Best Sleeping Bags For Backpacking – Reviews and Guide 2020

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Last Update: 07.Jul.2020

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Therm-a-Rest Hyperion 32 Down Sleeping Bag

The Therm-a-Rest Hyperion 32 is an objectively awesome bag. Its performance, however, is subjectively harmed by the high expectations of its marketing hype. Although it proved to be as light and packable as advertised, in our tests its 9.2 ounces of 900 FP down weren't enough to fulfill its 32° temperature rating. In fact, our reviewers got chilled enough that we can't recommend for full 3-season use. We also aren't fans of the uncomfortably narrow dimensions that are needed to achieve its head-turning low weight. Despite our disappointment, though, the Hyperion is a great bag for summer or ultralight applications.
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Sea to Summit Flame FmIV 15 Sleeping Bag - Women's

The Flame™ Ultralight Women's Sleeping Bag Series spans everything from an ultralight down-filled liner to a mid-winter fast-and-light sleeping bag. Each model uses premium materials and no-frills design to provide cutting-edge performance for the designed end-use. The women’s specific mummy fit is narrower at the shoulder and wider at the hip, and features extra down compared to the unisex Spark models.

by Willie Test

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Last Update: 07.Jul.2020

You can only have a successful camping experience if your body is well-rested. Proper sleep makes the body fit and ready for the next day trail’s thrilling experience.

Are you tired of tossing and turning the whole night during outdoor trips? After all, it’s not an easy task to spend the whole night shivering from cold and waiting for sunrise.

If you seriously want to resolve this issue, this post can be useful for you. Here, we are going to discuss a few best sleeping bags for backpacking.

How can you choose the best one? Our buying guide and other related sections will make things easier for you.

Luckily, many new techniques have made sleeping sacks suitable for various environmental conditions. So, let’s not delay and move right toward our backpacking sleeping bags.

Therm-a-Rest Hyperion 32 Down Sleeping Bag

Designed for backcountry pursuits, the Therm-a-Rest Hyperion 32 down sleeping bag helps keep your pack featherweight without sacrificing an ounce of performance.
The Therm-a-Rest Hyperion 32 is an objectively awesome bag. Its performance, however, is subjectively harmed by the high expectations of its marketing hype. Although it proved to be as light and packable as advertised, in our tests its 9.2 ounces of 900 FP down weren't enough to fulfill its 32° temperature rating. In fact, our reviewers got chilled enough that we can't recommend for full 3-season use. We also aren't fans of the uncomfortably narrow dimensions that are needed to achieve its head-turning low weight. Despite our disappointment, though, the Hyperion is a great bag for summer or ultralight applications.
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  • Technical specs

Best Use

Backpacking

Tested Lower Limit

32 degrees (F) - ISO

Tested Comfort

41 degrees (F) - ISO

Temperature Rating (F)

32 degrees (F)

Temperature Rating (C)

0 degrees (C)

Weight

Small: 15 oz.

Ultralight

Yes

Shell

Ripstop nylon

Zipper Location

Left

Insulation Type

Down

Water-Resistant Down

Yes

Fill

900-fill-power Nikwax Hydrophobic goose down

Fill Weight

Small: 8 ounces

Lining

Ripstop nylon

Sleeping Bag Shape

Mummy

Fits Up To (in.)

Small: 66 inches

Shoulder Girth (in.)

Small: 55 inches

Hip Girth (in.)

Small: 1 ls. 2 oz. inches

Stuff Sack Size

5.5 x 6 inches

Stuff Sack Volume

3 liters

Compressed Volume

2.8 liters

Gender

Unisex

Sustainability

Down certified to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS)

Pros

Incredibly lightweight

Packs really small

Removable sleeping pad attachment system

Comes with a great compression sack

Cons

Expensive

Colder than its temp rating

Narrow footbox

Sea to Summit Flame FmIV 15 Sleeping Bag - Women's

An expedition-weight, mid-winter bag, the women's Sea to Summit Flame FmIV 15 sleeping bag keeps you warm, helping you match weather conditions without having to carry a heavy load in your pack.
The Flame™ Ultralight Women's Sleeping Bag Series spans everything from an ultralight down-filled liner to a mid-winter fast-and-light sleeping bag. Each model uses premium materials and no-frills design to provide cutting-edge performance for the designed end-use. The women’s specific mummy fit is narrower at the shoulder and wider at the hip, and features extra down compared to the unisex Spark models.
Go To Amazon shop
  • Technical specs

Best Use

Backpacking

Tested Lower Limit

1 degrees (F) - EN

Tested Comfort

15 degrees (F) - EN

Temperature Rating (F)

15 degrees (F)

Temperature Rating (C)

-10 degrees (C)

Weight

Long: 2 lbs. 2 oz.

Regular: 1 lb. 15 oz.

Shell

10-denier nylon

Zipper Location

Right

Insulation Type

Down

Water-Resistant Down

Yes

Fill

850+ UltraDry Down

Fill Weight

Long: 1 lb. 9 oz.

Regular: 1 lb. 7 oz.

Lining

7-denier nylon

Sleeping Bag Shape

Mummy

Fits Up To (in.)

