My sleeping bag is hands down my most treasured piece of camping gear. I’ve had my current sleeping bag for over fifteen years and although it’s looking a little well-loved, it still keeps me cozy and warm.
In fact, given my sleeping bag has been with me longer than any romantic partner, you could say it’s my favorite sleeping companion. (Sorry, husband…)
If you’re looking for the love of your life a new sleeping bag that won’t break the bank, then it’s worth looking at the Coleman range of bags.
Coleman is a well-regarded outdoor brand who make quality products at affordable prices. In this article, I’m reviewing seven Coleman sleeping bags to find out which sleeping bag is best for different types of camper.
Why Buy a Coleman Sleeping Bag?
Coleman has been around for more than a hundred years. In the early days, the company specialized in gas pressure lamps, but today they manufacture a wide range of outdoor equipment. You can completely kit yourself out for a camping trip with just Coleman gear.
Coleman sleeping bags are one of the most popular brands you’ll find on the market. This is partly due to their affordability – all their bags retail for under $150 – but also because they’re good quality and excellent value for money.
They keep the costs down by using synthetic insulation rather than down filling. This is great for vegans (and people who aren’t happy using duck or goose down products) but synthetic sleeping bags are typically bulkier and heavier than down bags. This isn’t an issue if you’re car camping, but it’s something to take it into consideration if you’re backpacking.
Aside from the price, there are a couple of other advantages to using synthetic insulation. It’s less sensitive to water than down and will continue to keep you warm if it does get wet.
I’m not saying you should go and drop your sleeping bag in a river to test it, but a dunking experience could ruin an expensive down sleeping bag, whereas you should be able to recover a synthetic bag more easily.
Coleman has an extensive range of sleeping bags, so if you’re new to camping it can be hard to know which is best for you. I’ve picked out the top seven bags for different types of campers.
Regular – up to 5’ 11”
33 x 75 inches
32 x 82 inches
30 x 72 inches
39 x 92 inches
33 x 75 inches
25 x 65 inches
Best 3-Season Bag: Coleman Adjustable Comfort
If you want just one sleeping bag for year-round use, you’re probably looking at a 3-season bag. But - finding something that will keep you warm during cool nights, but won’t be too hot in the height of summer, might be trickier than you think.
Coleman has rather a neat solution to this problem with their Adjustable Comfort bag. The top part of the bag has a thin sheet layer underneath the main padded part of the sleeping bag. On hot nights, you can unzip the padded section and just sleep under the sheet, and on cold nights, it should keep you warm down to temperatures of around 30 to 40°F.
For those nights when you can’t figure out what temperature you want to be, you can unzip just the top or bottom padded section, then zip it back up if you wake up cold during the night.
You don’t get a stuff sack provided with the sleeping bag, which I feel is a bit of an oversight, but if you need to pack it down, you can easily buy a compression bag that will do a better job than the stuff sacks you tend to get with cheap sleeping bags. The Coleman Adjustable Comfort comes in a regular and a “Big and Tall” version.
Best for Summer: Coleman Sunridge 40-60 Degree
Let’s get the confusing bit out of the way first. The Coleman Sunridge also seems to be sold as a warm-weather version of the Coleman Palmetto. Two names for the same bag… Weird.
That aside, if you’re looking for a budget sleeping bag for warm weather use, this is a great option. The polyester tricot lining is soft and cozy and the oversized zipper means it’s easy to zip and unzip the bag without snagging the fabric.
For a summer sleeping bag, it’s pretty bulky and heavy, so I wouldn’t recommend it for backpacking (particularly as you don’t get a stuff sack with it), but for car camping or indoor use, that’s not so much of an issue.
It’s got a simple design with no pillow pad or hood and is designed to fit people up to 5 foot 11 inches in height. If you want to snuggle up with your partner (or it’s a little colder than you were anticipating), you can zip two bags together. There’s no stuff sack provided but it comes with a quick cord system that you can use to secure the bag after you’ve rolled it up.
Best for Cold Weather: Coleman North Rim
When the thermometer drops, you want to look for some additional features to keep you warm. The North Rim is a mummy-shaped sleeping bag as opposed to the rectangular shape of most Coleman bags. The shape does a better job at keeping air trapped around your body to keep you warm.
You lose a lot of heat through your head, so a hood with a drawstring cord is a must if you’re camping in cold weather. Baffles around the neck and along the zip also make sure that warm air stays in the bag rather than leaking out.
The North Rim is rated for temperatures between 0°F and 10°F (-18°C – -12°C). This is a minimum temperature rating, not necessarily a comfort temperature rating, but even so, this is a warm bag. So warm, in fact, that you want to keep it for cold weather use only as it’ll be far too hot in summer.
