10 Best Sleeping Bags for Backpacking Trips

IN

Gear BY Staff

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
So you’ve finally decided to head out on that long overdue backpacking trip? Leave all the hustle and bustle of the city behind, a temporary relief from that stressful 9-5, and a chance to explore everything the great outdoors has to offer. We commend you on that decision, and are here to help navigate the difficult task of purchasing the right sleeping bag for your backpacking trip. One might think a sleeping bag is just sleeping bag, right? But, oh how one would be wrong. Sleeping bag technology has come along way in the past few decades, and as more individuals embrace the nomadic lifestyle, manufacturers are continuing to push the envelope when it comes to their offerings.

There are really 3 important factors to consider when purchasing a backpacking sleeping bag. The first of which is the temperature rating, which has now become a much less daunting task thanks to the industry wide consistency provided to us by the EN methodology. This gives us as consumers the ability to trust the ratings advertised from different brands. The next thing to consider is the weight-to-comfort ratio (we just made that up by the way). Seeing that you will be backpacking, you want something lightweight, but you also don’t want to sacrifice a comfortable night’s sleep because there’s nothing worse. The last thing to compare when shopping for that perfect bag is the type of insulation. While the sleeping bag battle had been between down and synthetic fill insulation for years, the market has brought about a whole new animal – water-repellent down. With these 3 factors to think about, buying your next sleeping bag should be a whole lot easier. Remember though, there’s no substitute for getting over to your local outdoor retailer, and trying some of these on for size. Check out the 10 best sleeping bags for backpacking below – in no particular order.

Kelty Cosmic Down 20 1

Kelty Cosmic Down 20

When it comes to best bang for your buck, the Kelty Cosmic Down is one of the top contenders. Offered at a fraction of some of the other sleeping bags on this list, it’s not only perfect for summer backpacking, but also car camping as well. The only drawback is its 550-fill down, which does make it a bit heavier and less compressible than other options. [Purchase]

Feathered Friends Hummingbird 20

Feathered Friends Hummingbird 20

If money is no object, this is the backpacking sleeping bag for you. Considered by most to be the absolute best lightweight bag on the market, the Hummingbird’s 900 fill down is extremely compressible. There are several different sizes available,but the median weight for this bag is roughly 1.5 pounds. Impressive. [Purchase]

R21060_1149_plasma15 0023

Marmot Plasma 15

Equipped with 900-fill down, an ultralight shell material, along with an exceptionally comfortable hood and foot box, it doesn’t get much better than this bad boy. This 3-season backpacking bag features an ultralight Pertex Quantum shell material, and is considered to be one of the most comfortable lightweight bags on the market. [Purchase]

Mountain Hardwear Ultralamina 15

Mountain Hardwear Ultralamina 15

Crafted from high quality materials, this is one of the most popular synthetic sleeping bags on the market. Not to mention its ability to combat wet weather conditions. This is due to the the brand’s innovative construction process, which avoids baffle seems by gluing Thermic Microfill insulation right to the actual taffeta lining and ripstop nylon shell.The half length zippers running along each side are also nice for getting some “breathing room,” letting you stick your arms out on each side. [Purchase]

Feathered Friends Penguin 20

Feathered Friends Penguin 20

If you’re in a search of the best down sleeping bag on the market, then this is the bag for you. The semi-rectangular shaped bag is a bit heavy, but thanks to the top tier 850 fill down, you’ll forget you’re sleeping on the hard ground. Another nifty feature is the ability to transform the bag into 2-person mode, which can be great if you meet a friend during your travels. [Purchase]

N2101_lithium 0064

Marmot Lithium 0

If you plan on tackling colder areas, you’re going to need a sleeping bag that can handle the lower temperatures. This 850 fill goose down bag is built for the job. It’s ultra light, comes with a Velcro-free face muff, Nautilus hood, full-length zipper for easy in and out, and a stuff sack for easy transporting. It’s also worth noting that this thing is on the higher end of the pricing spectrum. [Purchase]

Slumberjack Latitude 20 Degree

Slumberjack Latitude 20 Degree

If you plan on bringing your kids with you on your next outdoor adventure, they’re going to need a good sleeping bag too, and that’s where Slumberjack comes into play. Considered by many to best the sleeping bag for kids, this Slumberloft Synthetic fill bag weighs 3 pounds 14 ounces, features a flip over hood, two-layer, off-set construction, and is rated for 20 degree temperatures. [Purchase]

REI Igneo

REI Igneo

REI teamed up with the auto makers at Toyota to build a waterproof coating for their lightweight, mummy style sleeping bag that was designed to tackle 19 degree temperatures. The 700 fill duck down bag is water repellent, and features nylon taffetta lining, and weights just 1 pound 13 ounces. REI strives to build products that are high quality, but also easy on the wallet as well – and they certainly did that with the Igneo. [Purchase]

Sea to Summit Trek TkII

Sea to Summit Trek TkII

Insulated with 650 fill power duck down, Sea to Summit’s backpacking sleeping bag features a durable water repellent finish on the high density weave shell fabric. The Ultra-Dry Down is also water repellent, and helps the bag retain 60% more loft along with absorbing 30% less moisture than your typical, non-treated down. That bag is rated for 18 degree weather, and is a bit heavier than some of the other options on the list – weighing in at 2 pounds 4 ounces. [Purchase]

Western Mountaineering Versalite 10

Western Mountaineering Versalite 10

Retailing for upwards of $500 in many places, Western Mountaineering’s offering to the list is nothing but the best. The real selling point for this bag is the fact that it offers more warmth than any other bag on the list, without becoming too heavy. This means that while it’s probably a bit too warm for summer backpacking trips, this is probably the best winter backpacking sleeping bag. Weighing just 2 pounds, the 850 high lofting goose down provides a 10 inch loft, and is good for temperatures as low as 10 degrees. [Purchase]

Tags: , , , , , ,