At the end of a long day on the hiking trail, cozying up in your sleeping bag is one of the greatest rewards. A proper bag is critical not just for warmth, but also for comfort, safety, and to allow your body to get the rest it needs.

If you've ever spent a cold and sleepless night in the outdoors, shivering uncontrollably while waiting desperately for the sun to rise, then you'll understand how vital a sleeping bag is. Today's bags are designed using a range of technologies that enable them to stay dry and offer exceptional warmth in various conditions.

The right bag for you will suit your needs perfectly, and fit your budget. To choose though, you are going to need some necessary information, first. The perfect bag will make your trip that much better.

What Is a Sleeping Bag

Unlike a comforter, which works well in your home, a sleeping bag provides much more besides warmth and comfort. Especially where nighttime temperatures tend to fall below 50 degrees. Insulation needs outdoors are higher than they are when you're at home. This is because your bed keeps you off the cold ground, plus you're indoors away from the wind, rain and freezing temps.

A sleeping bag is warmly lined or padded. It has a closure to form a tube that can fit one or two people. Bags usually hava a water repellent or waterproof cover, and adequate insulation to provide warmth. Most bags have either a synthetic or down filling. Some sleeping bags provide cushioning on the bottom surface, but you're better off carrying a sleeping pad or camp-cot along for that purpose.

The most common bags are the rectangle and mummy. Rectangle sleeping bags maximize space more than they do warmth and weight. They're ideal for backpacking and camping in the summer. Mummy sleeping bags can be contoured closely to your body shape. Thus they maximize warmth, minimize weight, and retain heat. A hybrid between rectangular and mummy bags is also available, offering both space and warmth. Other sleeping bag types include bed style bags that emphasize comfort and versatility for side, back and stomach sleepers.

What to Look for in a Good Sleeping Bag

For most campers, getting uninterrupted sleep at night is essential. However, it may be more of a luxury considering the cold air, and the solid, hard floor or ground underneath them. How do you know what sleeping bag is best for you with hundreds of them to choose from? The first step is to find out what things you need to look for in a sleeping bag.

Here are some important considerations you need to check for when looking for a sleeping bag.

Fit

There are different types of fit for sleeping bags depending on whether you're a man or woman. Some come in standard, unisex sizing, indicating a man's fit, while those that are wider around the hips with extra insulation at the feet are usually for women. Sleeping bags aren't always the same length and width so check on the dimensions before purchasing one. You could also go to the store and ask to have one opened out for you, and snuggle into it and see if fits.

Temperature ratings

Sleeping bags have different ratings. The most common levels are the comfort, limit of comfort and extreme. Comfort level is akin to that of a standard night's sleep and is different for men and women, as the latter require more insulation than men. The rage is usually limit of comfort and extreme levels. Limit of comfort is the lowest temperature a man would need to sleep comfortably, with some padding underneath. The extreme level is the coldest temperature one can survive in without freezing to death.

However, there's no effective, objective, and universal testing procedure one can apply to determine how warm a sleeping bag will be for you. This is because people sleep differently, so you may find one person sweating in the same bag, on the same night, where another may be freezing.

Abco Tech Sleeping Bag

Men and women also sleep best at different levels of warmth, so temperature results will vary from one person to another. Therefore, the only way to know how warm a sleeping bag really gets is to actually sleep in it and experience the temperature levels for yourself.

If you need to choose based on temperature ratings, pick a rating that's lower than the lowest temperature you expect wherever you're going. If the location is frigid, pick a 20-degree Fahrenheit sleeping bag instead of a 35-degree one.

Fill

There are two main types of insulation for a sleeping bag: down or synthetic. Down filling consists of the small fluffy feathers from birds, geese or ducks, and is much lighter. It packs smaller, but it is expensive and won't be warm if it gets wet. Synthetic filling, on the other hand, is a mixture of man-made fibers that are heavier, bulkier, cheaper, and more robust than down insulation. It also keeps you fairly warm if it gets wet compared to down, plus it dries out faster.

When deciding which filling to pick, consider the distance you'll carry the sleeping bag, whether or not it may get wet, how long it'll take to dry, temperature levels, and your budget.

Weight

A good sleeping bag will combine low weight and warmth. You should also check how the bag packs down in its own compression sack, and if you can fit it in your luggage.

