Psst, wanna buy a used sleeping bag?

Share on Facebook Share on Facebook

New good quality sleeping bags cost a lot. Used military surplus sleeping bags cost relatively very little, but there's a few things you'll need to know. Let's go through these a bit, but first, we'll explain the playing field, in other words, what you can expect from a bag bought from us.

The playing field

This article is about used military sleeping bags bought from Varusteleka. When you buy a pre-used bag from us, you'll get a clean, intact bag. If there's anything worth mentioning about the bag, it can be found from the product description. Usually, these bags are washed before they reach us, and so far we haven't found any bananas or mold kingdoms inside.

This applies for Varusteleka only, we take no responsibility for used bags sold by other vendors.

The used sleeping bag

The most notable thing about used bags is the fact that we have no knowledge of its history, usage, and washing. Every wash reduces the warmth a bit, and who knows in what kind of compressed cubes the bags have been stored in or not. Generally, we get pretty clean bags and if there are any lemons, we do sort them out.

In Great Nations unlike Finland they probably issue a brand new sleeping bag for each soldier at the start of the service or tour. Then the soldier uses this bag until the tour ends, and returns it to the depot. In the depot, they wash the bag and sell it off to the world. Not too bad.

How does an army bag compare to new civvie bags?

Military sleeping bags are often lambasted on their bulk and weight compared to the warmth they provide. While this is sort of true when compared to the latest of the late in civilian sleeping bag world, you might want to stop and think before shelling out hundreds and hundreds of bucks to gain some minute advantages. You smell it too? The sweet odor of used army surplus is waiting for you!


  • Military designs often see service for a long time before updated. This does make them feel rather bulky when the fibre technology progresses.
  • With used bags you don't know the history of the said bag. For the record, we haven't received any complaints about bags not working like they should, but used bag is generally not quite as warm as it once was.


  • Unbeatable price / quality ratio! These bags are made to high specs and certainly weren't cheap when they were made.
  • Excellent dependability - simple, robust construction to withstand rough use. Part of the weight comes from the strong materials.
  • An additional benefit comes from the low cost: if you manage to burn a hole in the bag, it feels way less bad in a fifty bucks bag than a three hundred one.

Now if you want a proper good NEW bag for a reasonable price for one, get a Carinthia Defence 4 and you'll be happy.

What now!

If you think you can live with the bulk compared to the latest options in the civilian market, go for the surplus option. People have used army surplus sleeping bags forever and they just work, time after time. Especially those who are not seeking to conquer the Alps will be quite happy with them, although durability-wise the army bags can usually conquer anything.

A man half in a sleeping bag lying in the forest under an awning feeding a stick into a twig stove.

This gent is quite satisfied with his pre-used sleeping bag.

Read also

Related products

British jungle sleeping bag, surplus
British jungle sleeping bag, surplus
29.99 USD
A compact and lightweight sleeping bag for summer use. The specialty of the Jungle bag is that it also works as a blanket and like the American Woobie!
US MSS Patrol Sleeping Bag, Olive Drab, surplus US IMSS Patrol Sleeping Bag, Grey, surplus
US MSS / IMSS Patrol Sleeping Bag, surplus
US MSS / IMSS Patrol Sleeping Bag, surplus
49.99 USD
The US Army modular sleeping bag system is among the best there is. This is the outer Patrol bag of that system, and it can be used alone in warmer weather or on top of any other sleeping bag in colder weather.
US MSS Modular Sleeping Bag System, 4-piece, surplus
US MSS Modular Sleeping Bag System, 4-piece, surplus
179.99 USD
The US Army modular sleeping bag complex is a very good system for the buck. Here's the whole package: the Intermediate Bag, Patrol Bag, Gore-Tex Bivy Cover and the compression sack.
US IMSS Intermediate Sleeping Bag, Gray, surplus
US MSS / IMSS Intermediate Sleeping Bag, surplus
US MSS / IMSS Intermediate Sleeping Bag, surplus
59.99 USD
The new US Army modular sleeping bag system is probably the best there is. This is the inner Intermediate bag and can be used alone in coldish weather. Essentially a three-season bag.
British modular Defence 4 sleeping bag, surplus
British modular "Defence 4" sleeping bag, surplus
59.99 USD
Unlike everyone else, the British army just could not make a sleeping bag deal with the Teutonic devil, which is Carinthia. So they did the next best thing and copied the Tropical bag and Defence 4 bag, which is this one, and called it the Modular Sleeping Bag System. So here's some proud English vision for sale!
Czech Summer Sleeping Bag, Surplus
Czech Summer Sleeping Bag, Surplus
32.99 USD
Too often surplus sleeping bags are poorly insulated, heavy, and smell like someone died in there. Makes you wonder what would lead to such events but I digress. However, these Czech sleeping bags are a completely different story: actually a viable alternative to a new bag. How so? Let's find out!