The best summer sleeping bags reviewed (2023)

We've been on the hunt for a range of summer sleeping bags suitable for all campers, from ultralight backpacking to mountain treks to family camping.

Montage of summer sleeping bags

by Chris Williams |
Updated on

A common question I was asked of sleeping bags in my retail days was ‘Which sleeping bag can be used all year?’ The answer is none. Heading out in high heat? Grab yourself a summer sleeping bag.

The closest you get is a three-season sleeping bag, suitable for use in all but high summer and winter. On either side of this, you get dedicated winter sleeping bags and summer sleeping bags (two-season sleeping bags).

Summer sleeping bags incorporate two types of sleeping bag: simpler options for family camping and super lightweight options for summer treks and bikepacking.

Sleeping Bag Wildcamp on the summit of Little Scoat Fell
©Live For The Outdoors

Our shortlist

Exped Ultra 0° – Best in Test

deuter Orbit 0° – Best Value

Sea To Summit Ascent AcI -4° – Best for mountain treks

Alpkit Pipedream 200 – Best lightweight summer sleeping bag

Jack Wolfskin Athmos Down +5 – Best for easy access

Marmot NanoWave 35° – Best affordable summer sleeping bag

Below, we go into detail of the best summer sleeping bags, explaining why they’ve made our shortlist. Beyond the reviews, you can also find some summer sleeping bag buying and care advice.

The best summer sleeping bags in detail

Best in Test

Exped Ultra 0°
Price: £412-£480 (size dependant)


This is a fantastic lightweight sleeping bag that is also quite deceptive. Deceptive because it


  • Sustainable
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Five sizes available
  • Impressive warmth-to-weight ratio
  • Zip coupling


  • Alpkit Pipedream 200 is even lighter and compact

Best Value


When you see the word ‘value’ you also expect ‘compromise’ to accompany it. It’s not really so in


  • Durable
  • Soft, snug material
  • Sustainable
  • Zip coupling


  • Too bulky for hiking

Best for mountain treks


With a temperature range that ventures into the low negatives, this sub-1kg sleeping bag is


  • Bursting with features
  • Warmest sleeping bag on test
  • Can double as a quilt
  • Zip coupling


  • Overkill for irregular users

Best lightweight summer sleeping bag

Alpkit Pipedream 200
Price: £159.99


Alpkit’s Pipedream 200 is a fairly basic but incredibly lightweight and compact two-season


  • Superb for lightweight trips and bikepacking
  • Sustainable
  • Good value for a down sleeping bag


  • Not ideal for those sensitive to cold

Best for easy access


Jack Wolfskin’s Athmos Down +5, with its unique zip design, is a very good mid-range option in


  • Sustainable
  • Water-resistant stuff sack
  • PrimaLoft insulation around the hood
  • Easy-access S zip


  • Exped Ultra 0° is lighter, warmer, and more compact

Best affordable summer sleeping bag


This simple, affordable, and effective two-season sleeping bag ticks the important boxes for most


  • Compact for a synthetic sleeping bag
  • PFC-free
  • Much higher quality than super budget sleeping bags


  • You can go even cheaper if you really want to

What to look for in a summer sleeping bag

Hiker airing out a summer sleeping bag
©Live For The Outdoors

Insulation: Down or synthetic – down is lighter and warmer, synthetic is cheaper and more hydrophobic. High-performance and super lightweight sleeping bags generally use down insulation often treated with a hydrophobic finish. Family camping sleeping bags are usually synthetic-filled. But synthetic insulation is continually improving and some synthetic-insulated sleeping bags are suitable for hiking and trekking.

Shape: Sleeping bags are generally a rectangular or mummy shape, with some having an in between tapered cut. Mummy-shaped sleeping bags save weight and are the most efficient for insulating. But they can feel restrictive. Rectangular sleeping bags address the issue of claustrophobia but are more bulky and less efficient.

Size: Sleeping bags usually come in Long and Regular sizes. But some brands offer more choice, with women’s specific and wider options.

Fabric: This will be nylon or polyester. Nylon is lighter and stronger and used on higher end sleeping bags. Polyester is cheaper but can be softer and feel more comfortable. Sleeping bag outer fabrics are sometimes finished with a water-repellent coating to help fight against damp.

Weight and packed size: The very lightest summer sleeping bags can pack down to very little indeed. These are ideal for those embarking on lightweight treks. For family camping trips, this isn’t such a priority. But, if you’re after a multi-purpose sleeping bag to bring on the trail, weight and size are high priority.

5 sleeping bags in compression sacks stacked on a rock
©Live For The Outdoors

Temperature ratings: Comfort and Limit temperature ratings are a guide, indicating the suitable temperature range for women and men respectively. But it’s more important to know yourself. If you feel the cold, get something warmer. It’s a rule of thumb to opt for something a bit warmer than you need anyhow.

Zips: Zip length impacts access, weight, and insulating ability. Full-length zips make for easy access and good ventilation but add weight and compromise insulating efficiency a bit. Shorter zips save weight and improve insulating efficiency. Some sleeping bags also allow for zip coupling with other sleeping bags.

Hood: Adjustable hoods are good for versatility. They mean you can make the hood more close-fitting if there is a cold snap.

Sleeping bag care and maintenance

Down sleeping bags need to be stored in their bigger storage sacks when not in use to allow the down to loft. They also need to be cleaned with dedicated down wash, instead of regular detergent.

Synthetic sleeping bags don’t need a separate storage bag but should also be cleaned with a dedicated outdoor gear cleaner in order to keep the fabrics breathable and maintain water repellency if it has it.

Best down wash

Grangers Down Wash

Rrp: £7.25

Price: £6.5


Bluesign-approved, PFC-free, and water-based, this is a sustainable and effective wash for down


  • Sustainable
  • Effective
  • Concentrated formula


  • None

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