Home > Camping

The Best Camping Sleeping Bags of 2024

From versatile camping bags to wallet-friendly picks, we've found the best camping sleeping bags for every use and budget.

GearJunkie Best Sleeping Bags
Support us! GearJunkie may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

A good sleeping bag is critical to a successful camping trip, and we’ve been testing the best for years now. Over more than half a decade, we’ve been hands-on and tucked into sleeping bags of all stripes, sorting through easily 100 to pull together the 15 of the best here. Our testers looked at temperature ratings, insulation fills, shell and lining materials, and zipper configurations to settle on our list we’d recommend to anyone.

While mummy bags are all the rage for backpacking and hiking, sometimes you just need a bit more room to spread out. And where those bags make concessions to make weight and packability targets, sleeping bags made for camping are able to fully luxe out. From bags with toss-and-turn-ready shapes to integrated pillows and sheets, these are the most camping-ready sleeping bags on the market.

Our testing team has collectively spent years sleeping under the stars using sleeping bags, and all of that knowledge went into our evaluations. Then, from the mountains of the Pacific Northwest to the hills of Appalachia, we took to our tents and put the bags to the test.

Keep reading to peruse all our recommended bags, and at the end of the list, make sure to check out our helpful comparison chart, comprehensive buyer’s guide, as well as our FAQ section to answer any lingering questions. 

Editor’s Note: We updated our Camping Sleeping Bags guide on April 8, 2024 to add the uber-comfortable NEMO Disco 15 — a spoon-shaped bag that’s as comfortable for backpacking as it is for camping, as well as the Rab Ascent 500, a comfort-mummy shaped bag for cooler evenings.

The Best Camping Sleeping Bags of 2024

Best Overall Sleeping Bag

NEMO Jazz 30


  • Shell Fabric 50-denier 100% recycled polyester ripstop w/ C0 DWR
  • Packed Volume 16.1 L
  • Weight 6 lbs.
  • Insulation Synthetic 100% recycled Stratofiber
  • EN Temperature Rating (lower limit)  21°F (ISO-rated)
  • Comfort Temperature Rating 32°F (ISO-rated)
Product Badge The Best Camping Sleeping Bags of 2024


  • Absolutely plush
  • Capability to zip together 
  • Integrated sheet


  • On the heavier side
  • Price
Best Budget Sleeping Bag

REI Co-op Trailmade 20


  • Shell Fabric Recycled polyester
  • Packed Volume 14.4 L
  • Weight 3 lbs., 4.6 oz.
  • Insulation Recycled polyester
  • EN Temperature Rating (lower limit) 21°F (ISO-rated)
  • Comfort Temperature Rating 31°F (ISO-rated)
The Best Camping Sleeping Bags of 2024


  • Available in six different length and width combinations
  • Interior stash pocket
  • Recycled fill and shell materials
  • Vaulted footbox


  • Limited temperature-ratings available
  • Bulkier synthetic insulation
Best Comfort Sleeping Bag

Big Agnes Echo Park 20


  • Shell Fabric Ripstop nylon
  • Packed Volume 11.5 L
  • Weight 4 lbs., 12 oz.
  • Insulation FireLine synthetic insulation (50% postconsumer recycled content)
  • EN Temperature Rating (lower limit) 20°F (not rated)
  • Comfort Temperature Rating ~30°F (not rated)
The Best Camping Sleeping Bags of 2024


  • Roomy
  • Detachable camp blanket
  • Pillow barn
  • Pad sleeve


  • May be too wide for smaller campers
Best Sleeping Bag for Women

Sea to Summit Women’s Ascent 30


  • Shell Fabric 20-denier recycled nylon with non-PFC DWR
  • Packed Volume 6.8 L
  • Weight 1 lbs., 15.5 oz.
  • Insulation 750+ fill Ultra-Dry down
  • EN Temperature Rating (lower limit)  18°F
  • Comfort Temperature Rating 30°F
The Best Camping Sleeping Bags of 2024


  • Women's-specific fit has narrower shoulders and wider hips
  • Wearable design for easy camp cruising
  • Independent footbox zipper makes venting easy
  • Vertical baffles in torso helps mitigate down shifting


  • Pricier than comparable bags out there
Best Double Sleeping Bag

Kelty Tru.Comfort 20 Doublewide


  • Shell Fabric 75-denier polyester taffeta
  • Packed Volume 65.8 L
  • Weight 9 lbs., 8 oz.
  • Insulation Synthetic
  • EN Temperature Rating (lower limit) 20°F (not rated)
  • Comfort Rating ~30°F (noted rated)
The Best Camping Sleeping Bags of 2024


