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Differences between gender specific sleeping bags?


I'm looking to purchase a sleeping bag for my wife. What is the difference between sleeping bags for men and women.

Thank you very much,


3 Replies

Back before time began, there were just sleeping bags, no gender specified - everyone pretty much survived.  I wouldn't worry about the difference too much.

Presumably, the woman's bag conforms more closely to the different contours of the female form.  I would be more concerned with getting an appropriate comfort rating for the bag.

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Hi @leisureman1957 - Thanks for reaching out!

Like @hikermor said, whether the bag is designed for men or women does not mean it won't necessarily work for someone. The biggest difference is how to temperature ratings are designated in the bag's title. 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. For example, 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 with those numbers, 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.

Let us know if you have any more questions or would like some suggestions and we'll be happy to help!

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

here's  a tip for manufacturer's, and I find it hard to believe they haven't caught on, but don't put a number on the sleeping bag title if that's not the rating.

when we read 'men's trailbreak 20' it infers, whether you like it or not, that it's going to keep you warm to 20F.  You get it? Keep you warm at 20, not extreme, not lower, but keep you warm!! As in designed for 20.

I had a elderly companion this past January who told me he was absolutely freezing the night before even though his bag was rated "20". I asked him to go find the interior label, he did and was surprised to find that it was not a "20" bag, but was 'comfort rated' to only about 35. Then call it a 35 bag, not a 20!

I told him to take the bag back, he did.

This exact same thing happened to me a few years ago with a NF bag from REI, and I learned that hard, ugly, lesson.  Still fuming over it...can you tell?

REI Member Since 1979