backpacking sleeping bags

10 Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags

Backpacking sleeping bags are in the market for so long, but with the recent developments in technology, it is important to get one that is sturdier and can protect you in any kind of weather. Here is our 3 picks depending on your need, and we listed down the 10 brands that are best in the market. Read along.

Do you love backpacking? If you do, and you are a person who loves the outdoors, a high quality sleeping bag is a wise investment.

After a long and tiring day of hiking and trailing, there is nothing a backpacker wants but a good night’s sleep. A good sleeping bag is sure to give you a restful sleep and give you energy for the adventures of the following day.

Backpack sleeping bags main purpose is to retain heat and to allow thermal insulation. There are some brands in the market that can even protect against light rains. The lower surface can be supported by an inflatable mattress to comfort during sleep and is made of a water-repellent material enough to protect the body from the damp ground.

According to our research and experience, here are the 3 best backpacking sleeping bags which are readily available to be purchased on Amazon.

10 Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags List – Specs and Price

  • Weight: 1 lb 4 oz
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Temperature Rating: 20 ⁰F
Check Therm a Rest Hyperion 20 On Amazon
  • Weight: 5.8 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Temperature Rating: 0 ⁰F
Check Coleman North Rim On Amazon
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Temperature Rating: 34 ⁰F
Check Mountain Hardwear Lamina Z Spark On Amazon
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Temperature Rating: 20 ⁰F
Check Western Mountaineering AlpinLite 20 On Amazon
  • Weight: 2 lbs 8 oz
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Temperature Rating: 15 ⁰F
Check Marmot Sawtooth 15 On Amazon
  • Weight: 2 lbs 8 oz
  • Shape: Semi-rectangular
  • Temperature Rating: 20 ⁰F
Check Big Agnes Torchlight On Amazon
  • Weight: 5 lbs 22 oz
  • Shape: Rectangular
  • Temperature Rating: 20 ⁰F
Check Eco Trail Bed 20 by The North Face On Amazon
  • Weight: 2 lbs 10 oz
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Temperature Rating: 20 ⁰F
Check Kelty Cosmic 20 On Amazon
  • Weight: 1.7 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Temperature Rating: 34 ⁰F
Check Western Mountaineering Flylite Platinum On Amazon
  • Weight: 1 lb 15 oz
  • Shape: Semi-rectangular
  • Temperature Rating: 35 ⁰F
Check NEMO Forte 35 On Amazon

1. Therm a Rest Hyperion 20

Therm a Rest Hyperion 20 review

The Hyperion 20 is also an ultralight sleeping bag, only a little heavier than the Tanager 20 by Feathered Friends. It has a very small packed size which makes it a favorite ultralight sleeping bag everywhere.

This bag has a total weight of 1 pound and 4 ounces. It is made for ultralight backpacking. It comes in three sizes: small, regular and long and can fit a person as tall as 6’5”.

The shell is made of ripstop nylon and treated with DWR. Also, the inner lining is also made of ripstop nylon. These materials ensure that the heat will be kept inside the bag and are designed for ultralight backpacking.
The material used for the outer fabric of the Hyperion 20 is water repellent.

The mummy shape of the Therm a Rest Hyperion 20 along with the 900 fill power Nikwax Hydrophobic Down is a good insulator that traps the warm air in and keeps it within the bag.

However, it must be noted that a sleeping pad is recommended if you choose to use the Therm a Rest Hyperion 20.

This bag has a left zipper. Like all zippers, it must be pulled with care because it tends to snag.


  • High comfort rating
  • Ultralightweight
  • 900 fill power down


  • It needs a sleeping pad to get the best results

2. Coleman North Rim

coleman North Rim Review

The Coleman North Rim is a 0 degree sleeping bag which is very suitable for those locations where the temperature drops to 0 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a one of a kind polyester thermal insulation made with mesh material. I can keep the user warm from head to toe.

Coleman North Rim can be considered a sub zero sleeping bag. It has a draft collar that is one of the qualities of the best sleeping bags. It can be compared to the REI Co op Magma.

