Best Budget Sleeping Bags – Reviews and Guide 2020

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Last Update: 04.Apr.2020

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Marmot Trestles 30

The Marmot Trestles 30 Synthetic Sleeping Bag is a staple for summer surf trips, shoulder season backpacking trips, and overnight forays into the mountains. It's light and compact enough for taking out on the trail, yet still comfy enough for casual car camping adventures, and it comes at a price that won't destroy your summer wandering budget. The Trestles' synthetic Spirafil insulation and wave construction provide protection from mild temps, and it retains loft even if it gets slightly wet. Whether you're traveling by foot for a week or escaping the city for a night, sleep in comfort with the Trestles 30.
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Marmot NanoWave

he Marmot NanoWave 50 Degree Synthetic Semi Rec Sleeping Bag is compact, weather-resistant, and lightweight, making it the perfect companion for rafting, bikepacking, or summer backpacking. The bag's Spirafil insulation is lofty and compressible to keep weight and space to a minimum, and it's capable of retaining insulating properties if it happens to get wet during your travels. A full-length zipper lets you sleep with one (or two) legs out during hot summer nights, and the snagless draft tube helps keep things toasty if you encounter chillier weather.

by Willie Test

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Last Update: 04.Apr.2020

Let’s be honest: While we all love getting outside and enjoying the mountains, we don’t all have the funds we need to splash out on fancy gear. But, camping on a budget is tricky, to say the least, as it can be hard to find quality backpacking gear at a reasonable price.

Especially when it comes to big-ticket items like a sleeping bag, it might seem like you don’t have a lot of good options in the budget gear department. Thankfully, there are quite a few great budget sleeping bags out there and we’re here to help you find the one that’s right for your camping needs. Up next, we have your guide to the best budget sleeping bags out there, as well as our top tips for choosing the right model.

Marmot Trestles 30

A lighter-weight choice for 3-season backpacking and trekking, the Marmot Trestles 30 sleeping bag is a reliable, all-purpose synthetic bag that insulates even in cool, damp conditions.
The Marmot Trestles 30 Synthetic Sleeping Bag is a staple for summer surf trips, shoulder season backpacking trips, and overnight forays into the mountains. It's light and compact enough for taking out on the trail, yet still comfy enough for casual car camping adventures, and it comes at a price that won't destroy your summer wandering budget. The Trestles' synthetic Spirafil insulation and wave construction provide protection from mild temps, and it retains loft even if it gets slightly wet. Whether you're traveling by foot for a week or escaping the city for a night, sleep in comfort with the Trestles 30.
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  • Technical specs

Best Use

Camping/Backpacking

Weight

Long - Left Zip: 3 lbs. 5.2 oz., Long Wide - Left Zip: 3 lbs. 9.2 oz., Regular - Left Zip: 3 lbs. 1 oz.

Shell

Polyester

Zipper Location

Left

Insulation Type

Synthetic

Fill

SpiraFil LT polyester fibers

Fill Weight

Long - Left Zip: 33.8 ounces, Long Wide - Left Zip: 36 ounces, Regular - Left Zip: 30 ounces

Lining

Polyester

Sleeping Bag Shape

Mummy

Tested Lower Limit

26.2 degrees (F) - EN

Tested Comfort

36.1 degrees (F) - EN

Pros

3D footbox increases the insulation and room for your feet

Lots of insulation

Durable construction

Cons

Really heavy

heavy stuff sack

Marmot NanoWave

Great for bike touring, overnight kayak trips and lowland camping in warmer climates, the compact Marmot NanoWave 45 sleeping bag will have you well-rested for the adventure that tomorrow brings.
he Marmot NanoWave 50 Degree Synthetic Semi Rec Sleeping Bag is compact, weather-resistant, and lightweight, making it the perfect companion for rafting, bikepacking, or summer backpacking. The bag's Spirafil insulation is lofty and compressible to keep weight and space to a minimum, and it's capable of retaining insulating properties if it happens to get wet during your travels. A full-length zipper lets you sleep with one (or two) legs out during hot summer nights, and the snagless draft tube helps keep things toasty if you encounter chillier weather.
Go to Amazon Shop
  • Technical specs

Best Use

Camping/Backpacking

Weight

Long - Left Zip: 2 lbs., Regular - Left Zip: 1 lb. 13 oz.

