16 Top Sleeping Bags for Backpacking and Camping

There’s no better feeling than sinking into a warm sleeping bag after a long day spent in the great outdoors. Whether you’re backpacking or enjoying an activity-filled backcountry camping adventure, a sleeping bag is one of the most essential items for your packing list. U.S. News editors researched dozens of review sites, including Amazon, online retailers, travel industry review sites and more, to come up with this selection of top sleeping bags for backpacking and camping.

Types of sleeping bags

When determining what sleeping bag to purchase, it’s important to know where you’ll be camping or backpacking, as well as what temperatures to expect. Keep in mind that higher elevations are often cooler even in the height of summer. For example, Rocky Mountain National Park — where elevation gets above 9,000 feet — often sees daytime temperatures in the 80s and nighttime temperatures in the 40s. (Note: All temperatures are given in Fahrenheit.)

Sleeping bags generally fall into three categories: three-season, winter or summer.

Three-season sleeping bag: A three-season sleeping bag is the ideal choice for campers and backpackers in the spring, summer and fall. If you’re expecting to brave the elements in temperatures that fall between 15 and 30 degrees at night, a three-season sleeping bag is the right option for you. Keep in mind that the lower limit rating given for a sleeping bag’s temperature range is typically based on what might keep the average “warm sleeper” comfortable in that weather. By contrast, the comfort rating, which is a measure often used for women’s bags, refers to the temperature a “cold sleeper” might feel comfortable at. In general, comfort levels will vary from person to person.

Winter sleeping bag: If you’re planning a backpacking or camping trip as a winter getaway, a winter sleeping bag is a must. Though they can be heavy and bulky, these durable sleeping bags are designed to handle freezing to subzero temperatures.

Summer sleeping bag: A summer sleeping bag is the best choice for warm weather — meaning 30 degrees and higher. If you’re new to camping or backpacking, consider a summer adventure before planning a more advanced trip in colder months.

What to consider when choosing the best sleeping bag for camping or backpacking

After you’ve selected the type of sleeping bag you want, it’s time to think about its shape, insulation and style.

Bag shape

Sleeping bags come in a variety of shapes, the most popular of which are rectangular, mummy, semi-rectangular and double.

Rectangular: If you’d like some room to stretch, consider a rectangular sleeping bag.

Mummy: By contrast, mummy-style sleeping bags — smaller and more ideal for backpacking — hug the body, widening at the shoulders and thinning at the head, legs and feet.

Semi-rectangular: Semi-rectangular sleeping bags, which are widest at the head and shoulders and thinnest at the feet, accommodate a range of body shapes and sizes, with more room to move around than mummy bags but less than rectangular.

Double: These sleeping bags fit two people and are perfect for an outdoor couples getaway.

Insulation

The kind of insulation is a critical factor, especially if you’re backpacking and need to compress the sleeping bag into a backpack. There are two types of sleeping bag insulation: down and synthetic.

Down: Down comes from the plumage under the feathers, right next to a goose or duck’s skin. The quality is determined by fill power; for example, a 700-fill down sleeping bag lofts 700 cubic inches per ounce. In other words, the higher the fill power, the warmer you’ll be. Down-filled sleeping bags might be more expensive, but they’re also often more lightweight, durable and compressible.

Synthetic: Consider a synthetic sleeping bag for affordability, or if you plan to venture in a wet climate — like in Acadia National Park or Everglades National Park — as synthetic bags continue to insulate even when wet, unlike down. You can also purchase a down/synthetic blended bag for the best of both worlds: the comfort of down paired with the affordability of synthetic.

Style

The style of a sleeping bag can widely vary. If you’re taking the children on an outdoor family vacation, make sure to purchase a kids sleeping bag. Campers seeking maximum comfort, meanwhile, should purchase a sleeping bag that comes with a pillow. Consider a sleeping bag with legs — otherwise known as a wearable sleeping bag — for both warmth and mobility. And if you feel claustrophobic in a traditional sleeping bag, a backpacking quilt might be the best fit for you.