The dimensions of the North Rim is enough to fit an average sized man with a length of 6 feet and 3 inches. It is built with a spacious box shaped foot that helps its user to sleep whichever way he/she wants by giving extra room.

On another note, the weight can be too high compared to REI sleeping bags. We recommend this for vehicle or caravan campings. But all in all, for its quality, it is still one of the best sleeping bags available in the market.

The outer layer of the North Rim is made of polyester ripstop. This type of fabric avoids stains, which is very convenient for backpacking. On the other hand, the stuff sack is made with tear proof polyester that can withstand cold weather.
Because of its strong material, it is suitable for any season.

This bag has a one of a kind thermal insulation. It can keep the user warm with its mesh material. Also it has the comfort smart technology which can eliminate the cold spots in your sleeping bag and keep you warm from your head to your toes.

The zipper of the bag is double-sided, with an anti snag feature that holds the lining in the mouth. It has a heat lock technology to prevent heat from escaping from the bag through the zipper. This technology can be used even when the outdoor temperature is high-the internal temperature is relatively low.


  • Soft and Comfortable
  • Perfect for tall people
  • Durable


  • It is a little heavy for backpackers.
  • It is bulky.

3. Mountain Hardwear Lamina Z Spark

Mountain Hardwear Lamina Z Spark review

This Mountain Hardwear sleeping bag is a great 3 seasons sleeping bag. The Lamina Z Spark is lightweight and compressible. It is a roomy synthetic sleeping bag with a thermally zoned insulation that gives the user extra warmth around his/her core and feet.

The Lamina Z spark comes in 2 sizes: regular and long. The regular sized can fit a man as tall as 6 ft. The long variant can fit a person as tall as 6 feet and 6 inches. It has a footbox for a better sleeping experience.
It is a comfortable mummy bag. This shape makes it one of the best warmth to weight ratio sleeping bags.

This is a waterproof sleeping bag. The outer lining is made of soft polyester that wards off moisture. Also, it has a nylon shell and a DWR finish. Also, it has an ergonomic draft collar that helps seal the warmth in.

The Lamina Z Spark is equipped with the signature Thermal.Q insulation which has a great compressibility. It also maintains a great loft.

Another notable feature of the Lamina Z Spark is that even when it gets a little bit damp, it still continues to insulate.

It has a full length snag zipper with double sliders. The zipper is made for versatile ventilation. It keeps the warmth inside the bag and can also easily release it when it gets too hot.


  • Compact sleeping bag
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use for starters


  • Not true to its temperature rating

4. Western Mountaineering AlpinLite 20

Western Mountaineering AlpinLite 20 review

This sleeping bag is wide, and warm. Compared to the earlier Western Mountaineering bags, the AlpinLite is a wider version. It also boasts a 3-dimensional full down draft collar to keep you warm.

AlpinLite weighs 1 pound and 12 ounces and is 5 feet 6 inches in length. Its inside girth dimensions are 63 inches for the shoulders, 56 inches for the hips, and 39 inches for the foot.

The AlpinLite is made with lightweight, durable, and water resistant denier shell fabric. The lightweight fabric makes it very delicate compared to other brands with durable outer covers.

This down chambers that encircle the entire sleeping bag from one zipper to the other enables the user to shift the down wherever they need more insulation. They can be shifted towards the top for cold nights, and beneath for warm nights.

The AlpinLite has a left-hand zip, YKK full-length zipper. A full length zipper allows you to zip your sleeping bag almost completely open for ventilation. It will be useful when you go backpacking during the summer.


  • Designed For Extreme Weathers
  • Double-Filled Technology
  • S-Shaped Quilted Design
  • Easy To Clean And Carry


  • Not warm enough

5. Marmot Sawtooth 15

Marmot Sawtooth 15 review

The Sawtooth 15 one of the premium Marmot sleeping bags. Its users say that it is true to its temperature rating. In addition, it has a quality fill of duck down that gives it a high warmth to weight ratio.

Sawtooth 15 is a big mummy bag that can fit a person as tall as 6’8”. It weighs 1 pound and 4.8 ounces.

