The Abco Tech Envelope is our pick for the best sleeping bag that is meant for four seasons of the year. It can be used for hiking as well as for camping in the wood and traveling around the world. It has a compression sack and is great for outdoor activities due to being waterproof.
Our step-up pick is the FARLAND Envelope Mummy and it is available in various colors to choose from and can be used for trekking, hiking and other activities outdoors. It is portable and not very heavy to carry around. It is waterproof and can also be used in zero-degree weather.
The budget pick is the Coleman Brazos and it is rated for temperatures from 20 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a free bug spray so that you can stay protected against mosquitoes and it will also be big enough for most people who are on a budget.
A Little Background
A sleeping bag is a kind of sleeper for the great outdoors in which you pack on your bag or camping vehicle and then sleep on your tent, tarp, bivy or outdoors in the open. They are very crucial in any camping, hiking or backpacking trip because they provide you with ample amounts of comfort even while you are in the wilderness.
Having a properly made sleeping bag makes sleeping outdoors much better. Sleeping in the outside world is kind of complicated because there might be bugs and other dangerous things that can happen. The cold weather is also a factor in sleeping outside and this is why a properly made sleeper is crucial for your best comfort and safety. It should be durable enough to cover you from the elements, especially when it rains or if it is very cold.
They come in different shapes and sizes. There are various shapes to choose from, such as mummy, rectangle and others. The shape of your sleeper can play a role on its comfort levels during cold weather. A very snug sleeper is important when the temperatures drop.
In the same way, a properly fitted sleeper is also important depending on who will use it. Adults may need a longer sleeper while kids need to be in a sleeper that is shorter to retain more warmth inside.
Materials that make up their insulation can also vary. Insulation can either be made out of down or synthetic material. Down is usually more expensive but better when it comes down to insulation.
Down can either be made from duck down or goose down, but they need to be ethical down so that they are sustainably and ethically harvested so as not to hurt the animals themselves. Synthetic is also known as down alternative and can be your choice if you can't find ethical down.
Most of them are also temperature rated. The temperature rating is important because it will dictate how much it will be able to withstand cold weathers. There are those that are rated for the summer season while there are those that are rated for the cold seasons or in below-zero temperatures in the winter. There are also those that are rated for average weather and temperatures, so it pays to look at the ratings depending on your weather and climate.
Caring for a sleeper like this is much like cleaning a down jacket, especially if it is made of down. The sleeper needs to be washed carefully so that the down will not stick out of the sleeper at all. You should consider looking at the care instructions that are given in a sleeper on its label/manual as to how to wash and dry the sleeper for the best care without compromising its insulation properties, comfort levels and fibers.
How We Picked
If you want the best sleeping bag, you may need to consider the following criteria first:
Temperature rating: this can be from +35 degrees or higher, +10 to +35 degrees, -10 to +10 degrees or lower than -10 degrees. This can indicate how it will respond better to your type of weather. Therefore, it is important to look at the ratings first before you buy one in order not to compromise on safety and comfort levels at night.
Insulation type: this can either be down from duck or goose or synthetic materials, also known as down alternative. Insulation is important for cold weather so that you feel warm even during the winter. It is important for a sleeper to have the right kind of insulation for your camping or hiking weather. Down is usually more expensive than synthetic but it is better in insulation properties.
Shape: the shape of the sleeper can be any of the following: mummy, rectangular, semi-rectangular or double wide. They can affect the form of your sleeping position and your comfort level. Remember that the shape of your sleeper can also be important when choosing one that is for the winter and one that is meant for the summer season, since a snug fit can be better for the winter.
Men or women: you should consider whether the sleeper is for men or women or both. This is because women tend to have a slimmer or curved shape so they may need a sleeper that contours to their body more than just a regular sleeper. They can also be different in color choices and in comfort level, as men and women may tend to have different comfort preferences in general as well.
Weight: consider a good weight for your sleeper – one that is not too hard to carry around. Make sure that the weight is manageable so that you will not suffer while in camping or in hiking. The weight of the sleeper can be somewhere from 2 lbs up to 6 lbs.
Ease of setting and packing: the packaging of this sleeper should be simple enough so that it will be easy to put into your camping ground and then sleep. It should be easy enough to pack into the sack or bag that comes with it. Consider one that has a simple and straightforward design for a sleeper.
