Sleeping bags are essential components to any camping trip, whether you are backpacking, camping, hunting or fishing. Maybe this is the first sleeping bag you purchase, maybe you’re looking to upgrade. The same criteria applies to everyone.
A sleeping bag must be compact, lightweight, durable, waterproof and comfortable. These standard checkpoints apply regardless of your level of outdoor experience, how often you get to use it or where you will be using it.
Lovers of the great outdoors come in all shapes and sizes, just like the compact sleeping bags we have reviewed for you. But certain factors are common, you all need protection from the elements, you all want the best deal and the best quality bag.
And you want something that is designed to last, will keep you dry, comfortable and warm. And you want your sleeping bag to be easy to roll up, compact and light. We all know how much space and weight other camping/fishing/hunting gear take up.
Time is always of the essence. You want to buy a new bag and we want to help. Our reviews are thorough, unbiased and practical. We research all aspects of our products, from the brands that make them, to the sportsmen and women that endorse them, to the cost, quality, and special features they have.
Most bags will comply with certain standards but a great bag will stand out from others. It will have unique features and aspects that cater to specific needs.
We don’t waste time reviewing inferior products. This is not a watchdog site. It is purely designed to take the hassle away from the consumer by delivering concise, relevant specs on good products. We highlight unique or new design features. Relevant if you want to upgrade and informative if camping is a new hobby for you and your family.
This is the section where we brief you on common, sleeping bag jargon so you can get through the review faster and with a better understanding on the features and terms used by camping gear specialists (and sales people).
If you know what you are looking for skip to the review. But for novice campers or first time buyer’s this section will clarify and simplify your search even further.
When it comes to sleeping bags you want the 3 C’s. Comfort, Compact and Convenience
Comfort: This is related to the temperature range of the bag. Some bags are designed for 3 seasons, others only for warmer climates (summer). And then you get the extreme bags for snow conditions. Or sub-zero temperatures.
So while you might think comfort refers to how “comfy” the bag is, it is in fact to do with how warm you will be, and what the limits are with regard to actual temperature.
A general guideline is to look for a versatile temperature range between 20°F/40°F. If you know for certain you will only be camping in warm, summer conditions, there are bags designed for summer. Most bags will cover 3 out of 4 seasons. Very cheap sleeping bags from no-name brand manufacturers may only be suited for warm climates and may not be waterproof. So always check for this.
You also want a bag that doesn’t leave you lying in a puddle of condensation so comfort is also about good ventilation, and goes back to temperature. This time not the outside temperature, but the temperature inside your sack!
Temperature control. Some designs have zippers that allow you to open the bottom and let your feet hang out. So if you start overheating, this is a great way to ventilate, some bags have webbing for ventilation,
Draft Tubes: These are added tubes, stitched on the inside of bag that run from top to bottom, in line with the zipper. The purpose is to stop wind and cold air from entering through the zipper section of your sack. So zippers lined with draft tubes are good extras to look for.
Compact: Compact, lightweight gear reduces weight and increases space. A good hike or trip will be one where you pack light and take up the least space.
So between your tent, your sleeping bag, clothes and food you need to find ways to reduce your load. The less space your gear takes the more space you have for other essentials like headlamps, cameras, cooking utensils, hunting and fishing gear. For kayaking enthusiasts, space is even more precious.
Compression Sacks: A good bag will come with a compression sack, a stuff sack and get made from lightweight materials that offer warmth and dry fast. Compression sacks usually have 2 to 4 straps that can further compress your sleeping bag, to reduce size.
Convenience: You need a bag that is going to make your outdoor experience a pleasure. You want a good night’s sleep. Your bag should be warm, weatherproof against wind and rain, and comfortable. This means the design will be a big consideration.
Durable: The word durable, in the context of sleeping bags, implies that the stitching is strong, it will wash well and will be made from materials that can endure the elements. The elements being, wind, rain, heat and cold.
Design Concepts: Sleeping bags need to be functional, practical and user-friendly. Extra features include;
Envelope Design: Some bags will be straight “envelope” design, which is practical for turning into a double blanket or zipping up with another bag, of the same size and using as a double sleeper.
