Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Sleeping Bag for a Toddler: Ideas?


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Gabe P
(Gabe) - MLife
Sleeping Bag for a Toddler: Ideas? on 04/16/2010 12:52:45 MDT Print View

I'd like to take my son backpacking this summer, but I don’t have a sleeping bag for him. I've considered chopping up my old Marmot Never Winter bag, because it’s all used up. I would need to cut it in half and transfer most of the down from one half to the other, so it would have enough loft to keep him warm. I think this project would be difficult, however, since I can barely sew. I'm wondering if any of you have a better idea. I’d prefer not to spend a lot, since he’ll quickly outgrow the sleeping bag. Thanks

todd harper
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: Sunshine State
Re: Sleeping Bag for a Toddler: Ideas? on 04/16/2010 12:57:34 MDT Print View

For my girls, I just add one of MY jackets for them to "wear" for extra loft and let them use an adult sleeping bag with the foot end tied off at an apropriate length.

Adjustable as they grow. NO extra cost. Bulky, yes, but so is the kid!!! Bonus: you can sell the bag to fund future gear purchases!

Doug Johnson on this forum bought custom synthetic quilts (by Tim Marshall, I think) for his kids. Would work perfectly.

Edited by funnymoney on 04/16/2010 12:58:14 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Sleeping Bag for a Toddler: Ideas? on 04/16/2010 13:03:03 MDT Print View

How big is the toddler?

Friends of mine have taken their child camping since it was a few months old. Initially, they stuck an old down jacket inside a very large stuff sack, and that was the sleeping bag. Of course, the child sleeps between the adults.

--B.G.--

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Sleeping Bag for a Toddler on 04/16/2010 13:47:13 MDT Print View

I would absolutely not use a down bag for a child until they've had no middle-of-the-night accidents at home for several years (the stress of being in an unfamiliar place can trigger accidents). Diapers and pullups can and do overflow! The TNF Tigger is an excellent kids' bag, nice and warm. Now that it uses Climashield, it's lighter than it used to be. Except for a few extraordinary cases (which have run in my family, unfortunately) it will outlast the wetting-at-night problem.

That being said, I found a sale and splurged and got my elder grandson an adult size down sleeping bag for his upcoming 10th birthday. It's a tall size (his dad is over 6 feet) and I will tie the bottom off to the appropriate length with a piece of cord. Hopefully it will last through his teen years or longer!

Gabe P
(Gabe) - MLife
Sleeping Bag for a Toddler: Ideas? on 04/16/2010 14:09:49 MDT Print View

Bed wetting is something I'm concerned about, especially when it comes to down. I'm wondering if using a quilt for a toddler would be a good approach, since gravity would keep the down or synthetic insulation relatively unaffected. Has anyone tried using a quilt with a toddler?

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Sleeping Bag for a Toddler: Ideas? on 04/16/2010 14:21:52 MDT Print View

I don't think a quilt would work well. It would still get wet, and I have enough trouble keeping my toddlers covered up enough in a sleeping bag. I wouldn't want to try keeping them warm in a quilt.

Gabe P
(Gabe) - MLife
VB barrier for a toddler on 04/16/2010 14:25:08 MDT Print View

Has anyone tried using a vb barrier, to keep bed-wetting from becoming an issue?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: VB barrier for a toddler on 04/16/2010 14:50:42 MDT Print View

There is probably too much risk of suffocation if you use a vapor barrier for a tiny kid.

--B.G.--

. .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Sleeping Bag for a Toddler on 04/16/2010 14:55:29 MDT Print View

Here is what I've done in the past with two:

- We use a lightweight rectangular bag (if you can find one), or another kind of bag that has the ability to "vent" at both ends to fit two toddlers: Their feet touch in the middle and heads stick out on either end with hats on. Obviously in colder conditions they would need additional head gear, but this has worked well down into the upper 30's inside a tent and it works out to be around 1 lb. per toddler with the old Marmot bag we have.

+1 on TNF Tigger - a well designed kids bag - not overly heavy like most and very durable for the weight. Use your REI 20% discount to get one, then pass it along on the gear swap when they've outgrown it. 1/2 zippers work great with children's bags.

- Sleep in between mom + dad under a double quilt or two bags zipped together (works when they're younger)

- I like down for the kids once they reach 5 +/-. I recently picked up a GoLite Adrenaline 40 short, which fits to 5'6", has 10.5 oz. of down fill and a snug fit that should work well for Summer+ use and a Sierra Designs Nitro 30 short, which is also a 1/2 zip snug bag with generous amounts of down. This should work for the remainder of the year in the PNW for the wee ones as they get older. Rather than tie off the extra space at the bottom of the bag, I generally "bunch it up" around them, trying to keep their feet in the footbox, but giving them a little extra down around them while they sleep. It works acceptably well.

- I have tried a couple of the Lafuma children's and short women's bags and been rather disappointed in the quality, materials, workmanship and fill of these bags. I try to purchase most of the kid's gear at either a retailer with a generous return policy (i.e. REI, STP), or buy second hand if possible.

. .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Re: Sleeping Bag for a Toddler on 04/16/2010 14:58:26 MDT Print View

If you are concerned at all about bed-wetting, just throw a diaper on them - if they keep it dry, they get a treat in the morning and a dry diaper weighs much less than a VBL and is much safer.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
Sleeping bag for Toddler on 04/16/2010 15:44:29 MDT Print View

I have a nunatak arc AT for my daughter to use in colder conditions. This is designed as a half quilt for adults but will function as a full coverage quilt for my daughter for years to come. A very nice (and UL) setup.

I'm having MLD make a her custom (short) Spirit 40 and matching SL Bivy (with full net hood) for warmer conditions.

She is excited to have gear equal to dad's. :)

. .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Sleeping bag for Toddler on 04/16/2010 15:48:46 MDT Print View

@ Thom - nice set up! That will be one stylin' trail-youth! I've been hesitant to use quilts with my wee ones, as they occasionally even manage to wiggle out of mummy bags in their middle of the night wrestling matches with their bedding. My oldest is getting to be a bit more of a still sleeper and this could work with her.

Others have used half-bags with some success as well, but I am yet to give this a go.