Made with synthetic material, the Sawtooth 15 is best for fall to mild winter backpacking trips. It also features lightweight fabrics on the inside.

Testers believe that the Sawtooth 15 is a warm 3 season sleeping bag. It has a 650-fill duck down. It also features an internal foot warmer pocket.

The Sawtooth 15 has a ground level zipper on its side. This reduces the loss of body heat through the zipper. It can also move two ways, which will allow venting when it gets too warm.


  • Accurate temperature ratings
  • Quality for its price
  • Duck down fill
  • Water repellant


  • Heavier than other synthetic sleeping bags
  • Zipper gets snagged if not careful
  • Bulky

6. Big Agnes Torchlight

Big Agnes Torchlight Review

The Torchlight is one of the best among the Big Agnes sleeping bags available in the market. It serves up plenty of comfortable rooms for its users. It has an expandable panel that gives the user space to toss and turn why he/she sleeps.

The Torchlight can keep the average sized man warm with the regular size. It has a bigger size built for larger people and weighs 2 to 3 pounds.

It features two expandable panels from the shoulders to the footbox. These panels increase the sleep space for the camper. Best for campers who want more comfort after a long day of trekking.

The linings of the Big Agnes Torchlight is made of ripstop nylon with a DWR finish. This material makes it stain and water resistant.

It is insulated with a 600 fill down. It has a hood that follows the shape of the user’s head. This gives a more comfortable fit and more warmth.

The Big Agnes Torchlight has dual zipper sliders on the expandable panels. This dual slider allows the user to make many adjustments according to their liking.


  • Expandable panel
  • 600 fill down
  • Spacious
  • Easy to use


  • The zippers tend to snag

7. Eco Trail Bed 20 by The North Face

Eco Trail Bed 20 by The North Face review

The Eco Trail Bed 20 is one of the best North Face sleeping bags. This brand has shown that they are environmentally friendly with a sleeping bag that is made with recycled fabrics.

The North Face sleeping bags are big and can accommodate people as tall as 7 feet. It is rectangular shaped and weighs 4.8 to 5 pounds.

The outer shell of the Eco Trail Bed is made with 50-denier recycled ripstop polyester. Its inner lining is made of 50-denier polyester taffeta. These materials feel nice to the skin and are best to keep you warm during your outdoor adventures.

This backpacking sleeping bag is insulated with a recycled polyester fill. It has a brushed polyester head liner which provides a softer feel. Also, it has a top cinch that will provide you with more warmth and comfort.

The Eco Trail bed has a 14-inch side zipper that will allow you to sit up comfortably without letting the heat vent out of the bag.


  • Environmentally friendly
  • Gives you more room to move around while sleeping
  • Synthetic insulation


  • Takes up too much space
  • Slightly heavy

8. Kelty Cosmic 20

Kelty Cosmic 20 review

The Kelty Cosmic 20 is one of the most talked-about 3 seasons sleeping bags. It is really affordable as compared to the price of its competitors. This Kelty sleeping bag is the best budget backpack sleeping bag of 2021.

The weight of this bag is 2 pounds and 10 ounces. Compared to other mummy bags, this one is small because it can only fit a person as tall as 6 feet.

The outer shell of the Cosmic 20 is made of a durable 20-denier nylon. Its inner lining is made of 50-denier polyester which is extra soft on the skin. Also, it has a DWR coating which repels water and keeps you warm when it rains.

Cosmic 20 has a warm and quick drying 550-fill power down. However when it gets wet, it loses its ability to insulate because the feathers clump together. This is common among all down bags.

It has a dual-sliding zipper feature. This makes it easy to get in and out of the sleeping bag. You wouldn’t have to worry of getting stuck to make some adjustments to your ventilation.


  • Affordable
  • Decent warmth
  • Spacious


  • Heavier than others
  • Bulky
  • No storage and compression sack

9. Western Mountaineering Flylite Platinum

Western Mountaineering Flylite Platinum review

Our candidate for the best warmth to weight ratio, the Flylite Platinum can pass as our favorite backpacking sleeping bag. It can compress down to nearly the size of a water bottle. It also features its 850 fill power down that makes it the warmest sleeping bag on this list.