Mummy Design: A more recent design is a “mummy” bag. Which, as the name suggests resembles a tomb-shaped sarcophagus. These bags have many advantages but cannot zip out into doubles.
They do however lend themselves to being compact and made from high grade materials, as most mummy bags are sold by specialized camping gear outlets and brand names.
The only downside is perhaps they are costlier than the traditional shaped bags.
Extra straps sewn onto inner of bag will stop you from sliding all over.
Interior pouches to store torches, cell phones or other valuables are very handy.
Size/Dimensions: Having a bag that can be reduced to the smallest carry size possible is convenient, but more important than this aspect is that the actual bag is long and wide enough for the user to fit into comfortably. One of the most common complaints from customers is that they purchase a bag online and when it arrives they find it is not as spacious as they were led to believe.
Fortunately all the bags we have reviewed carry a good return policy and/or money back guarantees.
Materials: The most convenient bags will be made from superior materials that will last, be shrink and mildew resistant (nylon and polyester) and be machine washable. The outer shell should be water resistant, coated with something or made from Ripstop nylon, so it can’t tear if punctured.
The lining should be doubled and the lining should be from silk-like cotton and lined with polyester filler. Polyester is lightweight and is also hypoallergenic, Many salespeople will use the term “skin-friendly”.
Common Materials: These include 350T Nylon, 210T Polyester, 350T Polyester. The T denotes how light 9 km of that fabric will weigh. So 210T polyester will weigh 210g per 9km of thread.
Warranties: Most reputable dealers will offer a money back guarantee, a 100% risk-free, satisfaction guaranteed option or a limited lifetime warranty. While this always sounds good, they will come with terms and conditions. So if there really is a manufacturing problem or a blatant deviation from what was advertised, these guarantees are usually honored, without a hitch.
10” (inches) = 25.4 cm
3.28 ft = 1 m
10°C = 50°F
1 oz (ounce) = 28.349 g (grams)
Right, now that we are all on the same page with what to look for in a good “sleep sack”, let’s compare the 10 Best Compact Sleeping Bags for 2018.
Teton Sports specialize in manufacturing high quality, camping gear. Their sleeping bag range caters for all sizes and all conditions. Teton manufactures and sells to retailers, as well as selling under their own name.
The company is reputable, transparent and traceable. They have created a platform where all parties from factory to floor, are aware of the other.
Their guarantee on returns and defective parts is to replace rather than return, for customer convenience.
Teton have many styles, sizes and comfort ranges to choose from. This review is focusing on lightweight, compact bags though and the bigger styles are much heavier. For example, the Teton Sports Mammoth has a pack size of 16.5lbs, compare that to the Trailhead, at at roughly 2.6lbs!
Comfort Rating: 35°F/50°F Limit – 20°F (extreme)
Dimensions: 7.3” long, 2.8” width top, 1.1” width bottom / 87cmx32cmx22cm
Pack Size:14.5”x6.5” / 37cmx17cm
Weight: 2.4-2.9lbs / 1.4kg
Shell:75D Diamond Ripstop (2mm), water resistant
Liner: Brushed Poly flannel, P5 high count lining for extra insulation
Filler: Polar-like insulation
Colors: Comes in 2 colors: two tone – gray/green or gray/orange
Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty
Possible Drawbacks: May be a bit pricey for casual campers, that will only use sleeping bags in warm climates.
ABCO Tech is a design company that has a wide product range that includes outdoor, sport and lifestyle accessories. Their camping gear is above average in both design and quality. The price is affordable.
It may be too narrow for big guys, so double check the dimensions. It is advertised for boys though, so in all fairness, they are not selling it as a one size fits all bag. It is affordable and the envelope design means it can be zipped together as a double which takes care of the size issue if you are a hulk of a man. Ideal for women, teens and children.
The best feature of this bag is that it can take very cold weather and has a drawstring hood, which makes it even more equipped to insulate warmth in cold, windy conditions.
