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Sleeping Bag Season Ratings

Sleeping Bag Season Ratings

Sleeping Bag Season Ratings give the purchaser a rough idea of the time of the year the sleeping bag can be used comfortably.

However, the season rating cannot be too exact as toleration of cold temperatures varies in each individual.

The season ratings basically mean:-

  • 1 Season: Summer only
  • 2 Season: Late Spring, Summer and early Autumn
  • 3 Season: Spring, Summer and Autumn
  • 4 Season: All year (although it may be a bit warm in the Summer)

Some manufacturers break them down even further (e.g. 1-2 season).

When looking at the season rating, remember that it is only a rough guide.

People all have different metabolic rates, and there are no industry standards that evenly determine sleeping bag comfort ratings.

It is usually the manufacturer that decides on the rating of the product and there is no guarantee that these will be correct for everyone.

Also, a one-season bag that is warm enough for you in the south of England may not be warm enough in Scotland.

Temperature Rating

Manufacturers often give temperature ratings in the form of a comfort range and an extreme low.

The comfort range is the range of temperatures that most campers would feel very comfortable.

The extreme low is the lowest temperature at which the sleeping bag will operate.


Be careful when looking at the extreme low rating. Different manufacturers mean different things by extreme low.

If the extreme low is more than about 5°less than the comfort rating we recommend you ignore it.

If you are looking for a low rating showing the lowest temperature at which the bag will perform, assume it to be 5° below the comfort ratings.

The following gives a rough guide to the temperature ratings (temperatures in Celcius):-

  • 1 Season:       +10° to +25° with a low of +5°
  • 1-2 Season:      +5° to +20° with a low of 0°
  • 2 Season:          0° to +15° with a low of -5°
  • 2-3 Season:      -5° to +10° with a low of -10°
  • 3 Season:       -10° to +5° with a low of -15°
  • 4 Season:       -15° to 0° with a low of -20°

Always remember that the temperature inside a tent will be warmer than the temperature outside.

Sleeping bag ratings are for the temperature outside the tent.

We would recommend that a purchaser select a bag that offers a little more warmth than they believe they might need.

Sleep Mats

Every sleeping bag manufacturer recommends that an insulating pad is used beneath the bag.

These are typically very light in construction and can strap across the top of a rucksack when rolled up.

It is definitely worth using one of these as they protect both the bag and the occupier from cold and hard ground.

Please check out our Camping Sleep Mats Guide.

Sleeping Bag Liners

A separate sleeping bag liner is worth considering, for the following reasons.

They are much easier to clean than sleeping bags.

They will increase the temperature rating of the bag. Most will add about half a season to the rating, while a silk liner will add a whole season, or about 5°.

Liners are made of soft materials that enhance comfort.

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