The Best Sleep Bags for Backpacking

We spent more than 50 hours exploring 100 mummy-style sleeping bags and testing 15 of them during the autumn and winter in California, Hawaii, and Colorado. There’ll never be one perfect sleeping bag for everyone, but we believe that the Marmot Women’s Teton is the best bag for humans with narrower shoulders and for men and women that get cold at night. The unisex Montbell Down Hugger 650 #1 is best for people with broader shoulders or those who often sleep hot. Of all the bags we tested, both of these models offer you the ideal mix of comfort, cost, warranty, durability, flexibility, and compression to get hike-in camping.

Our pick


Montbell Down Hugger 650 #1
Montbell Down Hugger 650 #1

For people with wider shoulders who sleep hot

The Montbell is made out of well-lofted insulating material and odd diagonal baffles, also it includes a lifetime warranty.


There’s no “best sleeping bag for most people,” but we think the unisex Montbell Down Hugger is your ideal backpacking sleeping bag for those who have wide shoulders and narrower hips that are inclined to become hot at night, in addition to for people who move a lot in their sleep. It’s uncommon to find a comfortable down bag that costs less than $300, nevertheless the Down Hugger was softer and had more loft than a few bags which cost $100 more. The bag’s shape and diagonal baffles made it feel far roomier and much more accommodating than most of the conventional mummy bags we analyzed. We didn’t observe any fraying throughout our testing period, possibly–but should the fabric tear or should a zipper fracture, the tote is endorsed by Montbell’s lifetime guarantee.

The Marmot Women’s Teton mummy bag is warmer and thinner than the Montbell Down Hugger. It is billed as a women’s tote, but we think it’s a good fit for any narrow-bodied individual who gets cold at night. The Teton is one of the softest, warmest totes we analyzed: The fluffy Responsible Down Standard insulation   feels lavish and almost overstuffed; it swaddles one as you are sleeping. The Teton additionally has considerate features, like a pocket within the bag to store electronics. It is EN rated to 15 °F–and after many cold nights of sleeping under the stars, our testers found that number to be true. It is worth noting, however, that this is a far warmer bag than many of the others we tested; occasionally, it was too hot.

Compared with the three other synthetic bags we analyzed, REI’s Lumen had the most natural-feeling satisfying; it closely mimicked the feel of a down sleeping bag. We liked it for backpackers on a budget, for people who often camp in moist weather, or even for those who want a vegan option. The Lumen is charged as a men’s sleeping bag, however we think it’s a good fit for anybody who sleeps hot and has a wider body. Unfortunately, like most synthetic bags, the Lumen is heavier than our down-filled alternatives and it doesn’t compress as well, which makes it less suitable for longer backpacking trips.

The REI Co-op Lyra 24 is a fantastic solution for those who sleep cold, prefer vegan insulating material, or are on a budget. The Lyra resembles the Lumen, but it utilizes a warmer synthetic insulation (the bag is EN rated to 24 °F, although some testers found that to be a stretch). The Lyra is marketed as a women’s sleeping bag, but we think it’s a better choice than the Lumen for anybody who has narrower shoulders and wider hips. Despite being half of the cost of our other picks, the Lyra has a lot of the thoughtful design features we found in more costly bags, and its insulating material is almost as squishy as our down picks. However, like most synthetics, the Lyra isn’t too warm, compact , or lightweight as our down picks. Even with good care, it will not last so long, either.

The lightweight Osprey Nano 30 Sleeping Bag is a solid pick for men and women that take a sleeping bag with them frequently while hiking or traveling. This upgrade option is straightforward and unadorned yet full of top-quality down. It’s rated to 30 °F and offers a more comfortable fit for wide bodies, making it a good purchase for bigger individuals. It is not an ultralight bag, but its 900 fill-power down (a rare find for under $400) makes it light enough to transport easily on long-distance trips. All Feathered Friends products come with a lifetime guarantee and are made with accredited RSD down.

Such as the Osprey Nano, the Feathered Friends Egret Nano 20 is a high-end tote that’s a rare find for its price. Thoughtfully constructed, the Egret is made with top notch substances leading to an easy, proven design which works in most states. It’s charged as a women’s bag, but we think the bag’s extra insulation makes it a fantastic fit for anyone who sleeps chilly. As with the Osprey, the Egret is endorsed by Feathered Friends’s lifetime warranty.



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