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Best 2-season sleeping bags: for camping trips and backpacking in the warmer months

best 2-season sleeping bags: camper enjoying the sunset from sleeping bag
A 2-season sleeping bag is ideal for summer wild camping (Image credit: Getty)

The best 2-season sleeping bags are designed for summer camping trips and warm weather backpacking. They aim squarely for the sweet spot between packability and warmth, giving wild campers a more lightweight option than bags designed for use in winter or the shoulder seasons.

Sleeping bags are usually season rated for either 2 seasons, 3 seasons or year-round use. The best 2-season sleeping bags will be warm enough for use throughout the summer, as well as towards the end of spring and the start of fall. Once the mercury starts to drop later in fall, a 3-season bag is preferable.

best 2-season sleeping bags: couple in sleeping bags on a camp

Summer mornings in the wilderness are priceless (Image credit: Getty)

The best 2-season sleeping bags are generally more affordable than their 3-season siblings or winter bags stuffed with enough down to keep you toasty on Pluto. As with all the best sleeping bags, 2-season options come with temperature ratings to allow you to asses whether they will give you the required warmth for your chosen adventures. In general, a 2-season bag will keep you comfortably warm down to around 5°C / 41°F, though there is variation between different bags.

Ultra lightweight 2-season bags come with a heftier price tag, simply because of the quality of their materials and design. If you’re a serious, gram counting camper who values all things lightweight, choosing a pricier option will give you a high quality, durable bag that will be a trusty companion to your best camping tent for many summers to come. If you’re a car camper who is planning to camp in designated sites at ground level, you may not need to fork out quite as much.

How we test the best 2-season sleeping bags

At Advnture we endeavor to test every product we feature extensively in the field. That means one of our team of reviewers and writers – all experienced outdoor specialists active across the US, UK, Europe and Australasia – taking it out into the terrain and climatic conditions that it’s designed for. If, for any reason, this isn’t possible, we’ll say so in our buying guides and reviews.

Our reviewers test 2-season sleeping bags in outdoor conditions during late spring, throughout summer and in early fall/autumn, when overnight low temperatures range from 0°C to 5°C / 32°F to 41°F.

The best down insulated 2-season sleeping bags

Best 2-season sleeping bags: Rab Neutrino 200

(Image credit: Rab)

Rab Neutrino 200

A lightweight, down filled luxury 2-season sleeping bag for mountain missions

Specifications

RRP: ¢305 (US) / £250 (UK)
Weight: 579g / 20oz
Length: 215cm / 86.5in
Pack size: 17 x 32cm / 6.7 x 12.6in
Fill: R.D.S. Certified European Goose Down (200g / 7.1oz)
Comfort: 4°C / 39°F
Limit: -1°C / 30°F

Reasons to buy

+
Extremely light 
+
Hydrophobic down 
+
Compression sack and storage sack

Reasons to avoid

-
Left-hand zip only

Down is the perfect insulator – super light and super warm. It’s flaw, however, is that if it gets wet it loses its ‘loft’, the air between feathers, which ruins the insulation. To overcome this, the Rab Neutrino 200 uses hydrophobic down, which keeps much of its loft in damp conditions. Further protection comes in the durable water repellent coating on the Pertex Quantum shell to fend off light rain. 

The result is a snug sleeping bag with cleverly designed baffle chambers to keep the down in place and avoid cold spots. The mummy design is particularly close fitting at the neck to trap heat, while the zip runs half the length of the bag to spill warmth on hotter evenings. Shape-wise, the Neutrino tapers from wide at the shoulders to narrow at the ankles, with an angled foot box to ease foot claustrophobia. Other neat touches include a compression sack for adventures, and a looser cotton storage sack, so the down can relax between trips.

Best 2-season sleeping bags: Marmot Always Summer

(Image credit: Marmot)

Marmot Always Summer

A lightweight, down-filled 2-season sleeping bag that delivers welcome warmth for summer adventures

Specifications

RRP: $202 (US) / £195 (UK)
Weight: Regular 760g/26.8oz; Long 850g/30oz
Length: Regular 183cm /72in; Long: 198cm / 78in
Pack size: 17.8 x 35.6cm / 7 x 14in
Fill: 650-fill down
Comfort: 6°C / 42.8°F
Limit: 1°C / 33.8°F

Reasons to buy

+
Compact pack size
+
Light weight
+
Water-resistant down
+
Available in two lengths
+
Comes with stuff and storage sacks

Reasons to avoid

-
Not quite as warm as rivals

More generous dimensions and lofty insulation make the Marmot Always Summer a serious contender for a warm-weather sleeping bag. When the mercury is high, a second, small zip opposite the main zip lets you fold down the covers to chest level, while the full-length two-way zip lets you open the bag from the foot up. But when Jack Frost nips at your toes, a drawcord at the neck traps heat inside the bag and keeps draughts out. 

