Most pilgrims carry a sleeping bag for the Camino De Santiago but do you really need one?
I’m a “cold sleeper” which means I need a bit more insulation than most people and was happy to use my sleeping bag most nights. However, many pilgrims carry a sleeping bag liner instead and to be honest, that’s all I would have needed.
And in the event of it being cold (which can happen), the Albergues will almost always provide a blanket.
Do You Really Need a Sleeping Bag for the Camino?
Now, whatever you choose really depends on your own personal needs and tolerance. For instance, if it does get cold some evening and there’s no blankets available, are you willing to wear your jacket inside the sleeping bag liner? I’ve never had to do this but while it may not be an issue for me, not everyone is wanting to take any such risk.
Moral of the story: If you go with a sleeping bag, I suggest you take a lightweight sleeping bag.
Note: I carry a Vango Cobra 400 which is a rather expensive lightweight sleeping bag. It’s probably twice the weight of a standard sleeping bag liner but it’s so compact that I choose to carry that little bit of extra weight just in case. I’m not recommending you buy this sleeping bag but rather explaining why you don’t see the following kit in my videos etc.
What Sleeping Bag for the Camino de Santiago?
If you are new to hiking etc, you might not have a lot of gear for the Camino. This will likely mean spending money on a new backpack and shoes and maybe even some new clothing. It’s just my opinion but spending lots of money on a high quality sleeping bag (that you might not use again is probably not the best way to spend your budget for the Camino.
Instead, I suggest you either take a sleeping bag liner or a sleeping bag with the following features:
- Lightweight option of much less than 1kg in weight.
- The most compact/small sized option that will do the job.
- Something affordable!
Let’s take a look at a couple of affordable options that I found online…
Agemore Ultra-light Sleeping Bag
You just really can’t beat the price range for this sleeping bag and the specifications seem sufficient for the camino. It weighs just 700 grams and as you can see from the image above, it packs down to a very small size.
NewDoar Urltra-Light Goose Down Sleeping Bag
For something a bit higher in terms of quality, the NewDoar sleeping bag looks like an amazing deal. It’s even lighter (526g) than the option above and packs down smaller than anything else I’ve come across in this price range.
My main goal with this post is to save you investing in a big and heavy item that cost a lot of money. It’s just not necessary to buy a “high quality” sleeping bag for the Camino. You will never hear me say this about buying a sleeping bag for camping because sleeping in a tent and sleeping in a dormitory are two different things. I also cannot emphasise the importance of pack-size with a sleeping bag because this will be the biggest item in your backpack on the Camino.