No matter where your travels take you, from national parks to backwoods to back porches, a camping sleeping bag remains a trusty companion. Since space and weight are not at a premium when you can drive to your destination, the comfort dial can get turned way up. There’s no need to suffer through the night in a constricting mummy bag, so options in this category tend to lean more towards a traditional rectangular shape or a roomier mummy. Below we rank our top picks for 2022, and if you need some background information, our comparison table and buying advice dive into topics like fill type and temperature rating. To complete your camping kit, we've also tested and written about camping mattresses and camping tents.
- Best Overall Camping Sleeping Bag: REI Co-op Siesta Hooded 25
- Best Double Sleeping Bag for Camping: Nemo Jazz 30 Double
- Best Budget Camping Sleeping Bag: Coleman Green Valley
- Best Crossover Camping and Backpacking Bag: Nemo Forte 20
- Best Camping Sleeping Bag for Cold Weather: REI Co-op Frostbreak 5
Best Overall Camping Sleeping Bag
Temperature rating: 25°F
Weight: 4 lbs. 6 oz.
What we like: Solid comfort, warmth, features, and build quality at a good price.
What we don’t: Heavier and less compressible than mummy bags.
Mummy bags are popular for both camping and backpacking, but rectangular bags are roomier and can offer an even better sleeping experience. Our top pick in this category is the REI Co-op’s Siesta Hooded 25. For a reasonable $129, you get a high-quality bag with a useful 25-degree temperature rating, which is great for three-season car camping in a variety of conditions. Unlike many other rectangular bags, the Siesta also comes with a hood to boost warmth and secure your pillow, and the interior stash pocket is helpful for stowing items like a cell phone or headlamp that you might want to keep close at night. Finally, we love the handy zipper system that includes a full zip on one side and partial zipper on the other for airing things or transforming the bag into a quilt in warm weather. Added up, the Siesta is comfy, well appointed, and a fantastic value.
Keep in mind that a rectangular bag is heavier than a mummy for the warmth and doesn’t pack away nearly as small, so the Siesta isn’t intended for traveling far from your car or stuffing down into a pack. To be fair, the 4-pound-6-ounce build stacks up well to the competition and undercuts alternatives like Teton Sports Celsius (5 lbs.) and The North Face Eco Trail Bed 20 (4 lbs. 8 oz.) below, the latter of which omits a hood. Many will also appreciate the thoughtful warmth-trapping extras, including a draft tube to seal out cold around the neck and drawstring cinches to snug things down. Again, it’s not the lightest or most compressible, but the Siesta checks all the boxes we look for in a quality camping sleeping bag (at an affordable price point). For couples or those who regularly sleep with a partner, it’s also sold in a Double version for $229.
See the REI Co-op Siesta Hooded 25
Best Double Sleeping Bag for Camping
Shape: Rectangular (double)
Temperature rating: 30°F
Weight: 8 lbs. 15 oz.
What we like: A super comfortable and fully featured option for two campers; temperature rating feels generous.
What we don’t: Heavy and bulky to stuff down; can't be separated into two single bags.
Car camping can be all about luxury, and for two people who don’t mind getting cozy, a double sleeping bag makes a whole lot of sense. Our favorite here is Nemo’s Jazz 30 Double, which combines premium fabrics with generous dimensions and a functional feature set for two. The built-in bedsheet is one highlight: It’s exceptionally soft and comfortable, easy to remove with snaps at the sides, and machine-washable. In addition, the massive pillow pocket can fit two standard-sized pillows, the opening is wide with smooth-operating zippers, the integrated pad sleeve keeps things in place during the night, and the Blanket Fold draft collar effectively traps warmth. Finally, unlike many sleeping bags we’ve tested, the Jazz’s 30-degree rating actually feels pretty conservative–most couples should find it comfortable down to freezing or a little below (the large hood helps).
What are the shortcomings of the Nemo Jazz 30 Double? The most glaring is the steep $350 price tag, although the luxurious build does come with a lot of tangible benefits (especially when paired with a high-end camping mat like Nemo’s Roamer Double). Like most two-person bags, the Jazz is also bulky and heavy at nearly 9 pounds, which is more than double many single rectangular bags. And unfortunately, you can’t separate the Jazz into two single bags like you can with Exped’s MegaSleep Duo below, although the top can be zipped fully down for airing things out quickly on balmy nights. Alternatives to consider in this category include the Kelty Tru.Comfort, Alps Mountaineering Spectrum 20, aforementioned MegaSleep Duo, and The North Face’s Dolomite One Double (we describe the single-person, standard The One bag below), but the Nemo is our top pick for its hard-to-beat combination of comfort, build quality, and overall performance.
See the Nemo Jazz 30 Double
Best Budget Camping Sleeping Bag
Temperature rating: 30°F
Weight: 4 lbs. 12 oz.
What we like: A great price and reasonably comfortable in warm weather.
