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If you’re a fan of spending a night under the stars in the great outdoors, you’ll be all too aware of the importance of investing in a high-quality sleeping bag.
When you’re braving the elements, you need to focus on getting comfortable and staying warm, and finding the best backpacking sleeping bag can help you catch Z’s no matter where you are or what the weather is doing.
Which sleeping bag will meet your particular needs is going to depend on how you want to use it.
When you’re on the lookout for the best backpacking sleeping bag here are a few factors to consider.
Outdoor Vitals Summit Sleeping Bag
Founded by a college student who was struggling to afford premium outdoor equipment, Outdoor Vitals provides first-class quality products at competitive prices. The Summit down sleeping bag features a lightweight design, which aims to keep you warm and dry at the same time as ensuring you can travel from A to B with ease.
Outdoor Vitals has put eco-friendly design on the map. This efficient backpacking sleeping bag concept uses ultralight materials to cut down on waste and provide you with a product that is capable of weathering all conditions. The company also donates a portion of its profits to global poverty projects.
This impressive sleeping bag features premium 800-fill power down, and it’s one of the lightest products out there weighing in at just 2lbs 12oz. Another advantage for backpackers is the compression bag, which enables you to fold your sleeping bag into a pouch that measures just 11×8 inches.
As well as offering portability and warmth, the Outdoor Vitals Summit sleeping bag is also tough and durable. With a ripstop fabric shell, this is a bag that will last for years.
Outdoor Vitals Summit Pros:
Down filling for warmth and comfort
Lightweight and easy to carry
Manufacturer supports poverty projects
0° temperature rating
Outdoor Vitals Summit Cons:
The price around $225-$250 may be a little more than some budget buyers wish to pay.
Who should buy the Outdoor Vitals Summit sleeping bag?
This is a great investment for people who like to camp out on a regular basis. It is functional and durable, and it features premium materials both on the inside and the outside to cope with all conditions.
The North Face Cat’s Meow Sleeping Bag
Designed for mountaineering and outdoor pursuits, the North Face Cat’s Meow sleeping bag is a sleek, stylish sleeping bag, which is marketed as a unisex option for both male and female hikers.
The Cat’s Meow is a perfect option for hikers looking for an ultralight hiking sleeping bag weighing less than 3lb. This bag is easy to roll out, pack up and carry.
Featuring internal handwarmer pockets to protect the extremities, a streamlined, shaped hood and innovative Heatseeker Pro Insulation technology for superior warmth, this is a functional backpacking rig that will appeal to those who are setting up camp in a wide variety of terrain and conditions.
The bag comes with a compression sack so you can be sure this bag won’t occupy much space in your pack. The Cat’s Meow sleeping bag is available in regular (5ft6) and long (6ft).
To minimize cold spots, the bottom of this bag features an offset quilted design to offer better protection where your body rests against the ground. The Cat’s Meow also offers a temperature rating down to 20°.
The North Face Cat’s Meow Pros:
Heatseeker Pro Insulation technology
Compression sack for hassle-free transportation
Cool, stylish design
The North Face Cat’s Meow Cons:
May not be suited to all environments
Who should buy the North Face Cat’s Meow sleeping bag?
The North Face Cat’s Meow sleeping bag is a lightweight bag, which is ideal for hiking and walking. Easy to transport and available in two sizes, this bag is likely to appeal to a wide range of buyers, and at less than $195 it may be slightly more appealing than other more expensive products.
Klymit KSB 20 Ultralight Sleeping Bag
Designed for comfort in cool and warm conditions, this three-season sleeping bag by Klymit is rugged, durable, compact and cozy.
Featuring 600-fill power white duck down and a 20D moisture-proof nylon lining, the Klymit KSB 20 sleeping bag will keep you warm and dry right through the night. With a half-moon shaped foot holder, a mummy hood, and an expandable chest section, there’s no doubt that comfort is guaranteed with this ultralight sleeping bag.
This bag is built to last, and it has a water-resistant outer shell, which is bolstered by 20D rip-stop material. With a ¾ length zipper, which has a full-length zip guard, you can get in and out easily without worrying about the draft.
The Klymit bag comes with two sacks: one compression bag for carrying and one larger bag for storage at home. The length is adjustable, and there’s a handy internal pocket for phones and wallets. The price ranges from $189 to $219.
Klymit KSB 20 Pros:
Luxurious duck down filling
Durable and moisture-proof
Color options (red/black and blue/ black and gray)
Klymit KSB 20 Cons:
Temperature rating of 20° may not be ideal for those looking to hike or camp in extreme winter weather
Who should buy the Klymit KSB 20 sleeping bag?
This sleeping bag is likely to appeal to people who enjoy hiking and other outdoor pursuits. It’s suited to three-season camping, and it’s lightweight but also rugged and durable, which makes it a great long-term investment.
If you’re aiming to camp in extreme conditions, this may not be the perfect choice for you, but if you’re expecting moderate temperatures, this is a great product.
Marmot Trestles 15 Sleeping Bag
Designed for camping and hiking, the Marmot Trestles 15 Cold-Weather Mummy Sleeping bag is a versatile, affordable sleeping bag that comes in a range of different lengths and sizes to suit men and women.
Marmot is a leading name in the world of outdoor equipment and sleeping bags, and the Trestles 15 product has a lot to offer, as you would expect. Featuring SpiraFil high-loft insulation, this light, portable bag has a comfort temperature rating of around 15°.
