Dream Domain: 12 Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags

Oct 19, 2018

Category: Gear

Sliding into in a warm and toasty sleeping bag like you’re a freshly wrapped burrito is heaven after a long day on the trail. It’s one of the best feelings in the world when you’re backpacking, so acquiring a quality sleeping bag means everything. Today, sleeping bags pack plenty of technology to perform well in a variety of trying conditions during cold backpacking nights. You might even be tempted to break out your backpacking sleeping bag at home if the evening air gets a little too chilly.

In our search for the best sleeping bags, we looked for ones with down insulation, which is both lighter and warmer than synthetic insulation. However, we also selected a few synthetic sleeping bags based on other convenient components they offer. We also considered the fill power for each sleeping bag — the higher the fill level, the better the insulation. And, of course, we made sure our choices for sleeping bags were lightweight and durable so they’re ready for the elements. The backpacking sleeping bags we handpicked will help you sink into dreamland while the crickets play their peaceful tune.

The North Face Hyper Cat

Weighing in at just under two pounds, this super light backpacking sleeping bag is constructed with extremely compressible and sturdy synthetic insulation. You can take it to the backcountry and count on it to keep you warm through three seasons. It features ‘HeatSeeker One’ insulation, which is fueled by ‘THERMOLITE’ fiber technology, keeping you comfy when the cold rolls in at night. This streamlined cut sleeping bag also has a hood-cinch, an integrated draft overlap, and a draft collar to prevent heat loss. It comes with a stuff sack for easy storage and a lifetime guarantee.

Purchase: $249

Enlightened Equipment Revelation

With 850 Zerp PFC ‘DownTek’ that was sourced ethically, this 10-denier sleeping bag by Enlightened Equipment is a piece of gear made to go with you anywhere. When it’s cold, you can cinch down the sides with the bag’s pad attachment system and when it’s warm, you’re able to open the zippered foot box and use this bag as a blanket. It has a half taper design to reduce weight and adhere to the natural shape of your body while its U-shaped baffles keep the down where it needs to be for a full night’s rest.

Purchase: $269

Mountain Hardwear Lamina Z Bonfire

The Lamina Z Bonfire sleeping bag is Mountain Hardwear’s warmest synthetic, water-repellant sleeping bag. With its wider winter mummy cut, it’s a comfy resting cocoon for cold nights. It has zoned ‘ThermaIQ’ insulation, proprietary welded construction to eliminate cold spots, and an ergonomic draft collar to prevent heated air from escaping the bag. It also has a tough, lightweight nylon shell with DWR (Durable Water Repellant) treatment, and a soft polyester lining to wick away moisture. This 30-denier nylon ripstop sleeping bag is made for backpacking trips.

Purchase: $278

Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed

Sierra Designs presents a backpacking sleeping bag design without any zippers for exceptional comfort. It has an oversized integrated comforter, allowing it to feel like your own bed, as well as insulated hand and arm pockets to aid in sealing out drafts. This 700 down thermally efficient backpacking sleeping bag made with a 20-denier polyester ripstop shell fabric and 20d polyester taffeta liner fabric — it’s more than ready for nights out in the wild. For fast and simple ventilation, it has a patented self-sealing foot vent. And, for stability, it has a sleeping pad sleeve to keep the pad situated underneath you all night.

Purchase: $290

Big Agnes Lost Ranger 15

Designed to feel like the comforter from your real bed, with plenty of sleeping space, this lightweight sleeping bag will be your best friend on your backpacking trips. It’s made with ‘DownTek’ water-repellent down insulation and the Big Agnes system, consisting of a two-pad sleeve design to accommodate the pad providing the insulation. With a semi-rectangular shape and an ‘Insotect Flow’ construction, the bag has an even distribution of heat. For extra comfort, this sleeping bag is built to be taller across the top for more wiggle room and also a ‘Free Range’ hood, allowing you to move without restriction.

