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Any difference in men's and women's sleeping bags?

Looking for a sleeping bag and think the Trailbreak 20 could be a good option! Only the "mens" version is available in a store near me. I am a 5 ft 5 in female, is there any reason why I wouldn't want this one?

4 Replies

Not really, as long as it’s not too long, creating voids that would be harder to warm up.

warning though, after using a ‘mens’ bag, one sometimes resists the impulse to ask for directions.

good luck!

REI Member Since 1979

Once upon a time, the market only offered "sleeping bags."  no particular sex specified.  That's the honest truth.  Me speak with straight tongue......

Same thing with packs.

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one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Hi @mbankert - Thanks so much for bringing this question to the community! As @Philreedshikes and @hikermor said, the design of the men's bag does not mean it won't work for you. There is one big difference in most men's and women's sleeping bags that you'll want to pay attention to though.

Often, the number in the men's version is associated with the lower temperature limit, where the number in the women's version is associated with the comfort level. With the Co-op Trailbreak 20, you'll see the difference in temperature ratings is quite a lot:

  • Men's Trailbreak 20: Lower Limit 18°F, Comfort Level 29°F
  • Women's Trailbreak 20: Lower Limit 5°F, Comfort Level 18°F

As you can see, the women's Trailbreak 20 is a much warmer bag! Women's bags also often have a higher concentration of insulation in some areas for maintaining warmth, but it is those temperature ratings that you will definitely want to pay attention to. If you know what weather you are expecting to camp in and look at both the comfort and limit numbers on each bag, you should be able to pick which one will keep you comfortable on chilly nights. Let us know if you have any more questions. Hopefully this helps!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

It looks like to me the comparison is apples to oranges.   The women's bag is a whopping 5lbs compared to the men's at 3lbs 11oz.  Neither one would be a good choice for backpacking, Unless you're not going very far and temps aren't dropping below freezing.

BEWARE the 'tested lower limit', that usually means "you'll freeze all night, but won't die!" 

Judging by the photo, the 'narrowness' of the bag is going to limit how many layers you can add.

As I have oft stated here, my 'rule of thumb' is ....add about 20f to the 'comfort level' to get a better feel for the bags real comfort levels.

footnote: the origins of 'rule of thumb' is interesting


Screenshot 2020-11-10 100729.jpg

REI Member Since 1979