Your number one defense against the elements, your companion on every camping trip: your sleeping bag. You can’t really go camping without a quality sleeping bag, which is why we’ve selected the thirteen best sleeping bags on the market and tell you what makes them so effective. We’re looking for lightweight, compact solutions that save you overall weight and give you immense peace of mind in terms of temperature control, protection and comfort. We won’t hold you up any longer: let’s get down to business.
- Coleman Sunridge Sleeping Bag
- Coleman Zero Degree Mummy Sleeping Bag
- Teton Sports Celsius Sleeping Bag
- Coleman Biscayne Large Sleeping Bag
- Teton Sports Fahrenheit Mammoth Double Sleeping Bag
- Kelty Cosmic Sleeping Bag 20 degrees
- REEHUT Sleeping bag
- Groundhog struggles with 15 mummy sleeping bags
- AmazonBasics Sleeping Bag
- Snugsuit Softie Elite
Coleman Sunridge Sleeping Bag
Coleman is one of the names we’ve come to trust and admire for outdoor gear, and they haven’t dropped the ball on this sleeping bag. You get a temperature of 40-60 F, thanks in part to the comfortable brushed interior. If you have dry skin, it can cling to it, but it’s otherwise soft and comfortable to help you sleep through the night. We also love that it compresses and rolls up like a dream, so you don’t even have to worry about packing the next morning.
When it comes to rain, it will soak through. There is no water resistance on the outside, which is also an added problem. You would think that this would make cleaning easier, but it doesn’t. The brushed interior retains dirt and dust, so we recommend following the sleeping bag care guide below. In addition, the Coleman Sunridge Sleeping Bag is incredibly comfortable, lightweight, and might just be the cheapest quality sleeping bag you’ve ever owned. Don’t forget to check out our guide to the best large camping tents for more quality camping products.
- Features Coleman’s ZipPlow system, which prevents your materials from snagging
Viable for camping conditions of 40-60 F
100% polyester exterior and fill
Coleman Zero Degree Mummy Sleeping Bag
Coleman’s solution to zero degree camping is absolutely fantastic and opens up your camping program well into winter. The main appeal of this sleeping bag is its insane temperature rating, but unlike most bags in this line, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to acquire. The Coleman Zero Degree Mummy Bag is also designed for people up to 6 feet tall, but thanks to the insulated footbox at the bottom, you can stretch out an extra inch or two if you really need to.
They’re good, but not all-powerful: squeezing this bag is going to be a nightmare, which is why many users agree that it’s best for car or cabin camping. You can absolutely roll it up under your outer frame backpack if you want, but it’s going to be tricky. Because of the fluffy fabric, cleaning it will also be a chore. If you use the HE wash and dry method, you’ll have to throw it in the dryer no less than twice (although we had to do it three times). Quality construction with incredible insulation, but at a price.
Teton Sports Celsius Sleeping Bag
Teton is a big name, and we tend to give big brands a more detailed look, just to make sure they really deliver. Teton blew us away, and going with them, you get into their limited lifetime warranty and access to their awesome customer service. But as for the sleeping bag itself, you get a poly flannel liner that is comfortable as can be. It’s easy to get tangled up in, but it also serves as a cradle to help you sleep like a baby.
The Teton Sports Celsius Sleeping Bag is also designed to handle temperatures as low as 20 F, giving you a longer camping season than the old bag you’re using. We’re not too thrilled with how heavy it is when rolled up and weighing about 10 pounds, but it’s still heavier than many others. There are a few things we’d like to address, including the half-circle hood that acts as a pillow between you and the ground you’ve decided to camp on for the night. You can also choose to have the zipper on one side that is more accessible to you, regardless of your dominant hand orientation.
Available in alternating sides of the zipper
Average temperature range of 20 to 30 F
Half-circle hood acts as a comfortable pillow
Coleman Biscayne Large Sleeping Bag
Coleman tries to keep things as inexpensive as possible, which was their goal when designing the Biscayne sleeping bag. So the price is great and most of the features hold up, but we have to talk about their love of poly interiors. The poly isn’t bad, but the quality of the interior of this specific sleeping bag gets caught in the skin pretty easily. If you sleep with socks and a long shirt, this will be great. You get the benefit of Coleman’s standard temperature, which allows you to camp in 40-degree weather with no problem.
Perhaps our favorite feature is the roll-up control and quick aspect of the cord, which not only makes this super easy to pack, but makes rolling out like a dream come true. Fast rollout, lightweight construction, but definitely much thinner than we would have liked. If you bring a separate cover or don’t mind a little bit of mother nature’s hardness under your back, you’ll be good to go. This sleeping bag was designed to be both big and wide: plenty of width for comfort, and a total of 6 feet in length.