Long: 70 inches

Regular: 67 inches

Shoulder Girth (in.)

Long: 61 inches

Regular: 59 inches

Stuff Sack Size

Unavailable

Stuff Sack Volume

10 liters

Compressed Volume

Long: 7.9 liters

Regular: 7.1 liters

Gender

Women's

Sustainability

Down certified to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS)

Pros

High-quality down

Warm and lofty

A top tier product

Cons

Very expensive

Coleman 0°F Mummy bag

Coleman 0°F Mummy bag

Coleman’s North Rim Extreme Weather Sleeping Bag is a zero degree rated sleeping bag for the beginner to experienced camping enthusiast. It has a polyester construction to resist tears and water.
This 0°F Mummy sleeping bedroll by Coleman is going to be your great companion in colder regions. It is an adult bag that is perfectly suitable for big and tall people. If you are a person with up to 6'2" height, this bedroll is going to accommodate you smoothly. It is constructed in a way to provide warmth and comfort in the temperature ranges as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit. To ensure all-around warmth, it contains a semi-sculpted hood. You can tighten it up using the drawstring to seal the heat inside. This bag even has a feature to provide extra ventilation when the temperature goes a bit high. You can unzip the bottom to allow temperature regulation. The insulation foot box, Thermolock draft tube, and quilting construction all help with retaining heat and warmth. It also comes with a sack for storage. It also makes handling it easier with its ZipPlow system. It keeps the fabric away and averts snagging while zipping.
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  • Technical specs

Temperature

30-50°F

Size

33" x 75"

Shape

Rectangle

Machine Washable

Yes

Features & Benefits

Roll Control, ZipPlow, Quick Cord, Comfort Cuff, Thermolock

Pros

Users have stated the added quilted padding and extra foot space have made for a comfortable night’s sleep in the North Rim Extreme Weather Sleeping Bag. Though some have complained the fit is too tight, with a mummy style bag you will be closed in more than a standard square style bag.

The rip stop nylon shell and full polyester construction prove to be quite rugged and water resistant in the outdoor environment. Many users comment the bag was well made and held up to the riggers they put it through.

The draft curtain feature between the shoulder and head region aids in keeping you warm and provides an extra bit of padding for your head.

Cons

Does not easily stuff into compression sack. The bulkiness and extra weight, about 5 pounds, does not make this an ideal sleeping bag to strap on your back for long backpacking trips. Most beneficial when used at base camp or car camping.

Users complained when the bag was first purchased it had a chemical odor emanating from the bag, though once aired the smell subsided.

Benefits

The bags for backpackers are snug and lightweight. These traits are what describe the actual benefit of these bedrolls over other available options. As they are lighter in weight, you can carry them conveniently in your backpacks. They are compact and leave enough space in your luggage for other items.

Moreover, its snug fit gives you warmth and prevents cold air from coming inside. This feature is what you may lack in other camping sleeping bedrolls.

Also, as we are witnessing advancement in technology, now these bedrolls show other benefits as well. One of the most significant advantages is water-resistant behavior. Manufacturers are now treating differently to make them water-repellent.

Types of sleeping bag for backpacking

Sleeping sacks are available in different shapes, filling materials, and temperature rating. Here, we are going to discuss sleeping bag types concerning their shapes.

  • Rectangular sleeping sacks. These bedrolls are quite conventional. It is suitable for those who need a lot of space while sleeping. They are good for providing additional room to relax. However, you’d need to compromise on insulation.
  • Barrel-shaped. These sleeping bags are good for providing the comfort of rectangular bedrolls along with insulation properties. They are shaped in a way to reduce the dead air that is usually present in rectangular bedrolls.
  • Mummy sleeping bags. These bedrolls give the benefit of warmth and lightweight. They are tapered along the human body; that’s why named as mummy bags. They have a relatively wider shoulder and hip area but otherwise go well-fitted across the body. They also have a hood that can be tightened to seal warmth.
  • Elephant’s foot. The basic purpose of this sleeping sack is to keep the weight minimum. It shapes like a mummy bag with no hood and ¾ zip lengths only. These are also relatively smaller in size to reduce excessive weight.

Types of backpacking sleeping bag insulation

Down Insulation: This type is lightweight, warm, compact, and durable. These are the major benefits you can acquire using this insulation. However, with all these benefits you should be ready to pay for it, as it is expensive as compared to other types.

However, the major shortcoming of down is its lack of waterproof abilities. On getting wet, it loses its quality and insulation.

Many manufacturers are dealing with it using the hydrophobic treatment. This technique makes it water-resistant, but not waterproof. So, you’d need to take care of it.

Synthetic Insulation: he synthetic one is water-repellent, non-allergenic, dries quickly, and comparatively less expensive. However, the shortcomings are its relatively lower warmth and heavyweight.

These are also a bit hard to compress, unlike the down insulation. However, their benefit of drying quickly is still unbeatable.

Backpacking sleeping bag size guide

Length

While deciding the length for the backpacker’s bedroll, go for the shortest length suitable for your frame. It would help in saving the weight that you might otherwise need to carry. However, it shouldn’t be narrow to make your feet uncomfortable.