Aware that campers first feel the cold in their feet, Marmot has designed a pouch for a heater in the footbox, which is noticeably roomier than many mummy-shaped rivals. The minimum ‘comfort’ temperature of the Always Summer is slightly higher than other sleeping bags in this review, but strategically-placed baffles keep the down in place while a draft tube stops heat escaping through the zip. Plus, if conditions do get damp, the down is treated to give it some water resistance and maintain its insulation.

Best 2-season sleeping bags: Mountain Equipment Glacier 300

(Image credit: Mountain Equipment)

Mountain Equipment Glacier 300

Blissful duck down keeps you warm and snug in this sleeping bag designed for mountain expeditions

Specifications

RRP: $430 (US) / £280 (UK)
Weight: Regular 820g / 28.9oz; Long 830g/29.3oz
Length: Regular 190cm/75in; Long 205cm/81in
Pack size: Regular 23x18x15cm/9x7x6in; Long 24x19x15cm/9x7x6in
Fill: Down-Codex approved duck down (fill power: 700)
Comfort: 4°C/39°F
Limit: -1°C/30°F

Reasons to buy

+
Pure duck down
+
Left and right zips
+
Medium and long versions
+
Waterproof stuff-sack and storage cube

Reasons to avoid

-
Wet down loses its insulation
-
Expensive

Ethically-sourced duck down (Down Codex approved) with a minimum fill power of 700 means you can sleep with a clear conscience in the toasty warmth of the Mountain Equipment Glacier 300. The Drilite shell fabric does a good job of keeping the down dry, while the trapezoid-shaped baffles eliminate cold spots, adopting different designs for front and back for maximum heat retention.

The full-length zip locks closed with magnets to stop drafts sneaking in during the night, and left- and right-hand zip options let you zip two Glaciers together for a more intimate evening. At the foot of the bag, Mountain Equipment’s Sharks Toe foot construction (from side profile it looks like the nose of a great white) keeps your tootsies toasty when temperatures tumble – this is a bag created for high altitude use.

Best 2-season sleeping bags: Sea to Summit Ascent 1

(Image credit: Sea to Summit)

Sea to Summit Ascent 1

A top quality down 2-season sleeping bag with a more relaxed, mummy shape that compresses to a small ball, and unfurls for very impressive warmth

Specifications

RRP: $349 (US) / £330 (UK)
Weight: Regular 860g/30.3oz; Long 930g/32.8oz
Pack size: 40 x 18cm
Fill: 750+ down fill
Comfort: 2°C / 35°F
Limit: -4°C / 25°F

Reasons to buy

+
Tiny pack size
+
Excellent warmth
+
Triple-zip system
+
Compression sack

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

For some campers, lying in a mummy-shaped sleeping bag feels like being wrapped in the unbearably tight bandages of an original Egyptian mummy, preventing a comfortable sleeping position. The Sea to Summit Ascent 1 avoids this by being far more generous in its dimensions – its shoulders, for example, are about 77.5cm/30.5in wide (155cm/61in circumference) compared to 70cm/27.5in for the Rab Neutrino 2, and its footbox has a circumference of 122cm/48in (about 82cm/32in for the Rab). The genius of the design is that it achieves this extra space without significantly increasing its pack size. A three-zip system offers maximum flexibility – undo the right side to fold back the top third in warm weather, unzip the full-length, two-way left zip for ease of entry and ventilation; and unzip the foot zip to create a quilt. Alternatively, cinch up the hood to trap heat, secure in the knowledge that the responsibly-sourced 750+ down fill insulation will keep you toasty warm in temperatures as low as 2°C.

