Mom Goes Camping

Review of the Morrison Sleeping Bag for Babies

morrison baby sleeping bag review

Just a few years ago, there weren’t any camping sleeping bags for babies available.  Not even one.  This obviously made it really difficult to go camping or backpacking with a baby. Frustrated by the lack of choices, an outdoorsy couple decided to make a sleeping bag for their baby.  That’s how the Morrison baby sleeping bag came to be.

 

What is the Morrison Sleeping Bag?

morrison sleeping bag

The Little Mo (named after the creators’ child, Morrison) is an adjustable bag sleeping bag for outdoor use.  It designed for camping and backpacking trips with your baby or toddler.

There are two versions of the Little Mo sleeping bag: 20F and 40F.  Below are some quick facts about each version of the sleeping bag plus more detailed reviews and FAQs. Or get it at REI here.

 

Little Mo 20F

Morrison sleeping bag opened

As the name implies, this version of the Morrison sleeping bag is good down to 20F.  Yes, you will sleep better knowing that your child is warm and toasty even as the temperature drops at night.

 

Quick Facts:

  • Good down to 20F (-7C)
  • Made of 800 fill power down
  • Weighs 9oz
  • Water-resistant ripstop nylon outer
  • Draft tube
  • Built-in foot box
  • Covered hands
  • Reverse zipper – opens from bottom
  • YKK#5 zipper
  • Machine washable
  • Adjustable for ages 6-24 months
  • Buy Here

 

800 Fill Power Down

Morrison 20F baby sleeping bag

I’m toasty warm even with snow on the ground!

The 20F Morrison sleeping bag is made from down with 800 fill power.  Let’s break down what that means…

Fill power is a measurement of the quality of the down used. The technical definition is the “measurement of the amount of space one ounce of down will occupy in cubic inches when allowed to reach its maximum loft.” 1

Down works by trapping air between its filaments.  The trapped air is actually what insulates against the cold and keeps body heat from escaping.

Not all down is created equal though.   Fluffier down will be able to trap more air, even when there is less of it.  Thus, good-quality down will keep you warm while still being very compact and lightweight.

In a nutshell, higher down power = more air trapped = a warmer sleeping bag.

Where does 800 down fill power stand?  REI states that “900 fill power is about as good as down gets.”  By comparison, low-quality down is considered anything below 500 fill power.

 

Important!

Don’t forget that down has to be lofted (fluffed) in order to insulate!  Always fluff up the Morrison down sleeping bag before putting your baby inside.  Otherwise the down will be compressed and won’t be warm.

 

Down Weight

If you know your facts about down, then you also know it isn’t just about fill power.  It’s also about how much (down weight) was used to make the product.  For example, a sleeping bag with 12oz of 400 fill-power down will be just as warm as a bag with 6oz of 800 fill-power down. The second bag will be lighter and more compact though.

Morrison doesn’t list the actual weight of their down.  However, since the bag is 9oz, we can assume that approximately 7.5oz of that weight is likely to be down.

I compared this to adult down sleeping bags also rated to 20F.  Most of them had fill weights of around 12oz to 20oz.  Considering that adult bags are more than twice the size of the Morrison baby sleeping bag, it’s clear that Morrison hasn’t skimped on the amount of down in the baby sleeping bag!  3

Note: Even with the 20F Little Mo bag, your baby is going to need a sleeping pad in order to stay warm.  Otherwise the ground will literally suck the heat out of the body. For colder weather, I’d recommend something like the insulated Klymit Static V (R-value 4.4; 25oz) or the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite (fold in half to get an R-value of 5.2; weighs 14oz).

 

Size and Weight

Having a high power down also means that the Little Mo sleeping bag can be lighter weight and compact.  It is only 9oz and packs down tiny – not much bigger than a Nalgene-style water bottle.  As a mom who ends up carrying pretty much all of our gear on backpacking trips (my husband has a physical disability), every ounce and bit of space in my pack matters!!!

The Morrison 40F sleeping bag is on the left. The 20F down bag is on the right. It’s compact!

 

Morrison Sleeping Bag in Real-World Use

The Little Mo 20F has a bunch of features to make it practical for real-world use, whether for camping or backpacking trips with a baby.  The reverse zipper means you can do diaper changes without having to completely remove your child.

The foot box keeps your baby’s toes warm, and the draft tube around the zipper means that heat isn’t lost through the zipper.

 

Downsides of the Morrison Sleeping Bag

One bad thing to note about the Morrison baby sleeping bag.  First, the sleeves are a bit narrow.  Since the sleeves are closed at the end, you can’t even reach inside the sleeve to help your baby’s arms get through.  This is slightly annoying.

A few parents also said that they’d prefer a sleeping bag with features like removable sleeves.  Yes, this feature is useful.  However, it would mean that heat would escape through the arm attachment area — so the sleeping bag wouldn’t be nearly as warm.  It’s a tradeoff between functionality and warmth.

