November 30, 2021

7 Best Budget Backpacking Sleeping Bags

November 30, 2021

7 Best Budget Backpacking Sleeping Bags

The best budget backpacking sleeping bags suit every frugal backpacker. They are inexpensive but have the essential qualities that you need. They generate sufficient insulation and comfort. You'll feel cozy and undisturbed while tucked inside them. 

But of course, this suggests that not all affordable sleeping bags are the same. The reason I made this list is to guide backpackers in choosing not-so-expensive but high-quality sleeping bags. 

The selection below features some of the top-rated backpacking sleeping bags in the entry-level category. You should check each of them now. 

7 Best Budget Backpacking Sleeping Bags

 Temperature RatingInsulation
Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag 21 degrees FahrenheitDown
Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 0 Sleeping Bag 0 degrees FahrenheitDown
NEMO Disco 15 Sleeping Bag 17 degrees FahrenheitDown
REI Co-op Trailbreak 20 Sleeping Bag 20 degrees FahrenheitSynthetic
The North Face Eco Trail Synthetic 20 Sleeping Bag 20 degrees FahrenheitSynthetic
Marmot Trestles Elite Eco 20 Sleeping Bag 20.3 degrees FahrenheitSynthetic
Sea to Summit Spark SpI 40 Sleeping Bag 40 degrees FahrenheitDown

1. Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag 

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As a 3-season sleeping bag, it is fascinating that the Kelty Cosmic 20 can endure low temperatures. That's one reason why it is a good bag for low-temperature backpacking.

It has a trapezoidal baffle design that optimizes its thermal efficiency. It is paired with its 500-fill-power down that is thermally efficient and quick-drying at the same time. You'll also love the durability of its 20-denier nylon taffeta shell. It doesn't yield to the elements and remains incredibly soft. 

Meanwhile, the 50-denier polyester taffeta lining of the sleeping bag is superb. Its supple texture makes it extremely comfortable to the skin. The durable water repellent on its exterior ensures that the down won't get compromised. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Temperature rating - 21 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Lower limit - 21 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weight - 2.7 pounds (regular)
  • Shell material - Nylon
  • Lining material - Polyester
  • Insulation type - Down
  • Insulation rating - 550-fill-power
  • Shape - Mummy
  • Sizing - Men's 

2. Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 0 Sleeping Bag

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The Bishop Pass 0 is a popular sleeping bag for winter backpacking. The bag has a down with 650-fill-power construction. Hence, you can ensure that you can remain warm while snoozing inside it. Furthermore, it packs small, and you can carry it conveniently, thanks to its streamlined weight.

It is also delightful that it has an RDS certification. This means that it did not harm any animal in its manufacturing. 

With its patented Performance Plus Mummy architecture, sleepers will feel more warmth. It is tailored to fit closely to the body for better warmth provision. But at the same time, it still provides space for you to wiggle around. The exterior of the bag has a durable water repellent that sheds off stains and moisture. Its interior lining doesn't disappoint either. It is soft to the skin and odor-free. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Temperature rating - 0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Lower limit - 0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weight - 3.3 pounds (regular)
  • Shell material - Ripstop nylon
  • Lining material - Plain weave nylon
  • Insulation type - Down
  • Insulation rating - 650-fill-power
  • Shape - Mummy
  • Sizing - Men's 

3. NEMO Disco 15 Sleeping Bag

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If you are a side sleeper, you should check out the NEMO Disco 15 Sleeping Bag. It doesn't follow the conventional shape of sleeping bags. Specifically, it has a proprietary Classic Spoon design that excels incompressibility and roominess. Its knees and elbows have generous cuts so that you can shift positions conveniently. 

This sleeping bag has a 650-fill-power down. The latter is also hydrophobic and doesn't contain any chemicals. Moreover, it has RDS certification that proves that it has a humane quality. 