Comfort Rating: 20°F
Dimensions: 86.6”x29.5” or 220 cm x 75 cm
Pack Size: 46.6cm x 22.9cm / 16”x9” - compressed size is 13”x7”x8”
Weight: 1.9kg / 4.2lbs
Shell: 210T Polyester
Warranty: 100% Risk Free Guarantee
Possible Drawbacks: Due to design it can unzip to double as blanket but cannot zip onto another bag to create 2 man sleeping bag.
Active Era is a global brand with its head office based in London and warehouses across Europe, North America and the UK. Their camping gear range is a simple one, consisting of tents, mattresses, sleeping bags and, for some reason, scales.. But that small random fact aside, their bags compress down.
A relative newcomer to the camping goods arena, they launched in 2016 and have almost reached sales of 3 million products already
Comfort Rating: 15°F/50°F – 3 out of 4 seasons.
Dimensions: 220 cm x 80cm x55 cm / 87” x 31” x 22” Because this is a mummy design the top will be wider than the vaulted box below, hence the l x w x b measurements.
Pack Size: 14.5” x 8” x 8”
Weight: 1.5kg / 53 oz
Outer shell: 190T Polyester, water resistant, treated with a water repellent layer,
Inner: 300 GSM filling. Dries fast, machine washable, lightweight
Warranty: 100% Money Back Guarantee
Possible Drawbacks: Strictly a one man bag due to mummy design. Other than that this bag is designed for compact packing and sleeping. Perfect for small spaces.
This is the best choice for a lightweight, compact, summer bag. It is very affordable. Overall quality, in terms of stitching, compression bag and zipper, all above average.
Comfort Rating: 48°F/59°F
Dimensions: 83” x 30”
Pack Size: 7.5” x 11.4”
Shell: Nylon, no stitching, only a smooth outer. Good design.
Inner: 100% polyester, lightweight, breathable.
Lining: TC cotton
Warranty: 1 Year warranty
Possible Drawbacks: May not fit extra large people. Quite thin, definitely a summer bag.
CAMTOA supplies a small range of outdoor accessories, including sleeping bags. Their bags are well made and come with a compression sack. They come in 5 colors but only one size. This sleeping bag rates high on being waterproof and comfortable to sleep in.
It may be too narrow for very wide guys but thanks to the envelope design, 2 bags can be zipped together. They are very light and compact (less than 700g) so this is the compromise.
With most brands though, you will find the larger sizes weigh more and often don’t come with compression sacks.
Comfort Rating: 20°C/15°C Limit – 8°C
Dimensions: 1.9 m x 0.75 m / 6.23”x2.46”
Pack Size: 11.4” x 4.7” / 29 cm x 12 cm
Liner: Silk-like cotton (TC cotton) and spinning cotton
Shell: Water resistant, breathable, crease resistant fabric, 320D Nylon
Colors: 5 colors: Army Green, Blue, Deep Blue, Orange and Red
Warranty: 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
Possible Drawbacks: May not be suited to very large adults and does not come in range of sizes. May need an extra liner bag in cold weather.
Winner Outfitters is another reputable, manufacturing brand that has moved away from supplying large brands and chains and now focuses on delivering good customer service and affordable quality gear direct through Amazon.
They focus on camping gear but because of the material they use they also have a sideline range of grill covers, dog seat covers and grow bags. But they are primarily manufacturers of camping gear, so their products are specialized for this niche.
What I like about the company ethos is that there is an emphasis on promoting ways to be environmentally conscious when spending time in the wild.
Comfort Rating: 35°F/40°F Limit 20°F
Pack Size: 8”x14” (old model – 7”x13.5”)
Shell: 350T Polyester with coating, ripstop, soft, waterproof
Liner: 350T Polyester
Filler: Hollow fiber, 200g/m², non-allergenic, better insulation
Colors: 4 colors available: Orange/dark sepia, Royal blue/sky blue, Olive green khaki, Navy blue/dark blue
Warranty: 1 year 100% risk free, with 5 year limited warranty guarantee
Possible Drawbacks: The zipper tends to snag, but if one zips up slightly slower, problem is alleviated. In all other aspects it is a well-designed, strong weather durable bag.