What we don’t: Bulky, cheap materials, and doesn’t include a stuff sack.
At the budget end of the spectrum, Coleman makes a nice lineup of basic three-season sleeping bags for camping. We’ll start by saying that there is nothing remarkable about the Green Valley—it’s relatively heavy with a slick nylon outer and flannel-like liner that could be softer. Why is it on this list? Because it’s 50 bucks (price varies on Amazon, but it’s always cheap) and gets the job done for car camping, sleeping on a bunk in an Airstream, accommodating a buddy on the couch, or keeping dog hair off the backseats. What if the dog chews a hole in it? It’s 50 bucks. Get out some duct tape and roll it up so it’s ready for the next adventure.
In terms of insulation, the Coleman Green Valley is rated to keep you warm from 30- to 50-degree temperatures, but you will probably need some long underwear (and maybe an extra liner) at the lower end of that range. This means that the bag is significantly less warm than REI Siesta 25 above along with many of the pricier options on this list. In addition, the construction quality and materials are quite basic, and you shouldn’t expect a premium feel, but that’s a given with a camping bag in this low price range, and we still love the value. For other budget options from Coleman, their Brazos 30 and Palmetto 30 offer similar warmth and cost around $10-$20 less (respectively) but are even cheaper-feeling.
See the Coleman Green Valley
Best Crossover Camping and Backpacking Bag
Temperature rating: 22°F
Weight: 2 lbs. 14 oz.
What we like: A nice mix of comfort, weight, and packability.
What we don’t: Pricey for a synthetic-insulated bag.
For campers looking for a sleeping bag that can pull double duty on the occasional backpacking trip, we like Nemo’s Forte. With a 22-degree temperature rating, sub-3-pound weight, and decently packable build (it even includes a compression stuck sack), the Forte is fully serviceable for short forays into the backcountry. Just as importantly, it’s supremely comfortable for camping thanks to its unique “spoon” shape, which resembles a mummy bag but with a noticeable boost in space around the knees and elbows. This makes it less restrictive inside, particularly for side sleepers and those prone to tossing and turning. You do pay a premium compared with our top picks at $200, but we think the Forte hits a great middle ground for mixed car camping and backpacking use.
In addition to its spoon shape, Nemo included a number of creative features on the Forte. One of our favorites is the two zippered “gills” along the top of the bag that can be opened on warm nights to keep you from overheating. Further, there’s a small blanket built into the collar that can be folded out or tucked in and around your neck depending on nighttime temperatures. It’s true that the Forte isn’t a perfect all-in-one answer—it’s overkill for car camping in hot weather, and dedicated backpackers may want something even lighter and more compressible—but we love the balanced and adaptable design. For a slightly more premium option from Nemo, check out their Tempo 20 ($150), which is 12 ounces heavier but more durable and roomier with a “relaxed” spoon shape that’s wider at the hips and knees.
See the Nemo Forte 20 See the Women's Nemo Forte 20
Best Camping Sleeping Bag for Cold Weather
Temperature rating: 5°F
Weight: 5 lbs. 1 oz.
What we like: Excellent price for level of warmth.
What we don’t: We don’t advise pushing the temperature limit; heavy and bulky.
Most of the picks on our list are geared toward three-season use, but for campers who like to get out year-round, a cold-weather bag is essential. In this category, REI Co-op’s Frostbreak 5 stands out for its excellent warmth at a very reasonable price. In contrast to the rectangular Siesta above, the Frostbreak has a narrower “relaxed mummy” shape that trims away material at the shoulders, hips, and feet to minimize cold spots while still providing enough room to comfortably roll around during the night. Other functional additions include a well-insulated hood, draft tube, and differentiated drawcords (one round and one flat) that make it easy to adjust the aperture in the dark. Added up, the Frostbreak is an excellent value for casual winter adventurers.
That said, the REI does have some notable limitations for heart-of-weather use. As with most bags on the market, we wouldn’t recommend taking the Frostbreak all the way down to its minimum temperature rating (it’s best to add a 10-degree buffer). Given the synthetic build, it’s also noticeably heavy and bulky at just over 5 pounds for the “regular” size. If you’re a backpacker headed deep into the wilderness, you’ll likely want to spend up for a down-insulated bag that’s lighter and more compressible. But for car camping in subfreezing conditions, the Frostbreak is perfectly viable and won’t break the bank, which is a winning combination for many.
See the REI Co-op Frostbreak 5
Best of the Rest
Temperature rating: 20°F
Weight: 4 lbs. 8 oz.
What we like: A viable competitor to the Siesta above in comfort and warmth.
What we don’t: Heavier, less packable, and doesn’t include a hood.
