Updated on January 12, 2022

Whether you are new to hiking or have been backpacking for years, if you’re looking for one of the best backpacking sleeping bags, you’re in the right place. We’ve surveyed the market and hand-selected a range of bags then shared some of our top picks for specific categories like lightweight, budget-friendly, and best for winter conditions. Aside from the top picks, we’ve included some runner-ups you might also want to consider. 

Each sleeping bag we’ve selected has its pros and cons, and there’s not a single bag that will be perfect for every hiker. We did our best to give you an honest opinion to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you and your style of hiking.


Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag Overall >> Western Mountaineering UltraLite

Best Sleeping Bag For Tall & Big People >> Nemo Disco 15

Most Comfortable Sleeping Bag For Side Sleepers >> Big Agnes Sidewinder SL20

Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag >> Feathered Friends Hummingbird UL 20

Best Sleeping Bag For Women >> Feathered Friends Egret UL 20

Most Affordable Sleeping Bag >> Marmot Nanowave 45

Best Winter Sleeping Bag >> Western Mountaineering Kodiak MF 

Best Double Sleeping Bag >> Feathered Friends Spoonbill UL

Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 15 Backpacking Sleeping Bag


Comparison Table - Best Sleeping Bags for Backpacking

For the best experience turn your device horizontally
NameInsulationTemp RatingWeightFill WeightFill PowerVolumePriceRatingReview
Western Mountaineering UltraLiteDown20 F1.8 lbs17.0 oz85008.7 L$5254.9Read Review
Big Agnes Sidewinder SL 20D-S Blend20 F2.2 lbs19.0 oz65004.3 L$2804.7Read Review
Feathered Friends Hummingbird UL 20Down20 F1.5 lbs14.6 oz95009.0 L$5394.9Read Review
Marmot NanoWave 45Synthetic56 F1.8 lbs13.9 ozSpirafil05.0 L$794.2Read Review
Feathered Friends Egret UL 20Down20 F1.4 lbs17.3 oz95009.0 L$5394.7Read Review
Nemo Disco 15Down25 F2.7 lbs22.0 oz65007.2 L$3004.6Read Review
Western Mountaineering Kodiak MFDown0 F2.7 lbs30.0 oz85014.4 L$7504.7Read Review
Feathered Friends Spoonbill ULDown20 F2.3 lbs23.0 oz95017.0 L$9294.6Read Review
Kelty Cosmic 20Down32 F2.6 lbs16.0 oz55009.2 L$1704.3Read Review
Zpacks Classic 20Down20 F1.2 lbs13.7 oz90006.7 L$3994.6Read Review
Nemo Riff 15Down28 F2.3 lbs19.0 oz80007.2 L$4004.3Read Review
Enlightened Equipment Enigma 20Down20 F1.3 lbs15.4 oz85007.0 L$3154.5Read Review
REI Co-op Magma 15Down28 F1.7 lbs15.9 oz85005.2 L$3894.5Read Review
Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15Down23 F2.1 lbs20.0 oz85005.7 L$5204.6Read Review
Big Agnes Sentinel 30Down40 F3.2 lbs20.0 oz65011.2 L$4004.6Read Review
Therm-a-Rest Hyperion 20Down32 F1.2 lbs12.0 oz90003.0 L$4004.2Read Review
Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 15Down26 F2.3 lbs21.0 oz65008.1 L$2404.4Read Review
Big Agnes Torchlight 20 ULDown29 F2.1 lbs16.0 oz85003.5 L$4004.2Read Review
REI Co-op Trailbreak 20Synthetic29 F3.4 lbsN/APolyester12.0 L$1094.4Read Review
Sierra Designs Cloud 20Down26 F1.7 lbs14.8 oz80008.4 L$3204.5Read Review
NameInsulationTemp RatingWeightFill WeightFill PowerVolumePriceRatingReview

Temp ratings refer to the EN or ISO Comfort rating.

Volume refers to the compressed volume of the sleeping bag.

Weight, fill weight, volume and price are shown for the regular size.

For more specific sleeping bags recommendations, check out these buyer’s guides: 

Sleeping Bags for Women >> 

Budget Sleeping Bags >>

Lightweight Sleeping Bags >>

Summer Sleeping Bags >>

Winter Sleeping Bags >>

Synthetic Sleeping Bags >>

Down Sleeping Bags >>

Mummy-Shape Sleeping Bags >>

Rectangular-Shape Sleeping Bags >>

0 Degree Sleeping Bags >>

20 Degree Sleeping Bags >> 

Double Sleeping Bags >> 

Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags

Western Mountaineering UltraLite

  • Material: Nylon Taffeta
  • Fill Weight: 17.0 oz
  • Insulation: Down
  • Length: 6’6”/6’0”/5’6”
  • Weight: 1.8 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Volume: 08.7 L
  • Temp Rating: 20 F
  • Fill Power: 850
  • Compressed Volume: Approximately 8.5 Liters
  • Shoulder Girth: 60/59/59in
  • Very Lofty Down Fill For Comfort
  • Lightweight Design
  • Made In The U.S.A


The Western Mountaineering UltraLite is an ultra light and ultra premium backpacking sleeping bag that is our pick as the best overall choice.

What we love the most about this bag is its balance between weight, quality, versatility and comfort. It is rated to 20-degree and only weighs 17oz making it an excellent choice for fast and lite colder weather trips. The UltraLite’s horizontal baffle design allows you to move the feathers to the back of the bag, making it less warm for spring and mild summer conditions. 

The biggest downside of the UltraLite is its price tag. At $525, it’s one of the priciest bags on our list. However, if you’re a true backpacking junkie who wants an all around awesome bag, it might be a worthy investment. 

A close contender to the UltraLite is the Feathered Friends Hummingbird YF20 (and similar bags within their range). If you’re having trouble deciding, one feature we loved about the UltraLite that we didn’t find on others is the full goose down draft collar. This lets you bunker down and seal your body heat, a much appreciated feature on chilly nights.

