After a long day of trekking through remote places in the mountains or wondering in the wilderness, there is no greater desire than to feel the comfort of your bed. That comfort can be found in a sleeping bag.
In fact, sleeping bags are the most essential element of outdoor traveling as they also secure you from the fluctuating temperatures of an outdoors environment. Sleeping bags come in different shapes and specifications. But how do you select the best backpacking sleeping bag?
We will tell you all that you will need to know about the design, warmth, comfort and compatibility of a sleeping bag. Finally, we will also let you know which sleeping bag will give you the best value for your money.
Let’s get cozy!
1. Best Overall Backpacking Sleeping Bag of 2019
Western Mountaineering MegaLite 30
The MegaLite sleeping bag is one of the lightest and spaciest sleeping bags available in the market.
15 x 12 x 9 inches
This 13 ounces of top-of-the-line European 850+ goose down offers more loft than most bags ranking in the 30 degrees temperature range. This temperature rating makes this bag more sought-after in the cold and uncanny conditions. The use of a passive collar extends from the zipper across the neck to seal in your body heat, making this bag suitable for most climate conditions.
And with the draft collar and tube, you can even appreciate the cooler nights of summer.
With approximate weight of just 1.5 lbs, the Western Mountaineering MegaLite 30 is one of the lighter bags in its temperature range.
Furthermore, the high-quality 850+ down fill serves to lessen the weight while maximizing the warmth. As a plus, the use of a lightweight 12 D shell fabric makes the material durable.
The Western Mountaineering MegaLite 30 can fit in your camping backpack or in a small area of your car trunk. The compressibility is so good that you can easily fit the sleeping bag in most places.
The dimensions of 64’’ for shoulders, 56’’ for waist, and 39’’ for feet makes the bag spacious for you to rest your body in any position you desire.
Features and Design
The smooth internal fabric is bordered with stiff fabric along the zipper which prevents catching and tearing. The bag also holds a space for horizontal baffles that makes moving around in the bag an easy task. These baffles also aid in regulating the temperature. The shell fabric called ‘Extreme Light’ is very strong and durable.
This is a bag perfect for three-season backpacking venture.Click Here For Reviews, Ratings & Pricing on Amazon.com
2. Best All-Around 20F Model
Marmot Phase 20
Lighter than the Western Mountaineering MegaLite 30, Marmot Phase 20 is one of the best sleeping bags of its temperature rating in the market.
60’’ Shoulder Girth, 59’’ Hip Girth
Marmot Phase 20 contains 14.1 ounces of down which keeps you warm and occupied in the cold weather. The bonus feature of the bag includes a well-designed hood which is exceptionally cozy and will help to keep your entire body insulated from the outside temperature fluctuations.
And the cherry on top: the Marmot uses the down occupied with a proprietary DWR called ‘Down Defender’, which is water resistant.
With the weight of 1.44 lbs, this is designed as one of the most lightweight bags in the 20 degrees Fahrenheit temperature rating. The lightweight feature ranks it better than most sleeping bags rated at 30 degrees or warmer.
Marmot Phase, smallest among the 20 degrees Fahrenheit rating, is known for its exceptional compressed volume as it comes with half the packed size of the other bags with the same or similar temperature ratings.
Bonus: The sleeping bag comes with a small lightweight stuff sack that minimizes the amount of space it takes up in your pack.
Lightweight enough to take on extended trips, Marmot has a dimension of 60’’ for shoulder and 59’’ for hip girths making it comfortable to rest. However, the dimension is not as big as that of the Megalite.
The inclusion of a full-length zipper allows you to open the bag for ventilation when the temperature is harsh. Marmot is generally more comprehensive than the Western Mountaineering UltraLite and sets you up for a proper rest.
Features and Design
The bag is made of top-quality 850+ down fill and some of the lowest weight shell fabrics in the market. It also consists of a low-gauge zipper and has an adequate room to relax your shoulders and hips.
