More than ever, people are fleeing the concrete jungle to explore and immerse themselves in nature. But, whether you’re taking a weekend trip or a month’s long trek, you’ll need the right equipment for your adventures -- namely, the best sleeping bag for the climate, terrain, and your sleep-style.
There is something humbling and grounding about spending time in the great outdoors. Even leaving our creature comforts behind and living simply for a while. It was John Muir who said, “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”
Whatever your reasons for spending time in the great outdoors, you'll find that the right equipment provides a good night's rest so you can greet every morning with enthusiasm. But, the choices when shopping for the best sleeping bag can be overwhelming. There's so many on the market, with a wide range of models for every season and region. So, we’ve narrowed down the top choices to guide you in your search.
[amazon box= “B0738TD6YJ,B01AKQEYCS,B0178QORSY,B07B6HQCWQ,B01MRCX6Y2,B0178QQN22,B019QVRQGE,B01EOMXP2E,B075KJ1RFG,B004Q4K04M” template=”table”]
OUR RATINGS FOR THE BEST SLEEPING BAG EXPLAINED
To help you in your search for the best sleeping bag, we’ve ranked the top sleeping bags for hiking and rated them 1 out of 5, with 5 being our top ranking.
We looked for sleeping bags made by respected companies. We also evaluated brand reputation and customer reviews to find sleeping bags that have proven tried and true for a wide range of campers.
There are pros and cons to each sleeping bag, depending on your individual needs and preferences. So, we’ve compiled a list of quality, well-reviewed sleeping bags to facilitate your search.
TOP 10 BEST SLEEPING BAG MODELS FOR HIKING
Kelty truly broke the mold when they created this superior sleeping bag. The DURATION MUMMY sleeping bag provides the best warmth to weight ratio you’ll find on the market. The 950+ goose down fill keeps you warm and cozy at night, then compresses easily the next morning, making packing a breeze.
The DURATION MUMMY an expensive sleeping bag, but if you can afford it, it’s worth it. Customers rave about the Friends Hummingbird 20 for its warmth, weight, comfort, and quality. You won’t regret investing in this sleeping bag for your hiking adventures.
North Face is already a household name in outdoor, cold weather gear. It stands to reason that North Face would make a great sleeping bag too. And the Cat's Meow does not disappoint.
This is a three-season bag made with synthetic insulation. The HeatSeeker One synthetic fill is super light compared to other synthetic fill sleeping bags.
The Cat's Meow weighs in at under 2 pounds and is very compressible, making the bag easy to pack. The synthetic fill also makes this sleeping bag a good choice if you’re hiking in wet conditions.
And all of this for a low price!
It’s hard to beat the quality for the cost with this sleeping bag by North Face. If you need a quality, synthetic-filled sleeping bag, look no further.
It is worth noting that the Cat's Meow has limited fill on the bottom. The sleeping bag is meant to be used with a sleeping pad.
This light version from Western Mountaineering is the best sleeping bag for summer adventures. The SummerLite is lofty and comfortable but won’t keep you too warm in the summer months. And the warmth to weight ratio with this sleeping bag is right on the money. It’s super light and easy to pack.
The SummerLite is a bit expensive, but you can’t beat the quality and convenience. As always with Western Mountaineering, this product is highly acclaimed by customers.
Marmot is another trusted name in outdoor gear. You can be sure that you’re getting a reliable, quality sleeping bag from Marmot. Their Lithium 0 bag carries the lowest temperature rating on the market, so this sleeping bag is equipped to keep you warm in extreme conditions.
This Marmot sleeping bag weighs in on the heavy side and is rather expensive. You’re still getting a superb sleeping bag, but you can find a better weight to warmth ratio for the price. However, if warmth is your number one priority, the Marmot Lithium 0 is at the top of the chart.
Customers consistently review this sleeping bag for its superb warmth and overall Marmot quality
The Sea to Summit Trek receives rave reviews for comfort. The rectangular style of this bag offers more room than the popular mummy-style sleeping bag. The Sea to Summit is rated highly among those who prefer sleeping on their side. If you’re someone who struggles to get a good night’s sleep in a mummy-style bag, the Sea to Summit Trek TKI is for you.
This bag doesn’t receive our top call for warmth or weight, but it has other fine qualities. Despite the roominess and weight of the bag, it packs down quite small for easy packing. It’s also insulated with water-repellent down, making this sleeping bag suitable for wide array of weather conditions.
To top it off, the Sea to Summit is very reasonably priced for all it offers. Customers are consistently satisfied with this sleeping bag.
The Western Mountaineering Versatile 10 is an extremely warm, high-loft sleeping bag. You’ll be toasty and comfortable in this mummy-style sleeping bag.
While it’s not the very lightest bag, it does pack down quite small. Western Mountaineering is a well-respected brand you can rely on for the best sleeping bag.
The Big Agnesis very light and convenient, compressing well for easy packing. And this sleeping bag is insulated with water-repellent down, making it especially handy for overnights in wet conditions.
For the warmth to weight ratio, you will get a quality sleeping bag for the price. You can even choose from three different sizes for the fit that’s most comfortable for you.
