Don’t let the cooling temperatures stop you from enjoying your passion for backpacking, hiking, and camping. What you need is a sleeping bag that can keep you warm as temperatures dip to 20 degrees. In the buying guide below, we have three sleeping bags that are sure to keep you warm.
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
As our best overall choice, the Hyke & Byke Quandary Sleeping Bag is a three-season bag designed to be used throughout the entire year. The sleeping bag includes a 650 duck feather hydrophobic down filling for additional padding and insulation. It acts as a second layer of protection against wind and cold weather.
It is available in five colors and three sizes to fit your specific needs. The sleeping bag is even rated to be used in 15-degree temperatures. It’s even light—just shy of 3 pounds—which makes it great for packing away on your backpack if you hike to your campsite. Plus, it includes tough and durable 400T 20D nylon fabric and pulls tightly over your head with a convenient drawcord.
However, the mummy-style sleeping bag can be a bit too tight for some users. It’s a tight fit that can make it feel as if you’re being confined. It is also a bit overpriced. Also, even the largest of sizes may be too snug for taller and wider people.
The Coleman Brazos 20-Degree Sleeping Bag is backed by the popular and well-known Coleman name. It’s a bit different than our other choices, too. As opposed to round and snug-fitting bags, this one features a rectangle shape and offers more space to move around or turn while you sleep.
The outer material is a polyester fabric while the interior is made up of a tricot knit pattern, all of which makes it durable, tough, and a bit more refined. It’s more like a standard bed than it is a sleeping bag. It has a no-snag zipper and a Thermolock draft tube. Best of all, the sleeping bag is set at a reasonable price.
The downside of the sleeping bag is that it is only available in one large size. Its size also makes it rather annoying to roll up and it doesn’t have a carrying bag. It isn’t a sleeping bag that you can bring with you on a hiking trip.
Tenting is already pretty extreme, but downright freezing temperatures can change how you sleep. Having a bed like the Outdoor Vitals Summit 20-Degree Sleeping Bag makes all the difference when you’re under the stars and need to keep warm. This includes extremities such as your toes, fingers, head, and especially the feet.
The bag is ultra-lightweight as it weighs only two pounds. It is stuffed with 800 fill power down that keeps both the sleeper and the bag insulated and cozy. The bag also looks warm. It’s water-resistant as well, so it won’t be damaged if it gets wet while you’re hiking to your tent site. Many have even said it keeps them snug when the temperature is near 10 degrees, too.
However, since the sleeping bag is ultra-warm and comfortable, it is also rather expensive. The 800 down fluff also increases its price. There have also been complaints that the zipper can be difficult to use and it can get stuck frequently. It may also be too short for some people.
The HiHiker Mummy Bag is fit for the budget camper who is looking to travel somewhere where it gets frigid. It includes insulated footing so your toes and feet are kept warm while you slumber. Plus, it features a drawstring head so you can completely surround your face in pillowed and comfortable bliss and warmth.
The sleeping bag comes with its own carrying bag for added convenience and a travel pillow that is just as soft and padded as the bag. Best of all, the sleeping bag is long and is capable of fitting a 6 foot 2 inch adult. Yet it can be folded up to a compact form that you can take along on a hike. It’s also reasonably priced.
While the bag can be folded up and placed in its carrying bag, it may fit comfortably in a hiking backpack. And as the name suggests, it can be a bit tight if you have a large and taller build. Another issue is the zipper feels cheap and could break or buckle at any moment.
Best 20-Degree and Below
The TETON Sports LEEF Lightweight Mummy Sleeping Bag is another secure and snug way to get a good night’s sleep in the wilderness. It has everything you’d expect from a premium sleeping bag—padded and warm feet pockets, a hood that wraps securely over your face, and a sleek design built for roughing it.
One of the best things about this specific sleeping bag is its included compression sack. You won’t have to roll up the bag after a night of sleeping. You can easily stuff it inside the sack and go about your merry way. It’s even rated to sleep comfortably in temperatures around minus 8 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s fluffy, padded, and soft as well, and it is one of the highest rated sleeping bags available.
While it does say the sleeping bag is lightweight, we don’t really agree. Four pounds is light, but for a 20 degree bag, it is hefty to carry around in a backpack or under your arm. There have been complaints with it fraying over time. Also, the zipper isn’t the most friendly.
