If you're new to camping or backpacking finding the right equipment can be hard. However, you have to make sure to get the right equipment. It can be the difference between a fun time and the wilderness and a very bad one. Doing the proper research can be difficult but I'm going to help you. Here are five of the best sleeping bags on the market. I present to you the top 5 sleeping bags on the market. First thing is first though. I'll explain how I chose my Top 5.
Here is a list of the Best Sleeping Bag for Backpacking
Best Sleeping Bag
Factors of the List
For starters, let's list off my considerations in making this list. I consider three factors and why they are the primary ones: Price, usability, and durability. In my view, these are the main things campers should consider.
Price is pretty obvious. As far as usability, I like camping to be as easy as possible. Setting up a camp is hard enough. I don't like getting into a fight with a sleeping bag after getting into a fight with the tent. I choose durability because I like my camping gear to last more than one trip and should be able to survive most household hazards that occur in between camping trips. All 5 of these bags are the best I have used in those three categories.
Unique features will be noted but not strongly emphasized unless they contribute something substantial. A sleeping bag with unique bells and whistles is no good if it's overpriced, hard to use or not durable enough to survive a camping trip. All bags on this list are the best of the best in terms of price, durability, and usability. Any unique features will be noted in the list but I've never really been wowed by a unique feature of a sleeping bag and chances are you aren't going to be either.
Pitfalls to Avoid and Other Things to Consider
In general, and this will come up a lot in this list, the number on the bag is merely the temperature you'll most likely survive in. If you're going camping in extreme temperatures, being comfortable in these bags, you will require some sleeping bag liners or a few extra layers of clothing. This is by far the most important thing to remember about all items on this list. Don't go buying these bags and thinking you'll be warm and toasty below freezing without something extra. You should also note that this list comes from the perspective of an average sized adult male. Some extremely tall or short people may have different experiences.
There's also the matter of down vs. synthetic insulation. Synthetic insulation is less likely to absorb water in an extremely wet situation. However, it is bulkier and slightly less comfortable. Down is more comfortable and often warmer. However, it is less resistant to water and some people may have ethical problems. I have no issue with either one so this list has sleeping bags of both varieties. It's a matter of personal taste.
Top 5 Best Sleeping Bag for Backpacking
1 - Aektiv Ultralight Sleeping Bag
Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
- Water resistant and water repellent fabric
- Large sleeping bag can fit a person up to 5'1 and 6'2
- Reinforced zipper and Velcro attachment to keep the zipper from coming undone during the night
- Bright colors make them easy to spot
- Duck down
- Hook to hang bag for drying
The Aektiv sleeping bag is lightweight, which is pretty handy on long trips. I found that it's about 2 pounds and it doesn't take up a lot of space. This is good since the rare times I go backpacking; I need to pack a lot of stuff. The manufacturer claims that the sleeping bag is good for survival in up to 35 degree weather. It comes in bright blue and bright orange which is great if you're prone to losing things as I am.
For starters, mummy style bags are not for everyone. Some people on Amazon have said that the bag can be too hot. Others said they were too cold. I do most of my camping in the Spring so I didn't notice. If the flap isn't Velcroed, it can make a lot of noise during windy nights. However, this issue is minor since it can be resolved by simply Velcroing the hood. It could be best used as a spring sleeping bag.
The Velcro keeps the zipper up so you don't come unzipped during the night. I found this helpful. The bag has a hook to hang for air drying. It works. It has an internal pocket to keep stuff in.
It's alright. I took off a few points because of the price. However, the Velcro flap solves the age old problem of sleeping bags coming unzipped of their own accord.
2 - Teton Sports Trailhead 20F
Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
- Water resistant and repellent
- Micro Polyester Lining
- Inner pocket for wallet and/or electronics
- Fits in lower sleeping bag compartment of most backpacks
- Mummy hood
- Synthetic Fiber Fill
This is a good bag for camping in warmer areas. With the diamond shape ripstop shell and the polyester lining, this bag is pretty sturdy. At 87” x 87” x 32, it's also pretty wide. The zipper features a full length draft tube. The bag weighs about three pounds and compresses easily. It uses the new PolarLite insulation to cut down on weight. The fiber helps keep you warm enough for an average spring or summer climate.
