LAST UPDATED: October 12, 2019
Best Sleeping Bags: Seal in the Warmth
Sleep more comfortably when camping outdoors with some of the best sleeping bags
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON October 12, 2019
Sleeping bags offer much-needed comfort to dedicated campers who sleep outdoors. You get the best of both worlds since you can sleep in a cozy place and simultaneously experience nature. A high-quality sleeping bag also helps you get a good night’s rest before your next adventure. Here are a few sleeping bag options that will keep you warm when you’re sleeping outdoors.
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Benefits of Sleeping Bags
- Take it camping. If you're sleeping outdoors, taking a backpacking trip, or traveling somewhere where you need warm and portable bedding, a sleeping bag is the perfect solution.
- Portability. Most sleeping bags are lightweight and relatively easy to carry. It doesn't take much effort to roll them and pack them up for a trip or a child's sleepover.
- Warm and comfortable. High-quality sleeping bags are designed to keep you warm and protect you from the elements. Whether you use them indoors or out, they will make you feel snug and cozy.
Types of Sleeping Bags
If you plan on using a sleeping bag in warmer weather, choose a lightweight product meant for the summer. These types of sleeping bags are designed to withstand temperatures of 30 degrees Fahrenheit and warmer. They have minimal insulation and are very compressible. They also have full-length zippers so you can easily open them for ventilation or turn them into a blanket. Summer sleeping bags do not have many extra features and are fairly basic.
Three-season sleeping bags are meant for 20 degrees Fahrenheit and above. They are ideal for spring and fall adventures and during the summer if you are high in the mountains when it gets cold at night. They have more features than summer sleeping bags to make you more comfortable in cooler weather, such as cinchable hoods, zipper draft tubes, and draft collars.
Winter sleeping bags are designed for temperatures that dip below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. They contain the same features as a three-season sleeping bag, but have extra insulation to keep you even warmer on chilly nights. The downside is that winter sleeping bags tend to be bulky, and they require compression sacks for storage.
This type of sleeping bag resembles a down comforter. You sleep in the bag and also use a sleeping pad, which may be connected to the sleeping bag with straps. Quilts are lightweight and very insulating in mild weather. They are very popular among camping enthusiasts.
A mummy sleeping bag is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of being rectangular like a traditional sleeping bag, it tucks you in like an Egyptian mummy. Campers prefer them when it's really cold and windy because they provide extra insulation for your head. The drawback of this type of bag is that it tends to be heavier and bulkier.
TETON Sports produces tents, sleeping bags, cots, hammocks, and backpacks. It is a privately-held company that got its start in 2005 and is headquartered in Cedar Hills, Utah. One of its top products is the TETON Sports Mammoth Queen-Size Double Sleeping Bag.
William Coffin Coleman founded the Coleman Company in 1905, and he sold gasoline pressure lamps. The company is now well known for its camping gear. The headquarters are in Chicago, and there are also facilities in Kansas and Texas. One top product is the Coleman Sun Ridge Sleeping Bag.
Kelty, based in Boulder, Colorado, has been making sleeping bags, tents, and other camping gear since 1952 but is most known for its backpacks. Founder Dick Kelty was an innovator who created packs with aluminum frames and waist belts. One top sleeping bag is the Kelty Tuck Mummy Sleeping Bag.
Sleeping Bags Pricing
- $20-$50: Many sleeping bags are very affordable. If you want a lightweight and compact sleeping bag, especially a summer sleeping bag, this is the price point.
- $50-$150: The more features you want in a sleeping bag, the more it will cost. Bags in this price range are designed for three-season and winter adventures, although you will find some high-quality summer sleeping bags here as well. More high-end products will include zipper draft tubes, cinchable hoods, and draft collars.
The most important feature to consider is the level of warmth a sleeping bag provides. This coincides with the season in which you'll be using it. You want a product that will keep you comfy in the fall or when the mercury drops, but if you are camping in the summer you don't want to sweat at night. Look for a comfort rating that describes the lowest temperature at which you can enjoy a good night's sleep.
Not all sleeping bags are designed to withstand a lot of moisture. If a sleeping bag gets wet or damp, the insulating capacity can decrease considerably. Look for a product with a water-resistant shell or one that features a durable water-repellent (DWR) coating. This is vital if you think you'll be using it in wet weather or if you will be sleeping in a tent that is susceptible to condensation.
Down and synthetics are some of the most common materials used in sleeping bags. Down is warm and packable, which is important if you want a lightweight sleeping bag. But not all down bags are the same; they have different fill power, i.e., 600 to 900, which affects their weight. Synthetic material such as polyester is cheaper, more durable, hypoallergenic, and provides more insulation when it's wet. There are also hybrid bags that contain both materials.
