The Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags of 2017 - Side-by-Side Tests

The Best Backpacking sleeping bag review
To help you complete your backpacking setup, we researched over 75 backpacking sleeping bags and tested the 11 best models side-by-side for a three-month period. Standing in your favorite outdoor retailer, it's hard to know which product provides primo comfort, dries fastest, or performs at its claimed temperature range. Our review team of experts tackles these issues, testing each model on the John Muir trail and through the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains in temps ranging from 12-65F on both dry and rainy nights. For all kinds of sleepers (back, tummy, and side) with varied preferences, this comprehensive review helps you find the bag that meets your backpacking needs.

Read the full review below >

Test Results and Ratings

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Analysis and Award Winners


Review by:
Ian Nicholson
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Monday
March 20, 2017

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Updated March 2017
The latest update to this sleeping bag category includes new award winners for specific applications. Whether you sleep cold, desire maximum comfort, or camp in wet weather, we identify a bag for you. We also added charts to summarize each of our performance metrics. In the individual reviews, we highlight other versions of the products tested to give you the range of options. For example, Nemo has a warmer version of the Salsa 30, and Sea to Summit has a cooler option for its Spark model. We continue to track the sleeping bag market to keep this review up-to-date and relevant.

Best Overall Sleeping Bag While Backpacking


Western Mountaineering MegaLite


Western Mountaineering Megalite 30 Editors' Choice Award

$449.95
at Backcountry

Spacious and comfortable cut
Extremely lightweight
Very compressible
Made in the USA
Extremely versatile
Best feeling fabric in our review
Stuff sack not very efficient
Expensive
The Western Mountaineering MegaLite won us over as the favorite sleeping bag for backpacking and 3-season camping in 2017. Its low weight and small packed size are welcome additions to our backpacks. Despite weighing half of several bags tested, it's roomy and comfortable, making it a great choice for side and tummy sleepers. The materials are superior and felt the best against our skin of any bag tested. Western Mountaineering is a small California-based company that manufactures all its sleeping bags and garments in the USA. From any angle, the MegaLite is a rad bag. From single overnights to the John Muir Trail, this contender is among the most versatile bags reviewed, thanks to its weight and dimensions. It's worth noting that it's only two ounces heavier than our top pick for light and fast long-distance trips but offers a full-length zipper and more internal space.

Read full review: Western Mountaineering MegaLite

Best Bang for the Buck


Marmot Hydrogen


Marmot Hydrogen 30 Best Buy Award

$321.20
at Amazon

Light and compact
Super high-quality for the price
Great hood design
Great access and venting
Average warmth
Average cut
We love high performance at a low price, and the Marmot Hydrogen delivers, with its balance of quality, low weight, and small packed size. The Hydrogen isn't the best price pointed bag, as the $160 Kelty Cosmic Down wins in that category. For a little more than $300, however, the Marmot Hydrogen is a stand-out bag, offering several of the same materials, specs, and high quality 800+ down fill that other award winners, like the Western Mountaineering MegaLite ($470) and Sea to Summit Spark III ($440) offer. The Hydrogen is comparable in weight and packed size, but is $100 less.

Read full review: Marmot Hydrogen

Best Buy for Budget Backpackers


Kelty Cosmic Down 20


Kelty Cosmic Down 20 Best Buy Award

$149.95
at Backcountry

Affordable
Great value bag
Inexpensive
Light and compact for its price range
Heavy
Not super warm
Too roomy
The affordable, reasonably lightweight and compressible Kelty Cosmic Down 20, takes our Best Buy Award. While hardly a top performer, this is the best down bag we've seen for $160, by a significant margin. Cold sleepers and backpackers who extend their three-season trips into lower temperatures will want something warmer, but everyone else on a budget should consider the Cosmic Down 20. This bag is more durable and compressible than similarly priced synthetic counterparts and offers beginning or budget-conscious backpackers exceptional value. If you are backpacking in warm conditions and want to shave ounces, check out the Cosmic Down 40. Conversely, if you want more heat, Kelty also offers the Cosmic Down 0.