Shell

Polyester taffeta

Zipper Location

Left

Insulation Type

Synthetic

Fill

Polyester fibers

Fill Weight

Long - Left Zip: 16 ounces, Regular - Left Zip: 14 ounces

Lining

Polyester taffeta

Sleeping Bag Shape

Rectangular

Stuff Sack Size

6 x 11 inches

Stuff Sack Volume

5 liters

Compressed Volume

Unavailable

Gender

Unisex

Pros

Lightweight

Compact

Comfortable

Inexpensive

Cons

Not seen

Coleman North Rim Adult Mummy

The Coleman North Rim Adult Mummy Sleeping Bag keeps you warm while you sleep--even in temperatures as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit
It’s designed to keep you warm from top to bottom. The drawstring-adjustable hood surrounds your head to keep you warm. A special quilting construction eliminates potential cold spots. The full-length draft tube blocks heat loss through the zipper, and a box-shaped foot gives you extra room to move your feet. When you’re done, it’s easy to put it away in the stuff sack. The North Rim™ Adult Mummy Sleeping Bag fits heights up to 6 ft. 2 in. and is machine washable.
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  • Technical specs

Best Use

Camping/Hiking

Size

Regular

Minimum Temperature

24 Degrees Fahrenheit

Gender

Unisex

Shape

Mummy

Capacity

1

Material

Polyester

Assembled Product Dimensions

82 x 32 x 4 Inches

Weight

7.15 lbs

Pros

Polyester ripstop cover and polyester lining

Quilting construction eliminates potential cold spots

Inexpensive

Easy storage

Cons

Not good weight for hiking

Benefits of using budget sleeping bags

The main benefit of an inexpensive sleeping bag is that, well, it’s affordable. While most other camping sleeping sets on the market today will cost you a pretty penny, the budget options make it easy to get the gear you need without breaking the bank.

Generally speaking, budget models aren’t too terribly different from their more expensive cousins, but they do often use heavier and bulkier materials. This means they’re not going to be as great for a light and fast alpine trip, but that they’ll do the trick for a short backpacking or car camping adventure.

Will a budget backpacking sleeping bag suffice?

Whether or not a cheap backpacking sleeping bag will be enough for your trip depends on the types of adventures you like to do. If you head out into the mountains for alpine climbing, you’ll probably find that a budget model will be too big and heavy for your needs.

Additionally, if you’re looking for something warm enough for the winter months, you’re probably going to need to spend a bit more to get a proper winter sleeping bag. However, if you simply need a warm place to tuck into at night an inexpensive sleeping bag is great for car camping and short summer backpacking trips.

Type of insulation

Modern sleeping bags come with two main types of insulation: down and synthetic. Here are the pros and cons of each type:

Down

Down insulation is made from the down feathers of ducks or geese (generally geese). It has a fantastic warmth-to-weight ratio, which means that even a small amount of down can keep you really warm. It’s also incredibly compact and compressible so a big, lofty down bag can easily compress into a small size.

However, down doesn’t work very well when wet and can actually make you colder. While there are some “water-resistant” down products out there, they won’t work if the bag is completely soaked. Oh, and down is generally much more expensive than its synthetic counterpart.

Synthetic

Synthetic insulation is generally made from thin polyester fibers. These fibers are made to act like down and trap heat to keep you warm. Where synthetic insulation really shines is in wet environments, because unlike down, synthetic can keep you warm when wet.