The Kelty Cosmic Down sleeping bag is held in high regard for its great quality at an affordable price. Customers who can’t afford the most expensive sleeping bag can still get the best sleeping bag. And they applaud the Kelty Cosmic Down for its cost-effectiveness.
It’s also quite spacious if you’re someone who prefers a little room to move during the night.
This sleeping bag is not the warmest or the lightest in the market. The Cosmic Down weighs in on the heavier end of the spectrum on this list. But it is well-reviewed on both quality and comfort for the price.
If you are shopping on a budget, you won’t be disappointed with your choice in the Kelty Cosmic Down 20.
This Backcountry Bed sleeping bag by Sierra Designs offers a unique, zipper-free design. It's well-suited to individuals who tend to sleep on their side or stomach.
The Backcountry Bed is well-reviewed as very comfortable by customers who often don’t get a good night’s rest in a traditional sleeping bag.
The Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed is middle-of-the-road on warmth and weight, but it's still a good measure for the price. What makes this sleeping bag special is its reputation for comfort.
If you’ve struggled to find a comfortable sleeping bag, the Backcountry Bed may be the best sleeping bag for you. With its reasonable price tag and positive reviews, this sleeping bag is sure to satisfy.
The Slumberjack Latitude is a very affordable option. It's not the warmest or loftiest, but for the price, this sleeping bag is well reviewed.
The Slumberjack is also the heaviest sleeping bag we’ve reviewed, so it may not be your best choice for long treks. However, if you're on a budget and not hiking in arctic conditions, you can count on the Slumberjack Latitude 20.
You also might consider the Slumberjack 20 if you’re shopping for kids. It’s a reliable, quality sleeping bag without all the expense. It’s made with synthetic fill, so it’s easy to clean and doesn’t require the same maintenance as a down-filled sleeping bag.
A few hundred dollars is a lot to spend on equipment that may not be handled responsibly. The Slumberjack is a perfect first sleeping bag. You can rest assured that your child will be warm and comfortable without breaking the bank.
BUYER’S GUIDE TO THE BEST SLEEPING BAG
When choosing from our list of trusted sleeping bags, consider a few personal preferences to find the best sleeping bag for your specific adventure.
WEIGHT AND PORTABILITY
If you’re hiking with your sleeping bag, you’ll want one that is easy to travel with. The sleeping bags on this list are meant for backpacking use, but they don’t all measure up the same.
The weight of the sleeping bags can vary up to a pound. One pound of weight may not sound like a lot, but it can make a difference if you’re carrying a heavy pack.
Chances are, you also want a sleeping bag that takes up the least amount of space possible. Some sleeping bags compress and pack more easily than others. It can be quite cumbersome if your sleeping bag doesn’t pack easily.
Particularly, if you’re on an extended trip with several camp spots, you’ll want to be able to repack easily.
Sleeping bags aren’t created equal for various weather conditions and temperature. Sleeping bags come with a temperature rating based on how well they’ll withstand cold temperatures.
When you’re purchasing, you’ll want to consider the temperature range you’ll likely to be spending the night in.
If you’re hiking during the summer, you probably don’t need the warmest sleeping bag on the market. In fact, you’ll want to consider a sleeping bag that won’t make you too hot.
On the other hand, a three-season won’t be enough if you’re hiking in the snow.
TYPE OF INSULATION
There are various types of insulation, from duck down or goose down to synthetic insulation. Each serves a different purpose, so you’ll want to evaluate what type of insulation you’d prefer in the sleeping bag that’s best for you.
The typical fill for a sleeping bag insulation is goose down. We all know how light and warm a down jacket or duvet is. A sleeping bag insulated with down uses the same natural insulation mechanism for supreme warmth. Down also makes a great insulator for sleeping bags because it is light and easy to compress, so your sleeping bag can be rolled tightly and packed into a backpack. The downside to down is it that requires particular care.
Down-insulated sleeping bags are not meant to be kept in their bags between trips. This will flatten the down over time, making the sleeping bag less lofty and the insulation less effective.
If you know you’ll be hiking and sleeping in wet conditions, you could use a sleeping bag with water-repellent down. To be clear, these sleeping bags won’t keep you dry in the rain, but they will keep moisture at bay. And if water-repellent down does get wet, it dries more quickly than regular down.
Another option is choosing a sleeping bag with synthetic insulation. Aside from having a down allergy, there are other reasons to consider a sleeping bag with synthetic insulation.
Generally speaking, sleeping bags with synthetic insulation are more durable. They’re easier to clean and store. They are also better in wet weather than the average down sleeping bag.
SLEEPING BAG STYLE
These days, most of the best sleeping bags are a mummy-style shape. This body-hugging design allows more warmth retention in the sleeping bag.
With more space, there’s more room heat to dissipate. It’s an effective method for keeping the body warm and can feel quite cozy.
However, not everyone likes the swaddled feel of the mummy-style sleeping bag. It can be too restricting for some, especially if you don’t like sleeping on your back. If this is you, you’ll likely prefer a traditional rectangular-style sleeping bag.
The Choice of the Best Sleeping Bag is Yours
Finding the best sleeping bag shouldn’t be more exhausting than your hike. We hope this handy guide helps you navigate the wilderness of sleeping bag shopping. We want you to rest easy after your hike knowing you’ve found the best sleeping bag for you.