Sleeping bags are a necessary, but often very expensive camping and backpacking item. Finding cheap sleeping bags helps, and finding sales and discounts helps even more, but if you don't know much about sleeping bags, you might not have a good idea of what to look for.
So here are a few things to look for which will tend to bring down the cost of a sleeping bag.
Cheap Sleeping Bags
- Synthetic Insulation - Down is a fantastic insulating material for sleeping bags for a few different reasons, but down, and especially high quality down, tends to cost more than synthetic insulating materials. This isn't always true, and if you manage to find a cheap down sleeping bag that's a great find, but if you want a cheap sleeping bag, chances are you are looking for synthetic. The one upside is that synthetic insulation is better than down when wet.
- Heavy - Generally, cheaper sleeping bags tend to be heavier sleeping bags. Again, there are some exceptions, which I will cover below, but if you want a cheap sleeping bag you are probably not getting as light a sleeping bag as possible. Part of this is that synthetic insulation, discussed above, is heavier than down.
Best Cheap Sleeping BagsHere are a few of the best cheap sleeping bags.
- Mont Bell Super Spiral Burrow Bag - Mont Bell makes some really great down sleeping bags, and they include a lot of the features from those bags in this synthetic sleeping bag for a package that is both lightweight and inexpensive. It weigh a very reasonable 31 ounces, which is 878 grams, and for that you stay warm down to 40 degrees, which is an ideal temperature rating for summer camping or backpacking in most parts of the world. The price you get will vary depending on the retailer, but should be in the $100 to $150 range, which is a great price for such a lightweight sleeping bag.
- REI Lumens +40 Sleeping Bag - This is another summer sleeping bag that is good down to 36 degree temperatures. It's made by REI, and costs between $120 and $130 as of this writing. It's another synthetic sleeping bag, so it is going to weigh a bit more, but this is offset by the mummy shape, so at least you save on fabric. The precise weight is 32 ounces, or 900 grams, so it is slightly heavier than the Mont Bell above, but you get a slightly better temperature rating and a slightly better price for that extra weight, so a reasonable trade-off.
- The North Face Aleutian Bx Sleeping Bag - If you are looking for something with a lower temperature rating, that would be suitable for some spring, fall or even mild winter camping, the North Face Aleutian will be a good choice for the budget conscious. It's good down to 20 degrees, which is an ideal temperature rating for a lot of off-season camping and backpacking. It does weigh 3.45 pounds, or 1545 grams, however, so not the lightest sleeping bag in the world. But the saving grace is the price, which is just under $100, which makes this a great bargain.