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Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag of 2024

Sophie Anderson

Written by Sophie Anderson

A lifelong adventurer, Sophie has treaded every terrain from rocky cliffs to forest trails. She aims to spark a love for the outdoors in every reader.

This post was last updated on March 04, 2024.

Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag of 2024

Attention to all outdoor adventurers, it is time to ready your gear for your next backpacking trip, and we are here to guide you in one of the crucial choices: a sleeping bag. Unarguably, the category's favorite is the Western Mountaineering UltraLite. Why, you may ask? This blog post details all the reasons for this ultimate choice.

From the warmth and temperature rating to its warmth-to-weight ratio, insulation material, durability, and other significant criteria, the Western Mountaineering UltraLite stands an undeniable winner. But that's not all! It owns the crown for its outstanding packability and heart-warming comfort, making it absolutely worth the value. But we understand everyone has unique needs and budgets, so stick with us as we unveil two runners up too.

For those who are looking for the best sleeping bag for winter backpacking, or the best ultralight sleeping bag, or the best backpacking sleeping pad, fret not, we've got you covered.

Our Top Recommendations

Our Top Pick

9.0 /10
Western Mountaineering UltraLite Backpacking Sleeping Bag
Western Mountaineering UltraLite
Comfort
9
Features
9
Insulation
9
Warmth
10
Weight
8

The Western Mountaineering UltraLite is our top pick because it's a fantastic blend of lightweight design and warmth. It's narrow to save weight, but only particularly broad-shouldered people will find it constricting.

Runner Up #1

8.8 /10
Feathered Friends Swallow YF 20 Backpacking Sleeping Bag
Feathered Friends Swallow YF 20
Comfort
7
Features
8
Insulation
10
Warmth
10
Weight
9

The Feathered Friends Swallow YF 20 secures its top pick runner-up because it's extremely light, built with top quality materials, like the 900+ fill power goose down. It is fairly narrow though, so this probably isn't the sleeping bag for you if you're a bigger person, or like a roomy sleeping bag.

Runner Up #2

7.8 /10
NEMO Riff 30 Backpacking Sleeping Bag
NEMO Riff 30
Comfort
9
Features
9
Insulation
7
Warmth
8
Weight
6

The NEMO Riff 30 clinches our top pick runner up spot because of the innovative gill system for controlling temperature, and the water resistant fabrics plus down. But it loses points for a bulky build and being on the heavy side.

What you should look for

(and what we test for)

Fit

Sleeping bags come in a few different shapes. Tapered sleeping bags, or mummy bags, are popular with backpackers due to the weight savings of less fabric and material.

Temperature Rating

Try to figure out the lowest temperatures that you're likely to see in your area, for the seasons you go hiking. This is a good temperature rating to buy for. You can always leave your sleeping bag unzipped on the warmer nights.

Weight and Packed Size

A light backpack makes for a happy backpacker. Look for a sleeping bag that doesn't weigh too much and packs down small in your bag, because sleeping bags can also take up a lot of room.

Material and Insulation

Sleeping bags filled with down are typically lighter and more compact, but down doesn't do well when it's wet. Synthetic sleeping bags are typically heavier and less compact, but synthetic insulation doesn't lose too much heat when it gets wet. You can also combine a down sleeping bag with a water resistant, or waterproof, exterior.

9.0 /10

Western Mountaineering UltraLite

$635.00
The Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag

Based on our research and testing, we think the Western Mountaineering UltraLite is the best Backpacking Sleeping Bag on the market right now, for anyone looking to play hard outside.

Western Mountaineering UltraLite Backpacking Sleeping Bag
Comfort
9
Features
9
Insulation
9
Warmth
10
Weight
8

Reasons to Buy

  • Superb lightweight design
  • Excellent draft collar
  • Very good warmth, especially relative to weight
  • Baffles allow you to shift down distribution

Reasons to Avoid

  • Quite expensive
  • May be too narrow for wide-shouldered backpackers

The Western Mountaineering UltraLite is definitely a front-runner in the world of backpacking sleeping bags. This sleeping bag manages to package maximum comfort in a light and compact design, which makes it a popular choice among backpackers.

Buyers rave about the toasty warmth the UltraLite provides. Rated to withstand temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, users report that it performs reliably even in near-freezing conditions. The 850+ fill power down offers superior loft, while the continuous baffles and draft tube work together to keep out the chilly winds.

