Last updated: May 15, 2018 at 8:45 am

Best Backpacking sleeping bags featured image

If you’re an experienced hiker, then you probably know how important and essential the quality of one’s sleeping bag is. There are hundreds if not thousands of different sleeping bags available on the market which makes it hard for a novice to find the suiting one for their requirements and needs. The things you should be looking for in a quality sleeping bag are comfort, warmth, and most importantly – weight. On top of these three elements, one should also pay attention to the price-to-quality ratio. In other words, a more expensive bag isn’t necessarily a better one. In fact, in most cases – it definitely isn’t.

We have made a list of top-rated sleeping bags for backpackers so that you don’t have to go through all the hassles of researching these products on your own. Therefore, our reviews are designed to save you some time, effort, and most importantly – a bit of money as well. We’ve covered plenty of different models, so there’s something for everyone, whether you’re an avid professional or just a devoted hobbyist. Take a moment, check these reviews out, and you should be able to find something that suits your taste and needs.

If you’re in a hurry, check out the Teton Sports Mammoth Double; If you are looking for affordable, quality and comfortable sleeping bag, this is the best choice for you.

Product Image
Name
Main Feature
PriceRating
 
Teton Sports Mammoth Small Product ImageTeton Sports Mammoth Double• Soft poly-flannel lining
• Tear-resistant materials
• Easy to pack
• 94" x 62"
• Weighs about 16.5 pounds
$9.8/10Check Price
Grizzly by Black Pine Small Product ImageGrizzly by Black Pine• Durable, comfortable and warm
• High quality materials
• -25 to +25 degrees F
• 90" x 65"
• Weighs 10 pounds
$$$9.6/10Check Price
Outdoor Vitals Summit Small product imageOutdoor Vitals Summit • Compactness, accessibility and comfort
• Quality materials
• Water-resistant
• 75" x 3"
• Weighing 2.5 pounds
$$9.4/10Check Price
Hyke and Byke Small Product ImageHyke and Byke • High-quality materials
• Waterproof
• 3.87" x 4.05"
• Weighs 3 pounds
$$9.2/10Check Price
Sierra Designs Backcountry Small Product ImageSierra Designs Backcountry Bed• Innovative design
• Durable materials
• 7.5" x 15"
• Weighs about 3 pounds
$$9.1/10Check Price
Kelty Cosmic Small Product ImageKelty Cosmic 20 Degree• Lightweight and of high-quality
• Waterproof
• Locking zipper
• 20" x10"
• Weighs about 2 pounds


$$$8.7/10Check Price
Teton Sports Altos Small Product ImageTeton Sports Altos• Durable, comfortable and light
• High-quality
• Refuses water
• 84" x 32"
• Weighs about 3.5 pounds
$$$8.6/10Check Price
Kelty SB 20 Small Product ImageKelty SB 20• Affordable and high-quality
• Water-resistant
• 13" x 7"
• Weighs about 2kg
$$$8.5/10Check Price

Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags Today

Teton Sports Mammoth Double Sleeping Bag product image
Design
Quality
Price

Teton Sports Mammoth Double Sleeping Bag

If you’re planning to go hiking with your sibling, partner, or friends, this sleeping bag might be a good choice. Its soft poly-flannel lining ensures great comfort, while the SuperLoft Elite guarantees good insulation. This sleeping bag is 94 inches long and 62 inches wide which makes it perfect for two people to take rest without worrying about space. On top of that, the manufacturer included tear-resistant materials into the design meaning you can rest assured that it will last for years as long as you take good care of it.

One of the main selling points of this popular bag is its compactness. Even though it’s quite big, Teton Sports provides a compression sack which allows you to pack the bag easily without any hassles. The overall weight of this product is about 16.5 pounds. Needless to say, it’s not particularly heavy, but it’s not extremely lightweight either. The high-quality zippers are also one of the most notable advantages of this bag. Even though the quality of zippers seems pretty irrelevant and trivial, you can rest assured that it plays a major role in one’s experience. These two-way anti-snag zippers are designed to last throughout the life of the bag itself meaning you won’t have to change them anytime soon. Temperature ratings are great and one can expect a cozy night even if the outer temperature reaches -18 degrees Celsius.