Number of sleepers: while it is true that most sleepers are meant for one person only, there can also be ones that are meant for 2 people or more, such as the larger types of sleepers. This is important in case you want to share the sleeper with another person, such as a significant other.
Intended activity: there can be many used of the sleeper – one of which is camping and the other is hiking. Those that are for camping, especially for car camping, might not be an issue with weight, but with backpacking and hiking, you may need an ultralight sleeper instead, so it pays to know what you will be using the sleeper for before you go on ahead and buy one.
As our top pick, the Abco Tech Envelope is very lightweight to use and to bring to the campsite. It is rated for 20 degrees Fahrenheit and it is very simple to clean and to take care of. It is also made with quality polyester material that is friendly towards your skin and it is very usable for other outdoor activities in any season of the year.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
The only concern with the Abco Tech Envelope that is not a deal breaker is that it might not be that wide for other sleepers.
The FARLAND Envelope Mummy is our step-up pick, which is good for hiking, trekking and other outdoor activities. It is made with an envelope shape and has a nylon material with 290T quality. The polyester pongee material also adds durability without compromising on breathability.
As our budget pick, the Coleman Brazos is a good option for those who just need a sleeper in the wilderness. It comes with a bonus insect repellent and has a cozy design. It is rated for temperatures from 20 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit and fits well for those up to 5 feet and 11 inches in height.
Best Sleeping Bag for Ultralight Backpacking
The RevalCamp Indoor/Outdoor is a great choice for UL or ultralight backpacking as well as for camping. It can be used by kids and adults alike as well as teens and it is great for both indoor and outdoor use. It is rated for 40 degrees Fahrenheit and has UV protection properties as well.
Best Sleeping Bag with a Mummy Shape
For those who want a mummy designed sleeper, the Coleman North Rim has sufficient height for up to 6 feet and 2 inches. It uses Comfort Smart technology for adding relaxation through the night. It has a ripstop polyester cover that is durable and easy to wash.
Best Sleeping Bag for Cold Weather
The TETON Sports XXL is great for bad weather and cold temperatures of up to 0 degrees F or -18 degrees C. It is less likely to be heavy at only 3.2 kg or 7 lbs and it is made with a poly flannel lining so it is very comfortable to sleep on.
Best Sleeping Bag for 2 Persons
For a larger sleeper, the Sleepingo Double can fit up to 2 people at a time and can be used by kids, teens and adults. You can use it for camping and other outdoor adventures and it is also waterproof. It is rated for up to 32 degrees of weather.
Best Sleeping Bag for 4-season Use
With bright colors to choose from, the KingCamp Envelope comes with a compression sack and it is rated for 4-season use. It has a full zipper design and comes with 2 straps for easy carrying. It is made with 190T polyester and has a 1 year limited warranty.
Best Sleeping Bag for Camping
Great for camping, the Ohuhu Double can fit up to 2 people at the same time and comes with 2 free pillows as well. It is also great for hiking and backpacking and is rated for up to 23 degrees F or -5 degrees C. It has 2 zippers on both sides for easy adjustability.
Best Sleeping Bag with a Full Length Zipper
The Wenzel Moose Boys has a full length zipper and is rated for 40 degrees of weather. There is a lot of warmth in this sleeper due to the polyester insulation. It has a carry weight of only 3 lbs so it is ultralight when it comes down to backpacking.
Others that did not make it to our list were not comfortable at all and the down quality is also not very good. On cold nights, they are pretty bad with insulation as well.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What factors can affect the quality of a sleeping bag?
A: The quality of this kind of sleeper can be affected by the following factors:
Weight and inner size ratio: this refers to how much the sleeper weights when you carry it from your backpack. It is important that it is not too heavy or else it will be a hassle for you when you are going on a backpacking or camping trip. It is also important that the sleeper has sufficient amount of inner capacity or size so that you will be able to sleep soundly inside with more room to spare.
Insulation type: the insulation of the sleeper can be made from either synthetic or down. Synthetic filling or insulation is usually much cheaper and easier to find than down, and there are also occasions that the two are combined to make an insulation material for your sleeper. Pure down needs to be comfortable and ethically harvested, even though it can be a bit pricier. If you invest on quality down then it is better in the winter.