The 30-denier ripstop nylon shell of this sleeping bag has a durable water repellent finish. It is durable and can easily deflect moisture. On its interior is an ultra-comfortable nylon taffeta lining. The NEMO Disco 15 offers breathability to this bag. They vent your body heat while preventing the cold drafts from entering. There's also a full-length draft tube on the bag to enhance its thermal efficiency. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Temperature rating -17 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Lower limit - 5 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weight - 3.1 pounds (regular)
  • Shell material - Ripstop nylon
  • Lining material - Nylon taffeta
  • Insulation type - Down
  • Insulation rating - 650-fill-power
  • Shape - Semi-rectangular
  • Sizing - Women's 

4. REI Co-op Trailbreak 20 Sleeping Bag

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The REI Co-op Trailbreak 20 Sleeping Bag is the ideal choice if you want a balance in packability, weight, and warmth. Of course, it is an excellent sleeping bag for those who are thrifting their money. 

This one has a water-resistant synthetic fill. It can insulate well even amidst a watery environment. It also has a convenient mummy construction that preserves its thermal efficiency while being spacious. Furthermore, its 3-panel hood conforms to the shape of your head. Such a construction prevents cold drafts from entering. 

There's a full draft tube and face muffler on its architecture. They guarantee that the external temperatures won't breach inside the sleeping bag. Its offset quilt construction ensures that the synthetic fill is well-distributed. It doesn't have any cold spots!

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Temperature rating -18 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Lower limit - 20 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weight - 3.5 pounds (regular)
  • Shell material - Polyester
  • Lining material - Unspecified
  • Insulation type - Synthetic
  • Insulation rating - Not applicable
  • Shape - Mummy
  • Sizing - Men's

5. The North Face Eco-Trail Synthetic 20 Sleeping Bag

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You can remain cozy in the backcountry with The North Face Eco-Trail Synthetic. This gear flaunts its all-recycled construction, except for its zipper teeth.  Even the synthetic insulation is recycled, making it a sustainable, environmentally-friendly sleeping bag. 

Of course, the fact that it is recycled doesn't mean that the Eco-Trail is a shabby option for backpackers. For instance, its insulation remains efficient even if it is wet. Moreover, it has a wrap-around zipper that provides efficient venting and mobility. Meanwhile, the fitted draft collar and cinch hood allow a foolproof warmth seal. 

You'll also notice that it has an extended knee width. Such a design provides sleepers enough room to shift positions. There's also a vaulted foot box on this bag. It prevents your feet from being restricted. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Temperature rating - 20 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Lower limit - 18 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weight - 3.9 pounds (regular)
  • Shell material - Recycled polyester
  • Lining material - Recycled polyester
  • Insulation type - Synthetic
  • Insulation rating - Not applicable
  • Shape - Mummy
  • Sizing - Men's

6. Marmot Trestles Elite Eco 20 Sleeping Bag

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Similar to The North Face Eco-Trail Synthetic, the Marmot Trestles Elite Eco 20 Sleeping Bag features a recycled construction. It is a great feature for those who are seeking sustainability in their outdoor equipment. But at the same time, it didn't have any hints of grogginess in its performance. It is exceptionally durable and comfortable. 

Its HL-ElixR Eco Micro synthetic insulation is made from three various types of fiber. Such sophistication enabled more optimal loft and warmth for the sleeping bag. Specifically, it achieved such intricacy without compromising the item's compressibility and weight. 

This sleeping bag has a wave design on its upper portion for enhanced warmth and softness. On the other hand, its bottom part delivers continuous insulation. The anatomic 3D foot box of the Marmot Trestles Elite Eco is also a deal-sealer. It increases the wiggle room of your feet without leaving cold spots. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Temperature rating - 20.3 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Lower limit - 7.9 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weight - 2.7 pounds (regular)
  • Shell material - Recycled ripstop polyester
  • Lining material - Recycled ripstop polyester
  • Insulation type - Synthetic
  • Insulation rating - Not applicable
  • Shape - Mummy
  • Sizing - Women's

7. Sea to Summit Spark SpI 40 Sleeping Bag

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Last but not least is the Sea to Summit Spark SpI 40 Sleeping Bag. It features an ultralight construction for weight-conscious backpackers. This quality is pretty evident on its 10-denier outer shell and 7-denier lining. They are durable but still exhibit a significant reduction in weight and bulk. 

