Last Updated on 27/08/2023
In this guide to the best sleeping bag for teenagers, we share our advice on youth sleeping bags for ages 13 to 19 years old. We recommend the jump to adult-size sleeping bags and explain why you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a really good sleeping bag or even a top brand name.
The way we chose these bags is based on experience. We were teenagers not too long ago, and I remember the days of having our camping gear bought by our parents. We looked after it the first time and maybe the second, but after that, not so much – we used to slide down the stairs in them and not care if they got dirty or too close to the campfire.
Teenagers, in general, don’t look after stuff they didn’t have to work for and so it seems silly to spend $500 on a top-of-the-range sleeping bag. Instead, you are better off buying a mid-range sleeping bag between $100 and $200 that will do the same thing, but you may have to compromise on some things.
7 Best Sleeping Bag For Teenagers
TETON Sports ALTOS Lightweight Mummy Sleeping Bag
- WEIGHT: 2 lbs 13 oz / 1300 g
- TEMPERATURE RATING: 20° F / -7° c
- PACK SIZE: 8 x 14 in / 20 x 35 cm
- MATERIALS: 20D Ripstop Nylon Shell, 20D Nylon Taffetta Lining, Synthetic Insulation
The TETON Sports ALTOS Lightweight Mummy Sleeping Bag is without a doubt one of the best sleeping bags for teenagers and is available in 5 different variations. You can choose between down and synthetic insulation types and temperature ratings of 20° F, 0° F, and -10° F (down only). The quality feels above average, and the best part is they don’t cost a fortune.
For teenagers, we recommend the synthetic 20° F model seen above because of its excellent value for money and how well it performs in cold weather. Features we love are the lofty hood which keeps your head nice and warm, the lofty baffles around the neck to keep drafts from getting in and heat from getting out, and the interior storage pocket for your phone, torch, or keys.
VERDICT: The ALTOS 20° F Lightweight Mummy Sleeping Bag from TETON Sports is everything you would want in a camping sleeping bag for your teenage child. It is warm, reliable, and great value for money. If you are struggling to decide which sleeping bag to get, then this is a safe bet. If you can afford to spend a little more, then the down option is even better.
Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed 20 Zipperless Sleeping Bag
- WEIGHT: 5 lb 1.5 oz / 2,310 g
- COMFORT TEMPERATURE: 31° F / 0° C
- EXTREME TEMPERATURE: 20° F / -6° C
- PACK SIZE: 20 x 11 in / 50.8 x 27.9 cm
- MATERIALS: 30D Polyester Ripstop Outer Shell, 68D Polyester Taffeta Liner, Synthetic insulation
The Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed 20 Zipperless Sleeping Bag really takes the feeling of being as snug as a bug in a rug to the next level. There are no zips which is so much better for keeping the heat in and means you won’t have to avoid touching against the cold zip at night. Instead, there is a large oval entry hole which then has an integrated duvet inside which is maybe better than a regular zip in many ways.
The integrated comforter, which seals the opening one you are in, also has hand pockets on the outside so you can sleep with your arms out and not get cold hands – genius. The rectangular shape allows you to really stretch out inside to and this has got one of the best hoods we’ve ever tested. It comes in 4 different sizes ranging from regular double to extra tall and long but for teenagers, the regular length is perfect for growing into.
VERDICT: The Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed 20 Zipperless from Sierra Designs is the best rectangle sleeping bag for teenagers who want something a bit different. No zips mean no cold spots along the edges and especially around your feet which stay nice and warm. It isn’t the cheapest but it does offer excellent value for money and will last for 10 years at the least.
ALPS OutdoorZ Redwood -10° Sleeping Bag
- WEIGHT: 11 lbs 8 oz / 5,216 g
- COMFORT TEMPERATURE: 14° F / -10° c
- PACK SIZE: 23 x 15in / 58 x 38 cm
- MATERIALS: Cotton Canvas Shell, 100% cotton flannel liner, 6.5 TechLoft Synthetic insulation
The ALPS OutdoorZ Redwood is one of the best winter sleeping bags for teenagers because it is plush, oversized, comfy, and feels like you are lying in bed at home even in cold weather. You can comfortably use it down to -10° c which is just about as cold as you would want teenagers to be camping in. Anything beyond this temperature and you should consider investing in a warmer sleeping bag for winter.
The dimensions are way oversized for most teenagers at 38 inches wide and 80 inches long but that allows them to get right down inside and hunker down. The inside is made from 100% cotton flannel which feels just like a duvet cover while the outside is made from rugged cotton canvas. The insulation is synthetic Techloft that weighs 6.5 pounds and will keep you or your kids
VERDICT: The Redwood -10° Sleeping Bag from ALPS OutdoorZ is massive. Because it is so big and plush, it is one of the comfiest and warmest sleeping bags for teenagers and adults. The downside is that it is heavy and bulky to transport which can be an issue if hiking to your campsite. If your teenage child likes to stay cozy and warm when camping then this is one worth testing out.