Big Agnes Sidewinder SL 20

View Women's Version
  • Fill Weight: 19.0 oz
  • Insulation: D-S Blend
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs
  • Volume: 04.3 L
  • Temp Rating: 20 F
  • Fill Power: 650
  • Body-mapped FireLine™ ECO synthetic insulation
  • Made from post-consumer recycled polyester
  • Includes storage sack and stuff sack
Big Agnes Sidewinder SL 20 Backpacking Sleeping Bag


The Big Agnes Sidewinder SL20 is spacious enough to be a game changer for side sleepers but it doesn’t trap cold air as much as other wide options.

What we love the most about the Sidewinder SL20 is that it’s one of the only bags on this list that is truly built for side sleepers. The zipper and the hood face the side. The insulation and shape are all geared toward those who roll over. There is a mesh pocket for your pillow that keeps it in place. There is extra padding at the hip and feet, which are two pressure points for those who tend to flip from side-to-side several times throughout the night. There is plenty of room to curl your knees up without feeling constricted as you might in a mummy bag. 

One complaint we have with this bag is the zipper catches if you aren’t careful despite having an “anti snag zipper”. Maybe we were too rough with it but this could be annoying if you have to get up in the middle of the night. Also, people with wide feet might find the toe box a bit tight. 

The Nemo Disco 15, which is also featured on this list is a close competitor to the Big Agnes Sidewinder SL 20. The Sidewinder gains points on weight (it’s 7 ounces lighter), but it is not as roomy as the Disco. The extra inches on the shoulders and hips are nice but you also have to consider that it’s not the best design for retaining warmth.

The Big Agnes Sidewinder SL 20 also comes in a women’s version.

Feathered Friends Hummingbird UL 20

  • Fill Weight: 14.6 oz
  • Insulation: Down
  • Length: 72 inches
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Volume: 09.0 L
  • Temp Rating: 20 F
  • Fill Power: 950
  • Trapezoidal footbox
  • Continuous baffles
  • 3D contoured hood
Feathered Friends Hummingbird UL 30


The Feathered Friends Hummingbird UL 20 is a super light and packable three season sleeping bag. It’s our pick for the best ultralight backpacking sleeping bag.

What we loved the most about the Hummingbird is the conservative, even borderline generous temperature rating. This is not something we could say about a lot of other ultralight bags out there. The Hummingbird is stuffed with 950+ goose down which makes it extremely warm and light.

One drawback of the Hummingbird is the fit is pretty snug. If you’re a side sleeper or a bigger guy or gal, you might find the narrow dimensions claustrophobic. If you toss and turn a lot and would prefer a more spacious bag, check out the Feathered Friends Swallow and Swift. Another downside is since Feathered Friends is a cottage manufacturer, stock can sometimes be limited and wait times can be long. If you love the idea of owning a handmade sleeping bag that is tailored to your needs, be sure to order well ahead of your next trip.

The Hummingbird UL is in close competition with Western Mountaineering’s UltraLite. which is also featured on this list. While both are excellent choices for serious backpackers, the Hummingbird is 5 ounces lighter, making it a winner for those who are meticulous about cutting weight.

The Hummingbird UL is also available in a 30-degree version.

Marmot NanoWave 45

  • Fill Weight: 13.9 oz
  • Insulation: Synthetic
  • Length: 72”
  • Weight: 1.8 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Volume: 05.0 L
  • Temp Rating: 56 F
  • Stuff Sack Size: 6x11”
  • Fill Power: Spirafil
  • Snagless Draft Tube Keeps Cold Air From Seeping Through Zipper
  • Zipper Wraps Around Foot Box For Easy Ventilation
  • “Feely” Drawcords For Easy Adjustment Even In The Dark
  • Synthetic Proprietary Insulation Traps Warmth Even When Wet


The Marmot Nanowave 45 is an affordable summer sleeping bag that won’t take up too much room in your backpack. Not only is it cheap, it’s practical and functional which is why it’s our pick for the best backpacking sleeping bag under $100. 

In awarding it the winner of the best under $100 category, we realize it’s not quite fair because most other bags on this list have a temperature rating down to around 20 degrees. However, if you’re on a super tight budget and plan to camp from mid-spring to mid-fall, the Nanowave 45 is hard to beat.

Which leads us to the biggest downside of this bag, it is only good in mild weather. But, not everyone needs or wants a super warm bag and if you combine the Nanowave with an extra warm sleeping pad and a thermal liner, you might be able to extend the temperature range of this bag down a few degrees, making it much more versatile. If you’re looking for a warmer budget backpacking sleeping bag, check out the REI Trailbreak 20 which is also featured on this list. 

The Marmot Nanowave is also available in a 55-degree and 35-degree version.

Feathered Friends Egret UL 20

  • Fill Weight: 17.3 oz
  • Insulation: Down
  • Weight: 1.4 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Volume: 09.0 L
  • Temp Rating: 20 F
  • Shell: Pertex Endurance UL
  • Fill Power: 950
  • Passive collar
  • Trapezoidal footbox
  • Generous draft tube
Feathered Friends Egret UL 20


The Feathered Friends Egret UL 20 is a high quality three season sleeping bag that is specifically designed for female backpackers. 

What we love the most about this sleeping bag is its attention to detail and female tailored fit. There is extra fill around the chest and in the foot box, two areas where women lose more heat than men. Its 950+ fill is super fluffy and toasty, making it a great option for spring to fall camping. When it comes to quality, weight, packability and warmth, the Egret beats all the other female specific bags, which is why it’s our pick for the best women’s backpacking sleeping bag. 

The biggest drawback is the price, but for this level of comfort and quality, we believe it is worth it considering it has an excellent warmth to weight ratio. Another complaint is the sizing isn’t right for everyone. The Egret comes in two sizes: 5’3” and 5’9”, if you’re somewhere right in between, say 5’6”, you might find the 5’9” option too long. This extra space traps cold air, making the bag feel colder overall. And, the 5’3” option would be too tight to have the hood fit over your head comfortably. If this might be an issue for you, you can check out the unisex version of this bag, called the Swallow which has a 20-degree and 30-degree option. 

The Egret UL is also available in a 30-degree version.

