A good night’s sleep is extremely important. When choosing a sleeping bag for cool weather, to insure comfort and allow for the unexpected, choose one rated for a temperature that is 10-20 degrees colder than the coldest temperature in which you will be camping. For example, if you are going to be camping in 50 degree temperatures, you will want to purchase a bag rated for 40 degrees or lower.
Try sleeping out at home on cool nights in your bag to test its comfort before depending on it while away. Great bags filled with goose down (the lightest) or synthetic fibers are made by a variety of companies. Two excellent brands are Marmot and SierraDesigns. Bags from both can be had with DriDown, a treatment which protects individual down fibers and prevents moisture.
You will also need a sleeping pad to insulate you from cold coming from underneath. This is an absolute necessity. A sleeping bag alone will not provide this protection, and whatever the season, no one sleeps very well with only the ground underneath. Therm-A-Rest makes excellent lightweight sleeping pads. Include a small pillow as well if you require one.
Fall is still quite warm in some areas. Choose the sleeping bag you will use accordingly if this is the case in your region. Insectsmight still be activeas well. An enclosed tent, or at least a mosquito headnet for protection and comfort when sleeping could be a welcome item. Carry insect repellant for use during the day.