I dream one day I will be free from all my worries and travel backpacking around the world. Until then, I use my holidays to camp and hike around the mountains. And on a hiking trip, one of the most important things is my sleeping bag. After all, at the end of a long day’s hike, a night of good sleep is needed to prepare us for the next day. But without a good and comfortable sleeping bag, you can be in trouble in the middle of the night in the wilderness.
I have tested a few sleeping bags while camping and hiking in the last few years. And not all of them have turned out to be happy ones. Some are good for some specific seasons while some give ultimate comfort.
Here I have curated a list of the best backpacking sleeping bags that serve different purposes. You can stick to the end to find out the buying guide and choose the best for you.
To get started with our best picks of the lot let me share the points I kept in my mind in choosing the best backpacking sleeping bags in 2023–
Now if you are in a hurry and in here for a quick recommendation, we got you covered. You can just check out our best pick for 2023 or be with us for a list that fits the needs of every backpacker on the go.
OUR BEST PICK OF 2023
After trying a few of the best available sleeping bags on the market and taking reviews from avid backpackers we found the best one for us that can stand for your next backpacking trip.
This mummy sleeping bag is just what you need if you want to buy one of the best sleeping bags in 2023. Before selecting this one I tried to check some boxes like lightweight, weight-to-warmth, good for 4 seasons, and down insulation and it surpassed all.
This product from Hyke and Byke is perfectly filled with 800 fill-down insulation to give ultimate warmth. Down insulation traps body heat to keep you warm even at 0-30 F. It may be a little more expensive than other regular sleeping bags but I would tell you why it is worth the investment.
- PRICE: $214/ $219
- SIZE: Short(72”)/ Regular(78”)/ Long(87”)
- COMPRESSED SIZE: 10” ╳ 7”
- WEIGHT: 3.02 lbs/ 3.20 lbs/ 3.37 lbs
- TEMPERATURE RATING: 0-30 F
- Added neck support padding for more comfort.
- Double large YKK zippers and anti-snag slider.
- 800 fill hydrophobic goose support for warmth
- Water-repellant 400T 20D ripstop nylon fabric
- One of the lightest down mummy sleeping bags.
- The great weight-to-warmth ratio makes it high-performing yet very lightweight.
- Being filled with fluffy goose-down insulation it gives perfect warmth at different temperatures.
- Comes in different sizes.
- Large zip locks help with air circulation inside the bag.
- Water-repellant nylon fabric keeps the bag try in the wet season.
BEST BUDGET BACKPACKING SLEEPING BAG IN 2023
Now in our best pick, we have recommended the best but that comes with a pocket pinch above $200 which may not be budget backpackers. So, we have also curated the best budget sleeping bag out there. Yes, you would have to compromise on some features, and a little bit of extra comfort but that should not stop you from taking those budget backpacking trips.
This sleeping bag from TrailHead can be the perfect choice for a budget backpacker. It has microfiber insulation that makes it lightweight to carry on a backpacking trip. Though it might not give extreme heating under very cold conditions it would still suffice under most seasons.
- PRICE: $55/ $65
- SIZE: Short(75”)/ Regular(78”)
- COMPRESSED SIZE: 14.5” ╳ 6.5”
- WEIGHT: 2.4 lbs/ 2.9 lbs
- TEMPERATURE RATING: 20 F
- Water-resistant 75D 2mm Polyester outside lining.
- Breathable soft micro-polyester lining inside for comfort.
- Two-way zippers for smooth rolling
- Interior pocket for wallet, keys, etc.
- Vaulted foot box design to keep your feet warm
You do not have to break the bank to get this comfy sleeping bag. I would recommend using it around 20-30 F when it’s not going to be chilly and windy as synthetic insulation would not provide the highest level of heating. But it would certainly be great for national park trails, and lower-range mountain hikes.
Ultra lightweight sleeping bag
There is no discussion that however you try sleeping bag would be one of the heaviest things to carry during hiking. And no one likes to carry a heavy sleeping bag. Now, this sleeping bag from Sea to Summit just does that for you. It weighs just above 1 lb and provides ultimate comfort at sub-zero temperatures.
