GearJunkie Best Sleeping Bags

The Best Sleeping Bags of 2020

A sleeping bag is one of the most important pieces of camping gear. We’ve found the best sleeping bags for every use and budget.

We’ll say it again: A good sleeping bag can be one of the most crucial investments an outdoorsperson makes. It will keep you warm (but not too warm), cozy, and rested.

To evaluate the best sleeping bags, we took key performance factors into account, like warmth-to-weight ratio, temperature rating, construction, and other features. We’ve collectively spent years camping and using sleeping bags, and all of that knowledge went into testing. Basically, as long as the bag is still available for sale, it’s a contender for this list.

It’s worth noting that this article is aimed at general camping. While some may be fine for backpacking, most are better suited to car camping or short hike-in scenarios. For longer trips in the backcountry, check out our review of the best backpacking sleeping bags.

Best Sleeping Bags of 2020: Review

Our top picks are divided into men’s, women’s, budget-friendly, and double sleeping bags. We also included some select honorable mentions. Each has its own benefit for certain types of campers and sleepers, as you’ll see.

Best Overall Sleeping Bag

The North Face The One (5/20/40-degree): $289-299

The North Face The One sleeping bag

Despite a rather bold naming convention, The One sleeping bag really lives up to its marketing. The North Face did an excellent job of creating a highly versatile sleeping bag to meet a variety of sleepers and conditions. At its core, The One sleeping bag is an interchangeable sleep system with adaptable insulating properties.

It’s an ingenious idea: multiple layered sleeping bags that you can swap out depending on the temperature. But it’s a concept that could easily become overly complex and user-unfriendly. However, The North Face design team pulled it off beautifully. The One bag uses both color-coding and small, descriptive symbols to cue users on how to operate it.

Essentially, The One is two separate sleeping bags of different ratings — a 20-degree (orange) bag and a 40-degree (blue) bag — that, when combined, provide warmth down to 5 degrees. These bags connect with zippers, and while two different bags, each with its own set of zippers, could become unwieldy, these too are color-coded and intuitive to use.

And beyond the interchangeable nature, The One uses exceptional 800-fill goose down that has a high warmth-to-weight ratio and compresses extremely well. To get a 5-degree down sleeping bag under $300 is pretty amazing. To get three at that price? An outstanding value!

The North Face The One sleeping bag shawl

While it isn’t the roomiest sleeping bag, it functions and feels like many mummy bags on the market. Because the 40-degree bag sits on the outside when combined with the 20-degree, it offers a little more shoulder room. And although operating the zippers can be a little confusing the first time, it quickly becomes obvious how the system works.

But my favorite feature was no doubt a last-minute “ah-ha” from someone at The North Face HQ. You can use the 20-degree layer by itself as a camp blanket. And small snaps work to transform that blanket into a wearable shawl. For chilly nights around the campfire, this is a wonderful feature.

Pros: Three bags for the price of one, detachable camp blanket/shawl
Cons: Small learning curve, no pad sleeve
Insulation: 800-fill goose down
Buy this bag if: You want a versatile sleeping bag that works for most all conditions
Packed volume/weight: 17.5 L / 4 lbs. 4 oz. (long)

Shop The North Face The One Sleeping Bag

Best Overall Sleeping Bag (Runner-Up)

Big Agnes Diamond Park 30: $300

Big Agnes Diamond Park sleeping bag

This is hands down the most comfortable bag we tested. Big Agnes’ Diamond Park series is plush, cozy, and loaded with cool features. This bag even has enough room for wide-shouldered campers thanks to a gaping 80-inch span across the top of the bag.

And for the not so broad-shouldered, hand pockets at the top corners let you snuggle the bag around you, nice and tight. The cinchable hood completes the full-on cocooning. Big Agnes also included a wraparound zipper so you can remove the insulated top layer to use as a camp blanket.

Unlike many bags, the Diamond Park has zippered entry points on both sides, which makes for a small but convenient touch. You can also unzip the bag from the bottom to pop your feet out. An internal accessory pocket helps a smartphone preserve a charge on cool nights (and may keep you from losing it outright at night).

Big Agnes’ trademark Flex Pad Sleeve helps keep the bag from sliding off your sleeping pad as you move around. And the brand also incorporated a pillow “barn” to help keep that in place too. Overall, it’s a very smart, very comfy sleeping bag.

Pros: Roomy, detachable camp blanket, pillow barn, pad sleeve
Cons: May be too wide for smaller campers
Insulation: 600-fill down
Buy this bag if: You have wide shoulders and hate sliding off your pad or pillow
Packed volume/weight: 14 L / 3 lbs. 5 oz. (long)

Shop Big Agnes Diamond Park

Best Sleeping Bag for Women

Therm-a-Rest Questar 32: $220-260

Therm-a-Rest Questar sleeping bag

The Questar from Therm-a-Rest checks all the boxes when it comes to carrying everything yourself far into the mountains (backpacking and bikepacking). It’s light, weighing right around 2 pounds (give or take a few ounces for the regular versus short), and delightfully warm and cozy across a wide range of temperatures.

