Sleeping bag size selection guide

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The woes of fitting a sleeping bag online

We're often asked about sleeping bag sizing. Especially large persons struggle to find a big enough sleeping bag, but an oversized bag means unnecessary weight and reduced warmth for a slender person.

Manufacturers often state a width at the shoulders, but it's a flat measurement. We are three-dimensional and your length affects fit as well, so theory only gets you so far.

Efforts to help our online customers has been a cornerstone of Varusteleka since the start and also one of the reasons we've been successful. Here's another piece of customer service with our flavour: two employees of different sizes went through our sleeping bag selection and share their thoughts.

Santeri suhtautui kokeiluehdotukseeni viileänrauhallisesti.

Testing procedure

Santeri is 178 cm tall with a 108 cm chest and 88 kg weight (5' 10" height, 42.5" chest, 194 pounds, usually wears a size Large. Lauri is 186 cm tall with a 133 cm chest, big guy and 3XL according to charts (6' 1" height, 52" chest).

The following chart includes our selection at the time of writing, and by the time of completing the tests we were able to list them according to size. Where the chart says "small", it's unusable, "snug fit" means that the bag is usable, "fits well" means an optimum size and "loose" will be a good choice if you want to use an inner bag or otherwise want some extra space.

BagSanteri (Large)Lauri (3X-Large)
French M63SmallSmall
Mil-Tec 3D HollowfiberSnug fitSmall
Carinthia Defence 1Snug fitSnug fit
Carinthia TropenFits wellSnug fit
Brit. Jungle Sleeping BagFits wellSnug fit*
Carinthia Defence 4Fits well185 cm snug fit, 200 cm fits well
Carinthia SA M05Fits wellFits well
Carinthia Defence 6Fits wellFits well
US IntermediateLooseFits well, shortish**
US PatrolLooseFits well
Savotta YukonLooseLoose, shortish***

* Head pokes out, as I like in warm weather. More space in the leg area, chest space more limited.

** OK width, but significantly shorter than the Patrol Bag, even too short for my taste.

*** Fits 1.5 Lauris, no extra length though.

Lauri knows outdoor gear and helps customers in our shop. Here he's extending a helping hand towards folks on the Internet.

Special notes and tips

If you're a very large person, the shorter and lighter bags from Carinthia may cause claustrophobia, so a surplus US Patrol bag will be a better choice for summer use. However, the roles are reversed when you look at something for colder weather: Carinthia Defence 4 and 6 as well as SA M05 are the better choice compared to the US Intermediate bag, especially if you're taller than average. When given a choice in length, choose the longer one and the bag is often wider as well.

Related products

British jungle sleeping bag, surplus
British jungle sleeping bag, surplus
27.99 USD
A small and lightweight sleeping bag for summer use. The specialty of the Jungle bag is the blanket feature. Also works like the American Woobie!
Mil-Tec 3D Hollowfiber sleeping bag
Mil-Tec 3D Hollowfiber sleeping bag
48.99 USD
We don't know how they could make this good a sleeping bag for such a low price, and frankly we don't care either. In short, this is a surprisingly high quality three-season bag, complete with a compression sack. A word of warining: if you are big, you will have a hard time fitting inside!
Carinthia Defence 6 sleeping bag
Carinthia Defence 6 sleeping bag
211.99 USD
A real heavy duty arctic winter sleeping bag, the Defence 6 is designed for extremely cold conditions and is a sure bet for any northern climates!
Carinthia Defence 4 sleeping bag
Carinthia Defence 4 sleeping bag
174.99 USD
The Defence 4 may be Carinthias best all-around sleeping bag. Designed for cold and nasty weather, it's no surprise that (among others) also the Finnish army adopted this very model! This here is a reliable choice, designed for very demanding use!
Carinthia Defence 1 sleeping bag
Carinthia Defence 1 sleeping bag
119.99 USD
The most lightweight bag in the Defence family, the Defence 1 is intended for summer and early autumn/spring, when the temperature stays at or above 0° C. Very lightweight and packs into a super tight bundle!
Carinthia Tropen sleeping bag
Carinthia Tropen sleeping bag
123.99 USD
The perfect summertime sleeping bag, the Tropen is designed for comfort in warm temperatures, it's highly breathable, very lightweight and equipped with a mosquito net! Top of the line military quality for heavy use!
US Modular sleeping bag - Patrol bag, surplus
US Modular sleeping bag - Patrol bag, surplus
45.99 USD
The US Army modular sleeping bag system is probably the best there is. This is the outer Patrol bag, and can be used alone in warmer weather.

Read also

Psst, wanna buy a used sleeping bag?

New good quality sleeping bags cost a lot. Used armeijan makuupussit 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.