A good night’s sleep after a long hectic day in the mountains? The line itself speaks about the importance of a good sleeping bag while camping. A good quality sleeping bag can make all the difference to your sleeping experience while camping.
Sleeping bags are simply a warm lined padded bag to sleep in. In other words, it can be termed as an insulated portable bedding. They are extremely versatile and different types will adhere to different purposes and requirements.
The main purpose of these bags is to provide warmth and a comfortable sleep.
Factors to be Consider before choosing
Below mentioned are some of the important factors that need to consider before choosing a sleeping bag:
- Shape– This is one of the most important factors whose impact cannot be understated. It is equally important as the material of the bag. The bigger a bag, more space and more the time it takes to heat. Sleeping bags come in many shapes and sizes. Basically, there are four main shapes; each shape serve different purpose-
a) Rectangular- This is the most common shape and the best part about this is that it fits almost any body shape and size. However, these bags are heavier and less technical thus are recommended for recreational camping and not for backpacking trips.
b) Mummy– This is a body-hugging, cocoon-like shape bag that is wide at the shoulders and gets narrow at the feet, reducing the amount of space. However, due to narrower fit, some people may find it restrictive to move. These bags offer maximum warmth. Due to their tapered shape, they offer the best heat retention. These are usually lightweight, thus best suited for long and short backpacking trips.
c) Barrel– This one is a mix of rectangular and mummy shaped bags. They are even known as semi-rectangular bags. Unlike mummy bags, they have more room to spread out. However, they are not as heat efficient as the mummy sleeping bag. Overall, they are lighter in weight and offers a decent amount of warmth inside. They can be used for both camping and backpacking.
d) Double-wide- These are basically designed for two people. These type of bags simply eliminate the need to zip two bags together. Extra cushioning is provided in the upper area that acts as a pillow for each person. For better comfort, they can be combined with an air mattress.
- Insulation Type– To provide warmth the bag comes with an inbuilt insulation There are three primary insulation types, as listed below:
a) Synthetic Insulation- This one is most preferred due to its friendly price tag. It is durable and delivers a decent performance. It’s quick-drying and insulates out much faster when wet.
b) Goose-Down Insulation- Slightly higher in price these ones are more loft. Goose down is chosen for its luxurious warmth, loft and insulating properties, which is unmatched by synthetic fills.
c) Water-Resistant Down Insulation- Down feathers offers powerful warmth, but the problem arises when they get wet. To combat this issue, water-resistant down insulation came into existence. As compared to rest, it is the best insulation that exists. These bags offer excellent heat retention and are suitable for both cold and warm temperatures. They survive considerably longer in wet conditions. This synthetic down is most expensive out of the rest but is completely worth it.
- Temperature rating– The temperature rating is an important factor to consider when choosing a sleeping bag. Depending on the area you are travelling in, choose the temperature rating of your bag. Temperature rating simply means the lowest temperature at which a bag is intended to keep the person warm. Example- Temperature rating is 25° It means that a person will be comfortable only if the temperature drops no lower than 25°F. It is advisable to go for a sleeping bag with a temperature rating that is lower than the lowest temperature you expect to face on the trip. However, temperature ratings will vary from person to person.
Apart from these features, consider the extras that make your bag work more comfortably for you. Make a choice amongst the types of zippers, draft collars, hood styles, etc.
Amidst so many sleeping bags in the market, it becomes difficult to make a perfect choice. To ease out for you, here is a list of :
6 Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags by some of the best brands
Teton Sports is a renowned brand that is known for making durable and quality products. TETON Sports Tracker +5 Degree bag has been specially designed to withstand cold weather conditions.
This “Ultralight” sleeping bag, as claimed by the company weighs only 4.1 pounds, which is quite decent. The design of this bag is super-convenient. It has interior and exterior zippers, which makes folding this sleeping bag extremely easy.
Moreover, the full-length zipper baffle acts as a strong barrier that stops cold air from entering the sleeping bag.
It is equipped with Teton’s proprietary “Polarlite” insulation that provides warmth on cold nights. The Tracker sleeping bag has been rated for temperatures as low as 5 degrees, all credits to this insulation. For more warmth and added comfort, thermal efficient fibers have been installed.
The bag also uses 7-denier woven fiber fill plus shoulder and zipper baffles that circulate warm air throughout your body.
The best part about this bag is that it consists of an extra layer in the vaulted foot box to keep your feet warm in harsh weather conditions. There is also a 3-piece gap hood that pulls snugly across your face, to see you warm throughout the night.
It is equipped with an interior pocket that adds to the convenience. You can store in all your essentials and personal belongings like keys, wallet or your mobile phone, etc.
This sleeping bag comes with a 75D Diamond Ripstop shell, which has a water-resistant finish that protects this bag from soaking. The shell is durable enough to withstand any kind of abuse and wear and tear under any harsh circumstances.