Purchase: $300

Sea to Summit Spark SpI

Sea to Summit’s ultralight sleeping bag has heavy-duty features to make it ideal for backpackers. Filled with 850+ ‘ULTRADRY Down’ and constructed with a light 10-denier nylon shell, the Spl is perfect from summer to fall. Sea to Summit’s Spark bags are compact, packing down to the size of a grapefruit, making them perfect for minimalist adventures. They have a sewn-through construction with a 15-denier nylon soft touch, high-density weave. This backpacking sleeping bag is also water repellant and comes with an ‘Ultra-Sil Nano’ compression bag that’s combined with a laundry bag.

Purchase: $299

Nemo Disco Down

If you prefer sleeping on your side, Nemo’s Disco Down was made specifically for you. This backpacking sleeping bag has a ‘spoon shape’ design with extra room at the elbows and knees, allowing you to shift positions effortlessly. With ‘Thermo Grills’ to regulate body temperature a ‘Blanket Fold’ design for the feeling of being tucked in, and a breathable waterproof foot box for tent condensation, you can call fast asleep inside the Disco sleeping bag. The fluorocarbon-free, water-resistant ‘Nikwax Hydrophobic Down’ will help you get a good night’s rest for plenty of outdoor adventures.

Purchase: $300

REI Co-op Magma 10

Featuring a lightweight, water-resistant construction with 850-fill-power goose down, the Magma 10 sleeping bag has an efficient warmth-to-weight ratio. The ‘Downproof Pertex’ shell and 15-denier lining provide an incredibly soft feel and lasting comfort. Its trapezoid foot box will keep your feet warm while its insulated yoke will fill the neck and shoulder gap to stop heat loss. Winner of Backpacker Magazine’s 2017 Editor’s Choice Award, the Magma 10 is a top-tier sleeping bag.

Purchase: $369

Katabatic Gear Flex 22

Katabatic Gear’s Flex 22 is a blanket style sleeping bag ready for a backpacking adventure whenever you hear the call. The Katabatic attachment system, down filled collar, and draft blocking foot box work together to close you off from the cold. If it gets a little too steamy, the zippered foot box lets you open up the bag and transform it into a blanket for ventilation. For superb comfort, the sleeping bag has continuous baffles, allowing the down to be moved around in the bag for versatility.

Purchase: $385

Marmot Phase 20

Marmot’s mummy shaped sleeping bag will keep you heated in 20°F nights. Constructed with 850 fill power down, this bag is light, cozy, and ready to stuff in your backpack. It has been treated with ‘Down Defender,’ making it resistant to moisture and ready for any weather Mother Nature decides to cook up. Marmot’s sleeping bag has smooth, curved baffles for reduced downshifting, a Nautilus multi-baffle hood, and full-length locking YKK two-way zippers with anti-snag sliders, decreasing fabric snagging.

Purchase: $459

Western Mountaineering MegaLite

Packing ultra-premium 850 fill down insulation, this American-made sleeping bag will retain your body’s warmth to keep you relaxed in your camping tent. It’s made with a high-thread-count ‘ExtremeLite’ shell fabric, encasing the insulation without adding any more weight. To make sure this packable backpacking sleeping bag is fit for freezing nights, it has a water-resistant coating to protect the down insulation from frost, condensation, and spindrift. And, for longevity, it has YKK coil zippers able to stand up to years of backpacking trips.

Purchase: $470

Patagonia 850 Down

Backed by 45 years of down-construction expertise, Patagonia’s 850 Down ultralight sleeping bag is the ultimate backpacking sleeping bag. Cold spots are eliminated thanks to its advanced differential baffle construction and ‘Houdini’ fabric liner, a featherweight 100% nylon ripstop for quick dry times and next-to-skin comfort. And, this sleeping bag utilizes a Y-shaped filament technology to form a packable shell with the strength of heavier options. For easy storage and transportation, this sleeping bag comes with a super light stuff sack.

Purchase: $499

Snooze Session: 12 Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads

Since you picked up a toasty sleeping bag to keep you warm on your backpacking trip, it’s time to choose a sleeping pad. Take a peek at your picks for the best backpacking sleeping pads on the market.

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