  • Fully removable top cover
  • Independent sheets for both sleepers
  • Generous sleeping space


  • Large packed size
Best Crossover for Camping and Backpacking

NEMO Disco 15 Endless Promise


  • Shell Fabric Recycled polyester ripstop with C0 DWR finish
  • Packed Volume 6.4 L
  • Weight 2 lbs., 11 oz.
  • Insulation 650 fill-power duck down
  • EN Temperature Rating (lower limit) 16°F (ISO-rated)
  • Comfort Temperature Rating 27°F (ISO-rated)
The Best Camping Sleeping Bags of 2024


  • NEMO's spoon-shape bag is uber-comfortable, especially for those who toss and turn or side-sleep
  • Updated Thermo Gill vents help modulate temperature
  • Oversized draft collar is cozy to tuck into
  • Smart manufacturing choices mean this bag is 100% recyclable at end-of-life


  • More of a backpacking bag, and might be more than you need for camping
  • No footbox venting
Best Heavy-Duty Camping Sleeping Bag

ALPS OutdoorZ Redwood -10


  • Shell Fabric Cotton canvas
  • Packed Volume 31 L
  • Weight 11 lbs., 8 oz.
  • Insulation TechLoft Silver synthetic 
  • EN Temperature Rating (lower limit)  -10°F (not rated)
  • Comfort Temperature Rating ~15°F (not rated)
The Best Camping Sleeping Bags of 2024


  • Burly cotton canvas outer
  • Oversized zipper
  • Soft flannel interior


  • Heavy and bulky
Best of the Rest

Rab Ascent 500


  • Shell Fabric 30-denier recycled Pertex Quantum with fluorocarbon-free DWR
  • Packed Volume 10.8 L
  • Weight 2 lbs., 5.4 oz.
  • Insulation 650-fill power hydrophobic duck down
  • EN Temperature Rating (lower limit) 23°F (not rated)
  • Comfort Temperature Rating ~33°F (not rated)
The Best Camping Sleeping Bags of 2024


  • Wide mummy fit is versatile enough for both backpacking and camping
  • High-quality Pertex Quantum shell fabric
  • Neck baffles are well filled and designed
  • Trapezoidal baffles keep down lofting


  • 3/4 length zip limits venting options, and makes getting in and out a little harder

Mountain Hardwear Yawn Patrol 30


  • Shell Fabric 30-denier top shell and 45-denier ripstop nylon bottom
  • Packed Volume 15.6 L
  • Weight 2 lbs., 5.1 oz.
  • Insulation 650-fill down
  • EN Temperature Rating (lower limit)  29°F
  • Comfort Temperature Rating 39°F
The Best Camping Sleeping Bags of 2024


  • Three separate zippers for maximum in ventilation options
  • Roomy rectangle fit
  • 650 FP down in a budget-minded bag


  • Drawstring hood is a bit fussy to use

L.L.Bean Flannel Lined Camp Sleeping Bag


  • Shell Fabric Brushed nylon
  • Packed Volume 40 L
  • Weight 5 lbs., 14 oz.
  • Insulation Recycled hollow-core synthetic
  • EN Temperature Rating (lower limit)  20°F (not rated)
  • Comfort Temperature Rating ~30°F (not rated)
The Best Camping Sleeping Bags of 2024


  • Durable shell fabric
  • Soft flannel interior


  • Bulky packed size
  • No drawcord hood

Marmot Sawtooth 15


  • Shell Fabric Nylon
  • Packed Volume 25.1 L
  • Weight 2 lbs., 14.2 oz.
  • Insulation 650 fill-power down
  • EN Temperature Rating (lower limit)  15°F (ISO-rated)
  • Comfort Temperature Rating 27°F (ISO-rated)
The Best Camping Sleeping Bags of 2024


  • Comfort-minded design with dual side zips
  • Expandable footbox
  • Internal stash pocket


  • Larger compressed size compared to backpacking bags
  • No included compression sack

Coleman Brazos 30


  • Shell Fabric Polyester
  • Packed Volume 32 L 
  • Weight 5 lbs.
  • Insulation Synthetic
  • EN Temperature Rating (lower limit)  20°F (ISO-rated)
  • Comfort Temperature Rating 30°F (ISO-rated)
The Best Camping Sleeping Bags of 2024