Read full review: Kelty Cosmic Down 20

Top Pick for Cold Sleepers or Colder-Than-Average 3-Season Use


Western Mountaineering UltraLite


Western Mountaineering UltraLite Top Pick Award

$484.95
at Backcountry

Warmest bag in our review
Very lightweight
Great no-catch zipper design
Excellent compressed size
Expensive
Very warm for mid-summer
Weak velcro closure for draft collar
Slightly tight dimensionally
The Western Mountaineering UltraLite is extremely warm. In fact, it is the warmest in our review while remaining among the lightest and most compressible. This award winner might be too warm for most people for 3-season backpacking, but cold sleepers or in colder conditions, the Western Mountaineering UltraLite is tough to beat.

Read full review: Western Mountaineering UltraLite

Top Pick for Wet Conditions


Mountain Hardwear Hyperlamina Spark 35


Mountain Hardwear Hyperlamina Spark 35 Top Pick Award

$199.98
at Backcountry

Incredibly small packed size
Very light for a synthetic bag
Awesome center half-zipper
Cozy interior fabric
Synthetic insulation isn't super long lasting
Lower warmth
The Mountain Hardwear HyperLamina Spark 35 is our top pick for the best bag in wet conditions. During water saturating testing, the Spark 35, like other synthetic-fill bags, dried in roughly 20% of the time as treated water-resistant down, making it an ideal bag for wet conditions. What sets the Spark 35 apart from most other synthetic bags, however, is how small it packs down and how light it is (1 lb. 12 oz.). It's lighter and more compressible than several down bags tested and is roomier than average. All of our testers loved its half-length center zipper that allowed ventilation on warm nights; it was also easier to use. If you're looking for a synthetic bag, a company that respects animal rights, or have allergies to down and want one of the highest performing synthetic bags available, the Spark is your bag.

Read full review: Mountain Hardwear HyperLamina Spark 35

Top Pick for Light and Fast Backpacking and Mountaineering


Sea to Summit Spark III


Sea to Summit Spark III Top Pick Award

$438.95
at CampSaver

Lightweight
Smallest packed size in our review
Nice interior fabric
Accommodates light down jackets
A true 25F bag
Slightly tight interior dimensions
Expensive
If you're on a trip where weight and space are your main priority but you need more than an ultralight quilt, the Sea to Summit Spark III is hard to beat. This 22 oz. bag is warm enough for nearly any 3-season backpacking or summer alpine climbing trip (and it carries a legit OutdoorGearLab-tested rating for 25 F). The Spark III packs down the smallest of any bag reviewed, easily fitting into the corner of your pack; it won't remind you it's there until you crawl in for a well-deserved rest. The Spark Sp III is a high quality, lightweight, traditional mummy style sleeping bag. It is built with the lightest 10D shell fabric reviewed, 850+ Ultra Dry Down, and a 1/3 length side zip that keeps weight to a minimum. Sea to Summit also has your lightweight summer night needs covered with the Spark I, which weighs less than 13 ounces!

Read full review: Sea to Summit Spark III

Top Pick for Most Comfort


Nemo Salsa 30


Nemo Salsa 30 Top Pick Award

$259.95
at Amazon


Very comfortable
Best bag for side and tummy sleepers
Great price for a down bag
Versatile
Above-average packability
Average weight
Inefficient stuff sack
The Nemo Salsa 30 wins our OutdoorGearLab Top Pick Award for the most comfortable sleeping bag for backpacking. While the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 600 3-Season is a strong contender, our review team's real world testing and side-by-side comparisons determine that the Salsa is the winner. Our tummy and side sleepers liked the Salsa's stretchy stitching and spacious "spoon" shaped design better. That, coupled with the Salsa weight (2 lbs. 1 oz., compared to the Backcountry Bed's 3 lbs. 1 oz.), spells out true comfort. While it isn't the lightest bag we've ever tested, it's respectable, especially considering its spacious cut. It packs down roughly a third smaller than the Backcountry Bed 600. To stay toasty at colder temperatures, Nemo also offers the Salsa 15, which is basically the Salsa 30 with more fill material.

