A sleeping bag is an essential packing item that will provide additional insulation when a person is unable to stay warm on their own. Extra insulation is important because the loss of body heat can impair a person’s ability to think clearly in an emergency, which can ultimately lead to death. While an emergency shelter will protect your body from wind and rain, it will not retain much body heat.
Sleep bags serve the purpose of retaining body heat. The amount of heat they retain depends on many factors, including the amount of insulation and the user’s body type. People who are planning on spending the night in the backcountry will carry a bag for proper sleep with either down or synthetic insulation. For these people, a lightweight sleep bag is a good choice, but adequate insulation is more important. Those who are prepping for an emergency will most likely be more interested in a lightweight option, which means less insulation.
To the point
Being a hiker, a prepper, survivalist, or homesteader is always about being prepared for any unplanned situation or surprising issue. And it is essential to have reliable gear that would make you confident and well equipped. Nowadays, there are many good gear products available online, and luckily enough, in different price ranges.
But before you choose an emergency sleeping bag that will perfectly suit you, you need to consider some factors, such as local climate and the features of certain models of sleeping bags. This article’s review has all the information you need to know about how to choose a sleeping bag for extreme circumstances, whether you have special survival skills or not.
Things you should pay attention to
As we said earlier, it’s important to keep in mind some things before buying a sleeping bag for emergencies. Some of them are quite obvious, but still, many inexperienced customers forget about basic details while preparing their hiking pack, leading to a not-so-good overall experience. Below we have listed the main points to consider.
1. Bag size and weight
Depending on your height and measurements, all sleeping bags differ in size. And if you are not a tall and large bodybuilder, you can save your money and survival bag space by getting a sleeping bag for teens or children. Aside from your comfortable size, none of the emergency sleeping sack models are supposed to be heavy. Unlike the regular sleeping pack, the one for emergencies is designed so that you don’t have to carry around a bulky survival kit to stay warm and under proper protection in case of rain or snow. It is a great value for the money.
A high-quality emergency pack is always distinguished by its compact size and level of heat preservation with its small dimensions. For example, sleeping bags with synthetic padding are cheaper than downy ones. They are definitely lighter, which is nice when your bug-out pack is already packed with other necessary equipment for the best customer experience.
2. Purpose of use
As with any hiking gear, it is important to take into account what it will be used for. Could it happen that you have to quickly pack your things to bug out, or, on the contrary, do you need a solid sleeping sack for a long and comfortable sleep in your survival shelter? However, no matter what the purpose is, any emergency pack should be compact and warm, suitable for cold nights, winter storms, and other harsh conditions.
3. Bag Costs
The price of high-quality and reliable bedrolls differs significantly from the prices of mass-market ones, which mostly sell non-professional equipment. However, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on specialized gear if you go camping once or twice a year. But if you have a passion for spending days outdoors, the cost of the equipment doesn’t bother you because you know you’re paying for the quality. But on the other hand, during discounts and sales season, you can purchase a decent bedroll at a good price.
4. Temperature Rating
For each trip, you should be guided by the average temperatures of the chosen area. Therefore, it is worth choosing a sleeping sack depending on these circumstances. Also, it always depends on the season when you go hiking. However, an emergency sleeping bag that is too warm can also be uncomfortable, so take it seriously. A cold weather tent or another emergency shelter will, of course, require a warmer sleeping bag.
5. Always have a backup plan
Sometimes things can go wrong. For example, at night, you realized that the temperature dropped below expected, and the warmth rating of your emergency sleeping bag was not designed for that. This is where the mylar emergency blanket comes in, which you can throw over your bedroll.
These blankets are quite affordable; they help a lot in such situations and can keep you warm even on the coldest night. The mylar emergency blanket is a reliable addition to your survival kit (by the way, you can easily put them in your glove box). This small investment can guarantee that your body heat stays within your comfort zone, especially if you’re wet and want to heat up quickly.
Now, to compare these bug out sleeping bags, we will be looking at the following categories:
- Compressed size – How large the bag is when fully packed.
- Insulation – Down, synthetic, or none
- Temperature rating – Sleep bags with insulation will have a recommended temperature range.
Here are our Top Picks
TheBundle Monster Cold Weather Sleep Bag is a synthetic insulated bag that has a lower temperature rating of 32 degrees Fahrenheit. It includes ThermoLock, a proprietary technology that serves to reduce heat loss through the zipper. The material on the outside of the bag is durable and waterproof nylon.