However, while synthetic insulation is the cheaper option, it is generally bulkier and heavier than down. So if weight and packability are important to you, you may have to spend a bit more and opt for down instead.

What to look for when buying a budget sleeping bag

Looking for the best affordable sleeping bag is no easy feat. But, there are a few things you should keep in mind when you’re shopping around.

  • Weight. Weight is a factor in nearly every piece of hiking or camping gear and sleeping bags are no exception. Generally speaking, most budget models will be made from synthetic insulation, so it’s quite hard to find a cheap ultralight sleeping bag.
  • However, you can certainly find some sleeping kit options that are more lightweight. Generally, these weight savings come from using a thinner fabric for the bag’s outer shell. Do keep in mind, though, that thinner fabrics tend to be less durable over time.
  • Comfort. Comfort is key with any piece of sleeping gear. When shopping for the best budget sleeping bag, it’s good to look for one that you’ll be comfortable in at night. Often, bags with more shoulder and hip room tend to be more comfortable because they allow people to toss and turn at night.
  • Packed Size. The packed size of a sleeping bag is important if you plan to go on any backpacking trips in the future. Since space is limited in a backpack, you don’t want to get a massive sleeping kit that takes up too much room. That being said, synthetic models tend to be bulkier than their down alternatives, so compact bags are often hard to come by on a budget.
  • Temperature Rating. Every sleeping bag worth its salt will come with a temperature rating, which tells you the lowest temperature that the bag is effective in. If you use a bag at the temperature listed on its temperature rating, you probably won’t be comfortable at night, but you will likely make to the next morning. Thus, it’s best to get a sleeping set that’s rated to about 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit than you actually need. Do keep in mind, though, that the best cheap sleeping bags for backpacking generally don’t come in anything less than 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Versatility. Most affordable sleeping bags are meant for summer use only, so you’re unlikely to find a four-season model in the budget department. However, since most of them are synthetic, they can be used in a variety of environments, which is fantastic news for people who don’t want to buy multiple bags.
  • Features. Even though they’re affordable, most of the best cheap sleeping bags will come with some sort of features. Many of them will have “stash pockets” for storing small pieces of gear while you sleep. Others will have cinch-able hoods to keep your head warm and some even have second zippers to help you ventilate the bag on warmer nights.

Our recommendation

Here are our recommendations for the best deals on sleeping bags:

Best budget camping sleeping bag

The Big Agnes Husted 20 is a modern take on a classic sleeping bag design. Made with a traditional mummy shape, the Husted 20 is great for summer camping trips but is also light enough to take backpacking on shorter trips. Oh, and it’s incredibly affordable, so what’s not to love?

Best budget backpacking sleeping bag

Innovative, yet functional, the Nemo Kyan 35 is a great synthetic bag for backpacking on a budget. Although it’s at the higher end of the budget price spectrum, it’s high-end Primaloft insulation is incredibly warm, yet light and compact for everyday use in the mountains. Plus, it has a cinch-able hood for cold nights and two large vents for hot summer camping trips.

Best budget 3 season sleeping bag

The only down sleeping bag in our review, the Kelty Cosmic 20 is one of the most affordable lightweight options out there. It’s made with 600 fill DriDown that can keep you warm even when wet, while it’s soft-as-silk nylon taffeta fabric keeps you cozy and comfortable throughout the night.

Best budget cold weather sleeping bag

Made with 30D ripstop nylon shell fabric with a water-repellent finish, the versatile Mountain Hardwear Lamina 15 is ready for any four-season adventure. This bag uses 100% polyester synthetic insulation in Mountain Hardwear’s proprietary Lamina welded construction to help get rid of those annoying cold spots for chilly winter evenings. At just 3lb 1oz, it’s also one of the lightest synthetic winter bags on the market today.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, you don’t necessarily need to spend a whole lot of money to get good camping gear. In fact, there are some great budget sleeping bags out there that are just waiting to be discovered!

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