For anyone who camps or hikes, sleeping bags are essential. Just unroll that bag and presto there’s an instant bed.
Opt for the mummy-style sleeping bag and you get extra benefits: bugs stay out and heat doesn’t escape from your head.
But even if you don’t enjoy sleeping outdoors, chances are you’ve wrapped up in a sleeping bag on at least one of the following occasions:
- a sleepover in any number of places (e.g., a childhood friend’s house, a tree house, an indoor fort, a rooftop, a backyard deck, the back of a car)
- outdoor sports games early in the season or late in the evening
- watching fireworks during long weekends
- a picnic in a park or at the beach (as a substitute picnic blanket or just extra padding to cushion hard benches)
- races at family reunions or parties (picture a potato-sack race, but you jump along in a sleeping bag instead)
- zipping together a bunch of sleeping bags to swing or toss someone into the air
- telling ghost stories while tucked cross-legged under a sleeping bag and holding a flashlight up to your face for extra eeriness
- bringing home swaddled newborn babies (OK, those are bunting bags, but they’re pretty close.)
- an overnight stay in a hammock (add a sleeping bag to keep you warm and protect your skin from waffle-like sleep lines squished by the hammock mesh)
- waiting overnight for concert tickets, a friend’s flight to land, a celebrity’s arrival, etc.
Yes, sleeping bags are versatile.
If you were born before the 1980s, you would recognize the Woods, Coleman or Canadian Tire jobbies I used to own. They were heavy, drab-coloured, rectangular quilted bags with cold metal zippers and shoelace-like fasteners.
By contrast today’s sleeping bags are lightweight, more compact, better suited for extreme temperatures, and covered by water-resistant shells with Velcro fasteners. They’re also available in any colour imaginable, complete with silk-screened team logos, superheroes, princesses, dinosaurs or TV characters.
But why stop there? Creative types have designed all sorts of sleeping bags, including ones that go beyond the basic shapes. I especially like the tauntaun, Lego® and pizza ones shown on this list of Geeky Sleeping Bags.
Whatever style you choose, find an occasion to unzip a sleeping bag, wriggle in until your toes touch the bottom. Ahhhhhhhhh…now that’s warm, cozy and