A good sleeping bag for hiking is an essential piece of gear to have. But hiking sleeping bags come in all kinds of different shapes and sizes, and it can be hard to know just what exactly you need. Where it starts, of course, is deciding on what you are expecting from your hiking sleeping bag. Hiking in cold temperatures, for instance, will require one kind of hiking sleeping bag, while hiking in summer weather will require a whole different kind of sleeping bag.
Hiking Sleeping BagsWhat you want to look at when reviewing hiking sleeping bags.
- Temperature Rating – One of the more important things to look at when picking out a sleeping bag, as alluded to above, is the temperature rating. Before you set out you should find out what kind of temperatures you will need your sleeping bag to be warm enough for, and then get a sleeping bag with a corresponding temperature rating.
- Insulation Type – You also need to decide on what kind of insulation type you want your sleeping bag to have. Down is a great insulation that weighs very little, relative to the warmth you get, and packs down very small. Synthetic insulation, on the other hand, is a little heavier, but generally costs less and also performs much better when wet.
Best Hiking Sleeping BagsSome of the very best hiking sleeping bags.
- Western Mountaineering HighLite - At the cooler end of things is the HighLite, which with a minimum temperature rating of 35 degrees is ideally suited for warm summer nights. It's filled with 850+ fill down, which is a very high quality, and weighs very little. The HighLite also uses a few features like a half length zipper and large square baffles to save on weight. Even with its cooler temperature rating, it manages to weigh a very impressive 1 pound, or 453 grams, which is so little weight it will seem like you're not even carrying a sleeping bag.
- Terra Nova Laser 600 - The Laser 600 is made by UK manufacturer Terra Nova, and is a high quality sleeping bag designed to minimize weight. It uses 900+ fill down, which is about as high quality as down gets. It has a minimum temperature of 32 degrees, so only slightly warmer than the HighLite above. It also weighs in at 20.5 ounces, or 580 grams, so also slightly heavier than the HighLite, but a great choice for those looking to save on weight.
- Marmot Plasma - With a temperature rating of 15 degrees, the Plasma is somewhere between a 3 and 4 season sleeping bag. It will almost definitely keep you warm in spring, summer and fall, and most milder winter conditions too. Like the Laser 600 above it uses very high quality 900+ fill down. It also has a durable water repellent finish on the outside, which will keep the down dry, making it even more ideal for those wetter, colder months of the year. It also won the 2011 Backpacker magazine Editor's Choice award, so you know it's a quality product. It weighs 1 pound 15 ounces, or 900 grams.