The Bundle Monster comes with a compression sack that allows the sleep bag to be packed small in order to save space. In warmer temperatures, it can be fully unzipped and used as a quilt. There is a cuff around the top of the bag to surround the user’s head and neck and lock in warmth. Because it has a warm temperature rating, this can be used during 3-season camping. Surely enough, a great value for the money.
This bag has the benefit of being reusable and durable. Of the 5 sleeping bags, we will look at, and this is the closest to a regular sleeping bag. The amount of insulation makes it warm but heavy. Its easily compressible size makes it good for emergency preparation.
- Size: 74.8 x 29.5 x 11.8 inches
- Weight: 3 pounds
- Compressed size: 9 x 15 inches
- Insulation: Synthetic
- Temperature rating: 32-59 degrees Fahrenheit
The Survival Sleeping Bag is essentially an emergency space blanket that has been fashioned into the shape of a sleeping bag. It is made of Mylar, which makes it windproof and waterproof. It can retain up to 90% of your body warmth when used properly, but it is non-breathable, meaning that moisture will not be able to escape.
This emergency sleeping blanket is widespread to include in a bug-out pack and large enough to accommodate two adults.
The emergency blanket can be reused, but it is not very durable and can be difficult to repack. Mylar is a loud material that makes a sound every time you move. It does not provide any extra insulation and works by retaining your body temperature. It is small and lightweight, making it a good option for an emergency or first aid kit.
- Size: 64 x 87 inches
- Weight: 4.8 ounces
- Insulation: N/A
- Temperature rating: N/A
- Compressed size: 8.1 x 6.7 x 0.8 inches
The Outdoor Sleeping Bag by Naturehike is insulated and is rated to about 48 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a thin synthetic filling that is used to retain body heat efficiently. The outer material is made of 320D nylon, which is tough and durable. It comes with a compression sack that allows the sleeping bag to be packed into a tiny size. The size and weight make this a great option for travel.
Its durable design makes this a reusable sleep bag, but its temperature rating only allows it to be used in warmer temperatures or indoors. The benefit that this has over traditional emergency-only sleeping bags is that the insulation will keep you much warmer, and it is much more comfortable to sleep in.
- Size: 75 x 29.5 inches
- Weight: 2 pounds
- Compressed size: 11.5 x 5 inches
- Insulation: Synthetic
- Temperature rating: 48 degrees Fahrenheit
The Escape Bivvy by Adventure Medical Kits is a high-end emergency bivvy. This lightweight bivvy sack is made of a reflective material, but unlike traditional Mylar materials, it is breathable. This is important because, with other non-breathable systems, condensation and sweat can form inside the pack and take away body heat. It is waterproof and windproof and has a hood to surround the user’s head and trap heat inside. It can reflect up to 70% of the user’s body heat. The pack is an obvious orange color, which will help rescuers to locate you.
This is the best bare-bones emergency sleeping bag. It is highly functional and can be relied upon in extreme emergencies. It is, however, more expensive than other emergency bags at around $50. But, even at $50, it is quite affordable.
- Size: 84 x 31 inches
- Weight: 9.4 ounces
- Compressed size: 8.5 x 4 x 6.2 inches
- Insulation: N/A
- Temperature rating: 50 degrees Fahrenheit
The SE Emergency Sleeping Bag is made of Mylar and aluminized PE for additional warmth. The Mylar material makes it windproof and waterproof, but unlike the Adventure Medical Kits sleeping bag, it is non-breathable. It comes with a mesh sack that will make it easier to pack. It is also an evident orange color that will help emergency workers to locate you.
Just like the other Mylar bags, this makes a loud crinkling sound that will probably disturb other campers. The benefit of this sleeping pack is that it is minimal and lightweight, making it a good option for day hikers.
- Size: 84 X 36 inches
- Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Compressed size: 6 x 3 inches
- Insulation: N/A
- Temperature rating: N/A
My Vote for Best Survival Sleeping Bag
Before I go into my personal favorite, let me again lay out what I look for in a sleeping bag generally and what you should specifically look for in a bag for your bug out or everyday carry bag.
The Naturehike Outdoor Sleeping Bag is a great option for travel because it is small and lightweight while still offering extra insulation. The Bundle Monster is heavier, but it offers the most insulation, making it a great 3-season camping bag. The Grizzly Gear and SE Emergency Mylar Sleeping Blankets are the lightest and most compact options, which make them good options for those who are only planning on being out for the day.