Shape

Sleeping bags come in different types and shapes, as mentioned. What you need to consider here, however, is how much space and warmth it offers, the weight, and the number of people it can accommodate. Otherwise, you can choose from the rectangular shape bag, mummy shape, and pod shape, among others.

Features

A proper sleeping bag will have the main features such as zippers, foot boxes, baffles, pillow sleeves for when you want to use a pillow, pad sleeves to hold your pad and bag together securely, pockets for your gadgets, and a hood cinch. A durable water repellent coating is also necessary to prevent rain and condensation from penetrating your sleeping bag.

Abco Tech Sleeping Bag

Accessories

Different sleeping bags offer different accessories or extra features. Some have an attached torch, a built-in mosquito net, or can transform into a jacket. Some of the essential extras that can come in handy include a stash pocket for keeping small items like a watch or your glasses, plus a sleeping bag shell and lining for durability.

Pricing

There are sleeping bags in practically every price range, from as low as $9.99 to as high as $289.99 on Amazon, based on features and the brand.

Best Sleeping Bags for 2018

When looking for the best sleeping bag for 2018, we drew up a list of the key attributes that a sleeping bag should have that meet your needs for comfort, warmth, versatility, and stability while outdoors. Among these were the filling, shape, type, temperature rating, and price. Brand name and customer ratings were also considered to help you make an informed choice on the best sleeping bag for your next backcountry trip.


Abco Tech Sleeping Bag - Envelope Lightweight Portable, Waterproof,...
  • ULTRA COMFORTABLE SLEEPING BAG - Abco sleeping bags are designed to ensure that after a tiring day of trekking, hiking,...
  • DESIGNED FOR EXTREME WEATHERS - Our sleeping bags are designed for near-freezing temperatures and have a rating of 20...
  • EASY TO CLEAN AND CARRY - Our sleeping bags are also extremely easy to clean as they are safer for machine wash too....

No matter where you choose to lay your head and body down to rest, this ultra comfortable sleeping bag will meet all your backpacking needs. Its barrel-shaped design offers adequate space for you to toss and turn, plus extra filling for warmth, so you can feel at home wherever you are.

Abco build this for extreme weather including near-freezing temperatures, with a rating of 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The Abco Tech sleeping bag has a 4.3 out of 5-star rating on Amazon and is among the top five bestsellers on the online store.

Pros

Waterproof

Polyester lining is skin-friendly

Double filling

Easy to carry

A 100 percent risk-free satisfaction guarantee

Easy to pack away and store

Machine washable

Cons

Smaller than expected

Poor zipper quality

Lacks variety in design and color options

Durable outer shell


Sale
Coleman Palmetto 30°F Cool Weather Sleeping Bag
  • Adult sleeping bag for camping in temperatures as low as 30°F
  • Accommodates most campers up to 5 feet 11 inches tall
  • Polyester cover and tricot fiber blend liner provide warmth and softness

One of the top five sleeping bag brands among lovers of the outdoors, Coleman made this of 100 percent polyester with a fill of 100 percent cotton. The bag is ideal for camping in low temperatures of 30 degrees Fahrenheit and can accommodate people up to five feet and 11 inches tall.

Its fiber blend liner and cover provide both warmth and softness for a good night's sleep. It has a 4.4 out of 5-star rating on Amazon and is among the bestsellers on the site.

Pros

Maximizes heat loss and insulation

ZipPlow system prevents snagging during zipping

Optional bug spray

Long warranty

Cons

Tends to be bulky

Comes in one color


Sale
TETON Sports 101R Celsius XXL -18C/0F Sleeping Bag; 0 Degree Sleeping...
  • COMFORTABLE SLEEPING BAG FOR ADULTS: Soft lining; Half-circle mummy style hood keeps you warm and your pillow clean;...
  • NEVER ROLL YOUR SLEEPING BAG AGAIN: TETON provides a great compression sack for stuffing your sleeping bag; Start at the...
  • STAY WARM IN COLD WEATHER: You'll be warm and rested in this sleeping bag; Innovative fiber fill, double-layer...

The initials XXL already speak volumes about the size of this sleeping bag. It has a soft poly-flannel lining, meaning it is warm in any climate, plus a SuperLoft Elite fiber fill and double-layer construction to keep out the cold and keep the warmth in.