And just because it is an ultralight sleeping bag doesn't mean that it has inadequate insulation. After all, it is using premium, RDS-certified down. The latter exudes an astounding 850-fill-power so that you can remain warm in exceptionally cold conditions. This gear also flaunts its contoured mummy construction for enhanced thermal efficiency and comfort. Its down fill isn't susceptible to moving around, thanks to its vertical baffle design. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Temperature rating - 40 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Lower limit - 40 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weight - 12 ounces (regular)
  • Shell material - Nylon
  • Lining material - Nylon
  • Insulation type - Down
  • Insulation rating - 850-fill-power
  • Shape - Mummy
  • Sizing - Unisex

How To Choose The Best Budget Backpacking Sleeping Bag

Your budget is one of the crucial factors in choosing a sleeping bag. It sets the limits to your options, which, in turn, simplifies the selection process.

But of course, price is not the only thing that you should consider here. Sleeping bags have specific components that make them work. You need to check these parameters to ensure that the sleeping bag will work the way you want. 

Difference Of Backpacking And Camping Sleeping Bags

One should know that there's a separate class of sleeping bags for backpacking. You should not lump them with camping bags.

Specifically, the construction of these sleeping bags sets them apart from their counterparts. Here are their key features:

  • They have streamlined weight
  • You can pack them compactly
  • They provide more thermal efficiency

Because of these features, it is typical for these backpacking sleeping bags to get pricey. After all, they can provide sufficient warmth even without burdening you with their weight or bulk. Manufacturers used advanced materials and technologies to achieve such a feat.

Surely enough, not all of you can deal with steep costs. And that's pretty understandable. In fact, the reason why I made this guide is to show you all the available options for high-quality yet affordable sleeping bags for backpacking.

Temperature Rating of the Sleeping Bags

The temperature rating of sleeping bags defines the lowest possible temperature where their users can feel the warmth. 

If you are picking a sleeping bag, make sure that the one you choose should have a lower temperature rating than the expected temperature you are going to deal with. 

The lower the rating, the better. This is especially true when you are going to use the bag on cold weather expeditions. If the temperature suddenly rises, then you can just open the sleeping bag instead. 

Insulation Type

Sleeping bags use either of these two primary insulations: down and synthetic. Both of them have their perks and downsides. Knowing these things will let you decide which sleeping bag you should choose. 

Regardless of which one you choose, the way the insulation is embedded in the sleeping bag matters, as well. The insulation usually goes to the outer shell and liner of the gear. 

Down sleeping bags utilize baffled designs on their insulation. Meanwhile, synthetic sleeping bags usually have shingled or quilted construction. Each of these variations aims to distribute the insulation as equally as possible. 

  • Down insulation - Down insulation is more expensive than synthetic ones. The reason for this is because of its manageable weight and compressibility. Moreover, they are extremely durable. Hence, they can provide more consistency in their warmth provision.

Down insulation is rated by its fill power. Technically, the latter means the overall quality of the down. It indicates the overall warmth provision that the down can provide given its weight. Down sleeping bags that are light usually offer around 800-fill-power. A light sleeping bag that has a high fill power is expensive. 

You should also prefer responsible down. After all, this particular material is derived from materials. Hence, manufacturers should guarantee that geese and ducks receive humane treatment when sourcing down. The Traceable Down Standard and the Responsible Down Standard are among the specifications that you need to look for. 

  • Synthetic insulation - A synthetic sleeping bag performs well without being too expensive. It can insulate you even if the conditions are wet. In fact, they are the preferred choice of backpackers when they are dealing with damp surroundings. 

Most synthetics are polyester. They are durable and offer natural water resistance. 

However, keep in mind that synthetic sleeping bags are heavier than down bags. They aren't that compressible, either. They might not be ideal for backpacking expeditions or ultralight adventures. 

In Summary

Sleeping bags are essential for every backpacker. It ensures comfort and warmth while you are in the bosom of Mother Nature. Therefore, it should be a part of your backpacking checklist, especially if you are going on multi-day trips. 

If your pocket is tight, you should go with the best budget backpacking sleeping bags instead. They can provide you with a wonderful sleeping experience in the outdoors without breaking the bank!

The list in this post showcases your top options for these affordable sleeping bags. Better start your search with them!

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

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