Temperature rating: the temperature rating refers to whether it is rated for summer, for winter or for up to 3 seasons in a year. There are also different ways to help you either cool down or warm up while you are in the sleeper, such as zipping it open.
Extra features: added features such as a sleeping liner can help add warmth to your sleeper. In addition to that, the style of the hood can also make a difference as to how it will make you feel warmer overall. There can also be different kinds of zippers to choose from. There are also various draft collars that can be used for better convenience.
Q: What are the uses of a sleeping bag liner?
A: A sleep liner can have many purposes for your sleeping adventure in camping, hiking or backpacking. It is a sheet of material that is used alongside a sleeping bag for the following reasons:
· It can be used to help keep you warm further in the sleeper. This is important because adding warmth can be a problem when it comes down to the winter chill. For you to stay warmer as much as possible, you might need a high quality sleep liner.
· For those times when many insects swarm, it can give you additional protection. There can be insects in the summer so it is important that you keep yourself protected not just with your sleeper but also with your liner so that you can be able to sleep peacefully and without disturbance from the unpleasant critters lurking around at night or in the afternoon.
· Warmer climates are much bearable if you use the liner instead of the bag. If you ever need to sleep in the summer or in a warmer or tropical climate such as in Hawaii or in the Pacific area or Asia, you may need something that is warmer and less restricting. If you are in a tend then it is better to just use the liner itself so that you do not have to buy or bring yourself the big sleeper.
· It adds comfort and relaxation so you can sleep better. Relaxing in the wilderness is very important because you need to feel more in tuned with nature without getting disturbance from the rest of the elements that are around you. Therefore it pays to have a sleep liner and not just depend on your sleeper.
· You can add protection from the inside of the sleeper due to its simple wash care. In addition to the quality of the sleeper, you can also use a liner to make it very easy to clean overall. It also protects the whole lifespan of your sleeper.
· If you do need to stay at hotels instead of camping and need a blanket, they can be great for sanitation. This is an important thing to consider if you are afraid that the blankets that are provided in guest rooms and hotels might not be sanitary then you can go for a sleeper liner instead of using the provided blankets.
Q: What are temperature ranges in this sleeper?
A: The temperature range of a sleeper can vary depending on the type of material and various aspects. The EN 13537 Standard is currently being adapted by most sleeper manufacturers and some also passed the ASTM standard. There are currently three ranges, according to the EN 13537 Standard:
Temperature in Fahrenheit
Temperature in Celsius
This is the most standard and the most comfortable one, which is typically used for 3-season and some summer or fall uses as well.
This one is for transitioning between the slightly warm and the slightly cold. This is the most common rating that you can find among sleepers out there.
This one is for really extreme temperature, when covering up is not that easy and you might really shiver a lot. They are meant for really extreme weather and for emergencies as well.
Q: What are the parts of this sleeper?
A: There are many parts of the sleeper that you need to know about before you buy or use one, such as the following:
Shell – this is the outer shell or outer layer of your sleeper and is usually water resistant or waterproof in terms of its material. It is meant to be a very durable part because it is the one that will be lying on grass and facing danger in the outside world, keeping you safe, warm and cozy and also keeping your fabric well protected.
Lining - this is the part of the sleeper that puts the softness and the comfort to your sleeping experience. It can also be sometimes moisture wicking, which is important to keep you warm in case you sweat too much and the sweat attracts cold.
Hood – this is the part of the sleeper where your head is covered in, so that you will be able to rest better and more snugly. There may be different kinds of hoods out there and they all provide good prevention of heat loss.
Pockets – there can be different stash pockets that can be placed on your sleeper so that you can put your items and give them an easy access. These kinds of pockets are very important in making a sleeper act like an all in one access item for sleeping and camping.
Draft collar – this is for adding heat control for your sleeper and it is located around your hood. It is also known sometimes as a head gasket.
Pillow pocket – this is a kind of feature that is mostly used for adding comfort for your hood by putting a camp pillow or even some clothes or towels to make it more comfortable for you to sleep on your sleeper.
Draw cord collar – this is the mechanism that is used around the draft collar.
Baffle – these are the clumps that are around the sleeper that make your sleeping experience more comfortable.