The thing most people liked about the Mammoth Double Sleeping Bag is its versatility. In other words, this cozy sleeping bag will do well at -10 and perform the same at -20 degrees Celsius. It’s important to point out that you don’t have to layer up too much if you’re planning on spending the night in this bag, especially if you have a sleeping partner. Both zippers slide independently and each has a Velcro strap which covers the cold metal so that it doesn’t accidentally touch your skin. This might be a trivial detail for some people, but many of them change their opinion once they experience it themselves. One of the main advantages that many people like is the fact that it’s incredibly easy to pack this bag and carry on with your endeavor. Other sleeping bags usually tend to cause packing issues due to their size or thickness, but it’s definitely not the case with this one. You’ll be able to roll it up and pack it in your backpack in a matter of minutes.

As far as disadvantages go, there aren’t many, but some things should be pointed out. The storage bag is a great detail, but it’s not as easy to pack this sleeping bag as it sounds. In fact, several users have complained about it being too small and requiring a lot of effort and workforce. It’s not a deal-breaking shortcoming, but you should definitely keep it in mind. Also, make sure to follow the instructions on the label when washing this product. A couple of people didn’t follow the instructions and they consequently ended up with an unusable sack of material.

Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • Easy to carry
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Tough to fold it back into the storage bag
Grizzly by Black Pine Sleeping Bag product image
Design
Quality
Price

Grizzly by Black Pine Sleeping Bag

Grizzly is a well-known model coming from a reputable manufacturer Black Pine Sports. Three main elements that make this bag worth checking out are durability, comfort, and warmth. In case you’re planning on taking a trip to the mountains and you’re in the process of looking for a decent sleeping bag, take a moment and check this particular one out, it might just be the thing you’re looking for.

The first thing we should talk about is – comfort. The cotton duck canvas is sewn with a 2-layer construction which ensures there are no “cold spots”. While it’s usually overseen by regular users, frequent cold spots can and will have a detrimental effect on the insulation properties of a sleeping bag. Therefore, not having any cold spots should be an industry standard, but it sadly isn’t. However, there’s no need to worry about that because Grizzly is designed to prevent such shortcomings. The other thing that deserves mention is the durability of this product. Thanks to the high-quality materials included in the design, this popular bag should last for years as long as you keep it in good condition by conducting regular maintenance. The bag is rated to withstand temperatures of -25 degrees which makes it perfect for winter camping. On top of that, it weighs only about 10 pounds which can be regarded as quite lightweight in comparison to other models that can weigh up to twenty pounds.

What most people liked about this particular bag are its insulation properties. In other words, it’s specifically designed to prevent any temperature inconsistencies meaning you will always get the same “performance” regardless of the outer temperature. It is also machine washable on the gentle cycle meaning you don’t have to hassle with maintenance too much. Instead, all you have to do is wash it occasionally and make sure to store it in a safe place.

There aren’t many disadvantages to begin with, but some things should be pointed out so that you know what to expect. The first thing many people didn’t like is the size of the storage bag, or rather, the lack thereof. In other words, while the storage bag is quite convenient to have, it’s too small and most people have a serious issue with the storage bag when packing the sleeping bag in it. In case you’re hiking alone, make sure you try the process of packing the bag out at home before you take it to the mountains. Some buyers also complained about the size difference between the advertised product and the real thing. It turns out the shipped bags were slightly smaller in comparison to the advertised ones. While it’s not a massive difference by any means, it does bring some confusion and most importantly – lack of trust towards the manufacturer. The price is reasonable, but it could have been a bit more affordable. It’s not a cheap piece of equipment by any means, but it does offer more than enough features for a cozy night during harsh winters.

Pros:

  • High-quality materials
  • Durable
  • Convenient

Cons:

  • Small storage bag
  • Inaccurate dimensions
Outdoor Vitals Summit product image
Design
Quality
Price

Outdoor Vitals Summit

If you’re interested in Mummy-like sleeping bags, Outdoor Vitals might be a good choice. When it comes to compactness, affordability, and convenience, this particular bag is definitely among the best ones you can find at the moment. It weighs only about 2.5 pounds which is incredibly lightweight in comparison to some other models that may weigh up to twenty pounds. One of the things that separate this bag from the others within the same category is the quality of the materials used in the design. In other words, Outdoor Vitals utilizes lightweight fabric, 800+ fill power, YKK zippers, drawstrings, and more.

