You need the right gear for a camping trip. You don’t have to break the bank on gear, but you do need the essentials to be comfortable and to have a good time on your next camping trip. One of the most important pieces of gear you can bring with you is your sleeping bag. A good, comfortable sleeping bag can make the difference in a camping trip. It needs to be warm, but not smothering and it must have adequate room so you’re not too confined. Make the wrong decision and your night could be more like a nightmare. If your sleeping bag is not rated for the weather you’re camping in, you could freeze and have a negative experience when you should be relaxing and enjoying the outdoors.
You’ve probably logged hours of research to find the best sleeping bags, so we’ve compiled a list of the highest-rated, user friendly and best sleeping bags of the year.
The Best Sleeping Bags for Camping:
Teton Sports LEEF Lightweight Mummy Sleeping Bag
If you’ve never slept in a mummy sleeping bag, you’re missing out. They’re lightweight, comfortable and warm. You’ve probably experienced cold feet in your other sleeping bags, that doesn’t happen with mummy sleeping bags. They have added insulation in the footbox that keeps your piggies warm through the night. If you’ve ever brought the wrong sleeping bag on a freezing cold night – you know what we’re talking about. It can make your night horrible and you can’t hike as far without a good night’s sleep. The Teton lightweight mummy sleeping bag is equipped with a three-piece hood that you can pull tight around your face to retain heat and keep your head warm on those cold nights in the tent. You may feel that a mummy sleeping bag will feel claustrophobic, but it’s actually the opposite due to the foot box providing more room for your legs and feet. This warm sleeping bag also has a zipper that runs full-length to keep warm air in and cold air out. This sleeping bag is rated at extreme –8F (-22C), limit 23F (-5C) and comfort 34F (1C); it can handle cold weather like a champ. If you’re sleeping in warm weather, you can use your mummy sleeping bag as a camp pad to make your sleep more comfortable. It also comes with a compression sack that is perfect for stuffing your sleeping bag in and saving space. The compression sack makes this mummy sleeping bag easier to travel. Designed with double-layer offset stitch construction to prevent cold spots and to keep you warm all over and not just in certain areas. You have two temperature ratings to choose from depending on the type of weather you plan on encountering for your next camping trip. This is a durable sleeping bag that will last for years. Designed from ultralight 400T 20D nylon fabric and snag-free Velcro – this is the type of sleeping bag you will enjoy bringing on trips. The lightweight factor plays a large role in the sleeping bag you choose for hiking because you have other gear to carry. This sleeping bag weighs around 2.71 pounds and won’t weigh down your hiking backpack.
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Hyke & Byke Quandary Hydrophobic Down Sleeping Bag
The Hyke & Byke is an ultra-lightweight mummy sleeping bag that is specifically designed to keep you warm, protect you from water and keep you comfortable all night long. It’s made from durable material and will last for years of camping and exploring. Made from hydrophobic 650 FP duck down, this mummy sleeping bag is one of the best on the market. The ClusterLoft base outperforms down and is moisture resistant. The waterproof fabric will keep you dry and warm and creates a loft that contains heat to keep your body warm when the temperature outside isn’t as forgiving. Perfect for cold weather as its extreme limit is rated at 15 degrees F, lower limit is 30 degrees F and comfort limit is 50 degrees F. You have to base your decision on the weather you will encounter on a regular basis. The Hyke & Byke Sleeping Bag comes in 3 sizes: Short (5’6”), Regular (6’) and Long or XL (6’6”). They have a size for everyone. It’s important to get the proper measurements to ensure a quality sleep. Read the product information to determine which size will fit you the best.
Marmot Trestles Cold Weather Mummy Sleeping Bag
Everyone knows Marmot makes great gear for hiking, backpacking and camping. They’ve been around for a while and their products have stood the test of time. The same quality goes into their mummy sleeping bags. The Marmot Trestles Mummy Sleeping Bag is perfect for cold weather outings and rated at 15 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s shaped for comfort with the anatomically shaped footbox to give you more room and keep your feet at a comfortable temperature. Comfort is key when choosing the best sleeping bag and you can’t go wrong with this Marmot. If you’re looking for a lightweight sleeping bag for backpacking, you’re in luck as the Marmot Trestles weighs only 3 pounds 11.8 ounces. It’s designed with comfort and durability in mind and made from 70D polyester. This sleeping bag will last through years of adventure. Still unsure? Just read the reviews and that should help with your decision.