- PRICE: $409/ $429
- SIZE: Short(72”)/ Regular(78”)
- COMPRESSED SIZE: 2.5 L
- WEIGHT: 1.1 lbs/ 1.5 lbs
- TEMPERATURE RATING: 28 F (2 seasons) [Lower temperature versions available]
- High-loft 850+ ultra-dry down is used for insulation
- ⅓ length left-side YKK zipper
- Ultralight compressible 10D nylon shell for minimum weight
- Mummy shaped bag
- Includes lightweight Ultra-Sil compression bag.
This can be the ultimate product that doesn’t weigh much but give the best comfort at low temperatures. But the downside is that it gonna cost you a hefty $400. So, the choice is up to you, lightweight or breaking the bank.
Extreme winter under $100
Now I have earlier mentioned a product that has a temperature rating as low as 0 F but that is a little premium product and not many sleeping bags under $100 are out there that fight the extreme cold.
This product is from a well-trusted brand and it has been used and loved by many customers over the years. It uses micro insulation to keep you warm in extreme conditions as low as 0 F. It comes in two different sizes with a well-padded foot box.
- PRICE: $99
- SIZE: Short(75”)/ Regular(87”)
- COMPRESSED SIZE: 15” ╳ 9”
- WEIGHT: 3.2 lbs/ 4.2 lbs
- TEMPERATURE RATING: 0 F
- Polarlite Micro insulation used for warmth
- Designed to fight extreme cold
- 3-piece ultra-puff hood
- Water-resistant 40D ripstop shell
- Taped, two-way zippers for ventilation from the top or bottom
- Stuff sack included
Though it often combats extremely low-temperature I would recommend you to be prepared to use it in regions where temperatures don’t fall below 10F. For cutting down the cost we have compromised on the down material so no wonder we would be as comfortable as we would be in a down sleeping bag.
The best Sleeping bag for couples
Backpacking trips do not warrant to be sleeping separately from your partner in different sleeping bags. You can have the best sleeping bag for couples. Watching stars with your partner under a clear sky under a cozy sleeping bag can be a memory of a lifetime. Also, a sleeping bag for couple help backpackers who like space and like to roll over.
This mammoth sleeping bag from Teton can fit two people and keep you warm at the same time. Though they don’t come in mummy-shaped designs, it is a rectangular shape.
- Supersoft cotton flannel lining inside.
- Tough Poly cotton faux canvas shell gives durability.
- Two-way anti-snap zippers.
- Built-in compression strap to roll up the sleeping bag.
- Superloft Elite material as fill for insulation.
This bag can also be comfortably used a blanket as well. But keep in mind before buying that this is a pretty heavy product which makes it difficult to carry. It can also be used for campervans or RVs where you don’t have to take the weight single-handedly on your back.
Very Tight on Budget
I have already given you a very budget-friendly sleeping bag above but if you are still looking for something for even less then this one is for you.
This is probably one of the cheapest sleeping bags available on the market. This can be a good choice for short-term commitment and moderate temperature ranges. For a camping beginner and first-time buyers, you will be able to figure out what you need in a sleeping bag.
- PRICE: $40
- SIZE: 86” L╳ 31.5” W (Though it fits a little small)
- WEIGHT: 5.3 lbs
- TEMPERATURE RATING: 27 F or more (It is better to use it above 30F)
- Polyester outer material
- Double-sided zippers for air circulation and temperature control
- Soft travel pillow included with it
- Polyester fill material to provide water resistance.
If you are tight on budget then go for this one or else you can have a much better-backpacking sleeping bag within your budget from the above list.
Other great alternatives
I have prepared a list for you considering all the best ones out there as per your different needs of yours. But there are some great alternatives as well which I would like to share.
Many people like to move while sleeping or are not comfortable enough in mummy-shaped sleeping bags, so this one from Naturehike is just for them. This rectangular-shaped goose-down-filled sleeping bag is listed as a feather if I could say. You would get ample space to move your body and roll over while sleeping.
- PRICE: $109
- SIZE: 74.8” L╳ 28.3” W /78.7” L╳ 31.5” W
- WEIGHT: 1.26 lb/ 1.74 lb
- COMPRESSED SIZE: 10” L╳ 4.5” dia
- TEMPERATURE RATING: 32~ 42 F (Suitable for 3 seasons and not for extreme winter)
- Made with 20D Nylon material that makes it waterproof enough.
- Insulated with high-quality 800-fill goose-down material
- YKK zippers
- Ultralight compact design. It can be carried in a backpack as well.