  • Spacious
  • Affordable


  • Weight
  • One size
  • Oversized for most sleeping pads

The North Face Trail Lite Down 20


  • Shell Fabric Recycled nylon with DWR
  • Packed Volume 12.3 L
  • Weight 2 lbs., 4.3 oz.
  • Insulation 600 fill-power down, synthetic fill
  • EN Temperature Rating (lower limit)  20°F (not rated)
  • Comfort Temperature Rating ~30°F (not rated)
The Best Camping Sleeping Bags of 2024


  • Expanded mummy bag cut for added comfort
  • 100% recycled shell and down fill
  • Synthetic fill around toes


  • Not the most compressible down

Kelty Galactic 30


  • Shell Fabric 5-denier polyester
  • Packed Volume 14 L
  • Weight 2 lbs., 11 oz.
  • Insulation 550 fill-power down
  • EN Temperature Rating (lower limit)  30°F (not rated)
  • Comfort Temperature Rating ~40°F (not rated)
The Best Camping Sleeping Bags of 2024


  • Simple
  • Zips together with another bag


  • Low fill weight down
  • Heavy

Sleeping Bag Comparison Chart

Camping Sleeping BagPriceWeightPacked VolumeEN Temperature Rating (lower limit)Insulation
NEMO Jazz 30 $3006 lbs. (single)16.1 L21°F (ISO-rated)100% recycled Stratofiber synthetic 
REI Co-op Trailmade 20$1003 lbs., 4.6 oz.14.4 L21°F (ISO-rated)Recycled polyester
Big Agnes Echo Park 20
$2004 lbs., 12 oz.11.5 L20°F (not rated)FireLine synthetic insulation
Sea to Summit Women’s Ascent 30 $429-4591 lbs., 15.5 oz.6.8 L 18°F750+ fill-power Ultra-Dry down
Kelty Tru.Comfort
20 Doublewide
$2009 lbs., 8 oz.65 L20°F (not rated)Synthetic
NEMO Disco 15$3202 lbs., 11 oz.6.4 L16°F (ISO-rated)650 fill-power duck down
ALPS OutdoorZ Redwood -10$17011 lbs., 8 oz.31 L -10°FSynthetic
Rab Ascent 500
$3002 lbs., 5.4 oz.10.8 L23°F (not rated)650-fill power hydrophobic duck down
Mountain Hardwear Yawn Patrol 30$275-3502 lbs., 5.1 oz.15.6 L29°F650 fill-power down
L.L. Bean Flannel
Lined Camp
$1295 lbs., 14 oz.40 L40 degrees FSynthetic
Marmot Sawtooth 15$2992 lbs., 14.2 oz.25.1 L15°F (ISO-rated) 650-fill down
Coleman Brazos 20$475 lbs.32 L 20°F (ISO-rated)Synthetic
The North Face Trail Lite Down 20$220-2402 lbs., 4.3 oz.12.3 L20°F (not rated)600 fill-power down, synthetic fill
Kelty Galactic
$1602 lbs., 11 oz.14 L30°F (not rated)550 fill-power down
Synthetic bags like the Trailmade may not be the most compact, but they stand up to repeated use better than down bags; (photo/Scott Wilson)

How We Tested Camping Sleeping Bags

Our GearJunkie crew has slept in dozens of sleeping bags to bring you the best of the best. Every year, we saddle up and hit the woods for a week of testing the latest and greatest camping equipment. Reviewers from across the country converge to catch some Zzzs outdoors and put the best camping sleeping bags through a number of tests to prove their worth.

One of those reviewers is Kylie Mohr, who hails from Missoula, Montana, and has enjoyed sleeping outside since early childhood camping trips to the Olympic Peninsula. She’s since graduated to backpacking all across the Rockies, from the Tetons and Winds in Wyoming to Glacier National Park. 

A cold sleeper who used to complain about overnight temps before upgrading her bag in recent years, Mohr knows the importance of a good night’s sleep without a shiver in sight. She tested numerous bags in Montana’s late summer/early fall season when frost on tents isn’t an uncommon experience. And she’s pleased to report her new puppy didn’t manage to tear any of the bags — yet. 

The final list of recommended sleeping bags is the combined result of thorough firsthand experience across the nation and various conditions. Beyond our field tests and personal experience, we determined the best sleeping bags based on metrics like reported warmth, packability, weight, material durability, and intended use. Ultimately, these bags serve a range of campers in their quest for ample quality sleep outdoors. 