The best 2-season sleeping bags with synthetic insulation

Best 2-season sleeping bags: Deuter Orbit 0°

(Image credit: Deuter)

Deuter Orbit 0°

A durably built, synthetic filled sleeping bag for summer expeditions

Specifications

RRP: $123 (US) / £100 (UK)
Weight: 1400g/49oz
Length: 205cm/81in
Pack size: 44x21cm / 17.3x8.3in
Fill: Synthetic fibre
Comfort: 5°C / 41°F
Limit: 0°C/ 32°F

Reasons to buy

+
Tough construction
+
Full length zip
+
Can be used as a blanket
+
Good price

Reasons to avoid

-
Bulkier carry size
-
Heavy

The well-built Deuter Orbit 0° is ideal for campers who want a durable, low maintenance sleeping bag. Its rustle-free shell is impregnated with a dirt and water repellent finish to help keep it clean and to keep the generous high-loft, synthetic filling dry. A full length zip means the sleeping bag can be transformed into a duvet – ideal for wrapping over shoulders as a blanket if you’re sat around a campfire, or for use in children’s sleepovers at home. But make no mistake, this is a high performing summer sleeping bag, comfortable in temperatures as low as 5°C (41°F). Welcome features include a strip to stop the zip from snagging and a compression sack that makes it easier to squeeze the sleeping bag into a rucksack. Its pack-down size is significantly bigger than down-filled rivals, but at half to one-third of the price, it’s much lighter on your wallet.

Best 2-season sleeping bags: Snugpak Travelpak 2

(Image credit: Snugpak)

Snugpak Travelpak 2

Optimised for exotic travel, this warm, compact sleeping bag has an in-built mosquito net and anti-bacterial fabrics

Specifications

RRP: $59 (US) / £45 (UK)
Weight: 1100g/39oz
Length: 220cm/87in
Pack size: 19x19cm/7x7in
Fill: Travelsoft 100% Polyester
Comfort: Comfort 2°C / 36°F

Reasons to buy

+
Tiny pack size
+
Excellent warmth
+
Mosquito net
+
Antibacterial fabrics

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavier than down

If the classic game of Top Trumps had a sleeping bag version it would be hard to beat the Snugpak Travelpak 2’s card. Its ultra-compact packdown dimensions, excellent warmth and bonus features would make the Travelpak 2 something of an ace in the pack. The fabric is treated with Paratex, an antimicrobial finish that combats bacteria to keep the bag clean and smelling fresh. Then there’s the mosquito net that zips in place to keep biting blighters out of the sack at night (and snakes and bugs out of the sack during the day). 

Just roll the net away when you don’t need it. And as for its primary function, the Travelpak 2 is rated comfortable right down to just 2°C, aided by good insulation, baffles to insulate both the two-way zip and shoulders, and a hood drawcord to trap as much heat as possible inside the bag. All in all, one of the best 2-season sleeping bags out there for buyers on a budget.

The best budget 2-season down sleeping bags

Best 2-season sleeping bags: Vango Nitestar Alpha 225

(Image credit: Vango Nitestar)

Vango Nitestar Alpha 225

A compelling combination of compact pack size and excellent warmth, and all for a killer price

Specifications

RRP: £40 (UK)
Weight: 1550g/54.7oz
Length: 205cm/81in
Pack size: 27 x 22cm / 10.6 x 8.7in
Fill: Synthetic ‘Alpha’ Insulation
Comfort: 3°C/37°F
Limit: -3°C/26.6°F

Reasons to buy

+
Compact pack size
+
Impressive warmth
+
Competitive price

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy

The tapered, mummy-shape Vango Nitestar Alpha 225 may be recommended by the Scouts and Duke of Edinburgh Award schemes, but it would be a shame to confine its use to kids. This is one of the heaviest sleeping bags on review, but its packed size is impressively small, its temperature rating is impressively warm and its price is hard to argue with. 

The brushed microfiber lining is lovely and soft next to the skin, while offset seams are designed to avoid cold spots. The same thought has gone into the insulated baffle that runs the length of the zip, trapping heat within the bag, as does the adjustable shoulder baffle. The snag-free, two-way zip locks in place, so it won’t undo while you’re asleep. And in-between camping expeditions, handily placed loops make it easy to hang up on a hook to air.

