Returning to the wild is a delight for dogs, even if they are couch potatoes. Keeping the pack together and bringing your dog along for a long hike or camping vacation is a great way to spend time together. Yet, when it comes to setting up the tent and settling in, you probably aren’t going to want a dog snuggling into your sleeping bag alongside you. So what do you do? You buy a dog sleeping bag for camping!
Why You Need a Dog Sleeping Bag
You might be thinking, “Wait, why can’t I just use a regular dog bed?” As many seasoned campers and hikers will agree, when you are out in the wilderness, you need to be able to unpack, pack, and clean things fast. You don’t live in the woods the same way you do at home, and so you need to make sure that you are prepared for whatever Mother Nature surprises you with.
Since Fido is going to want to feel just as comfortable and cozy as you do at the campsite, you should truly consider his/her needs alongside yours. Sleeping well after a long day of outdoor play is essential for everyone.
What To Look For When Buying a Dog Sleeping Bag
Once you have decided that you want to purchase a separate sleeping bag for your four-legged companion, there are several features to think about when buying a dog sleeping bag that will help you make your final choice.
- Warmth – Whether you are hiking in the winter or summer, the great outdoors comes with a great variance in temperature. You always want to make sure the sleeping bag is going to insulate and retain your dog’s body temperature. Because dogs have fur, you don’t have to worry about too much insulation, unless you plan on camping in subzero temperatures.
- Durability – You want a dog sleeping bag that is going to last as long as your own. Always place the sleeping bag on a protective mat to avoid tearing. Also be careful about zippers or anything that can catch on a collar, be chewed, or ripped off.
- Waterproof – As long as the outer layer is completely waterproof, you should be fine. Most dog sleeping bags are water-resistant, but always double-check to be sure.
- Comfort – Some dogs don’t mind sleeping on concrete. Others want a plush couch. Depending on how old your dog is or what health issues he/she has, you will want to think about having some kind of foam padding to keep them comfortable all night long. For example, if your dog has arthritis, you are going to want to go extra plushy. If they happen to be incontinent, think about something that repels water.
- Hygiene – One of the most important factors in choosing a dog sleeping bag is often the most overlooked: is the bag going to be easy clean? Obviously, after a couple of days of hiking, your dog’s sleeping bag is going to be covered in fur, dirt, dust, and more. You want to make sure the materials are washable and easy to clean.
- Size and Weight – Unless your dog is carrying their own tools, you’re going to have to put the dog sleeping bag in your own hiking and versatile. Also, keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all. Though dog sleeping bags are usually sized small, medium, large, you need to think about the size, weight, and height of your dog to make sure they are going to fit.
The Best Dog Sleeping Bag
There are four styles of dog sleeping bags: cup, flat, pod, and cave. Obviously, each style is going to have advantages and disadvantages. Those will be discussed with each of the options listed below for the best dog sleeping bag around:
1. Ruffwear Highlands Dog Sleeping Bag
- The outer layer is water-resistant and quick-drying
- Synthetic insulation technology keeps your dog warm
- Bottom padding is great for older dogs
- Zip enclosure makes entrance smaller for more heat retention
- Two pairs of safety loops to secure sleeping bag if necessary
- Stuff sack is included (bag packs down to 12”x7”x7”)
- Lightweight – 12.7 ounces
- Dimensions are 2”x2”x31.5”x 25.98” – there is enough room for small and large dogs up to 75 pounds.
- Not sized for extra-large dog breeds, like mastiffs and Great Pyrenees.
Ruffwear is considered the best brand for dog hiking gear and sleeping bags. The Ruffwear Highlands Dog Sleeping Bag is one of a kind, honestly. The premium materials that the sleeping bag is made of is often used by competitive hikers (durable polyester fabric shell).
Though the price tag might have you reeling back slightly, never fear! You know you are getting your money’s worth and much more when you invest in a top-quality dog sleeping bag—and besides, your furry companion is worth it.
2. FrontPet Water Resistant Dog Sleeping Bag
- Water-resistant, high-elastic polyester
- Lightweight and compact
- Thick layers of insulation (perfect for wintertime)Zipper-opening
- Convertible style: flat or stuffed
- Dimensions: 32.3” x 28.3” – can fit a 60 pound pit bull or 75 pound Golden Retriever
- Lining has been reported to be somewhat coarse
- Material may slip off car seats
- Requires pad or cushion underneath
Worried your furry-friend could catch a cold in a damp region? The FrontPet Water Resistant Dog Sleeping Bag will put those worries—and your pet—to rest. This sleeping bag is padded and insulated exceptionally well and will keep your companion warm and comfy throughout the night.
