Best Sleeping Bag

A sleeping bag is an essential piece of equipment for camping that keeps you comfortable and warm. A good sleeping bag can make a big difference to your trip and it’s important to get one that protects you from the elements, as well as insects and other wildlife and keeps you snug and warm.

Sleeping bags are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and are designed for different climates from lightly insulated for warmer climes to thick down sleeping bags for arctic temperatures. It’s very important to get a sleeping bag that will suit your needs – temperatures tend to drop when the sun goes down and staying warm will ensure you get a good night’s rest.


A sleeping bag is an essential piece of equipment for camping that keeps you comfortable and warm. 

What to Look for When Choosing a Sleeping Bag

There are several important factors that you should consider when shopping for a sleeping bag. These include:

1. Fit

Sleeping bags are available in different sizes and range from standard, unisex bags, which are generally for both men and women to sleeping bags designed with a slimmer fit for women. Women-specific sleeping bags are slightly narrower around the shoulders and wider around the hips and have extra insulation at the feet.

2. Fill

Sleeping bags are filled with one of two types of insulation – synthetic materials which are a mixture of man-made fibers and natural down (eider, duck, or goose feathers). Down sleeping bags offer the best warmth-to-weight ratio and are generally of very high quality.

The higher the down content in the sleeping bag, the better the bag will be at trapping air and providing warmth. Look for the “fill power” on the packaging of the sleeping bag such as 500 or 700 – the higher the number, the higher the quality of the down and the warmer the sleeping bag will be. Down is also very lightweight and down sleeping bags can be folded into very small shapes and are easy to carry.

Sleeping bags with synthetic insulation can be just as warm as down sleeping bags, but they do not roll up as small so take a bit more space in your backpack. Synthetic sleeping bags are also better in wet weather than down bags, as unless the down is hydrophobic, it isn’t great when wet.


Down sleeping bags offer the best warmth-to-weight ratio. 

3. Temperature Ratings

Every sleeping bag has a Comfort Level and a temperature gauge. The comfort level indicates how cool the temperature can be before you start to feel cold and the lower the temperature on the Comfort Level scale, the better. Sleeping bags also have Extreme and Limit temperatures that indicate the bag’s limitations.

4. Weight

The ideal sleeping bag is both lightweight and warm so look for a sleeping bag that can be folded in a small compression bag as it will be easier and lighter to carry.

5. Zips

It’s a good idea to get a sleeping bag with two-way zips that open the length of the sleeping bag so you can open the bottom of the bag to air your feet if you are feeling too warm. Also, make sure the sleeping bag has a good baffle of fabric and fill behind the zips to keep out draughts.

6. Shape

Sleeping bags are generally designed in a rectangular or tapered ‘mummy’ shape. A rectangular-shaped sleeping bag offers more space and can be unzipped to make a duvet to cover two people, while a mummy-shaped bag offers a snugger fit and is better for heat retention.


Sleeping bags are generally designed in a rectangular or tapered ‘mummy’ shape. 

Best Sleeping Bag

When it comes to choosing a sleeping bag, you’ll find there are a plethora of choices on the market. We tried and tested a range of sleeping bags and came up with a list of the best ones to keep you snug and warm in the wild.

Best Overall: Western Mountaineering AlpinLite 20F Degree Down Sleeping Bag

The Western Mountaineering AlpinLite 20F Degree Down Sleeping Bag is a high-quality, lightweight, and super warm sleeping bag with the best warmth-to-weight ratio of all the bags we tested. The AlpineLite is made from lightweight 12-denier shell water-resistant fabric and has a full-length draft tube with 19 ounces of 850 plus fill power goose down, making it ideal in very cold temperatures. The sleeping bag has a full-length YKK zipper, a full down 360° collar to keep warmth in, and continuous baffles that allow for the down insulation to be shifted for the perfect fit.

Pros

  •         Lightweight
  •         Made from high-quality materials
  •         Very warm
  •         No-snag zipper
  •         Full-length draft tube shape
  •         360° down collar

Cons

  •         Expensive

Best Budget Down Sleeping Bag: Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 30

The Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 30 sleeping bag is a 1.79-pound sleeping bag with 15 ounces of 650-fill power duck down that provides good warmth. Made from 20D ripstop nylon with a DWR finish, the lightweight mummy-shaped sleeping bag is very easy to pack and carry and is well-suited for all types of camping with temperatures above 30-degree Fahrenheit. The sleeping bag has a two-way zipper and a choice of 62-inch and 64-inch circumference.