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Teton Sports TrailHead Sleeping Bag
Teton Sports are well-known on trails, camping spots, resorts and RV parks as one of the best outdoor gear brands. The Teton Sports TrailHead Sleeping Bag is super lightweight which makes it the perfect choice for hiking and backpacking. The fact that it’s lightweight doesn’t mean cheap materials – it’s made of high-quality materials and superb craftsmanship. It will keep you warm on cold nights and has plenty of room and extra space for your feet. No one wants to feel stuffed inside of their sleeping bag. You don’t have to roll the Teeton Sports sleeping up, you can just use the compression sack and stuff it in there and tighten the heavy-duty straps to keep it secure. You can fluff up this sleeping bag to use it as an insulated camp pad. It has a zipper draft tube and a soft liner that will absolutely come in handy at the campsite. This is the type of sleeping bag you get if you want great quality, but don’t want to break the bank on camping gear.
Coleman 0 Degree F Mummy Sleeping Bag for Big and Tall Adults
You probably have Coleman camping gear in your yard that you’ve used since you were a kid. Most people do. The Coleman Mummy Sleeping Bag is built for larger adults and fits most people up to 6 feet 2 inches tall. You’ve likely had a few nights in discomfort with regular sleeping bags if you’re on the tall side. Your toes touch the end and it makes the night uncomfortable. The Coleman is perfect for those who don’t want to sacrifice quality and warmth, but are taller than average and need extra room. This sleeping bag can keep you comfortable as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit and has a hood that you can tighten with a drawstring for extra body-heat retention. You can even unzip the bottom of the sleeping bag to give yourself some extra ventilation when it’s warm outside. Most sleeping bags don’t have that option. The footbox is even insulated and it has a Thermolock draft tube to provide more warmth. This sleeping bag is a little on the heavy side, but it’s perfect for camping trips and it costs around $50.
Hyke & Byke Katahdin Hydrophobic Sleeping Bag
The Katahdin’s fill is the closest synthetic insulation to down that you will find on the market. It has a higher warmth-to-weight ratio than most sleeping bags you will find. The 625 fill power advanced synthetic has been tested and is found to be warmer than 600 fill power goose down. That makes this sleeping bag light-weight, warm, breathable and water resistant; exactly what you need in a high-end sleeping bag. These sleeping bags are easy to compress and carry in your backpack. They come in multiple colors and options including a 15-degree and 0-degree rated version. You will find that you can use the Hyke & Byke Katahdin in extremely cold weather with no issues. You may even find yourself removing outer layers.
Outdoor Vitals Summit 800+ Fill Power Ultralight Backpacking Mummy Sleeping Bag
The Outdoor Vitals Summit is made for comfort and cold weather. These bags are tested in the real world and are often found to be warmer than the industry standard. This ultralight weight bag is great for backpacking trips, camping trips, scouts and as an extra sleeping bag for the RV. The 800-fill power down holds one of the highest warm to weight ratios you will find. This means it is super lightweight and will keep you warm in the coldest climates. The down is also one of the most compressible insulations you can have in a sleeping bag. This makes packing your bag much easier and saves space. You don’t want your sleeping bag taking up most of the room in your backpack. The shell is coated with water-resistant coating that will keep you dry during a drizzle. The Outdoor Vitals sleeping bag has a lifetime warranty and they will fix craftsmanship problems you may experience. This sleeping bag measures 6’ to 6’6” and is warmer than the industry standard due to real-world testing.
Bessport Mummy Sleeping Bag
Don’t’ let the compact design of the Bessport Mummy sleeping bag fool you; it’s large enough to fit an adult measuring 6’1” – 6’6” which is larger than average. Keeping you warm and comfortable is the name of the game and the Bessport meets expectations. Designed from 210T ripstop polyester – the shell adds a layer of protection against the elements and has water-repellant properties that will keep you dry. There’s nothing worse than getting soaked on a camping trip and freezing all night. The double-layer ripstop fabric is tough, durable and will last a long time. It comes with a stuff sack for easy storage and to fit neatly in your backpack. It only weighs 3.6 pounds and is super easy to pack and carry on a trip. The Bessport is one of the best sleeping bags for under $50.