Warmth optimization is one of the key features of this particular sleeping bag. The grid baffle design is the main contributor to the temperature equilibrium, even under harsh conditions. Temperature ratings of this product are 20F or -6.5 degrees Celsius. In other words, it’s a great thing for camping, but you should probably consider getting something warmer for winter camps as it won’t cope well with temperatures under -10 degrees Celsius. The other things that make it great for regular hikers are the ultra-compressible properties. In simpler terms, you’ll never have to worry about space because this model can be compressed down to just 10 x 8 inches.

In comparison to other models, this is great news, because most of the other models that are available on the market today share a common shortcoming of being too hard to pack. On top of that, the quality of the included materials is great. The 20D ripstop fabric is ultra-light, but it’s as tough as some others that weigh multiple times more. Water-repelling capabilities are also worth mentioning, especially if you like camping outdoors. The VitalDry DWR coating is guaranteed to keep your sleeping bag dry and warm, regardless of the weather conditions. As far as the cold spots go, there aren’t any thanks to the grid baffle design which keeps the down equally distributed through the bag.

As far as the downsides go, there are a few things a couple of users pointed out as concerning. The first one is that this bag isn’t completely waterproof. Now, it’s more of a semantics issue than it is a blatant lie from the manufacturer, but nonetheless, you should be aware of the fact that it’s not water resistant, but it only repels a certain amount of humidity. The other thing worth noting is the quality of the zipper, or rather, lack thereof. The YKK zippers should be one of the top-quality ones, but that doesn’t mean they can’t fail to meet one’s expectations. Size inconsistency is also an issue, but that’s because most people don’t pay attention to the offer. Make sure you select the right size (out of three offered) before ordering or else you’ll end up with something that won’t meet your requirements. The price is reasonable and affordable meaning even people who are on a tight budget can make an investment without worrying too much about it.

Pros:

  • Compact
  • High-quality
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Questionable zipper quality
  • Size inconsistencies
Hyke and Byke Sleeping Bag product image
Design
Quality
Price

Hyke and Byke Sleeping Bag

This is yet another great sleeping bag with ultra-light premium duck down filling. It is well-known that this method of insulation yields the best results thanks to its supreme warmth-to-weight ratio. On top of that, this product weighs only about three pounds, depending on the dimension you chose to go with. The nylon fabric liner ensures durability and long life. In fact, this bag should last for years if not decades as long as you maintain it in reasonably good condition.

The thing that separates this organization from the other companies in this industry is the fact that it consists of a group of hiking enthusiasts who have a goal to offer affordable yet high-quality equipment. On top of that, they have a policy of donating a portion of their profits through microloans in order to eliminate and fight against poverty. While it may sound pretty irrelevant to most people, it’s quite a noble goal and it deserves to be mentioned. As far as the advantages of this sleeping bag go, there are plenty that deserve to be pointed out. The first, and probably the most important one, is the fact that it’s made of premium-quality materials that ensure good temperature insulation as well as durability. On top of that, the fabric is waterproof meaning you’ll stay warm even under humid conditions. The double YKK zippers are sufficiently large and quite easy to get the hang of. When it comes to the storage bag, it’s surprisingly easy to use in comparison to some other models we’ve covered.

In simpler terms, you won’t hassle too much with packing the bag up and compressing it to the smallest size. It’s safe to say that this bag saves space, money, and offers great thermal capabilities for a reasonable price.

Now, every product comes with a list of downsides, and this particular one isn’t any different. The most frequent thing people complained about is the narrowness of the shoulder area. It’s well-designed for the regular size, but the XL model might not have a proper shoulder width, especially if you’re a larger person. On top of that, the unresponsiveness of the customer support department is quite worrying. They do eventually answer the questions, but they need quite a bit of time and that should be improved in the future.

Whether this is a good investment or not is up to you to decide. As far as we are concerned, Hyke and Byke offer a good product for a reasonable price. Now, it might not meet all of your expectations and requirements, but that doesn’t mean it’s an underwhelming product. Therefore, you should always double-check the dimensions and type of bag you’re ordering so that you can avoid unpleasant scenarios. The survival limit of this bag is 15F, and the comfort limit is 23 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The price is okay, and it can be considered quite affordable in comparison to some other premium-rated models.

Pros:

  • High-quality materials
  • Durable
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Lack of support from the company
Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed product image
Design
Quality
Price

Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed

If you’re looking for versatility and high-quality, this peculiar design might just be the right thing for you. Unlike most other sleeping bags, this one offers great features for both hot and cold nights. It’s also incredibly comfortable and can be easily adjusted according to the temperature outside. Therefore, you will never have to worry about getting too hot or cold thanks to the innovative design of this bag.