Best 2-season sleeping bags comparison table
Sleeping bagPriceWeightStyleBest use
Rab Neutrino 200$305 (US) / £250 (UK)579g / 20ozGoose down sleeping bagFastpacking, bike packing, wild camping
Marmot Always Summer$202 (US) / £195 (UK)Regular 760g/26.8oz; Long 850g/30oz650-fill down sleeping bagBackpacking, bikepacking, wild camping
Mountain Equipment Glacier $430 (US) / £280 (UK)Regular 820g / 28.9oz; Long 830g/29.3oz700-fill down sleeping bagBackpacking, bikepacking, wild camping
Sea to Summit Ascent 1$349 (US) / £330 (UK)Regular 860g/30.3oz; Long 930g/32.8oz750-fill down sleeping bagBackpacking, bikepacking, wild camping
Deuter Orbit 0º $123 (US) / £100 (UK)1400g/49ozSynthetic down sleeping bagBackpacking, wild camping, car camping
Snugpak Travelpak 2$59 (US) / £45 (UK)1100g/39ozSynthetic down sleeping bagBackpacking, wild camping, car camping
Vango Nitestar Alpha 225£40 (UK)1550g/54.7ozSynthetic down sleeping bagBackpacking, wild camping, car camping

How to choose the best 2-season sleeping bag

There are myriad things to consider when choosing the best 2-season sleeping bags, with much depending on when and where exactly you intend to use it. There are many types of sleeping bag, so it's important to choose the right one. Following are the most important factors to think about.

Temperature rating

In Europe, bags are rigorously tested and rated according to their insulation properties. This leads to three scores – Comfort, Limit and Extreme. It’s the Comfort temperature that is most important – the minimum temperature at which the sleeping bag is deemed to remain comfortable. For more on this, see our guide to sleeping bag temperature ratings.

Dimensions

A number of more expensive 2-season sleeping bags come in two lengths – medium and long, tailored to the height of the user. When assessing the appropriate length of a sleeping bag, be guided by the ‘maximum height’ measure, rather than the external length of the bag. Remember, too, that a longer bag takes up more space and weighs more, so avoid buying more than you need.

Pack size

The dimensions of a sleeping bag when it’s been squeezed by a compression sack make all the difference to your backpack packing, as explained in how to pack a backpack

When it comes to down vs synthetic insulation, down-filled sleeping bags typically compress smaller than synthetic products. This makes them ideal for wild campers, as they fit nicely into their backpack.

Weight

If you’re going to carry your sleeping bag all day, the lighter it is the better, especially as you'll also be carrying a sleeping pad and the rest of your overnight kit too. Down 2-season sleeping bags are lighter than synthetic bags, but when you have decided between the two insulators remember that a heavier bag may be a burden during the day but is likely to be warmer at night.

Shape

All of the best 2-season sleeping bags in this review are mummy shaped – wider at the shoulders than the foot, and with a hood to trap heat at night. Some are still more generous, however, so if you struggle with the claustrophobia of your feet being trapped together, pay attention to the dimensions of the footbox.

Insulation

There are two choices – synthetic fibers or feather down. Gram for gram, down is lighter and warmer and packs down smaller than synthetic alternatives. However, some downs face an ethical challenge depending on where they are sourced. They are also significantly more expensive than synthetic insulation. And most importantly, they lose a lot of their effectiveness when they get damp or wet, although hydrophobic treatments do help feathers to keep their insulating loft.

To compare down fillings, look for the fill power. This represents the down’s loft (how much space it can fill and insulate). As a rule of thumb, the higher the fill power the warmer the sleeping bag, although this also depends on the weight of down used.

Synthetic 2-season sleeping bags are normally cheaper than down, will typically retain more of their insulating properties when wet, and are easier to maintain. But they are heavier and bulkier to achieve the same temperature rating as down.

Zips

How much of a weight-weenie do you want to be? A zipper adds weight and introduces potential cold spots all along its length (so look for insulating zipper baffles to avoid this). On the other hand, a zipper that runs the full length of the bag makes it easy to slide in and out and, if two-way, offers the choice of introducing some ventilation at the feet while keeping the rest of the bag closed. Some bags also have a half-length zipper on the other side to let you fold down the top third or half of the sleeping bag for summer comfort.

If there’s a choice of left or right zippers, there are two considerations: right handed people will find a left-sided zipper easier, and vice-versa; or think which side you normally sleep on and opt for the zipper to run the length of your back rather than front.

And if you’re a couple, buying left and right zipper 2-season sleeping bags means you can zip them together for cosier nights under canvas.

After spending a decade as editor of Country Walking, the UK’s biggest-selling walking magazine, Jonathan moved to edit Outdoor Fitness magazine, adding adrenaline to his adventures and expeditions. He has hiked stages or completed all of the UK's national trails, but was once overtaken by three Smurfs, a cross-dressing Little Bo Peep, and a pair of Teletubbies on an ascent of Snowdon. (Turns out they were soldiers on a fundraising mission.)