Foot box – this is the part of the sleeper in which you put your feet in.
Zipper – these are the mechanisms that open and close your sleeper.
Side seams – they are meant for adding thermal efficiency for your sleeper and are located between the front and the back parts.
Draft tube – these are used for preventing drafts from getting inside your sleeper and adds insulation to your sleeping experience.
Pad loops – they are found on some sleepers and they can be connected to each other.
Hanging loops – they can be present on some sleepers and they can be used for added insulation as well as for adding loft.
Q: What different types of insulation can be used for this kind of sleeper?
A: There are different kinds of sleeper materials for insulation, such as the following:
Down is one of the most common types of insulation that is also used in down jackets and the like. They can either be from goose or duck, but goose ones are the most popular of all. They are measure in fill power and should be at least 600 fill to be of quality. There are those that have up to 900 fill power and are meant for the winter season. They’re good for insulation but they shouldn’t get wet.
Synthetic fills are much more suitable for wet environments and can be classified into the following:
Polar Guard – this one is known for its really high quality synthetic insulation qualities and its easy drying capability. It is also easy to wash and take out of the dryer. It is the most suitable for wet environments out of all synthetic materials.
Quallofil – this one is much bulkier than other types of synthetic fills but they provide a lot of warmth and insulation as well as protection from the cold and the elements. However, they are rarely being produced nowadays and are not suitable for those who need a lightweight material.
Thermolite – this one is made for those who do not want something that is too puffy. It is also made for those who do not want to spend a lot of bucks for their insulation material, yet it is not that good compared to other materials in insulation.
Hollofil and hollofil 2 – these insulation types are second to Polar Guard and are meant for good insulation for children’s camping activities. However, they may not be as good as polar guard when it comes down to real UL or ultralight packing as well as for insulation.
Depending on the type of season you are going to camp in, here are some suggestions:
· 3-season – synthetic sleepers are the best for any 3-season camping trip or hiking activity or for any backpacking adventure. They will most likely get wet so you need to consider something that dries out as quickly as possible.
· 4-season – you will most likely get into the snow and the chances of getting wet is not that high, so you may be better off with goose down, since it is the best when it comes down to insulation and you won’t really shiver a lot with its insulation power.
· Ultralight packing in 3-season use – this will be much more manageable with an ultralight sleeper, and in that case, goose down is an ideal choice, or you can also pick hydrophobic down in case it gets wet, if you don’t want to sacrifice your traditional down.
Q: What are the different materials for the liner of this kind of sleeper?
A: The different types of liner materials include the following and their benefits and qualities:
Type of Material
They are the best in comfort as well as for breathability. They do not cost a lot of bucks and are mostly preferred when it comes down to summer seasons.
This is a different kind of synthetic material that is the best for when there is a lot of humidity as well as for warm weather climates.
This is the best choice if you want the most awesome way of insulation yourself while you are in your sleeper. The only problem is that it can be slightly expensive compared to others.
Silk and cotton blend
This is your choice if you want to go in between the comfort of cotton and the insulation of silk. It also does not cost you a lot of money.
Fleece material is harvested from yak and sheep and can be great for quick drying due to its qualities. They may not be great for super hot weather.
Thermolite is great for adding a lot of insulation to your sleeper because of its warmth and heat retention effect.
Q: How is duck down different from goose down?
A: Duck down and goose down are different with the following characteristics:
Duck down is usually smaller and they tend to be cheaper compared to goose down. However, there can be instances where the duck down can be of high quality, perhaps maybe outweighing the competition as compared to regular goose down. Ducks may also produce some odor because of the fact that they are omnivorous and this can affect the natural odor of the down.
Goose down is usually the most preferred choice when it comes down to insulation material because of their size and coverage. They can be of high quality and they tend to be more popular as well. Goose down is also known to be tougher than duck down and they can bring about higher fill powers. Compared to duck down, goose down also tends to smell less badly naturally due to their vegetarian diet, as compared to ducks.
Q: What exactly is fill power in down?
A: Fill power is an important measurement to consider when you choose a sleeper or any kind of insulated material that will be used to keep yourself warm, and uses down.
A bigger down cluster means that:
· It is more likely to have more insulation for your needs.
· It also makes the material lighter as much as possible.