The fully taped zippers also come with an anti-snag design that is extremely useful to withstand any pressures.
For all the camping lovers who want to survive the coldest of the nights with ease, this bag is the perfect thing you can ask for. High on affordability and with all the amazing features, this bag won’t disappoint you.
Based in Boulder, Colorado, Kelty is a manufacturer of high-end backpacks, tents, and sleeping bags. The Cosmic Down 20 is a mummy type bag. It provides adequate comfort, gets narrow around the waist and feet and hugs you for that comfortable touch.
For higher performance, the Cosmic 20 Degree sleeping bag is insulated with 600-fill power DriDown that makes it extremely warm. The Dridown makes this bag water-resistant, i.e. it resists moisture and features an exceptional loft. This bag will be technically comfortable to 20 degrees.
This sleeping bag only weighs two and a half pounds, which makes it super-lightweight. Be it rain, shine or snow, this bag is reliable enough to be used in all the 3 seasons.
The off-set construction provides maximum warmth without cold spots. The shell is constructed of 50-denier ripstop polyester and a 50D polyester taffeta liner that provides the adequate strength and durability. The shell is DWR treated that repels the moisture well.
The Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree sleeping bag is available for men in Short (fits up to 5’ 6”), Regular (up to 6′ 0″), and Long (up to 6′ 6″) lengths and in one regular size for women.
However, each Cosmic 20 Degree bag includes a stuff sack that helps in compression, which makes packing this backpack easier. It is equipped with various smart features like a thermal comfort hood and top draft collar.
The adjustable draft collars offer more warmth and drape comfortably over neck and shoulders. It features differential easy-to-use pull cords on the collar. The 60 in. dual-slider locking zipper with anti-snag design seals in the warmth of the bag. A draft tube behind the locking zipper and draft collar further enhance the thermal efficiency.
The hood utilizes Kelty’s patented FatMan and Ribbon drawcords, that lets you adjust the top or lower sections of the hood. For added convenience, this bag is equipped with natural-fit footbox which provides enough space for your feet.
Overall, the adjustments are simple and easy to use. Given all the features, this versatile sleeping bag is a true bargain.
Kelty is a manufacturer of high-end backpacks, tents, and sleeping bags owned by Exxel Outdoors, LLC. Kelty Cosmic 21 Degree sleeping bag is versatile enough to be used in 3 seasons. It weighs around 1.26 kg.
The Cosmic Down 21 Degree sleeping bag is insulated with 550-fill power DriDown. This water-resistant DriDown resists moisture and dries 33% faster than regular down. It features box-baffle construction with a differential cut that eliminates cold spots to provide maximum warmth.
The shell is smooth and comprises of polyester taffeta that provides durability. The polyester taffeta lining feels great against skin and is extremely comfortable. It features a contoured hood with an insulated hood baffle.
The hood utilizes Kelty’s patented FatMan and Ribbon drawcords, that lets you adjust the top or lower sections of the hood.
The full-length, 60″ two-way, double sliding zipper allows easy ventilation. A fully insulated draft tube located behind the 60″ two-way locking zipper blocks the cold air from outside.
Accompanying them is a fully-insulated draft collar that drapes comfortably over neck and shoulders. It comes with a natural-fit foot box that provides plenty of space for your feet to feel comfortable and relaxed.
Some additional features include sleeping pad security loops, internal liner loops and hanging loops. The hang loops allow easy drying and storage and the pad loops provide attachment points to keep sleeping bag centred on top of the sleeping pad.
The Kelty Cosmic 21 Degree sleeping bag is available in Short (fits up to 5’ 6”), Regular (up to 6′ 0″), and Long (up to 6′ 6″) lengths and each Cosmic Down 21 Degree bag includes a stuff sack.
It features a Limited Lifetime warranty and works the best until the temperature of 32 Degrees F. Overall, this affordable bag with an array of features is an excellent choice to go for.
The North Face, Inc. is an American outdoor product company specializing in backpacks, tents, and sleeping bags. North Face Cats Meow Sleeping Bag is the most compressible synthetic bag you will come across in its price range.
Unlike most synthetic bags, it compresses down slightly smaller which is worth noting. It comes with a full-length zipper makes for easy ventilation and the shaped hood fits snugly about your head and face that adds to the comfort.
This mummy shaped bag is a synthetic sleeping bag, which is surprisingly lightweight. It only weighs 2 pounds 11 ounces, which is decent considered a synthetic bag. Wrapped around with Cyclone construction this bag increases your warmth.
It is a 20-degree bag that uses The North Face’s proprietary synthetic Heatseeker Pro for insulation. It accompanies a solid draft tube which provides warmth by blocking the cold air.
The body is constructed of 20D Ripstop Nylon and the reinforced foot box and hood features 30D Nylon/Polyester Taffeta. This fabric is tough enough to keep all the rough abrasion away. The DWR treatment on the outside keeps this bag water-resistant and makes it capable to handle wet climates.