The use of high-grade materials makes this bag a little bit on the pricer end. Given the bag’s compressibility, this could be a good companion to your backpacking journey.Click Here For Reviews, Ratings & Pricing on Amazon.com
3. Top Pick for Fast and Light Adventures
Western Mountaineering SummerLite 32
There is no better choice than Western Mountaineering SummerLite 32 for quick and small adventures.
17 x 10 x 14 inches
With 9 ounces of the highest quality 850+ down, the material used for the Summerlite has the best warmth-to-weight ratio. This sleeping bag has a narrow cut of 59’’ shoulder and 38’’ foot girth. The inclusion of thermally efficient dimensions and quality fabrics keeps the bag warm and comfortable to use, and maximizes its heat efficiency.
With just 1.15 lbs, Summerlite 32 is a perfect choice for lightweight summer adventures. It generally has half the weight of bags that are as warm as this is.
The SummerLite uses a 12D shall fabric, which is thin. However, it is not as thin as the Marmot Phase which uses 10D.
Summerlite 32 comes with a XXS stuff sack and has the best compressibility feature. It is very easy to pack.
The whole dimension of 51’’/38’’ (Hip/Foot) ranks the SummerLite among the slimmest models in both the hips and foot area. On top of that, the perfectly crafted internal fabric is very gentle on your skin.
The sleeping bag’s lightweight feature is ideal for long-distance adventure or summer alpine climbing.
Features and Design
The comfortable fabrics of the Western Mountaineering SummerLite 32 has an enhanced packability feature than that of Marmot Phase 20 or Western Mountaineering MegaLite 30.
The super high-quality Goose down fill power is designed with one of the best and lightest fabrics available in the United States. The use of a draft tube and stiffer piece of fabric makes zipping and unzipping the bag less irritating than other sleeping bags.
This sleeping bag is pricer than the other bags in the market. But, many choose this because this 100 percent sewn bag is well equipped for three-season backpacking trips.Click Here For Reviews, Ratings & Pricing on Amazon.com
4. Best Value Backpacking Sleeping Bag
The North Face Cat’s Meow
The North Face Cat’s meow is a suitable for three-season camping. For its well crafted functionality, this sleeping bag comes with a low price tag.
62’’ Shoulder Girth, 58’’ Hip Girth
Warmer than most 20 degree Fahrenheit bag, the synthetic material used can resist moist conditions, making this a good option for rainy weather. The synthetic insulation combats condensation, dew and rough storms. This mummy-shaped bag will keep you warm, but if the temperature drops you will need to add extra layers to protect yourself.
With 2.31 lbs, this is heavier than some sleeping bags, still this is not as heavy as most synthetic bags. This model is a tad-bit lighter than most warm non-down bags on the market.
This version of the cat’s meow has 10 percent more packability than its older versions. This bag als has more compressibility than most synthetic bags.
For its price, this is a lot cheaper given that it comes with a full feature of the hood, internal pocket and compression sack. The regular size fits a six feet person, a standard size for men. Furthermore, the sleeping bag comes in various sizes including long, regular, and long in the women’s version.
All versions come with extra wide shoulders and a large foot box. The dimension of 62’’ for shoulder and 58’’ for hip girth makes you more comfortable inside this well-equipped material.
And the cream on top: the Cat’s Meow is a perfect fit for side sleepers and those who tend to rest with their knees up or bent.
Features and Design
This iconic 20-degree bag for three-season consists of a 20D Nylon Ripstop and Taffeta shell fabrics. Materials used in making this product will last for a lifetime.
However, because of its heavy weight, this bag is only recommended for short adventures like camping and kayaking.Click Here For Reviews, Ratings & Pricing on Amazon.com
5. Best Buy on a Tight Budget
Kelty Cosmic Down 20
If you are looking for an affordable sleeping bag, Kelty Cosmic Down is the bag for you.
20 x 10 x 9 inches
Cosmic Down contains a unique feature: a hydrophobic treatment to prevent the user from getting soaked during wet conditions. On the flip side, this bag does not contain warmth or packability like some other bags. This bag contains 21 ounces of down insulation, however, the roomy cut and lower quality 600 fill down means that this bag is only optimal for temperatures between 25 to 30 degree Fahrenheit.