Pros

  •         Good price
  •         650-fill power duck down
  •         Good for temperatures above 30-degree Fahrenheit
  •         Two-way zipper

Cons

  •         The warmth-to-weight ratio is not great
  •         Coarse fabric lining

Best for Durability: Hyke & Byke Katahdin 32F 15F 0F 625 Fill Power Hydrophobic Sleeping Bag

The Hyke & Byke Katahdin Hydrophobic Sleeping Bag is a super light, compact sleeping bag that has advanced ClusterLoft microfiber insulation designed for extreme temperature limits of 0 Degrees Fahrenheit and comfort limits of between 15 – 30 Degrees Fahrenheit. The sleeping bag is available in three different lengths and weights: 3.22 pounds (short); 3.54 pounds (regular); 3.91 pounds (long) and is made from hydrophobic and waterproof materials.

The sleeping bag has an ultralight water repellent 20 denier ripstop nylon fabric liner with double large YKK zippers and an anti-snag slider. The mummy-shaped sleeping bag has wide shoulders and large foot box and horizontal baffles that allow for the movement of insulation for a comfy fit. It has a compression stuff sack case for storage and is extremely compact for easy carrying.

Another great feature of this sleeping bag is an internal gear pocket with a Velcro closure where you can keep items like cellphones, headphones, earplugs, and mini flashlights.

Pros

  •         Good price
  •         650-fill power duck down
  •         Good for temperatures above 30-degree Fahrenheit
  •         Two-way zipper

Cons

  •         The warmth-to-weight ratio is not great
  •         Coarse fabric lining

Best for Two People: Kelty Tru.Comfort Doublewide 20 Degree Sleeping Bag

The Kelty Tru.Comfort Doublewide 20 Degree Sleeping Bag is a double sleeping bag that can comfortably fit two independent sleepers. The bag boasts a length of over six feet and a profile wider than a queen-sized bed and has a top layer that can be zipped off and removed on warmer nights. It also has two built-in blankets for ultra-comfort in cooler temperatures.

The Tru Comfort Double Sleeping Bag has two-way zip vents that can be opened to air your feet and a large hood that fits two standard size pillows. Compressible, quick-drying, and ultra-soft Cloudloft insulation provides excellent comfort and warmth, while the bag liner and shell are made from soft 75-denier poly taffeta.

Pros

  •         Removable top layer
  •         Built-in double blankets
  •         Ultra-soft Cloudloft insulation
  •         Two-way zipper vents

Cons

  •         Insufficient warmth-to-weight ratio

Best for Kids: FARLAND Sleeping Bag 20℉

FARLAND Sleeping Bag 20℉ is a great sleeping bag for kids and teens. Weighing just seven pounds, the lightweight, easy-to-pack bag is weather and water-resistant and designed to withstand temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The mummy-shaped sleeping bag has an outer layer of waterproof nylon with a polyester pongee inner lining and is filled with lightweight polyester fibers. The FARLAND Sleeping Bag 20℉ heights up to seven feet and is machine washable.

Pros

  •         Lightweight and easy to pack
  •         Water-resistant
  •         Machine washable
  •         100% guarantee

Best for Cold Weather: North Rim Cold-Weather Sleeping Bag

The North Rim Cold-Weather Sleeping Bag is your best bet if you are planning on camping in cold weather as it’ll keep you warm in temperatures as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The mummy-style adult sleeping bag has a thermolock draft tube for warmth and an insulated foot box and is also a great choice if you are tall and can comfortably fit heights over six feet.

It has a semi-sculpted hood with a drawstring that can be tightened to seal in heat and a ZipPlow system that prevents snagging and can be used for extra ventilation on warmer nights.

Pros

  •         Great for tall adults
  •         Very warm in ultra-low temperatures
  •         Thermolock draft tube for warmth
  •         ZipPlow system

Cons

  •         Not suitable for warm climes

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What factors can affect the quality of a sleeping bag?

A: The quality of a sleeping bag can be affected by the following factors:

Weight and inner size ratio: This refers to how much the bag weighs when you carry it in your backpack. Ideally, you want a lightweight sleeping bag that is easy to carry.

Insulation type: The insulation of a sleeping bag can be made from either synthetic or down. Sleeping bags with synthetic filling or insulation are usually much cheaper than down sleeping bags, however, down bags are far warmer and generally of higher quality.

