Kids Sleeping Bag Buying Checklist
Letís face it, when youíre buying a kids sleeping bag, a couple of factors are usually primary Ė how much does it cost, and what color has your child requested. However, for a kids sleeping bag that will perform well in outdoor conditions, you might want to take time to check the following.
Size & weight. It is a mystery to me why most easily available kids sleeping bags weigh six pounds and take up half the trunk. It is not cost effective to have to buy a SUV to fit all your stuff, much easier to get a smaller sleeping bag. A good quality kids sleeping bag shouldnít weigh much more than 2.5 pounds. Any sleeping bag meeting this weight requirement will also be fine on size.
Zipper. Zippers are actually a fairly expensive part of good sleeping bag construction, and an area where cheaper models definitely skimp. Kids have an incredible ability to torture, maim, and break sleeping bag zippers. You donít want to have to buy a new sleeping bag two years from now because a zipper dies. Find a good one Ė if it looks cheap, it probably is.
Fabric. Cotton is a great, comfortable sleeping material at home, but it just has no place in an outdoor sleeping bag. Even for a summer kids sleeping bag, cotton is a bad idea. Itís terrible when wet, and unless you are camping within three feet of your back door, you just canít promise a kids sleeping bag wonít get wet.
Fill. That mysterious stuff you canít see is a key ingredient in keeping your child warm. Unfortunately, comparing fills is a very tricky process, kind of like comparing bed mattresses, every manufacturer calls theirs something different. However, this is a pretty good example of you get what you pay for. Find a kids sleeping bag made by a good outdoor gear manufacturer (hint, look at the brands carried by your local outfitter, not your local big box store).
Coolness. Seriously, you want sleeping bags kids will want to spend time in. Kids sleeping bags come with pillow pockets, glow in the dark zipper pulls, stuff sacks with straps, and a decent range of colors and shapes. Include your child in the buying experience, and read their cues. Donít pick a totally inappropriate sleeping bag just because they want the one with silver stripes, but if it meets your minimum requirements, what the heck.
About the Author: Debora Geary is the owner of Kids Sleeping Bags, offering kids sleeping bags that all meet the requirements on this list.