Whether on a long hike or a camping adventure, a trip to the great outdoors with your dog can be a lot of fun. Yes, there are dog-friendly hotels and camper vans, but it’s just not the same.
If you’re sleeping overnight in the wilderness, lugging a crate or dog bed isn’t usually an option. Some dogs sleep in the great outdoors, some in tents with owners – but for the full camping with dogs experience, there are dog sleeping bags.
We now continue our dog travel section with the camping dog sleeping bag. In this article, we will look at why these are a good idea, what to look for in a good sleeping bag and give you our review of some of our favorites out there.
Our 5 Best Dog Sleeping Bags
1. 🏆 Ruffwear – Highlands Sleeping Bag for Dogs
|Ruffwear Sleeping Bag for Dogs, Ideal for Camping and Backpacking, One Size – Suitable for Most...||Buy on Amazon|
If you’re looking for a soft, cozy and comfortable lightweight dog sleeping bag that can be easily packed, the Ruffwear is a great choice. We’ve used this exact one many times, it’s easy to carry, simple to pack away and roll out and more importantly – our dogs love it.
The sleeping bag starts as an easy to carry stuff sack which can be carried on a backpack or by hand. Remove the pet bed, unroll it, unzip and you have a great sleeping bag. For more warmth, you simply use the zip to close the body portion of the bag once your dog is inside.
The outer layer is a polyester shell fabric which is water resistant. This also makes it both durable and quick drying. Simply allow it to air in the morning, then away you go.
To clean, just give it a quick shake in the morning.
The inside uses lightweight synthetic insulation. This will not only keep your dog warm, but it will also provide protection from hard and cold surfaces.
There is an integrated pad sleeve incorporated in this sleeping bag. This is for adding additional insulation in very cold conditions. See more here.
The average size is a medium, so check it suits your dog body dimensions. There’s plenty of room but as an extra large dog sleeping bag, you may consider an alternative. The dimensions are flat: 89 x 66 x 2.5 cm (35 x 26 x 1 in) and Stuffed: 30 x 18 cm (12 x 7 in). Overall carry weight is 790 g (27.8 oz.).
One final nice feature is the four loops around the edges. Like a tent, these can be pegged down to stop the bag flying off when not being used.
As with all dog beds, you may need some patience getting your pet to sleep in a sleeping bag. We started training our dog at home and it made it much easier.
Overall this is a great, lightweight, warm and comfortable dog sleeping bag with fantastic features. We found it perfect for setting down on a rest or using overnight.
2. Hurtta Outback Dreamer
|Hurtta Outback Dreamer Dog Sleeping Bag, Orange Sun, Medium||Buy on Amazon|
This circular dog sleeping bag is a different style from the Ruffwear. It comes in three different sizes. So if you’re looking for a small dog sleeping bag – their small range measures 10.2 x 15.2 x 35.6 cm. If you need something a little bigger, like a Weiner dog sleeping bag – there’s a medium option measuring 12.7 x 17.8 x 38.1 cm. Finally the large for bigger dogs measures in at 15.2 x 20.3 x 41.9 cm.
A great camping dog bed for traveling, the Hurtta is both lightweight and water-repellant. It’s easy to clean when shaken down outdoors but is machine washable for when you get home.
Slightly different is the inner layer which is comprised of heat-reflecting foil which maintains the dog’s body heat at night and keeps them warm.
This is a well made, comfortable sleeping bag that can be easily rolled up and carried. Reviews of the product are very good, and its distinct orange colour gives it that bright look.
3. DogHelios Trail-Barker Multi-Surface Travel Dog Bed [USA]
|DogHelios Trail-Barker Multi-Surface Travel Dog Bed Featuring BlackShark Technology, Sunkist Orange,...||Buy on Amazon|
This probably isn’t one for the backpackers. The DogHelios is extremely comfortable and well padded. As a result, it’s not one you can easily roll up and carry when hiking. It’s more for those who are driving to their camping location or don’t have far to travel.
The bed is designed to be impermeable, waterproof and windproof – and it’s certainly robust. It’s made from a PU coated polyester-cotton and nylon fabric which makes dirt and water easy to shake off.
It is zippable and can be spread out over a larger surface area. This means it can be used as either a sleeping bag or an outdoor dog pad.
Available in a range of colours, it’s an affordable option that is much thicker than others – but what it gains in comfort it loses in weight and ease of carrying.
4. Kurgo Waterproof Dog Bed
|Kurgo Waterproof Dog Bed, Outdoor Bed for Dogs |Portable Bed Roll for Pets, Travel |Hiking, Camping,...||Buy on Amazon|
This water-resistant bed isn’t a sleeping bag, but it’s easy to pack, carry and very lightweight so may suit your trip well.