NEMO Jazz Sleeping Bag in Tent
While mummy shapes dominate the backpacking sleeping bag realm, rectangles reign in camping sleeping bags; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Camping Sleeping Bag

It’s worth spending 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.

It’s worth noting 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 due to their size and weight. For longer trips in the backcountry, check out our review of the best backpacking sleeping bags.

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? Are you a side sleeper or a back sleeper? Do you snore? (Just kidding!) 

With this in mind, let’s jump into some important factors for choosing a sleeping bag.

NEMO Jazz Synthetic Sleeping Bag in Tent
The 100% recycled polyester of the NEMO Jazz has a very soft hand, and the built-in sheet is ultra-comfy next-to-skin; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Insulation Options

Unless you’ve got a portable reactor tucked away in your bag, it’s important to note that sleeping bags don’t create warmth on their own; they reflect back and trap the warmth your body puts into the bag.

In order to do that, sleeping bags employ a few different types of insulation: down and synthetic fills. Each has its own benefits and shortcomings, and both are used heavily in camping sleeping bags. Because down is more compressible, it often is used in backpacking sleeping bags, whereas synthetic fills often find their way into camping sleeping bags.

Down Insulation

Like the insulation of many down jackets, the down insulation in many sleeping bags comes from the soft plumage of birds — mostly geese and ducks. As the best insulator nature has come up with yet, down is able to insulate by trapping air in between the fibers and holding it there. It also has the ability to release moisture from within, meaning sleeping bags made with it are more breathable than those made with synthetic fill. 

All down lands on a sort of continuum of efficiency that measures how much loft the fibers have. This “fill power” is measured by filling a cylinder with one ounce of down and taking its weight, landing it somewhere on a scale that typically runs from 600 all the way to 900 for premium goose downs.

A higher fill power down will do the same insulating power of a higher amount of lesser down, meaning that a sleeping bag will need less of it to sport the same temperature rating. For example, a 32-degree sleeping bag made with 650 fill down will have more bulk and weight than that of a 32-degree bag made with 850 fill down.

The final metric to pay attention to in a down sleeping bag is the total fill amount, typically given in ounces. Knowing both numbers will give you a more accurate idea of how warm the sleeping bag is bound to be. 

Down does have its problems, particularly once it becomes wet. Once damp it loses a considerable amount of insulating power and is tough to dry. It also can be on the pricier side when compared to synthetic insulations, and shouldn’t be left compressed for long periods of time.

Sea to Summit Ascent II sleeping bag
The 750-fill down of the Sea to Summit Ascent puts it on the higher end of the price scale, but also in warmth and packability.

Synthetic Insulation

Synthetic fills are man-made polyester fibers that are designed to mimic the warmth-retention properties of down, but still provide some warmth once wet. These fibers are woven in different patterns to provide differing levels of warmth, breathability, and compressibility. 

Synthetic fills are measured by the grams per meter squared (GSM) metric. This gives users an idea of how warm the sleeping bag will end up being. For example, a synthetic fill with a 2.5 oz. GSM can expect to provide a temperature rating of around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. 

While there has been considerable improvement in synthetic fills over the years, we still haven’t been able to brew up a material that can match down in terms of weight-to-warmth ratio. Because of that, sleeping bags made with synthetic materials will need more insulation to provide the same amount of warmth. This will also mean that they often will be bulkier when packed. While our best overall bag, the NEMO Jazz 30, was cozy as all get-out, it also packs up to a substantial size.

It’s important to note that synthetic fibers are quite durable, but over time will compress down and lose the loft that they once had. Compared to down bags, however, they need a good bit less care in order to keep the sleeping bag rolling for a long time. 

The down-filled Marmot Never Winter (right) and the synthetic REI Co-op Trailmade (left); (photo/Nick Belcaster)


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. Because of this factor, we weighed warmth heavily in our testing regimen and looked closely at ratings and how they panned out in real-world situations. 

Bags often get rated for comfort — the lowest temperature a bag will keep an average cold sleeper comfortable — and lower limit — the lowest temperature for an average warm sleeper. The ratings are calculated using a person wearing long underwear and a pair of socks, and sleeping on an insulated pad

But everybody’s body and comfort levels vary, and factors like posture, clothing, wind, and humidity affect how insulated, or not, you’ll feel. The important thing to determine is if you’re a warm or cold sleeper. We recommend that cold sleepers choose a bag on the warmer end of the spectrum, even for summer camping. 

