BEST SLEEPING BAGS FOR BACKPACKING IN 2019
A good sleeping bag is one of the best investments you can make as an outdoor enthusiast. Packability, warmth, weight and versatility are all important factors to consider when buying the best sleeping bag for backpacking, and there’s a lot to choose from. From technology to new fabrics, a quick Google search might leave you with a dizzying amount of options, so we decided to do some of the work for you. We rated these sleeping bags some of the most popular on the market because they stood up to the standards of having a good balance of warmth, weight and versatility, along with price. If you want to learn more about these factors and how to evaluate sleeping bags, check out our blog post, “How to Choose a Sleeping Bag for Backpacking.”
You might not expect to get your best night’s sleep while camping or backpacking, but these sleeping bags sure help you come close.
Here are the best sleeping bags for backpacking of 2019.
Best 2-Man Quilt: Enlightened Equipment 2-Man Accomplice Quilt
- Temperature Rating: Available from 0-50 degrees Fahrenheit (custom-made)
- Weight: 36 ounces (20 degree version)
- Fill: 850-950
If you’ve ever considered a two-person sleeping bag so you can snuggle with your partner, this quilt is your ticket. You’d think you’d be cramped, however, with the Enlightened Equipment 2-Man Accomplice Quilt, I actually feel like I have way more room than in a single person mummy bag. The quilt comes with a set of straps that you use to connect your sleeping pads. Then you slip the quilt’s spacious footbox over the bottom of your two pads and connect each side of the quilt to the straps on the outside of the sleeping bags. This creates a seal that traps heat in during colder temps.
If you’re too toasty, you can unclip your side of the quilt from your pad while your partner stays nice and snug. The quilt doesn’t have hoods for your heads in order to save on weight but you can purchase one separately if you need it. Along with the other advantages I mention, this quilt weighs ~2 pounds (depending on temperature and fill), which is equals 1 pound per person, which is much less than any of the the other best sleeping bags for backpacking that we’ve come across. Just make sure you order your bag in advance as they produce to order and get very busy leading up to summer.
Best Value Sleeping Bag: REI Joule 21 Women’s Sleeping Bag
- Temperature Rating: 21 degrees Fahrenheit
- Weight: 35 ounces
- Fill: 700
The best sleeping bag for backpacking that offers an amazing warmth to weight ratio, the REI Joule 21 is my pick for a warm and lightweight three season bag at a moderate price. At 35 ounces, this is the sleeping bag I took on the John Muir Trail. Made with water repellent down and waterproof fabric at the feet, head and sides, it’s a great option for cold, damp conditions, yet it’s still breathable. The men’s version of this bag is called the REI Co-op Igneo 25.
Best Budget Synthetic Sleeping Bag: Marmot Trestles 30 Sleeping Bag
- Temperature Rating: 30 Degrees Fahrenheit
- Weight: 55 ounces
- Fill: SpiraFil LT polyester fibers
This is the best sleeping bag for backpacking when you’re on a budget or just want to save some money. It’s available in both a men’s and women’s version for less than $100 each, a price that can’t be beat for the quality. Being a synthetic bag, it’s an excellent choice for wet conditions and summer camping. It’s also very roomy for those of you who toss and turn. The downside of this bag is it’s heavier and it doesn’t pack down as small as some of the other choices on this list. That said, it comes with a compression sack that you can use to squeeze it down as much as it will compact.
REI Co-op Magma 15 Sleeping Bag
- Temperature Rating: 17 Degrees Fahrenheit
- Weight: 36 ounces
- Fill: 850
One of the best lightweight REI sleeping bags for backpacking on really cold nights. The REI Magma 15 has a mummy shape that is strategically designed to keep heat in from your head to the foot box. Practically the same weight as the REI Joule, it is slightly warmer and a bit more expensive. It also has an anti-snag zipper so you don’t have to worry about middle-of-the-night zipper snafus and a contoured hood so it fits snug.
Best Warmth to Weight Ratio: Western Mountaineering Versatile Light
I love this sleeping bag, and since upgrading from the REI Joule, this has been my go-to for cold weather trips. But don’t just take it from me. This 10 degree Western Mountaineering Versatile Light has some of the best online reviews from users who say this is one of the warmest and most lightweight sleeping bags for backpacking. Other accolades include a well-designed zipper, breathable material and good for 3 season use. It may be at the top of your price brackett at around $500, but with proper care, this sleeping bag should last you a very long time.
Best Budget Down Sleeping Bag: Kelty Cosmic DriDown Sleeping Bag
- Temperature Rating: 0, 20, or 40 Degrees Fahrenheit
- Weight: 38 ounces (20 degree bag)
- Fill: 550 DriDown
Another budget sleeping bag, the Kelty Cosmic DriDown Sleeping Bag has won many awards for being an all-around good quality sleeping bag. Made with hydrophic down, it’s lighter than the Marmot Trestles mentioned above, but it will not perform as well in wet weather. At around $120, it’s one of the best sleeping bags for backpacking in its price range and a great option for new backpackers looking to get into the sport.
Best Hot Weather Sleeping Bag: Sea to Summit Spark 1 Sleeping Bag
- Temperature Rating: 40+ Degrees Fahrenheit
- Weight: 12 ounces
- Fill: 850 DriDown
The Sea to Summit Spark 1 is your go-to for when you need a summer sleeping bag for ultralight backpacking. Weighing a mere 12 ounces (less than some sleeping pads!) and packing down to the size of a football, it’s perfect for summer desert trips or saving a ton of space in your backpack. A downside is it’s a little pricy when you consider it’s lack of versatility, but if you only plan on backpacking in the warmest climates, you’ll appreciate this bag.
What do you think is the best sleeping bag for backpacking? Leave a comment below or join the conversation in our Bearfoot Theory Outdoor Adventurers Facebook Group!
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