Nemo Disco 15

View Women's Version
  • Fill Weight: 22.0 oz
  • Insulation: Down
  • Length: 72 inches
  • Weight: 2.7 lbs
  • Shape: Semirectangular
  • Volume: 07.2 L
  • Temp Rating: 25 F
  • Stuff Sack Size: 9 x 12 inches
  • Fill Power: 650
  • 650-fill-power down
  • Full-length, 2-way zipper
  • External draft collar
NEMO Disco 15


The Nemo Disco 15 is a roomy backpacking sleeping bag that was designed for comfort. The Disco is our top choice for big and tall guys (and ladies) who might feel claustrophobic in a typical mummy bag. It’s also another great option for side sleepers. 

What we loved the most about the Disco is its spacious dimensions. This is thanks to what Nemo calls their Classic Spoon shape, which makes the bag wider in the elbows and knees.  We also loved the Therma-gills which are vents that allow you to fine-tune the temperature without having to unzip the bag. This feature makes it a more versatile bag that could be comfortable to use in warmer temps. 

The biggest drawbacks of the Nemo Disco are it’s on the heavier, bulkier end when it comes to backpacking sleeping bags. The weight and packsize penalty come with the extra fabric needed to make this roomy bag. So, if you are a bigger guy or gal or you just like to sprawl, and you don’t mind hauling extra weight, the Disco 15 might be the best option for you. If the weight is a big concern for you, check out the Nemo Riff 15, it’s not only lighter but also more packable. One more downside is the wider design is that cold pockets of air can form in the empty spaces, something to consider if you are a cold sleeper. 

This sleeping bag also comes in a 30 degree model. 

The Nemo Disco also comes in a women’s version which is available in 15 degree and 30 degree options.

Western Mountaineering Kodiak MF

  • Fill Weight: 30.0 oz
  • Insulation: Down
  • Weight: 2.7 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Volume: 14.4 L
  • Temp Rating: 0 F
  • Fill Power: 850
  • Very comfortable
  • Full Down Collar
  • Spacing/Continuous Baffles
Western Mountaineering Kodiak MF Backpacking Sleeping Bag


The Western Mountaineering Kodiak MF is a four season sleeping bag that was designed for backpackers who want to brave extreme conditions in comfort. 

While there are plenty of excellent winter sleeping bags out there, the Kodiak MF is our top choice because it is seriously warm and comfortable. While other bags are equally as toasty, they have a narrower fit that makes them constricting. When it is cold out, we tend to spend more time inside our bags and appreciate the extra room. The Kodiak MF adds a few inches in the shoulders and is generously packed with down making it super lofty. The spaciousness also gives you the option to stuff in an extra quilt if you need to add some warmth. Considering how warm this bag is, it packs down incredibly well. 

If you’re just getting into backpacking the price tag might seem ridiculous but for serious backpackers who value high end gear, it’s a worthy investment. Also, like with all proper winter sleeping bags, the versatility of the Kodiak is limited. It would be way too warm for summer backpacking trips and overkill in mild Spring weather.

The Kodiak MF is also available in a 6 foot and 7 foot version.

Feathered Friends Spoonbill UL

  • Fill Weight: 23.0 oz
  • Insulation: Down
  • Weight: 2.3 lbs
  • Shape: Semi-rectangular
  • Volume: 17.0 L
  • Temp Rating: 20 F
  • Fill Power: 950
  • Ergonomically designed hoods with separate draw cords
  • Integrated collar and hood for each user
  • Dual draft tubes
Feathered Friends Spoonbill UL Backpacking Sleeping Bag


The Feathered Friends Spoonbill UL is a two-person sleeping bag for couples who want to lighten their load.

What we love the most about the Spoonbill UL is it gives couples the warmth and intimacy of being in the same bag without having to give up comfort. There are two hoods and two collars that can be adjusted and a zip on each side so you don’t have to worry about bothering your partner when you get in and out. Feathered Friends trimmed unnecessary insulation from the bottom part of the bag and the floor is made of a super lightweight Dyneema fabric. All of this results in a warm, lightweight and comfortable sleeping bag. 

One of the downsides of the Spoonbill is it’s not great for couples who want to cuddle because of its two separate hoods. Another consideration is its price tag is pretty crazy, however if you consider the price of two premium sleeping bags, it might be worthwhile. It also loses major points when it comes to versatility. If one of you decides to go on a solo trip, you’ll need a different bag.

If the price tag puts you off, check out the Big Agnes Sentinel 30. It is a much more affordable double bag option.

Kelty Cosmic 20

View Women's Version
  • Fill Weight: 16.0 oz
  • Insulation: Down
  • Length: 72 inches
  • Weight: 2.6 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Volume: 09.2 L
  • Temp Rating: 32 F
  • Stuff Sack Size: 8 x 13 inches
  • Fill Power: 550
  • 550-fill down
  • C0 and PFC-free durable water repellent (DWR) coating
  • Internal zippered stash pocket
Kelty Cosmic 20

The Kelty Cosmic 20 is a budget minded down sleeping back that is a great option for new backpackers who don’t mind carrying a bit of extra weight and bulk to save some cash.

What we love the most about this bag is its overall value. The Cosmic’s quality and warmth are great considering how inexpensive it is. Of course, you can’t compare the build and material quality of the Cosmic to the top of the line bags on this list but it is practical and comfortable enough, making it tough competition for other budget options.

The biggest downside of the Cosmic is it is much more heavy and bulky than other backpacking sleeping bags, but hey, it’s one of the cheapest down bags around. If you’re just starting out, you could always go for the Cosmic and if you end up becoming a hiking junkie, you could upgrade and retire this bag to car camping adventures. 

This bag is also offered in 40-degree and 0-degree versions. 

The Kelty Cosmic 20 is also available as a women’s version

Zpacks Classic 20

  • Fill Weight: 13.7 oz
  • Insulation: Down
  • Weight: 1.2 lbs
  • Volume: 06.7 L
  • Temp Rating: 20 F
  • Fill Power: 900
  • Roll top dry bag included
  • Vertical baffles on the upper body
  • Rectangular and roomy foot box
Zpacks Classic 20 Backpacking Sleeping Bag

The Zpacks Classic 20 is an ultralight high end sleeping bag that is a favorite among minimalist backpackers and thru-hikers. 