Read full review: Nemo Salsa 30

select up to 5 products
Score Product Price Total Weight Fill Power Temperature rating (F)
95
$470
Editors' Choice Award
1.5 lbs. 850+ Goose Down 30 F
91
$500
Top Pick Award
1.81 lbs. 850+ Goose Down 20 F
90
$330
Best Buy Award
1.5 lbs. 800+ Goose Down 30 F
88
$469
Top Pick Award
1.38 lbs. 850+ Goose Down 25 F
87
$300
1.81 lbs. 700-fill duck down 20 F
85
$220
Top Pick Award
2.06 lbs. 650- fill 30 F
78
$220
Top Pick Award
1.75 lbs. Thermal Q 60 gram Thermic Micro 35 F
76
$300
3.06 lbs. 600-fill Duck Down 28 F
76
$170
2.69 lbs. Synthetic/ Heatseeker pro 22 F
74
$160
Best Buy Award
2.81 lbs. 600-fill 20 F
65
$90
3 lbs. ThermaPro Synthetic 20 F

Analysis and Test Results


We updated our existing review to include several new, innovative, and popular models, comparing them to previous award winners. We rated each bag on its warmth, weight, packed size, features, and versatility. The above table displays the overall comparative scores of all models, while the metrics below describe how we evaluated the contenders across key performance categories, as well as highlighting the top bags in each one.

Warmth is an obviously important factor and all the bags we tested were rated to between 20°-35° with most of them being closer to 30° F.
Warmth is an obviously important factor and all the bags we tested were rated to between 20-35 with most of them being closer to 30 F.

This review focuses primarily on sleeping bags intended for backpacking. However, several of the bags proved to be well-suited for car camping, summertime mountaineering, and late spring ski-touring. They tagged along on several road trips throughout testing, too.


If on a budget  try not to skimp to much on quality - look for a bag that suits your needs that balances warmth  weight  and versatility. If possible  consider two bags  a lower priced sleeping bag for car camping and a lightweight option for backpacking and mountaineering. Photo: Sunrise on Mt. Baker  Shannon ridge  North Cascades  Washington
If on a budget, try not to skimp to much on quality - look for a bag that suits your needs that balances warmth, weight, and versatility. If possible, consider two bags, a lower priced sleeping bag for car camping and a lightweight option for backpacking and mountaineering. Photo: Sunrise on Mt. Baker, Shannon ridge, North Cascades, Washington

Warmth


Warmth is basically equal to the amount of loft in a bag, measured as the thickness of the insulation between you and the environment. With the exception of loose bags, more volume of insulation (not necessarily weight) equals more warmth.


The fit is the next most important factor in determining warmth. Bags that are too tight or too short won't allow the insulation to loft properly and will feel colder where you press against certain areas as a result. Similarly, a bag that's too large will have dead air space that makes the bag thermally inefficient, even though it may have enough loft for the conditions.

Enjoying some sleeping bag testing near Washington Pass during our best backpacking sleeping bag review.
Enjoying some sleeping bag testing near Washington Pass during our best backpacking sleeping bag review.

Some bags tested here, such as the Western Mountaineering UltraLite and the Sea to Summit Spark Spark III have tighter interior dimensions, resulting in slimmer cuts; even most broad-shouldered folks can wear a lightweight jacket while sleeping inside those bags. The rest of the bags reviewed are wider and nearly everyone could wear a mid-weight jacket or more to boost insulation on colder nights. It's worth noting that Western Mountaineering sleeping bags are available in multiple lengths and widths, which is an advantage because you can get a bag that fits your body well. Look at the foot, hip, and shoulder circumference to compare dimensions for unisex bags. We've included these measurements in the specification tables found in each review (when available from manufacturers).