Like REI’s Siesta 25 above, The North Face’s Eco Trail Bed 20 is a well-rounded rectangular bag that nicely balances warmth, comfort, and cost. For the same price as the Siesta, the Eco Trail Bed boasts a three-season-friendly temperature rating of 20 degrees, which will keep you comfortable down to around freezing if you factor in our recommended 10-degree buffer (just make sure to wear a beanie). The bag also has an impressively soft interior with a fleece-like lining towards the top and includes nifty details like a full-length zipper that opens it up for use as a blanket. Taken together, it’s an affordable but well-built design that will keep you cozy on most shoulder-season and summertime trips.
We previously had The North Face Eco Trail Bed at the top of our rankings, but REI’s Siesta overtook it this season as our favorite all-around design. What prompted the switch? With recent price changes, the Eco Trail Bed and Siesta now cost the same at $129, but the REI includes a hood, weighs a couple ounces less, and packs down smaller. The Eco Trail Bed does have a slightly lower temperature rating (20 degrees vs. 25 for the Siesta) and is longer at 78 inches for the “regular” size (the standard Siesta is 72 in.), but the difference in warmth is very minimal, and taller campers can step up to the 78-inch “Long” Siesta for the same price. In the end, the REI's slight advantages in features and weight make the Eco Trail Bed seem a little less competitive in today’s market, but both are quality designs from leading manufacturers.
See the The North Face Eco Trail Bed 20
Temperature rating: 21°F
Fill: 550-fill down
Weight: 2 lbs. 10 oz.
What we like: Great crossover bag; down insulation at a value price.
What we don’t: Too snug for comfort seekers; no longer uses hydrophobic down.
Kelty’s popular Cosmic Down 20 has been a mainstay in their lineup for years and remains a popular choice among campers and backpackers alike. For starters, you get a respectable weight of 2 pounds 10 ounces, which is the lightest three-season option on our list (Kelty’s own Galactic 30 below weighs around the same but is far less versatile). Along with a healthy dose of 550-fill down, the bag offers cozy warmth and good compressibility. And considering the typical price of a down bag, the Cosmic Down's $170 MSRP really stands out.
It’s worth noting that Kelty recently made some considerable changes to the Cosmic. Namely, down quality dropped from 600-fill-power to lower-quality 550-fill, and it no longer boasts Kelty’s hydrophobic treatment for added assurance against moisture. Weight also jumped a few ounces, although the latest bag still packs down reasonably small, features a PFC-free DWR coating on the shell, and is cheaper by $10. The Cosmic collection also includes a synthetic version of the bag, which costs less at $105 but is heavier and less compressible. All in all, the Cosmic Down is a great choice for almost any three-season trip, and we consider it a better option than the Forte above if you’ll be backpacking more than 1-2 times a year or want to travel light.
See the Kelty Cosmic Down 20 See the Women's Kelty Cosmic Down 20
Temperature rating: 0°F
Weight: 5 lbs.
What we like: Mummy hood increases warmth in cold temperatures.
What we don’t: Cheap build quality.
Teton Sports is a value-oriented brand, and their camping-ready Celsius offers a lot of bang for your buck. For around $70, you get a 0-degree temperature rating and a unique construction that attaches a mummy bag’s hood to a rectangular bag. And while the temperature rating is very generous—depending on how warm or cold you run, it may not even be comfortable around freezing—the Celsius does an admirable job sealing out the cold with insulation around your head and a drawcord at the top.
As expected at this price point, the Teton Sports Celsius falls short of more expensive bags in build quality and overall comfort. To start, the shell fabric feels cheap and the zipper can be finicky to use. Further, the polyester fill does not compress well, and it can be a real pain trying to stuff it back into the included storage bag. But it delivers on warmth, which is why it’s a top seller year after year. Just be aware that the Celsius runs consistently short, and we needed to go up a length to get a proper fit. For another cold-weather option from Teton, check out their Deer Hunter collection, which includes bags rated all the way down to -35 degrees (although again, temperature ratings can be subjective, and it’s important to add in a sizable buffer).
See the Teton Sports Celsius
Temperature rating: 20°F
Fill: 600-fill down
Weight: 3 lbs. 12 oz.
What we like: Great comfort and full feature set with higher-quality down than the Cosmic above.
What we don’t: Heavier and pricier than the Kelty.
REI Co-op consistently does a great job at providing a lot of bang for your buck (as evidenced by their Siesta and Frostbreak above), and their HunkerDown 20 is another shining example. For a reasonable $199, you get a quality bag with 600-fill-power down insulation, excellent comfort and roominess thanks to the soft fabrics and rectangular shape, and a full suite of functional features. We especially like the oversized hood that can accommodate a standard pillow (bonus: It folds down when not in use) and wraparound zipper that allows you to open the bag up for use as a quilt in warm weather. Finally, we appreciate the brand’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, including the use of RDS-certified insulation and bluesign-approved materials.