What we loved the most about this bag is its hybrid design. It’s like a quilt and a sleeping bag had a baby. It has a ¾ length zipper and no hood, so you can either zip it all the way up like a traditional bag or open it all the way up like a quilt. This design makes the Classic 20 super versatile which is great for people who want the best of both a bag and a quilt. Hammockers will also really appreciate this concept. This bag is made 950 hydrophobic down that repels water if it gets wet. This type of down is really puffy, so it uses less feathers to create loft, making it much lighter and packable than lower quality down options.

The biggest drawback with the Zpacks Classic is its shell is made of a 7 denier nylon which is very thin and delicate. It could easily get caught on something and rip. Of course this is the price to pay for a super light sleeping bag. Also, there’s no hood. Z packs make a hood you can buy separately or you could just use a beanie or wear a down jacket that has a hood on chilly nights. This is one of the more expensive options on our list, but if weight and versatility are your top priorities, it’s worth forking over the cash.  

If you want a true quilt, check out the Zpacks Solo Quilt

This sleeping bag is available in three different lengths (short, medium and long) and three lengths (broad, slim and standard). 

The Zpacks Classic also comes in a 10 degree and 30 degree option.

Nemo Riff 15

View Women's Version
  • Fill Weight: 19.0 oz
  • Insulation: Down
  • Weight: 2.3 lbs
  • Volume: 07.2 L
  • Temp Rating: 28 F
  • Fill Power: 800
  • Unique shape offers more room at the elbows and knees
  • Waterproof/breathable foot box
  • Integrated pillow pocket
Nemo Riff 15 Backpacking Sleeping Bag

The Nemo Riff 15 is a three season sleeping bag that was designed for side sleepers who want to trim weight and bulk. 

What we love the most about this bag is it uses Nemo’s spoon shape design. It’s not a square bag nor is it a mummy bag, it’s something completely different. It is wider in the elbows and knees which gives it roomy dimensions without wasted space. The Riff uses Nemo’s Therma-gills which are vents that allow you to fine-tune the temperature without having to unzip the bag. This feature makes it a more versatile bag that could be comfortable enough to use in warmer temps. Another feature we appreciated was the pillow pocket, which you could stuff a down jacket or pillow into. 

If you’re in between the Nemo Riff and the Nemo Disco, the main difference is the Disco is made of a thicker fabric which makes it more durable but also heavier than the Riff. It also means the Riff is more compressible. So, if you’re a side sleeper looking to cut weight and bulk and don’t mind sacrificing a bit of durability, the Riff is a great option for you.

The Nemo Riff is also available in a 30 degree version.

If you’re looking for a women’s sleeping bag, the Riff is available in a female version in both 15-degree and 30-degree options.

Enlightened Equipment Enigma 20

  • Fill Weight: 15.4 oz
  • Insulation: Down
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs
  • Volume: 07.0 L
  • Temp Rating: 20 F
  • Fill Power: 850
  • Ethically sourced down from an RDS certified supplier
  • Sewn-closed foot box
  • Stuff sack included
Enlightened Equipment Enigma 20 Backpacking Sleeping Bag

The Enlightened Equipment Enigma 20 is a minimalist ultralight quilt that is quickly becoming a favorite of long distance hikers.

What we love the most about the Enigma is its round foot box that is sewn shut. This design gives you more foot room while trapping in heat. This makes it a good option for backpackers who are transitioning from using a traditional sleeping bag to using a quilt. All of Enlightened Equipment’s quilts are hand sewn and the quality is top notch. They overfill their quilts by 30% so instead of stuffing them to the minimum amount needed to fill the bag, they pack in extra down to help with any loss in loft due to moisture or dirt. Thru hikers who plan to use this thing for weeks on end without washing it will appreciate this consideration.

Quilts do come with some drawbacks and the Enigma is no exception. Since it is just like a big blanket, it doesn’t have a hood so you’ll want to wear a beanie or down jacket on chilly nights. It also doesn’t have a back so it can be tricky to fully seal up the quilt in cold conditions. 

Enlightened Equipment is a cottage manufacturer based in Minnesota. All of their quilts are highly customizable, which is a great option for thru hikers who really want to have their gear dialed in. It can take over a month for a custom quilt to arrive but luckily, EE does have stock options for those who just want a standard option and don’t have time to wait for a custom quilt to arrive. 

The Enigma is available in 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 degree versions.

REI Co-op Magma 15

View Women's Version
  • Fill Weight: 15.9 oz
  • Insulation: Down
  • Length: 72 inches
  • Weight: 1.7 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Volume: 05.2 L
  • Temp Rating: 28 F
  • Stuff Sack Size: 7 x 14 inches
  • Fill Power: 850
  • Plenty Of Knee And Foot Space
  • Anti-Snag Zipper Keeps Fabric From Getting Caught In The Zipper
  • Contoured Hood With Pillow Space

The REI Co-op Magma 15 is an ultralight three season backpacking sleeping bag. It is a part of REI’s premium line of gear which is a great choice for hikers who want a top-tier bag without the heart attack-inducing price tag. 

What we love the most about the Magma is its balance between comfort, quality, weight and price. At $389, it’s excellent value, especially when put it head to head with similarly rated bags that cost over $500. It also packs down nice and small. 

Just looking at the specs, its competitive with top models from premium brands like Western Mountaineering and Feathered Friends. However, the Magma’s performance and material quality falls short. We had serious doubts about its 15-degree temperature rating. While these ratings do depend on many factors, we would be hesitant to suggest this bag to someone who plans to camp a lot during shoulder seasons. Having said that, we still think the Magma deserves to be considered, especially if saving money is a big concern. 

The REI Co-op Magma is also available as a 30-degree bag as well as a quilt.

This sleeping bag also comes in a women’s version, which also has a 15-degree and 30-degree option.

Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15

  • Fill Weight: 20.0 oz
  • Insulation: Down
  • Weight: 2.1 lbs
  • Volume: 05.7 L
  • Temp Rating: 23 F
  • Fill Power: 850
  • Tuck stitching protects baffle stitches from abrasion
  • 3D anatomically contoured foot box
  • Compression sack and mesh storage sack included
Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15 Backpacking Sleeping Bag

The Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15 is a premium mummy style three season sleeping bag that is great for cold sleepers who hate to haul extra weight. 

What we love the most about the Phantom 15 is its packability. For being a 15 degree bag it compresses super small and is perfect for backpackers who are looking to save space. We also loved the anti-snag zipper system. There is a bit of fabric that runs alongside the zipper which prevents it from catching the outside of the bag. We also liked the extra tube of baffling on the inside of the bag which keeps your upper body and neck toasty. The fabric is soft and silky, those who like a little luxury in the backcountry will appreciate the cloud-like feel. 

The biggest drawback of this bag is its narrow fit, especially at the chest and shoulders. This is fairly common for ultralight mummy style sleeping bags that prioritize cutting weight over comfort.

The Mountain Hardwear Phantom also comes in a 30 degree option.  

There is also a Goretex version of this bag which has a waterproof outer shell and was designed for bone-chilling conditions. It is available in 0 degrees and​​ -40 degrees.

The Phantom also comes in an Alpine version which is designed for alpine climbers. It comes in a 15-degree and 30-degree option.

Big Agnes Sentinel 30

  • Fill Weight: 20.0 oz
  • Insulation: Down
  • Weight: 3.2 lbs
  • Shape: Semi-Rectangular
  • Volume: 11.2 L
  • Temp Rating: 40 F
  • Fill Power: 650
  • Shell Material: Polyester Taffeta
  • Compressible
  • Water-repellent Down
  • Roomy
Big Agnes Sentinel 30

The Big Agnes Sentinel 30 is a double sleeping bag that is a great option for couples looking for an affordable 2-person bag. 

What we love the most about this bag is that it gives you all the warmth advantages of sharing one bag while still being roomy and comfortable. We also liked the price point, it’s not super expensive like the Feathered Friends Spoonbill nor is it too bulky or heavy for backpacking, like some cheaper options. The Sentinel comes with a Flex Pad Sleeve which makes connecting two pads easy. Alternatively, you could stretch it around a double wide pad. 

The biggest drawback of this bag, and double bags in general is its lack of versatility. If one partner wants to go solo backpacking for a few nights, she’ll need another bag.

If you want a more premium sleeping bag for you and your adventure partner, check out the Feathered Friends Spoonbill UL. While it’s over double the price, it is much lighter and compressible than the Sentinel. 

Therm-a-Rest Hyperion 20

  • Fill Weight: 12.0 oz
  • Insulation: Down
  • Weight: 1.2 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Volume: 03.0 L
  • Temp Rating: 32 F
  • Fill Power: 900
  • Lightweight And Small Packing Size
  • Ergonomic Shape And Long Zipper
  • Moisture Resistant Fabric

The Therm-a-Rest Hyperion 20 is a lightweight high quality bag that was designed to help long distance hikers shave pounds from their load.

What we love the most about this bag is its warmth to weight ratio. It’s filled with 900 down which makes it so warm and light. It also packs down quite small, making it great for saving room in your backpack. A little feature we liked was there are two straps underneath it which you can attach to your sleeping pads to keep the bag from slipping off. The Hyperion comes with a compression bag which helps get the bag down to about the size of a large water bottle. There is more insulation on top (70%) and less on the bottom (30%), this saves weight but it also means the design is optimized for sleeping on your back. 

What this bag gains in weight saving, it pays for in comfort. The cut is slim, very slim. So, if you’re a bigger dude or lady, you will probably feel constricted in this thing. The Hyperion is very narrow throughout and tapers down even more at the feet. The zipper only goes halfway down the bag, which does shave some ounces but it also means you can’t vent your feet. And, while we’re talking about the zipper, let’s just say it has some room for improvement. There’s a bit of fabric that runs along the zipper but it still snags from time to time. 

The Hyperion 20 is excellent value for money and is cheaper than other high end bags on this list, but it is lacking some features like a draft collar that lets you seal the bag around your face. Also, while it’s rated to 20 degrees, its comfort rating is 32 degrees. So we only recommend this  bag for above freezing conditions. If you’re the kind of hiker who doesn’t mind sacrificing some comfort in order to go fast and light, the Hyperion 20 could be the perfect bag for you. 

This bag also comes in a 32 degree version.

Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 15

View Women's Version
  • Fill Weight: 21.0 oz
  • Insulation: Down
  • Weight: 2.3 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Volume: 08.1 L
  • Temp Rating: 26 F
  • Fill Power: 650
  • Anatomically shaped foot box
  • Full-length down draft tube
  • Stuff sack and mesh storage bag included
Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 15 Backpacking Sleeping Bag

The Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 15 is a middle of the road bag that is good value while including some features you won’t find in budget sleeping bags. 

What we love about this bag is its balance between price and features. While it’s not the cheapest bag out there, it does include some clever features that make a huge difference. The draft collar lets you cinch the hood around your face which seals out the cold air. Also, the foot box has an opening that gives you some air flow if you get too toasty. Another thoughtful touch is that the pulls glow in the dark, a handy feature at three o’clock in the morning.

The biggest downside of the Bishop Pass 15 is on the heavier, bulky end of the line up. We wouldn’t recommend lugging it on long distance trips but it is manageable for short backpacking adventures. Also, it has a pretty narrow fit. If you’re a side sleeper or like to sprawl, you should probably steer clear from the Bishop Pass. 

Looking for a higher or lower temperature rated bag? The Bishop Pass line is also available in a 0-degree and 30-degree version.

The Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 15 is also available in a women’s version in a 0-degree, 15-degree and 30-degree option.

