My kids are 3 & 5 and we're interested in 'Men's' bags for camping/sleep overs/backyard napping in 3 seasons WA. These are expensive but I'm happy to invest, but don't want to over-buy. Our goals are to camp comfortably as they get older and grow. What would you recommend for a sleeping bag? Are we going to need a mattress of some sort as well or is the bag enough?
@anabar thanks for reaching out! We'd love to help with some recommendations on sleeping bags, but first have a few questions:
Typically we wouldn't recommend an adult sleeping bag for a young kid, so understanding why you're leaning towards an adult bag will help us make recommendations. Look forward to hearing back from you!
@REI-JenK : the bags are so expensive that I was thinking that my growing boys could use these bags for 10+ years. If that is not a realistic expectation, then I am open for a kids bag recommendation. Additionally, HUGE points for being washable.
I'll jump in and say the biggest issue with an adult sleeping bag for a kid is that their little bodies may not be able to generate enough heat to warm up the larger volume of air in the adult bag, leading to cold and unhappy kids.
@anabar thanks for the additional information! Looks like you got some great advice from a few other folks - here's a bit more:
Let us know if you have any additional questions!
@anabar Thanks for reaching out and for clarifying a little bit so we can make the best recommendation for you.
As @TomV mentioned, the main drawback to getting a full size adult sleeping bag is that there will be a lot of extra space in the sleeping bag for a little body to keep warm. If you're not planning on doing any backpacking, but mainly sticking to car camping in moderate temperatures, a sleeping bag like the REI Co-op Siesta Double Sleeping bag could be a good choice as it is effectively two sleeping bags in one. You will want to think about how to help take up some of the extra space in the sleeping bag if temperatures are going to drop; start by folding the sleeping bag under itself and maybe adding an extra blanket inside as well. If you're thinking about backpacking, or want a sleeping bag that can do that at some point, you're going to want a sleeping bag that is 'mummy shaped'. A sleeping bag like the REI Co-op Trailbreak 30 or REI Co-op Zephyr 20 sleeping bags could be a good option.
Personally, my kids (camping since they were 2 and 4) use the REI Co-op Kindercone 25 sleeping bag. It fits up to 66" so my oldest (now 7) will not outgrow it for a good 5-7 years. It will get us through her first several backpacking trips until we know she enjoys it and she is ready to carry something lighter and more compressible. Additionally, at that smaller size, I can get them into my front loading washing machine at home, which I really appreciate.
Lastly, you will want to invest in some sort of air mattress or ground pad. It provides some comfort from the hard ground, but most importantly helps insulate you from the heat that is drawn away by the ground. You can go with an inflatable mattress like the Therm-a-rest Trail Scout sleeping pad or the REI Co-op Groundbreaker Self Inflating Sleeping pad , or something as simple as a closed cell foam pad like the Therm-a-rest SOLlite sleeping pad.
Hopefully this gives you some additional guidance, feel free to reach back out with any other questions. Thanks!
I wanted to reach out again because I just noticed in our Anniversary sale catalog that the Kelty Discovery 2-person camp bundle is on sale. The sale starts tomorrow and could be a great way to get a deal on two sleeping bags and two sleeping pads for your kids. Plus you'd get a tent as well! Something worth considering anyway.