Temperature rating: The temperature rating refers to what temperatures that sleeping bag is designed to keep you warm in. Sleeping bags are rated for winter, summer, or all four seasons.

Extra features: Added features like a sleeping liner can help add comfort and warmth and the type of zipper can make a huge difference to your overall experience.

Q: What are the uses of a sleeping bag liner?

A: A sleeping bag liner has several uses. It can be used to keep you warmer in cold temperatures or can be used without the sleeping bag in hot climes; it protects you from insects and other creatures and can protect the inside of the sleeping bag to extend its lifespan.

Q: What are the temperature ranges of a sleeping bag?

A: The temperature range of a sleeping bag can vary depending on the type of material from which it is made. There are currently three temperature ranges, according to the EN 13537 Standard:

Range Temperature in Fahrenheit Temperature in Celsius Description
Comfort Range 31 degrees 0 degrees This is typically used for three-season camping.
Transition Range 20 degrees -6 degrees For transitioning between warm and cool temperatures.
Extreme Range -11 degrees -23 degrees Designed for use in extremely low temperatures.

Q: What are the different parts of a sleeping bag?

A: Shell – the outer shell or outer layer of the sleeping bag and is usually made from water-resistant or waterproof materials.

Lining – the inner lining of the sleeping bag which adds softness and warmth for a better sleeping experience. The inner lining is usually breathable to prevent overheating and sweating.

Hood – the covering for your head to prevent heat loss.

Draft collar – a collar located around the hood that adds comfort and warmth.

Pillow pocket – a pocket for adding a camping pillow to your sleeping bag for extra comfort.

Q: What types of insulation are used in sleeping bags?

A: Sleeping bags are filled with one of two types of insulation – synthetic materials which are a mixture of man-made fibers and natural down (eider, duck, or goose feathers). Down sleeping bags offer the best warmth-to-weight ratio and are generally of very high quality.

The higher the down content in the sleeping bag, the better the bag will be at trapping air and providing warmth. Look for the “fill power” on the packaging of the sleeping bag such as 500 or 700 – the higher the number, the higher the quality of the down and the warmer the sleeping bag will be. Down is also very lightweight and down sleeping bags can be folded into very small shapes and are easy to carry.

Sleeping bags with synthetic insulation can be just as warm as down sleeping bags, but they do not roll up as small so take up more space in your backpack. Synthetic sleeping bags are also better in wet weather than down bags, as unless the down is hydrophobic, it isn’t great when wet.

There are various types of synthetic fills. These include:

  •         Polar Guard: Known for its premium synthetic insulation qualities and easy drying capabilities, Polar Guard is suitable for wet environments.
  •         Thermolite: Lightweight and affordable.
  •         Hollofil and Hollofil 2: Similar to Polar Guard with easy drying capabilities.

Q: What is the difference between duck and goose down?

A: Duck down is softer and smaller in size and tends to be cheaper than goose down. Duck down also has a slight odor as they are omnivorous, and this can affect the natural odor of the down. Goose down is tougher than duck down and provides better insulation. Goose down also does not have an odor like duck down might.

Q: What is ethical down?

A: Also referred to as “responsible” or “green” down, ethical down, ethical down is down that has been harvested without harming the animal from which it is being plucked.

Q: What is water-resistant down?

A: water-resistant down or hydrophobic down is resistant to water and still provides regular down qualities such as breathability and insulation.

Q: What does fill power mean in down sleeping bags?

The fill power of a down sleeping bag is a number that measures the fluffiness and quality of the down filling. This measurement is determined by the amount of space one ounce of down will occupy in cubic inches and common fill power measurements include 650, 750, 800, and 850. The higher the fill power number, the better the quality of the product in terms of warmth, loft, and firmness.

Q: What are sleeping bag liners made from?

  •         Cotton
  •         Coolmax
  •         Silk
  •         Silk and cotton blend
  •         Fleece
  •         Thermolite

Q: How do the temperature ratings on a sleeping bag work?

A: Different temperature ratings are given for sleeping bags, determining what season they can be used in.

Temperature rating
35 F degrees and higher Recommended for warmer climates and use in spring or summer.
10 to 35 F degrees Recommended for three seasons: spring, summer, and autumn.
10 F degrees and lower Recommended for winter and very cold temperatures, as well as sub-zero environments.

Final Thoughts

A good sleeping bag is a must for your camping trip to be successful. It’ll provide you with a warm and comfortable environment in which to sleep, protect you from the elements and creatures of the night, and ensure you get a great night’s rest.