An important point of praise for the UltraLite is its impressive weight and packability. Tipping the scales just over a pound, it hardly adds weight to the backpack, hence proving its namesake. Scrunch it down into the stuff sack, and it shrinks to the size of a football. This makes it a solid choice for trips where every ounce and inch of backpack space counts.

The rugged design and quality materials are another thing users love about the UltraLite. The bag's outer shell is constructed from a durable ExtremeLite fabric that is not only water-resistant but also tear-resistant. Therefore, it gets top marks for withstanding the rigors of being out in the wild.

Despite all the accolades, the UltraLite does have a downside that some buyers lament: its premium price tag. It's definitely an investment piece, with some users arguing that there are cheaper alternatives that deliver a similar performance.

Another minor complaint is about the bag's narrow cut, especially for people who are wider at the shoulders. While some appreciate the snug fit for its heat retention properties, others find it a bit restrictive in terms of movement.

In conclusion, it seems the Western Mountaineering UltraLite's balance of weight, warmth, and packability, backed up with a durable construction, make it a favorite among users. It also offers significant resistance against the extremities of the outdoor wilderness. Its high cost and narrow design might be sticking points for some, but it’s clear that many find the overall quality and comfort worth the price.

8.8 /10

Feathered Friends Swallow YF 20

$529.00
Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Feathered Friends Swallow YF 20 is a great choice if you're looking for a backpacking sleeping bag to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Feathered Friends Swallow YF 20 Backpacking Sleeping Bag
Comfort
7
Features
8
Insulation
10
Warmth
10
Weight
9

Reasons to Buy

  • Very high quality down insulation
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Baffles allow you to shift down distribution

Reasons to Avoid

  • Somewhat pricey
  • Quite a slim cut

The Feathered Friends Swallow YF 20 has built a reputation as a reliable candidate in the backpacking sleeping bags category. It stands out with its attention to detail and thought after comfort. A go-to for many outdoor enthusiasts, the sleeping bag combines warmth, comfort, and packability into one powerful package.

Crafted from high-quality materials, the Swallow YF 20 boasts a high-loft down filling, delivering an impressive warmth-to-weight ratio. This makes the bag warm but not too bulky. Its Pertex® Quantum® shell, known for durability and water resistance, ensures the resilience and longevity of the bag.

Another noteworthy feature is its 'continuous baffles'. This design allows users to shift the down insulation to adapt to weather changes. Hence, securing a comfortable sleep temperature is no hustle, be it hot, cool or freezing night.

For those who like extra wiggle room, the sleeping bag's semi-rectangular shape offers more space than a typical mummy bag. In terms of packed size, it impresses backpackers with its better-than-average compressibility.

The bag includes a feature-rich hood and a 'tuck-stitch' design which minimizes seam exposure and increases the product’s overall endurance. The glow in the dark zipper pulls are a fun little touch.

The Swallow YF 20 isn't the lightest bag in the market and some users have noted that it's more suitable for cooler conditions than warm summer nights. But for the quality level, it still manages to keep the weight relatively low and it's a solid choice for three-season use.

The price tag of the Swallow YF 20 is admittedly on the higher end scale. But buyers frequently speak of its superb build and commendable longevity and deem it a worthwhile investment. Most agree that the bag delivers excellent value for money due to its superior features and quality.

In terms of users' feedback, the Feathered Friends Swallow YF 20 generally earns stellar reviews. Customers consistently mention its warmth, comfort and durability. The few dissenting opinions were mostly centred around its price and maximize utility in warmer climates.

In conclusion, the Feathered Friends Swallow YF 20's list of features and benefits cements its position as one of the best sleeping bag choices. Investing in this bag means investing in quality, comfort, warmth, and long-lasting gear.

7.8 /10

NEMO Riff 30

Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the NEMO Riff 30 is a great choice if you're looking for a backpacking sleeping bag to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

NEMO Riff 30 Backpacking Sleeping Bag
Comfort
9
Features
9
Insulation
7
Warmth
8
Weight
6

Reasons to Buy

  • Hourglass shape maximizes comfort
  • Thermo gills are a great feature to help regulate temperature
  • Water resistant footbox and water resistant down

Reasons to Avoid

  • On the heavy side
  • Hourglass shape makes it bulky to pack

The NEMO Riff 30 is a backpacker's dream. The sleeping bag not only boasts an impressive light weight, but also features a unique spoon-shaped design to accommodate those of us who prefer side or stomach slumbering. This kind of thoughtful detail makes this bag standout from the conventional mummy-shaped designs.