My pick for the best emergency sleeping bag, however, is the Adventure Medical Kits Escape Bivouac Sack. This survival bivvy is great because it has the lightweight and portability of the Mylar emergency bags but also has the added benefits of being breathable and having a hood that allows the user to retain the most amount of body heat. For an unexpected emergency situation, this is the best survival bug-out pack sleeping bag to have at your disposal. Plus, it is incredibly compact, which makes it a great addition to anyone’s bug-out backpack.
The Imperial fleece blankets can be the perfect ground cover if you put them under your bag or wrap them around you to make you stay comfortable during a frigid time of the day. They are also instrumental in a car or tent (and even in your warehouse or storeroom) as an additional equipment piece. Fleece blankets are good for trips, and they do not take up much space, are effortless to carry around, dry quickly, and are generally durable.
The emergency mylar blanket cannot replace a sleeping sack and does not have the same functions. However, a waterproof and lightweight blanket like this makes a great addition to your gear bag. It is perfect for when you get wet and need to get heated urgently. Emergency mylar blankets can be used multiple times as they’re tear-resistant, although the description may indicate that it is a disposable item. Customer reviews based on its durability and versatility can prove that purchasing such a blanket is a brilliant idea. Read more on survival blankets in our extensive article.
Types of fills
Most modern emergency bedrolls are filled with down or synthetic materials, and sometimes a combination of both.
Those materials, like others, must be both lightweight and durable, and of course, their price will depend on these elements.
- Down padding is exceptional insulation and is extremely prized for being very lightweight, soft, easy to compress, durable, and breathable. Down is great for icy, dry conditions or when weight and volume savings are a priority. The main disadvantages of products with down insulation are slow-drying in case of wetness and high price.
- A huge advantage of synthetics over down is waterproof. Insulation does not absorb moisture, which means it and dries very quickly. Another big advantage is the significantly lower cost. The disadvantages of synthetics are that such a filling retains less warmth for its weight, compared to down of the same weight, is bulkier when compressed, and its insulating properties are reduced each time it is packed in a carry bag.
A bedroll for any trip is one of the main elements, along with a tent and a backpack. The ability to choose the right reliable sleeping sack will provide the customer with the most comfortable rest, even in harsh weather conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is an emergency sleeping bag?
Emergency sleeping bags are lightweight and practical bedrolls designed for different weather conditions and purposes. With their compactness, these sleeping bags usually have good wind protection and increased water resistance, and the high-tech aluminum coating keeps you staying warm in low temperatures. The small size of such bags allows for quick evacuation in case of emergency and easily fits into any survival backpack.
What are the pros of an emergency sleeping bag?
- The first and most obvious advantage is that these bags are made specifically for difficulties. They are durable, providing maximum comfort, and at the same time lightweight and compact enough to be quickly assembled and evacuated in case of any danger.
- Some emergency bedrolls have supplementary accessories such as a signal whistle, strong cordages, or additional waterproof cover, which can undoubtedly come in handy in extreme situations.
- In addition to the main purposes, emergency sleeping bags can also be a wind blocker, ground cover, a lining for a tent, and so on. This type of sleeping bag has many functions so that it can be used in any situation.
- Typically, these bags are made up of several pieces that work great individually.
For more information, please, make sure you’ve read our comprehensive review above.
Which sleeping bag to choose for camping?
High-Performance Life Bivy is the ultimate option, as it has everything you want your sleeping bag to have. The main advantages: it is budget-friendly, provides a high-temperature reflection coefficient, protection from wind, snow, and rain, has a compact size, and is small in weight. Life Bivy is reusable, so you don’t have to pay for new equipment every time you go camping or hiking.
Are sleeping bags good for survival?
Emergency sleeping bags, like any others, are distinguished by size, weight, shape, as well as temperature rating, and other characteristics. It is important to choose a sleeping sack very meticulously because the result of your survival experience will depend on what quality sleeping bag you buy. Yes, this is definitely one of the top items to get when you pack your survival gear backpack because sleep is an essential part of life, influencing the subsequent activities of a person. It is also important to study any detailed real customer review of a particular model that interests you, see all the pros and cons, and only then make the right choice. Add more filters to find as much information as possible.