The European ratings printed on the Marmot Hydrogen 30. These ratings are slightly more objective than the typical US-ratings but do have some inconsistencies. In theory the EN lower limit is rating for men and the EN Comfort Rating is rating for women.
The European ratings printed on the Marmot Hydrogen 30. These ratings are slightly more objective than the typical US-ratings but do have some inconsistencies. In theory the EN lower limit is rating for men and the EN Comfort Rating is rating for women.

The backpacking sleeping bags that we found the warmest (for their respective temperature rating) were the down bags from Western Mountaineering, the Western Mountaineering MegaLite and the Western Mountaineering Ultralite. Both of these have 850+ fill power down and plenty of it; 13 and 16 ounces respectively. The MegaLite is a 30F bag and is roomier than the Ultralite, which is a 20F model. The coldest bag in reviewed is the lightweight Mountain Hardwear HyperLamina Spark 35. The thinner insulation offers less protection from the elements and the lack of a draft tube allows more cold air inside the bag, leaving the sleeper less toasty than in other bags. That said, we think the Hyperlamina Spark 35 is fine for sleepers at 40F and above.

During our review we directly compared each bags warm in relation to other bags of a similar ratings.
During our review we directly compared each bags warm in relation to other bags of a similar ratings.

It's worth noting that warmth is also influenced by conductive heat loss to the ground. Choosing an appropriate sleeping pad is important, especially in colder conditions or when sleeping on snow. Our Best Sleeping Pad Review will point you in the right direction for a warm, comfortable pad. Choosing the right backpacking tent or ultralight shelter for your trip will also influence the perceived warmth of a sleeping bag. OutdoorGearLab also has an excellent Backpacking Tent Review and Ultralight Backpacking Shelter Review, where you can finish your research on the best sleeping/shelter kit for your trip.

The Spark III in the lightweight Black Diamond Betalight shelter on a trans-Sierra backpacking trip. The longer the trip the more important weight and packed size becomes.
The Spark III in the lightweight Black Diamond Betalight shelter on a trans-Sierra backpacking trip. The longer the trip the more important weight and packed size becomes.

The sleeping bags reviewed were tested in single wall tents, under tarps and mids, and under the open sky during bivies above tree-line. See the Buying Advice on how standardized testing has helped (or hurt!) companies' decisions on what temperature rating to give a sleeping bag.

the Best Backpacking sleeping bag review
the Best Backpacking sleeping bag review

The Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag Review
The Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag Review

Weight


Weight is a function of insulation type and amount, shell material, and features. In general, heavier bags use synthetic insulation or lower fill-power down (500-700). Many of the highest performing bags tested use the best down (800-850+ fill-power) and lightweight, expensive shell fabrics. A bag's cut and dimensions also play into the weight of a bag, as do its features or lack thereof.


At 1 pound 6 ounces, the Sea to Summit Spark III is the lightest down bag we tested. It's no surprise the Spark III features high quality 850+ fill-power down, sports the tightest cut, lightest 10D shell fabric, and the shortest (1/3 length) zipper. The Western Mountaineering MegaLite is only 2 ounces heavier (1 lb 8 oz) but offers a full-length zipper, comparable warmth, and much more spacious (but still efficient) dimensions.

The longer and more ambitious your backpacking objective is  the more important spending a little extra to buy a lighter wight sleeping bag becomes. Here  two lightweight backpacking bags out for a side-by-side comparison along the John Muir Trail.
The longer and more ambitious your backpacking objective is, the more important spending a little extra to buy a lighter wight sleeping bag becomes. Here, two lightweight backpacking bags out for a side-by-side comparison along the John Muir Trail.

