10 Best Dog Sleeping Bags

A guide to dog sleeping bags for backpacking and keeping your dog warm on the trail.

April 08, 2022

Dog sleeping bags help keep your four-legged friends comfortable and warm for nights away from home. Whether you are heading out camping for a night or tackling a thru-hike, having a sleep system for them shouldn’t be overlooked. From mild summer evenings to winter backpacking trips there is a dog sleeping bag that will work.

We tested some of the most popular options on the market today and compiled a list of the best dog sleeping bags. We'll first dive into these results and give some insight into what fabrics, insulation types, and features to look for when choosing a sleeping bag for your dog. We then guide you on when to use it, the options for dog sleeping systems, alternatives to dog sleeping bags, and some FAQs.

dog in lifeunion sleeping bagOur expert gear tester testing out the Lifeunion Dog Sleeping Bag.

Brand & Model Weight Insulation Type Material Price
Ruffwear Highlands Sleeping Bag 1.6 lb & 2.2 lb Synthetic 75D Polyester $99.95
Dog Helios Trail-Barker 1.6 lb Synthetic PU-coated Nylon outer, Cotton and Polyester inner $53.75
Hurtta Outback Dreamer Dog Sleeping Bag 8 oz - 1.5 lb Synthetic & Heat Reflective 100D Polyester $139
Outrav Dog Sleeping Bag 11 oz Synthetic Polyester $22.95
Lifeunion Dog Sleeping Bag 1.75 lb Synthetic & Fleece Polyester $30.95
Vegapop Dog Sleeping Bag 0.5 lb - 1.75 lb Synthetic & Fleece Polyester $31.99
Nunatak Bivy v.2 7.6 oz - 24.1 oz Down (900 Fill Power) Waterproof Silnylon inner, Nylon outer $170
Barkerbag 9.7 oz - 21 oz Synthetic Nylon $69
Chuckit! Travel Dog Sleeping Bag 1.2 lb Synthetic Polyester $39.99
Noblecamper 2-in-1 Dog Bed and Sleeping bag 1.8 lb Synthetic Nylon $179

Best Dog Sleeping Bags

RUFFWEAR Highlands Sleeping Bag

Ruffwear Highlands Sleeping Bag

Weight: 1.6 lb and 2.2 lb

Sizes: M 25.2”x33.5”, L 28.3”x43.3”

Insulation Type: Synthetic

Material: 75D Polyester

Price: $99.95

Why we like it: The best for overall use - light enough for backpacking but durable enough for outdoor use.

Ruffwear is a staple when it comes to quality dog gear and the Highlands Sleeping Bag is no exception. The synthetic insulation does a good job insulating and the included compression sack is great for storing it away in a backpack. Additionally, they used thick 75d polyester on the outside so you don’t have to worry about it tearing or wearing out anytime soon.

It’s great for spring, summer, and fall. If you are in temperatures consistently below freezing you will want to add a pad below them, RUFFWEAR makes one that fits into an integrated pad sleeve. Lastly, while it is water-resistant make try to keep it dry as it will start to absorb some water.

Available at Amazon

DOG HELIOS Trail-Barker

Dog Helios Trail-Barker

Weight: 1.6 lb

Sizes: 39”x25”

Insulation Type: Synthetic

Material: PU-coated Nylon outer, Cotton and Polyester inner

Price: $53.75

Why we like it: The best option for bringing multiple dogs.

The DOG HELIOS Trail-Barker is a synthetically insulated sleeping bag that works well for most of the year. The outer shell is PU-coated ripstop nylon and does a decent job at resisting water and is surprisingly durable. The inner is waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about your wet dog turning the sleeping bag into a sponge. The inner did wet out, but we didn’t feel any water actually soak through.

Multiple Trail-Barkers can be zipped together if you have a few dogs joining you. We should mention however that this sleeping bag won’t fit very large dogs with 60lbs. being the limit. If you are heading out on a backpacking trip it will either need to be strapped to the outside of your pack or consider using a compression sack to shrink it down.

Available at Amazon


Hurtta Outback Dreamer Dog Sleeping Bag

Hurtta Outback Dreamer Dog Sleeping Bag

Weight: 8 oz, 1lb, 1.5 lb

Sizes: S (22in), M (28in), L (35in)

Insulation Type: Synthetic & Heat Reflective

Material: 100D Polyester

Price: $139

Why we like it: Best for using directly on the ground.

The HURTTA Outback Dreamer takes an innovative approach by using two types of insulation in their sleeping bag. There is an inner layer of synthetic insulation, and the lining is made of a heat reflective material that works similar to a space blanket.

The ECO fabric is made from over 80% recycled material, so we were a bit skeptical of the longevity, however, this was the most durable of our review. Even during the day, we found it worked great as a dog bed and we never had to worry about tossing it down on the ground. Just try to make a bit of an effort to keep it dry, it has a DWR coating but is not fully waterproof.