· The loft will also be higher in terms of appearance.
· It is better with trapping air inside.
· It might have come from a more matured bird.
· It is of high quality, most likely.
A higher fill power means that:
· It is made of larger or bigger down clusters.
· The firmness is pretty good.
· The loft can stay lofty for a very long time.
While it is true that higher fill power means that your sleeper or insulation material is made out of larger down, it does not mean that it becomes firmer or heavier. It also does not mean that it adds to the total weight – in fact, it actually means that it is of lesser weight.
Fill power is characterized by the following in different kinds of materials:
· In down comforters, this means the warmth and the quality for added sleeping comfort.
· In down pillows, it does not signify firmness but rather it makes the firmness last longer.
· In feather beds, they are mostly used to signify quality as well as for how long it will stay firm.
· In sleepers, they also refer to the same thing – the comfort level and quality of the sleeper.
Q: Why should I wipe off my sweat before going to bed on camp?
A: When you wipe off your sweat before you sleep on your camp, it helps you get rid of cold conductors so you feel warmer at night. It is important that you make yourself liquid-free for you to stay warmer when you sleep on your camping site, especially in the cold weather.
Q: What is ethical down? What alternatives can I use instead of down?
A: Ethical down means that it has been harvested without the use of live plucking. This means that the down was sustainably obtained and does not harm the animals at all when it comes down to the manufacturing process, hence it is ethical. Those that are not ethically harvested may not be under the approval of vegans and those groups that are concerned with animals. Hence, there are alternatives that you can use, such as:
Down alternatives – they can be in the form of Primaloft, Thermore and Polar Guard, which are all synthetic materials. If you don’t like anything that is petroleum based then you might want to consider primaloft because of its recycled materials. There are also other alternatives such as Rawganique, which is made out of organic wool and can also be used on duvets and comforters. They can also be made out of hemp or organic cotton.
Pre-loved down – these types of down are the second hand types, so that you do not have to buy a new one and contribute to the trade of unethical down. If you know someone who used down items then you can buy it from them or go for a second hand store. You can just by “down soap” in order to clean second hand down.
Nest harvested – if you want new and quality down that is of ethical grade, it should be naturally harvested from those who are molting during the season when they keep their babies warm. These brands include Bask, Crux and Tundra, which all supply their down from ethically harvested down. Make sure that the down is not live plucked to keep it ethically harvested and sustainable.
Q: What is water resistant down?
A: Water resistant down is a kind of unique material that is used in some sleepers. Hydrophobic down is known to have a lot of benefits such as being able to resist water yet being durable and lightweight at the same time. It is also very good when it comes down to breathability and insulation at the same time.
Brands that often sell hydrophobic or water resistant down include Sierra Designs, FlyLow, Big Agnes, Mountain Hardwear and Rab. If you need a sleeper that has to be wet at some point but don’t want to use a synthetic material, you can go for water resistant down instead.
Q: How are 3-season sleepers different from summer and winter sleepers in terms of temperature ratings?
A: Different temperature ratings are given for various kinds of sleepers based on where and when they are supposed to be used for, as with the following:
Ideal sleeper type
35 degrees and higher
This one is meant for the summer season or for really hot weather, such as late spring or early fall.
10 to 35 degrees
This one is mostly meant for a 3-season sleeper in which you might use it for spring, summer and fall.
10 degrees and lower
You will find this rating mostly for those that are meant for the winter season, especially those that require you to sleep in sub zero environments.
Q: What are the different shapes of this kind of sleeper?
A: Sleeper shapes can affect how they can keep you warmer during the winter and cooler during the summer. Here are the three most popular types of shapes for the sleeper:
The mummy type is the most common type of sleeper shape because of its great efficiency for thermal protection. They can be great for completely covering you up due to their snug fit and can also be a great sleeper for other outdoor activities. They can have either 3/4 or half or even full zippers for you to feel more comfortable and to adjust it accordingly depending on your needs.
The tapered regular is another common type of sleeper shape and is great for all types of weather because of its less snug fit and more room to wiggle around. If you do not feel that much comfortable with a mummy type then you can depend upon a tapered regular type and still get enough and sufficient protection from the cold.