The Top Sleeping Bags for Backpacking and Camping

Best Sleeping Bags by Type

Best Overall Sleeping Bag: The North Face One Bag Sleeping Bag

Best Three-Season Sleeping Bag: Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Down Sleeping Bag

Best Winter Sleeping Bag: ALPS OutdoorZ Redwood -25° Sleeping Bag

Best Summer Sleeping Bag: Sea to Summit Flame Ultralight 48F Sleeping Bag

Best Sleeping Bags by Shape

Best Mummy Sleeping Bag: TETON Sports Leef Mummy Sleeping Bag

Best Rectangular Sleeping Bag: Coleman Sleeping Bag

Best Semi-Rectangular Sleeping Bag: NEMO Disco 15 Sleeping Bag Men’s and Women’s

Best Double Sleeping Bag: The North Face Dolomite One Double Sleeping Bag

Best Sleeping Bags by Insulation

Best Down Sleeping Bag: Kelty Galactic 30 Degree Down Sleeping Bag

Best Synthetic Sleeping Bag: The North Face Eco Trail Synthetic 20 Sleeping Bag

Best Down/Synthetic Blend Sleeping Bag: Marmot Warmcube Gallatin Sleeping Bag: 20F Down

Best Lightweight Sleeping Bag: Therm-a-Rest Questar 0F/-18C Lightweight Down Mummy Sleeping Bag

Best Sleeping Bags by Style

Best Kids Sleeping Bag: Big Agnes 15-Degree Sleeping Bags for Kids, Juniors & Teens

Best Sleeping Bag With Pillow: HiHiker Camping Sleeping Bag + Travel Pillow w/Compact Compression Sack

Best Sleeping Bag With Legs: Selk’Bag Lite Recycled 6G Wearable Sleeping Bag

Best Camping Quilt: REI Co-op Magma Trail Quilt 30

(Note: Prices were accurate at the time this article was updated; they may fluctuate due to supply chain issues.)

Best Sleeping Bags by Type

Best Overall Sleeping Bag: The North Face One Bag Sleeping Bag

This mummy sleeping bag features multiple layers that make it the perfect bag for any season. The lightweight synthetic layer is all that’s needed for warm weather in the range of 40 degrees or higher, while the 800-fill down mid-layer is a must if temperatures fall to 20 degrees. Combine both the layers for a winter sleeping bag that can handle 5-degree temperatures. If you’re using the mid-layer on its own, you can even roll the synthetic outer layer into a pillow. Reviewers love the bag’s versatility and say it’s easy to change between the layers, but some caution that it doesn’t pack down as small as other bags with a comparable temperature rating.

[The North Face One Bag Sleeping Bag: $300 or less. View deal.]

Best Three-Season Sleeping Bag: Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Down Sleeping Bag

Insulated with water-resistant down (called DriDown) that ensures a high warmth-to-weight ratio, this Kelty sleeping bag keeps its wearer warm and cozy in cold weather as low as 20 degrees. The bag also features a draft collar and insulated hood to avoid heat loss, a two-way locking no-snag zipper and a small pocket for electronics. The shell fabric is made of soft but durable nylon taffeta. At 2 pounds, this mummy bag is a great choice for backpacking in three different seasons. Purchasers of the bag confirm that this Kelty product is warm and snug, though some reviews warn it can be difficult to zip.

[Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Down Sleeping Bag: $169.95 or less. View deal.]

Best Winter Sleeping Bag: ALPS OutdoorZ Redwood -25° Sleeping Bag

If you’re planning on sleeping in subzero temperatures, the ALPS Outdoorz Redwood -25° Sleeping Bag is for you. This rectangular sleeping bag includes a cotton canvas outer layer and a 100% cotton flannel liner to keep in maximum heat. Because it’s made for freezing or near-freezing temperatures, this 13-pound winter sleeping bag is large and not meant for backpacking. (If you’re looking for something a bit lighter, consider the ALPS OutdoorZ Redwood -10° Sleeping Bag, which weighs 11 pounds, 8 ounces.) Recent buyers confirm the bag is best for car camping and rave about its warmth.