As well as providing warmth, the Trestles 15 bag is also designed for comfort with a shaped foot-box, which gives you more room and freedom to move your toes, and a full-body zipper for easy access.
This Marmot has a natural down filling and synthetic insulation to provide protection against the elements, and it can be compressed into a portable sack within seconds. Unlike some mummy bags, this bag ensures superior performance in wet conditions. With traditional down, moisture can pose a problem, but the SpiraFil down found inside this bag is capable of coping with damp and wet conditions.
This sleeping bag is available in regular, long, and extra wide sizes.
Marmot Trestles 15 Pros:
Excellent sizing variety
Comfortable plush interior
Marmot Trestles 15 Cons:
With a weight of 4 lbs 8 oz places this sleeping bag squarely in the mid-weight category.
Why buy the Marmot Trestles 15 sleeping bag?
This Marmot sleeping bag ticks all the boxes, and it’s great for hikers and campers who like to try a range of different activities and camp out in different settings. The moisture protection offered by the bag is a major bonus for those on the move, and it’s also useful to have size options.
Priced from $108 for the regular mummy sleeping bag, this is an affordable product that offers many of the features found on pricier products. If you’re looking for a versatile all-rounder that will serve you well for many years to come and you don’t want to spend a fortune, this could be the ideal choice for you.
Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree DriDown Sleeping Bag
Available in three sizes, the Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree DriDown Sleeping Bag is suited to hikers, campers, cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts looking to bed down in comfort. With a 600-fill hydrophobic down filling, which features DriDown technology and a thermal hood, this sleeping bag has been tested for 3-season use.
The inner is made for superior comfort and coziness, but the outer shell also deserves a mention. With a rip-top shell and a zipper draft tube, this is a hard-wearing bag that can cope with wind, rain, and hail. The bag with a stuff sack for effortless transportation and you can choose from short, regular or long.
The price of this product is guaranteed to turn heads. With the short sleeping bag available from $108 and the regular model priced at under $160, this is a versatile sleeping bag, which ticks many boxes.
Marmot Trestles 15 Pros:
Sleeps up to 6’6″
Excellent moisture resistance
Marmot Trestles 15 Cons:
Somewhat fragile zipper
Who should buy the Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree DriDown Sleeping Bag?
This sleeping bag is bound to catch the eye of outdoor enthusiasts who like to camp out during the spring, summer and fall. With a comfort temperature rating of 20° and a high-quality down filling, you’ll be comfortable and warm come rain or shine.
If you’re shopping around for the best backpacking sleeping bag, hopefully, these reviews will point you in the direction and ensure you’re warm, comfortable, and dry on your next outdoor adventure.
What is a good weight for a backpacking sleeping bag?
When looking for a sleeping bag for your backpack, you should go for an ultra-light version.
These sleeping bags average just one pound. That’s for a summer version. Winter ultra-light sleeping bags can weigh up to 3.5 pounds.
You should set the goal to keep the weight of your sleeping bag and sleeping pillow (if you are packing one) to less than three pounds.
When you are packing your backpack, you can lighten the load by leaving behind the stuff bag that comes with the ultra-light sleeping bag.
You should also select a down sleeping bag over a synthetic version as it is more lightweight. Down sleeping bags are also more compressible than synthetic ones.
How to insulate your sleeping bag for cold weather?
The following expert tips will help you to insulate your sleeping bag and keep yourself cozy and warm on the coldest winter night’s camp.
- Pack a sleeping bag liner. A liner to your sleeping bag can provide you with as much as an additional 5 degrees F if you have a microfiber liner. A merino wool liner can add a whopping 17 degrees F to the internal temperature of your sleeping bag.
- Wear as much clothing as possible. You should particularly insulate the core area of your stomach, back, and chest. However, the clothes that you sleep in should be loose-fitting for comfort.
- Make sure that the bag is not too large for you. The extra space will require unnecessary heat to warm it up. If you do have extra space, fill it up with extra clothing or bottles that are filled with hot water.
- Be sure that your feet are as dry as possible before you slip into your sleeping bag. It is a good idea to pack a pair of dry sleeping socks that are for that purpose.
- Go to bed with a knit cap on your head. It makes sense when we consider that 50 percent of your body heat escapes from your head.
- Stay well hydrate
What is the best material for backpacking sleeping bags
When it comes to backpack sleeping bags, there are two options:
A sleeping bag that is filled with a synthetic inner will retain heat better when it is wet than a down filled sleeping bag.
Yet synthetic filled bags are usually less expensive than down filled ones.
Down fill is usually warmer than synthetic. It also compresses more readily, making it easier to stuff into a backpack.
Down is also more durable and so will last longer than their synthetic counterparts.
What is the lowest temperature at which you can sleep just in a sleeping bag?
The European Standard for rating sleeping bag temperatures lists lower limited and extreme temperature ranges for sleeping bags.
The lower limit is -15 degrees C (5 degrees F). The extreme limit is -35 degrees C (-31 degrees F). Beyond that, you will be risking hypothermia.
Top Backpacking Sleeping Bag Benefits
Your budget is likely to influence your decision, but when you’re contending with nature, this is an item well worth spending a little money on.
If you’re hitting the trail and maybe you’re setting up camp in a variety of locations, portability is key.
You don’t want to be weighed down with a heavy bag. An ultralight sleeping bag, which offers warmth, is an ideal option for backpackers.
Some people may have a preference in terms of the style, for example, quilt or mummy bag. Your travel plans might also affect the decision-making process.
If you’re traveling to places where you could be exposed to extreme temperatures, it’s particularly important to make the right choice.