- Zippers: An anti-snag zipper is great because it can be frustrating if you have a zipper that frequently gets stuck when you try to open and close the sleeping bag. Also, check to see if the bag has a right or left zip. This is important if you plan on zipping two bags together. Just make sure both bags have the same zipper type and that they are compatible.
Best Sleeping Bags Reviews & Recommendations 2020
The TETON Sports sleeping bag is wider than a queen-sized mattress at 94 by 62 inches. It features a soft lining, and zipper and shoulder draft tubes to prevent warm air from escaping. There are zippers on the sides and bottom for easy access and a compression sack for storage. It also includes hang loops for storage.
The sleeping bag fits two adults and is thick, substantial, and comfortable. The baffles on the side by the zipper keep the zipper away from your skin and prevent any air from leaking out. The inner lining is soft and cozy, and there is a cinch around the top of the bag to create a mummy-style enclosure.
However, it can be really challenging to roll the bag back into the small sack. Also, it is very heavy and not suitable for anything more than a light hike. In addition, the material is very slick, so it's easy to slip out of it.
This machine-washable polyester sleeping bag is designed for camping in temperatures between 40 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It fits people up to 5 feet, 11 inches tall and has a Thermolock draft tube to decrease heat loss through the zipper. It includes 3 pounds of ThermoTech insulation, a soft tricot fiber blend liner, a soft ComfortCuff for your face, and QuickCord no-tie closures to keep it nice and tight.
One of the biggest draws of this sleeping bag is it is one of the most affordable products on the market. It compresses easily, making it very portable, and it's suitable for both children and adults. Overall, the bag is lightweight, soft, and comfortable. It's easy to clean, comes in a variety of different colors, and features smooth zippers around the corners.
However, the tricot fiber liner is not as comfortable as a cotton liner. Also, it can be a struggle to roll the sleeping bag up for storage. It may also be a little too hot in warm weather.
This mummy-style sleeping bag is made with a warm ThermaPro blend and features a zipper at the bottom, which allows you to stick your feet out if they get too warm. It has a zipper draft tube with an anti-snag design. It's made with a 75D polyester shell and polyester taffeta liner and also has an offset quilt construction.
The bag is warm and can be used over three seasons. The material is comfortable, durable, breathable, and skin-friendly. It features a thermal-comfort hood and an internal storage pocket for electronic devices. The bag is highly compressible and easy to roll up to store in the included carrying bag.
One problem is the sleeping bag could be a little bigger in the shoulder area. There have been some complaints that the zipper can get stuck in the waist area. Another thing to consider is that while it's designed for cold weather, it is not suitable for weather that’s colder than 40 degrees.
Coleman's Brazos sleeping bag is designed to keep you warm in temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Its dimensions are 75 by 33 inches, and it can accommodate campers who are 5 feet, 11 inches tall. The zipper has a draft tube to keep body heat in, and the insulation stays in place due to the sleeping bag's durable construction.
The bag is easy to roll up because the fasteners keep it in place. It features no-tie cords and a stuff sack as well as a no-snag zipper. You can zip the bag together with another one to make a larger sleeping area or unzip it completely to create a quilt. You can also throw the bag in a washing machine for easy cleaning, and if for some reason it fails, Coleman backs it up with a five-year limited warranty.
However, it can be hard to stuff the bag back into the pouch, and the inside lining has a tendency to stick and cling to your body. Some have complained that they don't like the feel of the material against their skin.
This ultralight and compact sleeping bag is designed for both indoor and outdoor use. It is 30 by 71 inches and can accommodate children and adults shorter than 6.1 feet. The bag is available in 23 different colors, including orange, pink, yellow, and blue. You can also attach two bags together to create an extra-large sleeping bag. It's designed for temperatures higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
The sleeping bag is roomy, and it's not hard to find a comfortable sleeping position. The zipper stays put, and the soft filling has a cocooning effect. The sleeping bag has double-reinforced seams and durable fabric that can be machine-washed in cold water. Overall, it's very lightweight and portable, and the company backs it up with a 100 percent, money-back guarantee.
One downside is that this sleeping bag doesn't have a draft collar or a method to cinch down the top, so heat can escape in colder temperatures. It's also a little thin and a little narrow for some people and is not waterproof.
This three-season sleeping bag features a half-circle, mummy-style hood for warmth and to keep your pillow from getting dirty. You can unzip the sleeping bag from either the top or bottom, which gives you added airflow. The bag, which is available in black, gray, and olive green, is 90 by 39 inches. It weighs 7 pounds when packed.