This large size cosmic bag also contains a hood which will keep you covered from head to toe. This will keep you warm in most three-season backpacking trips.
At 2.81 lbs, the material used is heavier than most down bags. Cosmic Down comes with 600-fill down, a lower quality fabric which result in its heavy weight. You would prefer this sleeping bag for shorter distance backpacking and car camping trips. Nonetheless, when compared to other bags of the same price tag, this bag is still lighter.
Because of the 600 fill down and lower quality fabrics, this bag does not compress very well. But this still provides a good value for its price.
For backpackers who love the occasional rain or snow, Kelty Cosmic Down is a great choice.
The large dimensions provide spacious interior to rest your body comfortably. This bag will prove to be heavenly if you are a side sleeper or love to bring your knee high. For the ones who tend to avoid most mummy bags, this might be an appropriate choice for you.
The mediocre quality of the fabric means that the comfort is just above average.
Feature and Design
The down used in this bag is sturdy and durable. The model also features differential pull cords on the collar that are user-friendly to use. Likewise, the material uses water-resistant DriDown which aids the bag to dry quickly.
Kelty Cosmic Down 20 sleeping bag comes with four sizes: Long (78 inches), regular (72 inches), short (66 inches), and women’s (68 inches). It is crafted with soft, butter-like, durable Nylon taffeta shell. Although the bag is not super warm and is a touch heavy, it is undoubtedly the best bargain for those on a tight budget. Cosmic Down 20’s durability and comfortableness are its greatest features.Click Here For Reviews, Ratings & Pricing on Amazon.com
6. Top Pick for Cold Temperature
Western Mountaineering UltraLite 20
Western Mountaineering UltraLite is super compact and avoids extra dead air space inside the bag. Thus making this the logical choice of bag if you are headed for a cold adventure.
15 x 11 x 17 inches
A perfectly designed full down collar helps to seal in heat around your neck without adding extra bulk. The 16 ounce of 850 fill enables high compressibility, resulting in lightweight and warm spacing. Western Mountaineering UltraLite 20 is considered as the warmest sleeping bags among the other 20 degree Fahrenheit bags.
Another feature of this bag is its narrowness that eliminates the extra air space inside the bag. This could prove uncomfortable for heavy-sized users but is undoubtedly a perfect fit for people prone to catching cold quickly. Designed particularly for cold climate, this bag is warmer than Megalite, one of the best and comfortable sleeping bags for backpacking.
At 1.81 lbs, this bag is designed with lightweight and and compression-friendly fabric shell. It is among the lightest bags rated to a temperature of below 25 degree Fahrenheit.
Similar to Megalite, the UltraLite uses a 12D fabric for the shell. Know as ‘Extremelite’ this fabric weighs less than one ounce per square yard.
The crafting of the 850+ fill down, and insanely lightweight materials make the UltraLite generally a much smaller package. You would be surprised by its packability when you stuff into its well-fitting stuff sack. It is among the most compressible among all 20F bags in the market.
The feature ranks its packability more than that of MegaLite. Likewise, it is ideal for three-season camping.
The tight dimensions at 59’’ for shoulder girth, 51’’ for hip girth, and 38’’ for foot girth makes it less comfortable than the MegaLite. However, the lightweight material makes it very easy for your head.
Side Sleepers will feel some constraints, but if you sleep on your back you won’t feel any discomfort.
Features and Design
One of the main qualities of this sleeping bag is the breathable, water-resistant shell that protects from condensation, making this bag an excellent choice for high altitude campers or for use in cold climate.
The existence of wraparound baffles lets you adjust your warmth. Similarly, the presence of a reverse differential hood adds to your comfort. All this great features comes with a hefty price tag.
This bag pack may not be efficient for mid-summer backpacking. However, if you are prone to catching a cold, Western Mountaineering UltraLite 20 could be the perfect fit for you.Click Here For Reviews, Ratings & Pricing on Amazon.com
7. Top Pick for Exceptional Comfort
Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 700
True to its name, the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 700 will remind you of the comfort of your private bed as you fall asleep looking at the rising stars. This is the perfect choice for a comfortable outing.
