October 9, 2021

7 Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags

October 9, 2021

7 Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags

Overnight backpacking trips might require investing in the best backpacking sleeping bags. These sleeping bags are designed to offer portability and compressibility in their construction. In this way, they can become a travel-worthy companion for every backpacker who minds the weight and bulk. 

Depending on the application, you may also want the backpacking sleeping bag to feature a decent level of insulation. If you are anticipating chilly evenings on your campsite, then such a feature should be necessary. 

Of course, choosing a sleeping bag for backpacking can be a tough errand. To help you refine your choices, I have listed some of the top-rated sleeping bags for backpackers in the market today. See them below. 

7 Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags

 Temperature RatingType of Insulation
REI Co-op Trailbreak 20 Sleeping Bag 20 degrees FahrenheitSynthetic
Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 15 Sleeping Bag 15 degrees FahrenheitDown
NEMO Disco 15 Sleeping Bag 14 degrees FahrenheitDown
Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag 21 degrees FahrenheitDown
Marmot Trestles Elite Eco 20 Sleeping Bag 21.6 degrees Fahrenheit Synthetic
NEMO Forte 20 Sleeping Bag 20 degrees Fahrenheit Synthetic
Marmot Ouray 0 Sleeping Bag 0 degrees Fahrenheit Down

1. REI Co-op Trailbreak 20 Sleeping Bag

PRODUCT LINK

One of the finest sleeping bags that you can acquire today is the REI Co-op Trailbreak 20. Designed to strike the perfect balance between packability and weight, this sleeping bag provides guaranteed insulation to its users. It uses a synthetic fill that can withstand wet settings. It has a mummy construction that optimizes warmth retention. But at the same time, it is still spacious enough for your body to move comfortably. 

The bag's three-panel hood has an ergonomic contour; specifically, it wraps snugly to your head to prevent cold air from coming in. The sleeping bag also includes a full draft tube and face muffler to resist cold air from entering. Its neck and hood have distinct drawcords that let you adjust them independently, even if it is dark. Since it has an offset quilt design, the sleeping bag is never prone to cold spots. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Temperature rating - 20 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested lower limit - 18 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested comfort level - 29 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weight - 3 pounds
  • Shell - Polyester
  • Fill type - Synthetic
  • Fill material - Polyester 
  • Shape - Mummy 
  • Length - 72 inches
  • Shoulder width - 62 inches
  • Hip width - 56 inches

2. Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 15 Sleeping Bag

PRODUCT LINK

Backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts can rely on the performance of the Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 15 Sleeping Bag. This one features rugged construction, but at the same time, it is lightweight and highly compressible. It also has excellent insulation. It uses a combination of down and feathers to ensure that you can remain cozy inside it during cold evenings. The 650-fill-power down also has a superb warmth-to-weight ratio so that its thermal efficiency doesn't affect its weight. 

The Performance Plus Mummy architecture also features close contours so that your body can feel sufficient heat. But at the same time, it still provides enough room for you to wiggle around. Its anatomically shaped footbox effectively wraps around your feet for added warmth and coziness. Meanwhile, its shaped draft collar ensures that warm air won't escape inside the sleeping bag. There's also a down-filled gasket that prevents the entry of cold air. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Temperature rating - 15 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested lower limit - 15 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested comfort level - 26 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weight - 2 pounds
  • Shell - Ripstop nylon
  • Fill type - Down
  • Fill material - 650-fill-power down
  • Shape - Mummy 
  • Length - 72 inches
  • Shoulder width - 62 inches
  • Hip width - 53 inches

3. NEMO Disco 15 Sleeping Bag

PRODUCT LINK

If you are searching for a sleeping bag for side sleepers, I recommend that you check out the NEMO Disco 15. It features the proprietary Classic Spoon shape that provides ample cuts on its knee and elbow areas. In this way, side sleepers would be able to change positions anytime they want. The sleeping bag also utilizes a 650-fill-power down insulation. The latter is hydrophobic and free from chemicals. Moreover, it has RDS certification that guarantees the traceability of the down. 