- Withstands temperatures as low as 40 F
- ZipPlow technology ensures fabrics don’t get caught in the zipper
- Large and tall for a total length of 6’4″.
- 5.6 lbs.
Teton Sports Fahrenheit Mammoth Double Sleeping Bag
Teton is a good brand, always trying to do right by their customers. That’s why they include their limited lifetime warranty on every sleeping bag (at least the ones we’ve seen and used). That’s why they include their limited lifetime warranty on every sleeping bag (at least the ones we’ve seen and used). They put that same idea into the design, ensuring that you’ll never have to call on that warranty. Part of the durability of this bag is due to the abrasion-resistant taffeta shell, which also has a water-repellent effect.
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Comfortable liner, spacious and over two meters high. The Fahrenheit Mammoth is big, but it fell flat when it came to its value. Make no mistake, this bag will last you a long time, but at a higher initial cost than the other bags, which we have reviewed so far. Also, while we expect double sleeping bags to be heavy, this one will definitely weigh your bag down by a lot. The good news is that it won’t take up much storage space because Teton includes a compression pouch that works wonders.
Includes a highly effective compression bag
Over two meters in length
Teton includes a limited lifetime warranty
Kelty Cosmic Sleeping Bag 20 degrees
Kelty adds a little more variety to this list with their Cosmic bag. We’re big fans of how incredibly light these bags are, even if you opt for the longer versions. Minimalist campers will be thrilled, especially considering the durability of the exterior. Made of durable, water-repellent 50D ripstop polyester, nothing will get through this bag. We were a little upset with the poor quality of the zippers, which didn’t really live up to the Kelty name.
The only other major drawback is that the interior can snag on almost any part of your feet, so sleep with socks. This interior features DriDown insulation, designed to wick away sweat and keep you cool throughout your camping trip. Compression and storage are a piece of cake, and you won’t need more than ten seconds to put them on. Most importantly, it’s protection and portability, built to a standard that other brands couldn’t match.
- DriDown insulation keeps you dry from sweat all night
Temperature rating allows for camping in 20F and below
REEHUT Sleeping bag
Don’t lie, you want to jump into this sleeping bag right now. REEHUT creates an extremely waterproof double sleeping bag with a 210T polyester exterior, making it not only durable but also extremely comfortable. You’ll notice the unique platform seam pattern on the top, which helps to hug your body while two of you are locked in this sleeping bag. The comfort is there, but the inner lining has a habit of causing a lot of uncomfortable static electricity. You’ll receive two pop-up pillows with this sleeping bag, which will help support your neck during the night.
While they don’t completely replace camping pillows, every little bit helps. REEHUT does a great job of keeping things perfectly waterproof, but you won’t take this with you on a winter camping trip. The 3D synthetic interior insulation is good, but it won’t protect you from cold, blustery winds. Part of that has to do with the price: it’s extremely affordable and comfortable, as long as you use it in the right season. Finally, although the filling is synthetic, it compresses extremely well.
- Converts into two individual sleeping bags
- Durable 210T polyester construction
- Fully waterproof exterior
- 6.4 lbs
Groundhog struggles with 15 mummy sleeping bags
Marmot has made a weirdly awesome mummy-style sleeping bag here. First and foremost, it’s lightweight and optimal for minimalist campers looking for a better low temperature solution. It weighs just over a pound total and can withstand cold temperatures down to 15 degrees for you four-season campers. The main problem we found is that the zipper is not only short, but also quite weak and often stuck. The zipper rail is plastic, not metal, and we all know how easy it is to damage them.
Other than that, the only other problem is the mouth trap. When sleeping for six to eight hours, they accumulate a lot of moisture as they breathe, which is a bit disappointing because the rest of the interior is pretty moisture resistant. You’ll still be protected by the 100% polyester construction, and we have to give credit to their unique footbox design. The Marmot Trestles 15 Mummy Sleeping Bag was designed with an anatomically correct shape, to avoid heat loss through the bottom of your sleeping bag.
- 100% polyester construction makes it lightweight and easy to clean
- Unique foot box design prevents heat loss
- Moisture resistant interior lining
- 1 pound
AmazonBasics Sleeping Bag
Does this look like a real envelope? Sort of. AmazonBasics is known for making cheap versions of premium products (sometimes at a loss for them, but you and I benefit), and their envelope sleeping bag is no exception. This simple, straightforward sleeping bag features a fully washable interior and exterior, making it super easy to throw in the wash and forget. In fact, the filling is synthetic, which makes it lightweight and compressible. Problems arise where you wouldn’t expect them.