These sleeping bags work well in warm weather. They are affordable, machine washable and lightweight. Once compressed they are perfect, compact bags for casual, warm weather camping trips.
Comfort Rating: 59°F/77°F (15°C/20°C)
Dimensions: 75” x 30”
Uncompressed – 10.4” x 4.9”
Compressed – 6.9” x 4.9”
Materials: Machine washable.
Shell: 400T Nylon, water resistant fabric.
Inner: TC cotton, breathable
Cover: Polyester pongee
Warranty: 100% Satisfaction guarantee. Lifetime warranty.
Possible Drawbacks: Size may not work for wide individuals.
Although ieGeek is not a camping gear specialist, this bag exceeds expectation because most larger size bags either don’t compress down or weigh too much. This bag is both compact and light. Suited for warm weather only. Comes in two sizes. And it is very affordable.
Comfort Rating: 20°F/15°F
12.2”x5.1” 290mm, compresses to 195cm. Average size water bottle is 225mm high.
Weight: 1.92lb (870g)
Lining: TC cotton (silk-like)
Shell: 380T Nylon, waterproof, machine washable
Warranty: Does not offer a money-back guarantee outright. May prove tedious trying to claim back on faults.
Possible Drawbacks: No advertised return policy, although they do provide links. Only suited to warm climates.
Like quite a few of the sleeping bags featured in this review, the OutdoorslabMan brand developed from a need to bring cost-effective, quality camping gear to the public by changing the way they market.
In the past many camping gear manufacturers would supply large brands and chains. They came to realize the market was becoming saturated, either by poor quality brands or overpriced good quality gear.
So they changed their strategy and instead of their products getting lost amongst many other inferior or overpriced goods, the customer can buy online from reputable brands that specialize in outdoor camping and sporting goods.
OutdoorslabMan focus on gear that is well-designed, durable, within everyone’s price range and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Comfort Rating: 47°F/38°F. Note: Add an extra fleece for another 10-15 degrees of extra comfort (warmth).
Dimensions: OutdoorslabMan sleeping bags come in two sizes.
Regular: 15”x6.5” - can be further compressed to save further space but only with regular size. Comes with extra compression sack.
XL: 16”x7” (no compression sack)
Weight: 3lb (regular)
Shell – Water resistant, 210T Polyester
Liner – Soft, quick drying
Colors: 2 colors: Dark Blue and Sky Blue.
Warranty: Lifetime warranty, with no registration needed. Other terms may apply.
Possible Drawbacks: Some users have reported poor stitching and snagging zippers but fortunately this company provides good efficient customer service and valid issues will be dealt with professionally.
Thermal, survival sleeping bag. Reflects 90% of body heat back onto you.
This product has been reviewed along with the sleeping bags due to its extremely small pack size. But it is essentially not a sleeping bag. It is, however, an essential item for hikers. It acts as an emergency sleeping bag.
It is so small it can fit into the palm of a hand.
If lost, trapped or injured, this will be the item that may save your life. You will keep warm until rescued and the reflective inner can boost heat but also act as a reflector to draw attention. The bright orange outer acts the same way.
Some bivvies double as emergency tents, this one does not. It is better than a space blanket though. And while it could be used as a liner, I don’t suggest it as condensation will form and you will be left wet, and then cold.
Comfort Rating: N/A
Dimensions: 7’ x 3’ (feet)
Pack Size: Fits into the palm of a hand. 4” x 2.5”
Materials: HeatEcho (trademarked) reflective Polyester film
Warranty: 6 month “Any Reason” guarantee.
Possible Drawbacks: Cannot substitute for a sleeping bag except in emergency.
We hope this review has given enough choice on ten affordable, quality bags. Remember to choose according to your size. All the bags are compact and light so the main criteria is whether you need a bag for summer, winter, spring or fall. All the brands offer some type of warranty. It pays to go with a reputable brand, most times the quality will mean you won’t need to use the warranty, as it is always a hassle returning goods, even if service is good.
Hope your outdoor adventures keep you all active, happy and healthy!