Snugpak Softie Elite 1 Sleeping Bag
- WEIGHT: 2 lbs 3 oz / 992 g
- COMFORT TEMPERATURE: 47° F / 8.3° c
- EXTREME TEMPERATURE: 36° F / 2.2° c
- PACK SIZE: 6 x 9 in / 15 x 23 cm
- MATERIALS: 100% Polyester Paratex Micro Shell, 100% Polyester Paratex Light Lining, 100% Polyester Softie Insulation
The Snugpak Softie Elite 1 Sleeping Bag is one of the lightest synthetic sleeping bags for teenagers that doesn’t cost a fortune. It is not designed for cold temperatures and is more of a spring and summer sleeping bag. Perfect for overnight hiking trips or packing inside a backpack for school trips.
While the sleeping bag feels quite thin, it has some cool technology built in like the Reflectatherm metalized barrier which works like a thermal blanket to reflect your body heat back at you. It has an expandable panel system (EPS) that allows you to make the bag tighter for extra warmth or expand it for extra space. The insulation is Snugpaks own blend of microfibers called Softie that is as close to synthetic down as you can get.
VERDICT: The Snugpak Softie Elite 1 Sleeping Bag is incredibly compact and lightweight which is important to some teenagers while others prefer something thicker and more substantial. The benefit of this sleeping bag over a similar down-filled bag is that this will keep you warm even if it gets wet whereas down will not. Highly recommended for camping in temperatures above freezing.
Naturehike CW280 800 Fill Power Goose Down Sleeping Bag
- WEIGHT: 1 lbs 4 oz / 566 g
- COMFORT TEMPERATURE: 51° F / 10.5° c
- EXTREME TEMPERATURE: 42° F / 5.5° c
- PACK SIZE: 4.5 x 10 in / 11 x 25 cm
- MATERIALS: 20D Nylon Shell with PU3000mm Waterproof Coating, 15D Nylon Liner, 800 Fill Power Pure White Goose Down 90% Feather 10% Insulation
The Naturehike 800 Fill Power Goose Down Sleeping Bag is almost too good to be true, and we explain why. You might expect a down sleeping bag that weighs just over a pound to cost many hundreds of dollars but we were shocked by the price of this. The reason this is good for teenagers is that they don’t tend to bring in much income but want the very best of things. With the Naturhike Ultralight, they get to have a down sleeping bag without the hefty price tag.
Just because a sleeping bag has down insulation doesn’t make it warmer than any other, it is the weight of the fill that really matters. Naturehike does a range of down sleeping bags all with different amounts of insulation for different temperatures, but this is by far the lightest with the least fill. All this means is that this is more of a 2-3 season sleeping bag for moderate temperatures as opposed to one designed for winter.
VERDICT: The 800 Fill Power Goose Down Sleeping Bag from Naturehike is the ultimate budget down sleeping bag for teenagers. The outside of the bag is waterproof so that the down stays dry and you stay warm, which is ideal for teenagers who have been known not to take very good care of their things. We really like that this bag is rectangular so that you can fully open it out and turn your sleeping bag into a down quilt.
Kelty Cosmic Synthetic Fill 20 Degree Backpacking Sleeping Bag
- WEIGHT: 2 lbs 13 oz / 1,300 g
- COMFORT TEMPERATURE: 32° F / 0° c
- EXTREME TEMPERATURE: 22° F / -6° c
- PACK SIZE: 16 x 9.5 in / 41 x 24 cm
- MATERIALS: Nylon Shell and Lining, Cirroloft Synthetic Insulation
The Kelty Cosmic Synthetic Fill 20 Degree Backpacking Sleeping Bag is very similar to the TETON Sports ALTOS bag with only a few subtle differences. You get the same baffle system and plushy hood that has extra filling for warmth and as a pillow. The main difference we think is worth mentioning is the Cirroloft synthetic insulation which is designed to maintain its full warmth even if wet.
If we had to pick, we would say this might be the best sleeping bag under $100 for teenagers (at the time of writing this). A little tip is that the women’s model is the cheapest and is hardly any different from the men’s (just don’t let your son know). The warmth rating is more than enough for 3 season camping and if they really want to experience winter camping they can always add a thermal liner.
VERDICT: The Cosmic Synthetic Fill 20 Degree Backpacking Sleeping Bag from Kelty is a bargain if you ask us. It weighs less than 3 pounds, is super comfy and warm even at freezing temperatures, and it is the cheapest in this guide. You can’t really go wrong with this one.