The thing that separates this sleeping bag from most others is its versatility. While other models also offer a certain dose of versatility, it’s nothing like this one. As we mentioned, you can change positions, tuck in during cold nights and untuck during hot summer evenings, the integrated comforter acts like a supporting pillow and helps with lumbar issues. The insulated arm pockets work great when the quilt is used outside the bag. On top of this, it’s also important to point out that it weighs only about three pounds meaning it won’t be a burden to carry around.

One thing that amazes many people is the lack of zippers. In other words, you won’t end up touching the cold metal in the middle of the night. Furthermore, the absence of zippers is beneficial because it eliminates one of the central points of failure. Therefore, you can rest assured that this bag is designed to last for years if not decades thanks to the lack of points of failure. The materials used are quite durable and can withstand rough conditions. It’s important to point out that it doesn’t come with a carrying bag but instead folds itself into one.

Now, when it comes to disadvantages, there are some things you should be aware of. The first one is – the price. While it isn’t a downside per se, the somewhat premium price isn’t consistent with the other prices on the market. Even though Sierra Designs is a well-respected company in this particular industry, we feel like this product is slightly overpriced. It does justify its price, there’s no question about it, but it would be much more lucrative if it were a bit cheaper. The other thing you should keep in mind is the overall concept behind this bag. As you can tell, it’s not an everyday conventional sleeping bag, but instead, it’s a patented design that ensures versatility and ease of use. However, that’s not always a positive thing, especially if you’re an experienced hiker. Temperature ratings are okay and reasonable, but some people did feel a little cold during particularly cold nights. Make sure you are aware of these things before you decide to order a sleeping bag for yourself or else you’ll end up having to return it and wait for another delivery.

In conclusion, this brand and product deserve to be checked out. It might not be the best possible solution out there, but it definitely offers quite a bit of useful features. In fact, you’ll get everything you were looking for in a sleeping bag and more. On the other hand, if you’re a fan of classic and conventional bags, this one might not be the optimal solution.

Pros:

  • No zippers
  • Folds easily
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Somewhat pricey
Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Sleeping Bag product image
Design
Quality
Price

Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Sleeping Bag

In case you’re often hiking in humid areas, this sleeping bag is a must-have. The waterproof treatment at hood and foot area of this sleeping bag ensures a dry experience and a cozy night of sleep. It weighs about two pounds which is more or less the most lightweight product on our list. Therefore, if you’re looking for something practical, lightweight, and of high quality, take a moment and check Kelty Cosmic Sleeping Bag out, it might be a good solution.

There are three available choices rated at 0, 20, and 40 degrees, and they come in a variety of lengths. The model features 600-fill hydrophobic insulation which repels moisture as well as keeps the bag dry through the night. On top of that, it retains loft keeping you warm and comfortable regardless of the conditions outside. The draft tube and the edges have a wide anti-snag backer which keeps the zipper from getting stuck. It may sound like a minor addition, but you would be surprised by how annoying it is to tear through the fabric because the zipper got stuck. Luckily, you won’t experience anything like that with this particular model. The other thing many users liked is how convenient and easy it is to pack this bag and continue with your adventure. Many manufacturers make a common mistake of issuing smaller bags which then consequently leads to unsatisfied customers because they aren’t able to pack their sleeping bags promptly. This problem has been solved by Kelty Cosmic and you can rest assured that it will compress down to advertised dimensions without you having to hassle for hours with it.

The general impression of the users is quite positive. There aren’t any cold spots which is extremely important, especially if you’re an avid hiker. As far as the downsides go, there are some that should be noted. For example, it’s not a completely waterproof product but rather a hydrophobic one. These two terms are commonly mixed together even though they aren’t the same thing. Waterproof materials cope much better with humidity in comparison to hydrophobic coatings. However, that doesn’t mean that hydrophobic materials aren’t useful and appreciated. Furthermore, some people complained about the lack of “breathability” of the material due to it being coated with a layer of hydrophobic material. It’s not a massive downside per se, but it should be mentioned. Other than that, people find this bag to be a great deal.