On the one hand, the AmazonBasics Envelope Sleeping Bag is inexpensive (which is not a bad thing), but they had to downsize. It can hold up to 6 feet for men, but beyond that, you’ll have to crumple your knees. Since over 120 million men are 6’2″ or taller, this sleeping bag only works if you fit the size requirement. In addition, it offers a temperature range of 20 to 40 degrees Celsius for heat retention, which is unusual. That’s because they rely on you to dress properly to get the full benefits of 20F. While it has its flaws, it’s one of the cheapest sleeping bags you’ll ever own, and it comes with a one-year limited warranty on just about everything.
- Full polyester construction
- Includes a one-year limited warranty with purchase
- Two-way zipper
- 6.17 lbs
Snugsuit Softie Elite
If you’re tired of your sleeping bag not providing enough warmth, Snugpak is about to change that. The main reason minimalist campers are turning to the Softie Elite sleeping bag is because you can sit in temperatures as low as -4 F. This is due to a combination of the interior heating plate that reflects your own body heat back to you while resisting the cold outside, and the extremely comfortable design. The only problem is that if you’re slightly claustrophobic, this bag won’t work for you, because we mean it to be comfortable.
Our only other gripe is the quality of the zipper, which seems to be a trend with sleeping bags lately. We wish most brands would use YKK zippers, but instead they are pretty standard quality and easy to damage if you move too quickly. They hook up fairly easily, but oddly enough, your chest pocket zipper does not. This extra storage is great for EDC items or a tactical flashlight and compresses with the rest of this ultralight sleeping bag. Just over a pound for this level of coverage? That’s unheard of, yet here it is in front of you.
We continue to drop below zero. The Browning Camping Kenai Mummy Sleeping Bag can take you down to -20 F, and keep you warm with a few extra features. In addition to the two-layer internal fill, there is (finally) a durable zipper on a low-temperature sleeping bag that opens fully and helps maintain your body temperature. This zipper is built into the 210T nylon exterior, making it extremely durable in all situations, but not exactly the easiest to clean.
The size and weight of this one are the two main issues. It weighs just under two kilos, and if you can understand why it weighs so much, it’s a less viable option for solo camping. Plus, the compression is a chore, so you’ll have less room in your bag for other items. What you will get is the added support of the footbox’s ergonomic design, which fits your anatomy better than square-bottom sleeping bags. While it’s a bit more comfortable, you’ll also have a double-layer chest pad to keep your body temperature in check at all times. Great for four-season campers, but not the best for minimalists.
Durable 210T ripstop diamond nylon exterior
TechLoft insulation retains its shape after cleaning
Ergonomic foot box area for better anatomical comfort
Sac de couchage Slumberjack Boundary
Going microlighting this winter? It’s not an easy task, but the Slumberjack makes it a little easier. At just over a pound, this ultralight sleeping bag protects you from -20 F conditions. One of the biggest complaints we often have with mummy style sleeping bags are the zippers, but this two-sided zipper travels all the way to the footbox. Now, with this insulation, you are going to run into a problem. Since it’s made of synthetic material, it can twist and turn at different angles, which can cause cold spots.
Tall gentlemen will also run into a problem because Slumberjack designed the Boundary sleeping bag for a slimmer frame. The height is spot on, and while a sleeping bag of this caliber usually fits well, theirs is a little too tight if you don’t fit in an ideal weight range. It’s lightweight and warm, but it’s also very easy to clean. With its all-polyester exterior construction and two zippers, it’s easy to open and clean manually, effectively preparing it for your next trip.
- Polyester taffeta exterior construction
- Long zipper wraps around the foot box
- Two zipper sliders for ventilation
- 6.06 lbs.
We wanted to find the best sleeping bags, and that’s exactly what we did. Whether you’re a minimalist who needs a lightweight sleeping bag, or a comfort king looking for maximum relaxation in the great outdoors, there’s something for you. We’ll walk you through all the elements that make up a good sleeping bag, show you how we came up with this list, and discuss your burning sleeping bag questions.
How we chose our selection of sleeping bags
Brand – There are many camping and hiking companies that operate on the promise of low costs, and you can absolutely find great sleeping bags at low prices. When you look at the big brands, you may run into price gouging. If you go with a big brand, it’s because they have a proven track record of support and comfort, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Reviews – User reviews help us build our list before we test these products for ourselves. You can usually find a lot of useful information on three and four star reviews that give a good overview without seeming biased. Avoid reviews from first-time campers, as they tend to run into problems whose solutions may not be related to the sleeping bag or camping product in question.
