Kids Sleeping System

Discussion in 'Sleeping Bags & Quilts' started by MyHatGandhi, Mar 31, 2019.

  1. MyHatGandhi

    MyHatGandhi Summit Camper

    Looking for some hints and tips!

    I'm taking my 3yo for a few overnighter this summer and I'm trying to work out a decent lightweight sleeping system.

    I was thinking of buying something like this down throw to cover the both of us (he likes to cuddle when we're both in the same bed... so I'd rather not have the restrictions of a sleeping bag until he's older):
    If anyone has better suggestions, I'd love to hear about them!

    Also, I'll need a cheap foam matt big enough for the both of us or that I can cut to size. Recommendations would be appreciated.

    This is for summer camping only, altitude never exceeding 700m.
  2. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    That throw looks very like the Costco ones. If so, then it's not going to be warm enough without a lot of modifications and extra down.

    When I first started taking my kids out (now big, independent, competent etc.…..) at about 5yrs old I got them kids Sleeping bags - "half sized" ones.
    I had to hunt around to find second hand ones which weren't very common ~13yrs ago. There are lots around now.
    If you think you might be doing more camping over the years that's what I'd recommend. Don't bother with "half measures".
    If I remember correctly the bags I had were about 700gms and Synthetic, OK to about 10c 'ish.
    Ebay is your friend or ask on here you may find someone ready to part with theirs. (I sold mine on long ago)

    Mat - buy a cheap Lidl/Aldi mat and cut it down.

    PS. Your 3yr old isn't going to be doing big miles so weight/volume isn't going to that big an issue. By the time they can walk a bit further they will also be able to carry a bit of their own kit etc. etc. Good luck. :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
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  3. MyHatGandhi

    MyHatGandhi Summit Camper

    I suspected that they are the Costco ones. I wasn't aware that they'd be no good for summer use though.

    Thanks for the advice, I'll keep a look out for the Aldi pads and suitable sleeping bags based on that spec.
  4. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    PS. added a bit ^^^
  5. MyHatGandhi

    MyHatGandhi Summit Camper

    I was thinking more lightweight for myself!
    I'm also taking my 4yo nephew who has sleeping bag.

    I guess I'll have to suck it up and take the weight penalty! :rolleyeses:
  6. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    The other tip I would offer is - Bothies. Especially if there is rain in the forcast - having somewhere to hang up wet stuff is soooooo good.
    Choose a quiet bothy away from the big hills/munros. A beach bothy is particularly good - tho' I have "gone off" Peanmeanach due to the busyness and density of Ticks.
    Don't know where you are based but Kervaig is wonderfull for kids.
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  7. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    When the kids were tiny - up until about two years old they had home made sleeping bags - with shoulder straps - to stop them wriggling out in the night and getting cold - plus it prevented them from scarpering off too fast in the mornings - once the tent was open.

    As they got older, they mostly had fairly basic adult bags, but they'd get snuggled right down to the bottom of bag, then the top surplus turned down, so they effectively had double layered bags.

    And a balaclava, or helmet type warm hat that wouldn't come off in the night.

    They don't need fancy air mats, like us, cos they're not so heavy, and old boned as grown ups.
    Just thick enough ccf to keep out the cold.

    +1 for the bothy idea too.

    That's a proper adventure.. Turning up at a deserted house, sneaking in, and sleeping there, by candle light - Story book stuff.
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  8. Balagan

    Balagan Thru Hiker

    That definitely is the Costco throw at a highly inflated price. As Cathy said, as is, it's not very warm and needs ripping the vertical seams at least which makes it fine for warm temps. One additional word of warning: it is not long enough for an adult which is why most quilt conversions involve reducing the width and using the part you cut off to lengthen it.

    I did use it for my own n.2 when he was 3-4 and it was fine as I folded the top down and I have a pretty long (70 cm IIRC) footbox so it worked pretty much as a rectangular bag.

    Speaking of which, I think a rectangular synthetic sleeping bag from Decathlon would be cheaper and better.

    As for mats, if he's anything like mine he won't stay on it very long. ;)
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  9. Davy

    Davy Thru Hiker

    Our two never stay in sleeping bags but seem to wriggle out in the night, they both sleep ridiculously hot compared to their parents. We have recently upgraded to a pair of full sized Alpkit Pipedream 400s to save on weight and bulk and have two synthetic kiddie bags they no longer need. If of interest I'll dig them and the specs out.
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  10. Patrick

    Patrick Trail Blazer

    Kudos to you for taking a three year old backpacking - we waited until they could carry a significant amount of their own stuff before heading away from the car.

