🥇Bedroll vs Sleeping Bag: Which one is the better choice?

Bedroll vs Sleeping Bag: Which one is the better choice?

Bedroll vs sleeping bag thumnail

Bedroll vs Sleeping Bag: Which one is the better choice?

Nowadays, you could conveniently explore and enjoy the wilderness with a better level of comfort compared to the old days. Recreational vehicles like motorhome and campervan make any outdoor trip a relatively cozy experience thanks to their excellent onboard facilities. However, there are people that desire to be as close as possible nature so RV is not a suitable option in such case. Yet after a long and tired day, everyone must rest and sleep to recover the body energy nonetheless. A sleeping bag or a bedroll would be the ideal solutions here.

Having a rather hard time to decide which one to go after? Then a comprehensive characteristics comparison between these items shall be of use to you: Bedroll vs Sleeping Bag

Bedroll vs Sleeping Bag

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  • Bedroll

There isn’t enough information to tell when or how the bedroll comes into existence, the same can be said about its development process. Most people tend to perceive the bedroll as an adventurer item which becomes a very popular image of the Old West. Classic examples in the category include cowboy bedroll, Australian swag, British Army valise and many variations around the globe. In fact, the bedroll is one of the precursors of the modern day sleeping bag as well. There are differences here and there but the similarities are quite noticeable.

As time goes by and advanced sleeping arrangements are introduced, people still come to appreciate the bedroll performance.

  • Sleeping Bag

Many believe the first mass-produced sleeping bag is invented in the late 19th century, at first for the army use and then the civilian. Missionaries and pioneers also make use of the sleeping bag when they have to travel through inhospitable or unknown lands. While traditional sleeping bags can’t be compared to their modern counterparts, people back in the days still like them. Thanks to the advance of technology, the sleeping bag underwent numerous design and material changes which continuously improve its usefulness on the field.

High end sleeping bags from certified brands are able to tackle harsh environments and extreme temperature without fail.


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  • Bedroll

The bedroll body is assembled in a very simple manner with a waterproof outer layer and a soft inner layer. In most of the case, people tend to bring along a pillow and a tarp to accommodate the bedroll. Modern products usually include D rings, Velcro, clasps and alike to make it easy for you to secure and transport the bedroll. In term of dimension, the size varies a lot from one to the other, it could be 32 x 84, 40 x 96 and so on. Some products may be wide enough to provide over and under protection or serve as an improvised lean-to cover.

  • Sleeping Bag

There are many sleeping bag designs but they all wrap around the user body and keep you warm. For insulation, a sleeping bag could use synthetic fill or down fill, both have their own strength and weakness. Synthetic fill is water resistant, quick to dry and deliver decent warm even when completely soaked. On the other hand, down fill preserve heat better but its insulation shall disappear if you let the sleeping bag get wet. Later products often have a waterproof shell so you could theoretically use them in a fairly damp condition without issue.

Ease of use

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  • Bedroll

Due to its simplicity, using bedroll cut down a lot of weight when you have to travel for an extended amount of time. If you want to use it, loosen the strap then position yourself right in the middle of the bedroll. Set the pillow and the tarp as you like to complete the bedroll deployment. Modern designs could utilize a more linear and straightforward arrangement though the principle remains the same. To pack the bedroll again, fold the layers squarely, roll them up and finally secure everything using the strap.

  • Sleeping Bag

Most sleeping bags are ready to be used the moment you take them out of the sack. You likely have to unzip a zipper or two to get into the sleeping bag then zip them back up again. Mummy style sleeping bags cannot be unzipped all the way down though since the zipper affect the overall insulation quality. Some products may utilize head drawstring and cord lock to prevent potential heat loss from the top. Because of the design differences, you are unable to roll a mummy sleeping bag like a rectangular one. You have to stuff the bag into a compression sack or something like it.

Acquisition cost

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  • Bedroll

You should be able to make your own bedroll as long as you are willing to invest some time and effort. Of course, you could always drop by the store and get a commercial product, it’s entirely up to you. Depend on the material and design, the bedroll price may vary between a dozen and a hundred dollars. Generally, a bedroll is cheaper than a sleeping bag because of the former simplicity. Since you could use the bedroll as travel bag by placing personal belonging inside it, you don’t have to buy a separate backpack.

  • Sleeping Bag

While entry level sleeping bags have a rather low price, high-end products are much more expensive. The price of a top of the line sleeping bag could approach four hundred dollars, pretty costly for the average outdoor trip. That is why people like to use a bedroll for mild weather camping due to its practicality and cheap price. But when the weather turns south and temperature drops, a quality sleeping bag is your best bet in such situations. Advance sleeping bag designs hold up very well in severe condition, much better than a high-end bedroll.

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And that is most of the information you should know about these items, not too hard to understand, right? Bedroll vs Sleeping Bag, it’s surely not easy to determine the winner without taking into account your camping condition and personal preferences. But with the help of the information, now you should be to make up your mind on what to use in the next outdoor trip.

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