Big Agnes Torchlight 20 UL

View Women's Version
  • Fill Weight: 16.0 oz
  • Insulation: Down
  • Weight: 2.1 lbs
  • Volume: 03.5 L
  • Temp Rating: 29 F
  • Fill Power: 850
  • DownTek hydrophobic coating keeps the down warm in wetness
  • Draft tubes cover full-length zipper and Free Range Hood
  • Storage and stuff sacks included
Big Agnes Torchlight 20 UL Backpacking Sleeping Bag

The Big Agnes Torchlight 20 UL is a comfortable sleeping bag with some unique design features we haven’t seen in other bags.

What we love the most about the Torchlight UL is the two expandable panels from the shoulders to the foot box which give you 10 extra inches of space. This allows you to adjust the size of the bag to fit your body shape. This way you can unzip it for more space and zip it closed to avoid any empty air space. A small but handy feature is the internal mesh stash pocket. Photographers will find it to be a great place to store batteries overnight to help keep them from draining.

The biggest drawback of this bag is the weight. Despite claiming to be an ultralight bag, it doesn’t come close to being as light and packable as other bags on our list. While the expandable design is innovative, it does add extra weight and bulk to the bag. Side sleepers might find this to be a worthy trade off.

The Big Agnes UL is also available in a 30-degree version.

There is a women’s version of this bag that comes in both a 20-degree and 30-degree model.

REI Co-op Trailbreak 20

View Women's Version
  • Fill Weight: N/A
  • Insulation: Synthetic
  • Weight: 3.4 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Volume: 12.0 L
  • Temp Rating: 29 F
  • Fill Power: Polyester
  • Water-resistant synthetic fill
  • 3-panel hood
  • Stuff sack included
REI Trailbreak 20 Backpacking Sleeping Bag

The REI Co-op Trailbreak 20 is a budget minded synthetic sleeping bag that was designed for people who are just starting out backpacking. 

Just because this bag is a steal doesn’t doesn’t mean that it is cheap. While the Trailbreak 20 is nowhere near as light, comfortable or packable as the bags at the top of our list, we have to give it credit for being an exceptional value. Its size and weight is manageable for short backpacking trips.

The cash savings do come with some drawbacks.The lining fabric is a bit rough making it much less comfortable than the silky fabric found on many other bags. Also, it doesn’t have a neck baffle, so some heat does escape through the top of the bag. One last nitpick, the Trailbreak doesn’t come with a compression sack, so you’ll need to calculate that into your decision. If you’re on a tight budget and just can’t spring for a better sleeping bag right now, this is a good option to get you out on the trail fast.

Looking for a summer sleeping bag? The REI Trailbreak is also available in a 30-degree version.

The REI Trailbreak comes in a women’s specific which is available as a 20-degree or 30-degree bag

Sierra Designs Cloud 20

  • Fill Weight: 14.8 oz
  • Insulation: Down
  • Weight: 1.7 lbs
  • Volume: 08.4 L
  • Temp Rating: 26 F
  • Fill Power: 800
  • Zipper-less design
  • Insulated hand/arm pockets
  • Self-sealing foot vent
Sierra Designs Cloud 20 Backpacking Sleeping Bag

The Sierra Designs Cloud 20 is a three season zipper-less design sleeping bag that is a hybrid between a quilt and a traditional bag. 

What we love the most about the Cloud is its unique design that makes you feel like you’re sleeping with a blanket wrapped around you rather than in a straight jacket. We also liked the foot vent that opens up at the bottom of the bag. It allows you to slide your feet out if you get too warm and you can easily pull them back in if you get too cold. There’s no insulation in the back panel of the bag from your shoulders to about the top of your hip. The theory is you’re going to compress the down and it’s not going to give you as much warmth. Removing this bit of insulation helps to cut weight. 

The biggest drawback of the Cloud 20 is that it has a single opening on the left side of the bag and it doesn’t open on the right side. This might be an issue for side sleepers because it’s difficult to keep it closed if you roll over to your right side. The Cloud 20 comes with a pad sleeve to keep it from slipping and sliding. One thing to note is that the sleeve doesn’t fit over a wide sleeping pad so be sure to check the measurements before buying one.

The Sierra Designs Cloud 20 also comes in a 35-degree version.



You want your sleeping bag to be light, compact, comfortable, and warm. Check the weight, and look at the stuff sack size to see how much space the bag will take up in your pack. Most backpackers prefer the narrow mummy or semi-mummy shape, which is snug but keeps bags lighter and more compact. Down is the insulation of choice, though backpackers on lower budgets or those who are often in wet conditions may prefer a synthetic fill. Beyond that, our choices are narrowed down by our budgets and by the conditions in which we intend to use our equipment.


Arguably the most important consideration for a sleeping bag is its temperature rating. Understanding the rating system, and how it should be applied, is an important step in choosing the right bag for the environment you’ll be sleeping in.

Temperature ratings

When deciding on the right bag, its always best to err on the side of caution and choose a lower temperature rating than you think you need. The lower the rating, the warmer the bag will be. In the event that you end up being too warm, it’s an easy adjustment to unzip the bag and cool off. It is much harder to warm up than it is to cool down.

In order to make the most informed decision, make sure that the sleeping bag you choose is rated using one of the standardized systems: ISO (International Standards Organization) or EN (European Norm). By doing this, you’ll be able to accurately compare the temperature ratings between two bags (even if one uses EN and the other uses ISO).

Sleeping Bag Temperature Rating

What type of sleeper are you – warm or cold?

It’s also important to understand that there are two temperature ratings for each bag that you should keep an eye on: Comfort Rating and Lower Limit Rating.

The Comfort Rating is the lowest allowable air temperature for cold sleepers (often thought of as women) while the Lower Limit Rating is the lowest allowable air temperature for warm sleepers (traditionally men). Because of data that shows the physiological differences in core sleeping temperature between the two binary genders, women’s sleeping bags reference the Comfort Rating while men’s bags rely on the Lower Limit Rating.

3-SEASON+ 15° TO 30°



“Down” is the fluffy layer of plumage found under the exterior layer of feathers in waterfowl like geese and ducks. By far the more popular of the two, down insulation is extremely lightweight and very compressible. This means its packed dimensions save precious room in your backpack. Although more expensive than synthetic bags, sleeping bags insulated with down are more durable and last longer. They are a great investment over the years. Most of the best backpacking sleeping bags are down bags.