Despite testing a range of women’s-specific bags, Therm-a-Rest’s unisex design came out on top. Therm-a-Rest excels at packability and warmth-to-weight ratio, so while it could certainly fit in a pack or pannier, the brand retooled its design to make it a more comfortable bag for all-around camping.

Two things make the Questar especially comfortable. First, Therm-a-Rest’s new W.A.R.M. system (“With Added Room for Multiple positions”) provides a little extra space. This is better for wider shoulders and those who like to shift positions at night. Second, the 20-denier polyester taffeta remains surprisingly quiet as you move around.

Inside, Nikwax hydrophobic down fill helps resist moisture and preserve warmth — a key factor when opting for a down bag. And the brand’s SynergyLink Connectors offer a minimalist take on sleeping pad attachment.

Pros: Quiet, comfy, roomier than other mummy bags
Cons: Sleeping pad connectors take more time than a traditional sleeve
Insulation: 650-fill down
Buy this bag if: You want to try a lightweight bag but maintain comfort factor
Packed volume/weight: 5 L / 1 lb. 15 oz. (long)

Shop Therm-a-Rest Questar

Best Budget Sleeping Bag for Camping

REI Co-op Siesta 30: $85-100

REI Siesta sleeping bag

If you’re not a regular camper but want a sleeping bag that offers more comfort than techie features, the REI Co-op Siesta 30 is a solid choice. It’s not the lightest or most packable, but the Siesta’s rectangular construction allows for a lot of movement and various sleeping positions.

Plus, synthetic fill with a DWR treatment helps keeps the price low, forgives the occasional spill (or leaky tent), and can be stuffed for long periods without harming the insulating properties.

Pros: Simple to use, roomy rectangular shape
Cons: Heavy, shape permits drafts, no accessory pockets or sleeping pad sleeve
Insulation: Synthetic
Buy this bag if: You only put a couple camping trips on the calendar each year
Packed volume/weight: 10-11 L / 3 lbs. 12 oz. (long)

Shop REI Co-op Siesta

Best Double Sleeping Bag

Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed (Queen): $280

Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed

Now, if you want slumber in the great outdoors to be as close to the feel of your own be as possible, then this is the sleeping bag for you. We’ve used the Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed for nights of snuggling — or just splaying out solo. Either way, this bag offers room for all of it.

The Frontcountry Bed offers all the nifty features of a more technical bag, just in a royal package. The zipperless design makes getting into, out of, and moving around inside the bag easy and snag-free. Up top, a hood adds a measure of extra warmth, while at the bottom, Sierra Designs’ patented self-sealing foot vent makes it easy to kick your feet out if you need to.

Plus, if you have a queen-size sleeping bag, you probably have a queen-size pad to boot. And the Frontcountry Bed offers a sleeve to hold it in place.

Pros: So very, very luxurious
Cons: Takes up a lot of closet space, requires a larger ground tent or rooftop tent
Insulation: Synthetic
Buy this bag if: You want to sleep like royalty with that special someone
Packed volume/weight: 58 L / 8 lbs.

Shop Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed

Best of the Rest

The market for camp sleeping bags is massive. There are tons of well-made, comfortable, high-quality bags. Don’t see what you like above? Any one of these bags make the grade from our testing and might be perfect for your needs.

Zenbivy Bed: $195

zenbivy-1-4

If you’re a side sleeper, the Zenbivy could change your relationship with camping. Instead of a sleeping “bag,” the Zenbivy is more of a quilt on top, attached at the bottom to what would resemble the bottom half of a sleeping bag.

It allows you a lot of freedom to roll around, throw out an arm or leg, or throw off the cover entirely. But it’s still a very effective way to stay warm and cozy and packs down plenty small enough even for a backpacking adventure.

We tested the 25-degree sleep system packed with 800-fill hydrophobic down and loved it. Plus, the Zenbivy comes in four different sizes to suit a variety of campers.

Pros: Unique design accommodates side sleepers and turners
Cons: No zips can result in drafts
Insulation: 750-fill goose down
Buy this bag if: You can’t get comfortable in traditional sleeping bags
Packed volume/weight: 5 L / 2 lbs. 5 oz. to 3 lbs.