The size of this sleeping bag can fit a person that is 6 feet tall. It is a mummy sleeping bag with an 850 fill down. It weighs 1.7 pounds.

The outer fabric and the inner fabric of this bag is made of 10D nylon. These materials keep the moisture away for a more comfortable experience.

This bag can compete with REI Co op Magma 15 with its 850 fill power down insulation.

The Flylite Platinum’s zipper is located on the left side of the bag. It is a half-length copper zipper which makes it one of the most ideal backpacking sleeping bags.


  • High warmth to weight ratio
  • It can pass as lightweight


  • It is a little bit expensive

10. NEMO Forte

NEMO Forte review

The NEMO Forte is the last on our list, but it definitely is not the least. It is affordable but can also go head to head with other brands with its quality. Forte 35 is best for side sleepers who love more space while they sleep.

NEMO Forte is a spoon bag designed to fit average-sized people. Although it is not light, it is not very heavy either. Its weight is pretty decent for a 35 degree bag.

The shell fabric of the Forte 35 is 40D Nylon Ripstop DWR, which is a burly fabric compared to those used by other brands. It may feel thick, but it is actually nice to touch.

The brand NEMO has a synthetic insulation called Statofiber. It gives its user a solid loft and heat. Also, it is water resistant and packs down small.

This bag has a full length, double slider left zipper. It snags normally like other zippers.


  • Spacious
  • Synthetic insulation
  • Accurate temperature ratings
  • Great for side sleepers


  • Bulky
  • Burly lining fabric

Things To Consider When Buying A Backpack Sleeping Bag

Purchasing a high quality backpacking sleeping bag is a great investment for mountaineers, campers, and backpackers. Due to the many brands available in the market, buying one can be very tricky.

But you don’t need to worry!

Whether you want the ultralight sleeping bag, or the spacious sleeping bag, or the best sleeping bag, we will help you decide!

In this section, we listed the factors that you need to consider when buying a sleeping bag. This is to ensure that you get your money’s worth and you get the best sleeping bag.

You need to consider the type, shape, temperature ratings, insulating property, and other bonus features of your prospective bag.

Let us discuss further…

Types Of Sleeping Bags

Sleeping bags are classified into three types: summer sleeping bags, 3 season sleeping bags, and winter sleeping bags. They are pretty self-explanatory, but let us look into the details.

Summer Sleeping Bags

Summer models are often made for ultralight sleeping. They are made with less padding inside its linings.

Sleeping Bags often have zippers that will allow you to close them almost completely. They can cover your body from the cool wind of summer nights. The zippers also allow you to easily open the bag a little bit if it gets too warm.

Winter Sleeping Bags

The winter versions have all the characteristics of the three-season ones, but often have a double thermal layer to ensure more warmth inside the bag. These bags are larger, and this makes them less easy to pack. So, we recommend that you buy a good stuff sack that allows you to flatten and compress it to make it easier to transport.

Temperature Value

Every sleeping bag has a temperature rating that allows you to identify the optimal temperatures of use according to the environment. However, these values should be taken with a grain of salt. This is because there is still no universal standard that can determine them exactly. As a result, manufacturers can freely state a temperature rating depending on which sells the best.

Here are 4 types of temperature ratings:

Upper limit rating
This is the maximum temperature at which the average man can sleep comfortably.

Comfort rating
The comfort rating is the lowest temperature at which the average woman can get a good night’s sleep.

Lower limit rating
The lower limit rating is the minimum temperature at which the average man can sleep without problems.

Extreme rating
Extreme rating is the lowest temperature at which a standard female body is protected from hypothermia and can sleep for 6 hours even if not continuous and comfortable.

Type Of Insulation

This is another important factor that we need to consider. There are two types: down or synthetic. Here are the differences and pros and cons of both:

Down/ Duvet fill
The duvet is the lightest fill in terms of weight. Also, it is reducible in space which is a great advantage for a hiker who carries large loads. It retains its insulating power longer than other synthetic materials.

