Do I Need A Sleeping Bag In The Summer?

By Charles •  5 min read

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Ah Summertime, one of the best times of the year. This is especially true for camping and outdoor adventures. It makes it easy to wear shorts and a t shirt or tank top during the day. However, nighttime can be confusing with its colder temperatures. This causes many campers to ask one question in particular – Do I need a sleeping bag in the summer? The short answer is yes you should bring a sleeping bag, although this is just our recommendation. To see why we suggest this and for more information just keep reading!

How to Choose a Summer Sleeping Bag?

One of the first things that you should think about is what sleeping bag is best for the Summer. Don’t worry if you don’t already know the answer, that is why we’re here! The best thing you can do is choose a sleeping bag that is thinner than normal sleeping bags. The thinness of the material helps keep it a little cooler than most winter sleeping bags. In addition, it also helps reduce the overall weight of the bag. Since there are less materials, these sleeping bags also tend to be cheaper. Yet another reason to choose one of these bags.

What Sleeping Bag Temperature Rating Should I Look For in a Summer Sleeping Bag?

One thing important to keep in mind when choosing a Summer sleeping bag is the temperature rating. Since these sleeping bags are thinner, they may not be able to keep you warm at lower temperatures like a winter sleeping bag. The thin bags I mentioned above are usually limited to temperatures of 41 degrees Fahrenheit or 5 degrees Celsius. Although this is usually all that is necessary for the Summertime. Just be sure to keep this in mind when you are looking at the weather forecast for your trip.

Can I Use a 0 Degree Sleeping Bag in the Summer?

The answer is yes of course! It is really your personal preference, but it never hurts to have a sleeping bag that keeps you warmer rather than colder. Since a majority of people prefer to sleep a warmer, the heavier bag may be a better choice. In addition, many people that use a higher temperature rated bag will use a blanket or bag liner as well to combat cool summer nights. One downside of using a 0-degree sleeping bag is that it will be heavier. Another is that they can also be slightly more expensive.

However, you will not have to buy a brand-new bag when fall and winter rolls around. On the other hand, it would certainly be uncomfortable to be using a 41-degree bag in Winter. You may find yourself getting too hot using a 0-degree bag overnight. However, you can simply crawl out of the bag or use it as a blanket when you get too hot. Other than the extra cost and weight, a 0-degree sleeping bag is never really a bad option, including in the Summer.

What Are Sleeping Bag Alternatives in the Summer?

Camping Blankets Or Quilts

To completely swap out a sleeping bag, one alternative would simply be to use camping blankets or quilts instead. You can find some lightweight fleece blankets to throw in your tent and that should keep you just as warm as a sleeping bag would be. It also makes packing easier as well as your options if you are too hot in the middle of the night. In addition to these bonuses, it makes it feel less like a camping trip and more like home since most people sleep with blankets every night. So one of the best alternatives to a sleeping bag in the Summer is by using blankets instead.

Hammock Tents

Now this next option can be seen as an alternative not only to a sleeping bag but to a tent as well. This alternative is by using a hammock instead of a sleeping bag. As you may or may not know, a hammock is something that you hang between two trees and looks like a cocoon. Due to its shape, it will act similar to a sleeping bag by trapping your body heat inside of the hammock and in turn keeping you warm throughout the night. We still suggest bringing a blanket or two since a hammock alone will not likely be enough to keep you perfectly warm during the night.

Keep in mind that no matter what you find there are going to be pros and cons, so it is up to you to decide whether the pros outweigh the cons in each and every situation.

Do I Need A Sleeping Bag In The Summer?

I definitely feel that I have made a case that you do need a sleeping bag in the summer. I have laid out many reasons for this as well as what type or alternatives you could use. After all, the temperature still drops at night. Therefore, you need to have a plan on how to keep warm while camping. If you are looking for an alternative to using a sleeping bag in the Summer, then you can just use blankets, a quilt, or a hammock. I hope you found this article helpful and enjoy your Summer camping!

Featured Photo by Nicole Giampietro on Unsplash


Charles is a man who loves the outdoors. He moved to Wyoming specifically to spend more time in the mountains and wilderness. A hunter and fisherman, Charles knows how to enjoy nature and all that it has to offer. He is an outdoorsman through and through, and he wouldn't have it any other way. Charles is the President of Absaroka Enterprises, an company focuse on outdoor entertainment and endeavours. He's also an Editor for Alpha and Omega Outdoors, an online hunting, fishing, camping, trapping, and all around outdoors blog.

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