Since this bag can be stuffed into a nylon bag and weighs only 1.9 pounds in total, it is very convenient. Also, if you dog happens to love getting muddy, this sleeping bag is perfect, because it is water-resistant, easy to clean, and air dries rapidly.
3. Ozark Trail Dog Sleeping Bag
- Soft, breathable fabric
- Durable and scratch-resistant
- Size zip opening
- Compact – roll it up and pack it away
- Recommended for dogs up to 50 pounds (if they like to sleep curled up), but will be sized best for dogs up to 30 pounds.
- Made of warm, heavy material to keep pups warm in the cold.
- The zipper is not as durable as the rest of the bag and will fail prematurely.
The Ozark Trail Dog Sleeping Bag is a great decision if you want a bed that can be used anywhere. This is great when your pup is picky (or territorial) and only wants their bed, nothing else. The soft, breathable fabric is great for regulating body temperature, the zip enclosure allows the bed to be opened more for warmer nights. Further, the bag is durable and made from ripstop polyester.
4. P.L.A.Y Pet Lifestyle Snuggle Bed for Dogs
- Can be molded into a number of shapes, making it easy to pack
- Sewn in dirt-resistant canvas bottom
- Dimensions 18x24x24 inches – perfect for small dog breeds, like Pomeranians
- Versatile for indoors and outdoors, home or camping
- Not insulated or water-resistant;
- Not for large dog breeds (in fact, many reviews state that the beds run smaller than average)
Looking for a snuggle bed for a small to medium-sized dog breed? The P.L.A.Y Snuggle Bed is a decent option. The reason a lot of people choose these kinds of beds for their pup(s) is because they are warm, comfortable, and reasonably priced.
Although the snuggle bed is not water-resistant or insulated, it will provide comfort on a cooler spring or autumn evening. You can easily bring this kind of bed from home, ensuring your dog will be comfortable wherever you set up fort.
5. Canine Hardware Pet Travel Bed
- Sizing is 30×39 inches, making it a nice size for both small to large dog breeds
- Travel bed comes with a 9×15 inch nylon stuff sack
- Easy to clean
- Extremely soft and comfortable material will make it a favorite among dogs that love cushions or need the extra support
- Has a hook tab to make drying easy. Can also be used as an anchor.
- Dogs up to 80 pounds have been reported to fit well on this bed.
- Doesn’t have a cold barrier. Requires a protective pad on the bottom.
Canine Hardware (Chuckit!) is considered a medium-grade brand that stacks up well against competitors like Ruffwear. If you are looking for something with a more budget-friendly price tag that accommodates even the largest dog breeds, then the Canine Hardware Pet Travel Bed is worth your consideration.
The polyester microfiber is super soft. On the bottom is ripstop nylon. You can even wash this travel bed in the washer machine, making clean up hassle-free. Though this bed is not meant for summer travel, it will certainly keep the pup(s) warm in the wintertime!
6. Hero Dog Soft Fleece Crate Pad – Various Sizes
- Thick, cottony padding that is perfect for older dogs with arthritis
- Non-skid material
- Easy to wash and keep clean
- Material keeps dog warm throughout the night
- Can be folded up and put inside a backpack easily for travel
- Ideal for indoor, outdoor, and crates
- Comes in a variety of sizes for small to extra large dog breeds.
- Not chew resistant. If your dog chews, this is not the mat for you.
- No mention if this pad is water-resistant or not.
Now, you might be wondering where all the products for larger dogs might be. Unfortunately, sleeping bags probably won’t fit your Great Dane. That’s where this product comes in. The Hero Dog Soft Fleece Crate Pad has multiple dimensions ranging from 21 inches long to 55 inches long. The pads are slip resistant, durable, and even orthopedic.
The fleece is shed/pill resistant. The washable cover is easy to remove, throw in the washer machine, and air dry. The best part? You can easily fold up this pad for travel.
Overall, choosing a dog sleeping bag for camping and hiking is a fairly easy process. Simply match the dimensions of the product to your dog’s size and take into consideration where and when you will be camping. Though it might take some research to make sure the product is perfect for your pet, remember to keep in mind whether or not the material is water-resistant and insulated, as well as the age of your companion, and the price tag.
And once you find a dog sleeping bag your furry friend loves, you will both sleep better and be happier on the trails!