18 x 17 x 12 inches
The inclusion of 13.9 ounces of 700 fill treated with weather resistant down makes the Backcountry Bed one of the best 35 degree Fahrenheit bags. The major feature of this sleeping bag is the inclusion of patented self-sealing foot vent which is a fast and easy way for ventilation. It also does an incredible job of sealing out any air leaks with a long comforter on top while overlapping the sides completely. It helps to prevent any cold air from seeping in.
The sleeping pad sleeves keeps a pad under you for comfort and warmth. And it removes unnecessary bottom insulation. Moreover, the availability of excellent baffle system and high quality down allows the sleeping bag to be pleasantly warm.
Designed without a zipper or Velcro flaps, the Backcountry Bed 700 weighs just 1.93 lbs. The use of lighter than average 20D polyester ripstop exterior makes this bag highly comfortable.
Though the bag is not as lightweight as the other contenders, it is perfect to take into the backcountry.
When compared to more full synthetic bags, the Backcountry Bed 700 has an impressive packability feature, comparable to the North Face Cats Meow. Although the model is not that compact when compared to the highest performing models, it has a fantastic ability to compress well.
The bag is designed with a quilt-like comforter top which is exceptionally soft and wraps gently around the sleeper in any needed position. Besides, the availability of small pockets in the comforter allows you to cover the quilt any way you want.
From the waist up, the material feels like you are resting in your home bed. It’s lightweight design, and packability option makes it comfortable for use during summertime mountaineering. Furthermore, the down flap acts as a comforter which will keep you warm in colder evenings. The gap around the bottom foot area allows you to sleep with your feet exposed in case you prefer it.
Features and Design
Backcountry Bed 700 is crafted with the 20D polyester ripstop shell fabric which is quite durable. Also, it consists of a 20D polyester taffeta lining fabric. The unavailability of the draft tube prevents air leakage.
The product comes with a high warranty as the exclusion of zippers makes it less prone to malfunctioning. For the comfort, the bag comes at a pretty reasonable price. It is a perfect fit for cold nights and is extremely comfortable and cozy to use.Click Here For Reviews, Ratings & Pricing on Amazon.com
8. Top Pick for Warmth and Comfort
Rab Mythic 400
With extremely great warmth-to-weight ratio, the Mythic 400 is the best choice for fast and light trips into the mountains.
29 x 22 x 9 inches
Rab Mythic 400 uses 14.1 ounces of high-quality 900 fill down which is treated with Nikwax Hydrophobic treatment for insulation. The exterior fabric, which is ultra-thin 7-denier Pertex Quantum nylon sheds condensation. Due to the use of premium fabrics and insulation, the model is successful in achieving an incredible warmth-to-weight ratio.
Given its specification as a 19.5 degree Fahrenheit bag, Mythic 400 offers a similar or slightly better warmth than most of the bags at 20 degrees rating.. However, this bag is not as warm as the Western Mountaineering UltraLite or Marmot Phase 20.
At 1.45 lbs, Rab Mythic 400 is a top selection for the lightest bags among the 20 degree Fahrenheit models. This bag uses a quarter-length side zipper which is in line with the smallest gauge zippers available on a sleeping bag. Furthermore, it uses a top-quality 900 fill down which aids to achieve maximum loft with a minimal amount of fill.
Last but not the least, its inclusion of the Pertex Quantum 7D interior and exterior fabric makes it ultra-thin.
Smallest among the 20 degree Fahrenheit rating, this bag is very compressible. This is because of lightweight 7D fabric. Besides, the use of quarter-length zipper and the 900 fill down assists in a competent packability.
However, the use of light and water resistant stuff sacks makes it quite tricky for minimizing its packed volume.
Mythic 400 is packed with a larger-than-average upper torso dimension that allows you to turn your arms over and move more freely.
Furthermore, its above-average foot box assists in creating a spacious feel around your feet. Similarly, the silky feeling of the interior fabric feels exceptionally well against your skin. The design of a two-way zip enables you to ventilate if required or even take your arm out for comfort.