Of course, the NEMO Disco 15 Sleeping Bag won't be an ideal backpacking sleeping bag if it isn't sturdy. With its 30-denier ripstop nylon shell, you can ensure that it withstand constant use and abuse. Furthermore, it comes with a durable water repellent treatment to shed away snow and moisture. Even its nylon taffeta lining also received the same kind of finish. This sleeping bag also includes the patented Thermo Gills that help in air circulation while preventing cold drafts. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Temperature rating - 14 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested lower limit - 14 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested comfort level - 25 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weight - 2 pounds
  • Shell - Ripstop nylon
  • Fill type - Down
  • Fill material - 650-fill-power down
  • Shape - Mummy 
  • Length - 72 inches
  • Shoulder width - 64 inches
  • Hip width - 59 inches

4. Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag 

PRODUCT LINK

Within the backpacking community, the Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag has established a solid rapport. It is a sleeping bag that can sustain the most three-season application. It can provide sufficient ventilation and insulation whenever you need them. Just like the NEMO and Mountain Hardwear sleeping bags, the Kelty Cosmic 20 uses down insulation. Specifically, it is a 550-fill-power duck down that received RDS certification. With its trapezoidal baffle construction, the bag is impervious to drafts. It has excellent heat retention, with an added perk that the down is quick drying. 

Meanwhile, the shell of the Kelty Cosmic is tailored from 20-denier nylon taffeta. It is durable enough to combat harsh external conditions. At the same time, it has a cozy degree of suppleness. With its 50-denier polyester taffeta lining, you'll feel more comfortable while you snug inside it. The shell also has a durable water repellent finish that effectively deflects moisture. You'll also love its zippered stash pocket where you can stow your small backpacking items. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Temperature rating - 21 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested lower limit - 21 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested comfort level - 32 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weight - 2 pounds
  • Shell - Nylon
  • Fill type - Down
  • Fill material - 550-fill-power duck down
  • Shape - Mummy 
  • Length - 72 inches
  • Shoulder width - 62.2 inches
  • Hip width - 57.9 inches

5. Marmot Trestles Elite Eco 20 Sleeping Bag

PRODUCT LINK

Needless to say, Marmot is an enduring outdoor brand. Its tents, for instance, are brimming with quality and functionality. Hence, I was not surprised that Marmot Trestles Elite Eco 20 is an often recommended sleeping bag. Like all of the sleeping bags here, this one can guarantee your comfort and warmth while using it. It works in three seasons and might even provide coziness during early winter. It features the HL-ElixR Eco Micro recycled synthetic insulation, which is a combination of three different fibers. As a result, it can provide supreme loft and warmth retention.

Moreover, the Trestles Elite Eco 20 flaunts a wave construction on its top. The latter enhances the warmth and feel that it can provide. Meanwhile, its bottom has a blanket-like design to elevate its users' comfort. The bag has ergonomic features, too. It is equipped with an anti-slag slider to prevent snagging and damage to the fabric. It also has a secondary zipper that adds ventilation to the picture. Meanwhile, the anatomic 3D footbox boosts the space and insulation for your feet. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Temperature rating - 21.6 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested lower limit - 21.6 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested comfort level - 32.2 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weight - 2 pounds
  • Shell - Recycled ripstop polyester
  • Fill type - Synthetic
  • Fill material - HL-ElixR Eco Micro recycled synthetic fibers
  • Shape - Mummy 
  • Length - 72 inches
  • Shoulder width - 60 inches
  • Hip width - 56 inches

6. NEMO Forte 20 Sleeping Bag

PRODUCT LINK

The NEMO Forte 20 Sleeping Bag is a backpacking haven designed for women. Interestingly, it is also made for side sleepers, so that's a deal that you should consider seriously. It has the patented Unique Spoon shape that offers more space on its knees and elbows so that side sleepers can adjust their positions as comfortably as possible. The insulation stuffed in this sleeping bag is tailored from post-consumer materials; in short, it is recycled. However, it still has superb thermal efficiency without giving the sleeping bag extra weight. In fact, it is so compressible that it is better than other sleeping bags that use down insulation. 

Since this is a NEMO sleeping bag, it also features the Thermo Gills for optimal ventilation. If the night is warm, you can open the "vents" to let air circulate inside the sleeping bag. The proprietary Blanket Fold external draft collar in this unit also provides temperature regulation and additional comfort. The footbox of the NEMO Forte 20 has a breathable and waterproof construction. It protects your feet from getting wet due to condensation.  

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Temperature rating - 20 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested lower limit - 10 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested comfort level - 20 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weight - 3 pounds
  • Shell - Ripstop polyester
  • Fill type - Synthetic
  • Fill material - PrimaLoft RISE synthetic fibers
  • Shape - Mummy 
  • Length - 66 inches
  • Shoulder width - 62 inches
  • Hip width - 58 inches

7. Marmot Ouray 0 Sleeping Bag

PRODUCT LINK

The Marmot Ouray 0 is definitely a beyond-satisfactory option for a backpacking sleeping bag. It features the use of duck down insulation, with the latter having a 650 fill power. It also includes a Down Defender so that it won't be susceptible to damages caused by the elements. Furthermore, the quality of its down fill is preserved by its rugged nylon shell. The said material is impervious to damages and offers water-repellent qualities to defend you from condensation. 

