Differences Between The Mummy And Rectangular Sleeping Bags

If you are someone who enjoys spending time in the great outdoors, chances are you know that you what gear you need to stay the night there. Camping can be a great experience. But, it will be less great if you do not have a comfortable sleeping bag to keep you warm and protected.

Let’s say that you are new to camping and you do not own a sleeping bag yet – I can help you make a more educated decision about which type of bag you should buy. In this guide, I will discuss mummy vs rectangular sleeping bags to show you what these have in common and what makes them different.

If you want to learn more about this, keep on reading!


What Are The Differences Between The Mummy And Rectangular Sleeping Bags?

Before I get into the differences between mummy sleeping bags and rectangular sleeping bags, I want to give you a short explanation about what kind of bags these are.

Mummy Vs Rectangular Sleeping Bags - Table

Image source: purehiker.com

First, I will start with the mummy sleeping bags.

A mummy sleeping bag is the type of sleeping bag you want to have on cold winter nights. It usually has a snug fit, meaning it is quite narrow. You will not be moving in it, but you will be staying warm throughout the night.

Then, you have rectangular sleeping bags.

A rectangular sleeping bag is one that you can use in warm weather. It might not be completely insulated, but it offers great comfort and enough space to move around. You can unzip it and use it as a blanket, quilt, and so on.

Even though one can argue that these two types of sleeping bags are similar in certain areas, they also have a few differences. Knowing these differences is critical in deciding which one you need for your upcoming trip. So, pay close attention to what comes next.

Weather conditions

One of the first things that separate these sleeping bags is the weather they are most suitable for. I already mentioned that the mummy sleeping bag is a winter sleeping bag. You should use it only in colder weather.

Most mummy bags are made from thicker material and have better insulation, holding heat better than a rectangular sleeping bag. The rectangular one is perfect for warm weather camping and summer camping. It is made from thinner materials, and it allows more airflow than the former.


As a result of the types of materials they are made from, I bet you can guess which one is the lighter one and which is the heavier one. The mummy sleeping bag tends to be a bit heavier than the rectangular sleeping bag. But, depending on the manufacturer and the materials used, this can vary.

Pack size

If you are a camper or a hiker, you know how important it is to have lightweight gear that you can fit in or on your backpack. The same goes for sleeping bags – the lighter they are, the better for everyone!

Again, I cannot say with certainty that one type of sleeping bag is always lighter than the other. This depends on the materials used and the design of the bag. But, the mummy bag often packs smaller than the rectangular bag.


As for versatility, the clear winner is the rectangular sleeping bag. With the mummy bag, you do not have any versatility at all. You can sleep in it. Well, that is about it.

With the rectangular sleeping bag, you can usually turn it into a quilt or a picnic blanket. Often, you can completely unzip it and attach it to another one. That will create more wiggle room and more comfort!


Finally, another factor to always keep in mind is the price. The mummy sleeping bag tends to be a bit more expensive due to the materials and design. The rectangular sleeping bag is more affordable, but it is not completely suitable for cold weather.

This means that you will need to get both if you are planning on camping all year round. If you plan to camp often, I recommend you buy a sleeping bag from a specialty store or a well-known company. It might cost you more, but it will be of better quality and last you a lot longer.

a tent full of sleeping bags

For What Conditions Is The Rectangular Sleeping Bag Appropriate?

There are several conditions in which you want to have a rectangular sleeping bag with you. As I mentioned before, this type of bag is best for summer camping and warm weather camping. If you are into car camping, you can also use the rectangular bag for the purpose!

Next, a rectangular bag is most suitable for those who want to have more moving space. It might offer more space, but it is also more likely to allow cold air to enter the bag. So, you should keep that in mind.

There is a quick solution to that problem, though. Since there is more space in the bag, you can always add a warm water bottle or other warming gear. If you do that, you will resolve the problem!

Keep in mind that this bag will feature a simple, thin material all over. You will have little to no insulation in the bag. That might result in some cold spots, but you do not have to worry about that if the weather is warm.

The rectangular sleeping bag is also more suitable for those looking to make a double bag. If you want to sleep together with your partner, you need two rectangular bags zipped together, and you will be all set. You can also do this for two or three kids who want to stay close during the night.

The materials used for this type of sleeping bag are usually thinner. This means it should be lightweight and easy to pack, but the packing size might not be that small. This depends on your specific type of sleeping bag, the actual material, and the packing options. You should keep this in mind, especially if you have limited space in your backpack.

The only con I can think of is the fact that the sleeping bag will be bulkier. If you are camping with limited space, that can be a problem. So, make sure that you do a lot of research before committing to one sleeping bag only!

For What Conditions Is The Mummy Sleeping Bag Appropriate?

In most conditions where you can use a rectangular sleeping bag, you should not use a mummy sleeping bag. These two are quite different. Now that you know the conditions suitable for the rectangular one let’s look at the conditions suitable for the mummy one.

A mummy sleeping bag is suitable for winter camping in cold weather. It is not quite suitable for warm weather or car camping in the summer as it will make you too hot.

The mummy bag is great with heat retention. It has insulation, is made from thick materials, and is very narrow. It does not have any cold spots – if some appear, chances are you need a new sleeping bag.

The bag usually has a snug fit. It might feel tight around your body, but that will help you feel warm in cold weather. Remember that your body heat can protect you on those cold nights.

While it is thicker, the mummy bag is not that heavy. It packs small, you can attach it to your backpack with ease, and you will not even feel that it is there. Especially those quality mummy bags, they have great designs that do not weigh you down.

One of the two problems that might appear with this type of bag is that you might not have enough space to move. If you tend to get nervous in tight spaces, this type of bag might not be quite suitable for you.

Furthermore, the mummy bags come at a higher price. If you worry about the price being too high, I am here to tell you not to. They are completely worth the investment, and you will not regret buying one for yourself or your loved ones!

side sleeper camping

Mummy Vs Rectangular - Which Is the Best Option For Side Sleepers

Side sleepers like to have a lot of space when they sleep. They tend to toss and turn more instead of sleeping on their backs all night long.

If you enjoy sleeping on your side more, you will need to get a rectangular sleeping bag. This type of bag will offer you enough space to turn from side to side. As for the mummy sleeping bag, you will not have enough space to turn during the night.

But what happens if you are planning on camping in winter? Or if you are a person who likes to be very warm during the night?

If that is the case, you should try to find larger mummy bags. That might give you that extra room you want to get. Still, make sure that you measure everything, or you might end up with a sleeping bag that will keep you trapped in one place!


Well, that is everything you need to know on the topic of mummy vs rectangular sleeping bag. Let me point out again that there is no clear winner between the two. Which one you get depends on your preferences and needs, so make a careful, educated, and wise decision!

I hope that the points I made in this guide helped you learn more about these two types of bags. Let me know in the comments which one you are planning on getting. I cannot wait to read all about it!

Andrew Mullen

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