The Marmot Hydrogen was also among the lightest bags in our review (also 1 lb 8 oz), but wasn't as roomy as the MegaLite (it does cost $120 less). Among 20F options, the Western Mountaineering UltraLite was pretty unbeatable; it was warmer than most 20 bags, yet among the lightest (1 lb 13 oz). While both scored a 10 out of 10 for warmth, the Ultralite was not as warm as the reasonable priced REI Igneo, which was a 1 lb 13 ounce 25 option.

One of the reasons the MegaLite won our Editors' Choice award is not only for its comfort  but because it was among the lightest and most compressible sleeping bags in our review.
One of the reasons the MegaLite won our Editors' Choice award is not only for its comfort, but because it was among the lightest and most compressible sleeping bags in our review.

Among synthetic bags, our testers were very impressed with the Mountain Hardwear Hyperlamina Spark 35. While not super warm for its temperature rating, at 1 lb 13 ozs it was a light synthetic option - and was lighter than several 30F down bags.

Weighing sleeping bags for our OutdoorGearLab best backpacking sleeping bag test. There was a pretty big range in weights  with some options weighing half of what other models weighed.
Weighing sleeping bags for our OutdoorGearLab best backpacking sleeping bag test. There was a pretty big range in weights, with some options weighing half of what other models weighed.

Comfort


Comfort is subjective and depends on fit, sleeping style, and internal fabric. Increasing the size of the bag's internal dimensions (to a point) generally provides a more comfortable bag in most people's eyes, as the user has more room to move around inside. This becomes even more important for side and tummy sleepers, and/or for knee tuckers. The disadvantage of making the bag bigger is that the company needs to add more material and insulation to maintain the same warmth; this often comes with a weight and packability penalty.


The three most comfortable and roomiest backpacking sleeping bags in our review. From left-to-right: the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 600  Nemo Salsa 30  and Western Mountaineering MegaLite.
The three most comfortable and roomiest backpacking sleeping bags in our review. From left-to-right: the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 600, Nemo Salsa 30, and Western Mountaineering MegaLite.

In addition to space for sprawling and thrashing, our ratings focus on a bag's features that contribute to or detract from comfort. Insulation type influences comfort; all testers agreed that sleeping in a high-quality down bag is like floating on a cloud, while zipping into a synthetic bag is fine but…less heavenly.

Comfort isn't 100% while you are inside your sleeping bag. Because you're carrying your pack most of the day  weight and packed size play a huge role in your comfort during the day while your moving.
Comfort isn't 100% while you are inside your sleeping bag. Because you're carrying your pack most of the day, weight and packed size play a huge role in your comfort during the day while your moving.

The Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 3-season and the Nemo Salsa 30 were the most comfortable bags reviewed, with the Western Mountaineering MegaLite being a close second. What makes the MegaLite special is its low weight, packability, and comfort when compared with the two aforementioned bags. The Nemo Salsa 30 was our side and tummy sleepers' favorite bag, because they were able to sleep the most comfortably when compared to any other bag reviewed.They were also able to have extended knees nearly straight out to the side while sleeping. What we also liked about the Salsa 30, when compared to the Backcountry Bed, is that it was a reasonable weight (2 lbs 1 oz) and a respectable packed volume that we would consider bringing on a week-long backpacking trip.

The Nemo Salsa 30 with its roomy "spoon" shaped dimensions and stretchy seams enabled stomach sleepers to lay with their knee nearly straight out to the side. This  coupled with being a pound lighter than the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed  helped the Salsa to win our Top Pick for the most comfortable backpacking bag.
The Nemo Salsa 30 with its roomy "spoon" shaped dimensions and stretchy seams enabled stomach sleepers to lay with their knee nearly straight out to the side. This, coupled with being a pound lighter than the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed, helped the Salsa to win our Top Pick for the most comfortable backpacking bag.