On another note, Down fill is generally more expensive than synthetic filling. The price differs based on the quality of the feathers inside. To evaluate the quality, the filling capacity is used as a parameter. The higher this value, the better the down and its insulating capacity.

There are a lot of synthetic materials that can be used as padding for a sleeping bag. In general, polyester is the most preferred because it does not absorb water. Polyester is an excellent choice for sheltering from soil moisture or light precipitation. The sleeping bags of this material are bulkier and heavier, but they certainly have a lower price.

Shapes Of Sleeping Bags

There is a wide variety of sleeping bags available in the market. These bags come in different shapes and models that suit the varied personalities and types of campers. The three major shapes are the mummy-shaped, rectangular, and semi rectangular sleeping bags.

A mummy bag is narrower towards the legs. This ensures maximum efficiency in thermal insulation and wider on the part of the torso. A sleeping bag’s main task is to contain the body heat within the bag, and a mummy sleeping bag is capable of that.

Another notable feature of a mummy bag is the contoured hood. This encloses around your neck that gives you more warmth especially on chilly days.

The mummy shaped model has smaller interior space, it is more efficient in keeping the warmth inside. However, there are campers who move a lot during their sleep. They find mummy-shaped bags slightly uncomfortable.

This is the most traditional sleeping bag. Rectangular in shape, they are made for those campers who like more room for them to sleep in. If you are a person who tosses and turns as you sleep, this shape is best for you.

However, rectangular sleeping bags are not good for keeping the warmth inside. We recommend rectangular sleeping bags for sleepovers or vehicle camping.

The Eco Trail Bed 20 by The North Face is a rectangular sleeping bag.

A semi-rectangular sleeping bag is the middle ground between the mummy-shaped and the rectangular one. This bag is one good compromise for campers who are not comfortable sleeping in tight spaces but still need good coverage and warmth.

Warmth to Weight Ratio

Backpackers tend to be very keen about a sleeping bag’s warmth to weight ratio. You can’t blame them, because they want to keep themselves warm while they are on their adventures.

If you are a cold sleeper, you must get a sleeping bag with a high comfort rating. Sleeping bags with a high warmth to weight rating are the best sellers.

Absence of warmth while you are on a backpacking adventure can be very dangerous for your health. That is why you must keep in mind that you must sustain the warmth of your body.

Additional features

The best backpacking sleeping bags do not only provide what they are meant to provide, but they also have bonus features that backpackers love about them. These features enhance the user experience and ultimately makes their backpacking experience one for the books.

Here are a few of the bonus features of the best backpacking sleeping bags:

Contoured Hood

A contoured hood helps in retaining the body heat. Tightly wrapping your head with the hood gives you more warmth. Some of the best sleeping bags have this feature.

Isolating Feature

The best sleeping bags have anti-draft valves. These valves are located behind the zipper to prevent the warm air from escaping the bag. A thermo draft collar is also a good isolating feature that is located around the neck.

Zipper Features

You might not believe it, but the zippers play an important part in the functionality of the sleeping bag. Full length zippers are good, because it makes it easy for the user to open the bag to let some air out if it gets too warm.

However, there are times that the zipper snags and gets caught while you try to open or close it. This is one of the most annoying incidents you can experience with sleeping bags. When choosing a sleeping bag, try to find a model that has a zipper protecting system.

A snag zipper can protect you from the cold. Keep in mind that you must keep yourself warm especially if you are backpacking in the winter.

2-way zippers
Sleeping bags with 2-way zippers are better especially if you are camping during the summer. We all know that it gets too hot in the summer. With a two-way zipper, you can easily open your sleeping bag to let some hot air out.

Stash pocket
The best sleeping bags have a stash pocket inside. Usually, it is located at the top, near your chest. This can be useful for storing small items like a whistle, lip balm, or a flashlight.

Compression Sack
The best sleeping bags come with a compression sack. This makes them easy to store. Backpackers like compression sacks for ease of transport.

Sleeping Pad Compatibility
There are some bags that need another layer of insulation beneath. That is why they recommend getting a sleeping pad. However, some sleeping pads are not compatible. Choose a backpack sleeping bag that is versatile and compatible to any kind of sleeping pad.