Since this bag is fitted for women, you can expect that it offers more room on its hip. Meanwhile, the space on its shoulders is decreased so that it can insulate you better. Its anatomic footbox wraps your feet nicely, which, in turn, enhances its heat retention and comfort provision. The multi-baffle hood of the Marmot Ouray closely conforms to your head. With its down-filled collar, you can have more warmth on your neck area. It has an accessible drawcord for hassle-free adjustment. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Temperature rating - 0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested lower limit - -12.3 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested comfort level - 3.2 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weight - 3 pounds
  • Shell - Ripstop nylon
  • Fill type - Down
  • Fill material - 650-fill-power duck down
  • Shape - Mummy 
  • Length - 66 inches
  • Shoulder width - 56 inches
  • Hip width - 56 inches

A Guide In Choosing The Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags

A backpacking sleeping bag is an essential gear for backpackers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts. But of course, I can't guarantee that all sleeping bags that you can see today are worthy of being taken in your next adventure. 

There are several things that you need to consider when choosing a sleeping bag, especially when you are going to use it on your weekend off-grid trips. I've simplified these considerations below. 

Temperature Rating

For most backpacking pursuits, warmth is something that you shouldn't ignore. Hence, you wouldn't want to get a sleeping bag that doesn't have enough insulation. Terms like "lower limit" and "comfort" are often laid out. But what do they mean?

The lower limit refers to the temperature where a typical warm sleeper can feel comfort. Meanwhile, the comfort rating is the temperature where a typical cold sleeper can feel comfort. These figures are crucial, but they aren't that absolute. After all, the aspect of comfort is something subjective. It can also be susceptible to various influences, such as the size of the sleeping bag and condensation. 

Hence, it is recommended that you pick a sleeping bag with a lower temperature rating than what you actually need. In this way, you'll have room for adjustment. 

Type Of Insulation

There are two types of insulation used on sleeping bags: down and synthetic. 

Down insulation is made from plumage and feathers from ducks and geese. But make sure that they have RDS certification to ensure that they have been taken ethically. Down excels when it comes to warmth retention and weight management. It is also packable because it is easy to compress. Durability-wise, down is also superior to synthetic. However, if they get wet, it's difficult for them to dry. At the same time, they lose their insulation. 

Synthetic insulation can perform even if it is wet. It is also affordable, which makes sleeping bags with synthetic fills cheaper than their counterparts. Because of this particular feature, synthetic sleeping bags are ideal for budget-conscious backpackers and casual outdoor goers. 

Packability

The packability of a sleeping bag is a crucial aspect that you have to take into account. Keep in mind that we are talking about backpacking here; the latter is about weight and bulk management. Essentially, you don't want something that is too heavy and bulky to carry. 

Here, down sleeping bags are appealing options. As I've said, they are compressible and don't weigh much. Synthetic sleeping bags, on the other hand, may cause you a problem in this particular department. But of course, there are selected options, such as the Marmot Trestles Elite Eco 20 and REI Co-op Trailbreak 20 Sleeping Bag, that address this problem properly. 

If you are searching for an ultralight option, expect that there will be compromises. Insulation will be reduced since the sleeping bag has been shredded with its down or synthetic fill.

Shell Durability

The durability of the sleeping bag's shell is important. It is the one that protects you and the insulation from the elements. Hence, you would want it to be as impervious to damages as possible. 

But how would you know if a particular shell is durable? Well, you can check its fabric's denier. Denier is the measurement for the thickness of the fabric. A higher number suggests that a piece of fabric is thicker, which, in a sense, is more durable. 

Furthermore, it would really help if the shell had a durable water repellent (DWR) finish. In this way, moisture can't bypass the shell. 

In Summary

The best backpacking sleeping bags provide the utmost comfort and protection to their users. If you are a backpacking enthusiast, you have to have a reliable sleeping bag in your arsenal. It is a necessary investment since you can't just entrust your convenience in your tent alone. Just remember to take into account the considerations that I've listed so that you can pick the most suitable sleeping bag for you. 

And since you are here, why not just check on the sleeping bags that I've listed? 

That's it for now. If you have inquiries, feel free to ask me in the comment section below!

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