In our own testing, the ALPS OutdoorZ Redwood -10 surprisingly came out on top in terms of warmth, owed to the massive amount of synthetic insulation it packs in. Following closely behind were the NEMO Disco 15 and Marmot Sawtooth 15 bags, both down-filled but decidedly different shapes.

We find that bags rated between 20 and 30 degrees are ideal for most summer-season testing, and this is where the NEMO Jazz, Sea to Summit Women’s Ascent, Mountain Hardwear Yawn Patrol, and many others file in. Bags that are cut more generously like the NEMO Disco will work better in warm temps, while mummy cuts like the Rab Ascent 500 are better to lower.

Finally, there’s certainly a place for warm-weather bags in our packs, which you roll out in the heat of summer and look to sprawl out in. The perfect rectangles of the Kelty Galactic, Coleman Brazos, and L.L.Bean Flannel Lined Camp sleeping bags are great to go full starfish in, and are easy to unzip and convert to a quick quilt.

Packed Size

Packed size is of particular importance when backpacking, but isn’t as much of a concern for casual camping trips. But still, keeping things compact means more space in the back of the rig for snacks, and when choosing a sleeping bag that’ll be used for a bit of front and backcountry, packed size is much more important to pay attention to.

Anyone looking to minimize pack weight should consider a crossover backpacking/camping sleeping bag like the NEMO Disco, Rab Ascent 500, or the North Face Trail Lite Down. These bags are often not quite as trim cut as a full-on backpacking bag, and make space at the feet and shoulders to accommodate more active sleepers.

It’s also no surprise that the bags above that pack down the smallest are all down-filled, which compresses much better than synthetic fill. Though, the packed size of the Kelty Galactic 30 still impressed us, which slid in as just smaller than the REI Co-op Trailmade — a bag rated for 10 degrees colder.

More comfort-oriented bags with wider cuts won’t compress as well, and may even opt to forego the compression stuff sack entirely. The NEMO Jazz 30 travels in a spacious duffel-bag-like sack, and bags like the L.L.Bean Flannel Lined Camp will roll up into themselves and secure with attached compression straps.

At the far end of the compressibility scale, the ALPS OutdoorZ Redwood -10 has little use for a small packed size, and even less for your sympathies — this bag is large and in charge, and takes up the entire backseat of some sedans. But the comfort provided is well worth it, and the same can be said of the Kelty Tru.Comfort 20 Doublewide, which takes up an impressive 65 liters of space in its laundry-bag-sized stuff sack.

Best Sleeping Bags Stuff Sack Sizes
Comparing the packed size of backpacking sleeping bags.

Shell Fabric

As with down treatment, most sleeping bags from reputable brands will use synthetic shell fabrics and liners. Because of the inherent elements in the outdoors, technical sleeping bags do not use soft, natural fabrics like cotton.

Most bags will use a ripstop material for the outer shell. Ripstop is a nylon or polyester fabric woven with heavier threads to resist abrasion and tearing. The unique construction of ripstop also allows it to remain fairly breathable.

As for bag liners, taffeta is among the most common choices. This is also a nylon or polyester material, but unlike the coarse feel of ripstop, taffeta has a pleasant, silky feel. And it is more breathable. This makes it an ideal choice for next-to-skin pieces. Some of the bags we reviewed, like the NEMO Jazz, have a removable insert sheet that’s washable and soft. 

Size and Shapes

No two people are shaped the same, and neither should their sleeping bags be. In searching out the best camping sleeping bags, we aimed for bags we could kick back in, toss, turn, and otherwise be as comfortable as possible. They typically took one of three shapes:

  • Relaxed Mummy Bags: While the strict mummy bag is the sleeping bag shape of choice for many weight-conscious backpackers, there’s not much need to tighten the belt on camping bags, and as such many camping bags soften the corners and let out the shape a bit for a more generous mummy cut that’s still pretty thermally efficient. The Sea to Summit Women’s Ascent 30 is one of our favorite examples, with the Rab Ascent 500 being a bit more trim, and the Mountain Hardwear Yawn Patrol 30 more relaxed.
  • Spoon-Shaped Bags: A decided specialty of NEMO, the hourglass shape of spoon bags bumps up the real estate around the knees and the torso, creating an oasis of space perfect for those a little more acrobatic during sleep. The NEMO Disco is a highlight here and offered up room to spin in our evenings in it.
  • Rectangle Bags: The old stand-by: rectangle bags are simple and cut no corners to give you the maximum space to sprawl out in. Because of this, bags like the Kelty Galactic 30 or L.L. Bean Flannel Lined Camp won’t be as thermally efficient and might have some cold corners when pushed to their rating. Others still, like the ALPS OutdoorZ Redwood -10, simply have too much insulation for shape to ding their warmth.
  • Double Bags: Sized, for two, double bags are most often rounded-off rectangles with enough space for a couple to snuggle down into. The Kelty Tru.Comfort Doublewide was our favorite of any available today, and had plenty of space for two to spread out.

