The Secret of Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings

The Secret of Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings

There are a lot of different classifications that can be confusing when you’re shopping for sleeping bag temperature ratings. You’ll find Upper Limits, Comfort Ratings, Lower Limits, and Extreme Temperatures with 1 Season or 2 Seasons on the market to choose from!

Getting the wrong sleeping bag could mean cold nights in the tent

Buying a sleeping bag can be confusing with all of the different options and new technology that is out there. We’re here to help you choose the right one for your family so everyone has warm nights in their tent!

Which Sleeping Bag Temperature Rating?

Most sleeping bags are rated with a “temperature rating.” However, it is best to look at the comfort level. This tells you how warm your bag will be without needing any extra blankets or heat sources for warmth.

If a sleeping bag has an Upper Limit, that will be the temperature when you may feel warm in it.

If the temperature reaches or falls below its Lower Limit, then your precious slumber buddy might start to get very cold! Ignore extremes at all costs because if they reach this limit of usability -the “extreme” one-you’re likely going to see some frostbite and hypothermia around here!

Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings Explained

Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings

You should not be relying on the temperature rating of your sleeping bag to keep you warm. What may feel comfortable for one person may make another uncomfortable and vice versa – especially when it comes to kids!

Upper Limit

You can’t beat the heat with a standard man’s bag. If you keep your arms out and down, then this is the temperature that should be comfortable without sweat-soaked clothes becoming an issue. I say “supposed” as all of us are slightly different – a ‘standard man’ weighs 73kg at 1.73m high….and isn’t me.

In other words, if it gets any warmer than this air-conditioned blissful temperature (which would make most people happy), then things start to get hot in here!


“If you’re wondering what temperature is best for your standard woman, the answer to that might be surprising. The average person sleeps more soundly when temperatures are between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Lower Limit

Much to many people’s dismay, there is a limit as to how long they can sleep curled up in the fetal position without waking.

Much to many people’s dismay, there is a limit on how long they can sleep curling up like an infant before awakening during their slumber.


The lowest temperature to survive in a sleeping bag is so low that frostbite can still happen. The coldest you could possibly sleep outside, without the risk of dying from hypothermia or getting frostbitten, would be around -30 degrees Fahrenheit (-34 Celsius).

What are Sleeping Bag Seasons?

As well as temperature ratings, the sleeping bags are put into different seasons to help make it easier for you. The problem is that these ‘seasons’ don’t nicely map on with actual season names (i.e., summer).

This guide will show when each bag would be most appropriate to use given its rating and what time of year this reflects: 10°C or higher – Warm Summer Nights Only.

1 Season

These sleeping bags are perfect for those who live in warmer climates and want to camp. Best of all, these Summer-only sleep sacks may be rated at the coldest temperatures between +4°F (about 0 degrees Celsius) up to about 5 °C (~40 degrees Fahrenheit).

If you’re from Europe however – or camping there during summertime – then a 1 Season bag is ideal; it’s not too hot but still appropriate if cool nights should come along!

2 Season

The best sleeping bag temperature ratings for you depend on the time of year that your family camps in. If we are camping during late Spring, early Summer, and Autumn then a 2-Season Bag is ideal.

However, if it’s cooler at night or colder than zero degrees Celsius (0°C) outside, 3-season Sleeping Bags would be more suitable as they will offer protection from cold nights without getting frosty (if below 0 °F).

3 Season

If you’re on a camping trip in the Spring and Autumn seasons, then 3 season sleeping bags are perfect. These will keep you warm during cold nights but not too hot when it’s mild out (though if your bag is unzipped, this may change).

The lower limit of these might be rated from zero to -5 degrees Celsius or higher so stay safe by knowing what temperature range that would work for before committing to any one type.

4 Season

Winter sleeping bags that can handle the coldest seasons of Winter.

The three temperature ratings in this list are to give you a good idea of what sort of level each sleeping bag season is best for, according to their rating – so if it’s colder than 10 degrees Fahrenheit outside then maybe go with an extreme cold rated one!

Which Sleeping Bag Season should you buy?

If you are only taking your family camping in the summer you should get a 2 Season sleeping bag

  • The 1 Season sleeping bags are cheaper and more affordable, but they’re not insulated. That means you’ll only want to use them on warm summer nights!
  • Whether you’re a camping family or just want to add some extra warmth on those cool fall nights, this line of sleeping bags is perfect for you. The 2 Season Sleeping Bag has been designed specifically with the needs and wants of your average campers in mind.
  • Cozy up with your loved ones this summer and get a 3-season sleeping bag before the end of school!
  • If you’re planning to go camping as soon as possible but not just yet, then it’s time to start thinking about getting yourself a three-season sleeping bag.
  • The 4 Season sleeping bag is the best choice for those who easily feel cold.
  • It’s important to make sure you have enough space in your car when packing for a camping trip, especially if you’re going with friends. Unless the sleeping bag is very expensive, it will take up more space than a normal one and an extra person means less room.

What about sleeping bags for children?- Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings

Kids need a good night’s sleep, and what better way to get one than in their very own sleeping bag? But with so many different factors that can affect the temperature rating of any given sleeping bag – like where it is being used or how old someone might be who wants to use it- there are some important things for parents and kids alike to keep in mind.

Most standard children’s bags only offer “1 Season” protection because they were never designed primarily as camping gear but instead serve more as pajama wear during indoor events such as slumber parties at friends’ houses. These types of bags should not always be considered if you’re planning an overnight outdoors adventure since they do have limitations when faced with cold weather or high.

A Quick Guide to Choosing a Sleeping Bag

  • Choose the right sleeping bag for you by using our quick guide!
  • A good night’s sleep is important to all of us. The wrong size or style could leave your bones aching and muscles cramped, not letting you wake up feeling rested.
  • With so many options out there it can be hard knowing which one will work best for what type of trip; don’t worry though because we have put together this handy little printable that provides everything from how much weight they’ll carry to whether their water-resistant– perfect when looking at tents too.
  • Don’t be fooled by the appearance of sleeping bags that seem warm but are not rated for cooler nights. A good quality, a warmer bag will have a rating on it so you know how well they work at different temperatures and conditions.
  • Backpacking sleeping bags are a backpacker’s lifeblood. Get an expensive one if you need it, but don’t get suckered into buying anything more than what is necessary for your needs just because of the price tag on it.