This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Which sleeping bags for dogs are best?

Camping in the great outdoors is an exciting activity for the whole family. And that includes the dog. But if you’re not camping during the summer or in warmer regions, chances are your pet will get cold during the night. That’s where dog sleeping bags come in. With a high-quality, well insulated dog sleeping bag, you can ensure your camping excursion is stress-free and enjoyable for all. 

For avid hikers and campers who love to bring their dogs with them wherever they go, the RUFFWEAR Highlands Dog Sleeping Bag is among the best dog sleeping bags.

What to know before you buy a dog sleeping bag

Insulation and shell

The best dog sleeping bags should be properly insulated and have enough padding to keep your dog comfortable and warm during the night. The more insulation the sleeping bag provides, the warmer the dog will be.

For winter or other cold-weather camping trips, look for a sleeping bag with plenty of insulation. The warmest sleeping bags will be able to trap heat inside and prevent the cold from seeping in. Synthetic down is a great choice for this.

Some dog sleeping bags are heavier, but this doesn’t always mean they’re warmer. Consider the outer shell and the inner lining when choosing one. A heavy outer shell may be more durable and resistant to the elements, like wind and rain, but it isn’t necessarily warm.

Many dog sleeping bags use polyester or polyfill instead of synthetic down to keep your pet warm. Others have a special foil on the inner lining that reflects the dog’s own body heat back upon itself to keep it warm.


Besides the weather and general conditions outside, consider your dog’s breed. Some dogs, like malamutes, Siberian huskies or Samoyeds, do well in the cold and snow. Others, like border collies, may need a little extra insulation to keep them comfortable throughout the night.

Most dogs grow a thick winter coat when the temperature starts to drop. This helps keep them warm during the colder seasons. Some dogs have a thick undercoat that also prevents them from getting too cold while outside. Certain short-haired breeds may need more insulation during the night.


Many dog sleeping bags come with a convenient carrying bag and handle. Just like sleeping bags designed for humans, dog sleeping bags are also easy to roll up and store away when hiking. Some of these sleeping bags also have other methods to compress the overall size of the bag, which makes it even easier to carry. If you have a hiking dog that is used to carrying a small pack or backpack, you may be able to attach the sleeping bag to that.


A lot of dog sleeping bags are easy to clean, machine-washable and quick-drying. This is because they use synthetic materials. These bags are great for those who are in a hurry or who use them frequently.

If your dog leaves a stain or mark inside the bag, you may need a stain remover to clean or remove it. Fortunately, many pet-specific stain removers don’t use harsh chemicals and are safe for dogs.

Since dogs have sharp nails and often move around, they may scratch the sleeping bag while in (or on) it. While most dog sleeping bags are quite durable, you can also get a soft pad to go inside the bag and add extra protection to the inner lining.

What to look for in a quality dog sleeping bag


The materials used in a dog sleeping bag have a major impact on the bag’s overall quality. Here are some common options.

  • Nylon: Nylon is water-resistant and durable, making it great for the outer shell.
  • Polyester: With more water resistance than nylon, polyester is also quick-drying and antibacterial. It’s good for both the inner and outer parts of the sleeping bag.
  • Down or polyfill: Polyfill is a synthetic material that’s used for insulation. It’s good for wet-weather camping since it continues to insulate even when exposed to moisture. Down is also a great insulator, but it’s more expensive and doesn’t hold up as well when wet.
  • Fleece: Fleece is a great insulator since it helps trap body heat, even when slightly damp. Some sleeping bags use fleece liners with down or polyfill for the main insulator.

Size and shape

When looking for a dog sleeping bag, there are two main things to consider. First, your dog needs to be able to comfortably fit inside and move around without a problem. Second, if the bag is too big, it won’t retain heat as well since there’s more empty space for air to flow through.

Most dog sleeping bags are rectangular or circular. The circular ones are best for smaller dogs or those that like to curl up while they sleep. Regardless of the shape, the sleeping bag itself should be measured by length and width. Some manufacturers include a sizing chart with their sleeping bags. This chart often includes the recommended weight of the dog for the bag as well. When in doubt, refer to this chart before getting a sleeping bag.

Other features

Dog sleeping bags come with other great features for camping and hiking trips. Some dogs prefer to lay on top of the bag rather than inside it. So, certain sleeping bags are designed to completely open up so the dog can lay on them and still feel warm and comfortable.

Many sleeping bags are naturally water-resistant, but some also have a waterproofing treatment that keeps any moisture from getting inside. Dogs, even those with a thick coat, can still get sick from the rain or the dampness on the ground, so this treatment is a must when camping in wet conditions.

Some sleeping bags for dogs have extra pockets. These pockets give extra padding and insulation. Plus, they’re useful for storing small items like dog treats or spare leashes.

How much you can expect to spend on a dog sleeping bag

Most dog sleeping bags cost between $20-$40. Some of the more durable ones that have special features or designs cost closer to $100.

Dog sleeping bag FAQ

Do dogs like sleeping bags?

A. Not all dogs like to sleep inside a sleeping bag. Some may prefer to lay on top instead of going inside. If you want your dog to use it properly, you can train it over time with a combination of command learning and treats. If possible, start at home so your dog is ready to go camping the next time you are.

What are some alternatives I can get?

A. Besides dog sleeping bags, you may want to consider getting a soft mat or a dog tent. The mat can either be used as extra padding under a sleeping bag or on its own for dogs who prefer to lay outside. In addition, the tent will keep the dog safe from the elements.

What are the best dog sleeping bags to buy?

Top dog sleeping bag

RUFFWEAR Highlands Dog Sleeping Bag

RUFFWEAR Highlands Dog Sleeping Bag

What you need to know: This highly portable dog sleeping bag is specifically designed to maintain your canine’s body heat and keep it comfortable through chilly nights.

What you’ll love: With highly insulating synthetic down, this durable sleeping bag is water-resistant and quick-drying. It comes with a compression sack for easy transport and has a small pocket for an extra sleeping pad. It also comes in two sizes.

What you should consider: The medium size bag is a bit small for dogs weighing 50 pounds and up.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top dog sleeping bag for the money

ALPHA PET ZONE Dog Sleeping Bag

ALPHA PET ZONE Dog Sleeping Bag

What you need to know: Perfect for medium and large dogs, this sleeping bag is durable, comfortable and well insulated.

What you’ll love: The bag has a strong polyester outer shell and a fleece inner lining for extra warmth and water resistance. It’s a great option for camping, but it also works great for home use. Also, it comes with a storage bag for easy portability.

What you should consider: Although it is machine-washable, the down insulation may become lumpy when run through the machine.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

KUDES Dog Sleeping Bag

KUDES Dog Sleeping Bag

What you need to know: This well-insulated, waterproof sleeping bag is great for camping and hiking with medium and large-sized dogs.

What you’ll love: Available in two colors, this sleeping bag has a waterproof outer shell and a fleece inner shell. It’s a great option for cold or wet weather camping trips. Plus, it comes with a storage bag and has a drawstring for easy carrying. It also has a double way zipper, which makes it easy for bigger dogs to come and go as they please.

What you should consider: This sleeping bag is too big for smaller dogs. What’s more, the storage bag doesn’t have space for the extra padding that comes with the sleeping bag.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.