The bag is rated for 30 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a great choice for spring, summer or fall camping trips. Users have reported that the comfort level in typical temperatures was more than satisfying. Plus, the warmth of this bag is further elevated by NEMO's Thermo Gills technology, a patented design that allows venting of body heat without letting cold drafts in. This feature received high praises from purchasers, with many appreciating the extra control over their sleep temperature.

Reviewers have also noticed how roomy it is inside the bag, which is a refreshing change from other sleeping bags that can feel like a tight cocoon. This applies not only to the extra knee and elbow space but also to the foot box – gone are the days of numb, cramped feet in the morning.

The 800-fill power, water-resistant, down insulation gets a thumbs up for its high-quality construction. But what caught the most attention is the sleeping bag's overall packability. Even with all its features, users found it can be packed down to a size that takes up very little room in a backpack.

However, not everything about the NEMO Riff 30 garnered positive reviews. Some users found the bag's zipper to become stuck easily. Others mentioned that the lack of a draft collar could make cold nights a bit chilling around the neck and shoulder area especially in temperatures close to the lower limit.

Another thing certain buyers pointed out was the cost. The NEMO Riff 30, with all its standout features and high-quality construction, does come at a premium price quicker. Some people found it worth the investment, while others hesitated due to the price tag.

To summarize, the NEMO Riff 30 was praised for its comfort and roominess, temperature regulating features, and excellent packability. On the flipside, minor criticisms were raised about the zipper functionality and absence of a draft collar, with some prospective buyers balking at the price. Despite these, the majority of reviews for the NEMO Riff 30 have been overwhelmingly positive, lauding it as a standout product in the backpacking sleeping bag niche.

No prices found. Check back later!

Kelty Cosmic 20

$154.95
Best Budget Backpacking Sleeping Bag

Based on our research and testing, we think the Kelty Cosmic 20 is a great pick if you're looking for a backpacking sleeping bag that is more budget friendly, without sacrificing too much in quality.

Kelty Cosmic 20 Backpacking Sleeping Bag

Reasons to Buy

  • Affordable
  • Warm and Comfortable
  • durable
  • Impressive packability

Reasons to Avoid

  • Slightly heavier
  • Bulky when unpacked

The Kelty Cosmic 20 is a no-frills option for those who are diving into the world of backpacking on a budget. One of the significant draws of this bag is that it's both affordable and offers a reasonably low weight, making it a solid choice for multi-day hikes where every ounce counts.

Featuring a 600-fill power DriDown insulation, the Kelty Cosmic 20 provides decent warmth suitable for three-season camping, down to temperatures of around 20°F. The insulation has a water-resistant coating aimed at keeping you dry, and it seems to do its job pretty well based on buyer reviews.

People who used this bag online have praised it for its comfort. Its roomy cut offers a generous footbox and ample shoulder space to bundle up or spread out, which is perfect for all the different sleeping positions. Plus, it packs in a full-length draft tube that does a pretty good job of preventing cold spots and keeping the heat in.

While the Cosmic 20's warmth-to-weight ratio isn't class-leading, it's still a good-value offering considering the price point. Users seemed appreciative of the compact stuff size when packed, which proves particularly handy during longer treks where pack space is premium.

However, it's not all sunshine and rainbows with the Cosmic 20, as some users have pointed out negatives in their feedback. While the outer material is generally durable, there were few who mentioned that the zipper can sometimes snag, potentially causing damage over time. Additionally, the bag's lower limit temperature rating can be optimistic, with some people feeling chilly in temperatures around the mid-20s°F. It's always a good idea to pack extra layers for insulation just in case.

In terms of accessories, the Cosmic 20 features a handy stash pocket, perfect for keeping items like headlamps or watches close at hand during the night. However, there's no compression sack included which may be a minor inconvenience for some users aiming for minimal pack size.

Katabatic Gear Alsek 22

$430.00
Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag for Quilt

Based on our research and testing, we think the Katabatic Gear Alsek 22 is a solid choice if you want a backpacking sleeping bag that's really well suited to Quilt.

Katabatic Gear Alsek 22 Backpacking Sleeping Bag

Reasons to Buy

  • Extremely thermal and warm
  • Works great in a range of weather conditions
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Highly adaptable due to quilt design

Reasons to Avoid

  • May feel tight for people with a larger body type
  • Little pricey compared to some competitors

When it comes to the world of backpacking quilts, the Katabatic Gear Alsek 22 sits firmly at the top tier. As confirmed by countless online reviewers, it provides a golden balance between weight, warmth and comfort that makes it a favorite amongst backpackers, climbers and campers alike.