Also included is a durable compression sack to stuff it into and pack it away. The comfort level temperature rating for this bag is 20-30 degrees or higher. It has a 4.5 out of 5-star rating on Amazon.

Pros

Large in size

Zippers don't get stuck with time

Comfortable

Maximizes room and comfort

Cons

Heavy

No pillows


Ohuhu Double Sleeping Bag with 2 Pillows, Waterproof Lightweight 2...
  • SUPER WARM AND COZY: No more chattering under the cold, harsh winds. Stay warm and cozy even when it's 32F~ 50F, this...
  • STANDS AGAINST THE ELEMENTS: Ohuhu double sleeping bag is crafted with high quality water-resistant 210T polyester,...
  • DUAL USAGE: Acts as a giant sleeping bag that fits two happy campers comfortably, and detachable via zippers to become...

Ohuhu made this his sleeping bag of a 210T polyester shell with a T/C lining and cotton filling. It is super warm and cozy, so you need not chatter under the cold or harsh winds, even when it is 32 degrees, you're still comfy and warm inside it.

What makes it unique is the dual usage as it acts as a giant sleeping bag fit for two, with detachable zippers to transform them into two separate sleeping bags. It has a 4.3 out of 5-star rating on Amazon and is among the site's bestselling sleeping bags.

Pros

Warm and cozy

Water resistant

Can be split into individual sleeping bags

Enough room for two people

Has a carrying bag

Portable

Bonus pillows

Cons

Tedious to combine and separate sleeping bags

Has to be air dried


Sale
Coleman 0°F Mummy Sleeping Bag for Big and Tall Adults | North Rim...
  • Mummy-style adult sleeping bag for camping in temperatures as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Can accommodate most people up to 6 feet 2 inches in height
  • Semi-sculpted hood tightens with a drawstring to seal in heat; Unzip the bottom for extra ventilation on warmer nights

This is a mummy-style adult sleeping bag for camping in low temperatures that can go down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The bag is spacious enough for people of up to six feet and two inches in height to fit. Its hood, quilting build, insulated footbox, and Thermolock draft tube seal in heat to keep you warm. It has a 4.3 out of 5-star rating on Amazon.

Pros

Warm and comfortable

ZipPlow system prevents snagging during zipping

Most spacious mummy sleeping bag

Can handle very low temperatures

Cons

Hard to get in

Heavy


TETON Sports Celsius Regular Sleeping Bag; Great for Family Camping;...
  • COMFORTABLE SLEEPING BAG: Soft lining; Half-circle mummy style hood keeps you warm and your pillow clean; Unzips on each...
  • NEVER ROLL YOUR SLEEPING BAG AGAIN: TETON provides a great compression sack for stuffing your sleeping bag; Start at the...
  • STAY WARM IN COLD WEATHER: You'll be warm and rested in this sleeping bag; Innovative fiber fill, double-layer...

Teton brand sleeping bags are comfortable, with a soft poly-flannel lining, which also makes them warm, and a half-circle mummy style hood keeps your pillow clean. For airflow and ease of access, it unzips on both sides, which means you can easily get out.

Whether you're in a warm or cold climate, this sleeping bag will keep you warm and rested what with its SuperLoft Elite fiber fill and double-layer construction that keeps the cold out and the warmth in. Its comfort level is for 20-30 degrees higher, plus, it comes with a durable compression sack to pack away the bag. It has a 4.3 out of 5-star rating on Amazon.

Pros

Available in four different colors

Includes compression sack

Durable

No variety in colors

Self-repairing zipper

Cons

May be small for people over five-foot 10 inches tall

Comparison Table


Final Recommendations

Now that you know what to look for in a sleeping bag go on and pick one that meets your needs. Overall, the best sleeping bag based on satisfaction, function, user reviews, and ratings is the Abco Tech Sleeping Bag. If you're looking for something more spacious, for a couple perhaps, then go for the Ohuhu Double Sleeping Bag which is the best cuddling bag on the list.

However, if you want a sleeping bag that works in any kind of weather yet meets all the requirements for a good bag, then the Coleman North Rim Adult Mummy Sleeping Bag is your best bet.

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