We took a combo of adult and junior Outwell sleeping bags on our latest family camping trip – and they finally helped us achieve the impossible dream of a decent night’s sleep in a tent!
This is the fourth time I’ve been camping with my 3-year-old Sonny, and because he always ends up climbing onto my inflatable airbed to sleep with cuddled up me, I’ve previously opted for a few double duvets instead of proper sleeping bags. That always starts off seeming like a great idea, but usually means we get chilly in the middle of the night when temperatures drop.
We’ve got a fairly spacious four-man tent (the awesome Robens Fairbanks Tipi) so I usually sleep on a big double airbed, while Sonny curls up on his inflatable Gruffalo ReadyBed before eventually shuffling over to join me. So what I wanted was a junior sleeping bag to keep him warm and cocooned in his own bed for as long as possible, plus a big double sleeping bag for the inevitable moment when we ended up sleeping together.
Now sleeping bags can be expensive (very expensive, in fact), but Outwell does a great family-friendly range that’s not only very affordable, but also very good. First up, Sonny’s junior bag…
Outwell Champ Kids Lake Blue
The first thing I noticed, and it’s a really little touch, is the cool rucksack straps on the Outwell Champ Kids sleeping bag. If you want a surefire way to make a kid feel like he’s on an adventurous camping trip, this is it. Sonny grabbed the bag straight out of the car, lashed it onto his back and headed straight to the tent to spread it out on his inflatable bed.
The bright blue and red colours make it look cool, the easy-to-use zips allow your kid to open and shut the bag themselves, and the junior size (150x70cm) gives it a nice snug fit. I’m also a big fan of the brushed polyester material both inside and out, which means it doesn’t have that polished and slightly slippery feeling that most sleeping bags have on the exterior.
Add in the fact it has a small internal pocket for stashing essentials and also opens up fully as a duvet, and you’ve got a great junior bag that should last for plenty of trips. All for just £25!
But what about the big bag?
Outwell Celebration Lux Double
Possibly my favourite ever bit of camping kit. Warm, cozy and spacious for one person; and absolutely fantastic as a big warm cocoon for an adult whose toddler wants to cuddle up to them in the middle of the night.
The Outwell Celebration Lux Double sleeping bag (total bargain at (£62.99) is soft and comfy with fluffy insulation that makes it perfect for milder spring, summer and early autumn nights. You can unzip the bottom to keep your feet cool if needed, and you can even unzip it fully to make one super-giant duvet!
Even though it’s a big bag when fully rolled out, the compression sack allows you pack it squeeze to a good size (48x20cm) so it’s easy to pack in your car and stash at home.
There are nice little touches like an insulated headrest and extra-thick cuffs, which make the whole thing feel designed for comfort rather than just pure warmth. Having said that, though, we used it on a fairly cool-ish night in early summer and had no complaints at all about the warmth.
Predictably, Sonny did end up in the Celebration Lux Double with me in the middle of the night, and it was the perfect size for an adult and kid. What it’d be like with two adults inside I can’t say yet, but it certainly felt roomy enough.
Outdoor Dad Verdict – Outwell Family Sleeping Bags
The best addition we’ve made to our father-son camping kit so far. Warm, comfortable, cozy, and so nearly almost achieved the so-far impossible feat of making Sonny sleep all the way through the night.