I do not know if it's a flaw in construction or if it's by design, but the bag does not unzip all the way. I have no idea why this is but this seems like a major design flaw. Reviewers on Amazon have also noted it can be a bit small. It's also not really ideal for cold climates but where I live, that really isn't an issue when I go camping. It might be best saved for summer outings.
Nothing really stood out to me aside from the lighter weight.
The price would make it rank higher if only the sleeping bag would open all the way. I was still able to sleep in it but I just found it annoying. Everything else is fine though so it's not a deal killer.
3 - Ledge Sports FeatherLite
Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
- Dual Wall Offset Union
- Drawstring Closure
- Barrel Locks
- Contour Adjustable Hood
- Full Length Zipper
- External Pocket
- Anti-Snag Architecture
- Versatile Webbing Eyelets
- Anti-Crawl Zipper Stops
- Equal Depth Foot Box
- Water Resistant
- YKK Locking Zipper
The bag kept me comfortably warm at around 40 degrees. It's waterproof so it's pretty good in wetter climates. The drawstring closures are easy to use, though if you have fine motor impairments like me, you might need help. The anti-crawl zipper stops do an adequate job of keeping bugs out. The Thermo-Shield is also pretty handy. It's a good buy for the price. The external pocket is good for holding stuff.
Refer to what I said at the outset about the difference between the survival rating and being comfortable. Zippers can also get snagged from time to time. If you're a bigger individual, you may have trouble using it. Some people might be more secure putting their stuff in an internal pocket. I prefer internal pockets but it's a matter of taste. Make of it what you will.
It has a lot to offer. My favorite was the fact it did a good job of keeping bugs out. My feet were comfortable as well.
While I'm usually not much for features, this bag comes with a lot for the price. And even if I wasn't using all of them, I'd still like it well enough to put on this list.
4 - Campsod Rectangular Sleeping Bag
Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
Most extreme temperatures rating: -5 C/+20 F, Comfort temperature: 5 C/+41 F. Size: 82.5" * 27.5", Packed size: 14.5" * 10" * 10". Weight: 3.3 lbs.
- Heavy-duty taffeta with waterproof coating shell stands up to years of use and resists water.
- Half-circle mummy style hood with drawstring keeps pillow or head off the ground.
- Sturdy no-snag two-way zippers.
- Full-length zipper baffle reduces drafts.
Refer to my bit about survival vs. comfort at the beginning. The bag is lightweight and the bag stands up to almost anything Old Man Winter can throw at it. It's pretty well constructed. The price is right.
The bag is made of cotton rather than more warm material. That lowers the temperature rating a bit. Again, you can survive in 20 degree weather, but if you're going that extreme, bring plenty of warm clothing to sleep in.
The ability to survive freezing temperatures is great. However, it lacks anything to truly set it apart.
Functionally, it is great but the price could be lower. It's durable enough to handle most anything. If you see it on sale, you should definitely pick it up.
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5 - OUTAD Winter Sleeping Bag
Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
High Density Fabric: 240T matte fabric is waterproof, windproof and damp-proof.
- Measurement: Extended width (22-33.5 inches) and length (81 inches)
- Compressible: Space-saving, easy to carry by compression bag
- Efficient & cozy: Filled by spring textile fabric, double layer construction with least dead air space to heat up.
- Durable: Waterproof fabric stand up to years of use
While some of the other bags on this list are best used for spring and summer, this one is designed specifically for the winter months. Truth be told, the last thing I want to be doing in the winter months is backpacking but if you like winter backpacking, this is the bag for you. The spring textile fabric and the double layer construction is very warm. It makes the most of all the space. It can be slightly snug but not so much so that it would be problematic. It also has many features of a higher cost bags on a budget price. The waterproofing is very good. You won't be feeling water inside the bag come morning.
Some people may not like the snug fit. Although it is really just a nitpick, the carrying bag it comes with isn't all that great. It barely holds the actual sleeping bag.
It takes a lot less time to warm up. The bag it comes with can be used to carry other stuff.
This bag values substance over style. What it lacks in standout features it more than makes up for in the big three categories, especially price. The price and functionality push this sleeping bag to the king of the campsite.