Hyke & Byke Katahdin 0 F Sleeping Bag
- WEIGHT: 3 lbs 3 oz / 1,445 g
- COMFORT TEMPERATURE: 20° F / -7° c
- EXTREME TEMPERATURE: 0° F / -17.7° c
- PACK SIZE: 11 x 8 in / 28 x 20 cm
- MATERIALS: 20D Ripstop Nylon Fabric Liner, 650 FP Clusterloft Synthetic Down Insulation
The Hyke & Byke Katahdin 0 F Hiking & Backpacking Sleeping Bag is built for 4 season use and will easily keep teenagers warm in freezing conditions. It has a fantastic baffle system that makes sure the insulation stays evenly distributed, you just have to give it a shake to loft it back up once it has been compressed in the stuff sack. Some people complain that it isn’t as warm as stated but from what we can tell, 0° F is the extreme rating.
The Clusterloft synthetic down insulation is made from “advanced synthetics” and has the same fill power as 650 FP goose down. The main advantage that synthetic down has over real down, though, is how much better it performs when wet. Also, it means that it doesn’t use any animal products in its construction.
VERDICT: The Katahdin 0 F Hiking & Backpacking Sleeping Bag from Hyke & Byke is a really good price at the time of writing this and one of the better mummy sleeping bags for a teenager in this price range. The type of insulation is what separates this one from the others and makes it more suitable for teenagers than traditional down, in our opinion.
MARMOT Sleeping-Bags Trestles 15
- WEIGHT: 2 lbs 2 oz / 964 g
- COMFORT TEMPERATURE: 20° F / -7° c
- EXTREME TEMPERATURE: 12° F / -11° c
- PACK SIZE: 19 x 10 in / 48 x 25 cm
- MATERIALS: 20D Recycled Ripstop Polyester Shell and Lining, HL-ElixR Eco Micro Recycled Synthetic Fibers
The MARMOT Trestles 15 Sleeping Bag is a really good option for teenagers who sleep on their backs. This is because the insulation composition on the back is designed like a blanket so that it doesn’t lose so much heat when you compress it down. On top, the insulation is designed more for high loft than for compression resistance. More sleeping bag manufacturers should do this.
One nice feature this sleeping bag has is, as well as a full-length zipper, it has a short zipper on the right side so that you can pull the top back like a duvet. The mummy shape is better at trapping heat than a rectangular sleeping bag and is over 62 inches in girth at the shoulders which is big enough even for large teenage boys.
VERDICT: The Trestles 15 Sleeping Bag from MARMOT is ideal for cooler temperatures throughout three seasons of the year. We really like the insulation design for keeping your whole body warm and also the double zip system to make getting in and out easier than ever before. Above all, this is a reliable sleeping bag you can pack down small, and throw in the washing machine when it gets dirty, and it is very reasonably priced.
Guide to the Best Teenage Sleeping Bags
Here are some of the things we considered when putting this guide together, which you can also use as a guide to making sure the sleeping bag you get is appropriate for teenagers.
Getting a sleeping bag for a teenager isn’t cheap, but it doesn’t have to be expensive, either. You can get a really good quality sleeping bag for around $100, and you really don’t have to spend more than this if you don’t want it. Teenagers typically don’t look after their stuff very well, and so spending less isn’t such a big deal if something damages it.
The main differences that separate sleeping bags in price are the brand, the warmth rating, the technology, and features such as the weight or how compact it can be made for storage and transport. If price is a priority for you, then check out the Kelty Cosmic or the TETON Sports ALTOS, which are both very good value and on the lower end of the cost.
If you are worried about teenagers ruining the sleeping bag you buy, then durability is key. You should look for shell fabric of at least 15 dernier weight which is thick enough not to get damaged easily. The higher the dernier of the fabric, the thicker the strands of fiber are, and so the more stress it takes to damage or breaks them.
Questions to ask yourself about durability are:
- Does the outer shell have any waterproof treatments to keep you dry?
- Is the insulation treated with a DWR? (waterproof down is called hydrophobic down)
- Is the zip YKK? (YKK make the best zips in the world and ensures they won’t break and fall apart easily)
- Are there any reinforcements on the foot box? (for sleeping in your boots or for shuffling around when standing up in your sleeping bag)
Teenagers can be messy, and accidents happen all the time. Sleeping bags get dirty, stained, and even soaked by spilled drinks. Being able to wash your teenager’s sleeping bag somewhat regularly will help to keep it clean and hygienic. Alternatively, you can ask them to use a silk sleeping bag liner (which is easier to wash) to help keep the sleeping bag clean.