Speaking of good deals, the price of this unit is debatable. While some see it as reasonable, others would like it to be a bit less expensive. It’s definitely not a cheap piece of hiking equipment, but as far as we are concerned, it’s not particularly expensive either. In fact, it’s quite reasonably priced and offers much more than some other models within the same price range. If you’re looking for a high-quality sleeping bag with great properties and features, don’t hesitate to give this one a chance, it should meet your expectations.

Pros:

  • Great for rainy conditions (hydrophobic)
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Reasonably priced, but still high for people on a budgete
Teton Sports Altos product image
Design
Quality
Price

Teton Sports Altos

Teton Sports is quite a reputable brand in this industry and the high quality of their new Altos sleeping bag doesn’t come as a surprise at all. This comfortable mummy bag is filled with MTN-DRY down which repels water. Furthermore, the built-in foot box provides extra room for your feet. It may not sound amazingly useful, but the extra space in the feet area is highly appreciated by avid hikers.

The things that people like about this model are its durability, comfort, and most importantly – light weight. No one wants to carry a 30-pound bag in their backpack, especially during long and intense hikes. This model weighs about 3.5 pounds, but there are even some lighter ones like the Teton Trailhead model. As far as the convenience goes, this bag is highly compressible. One might ask – But aren’t they all? That answer is correct to some extent, but it’s far from being the sole truth. Namely, even though the vast majority of manufacturers say that their bags are compressible, the reality is quite different. Most of those are extremely hard to compress to the advertised levels meaning one isn’t able to pack their bag in the included storage bag due to the size discrepancy. The hood is also one of the things that are worth mentioning. It’s a 3-piece ultra-poof hood which allows it to be noticeably warmer in comparison to other bags on the market. The bag features an interior pocket which comes in handy for storing your phone, keys, wallet, and valuables in general.

The shell is water resistant, but that doesn’t mean it’s waterproof! It’s very important that you are able to differentiate the difference between these two terms because it’s one of the most common misconceptions many people fall victim to. On the other hand, being water resistant is more than enough to keep you save from humid environments, especially during cold nights. The surprising thing about this sleeping bag is the fact that not too many people had anything bad to say about it. There were some concerns, but it’s nothing deal-breaking at all. For example, a few users complained about it not being able to loft up as seen in the pictures. While that may be true, it’s usually because they are stored while compressed which is not the right way of doing it. In case you stumble upon this issue yourself, it’s highly recommended that you unpack the bag and let it regain its shape over the course of several hours up to a day.

The price is also somewhat concerning for people who are on a tight budget. While it isn’t a particularly expensive piece of equipment, the Altos model also isn’t the most affordable one you’ll find out there. However, its supreme quality and high endurance completely justify the somewhat premium price. The Altos is definitely a worthy purchase for people who know what they want and are sick of being disappointed by the underwhelming offers on the market.

Pros:

  • Great comfort
  • Water resistant
  • Warm
  • Ultralight

Cons:

  • Somewhat pricey
Kelty SB 20 product image
Design
Quality
Price

Kelty SB 20

This particular model is one of the go-to solutions for people who aren’t sure about what they want in a sleeping bag. In other words, Kelty SB 20 offers everything you’ll ever need for a cozy night under the stars. The revolutionary water resistant 600-fill DriDown insulation ensures that your bag stays dry, warm, and lofts better regardless of the temperature conditions outside. While this may not be the best possible choice for an avid hiker, it’s a great opportunity for an average enthusiast to purchase an affordable yet high-quality sleeping bag.

The biggest upside of this model is its simplicity. In other words, there are no complex zippers, hidden departments, or instructions on how to compress it properly. Instead, all you have to do is order the bag, unpack it once it arrives, and you’re set! That’s why this particular model is often regarded as an entry-level one. However, don’t let the term confuse you; it’s still a decent sleeping bag regardless of it not being suitable for avid professionals.  The main materials include 50D polyester taffeta and 50D down-proof polyester ripstop shell. It also features a 60-inch dual-slider and a locking zipper.

The thing most people complained about is the quality of the zipper. While the bag is extremely warm and comfortable, a low-quality zipper can have a detrimental effect on your overall experience. As far as we are concerned, it features a decent zipper, but it could use some more work for sure. It’s not necessarily bad per se, but it definitely isn’t the best zipper out there either. Another thing that bothers most users is poor quality control from the manufacturer. Whether or not it’s actually a problem is not known to us, but judging by the number of complaints it’s quite possible. Sadly, there is not much you can do when it comes to quality control but return the product if you find it non-satisfactory. Many people have gotten their bags with minor flaws such as faulty zippers or misaligned end caps. Overall, all these defects seem pretty harmless, but you can rest assured that they play a major role in one’s experience and it’s highly recommended that you turn the model back and request a new one or a refund.

