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Buying guide for best two-person sleeping bags

Sometimes, together is better, which is when a two-person sleeping bag comes in handy. Double-sized sleeping bags are perfect for camping couples and some models can work as impromptu beds when guests stop by.

Like any outdoor gear, selecting the right two-person sleeping bag can be tricky, particularly if a long hiking trip is involved. Some two-person sleeping bags are down-filled and ideal for cold-weather camping, while others are lightweight and cool-sleeping, meant for summer nights under the stars. Each person’s preferences play a part, as does the camping location — whether that’s atop a mountain, in a heavily wooded forest, or out in the open desert.

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If you’ll be using a two-person sleeping bag for both car camping and hiking trips, choose a bag designed for backpacking that provides warmth without extra weight.

Key considerations

Type of camping

Think about the camping situations in which your two-person sleeping bag will most often be used. Are you and your partner hiking on remote trails? Driving straight to the campsite and sleeping next to the car? Do you plan to camp all year round, regardless of the weather? You’ll need a two-person sleeping bag that is appropriate for the season and won’t weigh down your pack if you’re hiking.


A two-person sleeping bag is built much like a single-person bag, though it uses more material. The shell, or outer part of the sleeping bag, should be made of polyester or nylon that is durable enough to resist damage from gravel, twigs, leaves, and other debris. The shell should be treated with a water repellent.

The insulating layer of a two-person sleeping bag plays the most important role in keeping a couple warm. The fill material may be synthetic down or natural down from ducks or geese. A down/synthetic blend is a fill option that has a layer of synthetic insulation at the bottom of the shell and down insulation at the top of the shell. Synthetic fill doesn’t compress as much under pressure as down fill, so this combination can keep couples warm all over.

In some two-person sleeping bags, the inner lining is similar to the water-resistant shell. In casual camping bags, the inner lining may be a softer material for greater comfort.

Not much thought is given to a sleeping bag’s zipper – until it doesn’t work properly. Look for a good-quality zipper that opens and closes smoothly, especially when you’re inside the sleeping bag. A zipper guard will prevent the zipper from catching on the sleeping bag’s shell, while dual zipper pulls allow users to ventilate the bag at either end for more versatility.


The shape of a sleeping bag also plays a role in warmth and comfort. Rectangular two-person sleeping bags are best for couples who want to stretch out with plenty of room for their feet. They are ideal for summertime car camping.

Semi-rectangular sleeping bags taper slightly from the head of the bag to the foot but not as dramatically as mummy-shaped sleeping bags.

Mummy-style two-person sleeping bag are rare because mummy bags conform tightly to the body, providing maximum warmth but less comfort and room.

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Expert Tip
Use a compression storage bag during camping or hiking trips – it can dramatically reduce the size of a rolled-up two-person sleeping bag.


Stash pocket

A stash pocket is a small pocket, usually found on the interior of the sleeping bag, where couples can put a small flashlight, phones, earbuds, and other items that they may want to access quickly during the night.

Comfort liner

The inner lining of a two-person sleeping bag may be made of cotton flannel or fleece for extra comfort. These materials add weight and don’t dry as quickly, but they provide cozy warmth.


A two-person sleeping bag may have two hoods built into the top of the bag. In cold weather, the hoods can be placed over the top of each person’s head and closed with a drawstring to conserve body warmth. In warm weather, they provide a little extra padding for the head.

Separating panels

While a rectangular two-person sleeping bag can usually be unzipped fully to fold out into a king-size comforter, some models unzip into two separate comforters – or even two separate sleeping bags.


Most two-person sleeping bags have straps that can be wrapped around the bag after it’s tightly rolled to hold it in place. The sleeping bag can then be placed in a drawstring storage bag. Also look for a small loop or strap near the foot of the sleeping bag that can be used to hang the bag on a hook, clothesline, or tree branch to air-dry.

"Optional accessories for two-person sleeping bags include a larger storage bag, a water-resistant compression bag, extra straps, two compressible pillows, and a comfort liner of cotton, fleece, or silk."

Two-person sleeping bag prices

The most affordable two-person sleeping bags are those rated for overnight temperatures of 35°F to 50°F. They use less fill of lower quality like cotton/synthetic blends, and they have comfort liners made of cotton flannel – all of which is fine for casual car camping. Prices range between $29 and $45.