Shop Zenbivy Bed

Sea to Summit Ascent I: $349-469

Sea to Summit Ascent II sleeping bag

While the Ascent’s 750-fill down means it won’t pack down as small as higher-loft bags, it provides a plush, comfy cocoon for sleeping. Its large hood left ample room for a camp pillow or to shift your head without the bag constricting.

Similarly, Sea to Summit employed vertical baffles along the torso to prevent the down from shifting around when you do. And shift you can, because this bag is roomy!

The Ascent also has a full-length zip on one side and a half-zip on the other, so those who run hot can flip the front down to vent quickly or leave the sides open to vent more slowly. Plus, a foot zip helps regulate temps by making exposing a few toesies an option.

Pros: Plush and soft, accessory pocket, fold-down front option
Cons: Lots of zippers, may have more features than you need
Insulation: 750-fill down
Buy this bag if: You want to invest in a backpacking-capable bag that’s also great for car camping
Packed volume/weight: 6.4 L / 2 lbs. 1 oz.

Shop Sea to Summit Ascent I

Patagonia 850 Down Sleeping Bag: $479-519

Patagonia 850 down sleeping bag

No list of best gear would be complete without Patagonia. Patagonia makes great stuff, and this sleeping bag is no exception. The 850-fill down sleeping bag could easily win as some people’s favorite bag. Not only is it a warm and highly packable 19-degree sleeping bag, but Patagonia bucks the side-zip trend with a center zip.

And we love it — it makes entering, exiting, and venting the bag much easier. Overall, this is a simple but bomber option. If you don’t mind paying the Patagonia premium, you won’t be disappointed.

Pros: Center zip, compressible, durable construction
Cons: Patagonia price
Insulation: 850-fill down
Buy this bag if: You want one bag for any type of adventure
Packed volume/weight: 6 L / 2 lbs. 3 oz. (long)

Shop Patagonia 850 Down

Eddie Bauer Flying Squirrel: $299

Eddie Bauer Flying Squirrel sleeping bag

The Flying Squirrel is an awesome zipperless sleeping bag if you value simplicity. It only comes in a 40-degree option, so it’s not for those planning winter or deep shoulder-season expeditions. But for those who don’t chill easily and want a dynamic summer sleeping bag, this is it.

The real seller here is the freedom to move your arms, shift, and generally sleep like you would in your own bed. Plus, it weighs under 2 pounds and packs into itself.

Pros: Super simple, easy to pack, accommodates narrow and wide sleepers
Cons: Only 40-degree rating, one size
Insulation: 850-fill down
Buy this bag if: You want one bag for any type of adventure
Packed volume/weight: 5.5 L / 1 lb. 7 oz.

Shop Eddie Bauer Flying Squirrel

Marmot Yolla Bolly: $275-343

Marmot Yolla Bolly sleeping bag

Among the roomier bags we tried, the Marmot Yolla Bolly packs plush 650-fill down into an interesting design. Part sleeping bag, part quilt, the Yolla Bolly does double duty. Unzip the wraparound zipper to reveal a full-length insulated flap that unfolds to turn the big mummy into an even bigger blanket.

It’s a design that may work for some but may confuse others. However, the Yolla Bolly is both warm and comfy — inside the hood is especially soft.

Pros: Soft lining, anti-slide ribs prevent slipping on pad
Cons: Complicated, tough to work zippers from inside the bag
Insulation: 650-fill down
Buy this bag if: You want a bag that turns into a giant camp quilt
Packed volume/weight: 6 L / 2 lbs. 7.5 oz.

Shop Marmot Yolla Bolly

Kelty Galactic 30 Dri-Down: $130

Kelty Galactic 30 sleeping bag

This is a solid bag — especially for beginning adventurers — if you want something for the occasional car camping trip or short hike-in site.

Kelty’s Galactic 30 has one standout feature for cuddly couples: Two bags can zip together to turn one rectangular bag into a double-wide snuggle factory. It’s a basic bag otherwise, but at $130 it manages to pack in value just the same.

Pros: Simple, zips together with another bag
Cons: Not as roomy as other options, heavy
Insulation: 550-fill down
Buy this bag if: You want the occasional snuggle and don’t have long hikes ahead
Packed volume/weight: 13 L / 2 lbs. 14 oz.

Shop Kelty Galactic

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Sleeping Bag

It’s worth spending a bit of time finding the right sleeping bag. After all, this is a piece of gear that will not only keep you comfortable at night but can easily last through years of use. And while there isn’t a single sleeping bag that’s best for every camper out there, this buyer’s guide will help identify the best bag for you.

Take a moment to imagine your camping future. Do you plan to spend a lot of time in the backcountry? Or do you mostly car camp? Do you sleep outside all year round? Or just in the warm summer months? With this in mind, let’s jump into three important factors for choosing a sleeping bag.