The price is probably the main selling point of this bag. In other words, it’s one of the most affordable ones on our list and that’s why it’s so popular amongst hobbyists and occasional hikers. However, the main question here is whether or not it’s worth investing in the first place. While there is no correct answer to this question, we strongly believe it is a worthy purchase, but it all comes down to your own preferences, expectations, and requirements. In case you’re looking for something serious that will not give you issues during cold nights, this model might not be the best solution. On the other hand, if you’re an occasional hiker in need of an affordable sleeping bag, don’t hesitate to give this one a shot, you won’t regret the decision.

Pros:

  • Great comfort
  • Water resistant
  • Warm
  • Ultralight

Cons:

  • Somewhat pricey
man with a hiking rucksack and a sleeping bag

How to Choose Sleeping Bags for Backpacking

Before you decide to invest some money into a sleeping bag, it’s essential that you keep an eye on a few different things in order to find the best-suiting product for yourself. Many people decide to neglect these important factors and simply buy the first thing they stumble upon that seems decent enough. Needless to say, this is a completely wrong strategy and it will end up with you being disappointed and annoyed by the lack of crucial features in your new sleeping bag. That’s why it’s important that you take a moment and check our buying guide out as it may offer you a better insight into the things you should be looking for as well as the things you should be avoiding at all costs. Bear in mind, some of these tips are a subject of personal preferences meaning you don’t have to blindly follow the “rules,” but it would be good if you kept them in mind while buying your own sleeping bag.

Comfort

The first, and probably the most important thing you should look for in a sleeping bag is – comfort. It doesn’t matter how expensive or well-received it is on the market if it’s not comfortable it’s not worth looking into. However, many people have a problem with this because the vast majority of them are ordering online. While it can be a pretty annoying issue, it’s easily solvable. In case you aren’t able to test the model yourself, go ahead and read some of the user reviews on the official manufacturer’s website. We would advise reading reviews from a few different sources just to make sure they are honest and not misleading.

Weight

You will be carrying your sleeping bag at all times, so it would be reasonable to go with the lightest one that meets your expectations. On top of that, the sleeping bag is usually amongst the heaviest things a hiker can bring along meaning if you can cut weight here, you will have a much better experience out there in the mountains. However, make sure you don’t compromise comfort and thermal insulation for less weight. In simpler terms, some ultralight models don’t cope well with low temperatures, humidity, and rough conditions. It’s important that you find a model with a good weight-to-quality ratio. It may not be as easy as it sounds, but some of the models we have covered in our reviews should be on par with these requirements. Storage bags are also an important part of the equation. Make sure you test everything out before hitting the road because you don’t want anything failing in the middle of the night on top of a freezing mountain.

Warmth

Contrary to popular belief, sleeping bags don’t create heat – your body does. The only thing a sleeping bag does is retain that warmth within the bag thanks to good insulating properties. Therefore, instead of looking for particularly warm models, you should be looking for well-insulated ones. On top of that, bags with a lot of interior space are much less efficient because they require more energy to warm up.

Temperature ratings

Every sleeping bag comes with a certain temperature rating. EN (European Norm) is a standardized rating system which keeps the ratings consistent throughout the whole industry. However, not everyone uses EN ratings.

Choosing the right temperature rating is not as easy and simple as it sounds. In fact, it’s one of the toughest decisions you will have to make. In general, men tend to be “hotter” sleepers in comparison to women meaning their bodies can warm up space quicker. In addition, there are “cold” as well as “hot” sleepers, regardless of gender. It gets even more complicated than this, but there is no point in confusing the end users even more. In order to avoid confusion, we recommend that you go with “universal” 3-season sleeping bags with a consistent rating. In case you’re a professional in need of a specific bag, then you probably already know what you are doing.