This bag is perfect for low-temperature regions like national parks, jungles, and moderate trails for 3 seasons. One thing you should keep in mind is that there is no hood. If you don’t want to carry a lot of weight and yet want enough warmth then you should try this mid-budget sleeping bag.
I would recommend this one as an alternative to our best-recommended product on the list. It feels almost similar. The difference is that instead of down filling it has advanced synthetic fill material to make it less costly.
- PRICE: $134
- SIZE: long( Fits 6 ft 6” tall person)
- WEIGHT: 3.91 lbs
- COMPRESSED SIZE: 11” L╳ 8” dia
- TEMPERATURE RATING: 0-30 F
- 400T 20D Outer nylon material for waterproofing
- 625 fill power synthetic insulation inside
- YKK zipper with anti-snag slider
- 4-season winter sleeping bag
Kelty mummy-shaped down-fill sleeping bag is also another great choice for 2023. You will be able to feel the warmth of down insulation and enjoy a compact travel companion for your next adventure.
- PRICE: $139
- SIZE: long/ regular/ short/ women’s regular
- WEIGHT: 3.4 lbs (depends on size)
- COMPRESSED SIZE: 8.3″L x 7.8″ W
- TEMPERATURE RATING: 20 F or more
- The unique shape of a trapezoid feels like a caterpillar from the outside.
- 550 fill-down material insulation for comfortable warmth
- Nylon and poly-taffeta material outside that is waterproof and feels very soft, unlike any cheap synthetic covers.
- 20D Nylon outer shell material
- Perfectly designed for 3 seasons of adventure
- Dual zippers can keep the foot outside of the bag in, zippered internal stash pocket is available inside the bag.
It’s worth checking this one out.
This one is a good choice for a down bag under $100 and it also does a good job even at around 10 F. Though it can go up to 0 F and does a comfortable job for 4 seasons.
- PRICE: $99
- SIZE: 83” x 31”
- WEIGHT: 3.86 lbs (including stuff sack)
- COMPRESSED SIZE: 8.7” x 13.8”
- TEMPERATURE RATING: lower limit 10 F
- 35oz 550 fill-power white duck down is lofty, warm, and breathable.
- Hydrophobic nylon shell for waterproofing and durability
- The comfortable temperature limit is over 20 F and the lower limit is up to 10 F.
- A mummy-shaped sleeping bag that works in 4 seasons
- Has a bigger foot box for the comfort of the feet.
These are some of the best sleeping bags for 2023 you can find in the market. I have tried to give recommendations for every budget and every type of choice. Also, if you have made it this far I would also keep my promise and share the guide to pick the best backpacking sleeping bag for yourself.
Warmth to weight ratio
Now, what is a warmth-to-weight ratio, and how to check it? A warmth-to-weight ratio is an indicator that tells us for certain heat how much extra weight we have to carry. Now every sleeping bag comes with the fill-power rating of the material used for insulation.
But we have to make a balance between our choices because we have to carry a heavy sleeping bag with us on our hiking trip otherwise. So, choose a material that is light but can generate enough heat as per the season.
It’s very important to be very precise about the weight and compression of the sleeping bag. Sleeping bags are one of the heaviest things to carry on your hiking trips. So, try to choose sleeping bags that are lightweight. For instance, try to choose down filling over synthetic as they are warmer yet lightweight.
Also, check how compact the bag becomes when compressed as they would help you to carry them easily along with your backpack.
Seasons of use
One sleeping bag would not fit all seasons. That is for sure. Though sleeping bags good for 4 seasons are available there in my opinion go for two sleeping bags. One for three seasons and another for extreme winter.
Also, you must analyze during which season you will be mostly taking the backpacking trips. For example, if you are from Florida then a 3-season sleeping bag would do well and good for you. But for people from Alaska, there’s nothing beyond an extreme-winter sleeping bag.
Down or synthetic
This is probably the most asked question, which one to choose? down or synthetic filling? Down filling is made with soft lofty feathers of duck or geese that traps body heat and give you warmth at different temperature. And sleeping bags with down filling is lighter than synthetic ones.
Synthetic insulations are cheaper than down material and provide lesser warmth. But they get dried faster than down bags and hold their loftiness much better. If you are going for a winter trip go for a down material bag. For moist, warm weather hiking you can choose synthetic material.
You should choose outer material that is waterproof and durable. As you would be using a sleeping bag for a few years at least. Try to go for a material that is durable, well-zippered, and comes with a compression sack. Nylon material is durable and soft as well.