How does the REI HunkerDown stack up to Kelty’s Cosmic Down above? Both bags provide good three-season warmth with 20-degree temperature ratings, but the REI uses slightly higher-quality 600-fill-power down compared to the Kelty’s 550-fill insulation. The Kelty is the better crossover option for those who like to throw backpacking into the mix with a lighter weight (by a considerable 1 lb. 2 oz.), but the mummy shape is much narrower and more restrictive than the generously sized REI (the shoulders and hips are wider by 3.8 in. and 8.1 in. respectively). Finally, the Cosmic Down strikes us as the better value at $30 cheaper than the REI, but a final decision will come down to how you prioritize weight, packability, and comfort. For those who regularly camp with a significant other, REI also makes a double version for $329.
See the REI Co-op HunkerDown 20
Shape: Rectangular (double)
Temperature rating: 25° and 40°F
Weight: 4 lbs.
What we like: A double bag that can transform into two singles.
What we don’t: Not that warm.
There aren’t a ton of innovative ideas cropping up in the camping sleeping bag market, but we like Exped's creative MegaSleep Duo 25. In short, this design addresses our main complaint about double bags: versatility when you need to sleep solo. Exped accomplishes this by including what amounts to two separate sleeping bags (one with a 40°F rating and the other with a 25°F rating). And for trips when you want the double bag functionality, it’s easy to connect the Duo’s two pieces for a cozy and comfortable setup.
Where does the MegaSleep Duo fall short? As with most rectangular models, the Exped doesn’t pack down small (even if you’re using just one of the single bags), so if you’re looking for a dual camping and backpacking option, a bag like the Kelty Cosmic 20 above is a much better choice. The MegaSleep Duo also lacks other features of a mummy bag like tapered cut and a cinched hood that seal out cold much more effectively. In other words, the 25-degree rating should suffice for most summer camping trips, but not much beyond that. But with the ability to sleep with a partner or on your own, the MegaSleep Duo gets a spot on our list for 2022.
See the Exped MegaSleep Duo 25
Temperature rating: 30°F
Fill: 550-fill down
Weight: 2 lbs. 11 oz.
What we like: Cozy down insulation and a roomy rectangular shape.
What we don’t: Less versatile than the Cosmic Down above.
Boulder-based Kelty has been in the camping business for a long time, and we like what they’ve come up with in the Galactic 30. What makes this bag unique is its combination of quality 550-fill-power down with a rectangular shape. Most traditional camping bags stick to synthetic fill for cost savings, but lofty down clusters offer a premium feel and warmth that polyester just can’t match. And as we’ve come to expect from Kelty, the Galactic is solidly built and priced pretty affordably at $160, which is around $40 less than REI’s similarly intentioned Hunkerdown above.
What are the downsides in choosing the Galactic 30? First off, the latest Galactic no longer has a hydrophobic treatment on the down, which we appreciated on the past model for added wet-weather protection (and it’s $40 pricier to boot). Further, unlike REI's Hunkerdown above, the Galactic omits a hood, which is critical for maximizing warmth. Finally, the rectangular shape and 30-degree temperature rating mean that it isn’t viable for most backpacking trips, which is one of the main reasons to go with a packable and lightweight down bag. As a result, the mummy-shaped Kelty Cosmic Down above is a more versatile crossover camping/backpacking option (for only $10 more), but we still love the recipe of cozy down warmth in a roomy and affordable package.
See the Kelty Galactic 30
Temperature rating: 5°, 20°, and 40°F
Fill: Synthetic; 800-fill down
Weight: 3 lbs. 12 oz.
What we like: Three sleeping bags in one.
What we don’t: Expensive.
For a fun take on warmth regulation and year-round comfort, The North Face’s The One features a unique layering system that allows you to swap between three different temperature ratings. During summer months or warm nights, you can use the basic synthetic-insulated bag with its 40-degree limit. Then, as the temperature drops, zip on the 800-fill goose down midlayer (to 20°F) or add the third section on top for winter camping (5°F rating). At less than 4 pounds with all layers connected, The North Face design is streamlined, lightweight, and reasonably packable.
What are the drawbacks of this all-in-one system? For starters, at $300, The North Face The One is very expensive for camping use. Further, the zippers can be finicky and difficult to use—in other words, switching between layers isn’t an entirely seamless process. And although relatively lightweight, The One Bag is on the heavy end for backpacking (it will do the trick for short trips, however). All things considered, The North Face The One is a well executed and highly versatile option for year-round adventuring. For a similar design in a less premium (but considerably cheaper) package, check out Coleman’s All-Weather Multi-Layer bag.
See the The North Face The One Bag
Temperature rating: 30°F
Weight: 3 lbs. 15.6 oz.
What we like: A budget design that’s a step up in build quality from the Coleman and Teton Sports bags above.
What we don’t: Barebones feature set.
