▶ The zipper on this bag starts at the left shoulder, goes down a foot, then crosses over the top of the bag at an angle before finishing at the right foot. This allows the user to shed (or add) layers as conditions dictate. The bag doesn’t come with a stuff sack, but you’ll have cash left to buy one. $45; coleman.com.
▶ Carrying the lowest temperature rating of the field, the Sandstone 30 is packed full of nearly 3 pounds of synthetic insulation. It’s no small bundle (11.5 in. by 19 in. pack size), but its roominess will be welcome to fitful sleepers. The soft liner is inviting after a long day outdoors. $70; eurekatent.com.
▶ This mummy-style bag fully unzips, so it can be used as a blanket. A handy Velcro-closure pillow pocket built in to the underside of the head area keeps a camp pillow in place all night long, and a zippered pocket at the right shoulder ensures items like a headlamp are always handy. $60; kelty.com.
Boreas Jr. 40
▶ This youth-size sleeping bag (62 in. long and 56 in. at the shoulders) marries the warm hood of a mummy-style bag with the spacious footbox of a rectangular model. The polyester diamond ripstop shell will do a good job of standing up to kid-inflicted abuse. $70; mountainsmith.com.
▶ The most portable bag in the test, the Torque packs nicely into a compression sack (we squeezed it down to the size of a very small watermelon). Of course, that compressibility is thanks in part to just a pound of fill, meaning this bag will serve you best in summer. $100; cabelas.com.
▶ You’d be hard-pressed to cram even a camping pillow through the opening on the pillow pocket of this rectangular bag, but a spare sweater or fleece would do nicely. It can be zipped together with another bag of the same size when the occasion calls for a double-wide. $60; slumberjack.com.