The one downside is the bag size and weight. This is a beast of a sleeping bag and if you want a bag for winter backpacking, you may want to invest in a lighter (and more expensive) model. But if you’re looking for maximum warmth for minimum cash, you won’t find a better value bag than the Coleman North Rim.
Best for Women: Coleman Silverton 25 Degree Women’s Bag
First up, just because this sleeping bag is branded as a woman’s bag, doesn’t mean guys can’t use it. If you’re a short man with a slight build and feel the cold, then this bag may suit you better than the unisex models. It’s also a great option for kids.
What makes it different from other Coleman sleeping bags is the extra insulation around the chest and foot-box as us women tend to get cold feet. It’s also supposed to be ergonomically designed for women, but it looks fairly similar to any other mummy-shaped bag.
The other big difference is the length. It’s designed for people up to 5 foot 5 inches in height which seems a little short, even for a women’s bag, but if you’re petite, this means you get a snug fit with no wasted material.
You get a lot of features for your money – draft tubes along the zipper and around the neck, an adjustable hood, and a neat pillow pocket. There’s also a two-way zipper so you can air your feet when they get too hot. It’s rated down to 25°F so I’d class this as a 2-3 season bag.
Best for Tall People: Coleman Big Basin 15
Most of Coleman’s sleeping bags are available in their “Big and Tall” size, but the Coleman Big Basin is a little different. It’s designed to fit people up to 6 foot 6 inches in height (most of the other bags go up to 6 foot 4 inches) and it offers a great compromise between the warmth of a mummy bag and the spaciousness of a rectangular bag.
The hood, draft tubes, and hollow polyester insulation will keep you warm in cool to cold temperatures. It’s rated down to a minimum of 15°F, but if you’re a cold sleeper, you may want to wear some extra layers when it gets below freezing.
The Big Basin has a couple of nice added features: a fleece lining around the foot box and a small internal pocket for storing your phone or earbuds – a feature I wish more sleeping bags had.
Now the downsides… This bag is huge. It weighs a whopping 8 pounds and if you’re wanting to backpack with it, you’ll have to invest in a tough compression sack to try and get the pack size down. But this sleeping bag isn’t designed for lightweight camping. It’s designed for people who find regular-sized sleeping bags too small or constricting, and from that perspective, it does an admirable job.
Best for Those on a Budget: Coleman Palmetto Cool Weather Bag
If you got a tight budget, then you don’t want to be buying different sleeping bags for different seasons. Unless you’re camping in the middle of winter, a 2-3 season bag will keep you comfortable in summer and warm in late spring and early fall. And if you’re finding it a little chilly, you can always wear some thermal clothing or add an extra blanket when it’s colder at night.
The Coleman Palmetto Cool Weather sleeping bag is a great value 2-3 season bag. Although it’s rated for temperatures down to 20°F, as it doesn’t have a hood or draft tubes to help keep the heat in, I’d suggest that this is a survival temperature rating rather than a temperature you’d be comfortable sleeping out in.
It has a decent zipper that’s pretty good at not snagging the fabric and you can unzip the sleeping bag fully and uses as a blanket or comforter. The internal fabric is a bit stiff and scratchy which some people find uncomfortable. One option to deal with this is to get a cheap sleeping bag liner to use inside the bag. It’s also impossible to get back into its carrier – but that can be said for a lot of sleeping bags!
Best for Kids: Coleman Plum Fun 45
These fun sleeping bags come in three colors and have a reversible design – plain on one side and patterned on the other. It’s a warm 2-season bag which should keep your kids toasty down to 45°F.
The sleeping bag can be fully unzipped to use as a blanket. Perhaps more importantly for a kids’ sleeping bag, it’s machine washable. Due to the reversible design, the inside of the bag is nylon rather than soft cotton.
The small internal pocket means your child won’t lose their flashlight during the night. The sleeping bag comes with ties to secure the bag when you roll it up, but these can be awkward for little fingers.
Sizing will obviously vary depending on how tall your kids are, but the Plum Fun sleeping bag should suit most children up to 9 or 10 years old.
There are lots of sleeping bag manufacturers offering budget bags, but Coleman is an established company that you can rely on. Whether you’re looking to camp in the height of summer or the depths of winter, they have a bag to suit everyone.
It’s worth noting that not all Coleman sleeping bags come with a stuff sack. You can buy a separate stuff sack, or, if pack size isn’t such an issue, a pair of sleeping bag straps will do a decent job of keeping the bag rolled up.
I hope that’s helped you decide which sleeping bag is best for you! If you’re on a tight budget, you may also like our article on the best cheap sleeping bags.
Alison spends her days writing and dreaming of adventures, and her weekends living them. Both are helped by copious amounts of Yorkshire Tea. She owns a campervan called Sadie and far too many tents.