Hikers and campers who need reliable warmth and comfort will find two-person sleeping bags rated for lower temperatures and containing higher-quality synthetic fill for between $50 and $120.

Surprisingly, the highest-priced two-person sleeping bags are not always rated for the lowest temperatures. The shell material, fill material, and the bag’s special features determine the price, which at the high end ranges from $130 to $340.

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Expert Tip
Roomy, rectangular two-person sleeping bags are heavier and more difficult to roll up tightly than tapered or mummy bags.


  • Always test your new two-person sleeping bag as soon as you receive it. Return or exchange a bag that is uncomfortable or doesn’t function as expected.
  • Roll out your sleeping bag as soon as you get into camp so that the insulating fill can expand, providing better warmth and comfort.
  • Avoid sleeping in the same clothes that you were hiking or camping in. Dry, clean clothes will keep you warm at night and the interior of the sleeping bag clean.
  • Use a sleeping pad underneath the bag to protect it from wear and tear and for more comfort.
  • After a camping trip, hang up your two-person sleeping bag by the strap at the bottom  so that it dries thoroughly and the interior fill regains its loft.
  • Don’t store the sleeping bag in a compression sack for long periods, which can damage the fill material.
  • Spot clean the exterior shell of the sleeping bag with a damp cloth.
  • Clean the interior shell according to manufacturer’s instructions or spot clean as needed.
  • Don’t eat in your sleeping bag. Crumbs will attract ants, and grease spots are difficult to clean off.
  • If down feathers start to jut through the seams, tuck them gently back into the bag by tugging from the opposite side.

Other products we considered

The ALPS Mountaineering Twin Peak +20 Double Sleeping Bag was a close contender for our top five thanks to its durable outer shell and rating of 20°F, perfect for shoulder season (early spring and late fall). The Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed Duo 35 Sleeping Bag caught our eye because of its unique zipper closure and its large side-by-side inserts on the bottom for sliding in sleeping pads. And the Chillbo Double Sleeping Bag has a fun and funky rainbow shell that’s almost as worth celebrating as its low price.

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Wash or dry clean your two-person sleeping bag once a year at the end of the camping season following the manufacturer’s instructions. Spot clean stains prior to washing.


Q. Is it better to hang up a two-person sleeping bag for storage or keep it in a storage bag?
Both methods are good ways to store a two-person sleeping bag between camping trips. The important thing is to keep the bag open or loosely packed so that the inner insulation can recover and maintain its loft. That loft is what keeps you comfortable and warm, but only if it’s dry and air is able to get between the insulating fibers. Make sure the sleeping bag is clean and completely dry before storing it. If you aren’t able to hang it up to dry, stretch it out in an unobtrusive place for a couple of days before rolling it loosely into a breathable storage sack.

Q. Should I choose a four-season sleeping bag over a three-season bag?A. A four-season sleeping bag is designed to be much warmer and is rated for 0°F or lower. That’s an important advantage for winter campers, but summer campers will be extremely uncomfortable. A four-season bag is also heavier than a three-season bag. Unless you camp through the winter or during shoulder season, a four-season sleeping bag probably isn’t the best choice.

Q. Can I put a down sleeping bag in the washing machine?
As long as the manufacturer doesn’t explicitly advise against it, yes. For a two-person sleeping bag, you should opt for an extra-large washer or the commercial washing machines found at laundromats. Use a cleaning product specifically for down-filled gear, and wash on a gentle cycle with a low spin. When finished, squeeze out excess water. Add a couple of clean tennis balls to the dryer, which will break up clumps of wet down so the bag dries thoroughly. Dry on low, repeating cycles until the bag is dry.

Q. My two-person sleeping bag is about two years old, and water tends to soak through in spots. Should I replace it?
Try recoating the sleeping bag shell with water repellent before giving up entirely on the bag. First, wash and dry the sleeping bag completely. Then apply a spray-on water repellent made for outdoor gear. Another method is to use a “wash-in” water repellent – simply add the product to the wash cycle (make sure only the sleeping bag is in the washing machine), then wash and dry the bag per the manufacturer’s instructions. That may be all it takes to restore the sleeping bag’s water resistance.

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