For males, there are two standard lengths available. One of them is for males of up to 6 feet in height, and others for up to 6 feet 6 inches height.

On the other hand, female bags come in standard sizes of up to 5 feet 4 inches and 5 feet 10 inches.

Shoulder girth

This is the second measurement that you should consider before purchasing the sleeping bedroll. The shoulder area should be snuggly fit to provide adequate insulation.

For males, the shoulder girth sizes are available between 60 and 64 inches. However, there is a narrow option also available with a width of 58 inches.

Female bags have slightly narrow shoulder girth. These bedrolls are available with this area of range between 56 to 60 inches.

Hip girth

Just like the previous two measurements, this one also available in different sizes for male and female bedrolls. For males, you should have options around 58 inches. However, for females, the available option is around 60 inches.

In order to acquire the perfect size, it’s better to check a few different sizes to see which one suits you the best.

What to look for when buying a sleeping bag for backpacking?

Temperature Rating: It is a crucial factor that decides the worth of your sleeping bedroll. After all, what good your bag does if you can’t provide warmth in chilly weather?

Sleeping sacks come with temperature ratings that can guide you about their warmth. However, it may vary from one region to another or from one country to another.

There are three different bedrolls are available concerning temperature:

  • Summer bedrolls: 32°F and above
  • Winter bedrolls: 10°F and lower
  • Three-season bedrolls: 10°F to 32°F

As we have already mentioned, these values may vary a bit.

The sleeping bedroll industry, instead of trusting the manufacturer’s rating, has standardized the system. Now, these bedrolls are either tested using EN or ISO system. Both of these ratings are somehow similar.

While purchasing a bedroll, you should either go for EN13537 or ISO 23537 marking. It shows that the bag has gone through the whole standard testing process. You, thus, don’t need to rely on the manufacturer’s boasting only.

Both these systems give four major temperature ratings to keep sleepers warm:

  • Comfort rating: This rating depicts the temperature at which an average female can sleep comfortably. Usually, females sleep colder than males.
  • Upper Limit: This rating depicts temperature that allows a male to sleep without excessive sweating. The conditions are with zipper and hood open along with arms being outside the bedroll.
  • Lower Limit: It depicts the temperature at which males can sleep directly for 8 hours.
  • Extreme: It shows the minimum temperature for 6 hours for females without the danger of hypothermia death.

Besides these ratings, it’s always better to stay on the safe side and take extra warming material with you. It is because everybody reacts differently to the temperature.

Weight and Packability

Different factors affect the weight of a sleeping bag. It includes shell type, insulation weight, size, and other attributes. How much weight would you like to carry with you depends entirely on you.

If you are too specific about weight, look for the bedroll that gives the best weight/warm ratio. You can also go for bags that offer fewer features or smaller size (elephant’s foot) bags. Whatever option you choose, it’s good if the bedroll weighs between 1 to 3 lbs.

For packability, bedrolls with higher fill-power down compresses better. Also, the thinner shell fabric and tapered cut play its role in enhancing the packability.

Durability and Shell Denier

Usually, the durability of sleeping sacks is calculated by its shell fabric’s Denier (D). It represents the thickness of the thread. The higher Denier value shows a thicker thread.

You can acquire various options in terms of Denier. However, this factor is not of much concern for sleeping bags as you rarely use them on rough surfaces.

Zippers

The zipper decides the ease with which you’ll be going in and out of the container. It’s good to have a bag with both sides and long length zippers. They are not only capable of providing more ventilation but gives flexibility as well.

However, you’ll also see a few bags with shorter zippers to save additional weight. If lightweight is the only thing you are the most concerned about, go for small zippers.

Pockets

Sleeping sacks come with several features. If weight is not your problem, you can enjoy a lot of attributes that do nothing but add more convenience and comfort.

If you want, you can also get bedrolls with storage pockets. They are located on the inner side of bags. Thus, you can keep your mobile phone and other important items with you while sleeping.

Women’s Specific sleeping sacks

In the sleeping bag’s category, you’ll also see a few women’s specific bags. They differ from males or unisex models in terms of their size and cut.

They are generally shorter and have narrow cut from shoulders and wider from the hip area. These bedrolls also come in colors that suit women’s taste.

Sleeping Bags vs. Quilts

We have already discussed what sleeping sacks are. Now quilts are a different category. These are like insulated covering or blankets. They offer great versatility.

They are usually designed in a way to have a foot box to keep your feet warm. They also contain straps or clips to close the quilt to the point you want. As they are not tight or like mommy, they offer free movement. It can also be a good choice if you want to go lightweight and need some insulation as well.

Conclusion

Your sleeping bag is a crucial accessory for your outdoor adventures. We believe it wouldn’t be wrong to spend plenty of time searching for the best sleeping bag for backpacking.

But, a time spent should not end up in wasted time. As we decided to ease out this process for you, we crafted this post. Here, we have tried to provide the answer to most of your queries.

We think, once you have enough knowledge about the product, you can choose the best option. Our buying guide aims to help in this regard. We have also recommended a few best bags. We hope our efforts would end up in you spending peaceful nights in your campsite.

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