5. Winterial Outdoor Pop-Up Pet Tent [USA]
|Winterial Outdoor Pet Tent, Pop Up Pet Tent, Travel Bed, Beach Tent, 2 Inch Foam Pad Included, Carry...||Buy on Amazon|
Not a sleeping bag but we added to the list as a nice alternative. This is a combination of a dog camping bed and their own tent. It’s easy to fold away, unfold and snap open – a good way to keep your dog out of the sun.
Everything is contained within the travel bag, including the sleeping bag which fits at the bottom of the tent. Not quite as light and transportable as some of the others in this collection – but it is still lightweight and easy to carry.
Maybe not for every trail – but this is a cheap and cheerful pop-up tent and bed that can protect your dog from UV, give them somewhere shaded during the day, keep the mosquitos away and be a good place to sleep at night. Though you may need another later to cover them if the nights are cooler.
Why Choose a Dog Sleeping Bag?
Bringing a dog bed on a camping trip may seem odd at first, but anyone who has already been camping will know what sleeping in a tent with your pet can be problematic.
One of the biggest issues we faced when camping (this time with a Great Dane) was being in a tent with a dog who fidgetted. It was a small space and she was constantly moving about.
This is the exact same problem we had at home. Forever jumping on our bed and fidgeting in the night. Then we introduced a dog bed next to us, and it has been (mostly) quiet nights ever since.
Another rookie error we made the first time we went camping (without our dogs this time) was to pack too light. We set up camp with our two-person tent and a blanket. It seemed like a good idea at the time, it was a scorching hot day and we were worried the night would be unbearable.
Jump forward to 3 am, we awoke shivering. It was so unpleasantly cold and the thin blanket was next to useless. Our backs sore from sleeping on the ground, we trekked to the nearest town the next morning and invested in a sleeping back. This was over a decade ago and I still use it to this day.
Nights outdoors can be deceptively cold (particularly in the UK) and the same will be true for your dog. A dog sleeping bag will help keep your dog warm when the chill hits.
What To Look For in a Dog Sleeping Bag
What to look for very much depends on a few things. The size of your dog, how you’re getting to your location, your dog’s physical needs, the environment, the potential weather and practical things such as cleaning and packing.
Laying on the ground may not be all bad on a flat surface, but on a forest floor, it can be pretty uncomfortable after a few hours. One of the benefits of any sleeping bag is that it offers more comfort. In addition, it’s also a much nicer camping experience to be wrapped up. You may also consider this point for dogs with mobility and joint issues such as hip dysplasia.
Depending on your method of arriving, you may have to carry your own camping gear. The reason you don’t cart a full-size dog bed about, in addition to its weight is that it is bulky. You want something that’s the perfect size that you can just unfold then fold away again and sling on your back. Many packs away into their own self contained bags zipper and can be carried using a contained strap.
Not only do you have to consider the humans, but you also need to consider all the dog camping supplies. Food, water bowl, water, first aid kit, poop bags – it all adds up to more weight to carry. Some people invest in dog harnesses with saddlebags, or dog backpacks, but depending on your pup’s size – this can be a little bulky and awkward. So, it’s up to the human to carry. A good dog sleeping bag for backpacking should not only be packable – but very lightweight.
If you’re out camping in cold or cooler weather, keeping warm will be an obvious requirement. Even if you are out in warm temperatures, remember a dogs body can get very cold at night. Look for a dog sleeping bag bed that is both warm and insulated to keep the heat in. Not only will this help prevent your dog from getting sick, but also it will be a much more pleasant nights sleep.
Having any dog camping bed that is not waterproof is a bad design and can be a nightmare for both human and pup. Not only does it make an uncomfortable (and smelly) experience, you’ll have to carry it wet. Anything you take camping can get caught in the rain, can become wet from a damp floor or can just get damp from the cooler air night. Look for a sleeping bag that is insulated, water repellant on the outer layer, easy to clean and can be easily air dried.
You want a dog sleeping bag which can withstand the wear and tear of outdoor life. Camping gear gets thrown aground and lain on rugged floors. Also, it’s for your pet so they may paw or try to chew on it. Look for something that won’t fall apart on the first day.
We hope you found our guide to dog sleeping bags helpful for your next camping trip. It’s best to find a bed suitable for your travel plans. If you are trekking or backpacking, you don’t want one which is bulky or difficult to carry. This may be less important if you are driving or only have a short hike (or several people). It’s good to invest in something lightweight, durable, easy to clean, water repellant, warm, insulating and comfortable. Whichever you choose, have a great trip!
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