Camping Blanket vs Sleeping Bag: Which One Should You Go For?

Camping Blanket vs Sleeping Bag: Which One Should You Go For?
Pavlo Lysyy May 02, 2022 4 mins read time

Camping with sleeping bags and blankets: which is better?

Both options can work very well as they keep you warm on a frosty winter day. There are tons of votes for either, and there is no telling which one is actually better. No side is more convincing than the other: each camper is free to make a choice. This article discusses why some campers would rather use blankets.

blanket vs sleeping bag

Why use sleeping bags?

These come in a variety of designs and sizes, and high-quality items can keep you quite warm when the temperature gets way too low. They are well insulated, have hoods, which protect your head against cold, and zippers, which make them very convenient. They are lightweight and therefore easy to transport.

Products differ in type and quality of materials they are made of, as well as in the level of insulation, which is specified by each item’s EN/ISO and temperature ratings (buy items from reputable brands to ensure this information is not false!) 

This type of item is good for winter camping. You can climb and lie snugly inside, completely protected against the slightest draft.

sleeping bag or blanket

Things you should know about sleeping bags

They come in a variety of shapes and designs. The most common ones are mummy-style and quadrangular ones. The former offer better thermal efficiency and therefore are great for camping during cold seasons. Their biggest downside is that they limit your movements during sleep. You may feel like you are bound hand and foot and will hardly be able to roll over. This won’t be a problem, however, if you sleep lying on your back. The quadrangular form offers more space, but less insulation and warmth.

While these products can help you maintain optimal temperature around your body during sleep, they cannot provide sufficient cushioning and insulation between your body and the ground. Which is why, to achieve a due level of comfort, you should use a pad or mattress as well. This additional layer will bring you more comfort during your sleep.  

These items are designed to help campers feel comfortable during sleep. In fact, the majority of people prefer to camp during warm periods that last from late spring through early fall. Therefore, these items appear to be good during cold seasons only and actually useless in summer. It is one of the reasons why many campers consider information about these products as false.

Why use blankets?

Most of those who prefer this option say it is more flexible. You can take as many covers as you can carry. They come in diverse types and sizes, so you can choose one depending on how many people come with you.

They are as good at keeping you comfortable as are sleeping bags. However, a blanket has a smaller weight because it does not have a hood or zippers.

Besides, they consist of fewer materials and hence tend to be a less costly option. You can take some old ones, which you do not use at home and are not afraid to stain or rip during your trip. In fact, even a brand-new product is a much less expensive option than even a medium-rate sleeping bag (it would cost around $250-$300, while a decent cover will go for around $100).

Blankets give you a lot more freedom because you can use them in many different ways when camping. There are lots of things you can do: spread it on the ground for a picnic, wrap food and water bottles in it to keep their temperature up for a longer time, have a good night sleep in a hammock, etc. 

Another great advantage is that they will not limit your movements during sleep in any way. You can toss and turn and take your most natural and convenient position without feeling tangled up. You can uncover part of your body if it gets too warm or roll yourself up if it gets cold, thus making a simple temperature adjustment.

Blankets are made of various materials. They differ in density, durability, weight, and insulation properties. They are good for camping in summer when temperatures do not get too low. 

A product that is made of wool can keep you comfortable even if it gets soaked. Contrary to that, a sleeping bag will become useless even if it gets slightly wet.

Unlike sleeping bags, they are all-seasonal: if you are an ardent winter camper, you can take several covers and pillows with you from home. You just need to be sure that you have enough of these, so they are going to work for all your family/team members. You will be able to sleep with comfort and without feeling straight-jacketed. The downside of this option is that your gear will take up extra space.

sleeping bag or blanket


If you are fond of camping during cold seasons, a sleeping bag will be great for you because it is designed to keep you comfortable. However, if you appreciate sleeping without feeling confined, one or several blankets will do.

If you are a summer camper, you will be better off with a blanket. The same applies if you are low on cash.

The success of your camping experience will pretty much depend on the quality of materials your items are made of. 

There are always users, who want to explain why they go for this or that option, and we cannot tell you whether their statements are true or false. Now you know the pros and cons of either way, so make your own choice!



🏕  Why do many campers choose sleeping bags?

They offer effective thermal insulation and keep a person warm even when the temperature outside falls way below zero. However, they are not good at keeping you cool in summer. Besides, you should not place a sleeping bag directly on the cold ground because it does not provide sufficient cushioning.

📦  Why use a blanket during summer?

If you choose to camp during warm seasons, it is advisable to use blankets. This appears to be a more flexible choice because you can roll up in it if it gets cold or put it aside if it gets really hot.

💡  Why do many people choose blankets?

If used properly, they can keep you warm more effectively than quilts. You can take several ones on your camping trip. Besides, you can enjoy more freedom of movement and will not feel like you have been straight-jacketed.


Mike Robinson

Mike Robinson said:

A sleeping bag will kep you warmer

Menachem Russo

Menachem Russo said:

Sleeping bags are so much better

Bradley Ratliff

Bradley Ratliff said:

If you’re camping in the summer and wanna travel light, blankets are a sound choice though

Menachem Russo

Menachem Russo said:

You do have a point

Harri Alexander

Harri Alexander said:

Everything depends on your preferences

Amy Saunders

Amy Saunders said:

Hello! So, my son has been invited by his friend to take part in a camping trip next week and he wonders what should he bring. I like the way you mentioned the versatility of comping blankets which makes them more convenient to use. I hope this article would inspire him to purchase the right accessories really soon.

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