    However, I would echo what's been said above, that little ones seem much less bothered about cushioning - though will still need insulation from the ground - and tend to sleep quite hot - though if they do get cold it can be a bit of a nightmare warming them up again. They do also wriggle around an awful lot, which would make me very wary of anything less enclosing than at least a rectangular sleeping bag, and probably a proper "mummy" design, where the hood can slightly limit their tendency to wriggle out of the top. Although it may seem to make sense to have him cuddled close for warmth, in practice I suspect you'll sleep much better without being kneed in the stomach every five minutes(!), and it shouldn't be hard to sell him the attractions of having his own sleeping bag "just like daddy's / mummy's".
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  11. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    Even better to take them on their first wildcamping trips as tiny, fairly lightweight babies.

    Assuming appropriate nutrition available

    Eminently portable, and they sleep really well with nature noises all around them

    (wolves excepted maybe :eeker: )
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  12. Stuart

    Stuart Ultralighter

    My approach with our son at the same age was to have a small tent (Quechua T2) and to cover the floor in mat. I always used a Go Outdoors brand inflatable 3/4 length adult mat, heavier than CCF but warm and comfy. Mileage wasn't long so I didn't mind a bit of extra weight. He has a Vaude synthetic sleeping bag.

    Other things I found useful were to take a lot of small snacks, some games and stuff to play with like a pocket kite and a small ball. Just a couple of dice are great for simple games. I always meant to make lightweight DIY versions of games like snakes and ladders or Ludo. One day.

    As you branch out a bit more this thread might be useful: a collection of "easy family multi day hikes":
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  13. FOX160

    FOX160 Thru Hiker

    I’ll go for a warm pad and go for snug/comfort/warmth and adventure.
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  14. MyHatGandhi

    MyHatGandhi Summit Camper

    Thanks for the stories and tips everyone, I finally don't have a toddler in my face and manager to read them all.

    Will definitely make sure that it's a fun experience for them with toys and snacks (and noisy wolves! ;)). Also love the lightweight games idea.

    I have many many meters of 5mm foam underlay leftover from a renovation, I might just cut out a few large sections of that to test for insulation since it will be summer time. If not, I have a few of sections of a zlite which will fit them both.

    Will definitely look into the decathlon rectangle bags a bit more. Incidentally they were top of my list!
    But @Davy I'd be interested in the ones you have spare. Let me know the details :thumbsup:
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  15. murpharoo

    murpharoo Section Hiker

    My little girl sleeps very warm. We often use a double quilt. That way I can keep her warm if need be as well as help to keep her under the quilt if she wriggles about.
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  16. Davy

    Davy Thru Hiker

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  17. Fubuki

    Fubuki Summit Camper

    I've got two of these for my kids, they've slept in them down to freezing and been comfortable. Can't recommend enough

    £36.05 50%OFF | Children Sleeping Bag,Outdoor Camping Sleeping Bag kids,Duck Down Kids Sleeping Bag Winter Children Gift Free Fire 120cm, 140cm
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  18. Fubuki

    Fubuki Summit Camper

    Spent last night camped out near the top of Scafell Pike with my daughter. She slept soundly all night in this bag. In the morning whilst I was packing it away I noticed it had box baffles! A down bag with box baffles for less than £40. That's insane value!
  19. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    Back up to 72 now :(
    Best get my sewing machine out.
  20. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    Made a blanket with 266 in the middle and 133 apex edges, plenty oversized for my daughter to be able to sew it into a bag if she prefers. 565g
    Pertex shell as I bought some when it was cheap.
    Should see her near freezing so should be fine for Scotland in August I hope!
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  21. Fubuki

    Fubuki Summit Camper

    Wow that's done skills!
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  22. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    I'm going to have to carry my daughter's gear so I'm motivated to get it small and lite :).
    I made them both down quilts out of Costco throws a while ago but don't think they'd be reliably warm enough for Scotland.
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  23. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

  24. MyHatGandhi

    MyHatGandhi Summit Camper

  25. MyHatGandhi

    MyHatGandhi Summit Camper

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