5 Best Sleeping Bags for Camping Comfortably
Ready to pack it in? These are the best sleeping bags for camping by car or backpack.
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After picking the perfect tent (and deciding on s’mores vs. cheesecake-in-a-bag), the most important thing you need for comfortable camping is a quality sleeping bag. The best sleeping bags for camping depend on your location, weather and camping activities. Are you a camping beginner or a backpacker who needs to make every inch and ounce count? Or are you a car or backyard camper who only needs to carry equipment a short distance?
Some other issues to consider: Do you want a tight and snug mummy bag or a roomy rectangular bag? Do you want to use your sleeping bag in tandem with a sleeping pad? The kind of filling you want also makes a big difference in price, from more expensive down to more budget-friendly synthetics.
The best sleeping bags for camping have other little features that’ll make a big difference when snoozing outside. Look for hoods you can pull over your head (no need to sleep in a stocking cap), inside stash pockets for small things like flashlights and camping gadgets, zippers that are accessible from inside and outside the bag and designs that allow you to fully unzip the bag into a quilt.
Teton Sports Celsius XL Sleeping Bag
The best sleeping bags for camping are cozy, comfortable and durable. This Teton Sports Celsius pick features a tough exterior ripstop shell and a super-soft brushed flannel lining that feels like you’re sleeping on a cloud. It’s a rectangular bag with a half-circle “mummy” hood that keeps your pillow clean and off the ground.
With a temperature rating to -25 degrees, it handles all seasons. Its unique fiber filling, double-layer construction and draft tubes along the shoulders and zipper keep the warmth in and draft out. A handy compression sack lets you avoid the headache of rolling and storing bulky bags, and allows it to easily fit in any weekend bag.
- Helpful compression sack
- Convenient hang loops for long-term storage
- Brushed poly flannel lining
- Rip-stop nylon shell
- Taped, anti-snag zipper
- Heavier than other sleeping bags
Best Kids Sleeping Bag
Tuphen Sleeping Bag
Too many sleeping bags for kids are made like toys that will never see more action than a sleepover. Kids in camping families need something that’s fun and practical. Tuphen sleeping bags are both. The mummy-style bags come in eight bright colors—from pink to blue to purple—so they’re fun while still providing a warm night’s sleep.
The microfiber interior isn’t too hot for summer trips, and the polyester taffeta exterior is waterproof. The double zipper lets you open the bottom for ventilation, or fully unzip the bag and use it as a blanket or playing surface for kids. And because little ones are messy, you’ll appreciate the easy-to-clean machine-washable construction.
- Fun colors for kids
- Lightweight and waterproof
- Comes with a packing bag
- Two-way zipper with zipper guard to prevent snags
- Some reviewers say you may need extra blankets for winter camping
Waterproof Winter Sleeping Bag
Lightweight sleeping bags for backpacking can cost a couple hundred dollars. This Riayalo sleeping bag weighs only five pounds, and it rings in at less than $50. The mummy design comes in a big-and-tall size that fits people up to 6-foot-10.
An easy to fold-up design makes it simple to stuff into the included sack, and convenient to store with the rest of your camping survival essentials. The ultra-soft lining, heat-retaining polyester fiber filling and waterproof nylon rip-stop shell make it one of the best sleeping bags for camping year-round.
- Best bang for your buck
- Wind buffer design keeps heat inside the bag
- The zipper is lined with grosgrain ribbon to prevent snags
- Waterproof and durable
- Interior storage pocket
- Not warm enough for extremely cold conditions below 5 degrees
Goose Down Sleeping Bag
With a goose-down filling and an ultra-light weight of 3.1 pounds, the Hyke & Byke Eolus mummy-style bag has a rating down to zero degrees without adding too much weight to your pack. These best sleeping bags for camping are available in short, regular and long sizes. The water-repellent nylon shell’s vertical baffle system lets you shift the 800 fill power insulation around to where you need it. You can also easily adjust the ventilation with two-way zippers.
- Extremely lightweight at 3.1 pounds
- Comes in three sizes
- Responsibly-sourced hydrophobic goose down fill
- Includes rip-stop nylon compression bag
- Company provides micro-loans in poverty-stricken areas
- Pricier than other polyester-filled sleeping bags
Camping Sleeping Bag and Travel Pillow
When you rest your head at the end of a long hike, a pillow would be nice. This four-season sleeping bag comes with a travel cushion that’s both lightweight and packable. The rectangular-style bag is roomy and includes a hood to keep your head warm. The filling is cotton, and it closes with both a zipper and a drawstring. The zippers are also double-sided, so it’s easy to get ventilation on warm summer nights.
- Value priced
- Comes with a compression sack
- Available in eight colors
- Includes pillow
- Lifetime warranty
- Not for cold weather camping
Types of Sleeping Bags for Camping
Sleeping bags come in rectangular and mummy styles (wide at the shoulders and narrow at the feet). Rectangular bags can be roomier and are easier for people who like to turn over and shift positions a lot. Mummy bags can usually be closed more tightly at the top, so they’re cozy and snug.
The kinds of filling—usually microfibers, goose down or polyester—and the temperature rating all come at a price. Ultra-light and ultra-warm bags for winter camping, backpacking or mountaineering usually cost $200 and up; while a simple bag for car camping or summer trips will often cost less than $50.
What to Consider When Buying Sleeping Bags for Camping
- Style: Mummy bags are tighter, while rectangular bags are roomier. Pay attention to the measurements and make sure it can handle your height.
- Zippers: Look for anti-snag zippers and watch out for fabric along the zipper that can easily get caught.
- Stitching: The style of stitching—vertical bands vs. horizontal ones—can make the bag more efficient by creating chambers to hold in warmth. But it can also make them more difficult to roll up.
- Compression: Stuff sacks come with most sleeping bags, but many people find it difficult to get an open bag into a small pouch. Compression bags are better because they’re designed to squeeze the air out.
How We Chose the Best Sleeping Bags for Camping
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
Should sleeping bags be stuffed or rolled?
Rolling a bag can be awkward and bulky to store. A helpful camping hack: Look for a sleeping bag that can be quickly stuffed into a compression sack for easier packing. When it comes time to store the bag, hanging is always best to keep the filling from getting compacted.
Should you wear less layers in a sleeping bag?
Wearing layers of clothing helps to insulate you, but it can also be a problem if you get sweaty and the things you’re wearing get damp. Too many layers can also keep you from radiating warmth (you want to create a cozy pocket around you!). A light hat—like a stocking cap—and socks are usually sufficient to keep you from losing heat from your extremities, which get cold more easily.
Are tighter sleeping bags warmer?
Not necessarily. Once you’ve been in the bag for a while, the warmth from your body fills air pockets, making the inside of your bag toasty. Many bags feature built-in things like draft tubes or sewn-in channels to create space and a barrier against the cold.
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