Price – Price will always be a dominant decision factor in any purchase. Your sleeping bag is one of your most essential pieces of outdoor gear, so you don’t want to skimp on the cost. We’ve factored price into this list, giving you a mix of inexpensive and high-end products, each with their own added benefits. You can get effective sleeping bags on the cheap, but if you want that to come with first-class comfort, that’s where you notice the price hikes.
Consider these points with sleeping bags
Temperature rating – Temperature rating is why you choose a sleeping bag over a blanket and a night under the stars. If you are a three-season camper like most of us, you know how difficult it can be to stay warm in cold conditions. Your temperature should be at least 40 degrees Celsius for summer camping and unexpected cold nights, and 20 degrees Celsius for three-season camping.
Length – Sleeping bags are not a universal solution. You need one that is no more than an inch longer than your overall height (to account for shell dimensions). You want a sleeping bag that fits snugly, but not too tight. If you’re 6’2″, buy a sleeping bag that is up to 6’1″, etc.
Width – Length and width do not always correlate. There are many sleeping bags that are long, but are tight on the sides. It is imperative to have a bag that fits your body type so that the temperature in your bag can maintain your body heat. If there is too much space, you will not be able to warm up all the stuffing.
Cleaning – The better your temperature, the more comfortable you will be. But the higher your temperature, the more likely you are to sweat in your sleeping bag, which can be dangerous. Look for bags that are easy to clean, based on accessibility (zipper length, which we’ll talk about in a minute), shell and lining, and whether or not they are reversible. Either way, you’ll need to clean every sleeping bag you get, so don’t make it a long chore.
Warmth – Most sleeping bags have an actual warmth rating. It gets complex, but what you8 basically want is a sleeping bag with openings, waterproof hoods and insulated zippers. If the filling of your sleeping bag can keep you warm in 20 degree weather, that’s great, but make sure the metal zipper won’t conduct cold and let a draft in. For this, we often turn to user reviews to determine which option is best.
Down vs. synthetic – This may come down to preference, but in general, down is more comfortable and lighter for three-season camping. When you’re settling into inflated sleeping bags, synthetic can reach extremely low temperatures (we’re talking single digits and below), but at a very high cost; it comes down to what you need it for, but if you’re someone who can’t stand bulky, stuffy sleeping bags, we’re going to recommend going with the down filling.
Zipper length – While this seems like an arbitrary feature, no one wants to find out that their sleeping bag only opens slightly and doesn’t allow full access. Cheap sleeping bags have a reputation for having a short zipper, so you end up getting your legs caught in it before trying to wiggle out and find some comfort. This never works; you need a long zipper to allow better access.
Waterproof rating – This gets tricky when you want a sleeping bag that has everything. Since you’ll usually be in a tent, many manufacturers don’t give their sleeping bags a high water resistance rating. At best, you’ll find mid-priced models with a low IP/IPX rating that help rain rise and roll off, but won’t do you any favors if you wake up in a puddle or completely submerge your sleeping bag.
Storage – How much space will this take up in or on your backpack? You want to keep as much storage space as possible for things like your ECD kit, survival tools and camping food. If you place your sleeping bag in its cover (most often provided with a nylon carrying case), know that they compress your sleeping bag well enough to maximize your carrying weight and storage space.
Types of Sleeping Bags
Single – You’ll see single sleeping bags more often than any other type of bag. Designed for single person use, they are traditionally lightweight and easy to pack. You’ll find many down sleeping bags with excellent compressibility, so you can pack them in your backpack without taking up a ton of space. Single person sleeping bags are great for ultralight travel and minimalist campers.
Double – Bringing your wife along? Double sleeping bags typically offer better insulation support and have a comfortable pillow head area to stay comfortable. The only major shortcoming of double sleeping bags is that you have two people moving around and turning, which makes hoods less effective. Some double sleeping bags can separate into two separate sleeping bags, which can save [on backpack storage.
Mummy – Just like real mummies, you are in your sleeping bag. These have hoods that cover most of your face, so you get maximum insulation. Mummy sleeping bags typically have higher temperatures and use down in their hoods to create a more comfortable experience. If you don’t bring a camping pillow, you’ll still have plenty of comfort.
Wearable – Ever spend the day lounging around in sweatpants? That’s what it feels like to wear one of these sleeping bags. They usually have cuts on the ankles and hands and may have a hood. They are usually a little less comfortable, but if you hate feeling trapped in a sleeping bag, this could be a great option for you. Keep in mind that you’ll mostly see these for two-season use, although some brands are also usable in the winter.
Are down sleeping bags better than synthetics?
