Sleeping bag size selection guide

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

Mil-Tec 3D Hollowfiber sleeping bag
Mil-Tec 3D Hollowfiber sleeping bag
52.99 EUR
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 4 sleeping bag
Carinthia Defence 4 sleeping bag
189.99 EUR
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
129.99 EUR
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
133.99 EUR
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!
Carinthia Finnish M05 sleeping bag
Carinthia Finnish M05 sleeping bag
199.99 EUR
When you're looking for a year round sleeping bag, you know you can't go wrong with current issue Finnish army gear. These are made by Carinthia, the model is in use by our armed forces. Included is a liner and a compression sack.
French M63 sleeping bag, surplus
French M63 sleeping bag, surplus
39.95 EUR 49.99 EUR
Looking for a temperate weather sleeping bag, a complete package? Are you an average size person? This bag has everything fixed on: waterproof bottom, fixed packsack which also works as a pillowcase - just stuff it full of clothes. The cotton interior is definitely less sweaty than nylon and polyester found on many others.