An important spec to keep your eye on when choosing a down bag is how much “Fill Power” it has. The higher the number, the better the warmth to weight ratio. As you’ll learn in the next section, overall sleeping bag weight is an important consideration.

Fill power is a great way to compare seemingly identical bags with the same temperature rating. For example, two 15° bags can differ by $100 depending on the fill power. This is because higher fill powers are more efficient.

If you can afford the price difference, a 15° bag with 850-fill power can provide as much as 10 ounces of weight savings over a 15° bag with 650-fill power! However, the benefit of choosing a bag with a lower fill power is that it allows you to get a 15° bag at an entry-level price point.

In recent years, most manufacturers have started treating down feathers with a water-resistant coating. This helps mitigate the loss of insulation efficiency if your bag gets wet. However, a soaking wet down bag will not be able to provide the amount of warmth that a wet synthetic bag will.


Synthetic sleeping bags offer a few advantages over down and are definitely worthy of consideration. More affordable than their down counterparts, synthetic bags will continue to keep you insulated even when wet, and will dry out much faster than a down bag. This can be a crucial difference if you’ll be camping in damp or rainy climates.

Synthetic bags are also non-allergenic, meaning these are the choice for those who have sensitive allergies to bird feathers and plumage.


The weight of your bag is an important feature to consider. As a heavy-weight bag will take up more space and make your backpack heavier overall. While not everyone needs to be an ultralight enthusiast, weight is a crucial consideration for every piece of gear you buy. It all adds up! Sleeping bags offer some of the greatest potential weight savings.

When trimming down on weight, make sure you’re comparing bags with the same temperature rating. Lower degree bags require more insulation to keep you warmer. Also, keep an eye out for more efficient types of insulation that provide the same amount of desired warmth at a lower weight.


When it comes to bag weight vs. roominess, there are three general shapes of sleeping bags that you can choose from: mummy, semi-rectangular, and rectangular. You may also consider opting for a double sleeping bag if you and your partner prefer to stay close while you sleep.


Best suited for backpacking trips due to their lighter weight and thoughtfully engineered design, mummy bags offer the best warmth to weight ratio of any shape. They hug you closely and come with a hood to keep your head warm.


These bags offer more room than mummy bags for a small tradeoff in warmth and come in a “barrel” shape.


Better suited for those camping for several days, rectangular bags are heavy but provide much more room to stretch out. They also do not insulate nearly as well as mummy bags, but offer the most entry-level friendly price point.


An ideal choice for couples who want to share a bag, double bags offer room for two. Another choice is to pair a right-zip and left-zip bag together, giving you the option to join individual bags together to make one big bag. Rectangular bags offer this option as well.


Traditional sleeping bags are divided into two different categories, based on the gender binary: men’s and women’s. All you really need to know is your height and body shape to decide which length of sleeping bag is right for you.

What are known as “men’s” sleeping bags are made in Regular and Long lengths. A regular bag is usually 6′ long and can fit people up to six feet tall.

A long bag measures 6’ 8” and is designed for people who are taller than six feet (up to 6′ 6″). The extra 8” of length in a long bag is designed to give you a little room to move about as your spine will decompress and add an inch or two to your height when you lay flat.

Some companies also include a “Short” or “Small” length of men’s bag, which fits people who are shorter than 5′ 6″. Traditionally designed women’s bags are also made for shorter individuals and they typically come in Regular and Long sizes as well.

A regular women’s bag fits people up to 5′ 6″. A long women’s bag is good for people up to 5′ 10″. You can also opt for a gender-neutral bag, which will provide you with a wider selection of styles and length options. Just make sure to check the length specifications against your body height before choosing which length of bag is right for you.



Typically found on mummy and semi-rectangular bags, a sleeping bag hood helps your head trap warmth and keep your body warmer overall. When backpacking in colder climates, this is a must-have feature.

Left or right-zip

This is important only if you plan to join two sleeping bags together. Men’s bags typically come in a left-zip while women’s bags come with a right-zip. It’s important to have one of each in order to properly join the two. Most brands will make matching bags for men and women (same temperature rating, insulation, etc.) that will easily pair together.

Stash pocket

Many bags offer a convenient pocket near the chest to stash items you may need overnight such as lip balm or a headlamp.

Pillow pocket

Some sleeping bags offer a pocket that can be stuffed with clothing to create a makeshift pillow. This is a great way to use what you already have to create comfort rather than buying an extra camping pillow.


Stuff sack

Sleeping bag stuff sack

Many sleeping bags come with a stuff sack that allows you to pack down the bag into a nice and tidy compartment. This is helpful when packing your multi-day pack and keeps things organized.

Compression sack

Sleeping bag compression sack

Similar to a stuff sack, a compression sack takes things one step further by employing tension straps to compress the sleeping bag. Depending on how large the bag is, a compression sack can reduce the size of a sleeping bag into roughly the size of a gallon of milk.

Another option some compression sacks offer is waterproofing. For just a little more money, you can ensure that your sleeping bag stays 100% dry if caught in a downpour or making a water crossing on the trail.

Sleeping bag liner

Sleeping bag liner

Sleeping bag liners can be a handy addition to protecting your sleeping bag. By slipping it inside before you lay down to rest, you can prevent wear and tear on your expensive bag. It also keeps your actual sleeping bag clean. Liners are much more durable and easier to wash than sleeping bags. So they’re definitely a good option to include if you won’t have access to a shower for a few days.

The best benefit of sleeping bag liners is that they can add an extra 10° – 15° degrees of insulation to your bag. Liners can extend the versatility of a 3-season bag. So you don’t have to carry the extra weight of a winter bag to stay warm at night in cooler temperatures. In theory, a sleeping bag with a 30° F rating could improve to be comfortable in temperatures down to 15°F with the addition of a liner.



Backpacking sleeping bag buffle

A baffle is a horizontal stripe that is sewn across a sleeping bag to hold down or synthetic material in place. A boxed baffle is the preferable style as it retains heat better. Sewn-through baffles allow heat to escape and thus do not insulate as well.