Kelty’s Galactic 30 above is a nice value for those who prefer the cozy warmth and compressibility of down, but you can go much cheaper with their Catena 30. Rather than down, the Catena utilizes synthetic fill that adds weight and bulk but won’t clump up and lose its insulating abilities if it gets wet. Another big benefit is cost: At just $60, the Catena is less than half the price of the Galactic while providing comparable warmth. And stacked up against similarly priced options like the Coleman Green Valley and Teton Sports Celsius above, the Catena has a noticeably more premium feel with a durable but soft taffeta shell and smooth polyester liner that’s both quiet and comfortable against the skin.
Why do we have the Kelty Catena 30 ranked here? Despite the clear advantage in overall quality, the Kelty is still on the heavier and bulkier end at nearly 4 pounds and lacks creature comforts like a hood, draft tube, and drawcords for trapping warmth and sealing out cold. For around $10 more, the aforementioned Teton Sports Celsius offers a sizable boost in warmth with a 0-degree rating, mummy hood, and cinchable collar. On the flip side, the Kelty wins out in all-around comfort and is all most summer-time recreational campers need. At the same price point, Kelty offers another good value in their Mistral 40, which is lighter and more packable thanks to its narrower mummy shape.
See the Kelty Catena 30
Temperature rating: 20°F
Weight: 5 lbs. 12.8 oz.
What we like: Another good value from Coleman with a focus on compressibility.
What we don’t: The heaviest single-person bag on our list and lacking in attention to detail.
Synthetic sleeping bags are a dime a dozen in 2022, but Coleman continues to stand out for their strong focus on value. The Kompact 20 here is no exception, combining the affordability that Coleman is known for with many of the features we look for in a quality three-season bag. These include soft yet durable fabrics, an insulated draft tube to seal in warmth, and a roomy rectangular shape that’s comfortable and not restrictive. And as its name suggests, the Kompact packs down pretty well for a 20-degree synthetic bag, measuring 9.8 x 15.7 inches when compressed into its stuff sack (for comparison, The North Face Eco Trail Bed above is larger at 20 x 11 in.).
That said, you do make some concessions by saving with the Coleman Kompact 20. Attention to detail is one area of weakness, including numerous reports of snagging zippers, an interior pocket that’s prohibitively small, and less warmth than the 20-degree temperature rating would suggest (it’s best to add in a sizable buffer). Additionally, despite the decent packability, the Kompact is the heaviest single-person bag on our list at nearly 6 pounds (even REI’s four-season-ready Frostbreak 5 above is lighter at 5 lbs. 1 oz.). But these downsides do little to detract from the Coleman’s value, and it’s a considerable step up in both warmth and build quality compared to their basic Green Valley above.
See the Coleman Kompact 20
Temperature rating: 15°F
Weight: 3 lbs. 6 oz.
What we like: Everything you need in an affordable mummy bag from a respected brand.
What we don’t: Not as versatile as the Kelty Cosmic Down or Nemo Forte above.
The camping sleeping bag market certainly is packed in 2022, but Marmot’s Trestles is another proven option at a good price. This synthetic sleeping bag pretty much has it all: a 15-degree temperature rating for true three-season warmth, a DWR finish to help keep you dry, and a quality feel and build that Marmot is known for. The mummy shape is narrower and more restrictive than many of the rectangular and semi-rectangular bags on our list, but the tradeoff is far less weight and bulk. At just over $100, that’s a whole lot of sleeping bag for your car camping adventures.
All that said, the Trestles simply doesn’t stand out enough in today’s competitive market. For crossover camping and backpacking use, we'd stick with the Kelty Cosmic Down or Nemo Forte above, the latter of which boasts a spoon-like cut that’s far less restrictive and more comfortable in general than the Marmot’s standard mummy fit. In addition, both the Kelty and Nemo are lighter and more compressible, which will likely be the deciding factor for adventurers that spend considerable time in the backcountry. It’s true the Trestles is the cheapest of the bunch and a fine choice for campers who prefer a true mummy design, but it falls short for those wanting to dip into backpacking.
See the Marmot Trestles 15
Temperature rating: 20°F
Weight: 2 lbs. 4 oz.
What we like: Purpose-built for side sleepers.
What we don’t: Limited appeal for back sleepers or those who toss and turn.
Released last year, Big Agnes’ Sidewinder series targets one group of campers in particular: side sleepers. Here’s how it works: The unique cocoon-style shape is relaxed enough for moving around and uses strategically placed synthetic insulation that minimizes pressure points and pockets of cold air (two common issues for side sleepers who use traditional mummy bags). The bag’s main zipper is also placed out of the way so that it doesn’t dig into your side while you sleep, and the hood and footbox are specifically designed to keep you comfortable and warm in that position.
All that said, if you’re a back sleeper or someone who tosses and turns throughout the night, the Sidewinder has fairly limited appeal. The targeted design won’t be as comfortable in any other orientation, and it’s pricier than many other synthetic mummy bags on the market, including the Marmot Trestles 15 above. It’s worth noting that Big Agnes also makes the Sidewinder in backpacking-ready SL variations with loftier and more packable (but pricier) down fill.