Available at Amazon


Outrav Dog Sleeping Bag

Outrav Dog Sleeping Bag

Weight: 11 oz

Sizes: 36”x26”

Insulation Type: Synthetic

Material: Polyester

Price: $22.95

Why we like it: The best for use in wet conditions.

The Outrav Dog Sleeping Bag is a fully waterproof bed that works best in wet and mild conditions. The insulation is quite thin but does offer a bit of warmth for climates where the temperatures stay above freezing. The waterproof inner and outer materials worked well and makes it very easy to clean.

The materials used aren’t particularly durable and they won’t last nearly as long as some of the other options. Also, the sleeping bag is deceptively small so make sure to size accordingly, it won’t work for dogs much over 60lbs.

Available at Amazon


Lifeunion Dog Sleeping Bag

Lifeunion Dog Sleeping Bag

Weight: 1.75 lb

Sizes: 27”x43”

Insulation Type: Synthetic & Fleece

Material: Polyester

Price: $30.95

Why we like it: The easiest to clean.

The Lifeunion Dog Sleeping Bag is an inexpensive option for light usage and milder temperatures. Most of the insulation comes from the fleece liner as the synthetic fill is very thin. The fleece is nice as it’s incredibly durable and can easily be washed. The quality doesn’t match up to some of the higher-priced options but for occasional use it gets the job done.

We do like that it can be fully unzipped creating a big fleece blanket your dog can lay on. Lifeunion claims it is waterproof, but we would say it’s water-resistant as water will eventually soak through. Due to the large packed size, it’s a much better option for car camping rather than backpacking and since it’s fleece it won’t compress very much.

Available at Amazon


Vegapop Dog Sleeping Bag

Vegapop Dog Sleeping Bag

Weight: 0.5 lb, 1 lb, 1.75 lb

Sizes: S (22x14), M (32x22), L (45x28)

Insulation Type: Synthetic & Fleece

Material: Polyester

Price: $31.99

Why we like it: Best inexpensive option for occasional use.

The Vegapop Dog Sleeping Bag is a near-identical clone of the Lifeunion Dog Sleeping Bag. However, the Vegapop offers 3 sizes while the Lifeunion only offers large sizes. The materials and stitching are identical. If you have a small or medium-sized dog and are looking for an inexpensive fleece option, this will be your best bet.

Available at Amazon


Nunatak Dog Bivy v.2 

Nunatak Bivy v.2

Weight: 7.6 oz (S),  9.7 oz (M), 15.7 oz (L), 24.1 oz (XL)

Sizes: XS (19x15), S (22x17), M (26x20), L (32x25), XL (42x32)

Insulation Type: Down (900 Fill Power)

Material: Waterproof Silnylon inner, Nylon outer

Price: $170

Why we like it: Highest quality materials and ultralight.

Nunatak is known in the backpacking community as the creator of beautifully crafted ultralight gear. The Dog Bivy v.2 is no different. Simply put, it is the lightest, warmest, most compressible dog sleeping bag on the market. The waterproof silnylon inner and 900-fill power down will leave you jealous of your dog’s set up and stay lofted despite wet paws. This sleeping bag will work into the 20s with ease. Nunatak says there is equal insulation to a 35F sleeping bag for humans.

This sleeping bag is a piece of high-performance ultralight gear, and it must be treated as so. This is not the best option if you are looking to throw a dog bed on the ground for the weekend and call it a day, nor should it be used for dogs that are chewers. But if you are looking for your ultralight backpacking kit or are heading out on a thru-hike, look no further.

Available at Nunatak


Barker Bag

Barkerbag

Weight: 9.7 oz (S), 13 oz (M), 21 oz (L)

Sizes: S (10x20), M (13x25.5), L (15x30.5)

Insulation type: Synthetic

Material: Nylon

Price: $69

Why we like it: Best for snuggling.

The Barker Bag takes the desire of wanting to share some warmth with your pup but allows them to have their own space. It zips onto your sleeping bag so your dog has their own designated sleeping bag off the side of yours. With synthetic insulation, it does a good job keeping your dog warm and you can share some body heat.

The neck tube works well to keep warm air trapped inside but it may take a bit of practice before your dog is comfortable with it. While does repel a bit of water but it should be treated similarly to your own sleeping bag, so try to keep it clean and dry.

Sizing: the sizing is for the size of dog and the size of their head. Also, make sure to select the correct zipper, R and L refer to which side of zipper you have on your sleeping bag. While the number corresponds to the size, check on the back of the zipper pull and there will usually be a number.

Available at Barker Gear


Chuckit! Travel Pillow Dog Bed

Chuckit! Travel Dog Sleeping Bag

Weight: 1.2 lb

Sizes: 39”x30”

Insulation Type: Synthetic

Material: Polyester

Price: $39.99

Why we like it: The best for warm weather camping.