Features and Design
Mythic 400 is designed best suited for the mountain enthusiast who want to reduce weight to increase their speed while hiking. The use of Nikwax Hydrophobic treatment ensures that the down absorbs less water and dries faster than average bag.
This bag is usable for three season. However, the downside that it is not comfortable to ventilate in and the holding sack does not compress the bag well.Click Here For Reviews, Ratings & Pricing on Amazon.com
9. High-Quality Synthetic Sleeping Bag
Mountain Hardwear Hyperlamina Flame
This high-quality synthetic sleeping bag has a high warmth-to-weight ratio. Plus, the laminated insulation used in this model keeps the bag lightweight and water resistant.
15.8 x 7.9 x 7.9 inches
The properly welded Lamina construction around this Mountain Hardwear bag enhances the loft while eliminating the cold spots. This bag avoids stitching holes, which prevents the bag from getting wet. Similarly, the zoned insulation maximizes warmth where it is needed the most.
Another unique characteristic of this model is the availability of a single five half-length center zips with dual sliders. This feature aids to minimize the weight and supports for proper ventilation. Other than that, the comfort foot box follows natural foot position for maximum warmth and comfort.
At 2.7 lbs, Mountain Hardwear HyperLamina Flame is considered as the lightest synthetic bag in its group. It is comparable in weight to its predecessor, the UltraLamina, and with some of the costly down sleeping bags.
The crafting of 22D Tactel Nylon Dobby fabric is less dense than the rest of the synthetic sleeping bags in the market.
Synthetic bags often lack compressibility. However, a great compression sack allows this Mountain Hardwear bag to compress quite well. Its compressibility can come close to that of 600-fill, but the material bulks out to 7 by 16 inches when fully stuffed.
Both the interior and the exterior fabric will feel extremely soft against your skin. Furthermore, it comes with a performance mummy-cut which reduces the weight and maximizes its thermal efficiency. It comes with the dimensions of 63’’ shoulder girth, 58’’ hip girth, and 39’’ foot girth.
The use of passive collar makes it comfortable and helps to keep the warm air in. Meanwhile, the hood of the HyperLamina is spacious and exceptionally functional. This bag may be best fit for fast-and-light hikers, but if your body is big in size, it may restrict your nighttime movement.
Features and Design
The HyperLamina Flame uses Mountain Hardwear’s welded construction technology which eliminates stitching. It also leaves holes that can let out heat when required. The bag also supports a well-crafted hood that fits with your head without disturbing your movement and vision.
In general, the availability of laminated insulation keeps this bag lightweight and makes it a good three-season bag.Click Here For Reviews, Ratings & Pricing on Amazon.com
10. Best Pick for Camping, Traveling, and Sleepovers
Outdoorsman Lab UltraLight 29 F
Ideal for use by both sexes, this three season outdoor gear is fit for both seasoned and casual campers.
87 x 32.5 x 15 inches
The combination of high-quality materials and 210T ripstop polyester shell fabric makes this bag perfect to keep you warm and comfortable on three-season outings. The availability of an extra large 3D foot-box and the bottom zipper allows for temperature control.
Also, the modified mummy-shape offers an ample amount of room for shoulders and legs which provides maximum warmth and freedom. Meanwhile, the water-repellent coating ensures that you stay dry and warm even in extreme weather conditions.
At 2.9 lbs, this is one of the most affordable lightweight sleeping bag. The use of silk-like cotton also maintains the insulation and keeps the bag light.
The use of triple stitched compact compression sack maximizes portability and durability. Another great feature is the two elastic straps on the backside which ensures that you don’t spill out of the bag during the entire night.
The ultra soft breathable liner along with a spacious design will suit your body. This ensures that there is no discomfort during the night after your long day of adventure. This bag is rated with a higher comfort rating of 38F-42F and a lower comfort limit of 29F-32F. The availability of a drawstring hood covers your face and head to keep it warm.