See the Big Agnes Sidewinder Camp 20 See the Women's Sidewinder Camp 20
|REI Co-op Siesta Hooded 25||$129||Rectangular||25°F||Synthetic||4 lbs. 6 oz.||11 x 17 in.|
|Nemo Jazz 30 Double||$350||Rectangular||30°F||Synthetic||8 lbs. 15 oz.||16 x 33 in.|
|Coleman Green Valley||$50||Rectangular||30°F||Synthetic||4 lbs. 12 oz.||12 x 18 in.|
|Nemo Forte 20||$200||Semi-rectangular||22°F||Synthetic||2 lbs. 14 oz.||9 x 11.5 in.|
|REI Co-op Frostbreak 5||$119||Mummy||5°F||Synthetic||5 lbs. 1 oz.||11.5 x 23 in.|
|The North Face Eco Trail Bed 20||$129||Rectangular||20°F||Synthetic||4 lbs. 8 oz.||11 x 20 in.|
|Kelty Cosmic Down 20||$170||Mummy||21°F||550-fill down||2 lbs. 10 oz.||8 x 13 in.|
|Teton Sports Celsius||$67||Rectangular||0°F||Synthetic||5 lbs.||10 x 15 in.|
|REI Co-op HunkerDown 20||$199||Rectangular||20°F||600-fill down||3 lbs. 12 oz.||Unavail.|
|Exped MegaSleep Duo 25||$230||Rectangular||25°, 40°F||Synthetic||4 lbs.||12 x 28 in.|
|Kelty Galactic 30||$160||Rectangular||30°F||550-fill down||2 lbs. 11 oz.||7.5 x 15 in.|
|The North Face The One Bag||$300||Mummy||5°, 20°, 40°F||Synthetic/
|3 lbs. 12 oz.||Unavail.|
|Kelty Catena 30||$60||Rectangular||30°F||Synthetic||3 lbs. 16 oz.||10 x 18 in.|
|Coleman Kompact 20||$100||Rectangular||20°F||Synthetic||5 lbs. 13 oz.||9.8 x 15.7 in.|
|Marmot Trestles 15||$119||Mummy||15°F||Synthetic||3 lbs. 6 oz.||9.5 x 19 in.|
|Big Agnes Sidewinder Camp 20||$180||Mummy||20°F||Synthetic||2 lbs. 4 oz.||8 x 9 in.|
- Sleeping Bag Shapes: Rectangular vs. Mummy
- Temperature Rating
- Down vs. Synthetic Insulation
- Weight and Packability
- Sleeping Bag Lining and Comfort
- Zippers: ¾ Zip, Full Zip, No Zip
- Sleeping Bag Features
- Crossover Camping and Backpacking Sleeping Bags
- Double Sleeping Bags
- Kids' Sleeping Bags
- Sleeping Bag Liners
- Don’t Forget A Mattress or Pad
Camping sleeping bags fall into two general categories: rectangular bags that offer plenty of room to roll around and pared-down mummy designs. Most campers stick to the more spacious rectangular shape: These versatile bags can often be completely unzipped down one side and the bottom to be used as a large blanket for two. There isn’t any insulation covering your head, so plan your sleepwear accordingly when taking them outside their summer comfort zone. Also, most rectangular bags are heavy and don't pack down small, so if you are looking for an all-in-one option for camping and backpacking, we recommend choosing a mummy-style bag instead.
Mummy sleeping bags trim away material in the shoulders, hips, and feet for a shape that mimics your body. The advantage of having a tapered cut is there is little extra space for cold spots to creep in. And with a quality hood cinched around the top of your head, you can really maximize the temperature rating potential. If you find yourself at higher elevations or in colder temperatures, a mummy bag is a great option.
A final shape worth mentioning is the semi-rectangular bag, which—as the name implies—shares commonalities with both rectangular and mummy designs. In terms of dimensions, they’re typically roomier than standard mummy bags (particularly at the shoulders and hips) but not overly generous like some rectangular models. All in all, semi-rectangular bags typically offer a good mix of comfort and weight, shaving away excess material while still providing enough space to roll around during the night. For instance, Nemo’s Forte 20 has a roomier fit than most traditional mummy bags, with a noticeable boost in space around the knees and elbows.
Let’s make this clear right off the bat: It’s important not to treat sleeping bag temperature ratings as hard truth. Unlike backpacking bags, which are mostly assigned a rating through a standardized process (EN rating system), individual manufacturers assign the ratings for the majority of camping bags. As such, there are some major discrepancies once you have them out in the real world. One reason for this is due to the shape of many camping bags. A rectangular bag that has a wide opening on one end will not retain heat in the same way a sealed off mummy bag can.
