When choosing a sleeping bag for lightweight summer camping, most people are concerned that a bag rated at lower temperatures would be too warm for summer.
Can You Get Too Warm Of A Sleeping Bag?
A winter sleeping bag rated at 10 degrees F and lower would feel pretty warm on a hot summer night. However, at higher elevations where summer nights get chilly, bringing a winter sleeping bag is beneficial. If you feel warm, unzip the sleeping bag fully to make it a quilt.
There are a lot of things you can do about a sleeping bag that is too warm. But you can’t do much about a sleeping bag that is cold.
I have heard people saying that they got cold up in the mountains during summer nights but never heard anyone saying that their sleeping bag got too warm.
In order to fix a sleeping bag that is too warm, you can unzip it all the way and stick your arms/legs outside to regulate heat. If you still feel warm, ditch the sleeping bag altogether and use a groundsheet instead.
Can You Use a Winter Sleeping Bag In Summer?
I would not recommend using a winter sleeping bag in summer. You don’t want to lift the extra weight that comes with this winter bag. For summer camping you should be looking for a sleeping bag rated 30 degrees F or higher.
There is one instance when you can use a winter sleeping bag in summer. It is when you have only one sleeping bag and that is a winter sleeping bag and you don’t want to invest in more bags, then using a winter sleeping bag in summer is totally reasonable.
In fact, you will thank yourself on a colder summer night for bringing a winter bag.
Is a 0 Degree Sleeping Bag Too Warm For Summer?
Where will you be using the 0-degree sleeping bag in summer? The conditions of the region where you’re planning to camp are critical. Are you planning to camp at higher elevations?
Summer nights in the mountains get cold. A 0-degree sleeping bag would work perfectly fine on a summer night in the mountains.
However, If you intend to use a 0-degree sleeping bag in lower elevations for example at sea level then it would feel too warm. A 0-degree bag is too warm for summer camping in low elevations.
As you saw that apart from the season, it is the conditions of the region where you want to camp that are going to determine the right sleeping bag for you.
How Warm Should My Sleeping Bag Be?
Your sleeping bag should be as warm as you need to. What type of sleeper you are? Do you sleep warm or cold? Women tend to sleep colder than men.
Therefore there are two types of ratings on a sleeping bag: comfort level and lower limit.
Comfort rating is the lowest temperature at which an average woman or cold sleeper would sleep comfortably. The lower limit rating is the lowest temperature at which a warm sleeper would be comfortable.
If you do all year round camping I would recommend having three sleeping bags. A summer bag for 32 degrees and up. 3-season sleeping bag rated 10-30 degrees F for early spring/late fall camping.
Whereas for temperatures 10 degrees F and lower you should have a winter bag/ 4-season bag.
If you want to do all year-round camping with only one sleeping bag then go with a 3 season sleeping bag because they cover a wide variety of temperatures.
A sleeping bag liner and base layer clothes will add an extra layer of warmth beside the sleeping bag.
In order to determine the right sleeping bag, you should do proper planning and research of the place where you’ll be using the bag.
You shouldn’t be concerned about getting too hot in your sleeping bag. Because it rarely happens. There are things you can do to stop getting too warm.
You can totally use a winter sleeping bag in summer. Particularly when camping in higher elevations.
If you want to go with only one sleeping bag for all year round camping I would recommend you go with the 3 season bag.