It offers extra-wide shoulders and a larger foot box. It features vertical baffles which help to keep insulation in place. Small interior zippered pocket serves as an excellent space to store in all your essentials like wallet or smartphone, etc.
This bag has been EN Tested. The best part is that this product comes with a Lifetime guarantee for all the manufacturer defects and workmanship issues.
This comfortable bag is spacious enough and is a great option for the backpacker on a budget. This is a great bag for shorter backpacking trips, kayak trips or camping trips, but it isn’t a great option for extended backpacking trips considered its weight and packed size.
However, this versatile bag is a great option for camping in wet climates, as it dries exceptionally fast.
Aektiv Outdoors offers best camping, backpacking and hiking products and accessories like sleeping bag, tents, backpacks and hammocks. Aektiv Outdoor 15 Degree Down Mummy Sleeping Bag is an ideal choice for backcountry adventures and weekend campaign trips.
This lightweight mummy sleeping bag is perfect for all three seasons. It weighs about 3.5 pounds and compresses to 6×7 inches which makes it easy to carry in your backpack. In fact, one of the best thing about this bag is that it is ultra-light. It comes with a compression sack that makes it easy to carry. Unlike other sleeping bags, it features heavy strong anti-snag zippers.
It widens around your arms and legs so you have enough room to move around. This bag has extra space foot area that provides you extra space to keep your feet stretched.
Other additional features include a hanging hook to dry the sleeping bag and one inside pocket to keep your cell phone or wallet. This compression sleeping bag comes with an anatomic hood, draft tube, trapezoidal footbox.
This bag features waterproof construction as it uses water repellent and water resistant fabric. It has a cinch down that allows you to tighten down the hood.
With a fixed temperature of 15 degree Celsius, this bag is warm enough to withstand the freezing temperatures while you are camping out. Their 500 Duck Down Filling keeps you extremely warm at 15° F.
Overall, this is a high-quality sleeping bag which is worth every penny.
Big Agnes as a brand needs no introduction. This award-winning camping gear brand specializes in ultralight tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and insulated apparel.
The Cabin Creek 15 Degree Sleeping Bag by Big Agnes is designed for two people. You can go solo, but then there will be enough room and space for you to enjoy.
The company claims that with this bag you will feel like your own bed in the backcountry, and they are not wrong. It is extremely comfortable that you’ll simply feel like home. With this Doublewide System bags, they have simply eliminated the need to zip two bags together.
The top corner hand pockets can be used to wrap the bag around your shoulders like you do with your comforter at home. The best part is that the zipper on each side allows easy access for both sleepers.
As far as design is concerned, it is a rectangular shaped bag with integrated full pad sleeve design. It features a super durable lightweight shell and cozy cotton liner.
The stretch fabric panels on the side of the pad sleeve accommodate pads of different thicknesses and an integrated pad coupler can accept a double wide pad or two single pads side by side.
The free range hood design gives you the freedom to lift your head while snuggled in the hood and the low-profile cordlock lets you un-cinch the hood with just one hand.
This bag is insulated with Insotect Hotstream synthetic fibers and features an improved pad sleeve combination. The notable part here is that the company has eliminated the unnecessary bottom insulation and replaced it with one of two pad sleeve designs to accommodate the pad which provides the insulation.
An extra 2″ of length in the foot box provides more space to accommodate people with tall height.
Some additional features include a pillow barn that keeps your pillow tucked in tight all night and exterior loops for hang drying or storage. It includes a mesh storage sack and nylon stuff sack. All Big Agnes products are guaranteed against manufacturing or material defect.
Overall, this sleeping bag is one of the most desired and worth the consideration. Given the price range and the features, this one is a perfect fit for your backpacking or camping trips.
Comparison Table of Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags
|TETON Sports Tracker||+5 degree F||4.1 pounds||Mummy Sleeping Bag||75D Diamond Ripstop|
|Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree||20 degree||2 and half pounds||Mummy Sleeping Bag||50-denier ripstop polyester|
|Kelty Cosmic 21 Degree||21 degree||1.26 kg||Mummy Down Bag||Polyester taffeta|
|North Face Cats Meow||20 degree||2 pounds 11 ounces||Mummy Sleeping Bag||20D Ripstop Nylon|
|Aektiv Outdoor 15 Degree||15 degree||3.5 pounds||Mummy Sleeping Bag||Nylon|
|Big Agnes Cabin Creek||15 degree||2.18 kg||Double-wide, Rectangular shaped||Ripstop nylon|
Rating Table of Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags
Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags
While planning a camping trip, one cannot overlook the importance of sleeping bags. On backpacking trips, for added comfort, focus on minimizing weight.
Be sure to keep all the above- mentioned factors in mind before you make a purchase. Analyse your requirements well-in-advance so that you don’t have to regret your choice later.