Fill weight

Sleeping Bag fill weight

Fill weight refers to the expansive quality of the down. 500 fill weight is the lowest typically used in sleeping bags, while high-end bags use the very expensive 800 to 900 fill weight down. Higher fill weight indicates higher quality down.


Backpacking sleeping bag foot box

The bottom of the bag where your feet rest. It is referred to as a foot box because sleeping bag zippers typically only go down to the ankle or mid-calf, isolating your feet into a cozy little box at the bottom of your bag.

Hook-and-loop Tab

Velcro strap

A velcro flap that secures the zippers on the side of your sleeping bag. It’s designed to prevent your bag from unzipping during the night due to movement.

Hood Drawstring

Sleeping bag Hood Drawstring

Mummy style sleeping bags often include a drawstring at the hood, allowing you to cinch the opening  around your face. In extremely cold climates, the hood can be drawn almost completely around the face, allowing you to breathe easy and still remain warm.

Shell fabrics

Shell fabric of a backpacking sleeping bag

The shell is the fabric that holds the insulation in place. Many outer shells are now given water repellent treatments, while inner shells are given a soft texture for comfort. All shell fabrics are a compromise between weight and strength: you want it to be light, but you don’t want to rip or puncture it!


Different lengths of sleeping bags

Most men’s sleeping bags come in a 78 inch long and a 72 inch regular size. Most women’s bags offer a 70 inch long and a 67 inch regular size. Some manufacturers use different sizes, and some may have additional lengths or extra wide sizes. Weight and bulk may vary with size.

Stuff sack

Stuff sack for sleeping bag

Most manufacturers supply two bags. The first one is a compression sack that reduces the bag to its smallest possible volume for stowing in a backpack. The second one is a storage sack that allows the bag to loft up and breathe. Storing the bag in the provided storage sack when not in use will extend its lifespan. Some manufacturers quote stuff sack size in external dimensions (in inches), others in volume (usually in liters).


Backpacking Sleeping Bag Yoke

For sleeping bags, a yoke is a neck collar inside the bag that helps prevent warm air from escaping through the collar of the bag.


What sleeping bag is best for backpacking?

Down sleeping bags are the best backpacking sleeping bags because they compress down small and have excellent warmth to weight ratios. 

How long does a sleeping bag keep you warm?

A sleeping bag keeps you warm by trapping air that is then heated by your body. How long it will keep you warm depends on how well the bag retains heat. Certain designs and materials are better at trapping and retaining warmth. The warmest bags are made from down. They also have draft collars that allow you to cinch the hood of the sleeping bag snuggly around your face. 

Are there any lightweight sleeping bags?

Yes, there are some truly ultralight sleeping bags out there that weigh 20 ounces or even less. Cottage manufacturers based in the US like Feathered Friends, Western Mountaineering, and Zpacks are some of the leaders in the ultralight arena. 

What is the warmest, lightest sleeping bag?

The Feathered Friends Hummingbird UL is one of the warmest, lightest sleeping bags out there. The Western Mountaineering UltraLite, which is slightly heavier but also very warm, is a close competitor to the Hummingbird UL.

What is the best sleeping bag money can buy?

Sleeping bags made by Western Mountaineering and Feathered Friends are some of the best quality bags you can buy. Both manufacturers are based in the USA and offer handmade sleeping bags that use the best materials and down that money can buy. 

Should I get a 15 or 30 degree sleeping bag?

If you plan to camp during shoulder seasons or tend to sleep cold, go for the 15-degree bag. If you camp mostly in warm weather, a 30-degree bag is your best option. Many companies use a rating system that lists a comfort rating, transition rating, and survival rating. It’s a good idea to choose a bag based on its comfort rating. If the bag doesn’t use this three rating system, take the listed rating and add 10, 15, or maybe even 20 degrees to that number to make sure you are warm and comfortable during the night. 

Should I get a down or synthetic sleeping bag?

If weight and packability are your main concerns, down is by far the best. It has an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio, packs down small, and depending on the quality of the feathers it can feel like you are sleeping on a cloud. Synthetic sleeping bags are significantly more affordable than down ones but they can’t compress nearly as well, making them less suitable for backpacking. 

What are three season sleeping bags?

Three season sleeping bags have temperature ratings that make them suitable for camping between spring to fall. They should be able to keep you warm in temps as low as 20°F but aren’t usually capable of handling bone chilling frosts. 

What is a good weight for a backpacking sleeping bag?

Try to keep the weight of your sleeping bag under 2 pounds for a three season bag. There are ultralight bags out there that come in at just over 1 pound. 

How can I increase the warmth of my sleeping bag?

You can add extra warmth to your sleeping bag by using a warm sleeping pad and by using a thermal liner. A quality sleeping pad gets you off the ground and gives you some insulation. A liner is like a sheet that can boost the warmth of your sleeping bag. Also, putting leaves or moss under your tent can boost the overall temperature inside. 

Can I just wear warmer clothes to make my sleeping bag warmer?

While it might be counterintuitive, sleeping with fewer clothes can actually make you warmer in a down sleeping bag. This is because down needs to be fluffy to be warm, so if you wear a lot of layers and the down gets compressed it won’t be as effective. 

Best Women's Backpacking Sleeping Bags

One Response

  1. M. L.

    I’m torn. Based on the traveling.camping I do, I would need to buy two sleeping bags. I’m not sure what would be best for hiking in South America. Could you point me in a direction? For camping this time of year and as it gets colder here in Michigan, I would go for the Nemo Sonic if I had the budget, and if my budget was tight, the Kelty SB20 I, like you, have woken up freezing before, one time taking all of my clothing, getting dressed in multiple layers and piling the rest on top of me (when I got caught out in an ice storm and it was safer to pull over and pull my bag out of my trunk…where I keep it in case of emergencies when I’m not camping). Even with all that I was cold. I immediately invested in a better sleeping bag after that happened. I believe in buying the best you possibly can afford and taking care of it…and I do like how there is more room at the end of the bag is (where my feet would be located). I prefer that.