Do You Need a Blanket with a Sleeping Bag? Let’s Find Out!

blanket inside sleeping bag image

Whether or not you need a blanket with a sleeping bag will depend on your preference, circumstances, and purpose. Sleeping bags have been such a common item of camping equipment that no one wonders whether you need one when sleeping outside. You stuff it in its bag and load it without thinking about it. 

However, it is one of the most expensive and heavy pieces of camping equipment, and it does not always provide the perfect night’s sleep. So, can you forego your favorite sleeping bag for a plain blanket? In this post, we weighed the benefits and drawbacks of the traditional sleeping bag and blanket to help you choose the best way to sleep outside.

Do You Need a Blanket with a Sleeping Bag?

Sleeping bags are great for staying warm while camping in winter conditions. Still, they aren’t always the ideal option for camping in warmer weather. Many people detest how constrained and restricted their uses are. 

Again, some people use only a sleeping bag. People employ blankets, sleeping bags, or both when camping depending on cost, weight, and other considerations. It is entirely dependent on their convenience and preferences.

blanket inside sleeping bag image

Sleeping Bag or Blanket – Which One is Better?

Even though people have been using sleeping bags for decades on camping sites, blankets also are now becoming very popular for camping. Some facts are explained below to understand which one is better between a sleeping bag or a blanket- 

Sleeping bags provide more warmth.

A sleeping bag for -7°C temperatures will give more warmth than any blanket, so it’s the logical choice for chilly nights. However, for warm temperatures and summer camping, a solid sleeping mat underneath you and a blanket on top would suffice. 

Indeed, there will constantly be a cold wind with a blanket. Still, sleeping bags do an excellent job of keeping all the heat in, but it all depends on what type of nightly low points you anticipate. So, a sleeping bag is perfect if you’re camping in winter.

Blankets are more comfortable compared to sleeping bags.

Comfort is perhaps the most personal criterion on our list. Still, it’s also one of the most crucial factors when designing a camping sleep arrangement. Suppose a sleeping bag keeps you cozy on a chilly night. In that case, it undoubtedly contributes to your convenience. 

Still, most of us don’t consider being wrapped up in a bag delightful, specifically if you sleep on your sides. A blanket enables you to arrange yourself similarly to how you would on your bed, which may seem far more pleasant than sleeping in the same position all night and aching your body parts.

Blankets are easier to carry.

Although sleeping bags are becoming more packable and lighter, mainly when designed for camping, blankets have less material and no zip; thus, they are frequently cheaper and pack down smaller. 

However, a sleeping bag usually comes with a stuffing pouch, which may even have helpful straps for connecting it to your backpack. However, a blanket does not necessarily come with a stuffing pouch. However, you can still cover it in polythene and pack it or secure it to your pack using binder clips.

carrying blanket image

Blankets are more versatile compared to sleeping bags.

Sleeping bags are less versatile than blankets. The sole aim of a sleeping bag is to hold you cozy as you sleep. On the other hand, a covering may be used under or atop your shelter or on a chair. 

You can fold it up and use it as a camping cushion. Aside from sleeping, You may also use it for picnics and temporary shelter. You may use the blanket to cover yourself if you’re enjoying a bonfire when camping in the winter.

Sleeping bags are more expensive than blankets.

Sleeping bags are more expensive than blankets. A good sleeping bag can cost you more than a hundred bucks. Meanwhile, you can pick up a good mantle for fifty dollars or less. So if you want to save some bucks, you can go for a blanket instead of purchasing a sleeping bag. 

When contrasted to sleeping bags, blankets are relatively resilient.

Materials and manufacturing typically dictate longevity, but your sleeping bag will be one of the more sensitive items in your camp kit. The cloth shreds quickly, and zippers might break or become caught if not handled carefully. 

A blanket is more vital than a zipper. As it’s made of a non-flammable fabric, you can drape it all around yourself when you’re huddled around the bonfire and not worry about errant flames.

How to Use Only a Blanket for Camping?

Because of the high cost, heavy weight, and other unfavorable factors of sleeping bags, people have started to switch to blankets for camping. With some things in mind, you can always use only a veil for camping. Such as-

Choose the appropriate blanket.

