Are Double Sleeping Bags Good to Sleep in When Camping?

Roomy, warm sleeping bags on queen sized air mattress - great for warm, comfortable sleeping

Double sleeping bags can be good to sleep in. They enable you to sleep close to your partner – much as you might do at home.  Double sleeping bags :

  • are warm
  • enable you to easily share your body heat with your partner
  • can be small, lightweight and easy to carry.

When you first go camping with your partner you will probably be thinking about your sleeping arrangements.  When we think about sleeping when camping, most of us initially think about sleeping bags.  The great news is that there are many options including double sleeping bags.

Double Sleeping Bag for Backpacking

For us, we find that double sleeping bags bring us too close together.  We are all for a cuddle (and maybe more) before sleep.  But we still want to be able to turn over and move in our sleep without disturbing each other.

Fortunately, there are other alternatives.

When is a Double Sleeping Bag a Good Solution for Sleeping.

Double sleeping bags work brilliantly when you are backpacking as a couple.  We never recommend sleeping directly on the floor – even when you use a sleeping bag.  Instead, you are almost certainly going to lay your sleeping bag onto a sleeping pad. 

If you are backpacking, one of you can carry the sleeping bag while the other carries the sleeping pad.  To keep the weight and bulk as low as possible, you will probably use a foam sleeping pad.  Foam sleeping pads also come in double sizes and will fold and roll-up very small for the backpack.

Erect your tent, lay out your sleeping pad, and throw on your sleeping bag, and you are ready for your night’s sleep.

Advantages of Double Sleeping Bags

  • Can be very light
  • Pack up small
  • Provide excellent insulation
  • Can provide the best warmth to bulk/weight ratio

Disadvantages of Double Sleeping Bags

  • In general, a double sleeping bag is much smaller than ‘double’ implies
  • You are going to sleep in very close proximity to your partner – every movement is going to be shared by you both
  • Regulating your own personal sleep temperature is difficult.  With a single sleeping bag, you will cool down (should you get warm) by unzipping or putting your arms out of the bag.  That is less easy when there are 2 of you together

Can You Connect 2-single sleeping bags to use as a double?

You may have seen single sleeping bags on sale that can be zipped together for use as a double.  These work pretty well – just make sure you buy 2 identical but handed sleeping bags.

Single to Double Sleeping Bags

All of this type of sleeping bag have a full-length zip.  If you use them as a single sleeping bag the zipper will close up the side of the bag.  While the zips can be well insulated it does provide a gap in the overall insulation of the bag.

When used in a pair as a double sleeping bag, the zips from each bag are attached to the zipper in the other bag.  If you don’t have identical sleeping bags the zips may not be the same size and will not connect.  If you haven’t bought handed bags you will end up with the mail zippers aligning to mail zipper, and female zipper aligning to female.  You can try as much as you like but you won’t be able to connect them as a double.

Take a look at the video to see how this works.  As it comes from our colleagues in Australia, you might learn a bit of new lingo.

Advantages of Connecting Single Sleeping Bags as Doubles

  • Each of you can carry your own sleeping bag
  • They can still be used as a single
  • Connecting 2-rectangular sleeping bags together tends to provide more space than most double bags
  • With rectangular sleeping bags, you will each have a zipper that you can use to control your own temperature
  • With rectangular sleeping bags – they each open out flat.  You can use them as blankets if that helps.  In fact, when camping in warmer conditions (which is most of the time for most campers) you might be better using them as an over and under blanket.  Don’t bother zipping them together.  You are likely to be just as warm and just as comfortable.

Dis-Advantages of Connecting Single Sleeping Bags as Doubles

  • Must be bought as a pair so that the zippers match
  • You may need to ensure you have got right and left handed bags – depending on the type of sleeping bag
  • You will have zippers running all around the outside of the bag.  This limits the thermal insulation that can be achieved.
  • When you connect shaped sleeping bags together you will have full length zippers on the top and bottom of the bag.  I always find I sleep on the bottom zipper and wake up with a painful, unsightly zig zag line along part of my body.

Can two people sleep in one sleeping bag?

As we have seen , there are plenty of options for two people to sleep in one sleeping bag.  When you are backpacking and packed size and weight are essential elements of your mix, double sleeping bags can be a great idea.

The ability to connect 2 bags together can also work well and provides more versatility if you want to use the bags separately.

The big question is, “Why would you want to do this if you are family camping”. 

Don’t get me wrong.  When you camp as a family there is no reason why you shouldn’t share your bed as you do at home.  It’s just that, when you are not having to carry your sleeping solution on your back, the number of options for sleeping comfortably increases dramatically.

First of all, you can upgrade that foam sleeping pad to a queen-sized air bed.  With modern materials and pocket structures, an air bed is very comfortable to sleep on.  With a good mattress your choice of bedding also increases.

We have written at length about our preferred sleeping solution when family camping.  See our article on “Can I use a Duvet While Camping”.  It’s all about using a good air mattress, and underblanket (for a bit of extra comfort and warmth), and sleeping under a duvet from home.

Not everyone uses duvets (we got in the habit after living in the UK while I was in the Air Force).  We have also written about, “Is a Blanket a Good Alternative to a Sleeping Bag When Camping?”.  You can also use a throw or a quilt.  The point is, you don’t have to use sleeping bags when camping.


Double sleeping bags are great for 2 people to sleep in when camping as part of a backpacking trip. When you have to carry in all your gear you want it to be as small and light as possible.

If you are car camping – the car takes the load. The farthest you have to carry your sleeping solution (bed, bedding, pillows and night clothes) is from your car to your camp site. For us, that is rarely more than about 30feet. As soon as you reach this point you can be much more adventurous. With a little care, you can sleep as comfortably in your tent as you can at home.

Related questions

What is best for 2 people to sleep in while camping

Camping Sage is all about camping comfortably in tents. Sleeping is a vital part of a good camping trip. For that reason, we have written several posts on sleeping options for 2 people or the whole family.

Personally, we have used air mattresses with normal home bedding for many years.

Click on the following link to read our article about our favorite option – sleep on normal sheets while covered by a normal queen sized duvet.

We also have an article on our 2nd favorite option – sleeping under blankets while camping


Keith Longmire

Keith Longmire

I’m the guy that loves camping, insists on family camping trips, and the editor and owner of Campingsage.com

I love camping and the outdoors. Through this site I hope to help you enjoy it too.

About CampingSage

CampingSage is all about comfortable family camping in tents.  It is written by campers, for campers.

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