[ALPS OutdoorZ Redwood -25° Sleeping Bag: $249.99 or less. View deal.]

Best Summer Sleeping Bag: Sea to Summit Flame Ultralight 48F Sleeping Bag

Weighing only 12.3 ounces (or 13.9 ounces for the longer size), this Sea to Summit semi-rectangular sleeping bag is perfect for warm weather backpacking trips — in a California national park, for instance. The ultralight bag includes 850-fill water-resistant down that allows for the bag to pack down small. If you’re heading out on a colder trip, you can even use this bag as a liner for another sleeping bag. Summer campers and backpackers recommend this product, citing its comfort and coziness.

[Sea to Summit Flame Ultralight 48F Sleeping Bag: $359 or less. View deal.]

Best Sleeping Bags by Shape

Best Mummy Sleeping Bag: TETON Sports Leef Mummy Sleeping Bag

If your feet tend to get cold in the outdoors, the TETON Sports Leef Mummy Sleeping Bag is the bag for you with its added insulation in the foot box. The sleeping bag also features a three-piece hood you can pull in around your face, as well as a full-length zipper draft tube to keep warm air in. Purchasers of this bag appreciate its relative affordability and recommend it for both casual and serious backpacking trips.

[TETON Sports Leef Mummy Sleeping Bag: $89.99 or less. View deal.]

Best Rectangular Sleeping Bag: Coleman Sleeping Bag

With more than 5,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, the synthetic Coleman Sleeping Bag is sure to please. This summer sleeping bag is built to withstand temperatures of 30 degrees or higher and includes a tricot fiber blend liner with a polyester cover. The built-in ZipPlow system allows for snag-free zipping. Reviewers comment that the bag is of good quality for the price.

[Coleman Sleeping Bag: $39.99 or less. View deal.]

Best Semi-Rectangular Sleeping Bag: NEMO Disco 15 Sleeping Bag

Recommended for side sleepers, this rectangular NEMO Disco sleeping bag includes 650-fill down, nylon shell fabric with a durable water-repellent finish, Thermo Gills to vent body heat and more. The men’s left-side zippers can even connect to the women’s right-side zippers, creating a double bag. Recent users praise the numerous features, though some warn that the bag runs cold.

[NEMO Disco 15 Sleeping Bag: $319.95 or less. View deal for men’s and women’s.]

Best Double Sleeping Bag: The North Face Dolomite One Double Sleeping Bag

On your next romantic getaway to a state or national park, consider a double bag to share with your significant other. The Dolomite One Double Sleeping Bag features two layers: The top synthetic layer works for warm temperatures at 50 degrees or higher, while the middle synthetic layer — which is lined with soft fleece — keeps you and your partner cozy when it’s 30 degrees out. Combining the layers creates a bag with a temperature rating of 15 degrees. Adventuring couples love the layers and find the bag to not be too warm with two people sharing it.

[The North Face Dolomite One Double Sleeping Bag: $250 or less. View deal.]

Best Sleeping Bags by Insulation

Best Down Sleeping Bag: Kelty Galactic 30 Degree Down Sleeping Bag

This rectangular-shaped bag with a fill power of 550 features a built-in anti-snag zipper design and double zippers to allow for venting at the feet. What’s more, Galactic sleeping bags can be zipped together to create a double bag for you and your partner, friend or dog. At 2.45 pounds, this Kelty Galactic product is a great choice for backpacking. Outdoor enthusiasts say the bag is lightweight and packs small, though there are better options for longer thru-hiking.

[Kelty Galactic 30 Degree Down Sleeping Bag: $95 or less. View deal.]

Best Synthetic Sleeping Bag: The North Face Eco Trail Synthetic 20 Sleeping Bag

Made of recycled synthetic insulation, this mummy bag features a draft collar to trap warmth, tie-down loops for securing the bag to a sleeping pad, and a wraparound J-zipper for increased mobility and ventilation. Because this bag is synthetic — a great choice for damp climates — consider taking it on a beach camping or backpacking trip. Recent buyers praise the bag’s comfort but find the lack of compression disappointing.