Features and Design
Outdoorsman Lab UltraLight 29 F is crafted with the 210T Ripstop Polyester shell fabric. It also consists of a water-resistant diamond ripstop shell that protects it from wear and tears even during extreme weather.
The model includes back straps that prevent you from rolling off your sleeping pad. Furthermore, the use of integrated pillowcases ensures good sleep.
One downside is that the bag zipper is a little shoddy and provides massive warmth.Click Here For Reviews, Ratings & Pricing on Amazon.com
Backpacking Sleeping Bag Comparison Table 2019
|Backpacking Sleeping Bag Name||Weight||Type||Fill Power||Temperature|
|Western Mountaineering MegaLite 30||1.5 lbs||Down||850+||30F|
|Marmot Phase 20||1.44 lbs||Down||850+||20F|
|Western Mountaineering SummerLite 32||1.15 lbs||Down||850+||32F|
|The North Face Cats Meow||2.31 lbs||Synthetic||Synthetic||22F|
|Kelty Cosmic Down 20||2.81 lbs||Down||600||20F|
|Western Mountaineering UltraLite 20||1.81 lbs||Down||850+||20F|
|Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 700||1.93 lbs||Synthetic||700||35F|
|Rab Mythic 400||1.45 lbs||Down||900||19.5F|
|Mountain Hardwear Hyperlamina Flame||2.7 lbs||Synthetic||Synthetic||20F|
|Outdoorsman Lab UltraLight 29 F||2.9 lbs||Synthetic||NA||29F|
Things to consider before buying a sleeping bag
Let’s consider the things that you should not miss while buying a sleeping bag.
Warmth is one primary component that you should keep in check before choosing your sleeping bag. The heat of a bag is usually derived from the amount of insulation a bag has. Generally speaking, more volume of insulation equals more warmth.
Another thing that determines the warmth of a sleeping bag is its fill power. The fill power is the indicator of how well a sleeping bag can loft. If your sleeping bag has a higher fill power, it will have a higher loft and can be lighter than the rest thus providing extreme warmth.
Backpacking sleeping bags typically contain a three-season feature and range between 10 and 32 degree Fahrenheit in temperature. Each bag has a temperature gauge. The comfort level is vital as this tells you how cool it can be before you start to feel cold. The lower the temperature of a sleeping bag, the better it can serve you.
Usually, the standard temperature ratings of a sleeping bag depend on these guidelines:
Upper Limit: This is a highest temperature at which a standard adult size person could have a comfortable night without excessive sweating.
Comfort: This is a temperature at which a standard adult size person can land a comfortable sleep in an enjoyable position.
Lower Limit: This is a temperature at which a standard adult size person can sleep for eight hours in a curled position without any constraints.
Extreme: This is a minimum temperature at which an adult size person can contain for six hours without risking death from hypothermia.
Weight and Packability
Given that you will be carrying your bag, the weight of your sleeping bag could determine the pace of your movement during your trip. The weight of a bag depends on a few things:
- Insulation weight
- Shell type
- Additional features
Note that higher fill power insulation occupies the same space with less weight than the insulation with lower fill power.
Note that lower fill power insulation occupies more space and weight than higher fill power insulation.
Also, the weight of the sleeping bag is reduced if it has thinly cut shell fabrics.
Also another thing to consider is whether or not the sleeping bag can be packed in your luggage. Your sleeping bag needs to ideally fit in your backpack with all the other backpacking gear that you might be carrying during your trip.
If you are planning a long trip, you have to get a lightweight, or else it will put too much burden on your shoulders.
Level of comfort
If you are a regular trekker, you probably know how important is it to determine the comfort of a sleeping bag before adding it in your accessories. Almost every adventurer eyes a better performing sleeping bag over everything else during a trip to the wilderness.
A comfort level of the sleeping bag can be determined by how well it is structured and design.
Bags with the extended internal dimensions would allow you to move freely as there would be enough space to control your movement. However, the spacious bag comes with the drawback of less warmth. Moreover, if added more material to maintain its warmth, it will go on to become heavier.
