3 Season sleeping bag

Best 3 Season Sleeping Bags for 2017

Three-season sleeping bags offer the ultimate in versatility. If you hike during the mild weather months from early spring through late fall then buying one of the best 3 season sleeping bags is a far better idea than investing in 2 single season bags.

What you want is a sleeping bag that will keep you warm enough in the shoulder seasons while still being light enough for summer outdoor activities. We’ve put together a buying guide as well as 3 season sleeping bag reviews to help you make the right choice.

Before we get into the details of what to look out for check out the 3-season bags that made it into our top 10 list.

Top Picks of Our Top Ten:

Sleeping Bag

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Marmot Helium

Best in class down bag - high price tag

Outdoor Vitals Atlas 30F

Best for budget - quality down bag at a great price

Mountain Hardwear Lamina Z Spark

Very lightweight synthetic bag for mild conditions

North Face Blue Kazoo

Down/synthetic blend is great for wet conditions

Kelty Cosmic 20 

Quality down bag at a good price

*Below, you'll find our detailed reviews and a buyer's guide, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

3 Season Sleeping Bag Reviews

We checked out a number of 3 season sleeping bags and narrowed our selection down to just 10. Each of these come in at different price points depending on the features they have and quality of materials and insulation. Here are the reviews of our favorite top rated 3 season sleeping bags.​


If you want a warm but lightweight 3 season bag then this is one of your best options.

The water repellent treated down is kept in place with cleverly designed baffles. The result is a bag that will keep you comfortable in the low 30’s (if you’re using a pad) while only weighing in at an impressive 2.3 pounds.

Despite it being so light, the comfort cut mummy shape allows for enough wiggle room even if you’re an active sleeper.

We really loved how compressible the down made this bag although it would have been nice if it came supplied with a compression sack.

Staying warm down to low 30’s and being really light make this warm enough for fall and spring and light enough to use as a summer bag.

What We Like

  • High loft, 650 fill down results in excellent warmth to weight ratio
  • Down fibers infused with permanent water repellent
  • Thermo Trap Baffle keeps down in place to ensure consistent warmth
  • Insulated draft tube with anti-snag panel
  • Face gasket blocks drafts at hood opening
  • Draft tube with anti-snag along zipper

What We Don't Like

  • Compression sack to be bought separately

If you insist on down insulation then the performance and price tag of this bag make it a great choice.

The baffled construction and snug mummy cut make this a very comfortable and warm bag once you get it zipped up.

Both the down insulation and the shell material exhibit excellent water repellent properties.

The contoured hood was one of the comfiest we’ve used and uses a low-profile cordlock for easy single handed un-cinching.

Even if there’s a cold breeze about there’s no way it’s getting past the no-draft collar and no-draft zipper.

At 2.37 pounds it’s really light and it compresses down nicely to around 8”x8”. You’d be hard pressed to find another bag at this price that is as light as this and performs down to the low 30’s.

What We Like

  • 600 fill down is water repellent and makes for a very warm bag
  • Baffled construction eliminates cold spots
  • Contoured hood follows shape of your head for better fit
  • Left and right zip bags can be mated together
  • Draft blocking collar and zipper

What We Don't Like

  • Zipper tended to snag every now and then

The design may be a bit unconventional but it works really well.

There are no zippers or velcro and entrance is made through a catenary shaped opening on the top of the bag.

As you push out the walls of the bag push in to seal off against the integrated comforter to block any drafts.

The comforter gives you the versatility to sleep on your back, stomach or sides whilst keeping you snugly cocooned.

A really nice feature is being able to have your arms outside the sleeping bag but still kept warm in the pockets of the comforter.

If you get too warm you simply take the comforter out or open the the flap at your toes to let some air in.

At 3 pounds it’s not the lightest but the comfort and versatility in a range of temperatures make it a great 3 season bag.

What We Like

  • Integrated sleeping pad sleeve means no more slipping off the pad
  • Integrated comforter makes this a really warm bag
  • No zippers or velcro to have to open and close
  • Design is great if you tend to toss and turn at night
  • Comes with compression sack and stuff sack
  • 600-fill DriDown

What We Don't Like

  • High Price Tag
  • Rather heavy and bulky for lightweight backpacking

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This sleeping bag offers remarkable warmth while remaining very light.

It weighs a shade over 2 pounds but will still keep you comfortable when the temperature gets down to 15 degrees.

This great warmth to weight ratio performance is the result of them using 800 fill goose down that has been treated with Down Defender for great water resistance.

The bag is extremely comfortable with plush inner material.

While the high quality insulation and nautilus hood make it perform really well in cold conditions, it also has features that come into their own in summer.

A handy second fold-down zipper allows you to sleep comfortable with your arms outside the bag if you’re getting a little warm.

The 2-way full length zipper also lets you vent down by your feet while keeping your top end zipped up. This bag works great as a 3 season bag and, at a push, it’ll serve you well in mild winter conditions too.

