I took my baby camping the first time when she was 4 months old. I’ll admit that I was a bit freaked out about this first camping trip with her — especially in regards to the sleep setup. Since then, we’ve done numerous camping tripps and having a good baby sleeping bag makes all the difference.
Unfortunately, there aren’t too many options for camping sleeping bags for babies. If you want to go backpacking or camping in cold weather with a baby, your options are even more limited. In this guide, I’ll go over the options as well as some firsthand tips about sleeping in a tent with a baby.
Table of Contents:
- Best Baby Sleeping Bags for Camping
- What about Co-Sleeping?
- Why Your Baby Also Needs a Sleeping Pad
- What Pajamas Your Baby Needs at Night
- Tips and FAQs
Best Baby Sleeping Bags for Camping
When I first wrote this, there wasn’t a single camping sleeping bag for babies available. I had to use a sleep sack. Compared to real sleeping bags, sleep sacks are drafty, not nearly as warm, and get dirty easily outdoors.
Since then, a lot of baby sleeping bags for camping have become available! It looks like gear makers are finally realizing that people still want to go outdoors even after having kids. 🙂 There are also some baby sleep sacks and bunting bags which can work for camping. Here are the best options.
1. Morrison Little Mo 20F Sleeping Bag
Best For: Backpacking or camping in cold weather
Where to buy: Available here at REI
This baby sleeping bag for camping was designed by parents who couldn’t find any options suitable to their outdoor lifestyle. Its quality and design are on par with that of a professional adult sleeping bag.
The Little Mo 20F is made out of high-quality down, which is how it can be so lightweight and compact while still being very warm. There are features like closed hands, footbox, and a draft tube around the zippers to ensure no cold air gets into the bag. Your baby will stay nice and toasty!
There are only a couple downsides about this sleeping bag. The first is that the sleeves aren’t removeable. If the sleeves were removable, then the bag wouldn’t be as warm (cold air would enter through the sleeves). The other downside is that the bag is a bit pricy at $159. However, this is proportional with what you’d expect to pay for a quality down sleeping bag. Also, the sleeping bag is adjustable so you’ll get more use out of it.
Below you can see some photos of the Morrison Little Mo baby sleeping bag in use. If you want to learn more, read my full review of the Little Mo sleeping bag here.
- Suitable for temps down to 20F
- Adjustable to fit from 6 months to 2 years.
- Machine washable
- 800 fill power down
- Water-resistant ripstop nylon outer
- Built-in footbox to keep your baby’s toes warm
- Weighs just 9oz
- Meets AAP safety guidelines
- Bottom-opening zipper for easy diaper changes
- Sleeves aren’t removable
- Not stroller or car seat compatible
- A bit pricy
2: BabyDeeDee Sleep Nest Travel
Best For: Camping in mild and warm weather
Where to Buy: Get it here
The brand BabyDeeDee has made baby sleep sacks for a long time. They recently released this one which is suitable made specifically for camping and outdoors. Full disclosure: the company sent me a free one to test out.
The bag is TOG 3.5, which means it’s good down to about 50F. I’ve used it to camp in slightly colder weather, but had to put my baby in multiple layers to make it work.
While this might not be the warmest sleeping bag for a baby, it is probably the easiest to use. I like that it has removeable sleeves (which is good if your baby sucks them and gets them all wet).
I also really love that there are shoulder snaps. These make it possible for me to get my baby in/out while she’s sleeping without waking her. Here’s how it works: I open up the sleeping bag, including the shoulder snaps, before bedtime. Then I rock her to sleep. Once asleep, I lay her on the sleeping bag and zip/snap her inside.
The sleeping bag comes in three sizes from 0 to 36 months. Note that many people complain that the sleeves are a bit narrow and short. I asked for a larger size so I’d get more use out of it.
*Read my full review of the BabyDeeDee sleeping bag here.
- Removable sleeves
- Bottom-opening zipper for easy diaper changes
- Shoulder snaps for easily getting baby in/out
- Machine washable
- Water-resistant outer fabric
- Not adjustable
- Only good to 50F
- Doesn’t come with stuff sack
3: 7 AM Enfant Duoduone Snow Suit
Best For: Camping or hiking with a baby in cold weather
Where to Buy: Get it here on Amazon
7AM Enfant is a relatively new from France which makes quality baby blankets and suits. I love that all of their products are vegan and cruelty free. Most of their blankets are quite pricy, but this baby sleeping bag is actually really affordable. It’s actually meant to be a snow suit but works well for camping. The only issue is it is rated to -4F (-20C) and will likely be too warm for most camping trips. You could always leave it partially unzipped if the weather was milder. I wouldn’t want it for warm-weather camping with a baby though.