The TETON Sports Altos Lightweight Mummy Sleeping Bag may look like the other TETON bag on our list, but it’s completely different. First off, it’s a bit pricey as it is a premium model 20-degree sleeping bag. It’s form-fitting and hugs your body tightly so you are kept warmer and more secure while you sleep. It’s also lighter, which makes a big difference when you’re lugging it around.
However, it doesn’t have a lower temperature rating like the LEEF, but that’s okay. It is rated to sleep comfortably at 20 degrees, so it passes the test. It features a compression sack so you can store it more easily while you travel. It also comes with a large padded footbox to protect your toes from the cold.
The bag may ship with an unpleasant smell, but it should go away if you leave it out for a few hours. The zipper can be a pain to operate and can get caught on the fabric. It is also quite pricey for just a sleeping bag.
Longest and Largest
The Hyke and Byke Katahdin sleeping bag is a more reasonably priced sleeping bag when you compare it to our best choice option. The bag is modern and looks great in any one of its three different colors. It features hydrophobic insulation that is waterproof, extra-padded, soft, and pleasant on a cold winter’s night.
It is packed with 625 fill padding that makes it more durable and rugged. It is even rated to be warm if used in 15-degree temperatures. But its best feature is its design. The sleeping bag is made out of a strong 400T 20D nylon fabric liner and includes large YKK zippers that are designed to not snag on the material. It’s also designed to hold a person as tall as 6 feet 6 inches.
It is a larger sleeping bag which can make it extremely difficult to pack it away when you are done using it. This also means it may not be the easiest thing to pack away in a backpack if you are hiking to your campsite. And even though it is cheaper than our best choice option, it is still pricey.
The Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag is one of the most unique looking sleeping bags we’ve seen. Designed to be used in 20-degree weather, the bag is light, form-fitting, and developed out of a nylon fabric for increased durability. It comes in three different sizes so you can pick and choose what’s best for you. It also includes a polyester taffeta liner for added insulation.
By far, one of the most interesting features of the sleeping bag is that it includes a pocket. The pouch is best used to ensure your phone stays as warm as you do. It’s also a three-season backpacking and camping sleeping bag and functions well all-year-round no matter the temperature. Plus, it comes with an anti-snag zipper for added convenience.
It may not be the most expensive 20-degree sleeping bag on our list, but it is among the highest. While it is form-fitting, it may be a bit too tight at first but should stretch out with each use. Also, even though the zipper is snag-free, it can still be a pain to zip back and forth.
- Pay attention to the length of the sleeping bag. You want it to fit snugly but not too tight. Sleeping bags come in three sizes: small (5 feet 6 inches), regular (6 feet), and long (6 feet 6 inches). Choose the size that is closest to your actual height.
- Sleeping bags come in three different shapes: mummy, rectangular, and semi-rectangular. Mummy is the warmest but most restrictive. Rectangular is the least efficient at heating but provides the most space. Semi-rectangular is a combo of mummy and rectangular.
- The sleeping bags in this buying guide are all rated for 20-degree weather. You need to choose a sleeping bag that is rated for slightly lower than the coldest temperature you expect to experience.
Q: What type of insulation should I choose in a sleeping bag?
There are two main options for insulation: down and synthetic. Down tends to be more expensive, but it is highly effective at keeping you warm in cold, dry conditions. It’s also lightweight and easy to compress for transport. Synthetic tends to be more affordable. It can keep you insulated in wet conditions and will dry fast. It’s also non-allergenic.
Q: How is insulation different from weight in a sleeping bag?
The more advanced the fill, the more effective it will be at insulating. This means the sleeping bag will require less fill material to create warmth. The colder a sleeping bag is rated, the more insulation fill it will have. Because of this, it’s important to compare sleeping bags of the same temperature rating when looking at the weight of the fill.
Q: Should I care about additional features on a sleeping bag?
Some features are nice to have, such as a stash pocket meant for keeping small items on hand. Other features will make the sleeping bag more effective, like draft blocking tubes that help keep the warm air in and cold air out. Other features are only relevant in specific situations, such as left or right zip when you’re looking to attach to sleeping bags together.
The Hyke & Byke Quandary Sleeping Bag is a solid choice if you’re looking for a warm yet lightweight sleeping bag. Or there’s the Coleman Brazos 20 Degree Sleeping Bag, which will provide plenty of warmth if you’re on a tighter budget.