The Sierra Backcountry Bed remains a cool and uniquely designed bag that offers the most "bed-like" feel of any bag we've ever tested. It features no zippers, toggles or Velcro flaps of any kind and instead offers a large "U"-shaped opening that is covered by a down flap that acts (and feels) like a quilt. This helps regulate temperature well and offers freedom of movement in the user's torso. While we thought this bag was awesome, it is the heaviest and least packable bag reviewed, which is why it lost out our Top pick award for the best Backpacking Bag for Comfort. While the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed offers a comfort-oriented design, its lower dimensions were average and not as spacious as the MegaLite or Salsa 30. It also did not offer as nice a feeling of an internal fabric.

The Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 600 3-season offers pretty unbeatable upper body movement. Its unique design allows the user to sleep in pretty much any position they desire for their upper body.
The Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 600 3-season offers pretty unbeatable upper body movement. Its unique design allows the user to sleep in pretty much any position they desire for their upper body.

It is important to consider total comfort throughout the course of a trip, not just when you're inside your sleeping bag. A bag that's more comfortable to sleep in may be far heavier and bulkier, and therefore less comfortable to carry. If you spend more time carrying the bag than you do inside it, we suggest prioritizing weight and bulk (comfort while in your pack) over comfort while sleeping.

Some small features can be convenient  like The North Face Cats Meow zippered pocket that's big enough for a smart phone or a watch  which is helpful in keeping it near your head for setting alarms.
Some small features can be convenient, like The North Face Cats Meow zippered pocket that's big enough for a smart phone or a watch, which is helpful in keeping it near your head for setting alarms.

Features and Design


We assessed the quality of each bag's features and quantified how well they contributed to the overall performance of the bag. This variable encompasses shell fabric, zippers, draft tubes, neck baffles, and pockets. Traditional bags with snag-free zippers, easy-to-use hood adjustments, and hoods that don't come undone scored higher in this category. Examples are the Marmot Hydrogen and the Western Mountaineering Ultralite and MegaLite.


Our testers assessed how useful and the quality of each bag's features and attempted to quantify how well they contribute to a bags overall performance.
Our testers assessed how useful and the quality of each bag's features and attempted to quantify how well they contribute to a bags overall performance.

In most cases, more features or more complicated features can reduce performance. They add weight, complexity, cost, and more possibility of failure. The benefit a feature has on warmth, comfort, or convenience is rarely offset by its drawbacks. Take pockets on sleeping bags, for example. It can be helpful to keep your watch in the pocket, but it can be hard to hear an alarm through the down; if you roll in your sleep, waking up on your watch isn't comfortable. In general, when it comes to features, smart design scored well and generally, less is more.

Most 3-season bags are designed and offer features to be used over a pretty broad range of conditions from hot coastal hikes to summer-season above treeline adventures. Photo Day-3 of the Ptarmigan Traverse at White Rocks Lake Glacier Peak Wilderness.
Most 3-season bags are designed and offer features to be used over a pretty broad range of conditions from hot coastal hikes to summer-season above treeline adventures. Photo Day-3 of the Ptarmigan Traverse at White Rocks Lake Glacier Peak Wilderness.

Versatility


Three-season models are meant to be used in a wide range of conditions. They must function on summer nights at lower elevations as well as when temperatures drop below freezing near treeline in the fall. Versatility across environments, elevations, and seasons is an important consideration when assessing a bag's performance and value.


Some of the bags tested, such as the Western Mountaineering Ultralight and MegaLite have continuous horizontal baffles that allow you to shift down from the top to the bottom of the bag, increasing comfort in warm conditions and warmth in cold conditions. We find these lightweight bags to be the most versatile in our test.

Rebecca Schroeder testing 3-season bags over a wide-range of conditions on Mammoth Terraces  El Captain Yosemite CA.
Rebecca Schroeder testing 3-season bags over a wide-range of conditions on Mammoth Terraces, El Captain Yosemite CA.