The rectangular type is meant for the summer season when you do not need to warm up in your current climate or weather. If you want to use a sleeper for the summer and want more room to wiggle around then this is the kind of sleeper to choose. It may be more bulky than the other two types and may be bigger in packing size but if this is not an issue, they are generally better for wiggly sleepers.
Q: What is the importance of having a sturdy zipper for this sleeper?
A: Having a durable zipper is always important with any sleeper because of the following:
· It helps you to stay warm during the winter and cool during the summer.
· You will be able to adjust the sleeper according to your needs and wants.
· It helps you to stay more secure when you sleep at night.
Q: Why are there hoods on this sleeper?
A: The hood is an important part of any sleeper because of the following reasons:
· It helps protect your head from cold drafts and the cold weather.
· It makes you feel warmer and cozier.
· You can add a pillow or any towel so that you can feel more comfortable.
· It adds protection for your head in the wilderness.
Q: What is the recommended size of this kind of sleeper?
A: The size of the sleeper can depend on the following criteria, but you will most likely need a larger sized bag if you need to go for a longer trip or want to keep your stuff inside:
How much stuff do you need to keep inside? This is important as you may need a bigger sleeper if ever you want to keep more stuff inside. For example, if you have a bigger backpack and a set of boots then you might need a sleeper that has more room, especially if you are not staying in a tent and you are staying in a bivy bag instead or a sleeper like this.
Do you wiggle often when you sleep? Most people tend to be wiggly when they sleep because they feel anxious or don’t sleep too well, or that’s just how they naturally feel when sleeping. In this case, you might need more extra room if you often wiggle in your sleep. Mummy bags may feel too tight for you but rectangular and tapered ones with wider sizes can be better.
What is the temperature outside? You might want to consider a tighter and more snug fitting sleeper if you want to shield yourself from really cold weather. Otherwise, you can just go for a slightly larger sleeper if your weather is not too alarming and not too cold, such as for spring, summer or early fall.
Do you need extra warmth? If so, you might need to add more insulation material and also keep the sleeper smaller as much as possible so that you cannot lose warmth while you are in the winter or cold season. A good choice for adding more warmth is a mummy sized sleeper.
Is the sleeper restricting your breathing a lot? This is an important factor because the sleeper might be restricting your breathing, so it pays to get a slightly bigger sleeper for you to have more breathing in the weather, especially if the weather might be too hot for you. Even if it is too cold, an overly tight sleeper might be a problem as well.
What is the insulation level of the sleeper? The insulation level refers to whether it uses down or synthetic materials for you to feel warmer. If you are using synthetic then it might not be good when it comes down to insulation so you might need a slightly tighter sleeper so that it will not lose some good warmth when you sleep at night.
Q: How is a sleeping bag different from a cot and an air mattress?
A: There are specific differences from the sleeper with the air mattress and the cot:
If you purchase a down stuffed sleeper then it can be more expensive than the synthetic filled ones.
The cot is usually much more cheaper than the other types of sleeping materials out there.
You can find an air mattress a lot pricier than others due to its technology used.
The sleeper is made for sleeping on the ground and works much like a down jacket due to its puffy or loft material.
The cot is meant to sleep just above the ground to protect yourself from critters and the like.
The air mattress is like an inflatable bed that is meant to be travel friendly.
Q: What should I wear when going to bed on a camp?
A: Wearing clothes to bed while on the camp can be a tricky thing to do, but here are some tips:
· Consider your own comfort levels.
· Make sure you stay warm (in cold) and cool (in the summer).
· Cotton is a bad choice because it holds water more than other fabrics.
· Adding layers is better than feeling cold even at night.
Q: Where should I pitch my tent for sleeping cozier?
A: A good place to pitch your tent for added sleeping comfort would be in a place that has a warmer area when you are in the cold. For instance, you can try any grassy areas or adding dead leaves so that it will feel warmer when you sleep at night.
Q: How does eating late help me stay warm when sleeping?
A: Eating late before you sleep is important for those who need to sleep during the winter because metabolism heats up the body and adds more warmth to your sleep. Just be careful not to eat too much or you might suffer from nightmares.
Wrapping It Up
Overall, the Abco Tech Envelope is our pick for the best sleeping bag due to the 4-season rating, travel-friendly use and its waterproof qualities.