I personally wish that the sleeping bag didn’t have closed-off hands.  Then my baby could wear it while eating breakfast in the cold mornings.  But, again, it’s a tradeoff to get a warmer bag.

baby in Morrison sleeping bag

Look Ma, no hands!

 

Price

Down products are pricy – especially when a good quality down (high fill power) is used.  At the time of writing, the Little Mo 20F costs $184.   To give you an idea, comparable adult down sleeping bags cost $350 to $600.

*You can buy the 20F Morrison sleeping bag here*

 

The Little Mo 40F

The Little Mo 40F has a lot of the same features as the 20F bag (like the built-in footbox and draft tube) so I won’t rehash those details. The main thing you need to know is that it is made from synthetics and thus is a bit heavier, larger, and only suitable for milder nights.  On the plus side, the 40F bag is more affordable.  It currently costs $84.

 

Quick Facts:

  • Good down to 40F
  • Made with synthetic polyester fiber insulation
  • Weighs 16.2oz
  • Water-resistant ripstop nylon outer
  • Buy Here

 

Which Version of the Little Mo Sleeping Bag to Get?

Before you take your baby camping, please take the time to calculate the nighttime temperatures of where you are going!  (If you are the type who already does this, kudos to you).

It can be hard to find temperature forecasts for the tops of mountains.  So, use this formula:

For every 1000 feet in elevation you gain, the temperature will drop about 5.4F (or 9.8C for every 1000 meters of elevation).

Even in summer, it can get really cold at night. At Yellowstone, for example, the summer temperatures can go from the 70s during the day to below freezing at night.  Read more on how cold is too cold for tent camping.

If you wanted to save money, you could get the more affordable 40F Morrison sleeping bag.  However, you’ll need to dress your child in more layers – preferably warm, breathable layers made from Merino wool.  These layers can be pretty pricy too but you’ll obviously get more use out of them.

The bottom line? If you camp frequently in cold weather, make your life easier by getting the warmer 20F Morrison sleeping bag.

 

Tip: Avoid the Urge to Overdress Your Baby

I made this mistake on our first cold-weather camping trip with my baby.  Because I was worried that she would be cold, I put her in a zillion layers.  She ended up getting all sweaty.  Sweat = wet = evaporation = cold.  :/

At that point, I wasn’t sure what to do: undress her so she’d stop sweating, or keep the layers on because she was so wet.   It was a terrible night with her waking up a gadzillion times.

 

FAQs about Morrison Baby Sleeping Bags

Can the Morrison Bag be used with infants?

When the Morrison baby sleeping bag first came out, the company said it was suitable for 3 months to 24 months.  They’ve since updated the sizing to 6 months.   For safety reasons, I can’t advise you to use the sleeping bag with children under 6 months.  However, I did see photos where infants (like the one below) were in the Morrison sleeping bags.  There are snaps so you can wrap the sleeves around the bag so it fits them better.

infant in Morrison sleeping bag

This baby definitely isn’t 6 months old.

 

Can it be used with a hiking child carrier?

No. The Morrison sleeping bag doesn’t have separated legs, so your baby won’t be able to wear it while in a hiking carrier.  You should use a snow suit or something similar instead.

 

Can it be used in strollers?

Kind of.  There’s no way to bring the stroller strap between the legs, so you’ll have to strap your child in from the side. Of course, I can’t recommend that you ever use baby gear in a way other than instructed (don’t sue me if your baby squirms out! 😉 ).

Morrison baby sleeping bag in a stroller

 

How do you adjust the sleeping bag?

There are little snaps on the sleeping bag.  The snaps let you roll up the bottom so it fits your baby’s length.  You can also snap the sleeves around the baby if your baby is really little.

 

What happens if there are diaper explosions?

Speaking from experience, I’d advise you to put a liner of some kind in the sleeping bag (you can even spread out diapers under your baby in the sleeping bag, or use a folded towel or similar).  This will help catch any leaks.

If the Morrison sleeping bag does get wet though, you should try to blot out as much as you can.  Both versions of the sleeping bag dry quickly.  At home, you can machine wash the bag (even the 20F down bag is machine washable!).

 

Are there any other options other than the Little Mo sleeping bag for babies?

Yes, but the Little Mo is the only sleeping bag for cold weather.  There are options, like the BabyDeeDee sleeping bag (good to about 50F), sleeping sacks, co-sleeping, and dressing your baby in layers.  For more on that, read my guide to baby sleeping bags for camping.

*Get the Morrison Baby Sleeping Bag Here*

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About the author /


Diane Vukovic is an avid traveler, outdoor enthusiast and couchsurfer. She loves finding ways to explain complex topics to her 9-year old daughter and hunting beetles with her 1-year old. Follow MomGoesCamping on Facebook and Twitter @MomGoesCamping to stay in touch!

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