Pillow Pocket
The best sleeping bags come with a pillow pocket. A pillow pocket allows you to stuff it with anything soft to make a pillow. They wouldn’t need to bring a pillow with them, which is very convenient, because pillows can be bulky.

Backpacking Sleeping Bags – Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good backpacking sleeping bag?

A good backpacking sleeping bag is the one where you feel the most comfortable. Also, it should give you a good night’s sleep. This is very important because a sleeping bag can make or break your entire backpacking experience.

You can tell that a sleeping bag is good depending on your sleeping preferences. Are you a cold sleeper? Then, a mummy bag with a high warmth to weight ratio will be good for you. Mummy bags are very secured and can keep the warm air inside while keeping the cold air out.

For those backpackers who like to have a little extra room where they can toss and turn while they sleep, a rectangular sleeping bag is best for you. However, sleeping bag creators have also developed their sleeping bags for side sleepers.

Another thing that makes a sleeping bag good is its overall weight. Backpackers carry a large load with a huge weight while they go on hiking or trekking, they do not want unnecessary weight. The lighter, the better.

The price is also one thing to consider, but you must make sure that you are not sacrificing the quality of your sleeping bags for money. Invest in a high quality sleeping bag that you can use for many years.

But here is the kicker: You can’t have it all in just one sleeping bag.

One bag can be better than the other in some features. That is why you must choose according to what you think will give you a restful sleep, and ultimately, a wonderful backpacking experience.

Which brand of sleeping bag is best?

It is difficult to choose just one, because each sleeping bag has its own edge over the others. However, we were able to pick 3 best sleeping bags for every kind of backpacker. They are all high quality and they are capable of keeping the backpacker safe while they are on their camping adventures. So, here are the best sleeping bags 2021.

The best ultralight sleeping bag is the NEMO Forte. It is the lightest lightweight sleeping bag. Most users like it for its low weight. Also, it can be packed down so it occupies a small space on their backpacks.

We considered the NEMO Forte as one of the best because of its incredibly low overall weight.

The best budget sleeping bag is the Kelty Cosmic 20. This is a good buy especially for backpackers on a budget. For its price, it does its job well. It is also a lightweight sleeping bag, only higher in weight than the Tanager 20 by some ounces.

Our best pick for 2021 is the Therm a Rest Hyperion 20. It is an ultralight sleeping bag and has the best price and has proven that it is true to the features that it says on its promotional advertisements. Many backpackers have sworn to the reliability and quality of the Hyperion 20.

The fill of the Hyperion is the best among the rest because of its quality and weight, not to mention that it is reasonably priced, too. Weighing less than 2 lbs, Hyperion 20 sure is the best among the others.

What is a good weight for a backpacking sleeping bag?

A backpack sleeping bag should not weigh higher than 3 pounds. However, there are instances that they are acceptable to weigh more especially if they were just made for vehicle camping trips.

The ideal weight for a backpacking sleeping bag is 2 lbs. As you review this guide, the weight of the sleepings bags we listed here are less than 2 pounds. There may be one or 2 that weighs more, but only by a few ounces.

Backpackers are very particular about weight because they want to carry less load for their adventures. When you purchase your own, make sure that it does not exceed 3 pounds.

What is the most compact sleeping bag?

The most compact is the ultralight Feathered Friends Tanager 20. This is undoubtedly a backpacker favorite because it can be incredibly packed small into a 14 by 6 inch package.

However, you must note that there is no compression sack in the package. You will need to buy one separately. We believe that the Tanager’s 950-fill-power goose down can still be compressed more because of its loftiness.

Remember to be careful in using a compression sack with the Tanager 20. The insulation of this sleeping bag can be damaged by too much cinching. Compress the bag lightly and avoid storing it in the compression sack for a long period of time.


This post is to guide you in purchasing a backpack sleeping bag. The brands we suggested have been tried and tested by experts to help you decide which to buy.

Remember that you should never compromise your comfort for any other feature, be it the price, the size, or compressibility. Choose one that you think will keep you warm and comfortable. Investing in a good quality backpacking sleeping bag will take you to more adventures.

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