In the end, the temperature rating does have value and you should use it as a basic guideline. In choosing the proper approximate rating, try to get an idea of the very coldest temperature you'll be experiencing overnight. Once you have that number, it’s a good idea to build in a little buffer (we like an extra 10-15 degrees) to avoid getting cold. And keep in mind the temperature rating is closer to a survivability rating rather than being comfortable and warm. Other factors to consider are your age—people typically don’t sleep as warm the older they get—and whether you are a cold or warm sleeper. Most campers stick to the warmer months for their outdoor adventuring, and as a result, most of the sleeping bags on this list are rated in the 25-40 degree range.
There are two types of insulation used for camping sleeping bags: manmade synthetic fibers and down insulation made up of clusters of duck or goose feathers. Down offers the ultimate warmth-to-weight ratio along with excellent packability, which is why it’s highly valued for backpacking sleeping bags. For camping bags, however, weight and a compact stuffed size usually aren’t major considerations. In addition, down is much more expensive that synthetic insulation. For instance, even a “budget” down sleeping bag like the Kelty Cosmic Down 20, which uses lower-quality down (550-fill), costs around $30-$50 more than an equivalent synthetic option like the Marmot Trestles. And the gap is much larger for premium down bags, which can cost $400 or more.
Synthetic insulation dominates the camping sleeping bag category because of its affordability and practicality—13 of the 16 bags on this list have synthetic insulation (including The North Face's The One Bag, which uses both synthetic and down fill). The compromises in choosing the cheaper fill type are relatively minimal for camping. With a car or camper to transport all of your gear, the larger stuffed size and extra weight are much less of a concern than when your sleeping bag has to be crammed into a pack and carried on your back. And should the insulation get wet, synthetics continue to keep you warm, unlike down feathers. For a full explanation of the two insulation types, see our article on down vs. synthetics.
Camping has a sweet simplicity to it, and one of the great things about driving (or walking a short distance) to your campsite, is that you don’t need anything too special from your camping sleeping bag. Realistically, you can get a great sleeping bag for under $100. Spending extra brings features like a softer touch liner and shell fabrics and a lighter overall weight, which is worth it for some, but most campers will be happy with a tough nylon shell, a healthy dose of synthetic fill, and a cozy flannel interior. The Teton Sports Celsius, which can be found on Amazon for around $70, is a great example: It's plenty warm, comfortable, and tough enough to keep using year after year. At the other end of the spectrum are ultra-premium designs like The North Face The One Bag ($300), which use down insulation and come with a host of features (but again, many campers will be perfectly happy saving toward the cheaper end).
For most, the primary weight and packability consideration for a camping bag is whether or not it can be carried from the garage to the car, squeezed in with the rest of your stuff, and then moved from the trunk to the tent. That said, we still recommend checking the weight and stuffed size that will be listed in the product specifications to get an idea of just how large and heavy the bags are. Synthetic bags are typically made with thicker fabrics and require more insulation to provide sufficient warmth, which can add up to a surprising amount of bulk. And if you’re considering a double bag (covered in more detail below), you’re talking about packed dimensions listed in feet rather than inches. If weight and packed size become important, a crossover backpacking/sleeping bag like the still-roomy Nemo Forte reduces both.
The interior of a sleeping bag varies quite a bit between designs, but one general rule of thumb is that comfort correlates closely with price. Comparing two of our top picks, we found the flannel lining on Coleman’s cheap Green Valley is far less soft and cozy when used back-to-back with The North Face’s Trail Bed (especially the smooth fleece-like panel along the top of the Trail Bed’s interior). Some campers won’t mind missing out on the plush feel for the substantial cost savings (about $60 separates The North Face and Coleman options), but a well-made bag is undoubtedly a nice place to slip into at the end of the day. For those who plan to get out a lot, opting for an upgraded design may be worth it.
Mummy bags typically have a ¾-length side zip that requires some wriggling to get in and out of and can’t be opened up completely should you want to zip the sleeping bag together with another compatible bag. That’s why for camping, we prefer a bag that fully unzips. Not only is it easy to create a large and comfortable space for two if you zip it to another bag, but unzipping the bag on its own opens it up for use as a blanket. And if the bag has a tough exterior shell, you can use it as an outdoor picnic blanket in a pinch.
A third type is the no-zip style, which is limited to a couple designs (none of which made our list), including a handful from Sierra Designs. The large oval opening requires some modest flexibility and patience to get out of, but going zipper-less can be nice. There's no fumbling in the night for the zipper pull, and you don’t have to worry about snags or heat loss (if the bag lacks a good draft tube). But in the end, we don’t see the zipper-less concept completely taking over the market. Put simply, the in-and-out convenience and ability to use the bag as a blanket with a full-zip sleeping bag is the better answer for most campers.