Warmth

Sleeping bags come with a temperature rating, but it’s not always clear what that number means. Depending on the person, a 20-degree bag might keep you cozy down to 20 degrees, or it might be more of a survival number.

Sure, you’ll make it through, but you’ll spend the night shivering instead of snoozing. Women tend to sleep colder than men. And for that reason, women’s-specific sleeping bags tend to be warmer.

The important thing to determine is if you’re a warm or cold sleeper. We recommend cold sleepers choose a bag on the warmer end of the spectrum, even for summer camping. Options like the Patagonia 850 Down and The North Face The One were among our resident cold sleeper’s favorite bags.

Best Sleeping Bags stuff sack sizes
Comparing the packed size of backpacking sleeping bags

Packed Size

Packed size is of particular importance when backpacking. Being able to pack your bag into the smallest stuff sack possible means more room for gear (or snacks!). But, related to the point above, you’ll need to balance this with a bag that’s warm enough.

Anyone looking to minimize pack weight should consider something like the Questar sleeping bag. This 32-degree bag weighs in at just 1 pound 15 ounces and packs down impressively small. On the other hand, if you mostly plan to car camp, the 8-pound Sierra Designs double sleeping bag could be the plush nighttime nest of your dreams.

Extra Features

From extra zippers to “gills that breathe,” there are all types of extra features being added to bags these days. Some are just marketing hype, but many really do make for a better sleeping experience.

The budget-friendly Kelty Galactic has a great cellphone pocket, and the Big Agnes Diamond Park integrates perfectly with a sleeping pad. Other features to consider are sleeping bags that zip together, extra zippers for venting, and a cinchable hood.

Sleeping Bag FAQ

Break through the overwhelming number of options and get some guidance with the answers to frequently asked questions

Are Sleeping Bags Machine Washable?

You should always start by reading the manufacturer’s recommendation (on the tag or online). But, in general, the answer is yes, sleeping bags are machine washable. You don’t need to wash your bag obsessively, but once a year is a good idea.

These tips will have your bag smelling fresh in no time.

  1. Get yourself some Nikwax Down Wash Direct. It’s made specifically for washing down sleeping bags and jackets. It works on hydrophobic and non-hydrophobic down. According to the brand, it will restore and even add water-repellency while maintaining fill power and insulation.
  2. Go to your closest laundromat. Don’t use a typical home washing machine with a central agitator. You want one of the big, front-loading washing machines that wash by spinning vertically.
  3. Remove detergent buildup from the detergent dispenser on the machine. It’s a pain, but bring a couple of old towels to do the job. Or try to find a clean one.
  4. Place a maximum of two items in the washing machine.
  5. Add 100 mL of Nikwax Down Wash.
  6. Wash according to the label if it has one. Generally, use a low setting and slow spin.
  7. Run multiple spin cycles, each time incrementally increasing the spin speed, to remove excess water.
  8. Dry in the dryer on low heat. Toss in a tennis ball to help re-fluff the down. Check regularly and tease out stubborn clumps by hand.

How To Wash A Down Sleeping Bag
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How Are Sleeping Bags Rated?

In general, every sleeping bag has a temperature rating — from -40 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit — that signifies the warmth of the bag. In the past, each brand conducted its own testing and assignment of temperature ratings. This made for a lot of variance across sleeping bags.

Luckily, most brands now use European Norm (EN) temperature ratings. Bags are therefore tested by a third party in internationally certified labs, using a series of standardized tests. This makes it much easier to compare bags, but not completely foolproof.

As noted above, a rating that may be comfortable for some but a shivering night of survival for others. So to make sense of sleeping bag ratings, it’s useful to know if you tend to sleep warm or cold.

Women generally sleep cooler and prefer a bag with a corresponding rating. So for the same camping trip, one person may prefer a 20-degree bag while another is completely comfortable in a 32-degree bag.

This is another reason our top pick — The North Face The One Sleeping Bag — is a great option. You can adapt it to the situation and your particular sleeping preference.

Which Sleeping Bags Zip Together?

Hoping to snuggle up under the stars? Then it’s great to have two sleeping bags that zip together. The Kelty Galactic is a great budget-friendly option that zips together. Its rectangular shape also maximizes the room for two.

In general, mummy-style bags that share the same zipper type can be zipped together — though you’ll need one right- and one left-side zip bag.

And if you plan to always sleep together, it’s worth considering a double sleeping bag. These bags are designed for two and offer up the best features for a cuddly night’s sleep. We particularly like the Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed.


Have a favorite sleeping bag we didn’t include? Let us know in the comments for future updates to this article.


Now that you have a sleeping bag, let’s find the best sleeping pad:

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Adam Ruggiero
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Adam Ruggiero is an all-sport activity junkie - from biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming. If it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.

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