[The North Face Eco Trail Synthetic 20 Sleeping Bag: $139 or less. View deal.]

Best Down/Synthetic Blend Sleeping Bag: Marmot Warmcube Gallatin Sleeping Bag: 20F Down

This three-season mummy sleeping bag includes down insulation along with a synthetic insulation outer layer. An anatomical foot box, as well as a full-length zipper draft tube, protect against heat loss. If you’re looking for a comparable winter sleeping bag, consider the Marmot Warmcube Expedition Sleeping Bag: -30F Synthetic. Campers recommend trying Marmot’s Warmcube technology, which works to warm faster than an average sleeping bag, if you’re not sure whether to buy a down or synthetic sleeping bag.

[Marmot Warmcube Gallatin Sleeping Bag: 20F Down: $408.95 or less. View deal.]

Best Lightweight Sleeping Bag: Therm-a-Rest Questar 0F/-18C Lightweight Down Mummy Sleeping Bag

For a cold weather bag, weighing just above 2 pounds is an accomplishment. This mummy sleeping bag features responsibly sourced down that’s also hydrophobic. As a lightweight winter sleeping bag, this Therm-a-Rest product is perfect for backpacking and backcountry camping at higher elevations. Purchasers of this bag confirm its ability to protect you from the cold, with some even mentioning being too warm when temperatures dipped into the 20s.

[Therm-a-Rest Questar 0F/-18C Lightweight Down Mummy Sleeping Bag: $449.95 or less. View deal.]

Best Sleeping Bags by Style

Best Kids Sleeping Bag: Big Agnes 15-Degree Sleeping Bags for Kids, Juniors & Teens

Don’t forget sleeping bags for the kids on your next family adventure in the great outdoors. The Big Agnes 15-Degree Sleeping Bag fits kids up to 4 feet, 5 inches; it includes a variety of features for maximum warmth and comfort, including a no-draft collar, a no-draft zipper, a contoured hood and a pad sleeve for securing the bag to a sleeping pad. Parents recommend the sleeping bag for both camping and backpacking, appreciating that the bag keeps their children cozy and warm.

[Big Agnes 15-Degree Sleeping Bags for Kids, Juniors & Teens: $119.95 or less. View deal.]

Best Sleeping Bag With Pillow: HiHiker Camping Sleeping Bag + Travel Pillow w/Compact Compression Sack

This rectangular sleeping bag is made of polyester and includes a packable and lightweight pillow. Double-sided zippers allow for venting, while heat retention technology keeps in warmth. Recent reviewers appreciate the price and emphasize that this sleeping bag is best for camping as opposed to backpacking.

[HiHiker Camping Sleeping Bag + Travel Pillow w/Compact Compression Sack: $49.95 or less. View deal.]

Best Sleeping Bag With Legs: Selk’Bag Lite Recycled 6G Wearable Sleeping Bag

If you’d like a sleeping bag’s warmth as well as the ability to walk around, a wearable sleeping bag is the right choice for you. Much of this Selk’Bag sleeping bag — including the shell fabric, linings, zippers and insulations — is made with 100% postconsumer recycled material fibers. Campers enjoy wearing this around the campsite, and even around the house during the winter.

[Selk’Bag Lite Recycled 6G Wearable Sleeping Bag: $149 or less. View deal.]

Best Camping Quilt: REI Co-op Magma Trail Quilt 30

If you feel too uncomfortable or claustrophobic in a sleeping bag, consider purchasing a camping quilt. The REI Co-op Magma Trail Quilt has a temperature rating of 30 degrees and offers a trapezoidal foot box for maximum warmth and comfort, as well as pad cords to help keep you centered on your sleeping pad throughout the night. The shell fabric includes durable water repellent to protect the 850-fill, responsibly sourced down inside. Outdoor adventurers highly recommend this lightweight quilt-style product for backpackers and thru-hikers.

[REI Co-op Magma Trail Quilt 30: $329 or less. View deal.]

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16 Top Sleeping Bags for Backpacking and Camping originally appeared on usnews.com

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