Other features that increase a bag's versatility is the ability to vent on warmer nights. A longer zipper offers more versatility than a 1/3 length one. Extra shoulder room to facilitate adding one (or more) layers can be nice on colder adventures.

When assessing each bags versatility we gave higher scores to bags that allowed for better ventilation on warm nights and enough space to add layers on colder evenings.
When assessing each bags versatility we gave higher scores to bags that allowed for better ventilation on warm nights and enough space to add layers on colder evenings.

The Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 600 3-Season has no zipper to roll onto and incorporates a quilt that enables you to sleep more like you would with a comforter. The quilt can be tucked into the bag when temperatures near the bag's comfort limit and is left outside the bag for warm nights and sleeping on your stomach.

Comparing the compressed sized of all the sleeping bags in the review. The Sea to Summit Spark III was the most pack-able with the Western Mountaineering MegaLite and Marmot Hydrogen being only marginally larger. The Kelty Tuck 20 and the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed were the least compressible.
Comparing the compressed sized of all the sleeping bags in the review. The Sea to Summit Spark III was the most pack-able with the Western Mountaineering MegaLite and Marmot Hydrogen being only marginally larger. The Kelty Tuck 20 and the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed were the least compressible.

Packed Size


Check out the chart below to see where each sleeping bag ranked in our Packed Size metric.


Packed size is a function of down fill-power, shell and insulation fabrics, and features. Higher quality down, lighter fabrics, and simple features create highly compressible bags. A more compressible bag is the better option, as it gives us more room in our packs or lets us take a smaller, lighter weight pack. The most compressible bag reviewed is the Sea to Summit Spark III which was slightly (10-15%) smaller than the Western Mountaineering MegaLite and Marmot Hydrogen.

To make a more accurate comparison between the bags  we compared each bag's compress-ability both in its included stuff sack and in an (often better-fitting) aftermarket compression sack  since that's the route most people are going to go.
To make a more accurate comparison between the bags, we compared each bag's compress-ability both in its included stuff sack and in an (often better-fitting) aftermarket compression sack, since that's the route most people are going to go.

Important Accessories


Unfortunately, few bags come with quality stuff sacks, and many bags come with downright terrible stuff sacks. An exception is the Mountain Hardwear Hyperlamina Spark 35; in general, to maximize the compressibility of your bag, we recommend purchasing one separately. See our Best Sleeping Bag Stuff Sack Article for our recommendations for specific applications.

Most sleeping bags don't come with a very effective compression or stuff sack. Because so much space can be saved in your pack (or allow you to take a smaller pack)  in most cases we'd recommend buying an aftermarket one.
Most sleeping bags don't come with a very effective compression or stuff sack. Because so much space can be saved in your pack (or allow you to take a smaller pack), in most cases we'd recommend buying an aftermarket one.

Other Sleeping Bag Reviews


We also offer an Ultralight Sleeping Bag Review, which compares hoodless options, weighing only 19 ounces or less. If you're looking for a lightweight bag that will primarily be used for overnight trips where weight is a concern, we encourage you to consider one of the models found in the Ultralight Bag Review.

Lastly, we offer a general Camping Sleeping Bag Review that compares large and luxurious rectangular bags that are too heavy to carry backpacking. These offer much more comfort than any model tested here and cost as little as forty dollars!!

If you are a woman and are looking for a new sleeping bag, check out The Best Women's Sleeping Bag Review to learn more about the merits of buying a women's specific bag.

The Sierra Designs Women's Backcountry Bed 800 (left) has more room for your arms to move around whereas the Kelty Ignite is a more traditional mummy shape. Like unisex bags  Women's bags come in many styles and configurations.
The Sierra Designs Women's Backcountry Bed 800 (left) has more room for your arms to move around whereas the Kelty Ignite is a more traditional mummy shape. Like unisex bags, Women's bags come in many styles and configurations.
Ian Nicholson

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