What We Like

  • Fold-down extra zipper allows comfortable venting
  • Anatomical wrap-around footbox offers great warmth and comfort
  • 800-fill goose down results in great warmth to weight ratio
  • Full length 2-way zipper allows for venting along length of bag
  • Internal stash pocket ideal for phone of flashlight
  • Snagless draft tube

What We Don't Like

  • High price tag
  • Only comes in a left-zip version. Sorry lefties.

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If you’re expecting some wet conditions but want the warmth / weight performance you get from down then buy this bag.

With their proprietary ProDown North Face have combined lightweight warmth that down is known for with the kind of wet condition performance you get from synthetics.

This down just refuses to get wet and clump. This bag has an EN comfort rating of 25 degrees and a lower limit of 13 degrees.

This combined with its light weight (2.7 pounds) makes it a solid choice for a 3 season bag. The shaped hood and full length draft collar do a good job of adding to the already impressive comfort and warmth this bag offers.

It also has well placed synthetic filled compression pads that increase warmth in areas where you would normally flatten out the down and lose heat.

What We Like

  • RDS certified 650-fill ProDown gives great warmth and outstanding water resistance
  • Great compressibility
  • Soft feel shell and inner fabric
  • Hood cinch cord positioned well so it doesn’t cut across your forehead
  • Glow in the dark zipper pull reduces nighttime fumbling
  • Pad loops to keep sleeping pad in place
  • Draft collar and tube to keep cold air out

What We Don't Like

  • Shell fabric is a little noisy

This bag offers 600-fill down insulation and great features at a budget friendly price.

The hood is very comfortable and cinches down easily with cords on the top and bottom of the hood for those cold evenings where you need to close up as much as possible.

It’s a traditional mummy shape which tapers quickly down to a natural fit footbox.

We liked the full length two-way zipper which made it easy to vent at the bottom of the bag if it got a little warm.

The zipper is easy to use and has a draft tube and anti-snag panel along its length. It comes with a stuff sack and the down makes it very compressible, packing down to just 8”x14”.

With a compression sack you could get it down to around 8”x10” for a 30% reduction in volume.

At 3 pounds it’s not exactly lightweight but a down sleeping bag that’s good down to 20 degrees at this price makes it hard to beat.

What We Like

  • Updated version now has 600-fill hydrophobic down for even more warmth
  • Excellent water resistance and dries quickly
  • Thermal comfort hood and top draft collar keep cold air out and warm air in
  • Dual-slider zipper allows for easy venting along length of bag
  • Anti-snag draft tube

What We Don't Like

  • Only comes in a right zip configuration

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best 3 season sleeping bag

This is a good mid-range 3 season bag which performs well in mild weather.

The welded seam construction means the insulation stays exactly where it’s needed most. This means your feet and torso stay nice and warm with no cold spots.

The head area has a velcro flap and drawstring that cinches the face gasket down to keep the warmth in. The comfort cut and roomy footbox are great if you’ve got big feet or if the regular mummy bags make you feel a little restricted.

This bag is one of the lightest we’ve reviewed weighing just 2.2 pounds.

While it has features like a full length draft tube and high loft synthetic insulation you don’t want to push it by using it in temperatures lower than the 34 degree comfort factor.

What We Like

  • Welded seams prioritize insulation to where it’s needed most
  • Full-length double slider zipper for ventilation
  • DWR coated shell exhibits excellent water repellency
  • Really lightweight
  • Comes supplied with stuff sack and storage bag
  • Draft tube, tailored hood and face gasket seal in warmth

What We Don't Like

  • Accessory pocket located on outside of bag and is a little small

Outdoor Vitals haven’t been around for very long but this startup has been shaking things up by producing good quality down insulated sleeping bags at really low prices.

It’s their novel direct-to-consumer business model that allows them to do that so it’s not down to any compromise on quality or features.

This bag is really warm and the quality of the materials is top notch. The cinching shoulder baffle is a nice touch and is something you often won’t even find on some of the more expensive bags.

It only comes in one size and if you’re over 6 foot or if you tend to turn a lot while sleeping then it’s going to feel a bit restrictive.

The 500-fill down insulation and baffle design make this a very warm bag that weighs in at just under 3 pounds. This is a great down sleeping bag at a ridiculously low price.

What We Like

  • Really cheap for a down insulated sleeping bag
  • Left and right zip bags can be zipped together
  • Very warm
  • Comes with a 4-point compression sack
  • 2-way zippers for venting
  • Cinchable shoulder baffle and draft tube seal in warm air
  • Lifetime warranty

What We Don't Like

  • It’s a bit snug for bigger builds or active sleepers

If you want the reduced weight and size that a mummy shape provides while still having plenty of room to toss and turn then this is a great option.

The regular Kelty Tuck is a little snug for some but this EX version feels a lot more roomy.

The ThermaPro synthetic insulation gives your the perfect blend of great packability with good warmth.

The Tuck zipper system means you can stick your feet out the bottom of the bag when it gets too warm.

The hood is very comfortable and comes with a draft collar and anti-snag draft tube along the zipper to seal in the heat.

If you want 20 degree performance from a big bag with a small price then get the Kelty EX 20.