Sleeping bags inherently are barebones, but we’ve seen an uptick in available features on many mid-range and high-end models of late. Notable extras worth calling out are built-in pillows or pillow sleeves (the Nemo Forte boasts the former), which are a nice luxury for those annoyed by pillows that tend to move in the night. Additionally, integrated blankets, interior pockets for stowing small items like a headlamp, and draft tubes at the collar for trapping warmth are becoming more common.
Some bags, like The North Face’s The One Bag, feature unique warmth-tailoring systems that allow you to customize the amount of insulation depending on conditions. And venting options are nice if you tend to run warm, including full-length zippers that allow you to use your bag as a quilt, “gills” along the top of the bag that can be opened up to release some heat (Nemo’s Forte includes these), and footbox zippers for sticking just your toes out. To be sure, most of these additions won’t be deal-breakers for many, but they can be helpful in deciding between similar models (and we’ve called them out in the write-ups above whenever possible).
It’s not cheap outfitting an entire camping setup, and for those who plan to add backpacking into the mix, the cost can get out of hand quickly. If this sounds like you, choosing a crossover camping/backpacking bag is a viable way to save. A few models above can pull double duty for both activities with few compromises, including the Nemo Forte 20 and Kelty Cosmic Down 20. Both bags weigh less than 3 pounds, compress reasonably small for stuffing into a pack, and offer enough warmth for most three-season adventures.
That said, the all-in-one answer comes with some compromises. Crossover designs typically are less roomy than true camping bags to shave weight and bulk (the Nemo’s “spoon” shape bucks this trend by increasing the width in important areas like around the elbows and knees), and they often use thinner fabrics that require added care and are more prone to tears. Finally, dedicated backpackers can go much lighter with more targeted models that use ultra-premium down and even more compromised shell materials, but cost goes up considerably (for a full list of options, see our article on the best backpacking sleeping bags).
A double sleeping bag is simply a standard sleeping that has doubled in width to accommodate two campers sleeping side-by-side. These bags are often an effective selling point to get a reluctant partner to finally try out camping. But is it worth getting the double bag as opposed to just zipping together two compatible sleeping bags? Our simple take is: typically not. While they’re undoubtedly spacious and a touch cheaper than getting two single bags, we’ve never been in a scenario where zipping two bags hasn't worked just as well—and it gives you the flexibility to camp solo as well (Exped's MegaSleep Duo is one of the few to address this issue). But who are we to tell you not to get a traditional double bag? And if you find it’s what you want, we recommend the aforementioned Exped MegaSleep or Nemo's luxurious Jazz 30 Double. Not only is the former a double, but it has enough room inside for an adult on each side and a storm-frightened toddler (or dog) in the middle.
If you have a little kiddo or are shopping for one, we highly recommend picking up a sleeping bag that is sized proportionally. Unless you only camp in areas with very warm overnight temperatures, a 4.5-foot person in a sleeping bag designed for a 6-footer is a recipe for cold and uncomfortable nights. They just can’t heat all of that extra space. To keep from having to replace sleeping bags every couple years as your little camper grows up, consider getting a sleeping bag that has an adjustable length, like the Big Agnes Duster 15. And a final note: Kids’ bags are often made in a bunch of fun colors, which sure doesn’t hurt in getting them excited for some time spent outdoors.
As we touched on above, temperature ratings tend to be fairly generous and often require adding a sizable buffer to ensure you’ll stay warm throughout the night. For those who run cold or simply want to bring their bag into lower temperatures, adding a sleeping bag liner can help keep you cozy without breaking the bank. Liners are made of soft materials like fleece, wool, polyester, or silk and typically add around 5 to 15 degrees to the warmth rating of your bag. They also serve as a barrier between you and your bag’s interior, which can help boost lifespan (you can wash the liner after use rather than getting your bag dirty). Liners typically cost between $30 and $60, and a couple of our favorite options are Sea to Summit’s Thermolite Reactor for mummy bags and their Premium Blend Silk/Cotton Liner for rectangular models. To be clear, liners are totally optional and not everyone needs one, but they do offer added warmth and comfort and help keep your bag in good shape.
If you’ve ever had a pad deflate or slept directly on the ground in cold weather, you know firsthand the importance of an insulated pad beneath you. Further, when you lay on a sleeping bag, you compress the insulation, which impacts its ability to warm you (this is particularly true for down fill, but does impact synthetic as well). As a result, it’s important to choose a sleeping mattress or pad that will protect you from the ground if you’ll be camping in cooler temperatures (typically under 50-60 degrees).
For summer camping where it stays warm at night, you can use a large, uninsulated airbed, but if it’s cold, get a sleeping pad with some form of insulation (most often synthetic or foam). Sleeping pads are given an R-value rating, and the higher the number, the better it insulates you from the cold. As a general guideline for three-season use, we recommend a rating between 2.5 and 4. Summer campers can get away with less, while winter adventurers will want something that exceeds 5 (and may want to consider adding a second pad for additional protection). Check out our favorite camping sleeping mattresses for a breakdown of our top picks as well as buying advice.
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