The sleeping bag comes in a all sorts of colors. There are three sizes: 0-3 (28 inches long), 3-6 (30 inches) and 6-12 (32 inches). The same brand also makes lots of other great products for getting outdoors with a baby, like the 212 Evolution Blanket which is also rated to -4F.
- Rated for -4F
- Hand covers can be folded back
- Easy to get baby in/out
- Stroller compatible
- Snaps in center to make legs
- Ultra-soft inner material
- Machine washable
- Probably too warm
- Sleeves not removable
- Hood not removable
4: Cremson Puffer Bag
Best For: Warm infant sleeping bag which works as a bunting bag for your stroller too
Where to Buy: Get it here on Amazon
This is actually a bunting bag meant to go inside a stroller. However, it has all the features you’d need on a camping sleeping bag: It’s warm, has a removable hood, easy-opening for getting your baby in/out. I also like how the fabric around the hands folds: you can fold it back to expose the hands or fold it down to cover them.
It’s pretty similar to the #3 pick by 7 AM Enfant – it just doesn’t have a listed temperature rating. This one also has a removable hood whereas the 7 AM Enfant hood isn’t removable.
The sleeping bag is meant for really small babies. It is only 23″ inches long from top to bottom, which means some 3 month infants will already be too big for it. Since the bag is made from synthetic insulation, it takes more insulation than a down bag to make it warm. So, the bag is really puffy. It’s available with either a zipper or snaps. I’d go with the snaps instead of the zipper. The zipper doesn’t go all the way down so it’s a bit annoying to get a sleeping baby into the bag.
- Good for small infants
- Soft fabric
- Removable hood
- Stroller and car-seat compatible
- Sleeves cover hands or can be folded back
- Available in lots of colors
- Zipper or snap versions available
- Temperature rating not listed
- Only 23″ long
- No ventilation for regulating temperature
- Zipper only one direction
5: Ergo Pouch 3.5 Tog Sleeping Bag
Best For: An everyday sleep sack that can works decently for camping too
Where to Buy: Get it here on Amazon
While this sleep suit by Ergo Pouch might not be made for camping, it can still work for camping trips in mild weather. The bag is 3.5 TOG, which means that it will keep your baby warm down to around 50F – but only if your baby is wearing a warm layer underneath. As with the BabyDee sleeping bag, you’ll need to put on 2+ layers for camping in colder weather with your baby.
The reason that this sleep suit is so popular is that it lets you zip the middle to create legs. This makes it a good choice for mobile babies who wake up before you do. Unfortunately, the sleeves aren’t removeable. The design also makes it a bit harder to get your baby into the bag.
Since this sleeping bag isn’t made for camping, it isn’t even slightly waterproof or water-resistant. If your baby has a diaper blowout, the cotton will take a while to dry. Make sure you put a liner under your baby in the bag to catch any leaks!
One important downside: The suit is sized to fit 2-12 months. From shoulder to toe, it measures 31.5 inches. That means it is going to be too big for young babies and too small for some older babies. The sleep suit is also availalbe in larger sizes for toddlers and kids.
- Zips to create legs
- TOG 3.5
- Made from organic cotton
- Available in lots of cute designs and colors
- Machine washable cold; tumble dry
- Not suitable for cold weather camping
- Material not water-resistant
- Sleeves aren’t removeable
- 31 inch size might not fit well
6: Woolino Baby Sleep Sack
Best For: When you want a breathable sleeping bag for warm-weather camping
Where to Buy: Get it here on Amazon
Woolino is a really popular brand of baby sleeping bags and pajamas. While this sleep sack isn’t made for camping, it is a lot better than most other sleep suits. Why? Because it is made from Merino wool with an organic cotton lining.
Compared to other materials, wool is incredibly warm but still breathable – which makes it easier to regulate body temperature. Wool is also naturally water-resistant, so if your baby has a diaper leak, then the sleep sack will dry much faster than the Ergo Pouch suit above.
The sleep sack is rated for 4-season/winter use, but that’s obviously for indoors. Because there aren’t any sleeves on this sack, it’s not going to be suitable for cold temperatures. Put your baby in a base layer and wool or fleece sleep suit with this bag and it will be good for most summer camping trips down to 45-55F at night. For hot summer camping trips, just put your baby in cotton jammies.
- Made from Merino wool with organic cotton outer
- Naturally water-resistant and fast-drying
- Available in sizes 0 to 18 months
- Two way zipper for easy diaper changes
- Zipper design makes it easy to get baby in/out, even while sleeping
- Machine washable cold, hang to dry
- No sleeves
- Not suitable for cold-weather camping
What about Co-Sleeping with a Baby while Camping?