It comes with a compression sack with heavy-duty straps, so it's easy to store when you're not using it. It has an interior pocket that can hold items such as a wallet or keys. The TETON Sports Celsius has fiber fill, double-layer construction, and draft tubes, to keep the cold air out and the warm air in. The flannel lining wicks away moisture, and the bag features hang loops that keep it lofty during long-term storage. The bag is also available with either a right zip or a left zip, depending on your preference.
However, there have been some complaints that the zipper malfunctions after a short period of use. The sleeping bag also has a tendency to unzip rather easily. In addition, the inside material feels more like slick polyester instead of soft flannel.
This portable and lightweight mummy-style sleeping bag is rated to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. It comes in a slew of different colors, including army green, dark gray, orange, and purple, and you can opt for a right or left zip. The sleeping bag has a roll control design, which makes folding it quick and simple. You can also zip two together for extra space.
The sleeping bag is breathable, waterproof, and weather-resistant. It’s designed to keep you warm in cold conditions. It's filled with 400GSM material and uses double-fill technology for added protection. The sleeping bag is made of polyester and nylon, so it's lightweight and compact. It measures 33.5 by 86.6 inches and comes with a 100 percent, risk-free satisfaction guarantee.
One problem with this sleeping bag is that it's not very comfortable for people over 6 feet tall. It also isn't as warm as it could be in particularly cold temperatures, and the zipper may break prematurely.
This three-season sleeping bag is waterproof and weather-resistant due to its double-layer technology and S-shaped stitches. The bag is 31.5 by 86.6 inches and is designed to keep you warm in temperatures ranging from 35 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. You can either wipe it clean or put it in a washing machine.
The lightweight sleeping bag also features a compression sack, so it's portable and easy to store. It's made of 100 percent polyester, which won't irritate your skin. You can unzip the bottom of the bag for temperature control, and the double-sided zipper allows you to easily close the sleeping bag while you're lying inside it. It also features a drawstring at the headrest, so you can keep the bag closer to your head and body for added warmth. Overall, it's a great bag for backpacking or hiking.
One problem with this sleeping bag is that it may be a little too warm for the summer and not warm enough in the winter. The compression sack isn't that great, and it doesn't have a lot of padding for comfort.
This warm-weather sleeping bag measures 30 by 83 inches with a zipper closure and 100 percent polyester lining that is breathable and won't irritate your skin. It features TC cotton and comes in three different colors. The bag is large enough to sleep one adult or two children. It's designed for use in temperatures that are 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and higher.
This envelope-style bag is waterproof, compact, lightweight, and can be compressed to 11 inches. Since the bag weighs just 1.7 pounds, it's great for backpacking. It's easy to repack and takes up very little space. It is also warm but not bulky. You can zip it together with another sleeping bag, and it dries very quickly when it gets damp. Overall, it's sturdy and well-made.
However, if you have broad shoulders or don't like being squished inside a sleeping bag, there is very little space to move around. Also, the material is thin to keep its weight down, so it doesn't provide much cushioning. The quality of the compression sack is also a little poor.
- What you eat may have a direct impact on your comfort level in the sleeping bag. You want to eat something heavy but not too heavy that it will keep you up with indigestion. A light meal such as one cup of noodles will only give you energy for a few minutes, so you may feel cold throughout the night.
- Sleep under a high-quality, weather-resistant tent with thick flooring to protect the sleeping bag from damage. Also, be sure to keep the tent closed to preserve the heat within the structure.
- If you store a sleeping bag in the attic for a long time, it may be musty or filled with bugs. Air it out in the sun for a few hours to make it fresh. Machine wash it, and put it in a dryer if it’s dusty or filled with mold.
Q: How can I make my sleeping bag warmer?
A: Wash the sleeping bag to remove dirt particles and skin flakes that prevent the sleeping bag foam from puffing up with air. Also, add another removable layer of cotton or silk inside the sleeping bag to make it warmer. Do not forget to dress warmly in socks, mittens, and a beanie before getting in the bag.
Q: Will I damage the sleeping bag if I put a sleeping pad inside it?
A: If there's enough room in your sleeping bag, then there's nothing wrong with adding a sleeping pad for enhanced comfort and warmth. You can damage it if you try to force in a sleeping pad that's larger than the sleeping bag. In that case, consider putting the pad under the sleeping bag instead.
Q: Is it safe to sleep in a sleeping bag next to a campfire?
A: Most sleeping bags are flammable, and it's hard to save yourself from the flames of you are wrapped in the bag. It's safer to warm yourself up before you get in the bag, and be sure to put out the flame if your sleeping bag is out in the open.
Our top pick is the Browning Camping McKinley. It’s warm enough for a fall sleeping bag and leaves enough room for you to wiggle around.
Consider buying the Coleman Sun Ridge Sleeping Bag if you are looking for a cheaper option.