If you’re going to be spending any considerable amount of time in the outdoors overnight, outdoor sleeping bags are what you will need to stay comfortable all night long. But you do have quite a few decisions to make when choosing an outdoor sleeping bag, many of which will depend on exactly what you will be doing, and where you will be doing it. Backpacking in winter, for example, will require a lightweight sleeping bag that wont weigh you down, but that has a low enough minimum temperature to keep you warm.
Outdoor Sleeping BagsSome of what to look for when reviewing outdoor sleeping bags.
- Minimum Temperature – Part of what you need to decide on when getting an outdoor sleeping bag is the minimum temperature. Of course for that, you need to find out what kind of temperatures you will be finding yourself in, and then you need to pick out a sleeping bag that has a minimum temperature rating that will keep you warm.
- Down or Synthetic – You also need to decide on what kind of insulation you want. Down is lighter and compresses better, which is good for backpackers and hikers. But synthetic insulation is better when it gets wet, and more importantly to some, synthetic insulation also tends to cost less than down.
Best Outdoor Sleeping BagsSome of the very best outdoor sleeping bags, based on the above criteria.
- Mont Bell U.L. Super Spiral Down Hugger #1 - If you need a 4 season outdoor sleeping bag then a sleeping bag like this one from Mont Bell, with a minimum temperature rating of 15 degrees, is ideal. It uses 800+ fill down, and a water resistant exterior to keep you and the sleeping bag dry. It also has a few other things, like a draft collar and a zipper tube, that will help to keep you warm. And at just 2 pound 4 ounces, or 1.02 kilograms it's fantastically lightweight, and ideal for camping or backpacking.
- Western Mountaineering HighLite - For summer or warmer spring and fall weather, the HighLite, which has a minimum temperature of 35 degrees is a great choice. It uses the very high quality 850+ fill down, plus a unique design with large, square baffles to get down to just 1 pound, or 453 grams for the regular length version. This is an ideal sleeping bag for backpackers and campers looking for something lightweight to get them through warmer nights.
- Mountain Hardwear Ultralamina - If you're going to be out in warm weather then the Ultralamina, which has a very cool minimum temperature of 45 degrees, will keep you warm. It's probably not much good for fall or spring in most parts of the world, but when temperatures are high you don't need much to stay warm. It's a synthetic sleeping bag, not down, and mummy shaped. It weighs in at 1 pound 8 ounces, or 680 grams, which is notably heavier than the warmer, but more expensive HighLite above.