There are some benefits to co-sleeping with your baby while camping instead of using separate sleeping bags. It will be easier to regulate your baby’s temperature, you won’t have to carry extra gear, and it’s great for bonding.
However, in my opinion, co-sleeping with a baby while camping is a terrible idea. Even if you normally co-sleep at home, it’s completely different when you are in a tent. I only tried it once before saying “Never again!”
For me, the main issue was breastfeeding. To get my boobs level with my baby’s mouth, I had to wriggle up out of the sleeping bag. That meant my entire torso was cold. It was also really uncomfortable.
I didn’t have to do any nighttime diaper changes on that trip. But, if I had, both me and my baby would have had to get completely out of the sleeping bag (meaning we’d both be cold). It’s much easier to change a diaper when your baby is in her own sleeping bag with a bottom-opening zipper.
If you do decide to co-sleep with your baby:
- Get a double-wide sleeping bag like the Big Agnes Dream Island 15 Degree Double Wide.
- And a double-wide pad. I recommend the incredibly warm and comfy Hinman Double Sleeping Pad.
For more on this topic, read these tips for co-sleeping with a baby in a sleeping bag.
Your Baby Also Needs a Sleeping Pad
You can have the best baby sleeping bag in the world, but your baby will still get cold if you don’t have a good sleeping pad. Why? Because the ground will literally suck the heat out of your baby’s body.
Sleeping pads have an R-value rating for how much insulation they provide. To keep your mind at ease, choose a sleeping pad with an R-value of 3 or more.
Note that R-value is accumulative. That means you can layer sleeping pads on top of each other to provide more insulation. For example, you could put an R-value 1 foam pad on top of an R-value 2 self-inflating pad for an accumulative value of 5. You can also fold foam pads to increase the R-value.
Here are some good sleeping pads for your baby:
- Therm-A-Rest RidgeRest (closed-cell foam mat): It’s very affordable and has an R-value of 2.6. Since it is foam, you can fold it to suit your baby’s length and get double the R-value. Or, you can even cut it to size to save weight. 🙂
- Therm-A-Rest BaseCamp (self inflating): This pad has an R-value of 5 and is 2 inches thick, so is warm and comfortable for sleeping.
- Therm-A-Rest LuxuryMap (self inflating): For a bit more money, you can get this pad. It is 3 inches thick and has an R-value of 6.8, so is very warm and comfy.
Note: Do NOT use an inflatable air mattress! While some parents have success with this, babies should really be sleeping on a hard surface. It is safer to use a foam or self-inflating mattress instead. Plus, inflatable air mattresses are heat sinks and thus not warm.
Which Pajamas to Wear?
The key to keeping your baby warm and comfortable while sleeping is to put your baby in layers. Layering means that you can quickly remove/add layers as necessary.
It’s really important that your baby wears breathable materials to sleep. Otherwise, she will end up sweaty. Sweat = wet = cold! Merino wool is a great material. If you are on a budget, fleece is a good alternative.
Here’s what layers your baby should be wearing to bed while camping:
- Base layer – preferably wool, like these
- Fleece or wool sleep suit – like this fleece suit or this wool sleep suit
- Sleeping bag – you can leave it partially unzipped at first. When the temperature drops later at night, zip it completely.
- Hats and mittens: If it’s only midly cold, then choose a sleep suit which has a hood.
TOG Ratings for Baby Sleeping Bags
When looking at baby sleep sacks, you might see something called a TOG rating. This rating tells what room temperature the sleep sack is suitable for. TOG ratings assume that your baby will be wearing pajamas. With the TOG 2 to 3.5 sleep sacks, it’s assumed that your baby is wearing warm pajamas.
Remember that, with the exception of the Morrison Little Mo 20F sleeping bag and the 7AM Enfant Duoduone bag (-4F), almost no baby sleeping bag is made for cold weather. If you want to use a TOG 3.5 sleep sack for camping in cold weather (which, in this case, means anything below 50F), you’ll need to put your baby in multiple layers of warm jammies.
Tips and FAQs for Camping with a Baby
#1: How Cold Is Too Cold to Camp with a Baby?
It can get REALLY cold at night in the wilderness, especially if you are at a high elevation. Even if your baby is warm, you might end up worrying that your baby is too cold. It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep when you are constantly sticking your hand in the baby’s sleeping bag to see if her skin is cold (speaking from experience here).
However, it is possible to go camping at cold temperatures. Just make sure your gear matches the temperature. Here’s what to do:
- Check nighttime temperature of where you are going. Remember that you will lose approximately 3.5 degrees F for each 1000 feet of elevation gain. More on that here.