Features and Cost
Every bag has a unique feature and design. In general, the sleeping bag comes with shell fabric, zippers, draft tubes, neck baffles, and hood design. Meanwhile, the inclusion of extra features like storage and compression sacks could result in the bag being costly ( and heavy).
Some bags comes with additional feature of attached torched or built-in mosquito net. These features will serve you well, but it will increase the price tag.
The kind of bag you want should be determined by the type of your trip. A trip to the alps or the himalayas, for instance, would require you to buy a sleeping bag made with study material that can protect you from the cold.
Types of Sleeping Bag
Generally, there are three different types of sleeping bag available for your consideration:
Summer sleeping bags are designed for 32 degree Fahrenheit or higher temperature ratings. These bags do not have the built-in hoods to keep you warm in colder temperatures. They tend to serve you well in 40 to 50 degree Fahrenheit.
These bags are considered versatile for hiking and adventuring. The temperature ratings of these bags range from 10 degree Fahrenheit to 32 degree Fahrenheit to help you become comfortable in external temperature of 20 degree Fahrenheit. Three-season sleeping bags would perfectly suit you for spring and fall outings as well as summer vacation in the high mountains. The bags with the extra features of draft collars and zipper draft tubes are considered as good three-season bags.
These sleeping bags are crafted for camping during extreme temperatures. Winter bags are good for about 20 degree Fahrenheit and below temperature ratings. These bags come with all the feature of a three season sleeping bag, along with extra insulation.
Insulation (Down vs. Synthetic)
Since the type of insulation directly affects the warmth-to-weight ratio of sleeping bags, it is one of the most critical choices to make while selecting a model.
Let’s look at the different type of insulation in more detail:
Down insulation is a touch too expensive but it comes with a better warmth-to-weight ratio. The price of the down insulation generally depends on fill power which ranges from about 600 to 900. Note that a bag with high-quality insulation keeps it lighter than a bag with synthetic insulation of the same temperature rating. It also aids in better compressibility.
Synthetic insulation is perfect for an outing in the wet condition. The availability of fluffy polyester material prevents the absorption of water. The bags with synthetic insulation do tend to be cheaper than down bags but also weigh more in comparison to down insulation. This type is not suited for long trips.
Quilt Vs Mummy Bags
The shape of a sleeping bag is designed by keeping in mind the different level of comfort designed by campers.
With excellent warmth to weight ratio, down quilts have gained massive popularity. This has been possible by cutting out the material for insulation. Quilt bags also act as a simple blanket with the addition of a top cinch cord. The cord can be closed to seal out the cold around neck and shoulders. You should take note that since the quilts don’t have any hoods, it is vital for you to pack a warm hat or hooded clothing to avoid chilly evenings. These bags serve well when the temperatures are above 32 degree Fahrenheit.
Mummy bags are excellent for cold, windy and unpredictable climate conditions. These bags get maximum thermal efficiency because of the tapered cut style that passes through the legs and feet. Mummy bags have a primary purpose of containing the heat your body generates which is more efficient in smaller interior space. The primary benefit of mummy bags is that they contain less material and insulation thus resulting in its light weight and great packability. These bags work well when the temperatures dip below 32 degree Fahrenheit.
Different kind of sleeping bags are designed for specific purposes. Hence you need to have some inkling of the kind of trip you are making before deciding on a sleeping bag.
If you are going for a long hiking trip choosing a lightweight is a must. For a short trip to the backcountry, weight will not be a factor.
Best of luck with your shopping. Let us know how your trip went.
- 1. Best Overall Backpacking Sleeping Bag of 2019
- 2. Best All-Around 20F Model
- 3. Top Pick for Fast and Light Adventures
- 4. Best Value Backpacking Sleeping Bag
- 5. Best Buy on a Tight Budget
- 6. Top Pick for Cold Temperature
- 7. Top Pick for Exceptional Comfort
- 8. Top Pick for Warmth and Comfort
- 9. High-Quality Synthetic Sleeping Bag
- 10. Best Pick for Camping, Traveling, and Sleepovers
- Backpacking Sleeping Bag Comparison Table 2019
- Things to consider before buying a sleeping bag
- To conclude