Synthetic vs. Down

One of the most confusing things for inexperienced people is the difference between these two materials. Luckily, it’s not as complex as it may look. Down is usually a more expensive material but it offers much better properties in comparison to synthetics. For example, it’s a better insulator, compresses better, and lasts longer. On the other hand, synthetic bags are much more affordable and accessible to the average Joe, but they are also bulkier and not as premium. Overall, it comes down to your personal preferences, but we strongly advise getting a bag made of down instead of any synthetic material.

man in a sleeping bag

Wet, Waterproof, Water resistant

Ultimately, you’ll have to think about how it feels to sleep in a wet bag; there is no way around that. Whatever you do in order to keep your sleeping bag dry, it will always pick up some humidity, whether it’s from the air or any other seemingly harmless source. The main thing to remember here is not to choose a sleeping bag based on how will it perform when it’s wet, but instead look to keep it dry at all times. Synthetic bags should hold warmth better in theory and perform better when wet. However, as we said, don’t pay too much attention to those properties but look to keep your sleeping bag away from water and humid sources in general.

Bag length

This particular step is often overseen by many newcomers because most people are under the impression that all bags are of universal length. Needless to say, that’s not the case at all, and you should be extremely vigilant when ordering a product for yourself. The best thing to do here is to check with the manufacturer and see which length they are offering. Choose the length according to your height and you should be fine.

Zippers

Zipper quality is often taken too lightly by many inexperienced buyers. A zipper is a zipper for the regular Joe and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, you should bear in mind that the zipper is one of the central points of failure of almost every sleeping bag out there. In simpler terms, if your zipper fails – your adventure is over. There is no “quick fixing” this issue and more often than not it marks the end of the bag’s life. Therefore, make sure you always choose the bags with high-quality zippers no matter how costly they are because you’ll regret buying a low-quality zipper sooner than you think.

When buying online…

There is a high possibility that you’re buying a sleeping bag online, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, you should take a few extra steps in this case so that you can avoid the most common issues many people experience with online shopping.

  • The first thing you should do is check the manufacturer’s reputation in this particular industry. You would be surprised by the number of questionably legitimate manufacturers that simply don’t care about their clients at all. Most of them won’t even disclose their return policy or warranty conditions. Needless to say, stay away from such brands.
  • On top of that, always make sure to read the reviews. In fact, it’s almost a mandatory step because it’s the sole representative of the quality of a particular product before you take it into your own hands. Watching user videos and looking at user pictures is also highly recommended. Overall, make sure to cover every possible corner before you actually put an order down.

The price

It’s important to remember that the price is not the representative of quality. In simpler terms, if something is expensive, that doesn’t mean it’s of high-quality. There are plenty of factors that affect the price including the brand reputation, size of the bag, quality, insulation properties, and more.

The key here is to find an affordable sleeping bag but with enough premium features. It doesn’t have to be cheap per se, because cheap is never good, but instead it should be reasonably priced with more than a few revolutionary features.

The important things to look for are good insulation, quality zippers, water resistance, the breathability of the material, and most importantly – durability. However, don’t forget to maintain your sleeping bag in good condition regularly or else it will deteriorate no matter how premium it is.

The Shape

There are two main shapes of sleeping bags – Mummy and Quilts. In fact, there are several variations of these shapes, but these two are the most common ones. Mummy bags are known for their incredible insulating properties and maximum thermal efficiency. These usually don’t offer too much space between the material and the user meaning restless sleepers might have an issue sleeping in mummy bags. The main benefits of a mummy bag are light weight, compactness, and simplicity.

Quilts don’t have hoods, which is quite important because many hikers oversee this fact and end up freezing through the night. Make sure you pack a warm hat or a hoodie if you’re planning on spending the night in a quilted bag. Quilt bags are usually good for relatively warm nights (above freezing) and mummy bags are the go-to solution when temperatures hit below freezing. This also applies to windy conditions meaning mummy bags perform better under them due them being less drafty.

The conclusion

As you can tell, finding a good sleeping bag is not an easy task at all. There are plenty of things you should keep in mind and most of those are often overseen by inexperienced buyers. However, there’s no need to worry as there are plenty of instructions on the Internet about how to buy a sleeping bag and not regret it immediately. In case you’re struggling to find a solution, go ahead and check our buyer’s guide, it should give you more than enough insight into the do’s and don’ts when it comes to choosing the appropriate model.

The models we have covered are the top-rated in the industry currently. Therefore, those are probably one of your safest bets when it comes to investing. Always make sure you double-check your equipment before you go hiking in order to avoid being unpleasantly surprised in the middle of nowhere. On top of that, make sure you bring enough water and food, and of course, a high-quality sleeping bag!

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