The Chuckit! Travel Pillow Dog Bed is a compressible dog bed and is best for warmer climates as it isn’t a sleeping bag. With a ripstop nylon floor and a soft suede-like top material, it is durable enough for outside use. We should mention it is not very water-resistant so it’s best for warmer, drier environments.

The sizing is generous and a 70lb dog will usually fit. As it’s just a bed rather than a sleeping bag it’s a bit easier to size too. It does include a stuff sack, but if you are heading out on a backpacking trip you might want to use a compression sack to cinch it down.

Available at Amazon


Noblecamper 2-in-1 Dog Bed and Sleeping bag

Noblecamper 2-in-1 Dog Bed and Sleeping bag

Weight: 1.8 lb (M)

Sizes: S (22in), M (26in), L (30in), XL (34in)

Insulation Type: Synthetic

Material: Nylon

Price: $179

Why we like it: The easiest for stubborn dogs.

The Noblecamper 2-in-1 Dog Bed is the first of its kind to incorporate a dog bed and sleeping bag into one. It starts out as a dog bed but when the temperature drops you can unzip a blanket that stashes on the floor and then wrap it around the top creating a warm and cozy sleeping bag-like setup. If your dog doesn’t like crawling into a sleeping bag, this is a great option.

The bed has a couple of spots stake it to the ground, we found these worked better for hanging it to dry as it would usually just be inside the tent. The stuff sack does a decent job for storing it but if you are backpacking a compression sack with help shrink it down much smaller. Another perk is they are made in the USA.

Available at Amazon

dogs sleeping bags


CONSIDERATIONS

WARMTH

Type of Insulation:

  • Down: High quality down comes at a premium but it can’t be beat for its warmth to weight ratio. High quality down starts at around 700-fill and goes up to around 950-fill for the most premium sleeping bags. If your pup is camping in cold conditions, there is no better insulator than down.
  • Synthetic: Synthetic does a good job at insulating and is by far the most popular for dog sleeping bags. Synthetic is substantially cheaper and will still provide warmth when it’s wet, something you will inevitably be dealing with. Most synthetic insulation is polyester and does a decent job compressing.

dog with helios trail barkerInspecting the Dog Helios 'Trail Barker' Sleeping Bag.

Warm Materials:

Some other materials that are common are fleece and mylar. Fleece works great because it’s durable, doesn’t hold a lot of moisture and insulates even if it’s wet however it does weigh a lot more than down or synthetic. Mylar is space blanket material. It does a fantastic job reflecting heat but isn’t very cozy or warm enough for cold environments.

Insulation from the ground is equally as important. All of the sleeping bags we reviewed will insulate from the ground, if you are opting for just a blanket make sure to have something your dog can lay on.

lifeunion sleeping bag setup

WEIGHT

The weight of the sleeping bag will range depending on how warm you want it and what kind of application you will be using it for. On the ultralight side of things there are options in the 8oz-16oz range which will be down filled. Most will weigh between 1-3 lbs and use synthetic or fleece insulation.

packing helios trail barker

DURABILITY

Most outer materials will be nylon or polyester. Regarding durability, nylon is more durable but does cost a bit more. Durability is associated with fabric denier, the higher the denier, the more durable it is.

While it can be tricky to find the denier sometimes, some companies will have it listed. If you are looking for an ultralight option, something around 20d will work, if you are looking for durability go for something over 40d.

dog on chuckit sleeping bagChuckit! Dog Sleeping Bed.

WATERPROOFING / WATER RESISTANCE

A lot of dog sleeping bags claim to be waterproof but frankly they aren’t. While polyester and fleece are great materials that don’t absorb much water, it doesn’t mean it will keep water from soaking through.

True waterproofing requires a coating, typically Polyurethane or PU. For nylon sleeping bags if they are silnylon this means silicone has been impregnated into the nylon making it waterproof. Both of these coatings can wear off so they may need to be reapplied with some time. 

unpacking lifeunion sleeping bag

SPACE & SIZE

Just like a human, sizing the correct sleeping bag is essential and most of the models reviewed will have several sizes. To find out the correct size look how your dog sleeps, are they curled up or sprawled out? Round sleeping bags work great for dogs that curl up, while rectangular shapes work best for dogs that sprawl out.

If you are in-between sizes, size up. Most sleeping bags are designed for your dog’s head to be outside of the sleeping bag.

rolling chuckit sleeping bag

COMPRESSIBILITY AND PACKABILITY

If you are taking your dog on a backpacking trip, packability will likely be a key feature. Down is unbeatable when it comes to packability, followed by synthetic. Many of the sleeping bags will come with a stuff sack but if you are really trying to compress it nothing beats a designated compression sack.

rolling helios trail barker

WASHABILITY

Any dog accessory is going to get dirty so having something that can be easily washed is essential. Most of the sleeping bags are machine washable but be careful when drying them, in fact, we would suggest air drying most of them unless they are down.

vegapop sleeping bag setupVegapop Dog Sleeping Bag.