What We Like

  • Oversized design is ideal for active sleepers
  • High compressibility
  • Great price
  • Comfort-Tuck zipper allows great venting at feet
  • Internal media storage pocket for cell phone or small gadgets
  • Zipper draft tube

What We Don't Like

  • No draft collar

If you’re looking for a cheap 3 season sleeping bag for mild temperature backpacking then this is a decent option to consider.

You won’t want to be using it in really cold conditions but above 50 degrees it performs really well considering the really low price.

The inner lining is really soft and feels great. The shell is DWR coated and handles light water but you don’t want to be caught outdoors in the rain with this.

If you’re a beginner camper and you’re not sure yet if you want to commit to a more expensive bag then, for the price, this bag is a good deal.

What We Like

  • Very light and packs up small
  • Internal stash pocket
  • Inner lining material has soft, plush feel to it
  • Surprisingly good construction considering the price
  • Really cheap

What We Don't Like

  • Footbox is a little snug

Our Favorite

We really wish the price tag was a little lower but the Marmot Helium is solidly at the top of our wish list. It’s just so impressive how a bag that light can still be comfortable down to 15 degrees.

We think that they’re being a little modest in calling this a 3 season bag because it’ll perform well in most winter conditions too. The curved baffle design keeps the 800-fill down in place and makes this a really comfortable bag.

The superior warmth to weight ratio, comfort and smart zipper layout make this our favorite by some distance.

Best for Budget

If you’re on a budget then it would be hard to find a better deal than the Outdoor Vitals 30 degree sleeping bag. It’s hard to believe that you could get a down insulated bag at this price.

They haven’t cut any corners on the quality of materials or the hydrophobic treatment of the down either. This is a very warm bag and their 30 degree comfort rating is pretty accurate.

If you’re a bigger guy then you might need to give this bag a miss though because it only comes in one fairly snug size.​

Features your 3 Season Sleeping Bag needs

Different sleeping bags will have different features but a really good one will check each of these boxes:

  • Cinchable Hood - You lose a lot of heat through your head so make sure the bag you choose has a hood that cinches down comfortably.
  • Draft Collar / Face Gasket - Your hood will cover the top of your head and face but, depending on the design, will leave parts of your face and neck exposed. A draft collar or face gasket prevents cold air getting in past your chin.
  • Draft Tubes - A closed zipper will still let a cold draft in. A draft tube along the length of the zipper lies up against the inside of the zipper and blocks cold air that would otherwise get through the zipper.

How Warm is Warm Enough?

Each person has a different comfort level when it comes to the temperature that they experience while sleeping. Men in general will sleep warmer than women do.

Some people find that they get really warm at night regardless of the outside temperature while others only manage to sleep warm if they’re wearing multiple layers and zipped up tight in a well insulated bag. When choosing your sleeping bag it’s important to have an idea of which of these categories you fall into.

When comparing sleeping bags you’ll notice that they are given a comfort rating and an extreme rating. The comfort rating is the minimum outside temperature at which the sleeping bag will still keep the average women, or cold sleeper, at a comfortable temperature.

The extreme rating is the minimum outside temperature at which a warm sleeper, or average guy, would still feel warm enough to sleep comfortably.

Warmth-to-Weight Ratio

When buying a bag that will perform well in cooler weather but is light and compact for a small backpack you need to consider the warmth to weight ratio. It’s easy to make a sleeping bag warmer by adding more insulation but this also adds weight.

Pound for pound down insulation offers a better warmth to weight ration than synthetic insulation does. If you’re after the lightest, warmest bag then go for a down option. If you’re looking to save some money then have a look at synthetic options.

You’ll be able to find a synthetic filled bag with comparable warmth ratings but it’s going to be heavier than a down bag with the same rating.

Down vs Synthetic Insulation

If you can afford the higher price tag then the excellent warmth to weight ratio makes down your best option. Unlike synthetic insulation, down does not deal well with water so make sure that it is treated for water resistance.

If you want minimum space taken up in your pack then the superior compressibility of down also makes it your best bet. If you don’t mind your sleeping bag being a pound or so heavier and taking up a little more space then synthetic insulation will still keep you really warm at a reduced price.

Venting

While you want your bag to be warm enough for the cooler shoulder seasons it also needs to be comfortable during summer. It’s a good idea to consider the venting options that the bag you’re considering offers.

A bag with a 2-way zipper is always useful because it allows you to vent near the bottom of your legs while keeping your torso zipped up. If your feet tend to get warm then it’s a good idea to get a bag with a footbox that zips open so you can stick your feet out.

Conclusion

Having the best 3 season sleeping bag in your gear collection will mean that you’re covered for whatever nature can throw at you for the majority of the year.

If you expect to be avoiding wet weather for the most part then spending the money on a good down insulated bag is your best bet. Make sure the bag you choose matches the minimum temperatures you expect while also giving you options to cater for warmer summer nights.

There are some good budget sleeping bags available but when you’re tucked up in a top rated bag you’ll be so glad you spent the extra hundred bucks.​

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