The Alsek 22 is ultra-lightweight, a feature that many customers rave about. Weighing in at only 1.44 pounds (for the 6' version), it's barely noticeable in your pack. This makes it an excellent choice for those conscious about every ounce and particularly those undertaking long-distance hikes.

The comfort of the Alsek 22 is another frequently-mentioned point by customers. The unique 'differential cut' design that Katabatic employs ensures the bag hugs your body, providing consistent insulation, while the breathable 10D material prevents you from overheating and offers a comfortable sleep experience even on uneven terrain.

One notable point to consider with the Alsek 22, as some users point out, is its cost. Though it's a top performer, it is a bit pricey compared to other options. This quirk is something to bear in mind for budget-conscious hikers. Yet, many people believe that the build quality, functionality and longevity of the product justify its price tag.

The Alsek 22 also excels in terms of warmth. It's rated for temperatures down to 22°F – which several reviewers verified. While some users found it a touch cool in lower temperatures, almost everyone agreed that the bag performed well within its stated range.

Finally, for those concerned about durability, the Alsek 22 seems to tick all the boxes. Numerous reviewers commented on the bags' resilience and its ability to handle rough camping conditions. The ultralight Pertex Quantum Ripstop shell and 900 fill power down ensure durability and longevity.

In conclusion, the Katabatic Gear Alsek 22 stands out as a top contender amongst the best ultralight quilts available. Its impeccable blend of comfort, warmth, weight, and durability make it a highly recommended choice- as users' testimonials and ratings show. The price might be a bit steep for some, but for those who want the best gear for their outdoor adventures, it's well worth considering.

Marmot Trestles 30

$108.95
Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag for Synthetic

Based on our research and testing, we think the Marmot Trestles 30 is a solid choice if you want a backpacking sleeping bag that's really well suited to Synthetic.

Marmot Trestles 30 Backpacking Sleeping Bag

Reasons to Buy

  • Great for three-season backpacking
  • Affordable price tag
  • Comfortable and roomy
  • Durable, long-lasting material
  • Can handle cold temperatures relatively well

Reasons to Avoid

  • Could be too roomy for more compact sleepers
  • Compression size not ideal for ultralight backpacking
  • May not be warm enough for sub-zero temperatures

In the world of synthetic sleeping bags, the Marmot Trestles 30 stands out as a heavyweight player, bringing warmth, comfort, and durability to outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes. Let's check out why it’s an absolute hit amongst buyers.

Snuggly nestled in its robust design is an affordable option for those who desire comfort under the stars without breaking the bank. With a superb warmth-to-weight ratio, the Trestles 30 is a trusted companion during late spring, summer, and early fall camping trips. Its synthetic insulation strikes a sweet harmony by keeping you warm, even in damp conditions and proves its weight in gold when water misadventure strikes.

Numerous online reviewers rave about this sleeping bag's durability. They mention experiences bringing it on rugged adventures and the bag living to face many more. Certainly, the synthetic insulation has a reputation for bouncing back from wear, tear, dust, and grime better than down-filled counterparts. Evidently, Marmot Trestles 30 notably delivers longevity after repeated use in various rough conditions.

The Marmot Trestles 30 is applauded for being comfortable and roomy by quite a few buyers online. It focuses on a semi-rectangular shape that gives plenty of elbow and knee space for sleepers, which is a departure from the constrictive mummy-style designs. A note of appreciation rings loudly from those who move a lot in their sleep and want to maintain a comfortable nocturnal posture.

But it's not all sunshine and rainbows for this bag, as some customers mention that it doesn't pack down as small as other options, which can be a deal-breaker for backpackers with limited pack space. Others have noted that while the bag is rated at 30 degrees F, it might not keep you warm on nights that push that lower limit, indicating it might not be the coldest weather warrior.

Western Mountaineering MegaLite

$555.00
Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag for Shoulder Season Backpacking

Based on our research and testing, we think the Western Mountaineering MegaLite is a solid choice if you want a backpacking sleeping bag that's really well suited to Shoulder Season Backpacking.

Western Mountaineering MegaLite Backpacking Sleeping Bag

Reasons to Buy

  • Generous cut allows for comfortable layering
  • High quality 850 fill goose down insulation
  • Great compressibility and packability
  • Exceptional warmth-to-weight ratio
  • Reputed brand with reliable customer service

Reasons to Avoid

  • Slightly pricier than other models in its category
  • Zipper occasionally snags
  • Not ideal for extreme cold weather adventures

If you're on the hunt for an excellent shoulder season sleeping bag, the Western Mountaineering MegaLite should be high on your list. Weighing in at just 1lb 8oz, it's super lightweight and packs down to the size of a small loaf of bread, which makes it ideal for those longer hikes when every ounce matters.

