mummy bags are warmer (rated to 20 ˚F). And like most bags from Big Agnes, they both have a built-in sleeping-pad sleeve, so your little camper will stay put on their pad—and thus remain toastier—throughout the night. You do have to buy a pad separately, but you may be able to use one you already have (most 20-inch-wide pads will fit). The Big Agnes bags pack up smaller than most, but they’re also more expensive, even before you factor in the cost of a sleeping pad.