Sleeping Bag Recommendations

Looking for recommendations for indoor sleeping bags. It would be used all year round and needs to be not too cold and not too warm.


It depends on what you’re after. I don’t like being restricted so I have a sleeping pod which is more oval shaped so you can turn on your side in it etc.
If it’s for indoor use then 2 season ought to be sufficient.

Three season will get you through all UK camping with cadets, given we can’t (unless there are suitably qualified staff) do anything in the winter.

Take a look at Go Outdoors who give you extra off if you’re doing DofE.

The coldest I have ever been in a “camping” environment was during the Cosford marches in April when the temperature plummeted and by 5-season bag was barely adequate, even fully clothed.

That’s because Cosford is a disgusting miserable place, nestled nicely within the third circle of hell where the laws of thermodynamics and, indeed, all other laws of sanity and physics do not reside.


all of which needs to be taken into account when choosing a sleeping bag :wink:

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How many times?
You can’t mitigate for something that happens once. I’ve camped when it has got colder than expected, but I wouldn’t buy a 5 season, unless I was going somewhere where I’d be expecting it to be bloody cold.
Still 3 season will be more than adequate for cadet activities.

At Cosford? Just once and never again?
However, I have woken in a tent on an (early) DofE event to find it had snowed and I have been stupidly cold in a lesser sleeping bag at other events. a 3-season is probably fine for a lot of the activities but to say that it will get you through all UK camping is dubious and only part of the problem.

Many squadrons will have access to 4-season bags for loan for stuff like DofE, but those can be supplemented with sleeping bag liners if it is expected to turn chilly.

If you are doing normal camping in a normal 3-man tent then the body heat of companions and the construction of the tent will probably make a 3 or 4 season bag suitable, but that isn’t the only environment that cadets will need a bag for. Tented camps in 12x12s offer rain protection (normally) but can be very cold, as can events such as the Cosford marches where everybody is in one large marquee. I have been freezing at Heumensoord before marchers arrive, then sweating buckets with no bag in the same bunk for the next week, though that isn’t really a cadet problem.

I would probably suggest a 4-season bag over a 3-season.

I’ve been there with the snow / heavy frost in the morning, but I still wouldn’t have anymore than a 3 season. Unless you are in the back end of nowhere in the UK, the coldest you are likely to get to is -7/-8, only this year with the cold snap we had, did it get much, much colder. We live in a village and it was showing as -12 a couple of days and only someone with no real choice would be ‘camping’ in that.

My cadet camping experience was, like all my mates, with the old rectangular bags, none of this mummy bag malarky, they may have been around BUT were specialist and well outside the budget of the average family.

My favourite sleeping bag has to be the Snugpak Softie Elite 3. Did me well in the cold easter snap sleeping in a concrete building, its roomy enough to let you stretch out and have some space to keep cool in the summer as well if needed.

I can borrow arctic sleeping bags from the sqn for outdoor camping but they’re way too warm for indoors use which is why I need one dedicated for indoor use.

I use a snugpak jungle sleeping bag for indoor sleeping - crashing at friends, camps etc… the issue jungle bag is very similar and can be found on eBay for about £30.

it rolls up to the size of a honeydew melon.

it is not however a warm bag - if the buildings you tend to stay in are less than warm it might be worth going up nto a two season bag. personally i find cheaper bags tend to be massive when rolled up, so if you’re looking for a cost point i’d suggest hitting ebay for a pre-owned one.

you probably know this already, but there are two types of sleeping bag - down and synthetic. synthetic is cheaper to produce, its less warm on a gram-for-gram basis, and it tends to be less easy to compress. but, synthetic is easier to wash and dry, and even when its wet it will prodive you with warmth - down on the other hand is warmer, more compressible, but if it gets wet, and that can include the dampness from sweat and breath, it is utterly useless, and unless you have a decent tumble dryer to hand you won’t get it dry.

you pays your money and you takes your choice…

Try the issue lightweight bag. If you get the older version, it unzips all the way so can be used as a quilt. Packs down small. That’s what I take on camps (indoors and summer outdoors).

Add a bag liner for a bit more warmth. The issue one is cotton but civvi ones come in a range of materials from lightweight to almost jumper fleece. A liner makes your dossbag last longer too.

The issue stuff is modular so you can combine lightweight and medium to make a 4+ season bag.

The Snugpak jungle is similar.

Just as a note when it comes to buying a sleeping bag: do not rely on how many “seasons” it claims to have. Always use the temperature limits as a guide, especially the comfort temperature. Match this up with the average outside temperature you are likely to encounter and that will be the right bag for you! Don’t worry about the lower or extreme limits as they are more relevant in an emergency.


Can you not just buy a cheap tesco/asda bag, and turn the heating up if you’re a bit chilly in the night?

is this true??

or does this only hold water if claiming it as DofE??

I have been on “winter” camps outside of the DofE dates with BEL qualified Staff and not known there be any approval issue.

seconded - if indoors (and by this you mean in a closed room (ie dorm or standard 10-20 man accomodation block) not simply in a open hanger with drafty ill fitting door you’d not need anything fancy.
items under £20 on Argos website would be sufficient