One thing to note though, this bag is rated 30 degrees Fahrenheit, a degree or tax warmer than what some folks would call a '3-season bag'. That said, most buyers found the bag warm enough for most spring, summer, and fall camping trips. A few even reported comfort in sub-freezing temperatures with the right sleeping pad and clothes.

In terms of comfort, reviewers were also impressed. The MegaLite uses high-quality 850+ fill goose down, which means it's super lofty and plush. The bag's design also offers plenty of room around the shoulders - 64 inches to be exact, hence its name. This makes it a favorite among side sleepers and those who just fancy a bit more wriggle-room.

The construction quality? Top-notch. It's made in the USA and users have mentioned its durability, even after many nights in the backcountry. The zipper though, has been noted by a few as a potential weak point. It's full-length, which is nice for ventilation, but some have mentioned minor issues like snagging.

On the price front, it's no secret that the MegaLite is a bit of a splurge. But reviewers generally agree that the high cost is worth it for the weight savings, warmth, comfort, and longevity you're getting. This isn't some cheapo sleeping bag you'll have to replace after a couple of seasons; it's an investment that could see you through years of outdoor adventures.

Outdoor Vitals MummyPod

$334.00
Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag for Hammock Backpacking

Based on our research and testing, we think the Outdoor Vitals MummyPod is a solid choice if you want a backpacking sleeping bag that's really well suited to Hammock Backpacking.

Outdoor Vitals MummyPod Backpacking Sleeping Bag

Reasons to Buy

  • Versatile use for camping and hammocking
  • Innovative design
  • Water-resistant outer shell
  • Great value for money

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not super compact
  • May be a bit too cozy for claustrophobics
  • Zippers can sometimes snag

Settling into your hammock after a day of hiking is a must-have experience. That's where the Outdoor Vitals MummyPod enters the scene. This unique bag is designed specifically for hammock backpackers, bringing a set of killer features that take it from good to great.

The MummyPod is a sleeping bag and an insulated hammock in one! Its specialty, you'd guess it, is its multi-purpose design. It's not just a sleeping bag, you can also easily zip yourself into it while you're lying in a hammock. This gives you a snug-as-a-bug sleeping setup that protects you from the cold breeze that can sneak into a hammock set up from below.

Considering the quality, this bag doesn't break the bank either. Several online reviewers noted the reasonable price tag for a bag that doubles as a hammock insulator.

The bag has a temperature rating of 15°F (-9°C), which means it's built to keep you warm even in the cold winters. A few users mentioned online that they didn't quite feel it lived up to its freezing temperature claim. Nevertheless, many users found it perfectly adequate for three-season camping, keeping them warm and comfortable.

One really cool aspect of this bag is its foot box feature - an extra bit of fabric that can unfurl to cover the bottom of your hammock. If it's a bit chilly at night, this feature can really help retain warmth. Tons of reviewers rave about this practical and simple detail. However, some users have pointed out that the foot box is hard to get back into its original position once it's been used. Keep in mind, folks - practice makes perfect!

In the weight department, the MummyPod doesn't disappoint. It isn't the lightest sleeping bag out there, but for a dual-purpose bag, it's not overly hefty. Online reviewers often noted the manageable weight; perfect for those long hikes where every ounce counts.

MummyPod is also known for its water-resistant properties. Users have mentioned the resilience of this bag in damp outdoor conditions, though like all equipment, it has its limits. According to a handful of backpackers, it holds up fine in dewy conditions, but in heavy rain, you might find some dampness.

Given its focus on hammock camping, this bag is not the best choice for ground sleeping. Users have reported that without the hammock, the bag is a bit thin on the underpadding, and you might feel the hard, cold ground. Though, this may not bother veteran campers who are already used to firm surfaces.

The Outdoor Vitals MummyPod is a standout in the hammock camping niche, offering innovative features that can turn your overnight adventure into an experience of suspended comfort. Although, like any piece of equipment, it has its strengths and areas for improvement. Users who've already bought the MummyPod seem mostly happy with their purchase, frequently highlighting the price, versatile design, and warmth. Be sure to consider your own camping style when assessing if it's the right fit for your backpack.

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