WHEN TO USE A DOG SLEEPING BAG

At what temperature does your dog need a sleeping bag? Most dogs need a sleeping bag (or some insulation) when the temperature drops below 40F (this is the general rule of thumb).

If you have a shorthaired dog that isn’t as acclimatized to cold weather this might be 45F, while a husky or other dogs with robust undercoats might be below 32F. If your dog is a puppy or a senior, they will get cold more easily.

Hiking and playing are very different than trying to sleep, while your dog might not need a jacket during the day they will cool down when they stop moving. 

illustration-showing-when-to-use-dog-sleeping-bags


OPTIONS FOR DOG SLEEPING SYSTEMS

1. Sharing a sleeping system with your dog

Sharing a sleep system with your dog can be warm and cozy, but it can make for a long night if your furry friend is tossing and turning all night. Either way, make sure to take care of your gear as human sleeping bags and pads aren’t designed for sharp nails. Sleeping bags can tear and inflatable pads can pop.

dog in vegapop sleeping bags

If you are set on sharing your gear make sure your dog is clean and dry. We also suggest using a cover for your inflatable pads. Some cool gear for sharing a sleep system is the Barker Bag which lets you zip your sleeping bags together and the Nemo Pawprint which is the protective sheet for inside your tent.

packed dog sleeping bags

2. Getting your dog its own sleep system

If you are going on an extended trip, frequently camp with your dog, or are going to be experiencing more inclement weather, a separate sleep system for your dog is the way to go. Most sleeping bags will have a pad and a blanket incorporated into one.

If you are sleeping on snow you will usually need to add a bit more insulation below them. The backpacking specific designs pack small and can usually be carried by your dog.

vegapop sleeping bag in tent

Tips for sleeping with your dog:

  • Clean their paws before getting in the tent- Nobody wants a wet, muddy, dirty tent floor. If your dog wears booties, leave them in the vestibule.
  • Dry them off- dog hair can hold tons of moisture which will increase the condensation in your tent and make everyone feel colder. Do your best to dry them off before getting into the tent.
  • Protect your gear- no matter what, protect your nice gear. A thin sheet works great to protect sleeping bags and pads while your pup is still roaming around the tent. Otherwise, keep it stored if they are coming and going from your tent.

zipping vegapop dog sleeping bag


DOG SLEEPING BAG ALTERNATIVES

Some sleeping bag alternatives are blankets and jackets. Using a blanket for your dog is a good option but make sure they have something under to help them retain that heat. Dog jackets can also work but make sure that it is dry and clean before heading to bed. A wet jacket won’t be nearly as warm, and a muddy one can make a giant mess in your tent.

Or...make your own sleeping bag! How to make a sleeping bag for a dog? A sleeping bag for a dog can be made easily by modifying one of those inexpensive down blankets from Costco into a small sleeping bag for your furry friend.

rolling lifeunion sleeping bag


FAQs

How do you train your dog to use a sleeping bag?

Just like anything with dog training, it’s all about rewards and exposure. Letting your dog explore the sleeping bag at home is the first step and creating a reward system will help them become more open to using it.

After they are comfortable around it, offer a treat to them when they are in it. If they associate being in the sleeping bag with treats, you’re off to a great start. After that, a test run at home will help you learn about any potential problems without the risk of them being too cold.

chuckit sleeping bag with dog

How to keep your dog warm during winter hikes?

To keep your dog warm during winter hikes, you can put a jacket and booties on them, ensure they're well fed before bed time, and preheat their sleeping bag by placing a warm water bottle in it.

packing lifeunion sleeping bag

A jacket and booties will go a long way in keeping your dog warm during winter hikes. Jackets will also keep the snow from clumping to them and keep them dry. Booties will help keep their paws warm which is particularly important if you are hiking on snow.

Once at camp make sure your dog is well fed before heading to bed, hunger leads to a lower-body temp. Lastly, a warm water bottle in their sleeping bag can help preheat the inside and act as a small heater when they get in.


📸 Some photos in this post were taken by Ross Enlow (@rossaenlow)

Austin Hager photo

About Austin Hager

Austin Hager is a B.C. based thru-hiker, mountain explorer and advocate for mental health awareness. You can find him hiking, climbing or snowboarding throughout the mountains of Western Canada. He is currently working to become a Registered Nurse.

About Greenbelly

After thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Chris Cage created Greenbelly to provide fast, filling and balanced meals to backpackers. Chris also wrote How to Hike the Appalachian Trail.

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