There are pros and cons to each, but generally down sleeping bags are superior to synthetic fill. The first problem with synthetic fill is that it doesn’t compress the same way as down fill, making it harder to pack efficiently in your backpack. Even if you hang it under your outer frame backpack, you want a compact sleeping bag so it doesn’t stick out on either side.
Synthetic tends to last longer, but often doesn’t offer the same heat retention capabilities unless you’re getting into four-season sleeping bags. Down feels much more natural (you know, because it is) when you are actually nestled in your sleeping bag. This makes it much more comfortable and easier to fall asleep in. Ultimately, it’s a matter of choice, but if you have trouble sleeping at night or prefer softer bedding (while still being sturdy on the hard ground), down filling is the best choice.
How do you choose a sleeping bag for backpacking?
We’ve outlined what you should look for in a sleeping bag, but this advice may seem arbitrary if you’re heading to a specific wilderness setting. While we can’t know in every sense of using a sleeping bag, there are a few rules to follow for backpacking.
First and foremost, you never know what Mother Nature will throw at you. Get a waterproof sleeping bag (and sleep in an appropriate place) to avoid rain and rising water. For hiking, you should also stick, at a minimum, to 3-season sleeping bag models. Temperatures can drop unexpectedly, and especially with the current weather trends of the past decade, the forecast can be off. 3-season bags are designed to retain heat even in adverse situations, so if you find yourself in a less than ideal situation, at least you won’t have to worry about keeping warm.
No two brands of hiking sleeping bags are alike, and one of the most important aspects of choosing the right bag for hiking is to keep a close eye on the weight. You have enough essentials to pack to weigh down your backpack. By choosing a lightweight backpack, you reduce fatigue and maximize storage space.
Do sleeping bags lose their warmth over time?
It all depends on the filling material. It doesn’t matter if it’s a double or single sleeping bag, down can lose its loft over time. You need to take proper care of your hiking sleeping bag, such as good cleaning habits, which we’ll discuss in the next question.
Synthetic fill is much more resistant to the test of time and harsher cleaning practices. Because it is much harder to separate after it is molded into the shell, there is no need to manually stuff it, so the shape of the fill does not change. You can still lose value in your synthetic bag if you’re not careful, but it’s generally less prone to heat loss.
Can I wash the sleeping bags?
You can, but you need to do it very carefully. There are different ways to wash an ultra-light bag versus a mummy sleeping bag, etc. The best way to ensure that you have a cleaning method for almost any type of bag is to invest in a washer without a center boom. Some sleeping bags (like those with real down, which are the warmest sleeping bags you’ll ever rest in) can be ruined by this boom. Even stuffing it after the fact won’t do much good. So follow this simple method to keep your sleeping bags clean.
Use paper towels or a slightly damp cotton washcloth to clean the outer areas. Turn the sleeping bag inside out to clean other areas where you may have sweated. If you still smell an unpleasant odor or if the cleaning was not done the way you wanted, move on to the next step.
While the sleeping bag is inside out, use the cold or gentle setting on your HE washer, and turn it on for a short cycle. The goal is to clean the liner and shell, not to completely soak the insulation material if you can avoid it.
Take a tennis ball (we’re not crazy) and put it in your dryer. The only other thing that should be there is a
Use paper towels or a slightly damp cotton washcloth to clean the outside areas. Turn the sleeping bag inside out to clean other areas where you may have perspired. If you still smell an unpleasant odor or if the cleaning was not done the way you wanted, move on to the next step.
While the sleeping bag is inside out, use the cold or gentle setting on your HE washer, and turn it on for a short cycle. The goal is to clean the liner and shell, not to completely soak the insulation material if you can avoid it.
Take a tennis ball (we’re not crazy) and put it in your dryer. The only other thing that should go in there is your sleeping bag. The tennis ball hits repeatedly and fluffs up your sleeping bag as it dries, keeping it nice and fluffy and preventing the insulation from separating.
What is a good weight for a sleeping bag?
Generally, you want to carry less than ten pounds, but that’s not always an option. Depending on your destination, your travel sleeping bag may be larger and designed for lower temperatures. When you’re dealing with extreme temperatures, it becomes more difficult to get an ultralight sleeping bag, especially if you’re looking for a sleeping bag for two people.
As a general rule, you need to know what your backpack can hold, what you can reasonably carry, and how much of that total weight will go to your sleeping bag. For single-season campers, you can absolutely find inexpensive two- to five-pound sleeping bags that will do just fine, even in a slight cold snap. If you’re a three- or four-season camper, you’re stuck with better insulated options, but with a higher carry weight.
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