Bedroll vs Sleeping Bag

Getting a good amount of sleep is especially important when you’re camping outside or hiking. When you are well-rested, you may be able to function better throughout the day. Additionally, you’ll also feel much happier and healthier. On the other hand, being exhausted and sleep-deprived can make it difficult to face the challenges that await you in the great outdoors. Consequently, it ruins your trip in the process. So, bedroll vs sleeping bag? Which one reigns supreme?

The secret to good sleep, even on the roughest terrain, is comfort. Nowadays, materials and products exist to provide you with the utmost convenience even on the most arduous of hikes. That’s why it has become increasingly vital that you choose the right equipment for your trip.

For hikers, a bedroll would be best due to its lightweight and easy-to-store ability, allowing it to be easily carried in your backpack on long-distance hikes. However, you can afford to take a sleeping bag with you for added protection and warmth for camping purposes as you have more storage space. To come to a decision, let us compare both.

Let’s start by looking at the pros and cons of bedrolls and sleeping bags.

Bedrolls vs Sleeping Bags: Compared Side by Side

1. Bedrolls

What Is a Bedroll?


Usually, bedrolls are made from durable materials used in conjunction with sleeping bags. To put it simply, their primary purpose is to act as the outer layer of a sleeping bag, serving as its protector from wear and tear. However, due to bedrolls being made from exceedingly hard-wearing materials, they’re not the most comfortable.

Hence, it is ideal to take a sleeping bag with you as well, so you can put the bag on or inside it for maximum protection. Despite this, some experienced hikers opt for simplicity by only taking a bedroll with them. Furthermore, for people who want minimum protection as they sleep, bedrolls create a layer of durable material between them and the ground.

Moreover, many people try to create their own comfort by bringing tarps and pillows with them in case the bedroll does not have a comfortable inner fabric. Several of them also come with clasps or other fastening features that allow for ease in packing up. Most bedrolls are coated with a waterproof finish to further add to this, making them somewhat valuable for rainy weather. 

Features of a Bedroll

Do you have a friend, a relative, or any other experienced hiker who has conquered many challenging treks? Make sure to ask them to choose between a bedroll and a sleeping bag. Nine times out of ten, their answer will be a bedroll. Why? For one simple reason, its ease in packing and unpacking.


When you’re not using the bedroll, all you have to do is roll it up and tie it down. Afterward, just store it in the bag you’re carrying with you and pull it out when you need to sleep. Additionally, on the occasion that you’re camped in a particularly difficult location and have to sleep on rough terrain, a bedroll can offer excellent protection.

Still, if you’re thinking about taking only a bedroll without a sleeping bag to accompany it, make sure to only go out camping in the summer. This is because bedrolls alone do not supply the body with enough insulation during cold weather. As there is nothing on top of your body to protect it from the cold winds, the material itself may be strong, but it is not warm enough.

Furthermore, although the products themselves are pretty simple, they still count as luxury items. Hence, they’re pretty expensive in the online market. But if you require a bedroll and all of the ones available online are outside your price range, it would be wise to collect some heavy-duty, waterproof canvas fabric and make one yourself.

Using Bedrolls


  • Easier to store due to their ability to be rolled up
  • Offers durability for your sleeping bags when used together
  • Hikers can make one for themselves
  • Protects your sleeping bags from wear and tear


  • Not suitable for hiking in the cold or snowy weather
  • Some bedrolls are too heavy to carry for long-distance hikes

2. Sleeping Bags

What Is a Sleeping Bag?

A sleeping bag is a more convenient option for sleeping outdoors, gazing at the stars. Although they come in different styles, they’re distinguishable from bedrolls because of their ability to wrap around the user, effectively trapping their body heat. Due to this insulation, sleeping bags are tailor-made for sleeping in cold environments since they can protect you from the cold winds.

Sleeping bags are also distinct because of their soft and comfy material, which, even though not as sturdy as a bedroll, still partially accomplishes the job of protecting you from the rough terrain. Some sleeping bags also come with pillows attached, and some may even have extra blankets. In conclusion, if you’re someone who likes camping with family or friends, a sleeping bag would be a better choice compared to a bedroll.

Sleeping Bag

Features Of a Sleeping Bag

Sleeping bags mainly have two types of insulation. One is the down-filled type which offers adequate insulation. The only downside is that when it’s wet, it loses insulating properties. On the other hand, the synthetic fill type may offer less insulation, but it can maintain warmth even during heavy rain. Moreover, it also dries up faster.

Sleeping Bag

It is also worth mentioning that most bags come with cord locks and head drawstrings to prevent heat from escaping from the top. However, although they surpass bedrolls in comfort, they do get beat when it comes to durability. They usually do not last as long as bedrolls because the regular wear and tear take a toll on them. In addition, they are also not as easy to roll up and pack as bedrolls.

This is because only a handful of models possess the rectangular style, which allows them to be rolled up like bedrolls. Most sleeping bags are mummy-style models which require stuffing into their compression sacks after use. Finally, it is also worth knowing that the prices of low-quality sleeping bags are quite low, but as they increase in quality, their prices also start to rise.

Although the premium-quality sleeping bags may be relatively expensive, they offer enhanced protection for hikers looking to take on the challenge of hiking in freezing weather.

Using Sleeping Bags


  • Provide insulation for campers in cold weather
  • You can roll up some variants for easy storage
  • Offer more comfort than a bedroll due to the soft material
  • Sleeping bags are available in a range of prices


  • Most cannot be rolled up and need to be stuffed into a bag
  • Durability is considerably less than a bedroll

Bedrolls or Sleeping Bags: Which Is the Best Option?

To summarize, the primary advantage of a bedroll over a sleeping bag is its resistant nature and its easy to pack and unpack feature. In addition, the durability allows it to last longer than a sleeping bag, along with increased protection when sleeping on rough terrain. 

However, the sleeping bag also has some advantages over a bedroll. Sleeping bags wrap around you, trapping your body heat inside, effectively acting as an excellent heat insulator. Their material may not be durable, but it is softer and more comfortable than a bedroll. 

Our verdict? Neither a sleeping bag nor a bedroll should be used alone. Instead, you should use them together to offer the best protection against freezing weather, as well as wear and tear. Both were created originally to be used collectively, as the primary function of a bedroll is to provide an extra durable layer between the sleeping bag and the ground when the sleeping bag is laid on top or inserted inside the bedroll. 

Regardless, we understand that not everyone may be able to buy both items and is looking for someone to tell them what the preferred choice between the two is. In that case, we would urge you to come to a decision keeping in mind your unique needs and requirements. You should make your decision after reading all the facts about both items that we have listed above in the article.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top