- Look at the rating of your baby’s sleeping bag. If it is going to be cold, the Morrison down bag is the only one suitable for down to 20F. There’s also the 7AM Enfant Duoduone bag, but it’s likely too warm as it is rated to -4F.
- Make sure your baby stays on the sleeping pad. The ground will quickly suck heat out, no matter how warm the sleeping bag is.
*Resist the urge to over-bundle your baby just because you are worried she’s cold though. This will cause your baby to SWEAT. Then your baby will be WET. And then you will really worry that she is cold and won’t know whether to remove layers to stop the sweating or put on more layers to protect against evaporative cooling (again, speaking from experience).
#2: Breastfeeding Moms – Wear a Down Jacket
Tanya from Rockies Family Adventures has a lot of good advice in her post about camping with a baby – sleeping warm. She recommends that mom wears a down jacket. That way she can keep her upper body out of her sleeping bag so nighttime feedings are easier.
Here’s a picture of Tanya and her baby all bundled up and ready for bed!
#3: Consider a Portable Bed
In my opinion, it’s actually easier to go camping with a very young baby. Once your baby starts crawling or walking, you’ve got to worry about them getting out of bed in the middle of the night.
One solution is to bring a portable baby bed (like one of these) for car camping. Or, you can bring along a Pack N’ Play though obviously you’d need an extra-large tent to fit this inside.
Note that you still need to use a sleeping pad. Cold air will circulate underneath the playpen or portable crib, drawing heat away from your body. So, put a sleeping pad in the play pen under your baby. Alternatively, use a few thick blankets to line the playpen.
Travel Mad Mum uses this awesome setup when camping with her baby. At night, the baby wore a vest, sleep suit, sleep sack, hat, mittens, and a light blanket on top.
The Pack n Play is super-useful for baby to play in during the day too.
#4: Plan for Leaky Diapers
Be sure to put a waterproof pad inside of your baby’s sleeping bag to catch any leaks. Alternatively, you can open and spread out several diapers beneath your baby.
#5: Use Your Down Jacket As a Baby Sleeping Bag
As AniaLife talks about in her great post about traveling with babies, adult down jackets can be used as a baby sleeping bag for really cold nights.
This is a great solution if you have a diaper explosion and the baby’s sleeping bag becomes unusable.
Just dress your baby in layers and then put him/her in a sleeping sack. Then you put the baby in the down jacket. For really small babies, you can tie the sleeves to keep the baby snuggled tightly in the jacket.
#6: What if it Rains?
Well, you can try to keep your baby inside the tent until the rain passes. Or walk the baby around in the stroller with a rain cover.
But, once your baby is crawling (and thus not staying still), the rain can make camping a pain. You will want to…
- Have a backup plan. Don’t tough it out if you don’t have to. See if there are any fun indoor activities that you can do if it rains.
- Bring a rain suit: A rain suit was one of the best things we got for our baby. It meant we could go out in any weather. It also meant she could sit on wet or muddy ground without getting all wet (and thus cold). See recommendations for baby rain suits here.
- Make a rain shelter: If you bring a tarp along while car camping, you can set it up to make a shelter from the rain. At least then you’ll have a small area that your baby can hang out in outdoors until the rain stops.
*Read more about what to do if it rains while camping
#7: How to get a baby to sleep while camping?
I had a very good infant who would fall asleep while breastfeeding and stay asleep. So, camping with her wasn’t an issue.
As she got a bit older though, sleeping became an issue. She’d wake up multiple times during the night and want to be held. I worried how I would get her back to sleep inside the tent. At campgrounds, I was also worried about her waking up other campers.
It turns out that my baby actually slept better while camping than at home. I guess all that outdoor air and outside play really tired her out.
Here are some tips:
- Make sure your baby has plenty of time to crawl/run: Try not to keep her in the carrier or stroller too much. Bring a rain suit or gigantic picnic blanket so she can be on the ground without getting wet or dirty.
- Bring two tents: I have an older daughter and didn’t want her getting woken up by the baby. So we brought two tents. I stayed in one tent with the baby and my daughter and husband were in the other.
- Reserve the most isolated campsite: When making reservations at a campground, say that you are coming with a baby and ask if you can get the most isolated campsite. Then you won’t have to worry as much about bothering your camp neighbors.
- Don’t stress too much about bedtime schedules: While it’s nice to maintain your normal schedule as much as possible, don’t obsess over it. Naps are bound to happen at different times, which means your child might end up going to sleep at night at a different time. I was happy to let her fall asleep in my arms in front of the fire and then transfer her into her sleeping bag much later on.