When it comes to most camping and backpacking gear, there is a recommended kind of weather that that piece of gear is intended for, and this is no truer than in the case of sleeping bags. 3 season sleeping bags are great for fall, summer and spring, but would be inadequate for most winter conditions. The main thing that separates a 3 season sleeping bag from a 4 season sleeping bag is the temperature rating. A sleeping bag good down to 30 degrees, for instance, is just not suitable for a winter camping trip. But then a winter sleeping bag wouldn’t be of much use in summer either.
3 Season Sleeping BagThings to watch for when reviewing 3 season sleeping bags.
- Lightweight – If you’re going to be carrying your 3 season sleeping bag in a backpack, then you likely want to make sure to get a lightweight sleeping bag. One of the main advantages of 3 season camping is that the gear weighs less than four season camping gear. So look for down sleeping bags, as down weighs less than synthetic, and mummy shaped, as opposed to rectangular sleeping bags.
- Temperature Rating – Depending on the temperatures in your area and the months you plan to go camping in, the temperature rating needed will vary. Try to get a sleeping bag that is close to the minimum temperature that you expect to be out in. You can add a few degrees to a sleeping bag with a sleeping bag liner or a few extra layers of clothing.
Best 3 Season Sleeping BagA few of the best 3 season sleeping bags that you could choose from.
- Marmot Arroyo +30 - At the warmer side of things, with a temperature rating of 30 degrees is the Arroyo. It uses high quality 800+ fill down, and a few extra features, like a down filled draft collar and a drawcord on the face opening, help to keep you warm. The whole thing weighs a total of 27 ounces, which is 760 grams, which is definitely on the lightweight side of things when it compared to other 30 degree sleeping bags.
- Terra Nova Laser 600 - Terra Nova is a lesser known UK manufacturer that makes some wonderful, lightweight backpacking gear, including sleeping bags. The Laser 600 has a temperature rating of 32 degrees, making it suitable for a wide variety of conditions. Best of all, it uses the very high quality 900+ fill down, which helps it achieve a very respectable weight of 22.2 ounces, or 630 grams, perfect for lightweight backpackers or anyone looking to save weight.
- Western Mountaineering HighLite - At 35 degrees this is a sleeping bag on the colder side of things, and might only be suitable for summer in some places. But for it's temperature rating it's one of the best sleeping bags out there. It uses excellent 850+ fill down, as well as a few unique features like square baffles to get down to a weight of just 1 pound, or 456 grams, which is quite a drop in weight relative to temperature rating when comparing to the two sleeping bags above. So not the warmest 3 season sleeping bag, but definitely the lightest.