Marmot Ironwood 20 Mummy Sleeping Bag
The Marmot Ironwood is the best in its class and is certified at 650 fill power down that provides a light-weight and warm experience. It’s EN rated at a lower temperature limit of around 20 degrees Fahrenheit and will keep you warm on cold weather trips. The footbox gives you much more room than other brands. It’s also equipped with a hood that prevents heat loss. One of the coolest features on the Marmot Ironwood is the internal stash pocket that allows you to keep some gear easily accessible because you truly never know when you will need it. The stuff sack comes with the sleeping bag at no additional cost and makes it easy to pack and carry for your trip. The Marmot Ironwood sleeping bag is lightweight, tough and just the right size.
Sleeping Bag Buyer's Guide
Sleeping bags have drastically improved over the years and are getting better due to new technology and high-quality materials. The science of balancing light-weight materials with more efficient components have created sleeping bags that are super-efficient at keeping you warm. The sleeping bag itself doesn’t technically create warmth, but traps your own body heat which then keeps you warm throughout the night. You need to ensure your sleeping bag is the right fit because too much extra space will make it harder to stay warm.
Choose Temperature Rating Carefully
You have to read the details of each sleeping bag to make sure you get the right one for your climate. There are two main temperature ratings that you’re likely to see – EN and ISO. These are industry standards that are on sleeping bags so you will know what type of weather they are best for. Keep in mind that you can always increase your body heat by wearing layers under your sleeping bag. You could wear an extra shirt or even a jacket to increase your warmth inside your sleeping bag. If you’re in an extremely cold environment, you can wear a hat, gloves, pants and socks to retain as much body heat as possible.
The Right Material Will Keep You Dry and Warm Better
Most sleeping bags you find on the market today are made from synthetic materials and are comparable to natural down. Synthetic materials usually keep you warmer by trapping more body heat and they dry faster when you do happen to get wet. However, you can spend a fortune on the best sleeping bag on the market and still have a crummy night if you get soaked. That’s why it’s important to prepare and protect your sleeping bag by keeping it in a compression sack or other protective container to keep it dry. You never know what the weather is going to be like, so always prepare for the worst.
Check the Down Fill Power
You’ve seen the down fill power listed in the details of sleeping bags if you’ve been shopping. You may not have thought much about it, but it’s actually important when choosing the best sleeping bag. The down fill power alerts you to the grade and quality of the sleeping bag’s insulation. A high fill power will weigh less, keep you warmer and be easier to carry. However, a higher fill power will also cost more, but that comes with the territory when choosing the best camping gear. The main thing you will be looking for in a quality sleeping bag is the weight-to-warmth factor. You want a light-weight bag that keeps you as warm as possible. Sure, the best sleeping bags will cost more, but a good bag can make your camping trip much better. A low-quality sleeping bag can be a nightmare.
Measure Your Sleeping Bag Properly
Choose your sleeping bag based on your height. Most people won’t have to worry about this, but if you are exceptionally tall, you will need to choose a longer bag. If you’re on the fence about a size, it’s best to go larger just in case. Also, keep in mind how wide you are. A lot of tall men are much wider than average and may need a larger sleeping bag.
How to Store Your Sleeping Bag
You can keep your sleeping bag in a compression bag while traveling, but you don’t want to keep it in there for long-term storage. You will want to hang your sleeping bag up as soon as you get to your location. If your bag gets wet, don’t stuff it back into the compression bag or other container because it will not dry property. You will end up with a wet and cold night. Instead, hang it up or at least drape it over a limb to allow it to dry.
Related Camping Article: If you’re setting up your campsite in a hurry and need a quick place to rest, consider adding a camping hammock to your outdoor gear. They’re easy to setup, durable and one of the most relaxing activities you can do at the campsite!
Jerome is an avid outdoorsman who moonlights as an attorney when he’s not creating the world’s greatest online content.