While using a blanket in place of a sleeping bag, the most crucial step is the proper selection. You will be unhappy if you do not use a suitable covering for your situation. The right blanket dimension determines how many people will use it and their size. 

Thickness, water resistance, dust protection, washability, comfort, and fire barrier properties are all determined by the materials of the blanket. The majority of producers create camp blankets with nylon or polyester.

Use alpaca blankets for the most warmth, but ensure that your alpaca blankets are cleaned since they are prone to catching dirt quickly.

Use a sleeping pad.

If you’re not going to employ a sleeping bag, or even if you do, you’ll need a sleeping pad. It isn’t simply about being comfortable. When The floor is frosty, a  sleeping bag may provide some shelter between you and the floor, but a blanket will not offer that. 

When you don’t own a sleeping pad, you can try an inflated pillow, piles of blankets, rubber matting, and other alternatives. Check the weather beforehand and take the sleeping pad or the options.

Sleepin pad use for sleeping on mountain

Cover your head.

One benefit of a sleeping bag over a blanket is that many of them include hoods that prevent heat from flowing from your head. Whereas many individuals presume that the head contributes 74% to 80% of heat transfer, this is not correct. 

Still, you will lose some heat via your head, which can be crucial in cold temperatures. If you’re sleeping with a blanket rather than a sleeping bag in freezing weather, ensure that you cover your head and ears, wear a hat, and maybe even a shawl if it’s incredibly chilly.

Layer your blankets.

Extra blankets can help you stay warm. Some camp blankets are also made with this in consideration. Still, whether you’re employing blankets from the house or lightweight camping blankets, you can layer up to be comfortable. 

The more blankets you layer, the warmer you will be. If feasible, alternating thinner and heavier blankets in your blanket pile improve insulation. Otherwise, bring four to five blankets just in case you need extra. If you don’t have extra blankets, carry a weighted blanket that will help you with sleep paralysis by keeping you warm and comfortable.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Is it feasible to sleep outside with nothing more than a sleeping bag?

Yes, however, you’ll probably need to bring something else instead of a tent. You’ll require something to help you get off the ground. It is often a blanket or, in rare situations, a swing if the circumstances permit.

Are sleeping bags helpful in staying warm?

Bottom insulation provides the added benefit of being quite warm. It is more generous than artificial insulating in terms of volume. It may be packed extremely snugly in jackets and sleeping bags to give warmth while remaining lightweight.

What is the warmest sleeping position in a sleeping bag?

Clean up, switch into dry clothes, dress correctly, use a hot-water flask, sleep on an insulator, supplement your sleeping mat, stack additional garments underneath, use a bag cover, and so on.

Why am I freezing in my sleeping bag?

If your sleeping bag is overly large, the bursts of chilly wind formed within might induce a chill. In contrast, if your load is very tiny, it may not provide adequate coverage, or you could be trapped within it and become cold.

What temperature necessitates the use of a sleeping bag?

An individual should purchase a bag with a thermal rating of at least -10° Celsius for pure winter camping. A -20°C pack is also required if camping in the Northern States or elevated hilly areas throughout the winter.

What temperature is safe to sleep outside?

Most individuals should not camp outdoors when the temperature is less than 16 degrees Celsius or beyond 45 degrees Celsius. Sleeping bags designed for lesser temperatures may allow you to sleep outside in colder weather.

What do you term camping if you don’t have a tent?

Camping without a tent is called ‘Cowboy camping.’ Cowboy camping is defined as sleeping beneath the sky with no cover. Camping like a cowboy with a sleeping mat or sleeping bag, without anything at all, is an option for people who prefer roughing it. Cowboy camping does not need a tent or shelter, which keeps your luggage lightweight and your adventures unrestricted.


Sleeping bags are great for staying comfortable while camping in cold weather. Still, they aren’t necessarily the best option for camping in hot weather. While camping, people use blankets, sleeping bags, or both, depending on some factors. But according to reports from regular campers, a blanket is more convenient than a sleeping bag based on the following aspects-

  • Blankets are cheaper than sleeping bags.
  • Blankets are more durable.
  • Layering blankets can provide you with more warmth.
  • Blankets are more comfortable than sleeping bags.
  • Blankets are easier to carry, and so on.

So, whether you want to use sleeping bags and blankets is your preference. But if you have to choose only one between them, a blanket is recommended by experts.