For a long time, sleeping bag sizing was relegated to “Regular” and “Long” cuts, but recent years have introduced a number more options that better represent the bodies that sleep outdoors. 

For instance, our testing team adored the six different sizes available on the REI Co-op Trailmade 20, which mixed short/regular/long with wide and standard widths to offer up a spectrum of fits. Often, sleeping bag manufacturers will let you know the height ranges for its bags.

Women’s Specific Bags

While some manufacturers are moving away from gendered sleeping bag sizing, it’s important to know what you’re getting when you’re looking at a women’s specific sleeping bag. These bags very often are wider at the hips and more narrow at the shoulders, aiming to increase thermal comfort and eliminate dead space.

Women’s specific bags might also use a different insulation design, where more insulation is added to the core or feet to accommodate different needs. The Sea to Summit Women’s Ascent 30 is one such bag, and our female testers lauded the changes compared to the men’s cut.

The Kelty Tru.Comfort 20 Doublewide is a luxuriously cozy two-person sleeping bag; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Extra Features

Camping sleeping bags have the luxury of retaining some of the niceties that backpacking sleeping bags have to leave behind, and we made sure to roll these considerations into our general impression as well. The top of the heap has to go to the NEMO Jazz, which piles on smart features such as an integrated and removable sheet, a pad sleeve, and a pillow pocket for wrangling your camp pillow in place.

Adjustable cinch cords on hoods are nearly universal on more comfort-mummy-shaped bags, and the better-designed versions will use two separate cords (often with different cord locks for midnight recognition) to adjust the upper and lower aperture openings. More modern functions like an internal phone pocket can be handy for keeping your phone warm all night, and we’re pleased that many bags are now jumping on this trend and incorporating them.

Some bags like the Sea to Summit Ascent or Mountain Hardwear Yawn Patrol incorporate multiple zippers into their build to offer up added ventilation abilities, or the party trick of being able to wear the sleeping bag around camp. Don’t knock it until you try it — this became one of our tester’s primary outfit on multiple trips. Other bags still will use zippers to augment warmth in different ways. The NEMO Disco is famous for its ‘Thermo Gill’ vents that dump heat when it isn’t needed, and the footbox of the Marmot Sawtooth 15 works much in the same way.

The ability to zip two bags together is also a handy feature for couples and is best executed in the NEMO Disco and Sea to Summit Ascent bags, in our opinion. The Kelty Galactic is also able to pull off this trick, but as a rectangular bag, it can get pretty wide and drafty when mated with another bag. Still, like most all other features, we’re happy to have it included even if we don’t use it that often.


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 refluff the down. Check regularly and tease out stubborn clumps by hand.
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 variances 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 could mean 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.

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 — although 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 Kelty Tru.Comfort 20 Doublewide.

Should I get a down or a synthetic sleeping bag?

Each material has pros and cons. Down, the plumage found underneath a waterfowl bird’s feathers, is loved for its warmth and its easy compressibility. Down sleeping bags tend to pack down small and light. But down can clump and stop insulating as well if it gets wet. Many companies treat down in order to avoid this, but don’t leave a down sleeping pad out in the pouring rain and expect anything less than a very soggy sleep.

Synthetic bags tend to be cheaper than down. It also dries quickly and insulates even when damp. But alas: synthetic is bulkier, packs less warmth at the same weight, and can lose insulating power slowly every time it’s compressed. Both types of bags have a time, place, person, and budget.

Are sleeping pad sleeves necessary?

They’re nice to have, but by no means essential. One of our testers has camped for over a decade, never used one, and is no worse for wear. She’s used to cramming into a backpacking tent where other people and pads keep movement to a minimum anyways. It really depends on how much you thrash around at night, and how big your tent is.

Subscribe Now

Get adventure news and gear reviews in your inbox!

Join Our GearJunkie Newsletter

Get adventure news and gear reviews in your inbox!