Down/feather sleeping bags are much more difficult and risky to wash. The down often clumps together, leaving dozens of cold spots all over, and it is often never the same again. You can combat this by using special detergents, washing machine settings, and putting tennis balls in with it to keep the down separated and retain its loft.
Synthetic sleeping bags are much easier to wash and keep clean, and the only thing you have to do is make sure it is washed at around 40 degrees C.
The thermal rating of a sleeping bag is there just as a guide so that you can match your gear to the environment that you are camping in. It often has a comfort rating which is the temperature the sleeping bag feels best at, and an extreme rating that is shared as a limit to the temperatures the sleeping bag will keep you alive. There is a big difference between sleeping in comfort and simply staying warm enough not to die.
You should focus on the comfort rating of a sleeping bag when deciding if it is warm enough for you. This is why we included both statistics in this guide where possible.
If the temperatures drop to 20° F on a night, then we recommend getting a sleeping bag that has a comfort rating of around 15° F to cover you if it gets colder than expected. You can use a liner to add warmth, but it is better to have a sleeping bag that doesn’t need you to use one.
Weight and Size
The weight and pack size of a sleeping bag is super important to me as a long-distance hiker and explorer but are less of a priority for teenagers who don’t have to think about their knees and how much weight they feasibly carry. It still matters, though.
A heavy sleeping bag is often good for warmth but will take up a significant portion of your backpack and weigh up to 10 times more than a lightweight one. Synthetic fill is heavier than down in most cases, but new types of fibers are being developed to replicate the properties of down – like with the Hyke & Byke Katahdin 0 F above.
Ideally, you want a bag that weighs between 1 – 2 kg that packs down to around 20 x 10 inches so that it doesn’t become a burden when not in use. There are exceptions to this rule, like if you don’t need to carry your sleeping bag very far or value comfort above anything else.
Comfort is important for any teenager, but if their sleeping bag is warm enough, this will have the biggest impact on their comfiness. If they want a sleeping bag that feels soft against their skin, then try the Snugpak Softie, which is known for its comfort. For a sleeping bag with cushioning, we would highly recommend the ALPS OutdoorZ Redwood, which is extra thick and padded.
Insulation compresses when you lie on it, which prevents it from trapping warm air. This is why it is important to use a sleeping mat to stay comfy and keep your underside warm – the thicker, the better. Sleeping mats also have temperature limits which are displayed as an R-value instead of a temperature rating.
Down Vs Synthetic Insulation for Youth Sleeping Bags
Given the choice between synthetic insulation and goose down for teenagers sleeping bags, we would opt for synthetic fill, which is more durable and requires far less care. You can wash synthetic sleeping bags without much effort, and you don’t have to take special measures to protect the insulation. Here are the benefits of both:
Benefits of Down Sleeping Bags
- Very Warm
- Compact and Packable
Benefits of Synthetic Sleeping Bags
- Performs When Wet
How Much Should You Spend on a Teenagers Sleeping Bag?
There is no set amount you should spend on a sleeping bag for your teenage child, but as with most things, you get what you pay for. If money is tight, you can get a decent enough summer sleeping bag for $50, but for winter camping, you will need to spend around double that to get a bag that is warm enough.
Almost all of the bags on this list are between $80 and $200, which is, in our opinion, the range you should be looking in. But price doesn’t always signify quality or high performance. It is just that to get to a certain level of warmth and comfort, the manufacturers have to use better materials.
Should Teenagers Use a Youth Or An Adult Sleeping Bag?
We recommend teenagers looking for a new sleeping bag make the jump from kids and youth sizes to full adult-length sleeping bags. There is no downside to using a larger bag other than you have to carry the unnecessary weight until you grow into it. You can save a little bit of money with kids’ bags, but you are much more limited by choice and temperature ratings.
From the age of 13 and upwards, teenagers grow at a fairly fast pace, and growth spurts can come out of nowhere. If you do buy a youth sleeping bag for a teenager, then there is a good chance you will have to buy another in just a few years.
Conversion From Celsius to Fahrenheit
Here is a quick list of temperature conversions from Fahrenheit to celsius so you can get the warmth rating for your climate:
- 45° F = 7.2° c
- 40° F = 4.4° c
- 35° F = 1.6° c
- 30° F = -1° c
- 25° F = -3.8° c
- 20° F = -6.6° c
- 15° F = -9.4° c
- 10° F = -12.2° c
- 5° F = -15° c
- 0° F = -17.7° c
- -5° F = -20° c
- -10° F = -23.2° c
As you can see, A 30-degree Fahrenheit sleeping bag should keep you warm down to just below-freezing temperatures.
We hope you found our selection of the Best Sleeping Bag For Teenagers had what you were looking for. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions.