Saturday, December 10, 2022
HomeOutdoorThe Best Camping Sleeping Bags of 2022

The Best Camping Sleeping Bags of 2022

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

A good sleeping bag is critical to a successful camping trip. Sure, a good tent will keep you dry and a sleeping pad helps keep you comfortable (and warm). But, the right sleeping bag tops it all off, keeping you cozy all night long. No one wants to wake up tired because they spent the night shivering, sweating, or sliding onto bare ground. 

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

To evaluate the best sleeping bags, we took key performance factors into account, like temperature rating, construction, materials, and other features. We’ve collectively spent years sleeping under the stars using sleeping bags, and all of that knowledge went into testing. Then, from the mountains of the Pacific Northwest to the hills of Appalachia, we took to our tents and put the bags to the test.

Keep reading to peruse all our recommended bags, or jump to the category you’re looking for. At the end of the list, make sure to check out our helpful comparison chart, comprehensive buyer’s guide, as well as our FAQ section to answer any lingering questions. 

The Best Sleeping Bags of 2022

Our top picks span the spectrum of sleeping bags, from the best overall, to specific-use bags for women or glamping. We also included some select honorable mentions. Each has its own benefit for certain types of campers and sleepers. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to gear, and sleeping bags are no exception. 

Best Overall: NEMO Jazz Synthetic Sleeping Bag

NEMO Equipment Jazz 30 Sleeping Bag

One of our favorite brands is back with a car-camping delight for summer nights above 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The NEMO Jazz Synthetic Sleeping Bag ($300) sleeps like a dream, leaving our tester not too hot, not too cold, but just right. All told, this was the best overall camping sleeping bag we’ve tested.

This bag boasts an overfilled quilt design, along with a signature NEMO BlanketFold draft collar near your face, and a ‘featherbed-style’ bottom for an incredibly cozy experience. A removable, washable sheet means the bag feels extra soft on bare skin. More akin to our own beds at home than many other sleeping bags — this bag just oozes comfort.

The Jazz sports a symmetrical cut, which means that zippers run down both sides and allow for customized venting throughout the night, and the ability to zip in with another bag if you want to cuddle. We especially appreciated the integrated sleeping pad sleeve, which anchors the bag in place (and is sized perfectly for the NEMO Roamer pad — one of our favorites).

NEMO Jazz 30 Synthetic Sleeping Bag
(Photo/Kylie Mohr)

Topped off with a pillow pocket that’s large enough to wrangle our favorite pillow from home all night, the Jazz hits all the right notes when it comes to camping comfort. Know that you’ll want to share in the bounty? The Jazz is also available in a Double version ($350), which bumps the width out to 129 inches, and since you’ll be sharing body heat — drops the temp rating from 30 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit!

Negatives were hard to come by, but packed, this bag’s a hog. Thankfully, it comes with a duffel bag for easier storage. At $300, it’s also a bit on the pricey side for a purely car-camping setup, but the absolutely plush comfort it offers helps salve our wallets.

At the end of the night, we found the Jazz so comfortable — we didn’t want to get out of it, even to make a piping hot cup of coffee. 

  • Insulation: 100% recycled Stratofiber synthetic 
  • Weight: 6 lbs. (single)
  • Packed volume: 16.1 L
  • Reported temperature rating: 30 degrees F limit, 32 F comfort
  • Buy this bag if: You like sleeping on a cloud
  • Absolutely plush
  • Capability to zip together 
  • On the heavier side
  • Price

Check Price at REICheck Price at NEMO Equipment

Best Budget Sleeping Bag: Coleman Brazos

Coleman Brazos Sleeping Bag

Clocking in at $47, Coleman packs in a lot of features for the budget-minded camper. Not only is the Brazos 20 a value among sleeping bags, but it also targets those who sleep at the campsite the way they do at home: the tossers, turners, and sprawlers.

A whopping 2.75 feet of shoulder room accommodates a broad torso and large individuals, and it also allows more freedom to move while sleeping. Plus, the gaping hood is big enough to bring your favorite pillow from home.

The synthetic fill of the Brazos is typical of many camping sleeping bags, which often aren’t as concerned with overall weight and bulk. Synthetic fills do, however, provide a number of advantages in camping situations: resisting dampness as well as being hypoallergenic and overall less costly than their down counterparts.

The bag only goes down to a 30 degrees comfort rating (and that’ll be a chilly 30 degrees), so bring layers for cooler nights or prepare to be cold. We have found in our testing that bags that incorporate more roomy cuts are more difficult to warm efficiently, and so when the temps do dip, reach for a bag with more of a mummy-cut, such as the Therm-a-Rest Questar or Sea to Summit Ascent or Altitude.

The Brazos 20 is a great fit if you’re looking for something simple and designed for comfort, and a bag that won’t break the bank. 

  • Insulation: Synthetic
  • Weight: 5 lbs.
  • Packed volume: 32 L 
  • Reported temperature rating: 20 F
  • Buy this bag if: You’re trying camping for the first time — and want to snuggle your dog
  • Weight
  • One size
  • Oversized for most sleeping pads

Check Price at REICheck Price at Amazon

Best Comfort Sleeping Bag: Big Agnes Diamond Park 


Diamond Park 30°

This is hands down the most comfortable bag we tested. Big Agnes’ Diamond Park ($300-400) series is plush, cozy, and loaded with cool features. This bag even has enough room for wide-shouldered campers, thanks to a gaping 80-inch span across the top of the bag.

And for the not-so-broad-shouldered, hand pockets at the top corners let you snuggle the bag around you, nice and tight. The cinchable hood completes the cocooning sensation. Big Agnes also included a wraparound zipper so you can remove the insulated top layer to use as a camp blanket. Unlike many bags, the Diamond Park has zippered entry points on both sides, which makes for a small but convenient touch. You can also unzip the bag from the bottom to pop your feet out.

An internal accessory pocket helps a smartphone preserve a charge on cool nights (and may keep you from losing it outright at night). Big Agnes’ trademark Flex Pad Sleeve helps keep the bag from sliding off your sleeping pad as you move around. And the brand also incorporated a pillow “barn” to help keep that in place, too. 

Amenable to any summer or shoulder-season trip, the Diamond Park series of sleeping bags from Big Agnes are available in 30-degree, 15-degree, and even 0-degree versions for those frost-nipped nights of October. If down insulation isn’t your thing, Big Agnes also offers the same design and cut in their Echo Park series of bags, filled with FireLine Max synthetic fill.

Our only gripe? Smaller campers might find this bag too roomy — which can let cold drafts get in. 

But overall, the Diamond Park a very smart, very comfy sleeping bag.

  • Insulation: 600-fill down
  • Weight: 3 lbs., 5 oz. (long)
  • Packed volume: 5 L (30 degrees F)
  • Reported temperature rating: 0/15/30 degrees F
  • Buy this bag if: You have wide shoulders and hate sliding off your pad or pillow
  • Roomy
  • Detachable camp blanket
  • Pillow barn
  • Pad sleeve
  • May be too wide for smaller campers

Check Price at ScheelsCheck Price at Amazon

Best Sleeping Bag for Women: Sea to Summit Altitude 

Sea to Summit Altitude Sleeping Bag

Our tester found this bag to be perfect at keeping her perpetually cold feet warm all night. Sea to Summit took its unisex Ascent and narrowed the shoulders, while widening the hips and knees, for the female-specific fit of the Altitude Sleeping Bag ($379-450). It also added a layer of Thermolite insulation in the foot box. This resulted in less dead space and optimal comfort and warmth.

We tested the 25-degree bag, and it lived up to its temperature rating. The “oversized” draft collar and draft tube kept our tester wonderfully warm on a 28-degree night with some windchill. With its relaxed mummy shape, there was even enough room in this bag to make side sleeping possible.

And this thing has so many zippers — including a half-zip on the left side and an extra zipper on the foot box — that on warmer nights, you could control the ventilation effectively to keep cool. And when it’s time to pack up, this bag is easy to get into its compact stuff sack.

The Sea to Summit Altitude is sweet for car camping. And depending on the size and temperature rating you need, you could even possibly take this bag backpacking.

The only con we can think of is the price. But for what you’re getting in this bag, we recommend dropping the cash. It’ll be worth it.

  • Insulation: Ultra-Dry 750+ fill-power down in body, Thermolite synthetic insulation in toebox
  • Weight: 25-degree: 2 lbs., 6.1 oz. (regular) /2 lbs., 9.3 oz. (long)
  • Packed volume: 6.5 L (25 degrees F)
  • Reported temperature rating: 15/25 degrees F
  • Buy this bag if: You need a lightweight camping option that could transition to backpacking; you’re a woman who sleeps cold, especially your feet
  • Extra insulation in footbox keeps feet toasty
  • Lightweight
  • Packs down small
  • Customizable venting for range of temps

Check Price at BackcountryCheck Price at Sea to Summit

Best Crossover for Camping and Backpacking: Therm-a-Rest Questar 20 

Therm-a-Rest Questar 20 sleeping bag

The Questar from Therm-a-Rest ($340-380) checks all the boxes when it comes to carrying everything yourself far into the mountains for adventures like backpacking and bikepacking. It’s light, weighing right around 2 pounds (give or take a few ounces for the regular versus short), and delightfully warm and cozy across a wide range of temperatures.

Despite testing a range of women’s-specific bags, Therm-a-Rest’s unisex design came out on top. Therm-a-Rest excels at packability and warmth-to-weight ratio, so while it could certainly fit in a pack or pannier, the brand retooled its design to make it a more comfortable bag for all-around camping.

Two things make the Questar especially comfortable. First, Therm-a-Rest’s new W.A.R.M. system (“With Added Room for Multiple Positions”) provides a little extra space. This is better for wider shoulders and those who like to shift positions at night. Second, the 20-denier polyester taffeta remains surprisingly quiet as you move around.

Inside, Nikwax hydrophobic down fill helps resist moisture and preserve warmth — a key factor when opting for a down bag. And the brand’s SynergyLink Connectors offer a minimalist take on sleeping pad attachment.

The only negative experience we had with this bag was fussing with the sleeping pad connectors, as a sleeve tends to be easier to finagle. 

This bag is great for a variety of adventures and doesn’t sacrifice comfort for packability. Plus, it’s available in a middle-of-the-road 20-degree version, a warmer weather 32-degree bag ($310), and a shoulder-season-ready 0-degree bag ($390).

  • Insulation: 650-fill down
  • Weight: 2 lbs., 7 oz. (long)
  • Packed volume: 5.4 L (20 degrees F)
  • Reported temperature rating: 0/20/32 degrees F
  • Buy this bag if: You want to try a lightweight bag but maintain comfort factor
  • Quiet
  • Roomier than other mummy bags
  • Sleeping pad connectors take more time than a traditional sleeve

Check Price at REICheck Price at Amazon

Best Glamping Bag: Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed 

Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed 20

Like feeling tucked into bed? You’re in luck with the Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed ($170). The patent-pending zipperless design means easy in, easy out — no more zipping your bag into itself in the middle of the night — and a quilt-like feeling across your upper body. Our tester barely felt like she was camping at all. 

The Frontcountry Bed is one of a number of zipperless sleeping bags that Sierra Designs currently offers, including the Backcountry Bed ($280) — a down-filled relaxed-mummy cut of the Frontcountry, and the Cloud ($300) and Nightcap ($160) — down and synthetic bags that are more backcountry-oriented. All offer an unrestricted sleeping experience that we came to truly enjoy.

A number of smart features add to the bed-like design, including a self-sealing foot vent that makes for quick and easy purging of excess warmth, and a pad sleeve that keeps you centered on sleep set-up overnight.

If you’ve slept in zippered bags all your life, however, this one might feel strangly open at the top. Our tester had no problems staying warm and fast asleep on an early Montana fall night with lows in the mid-40s, but wondered if chillier air might get in later in the season or at higher elevations.

Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed
(Photo/Kylie Mohr)

This bag is ideal for someone who doesn’t like mummy-style bags, wants room to stretch out, and isn’t concerned about size or weight when packed. For $170, it’s a versatile bag that punches above its price. It’s even available in a sharable Duo version ($250), and for the van-life and overlanding crowd: a queen-sized cut ($280) that incorporates a bed-sized pad sleeve for living large.

  • Insulation: Synthetic 
  • Weight: 5 lbs., 1.5 oz.
  • Packed volume: 31 L (regular size)
  • Reported temperature rating: 20 degrees F limit, 31 F comfort
  • Buy this bag if: Your bed at home has lots of blankets
  • Supremely cozy
  • No fussing with zippers
  • Room to breath
  • Foot area vents heat
  • Smaller sleepers could feel swallowed up in this bag (brand says it accommodates someone up to 6 feet tall, but our tester’s 6’2” boyfriend fit just fine)
  • Zipperless design means air might get where you don’t want it

Check Price at REICheck Price at Sierra Designs

Best All-in-One Sleep System: Zenbivy MotoBed

Zenbivy MotoBed

One of our favorite under-the-radar camp sleep brands is back and better than ever. We’ve awarded Zenbivy high marks in the past and still appreciate its debut sleep system. This year, the underdog brand from Spokane, Wash., launched what it calls its “easiest, fastest, most comfortable camping bed ever.” 

How’s that, you ask? The Zenbivy MotoBed ($350) combines a sleeping bag and self-inflating sleeping pad into one convenient, comfortable package. It includes some real versatility to help users dial in the comfort they want.

First, the pad. It has a dual-layer construction, so half is a self-inflating foam that you can top off to your desired firmness.  The other half is a pillow topper for added softness and warmth.

Now, for the bag, or should we say “bag”? This is actually a fully rectangular quilt you can wear around the campsite.

But when fully zipped onto the mattress, it takes on a tapered sleeping bag shape, with a cinchable foot box. And you can adjust how — and whether — you secure the quilt to the mattress, so you effectively dial in the amount of toss-and-turn space you need. 

The bag is really only comfortable at 45 degrees or so, so if you like to camp at high elevations or chillier locales, think again. 

If you’re a fair-weather camper who likes simplicity, the Zenbivy MotoBed is your bag. It all sets up in seconds — unclip, unroll, and it’s 90% set up. For car camping, this is about as chill as it gets.

  • Insulation: Synthetic
  • Weight: 8-10 lbs.  
  • Packed volume: 48 L (size large)
  • Reported temperature rating: 35 degrees F limit, 45 F comfort
  • Buy this bag if: You’re only car camping and want as little to do as possible.
  • All-in-one design (pad+mattress)
  • Comfortable
  • A lot of zippers
  • Feet can get cold
  • Heavy

Check Price at Zenbivy

Best of the Rest

The market for camp sleeping bags is massive. There are tons of well-made, comfortable, high-quality bags out there. Don’t see what you like above? Any of these bags make the grade from our testing and might be perfect for your needs.

The North Face The One 

One Bag Sleeping Bag

Despite a rather bold naming convention, The One sleeping bag ($340-350) really lives up to its marketing. The North Face did an excellent job of creating a highly versatile sleeping bag to meet a variety of sleepers and conditions. At its core, The One sleeping bag is an interchangeable sleep system with adaptable insulating properties.

It’s a creative idea — multiple layered sleeping bags that you can swap out depending on the temperature. But it’s a concept that could easily become overly complex and user-unfriendly. However, The North Face design team pulled it off beautifully. 

Essentially, The One is two separate sleeping bags of different ratings — a 20-degree (orange) bag and a 40-degree (blue) bag — that, when combined, provide warmth down to 5 degrees. These bags connect with zippers. And while two different bags, each with its own set of zippers, could become unwieldy, these too are color-coded and intuitive to use.

Beyond the interchangeable nature, The One uses exceptional 800-fill goose down that has a high warmth-to-weight ratio and compresses extremely well. To get a 5-degree down sleeping bag under $300 is pretty amazing. To get three at that price? An outstanding value!

While it isn’t the roomiest sleeping bag, it functions and feels like many mummy bags on the market. Because the 40-degree bag sits on the outside when combined with the 20-degree bag, it offers a little more shoulder room. And although operating the zippers can be a little confusing the first time, sleepers will likely eventually figure out how the system works.

Our favorite feature was no doubt a last-minute “a-ha!” from someone at The North Face. You can use the 20-degree layer by itself as a camp blanket, and small snaps work to transform that blanket into a wearable shawl. This is a wonderful feature for chilly nights around the campfire. This bag is great for anyone wanting versatility, to the max.

  • Insulation: 800-fill goose down
  • Weight: 4 lbs. (long)
  • Packed volume: 17.5 L (5 degrees F)
  • Reported temperature rating: 5/20/40 degrees F
  • Buy this bag if: You want a versatile sleeping bag combination that works for almost all conditions
  • Three bags for the price of one
  • Detachable camp blanket/shawl
  • Small learning curve
  • No pad sleeve

Check Price at REICheck Price at The North Face

Big Agnes Roxy Ann & Lost Ranger 3N1

Big Agnes Roxxy Ann & Lost Ranger

This three-in-one setup will hit the jackpot for some sleepers and feel like overkill to others. The Big Agnes Roxy Ann & Lost Ranger 3N1 sleeping bag ($330-420) kits consist of two bags: an outer lighter bag and an inner warmer bag, that when combined offer the full warmth rating for the bag system. 

We tested the Roxy Ann 30-degree version recently; a women’s cut which combines a set of 55-degree and 45-degree F bags to hit an overall warmth rating of 30 degrees. Our tester found the inner bag to feel like a lightweight down jacket from head to toe — light, cozy, and made her feel slightly terrified she’d rip it. It fits snugly around the feet and ankles, in classic mummy style.

The outer bag is roomier and perfect for nights when you don’t want to sweat. A pad cinch system makes connecting the bags to a sleeping pad easy — no more rolling off onto the hard ground in the wee hours of the night. Layering the bags left our tester feeling tangled up in the middle of the night. 

Our tester wanted to love the variety of options this setup offers. She found each bag to be fine by itself, but came to the conclusion that having two bags only 10 degrees apart in temperature ratings just didn’t feel essential. There are ways to vent heat or layer that would make just one bag work up or down. At the end of the day, our tester prefers one bag and less futzing. 

But for those who need an all-in-one option? The Roxy Ann & Lost Ranger 3N1 bags provide a unique take on an old problem. And there are a number of different temperature-rated bags available in both men’s and women’s cuts.

  • Insulation: 650-fill DownTek down
  • Weight: 1 lb., 2 oz. (inner), 1 lb., 6 oz. (outer)
  • Packed volume: 8.3 L (Roxy Ann 30 degree)
  • Reported temperature rating: 55/45/30 degrees F
  • Buy this bag if: You like the idea of a mix-and-match quiver
  • Options galore
  • Jacket-style hood that cinches
  • Very lightweight and packable 
  • Felt mildly claustrophobic in the two bags combined
  • Inner bag runs small around feet and ankles

Check Roxy Ann Price at REICheck Lost Ranger Price at Amazon

Big Agnes Torchlight 30

Big Agnes Torchlight 30

We love a customizable sleeping bag, and the Big Agnes Torchlight ($300-320) delivers. For what you’re getting in a car camping bag, this super-expandable bag is a great value.

Zippers on the sides expand the bag for more room (up to 10 inches) where you need it, when you need it. And when you don’t, just zip them back up. This accommodates a wide variety of body shapes and sleep styles. In testing, we really appreciated this take on the typical issues we have with mummy-style bags, and were able to fully customize the fit of the bag by opening up specific panels to fit our shoulders and hips.

The hood on this bag is very cozy, the draft tube and collar work well, and the zippers are high-quality. In typical mummy-bag style, the body-mapped baffle construction keeps your warmth where you want it, and 600 fill-power down kept us cozy regardless of whether the zippers were done up or not. The Torchlight is also available in a synthetic fill version, called the Torchlight Camp ($170)

The downside of this bag is that even with the zippers closed all the way, the foot box is just roomy enough to get cold when the temps dip down. 

Otherwise, the bag we tested held up to its temperature rating of 30 degrees Fahrenheit. (The bag also comes in men’s/unisex and a 20 degree version). And the customization is a really special feature. 

  • Insulation: 600-fill down
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 4 oz. (men’s 30 degree F regular)
  • Packed volume: 4.3 L (men’s 30 degree F)
  • Reported temperature rating: 20/35 degrees F
  • Buy this bag if: You like being snug some nights and spreading out on others
  • Price
  • Expands for more room to side sleep
  • Contracts for more warmth

Check Price at ScheelsCheck Price at Big Agnes

Coleman Kompact Mummy 25 (Unisex)

Coleman Kompact Mummy

This 25 degree Coleman mummy bag comes in only one length, but its price point of $100 is one that casual campers can easily swallow. The Kompact Mummy has decent warmth for its weight, although shorter sleepers may find that their feet get cold due to the extra space left in the foot box. (The bag is 82 inches long and fits campers up to 6’2″ tall.)

This bag can get a bit drafty when pushed to its temperature limits, but it’s plenty adequate for relaxed summer camping. And the no-snag zipper makes for worry-free in and out.

For our female tester, this bag was too roomy in the shoulders and feet to be warm on 35-degree nights.

There aren’t many bells and whistles on the Kompact Mummy — and that’ll do just fine for the right kind of camper. This bag is perfect for someone dipping their feet into the camping world, or someone who has a busy schedule and doesn’t camp all the time. 

  • Insulation: Coletherm Max synthetic
  • Weight: 4.3 lbs.
  • Packed volume: 17.5 L 
  • Reported temperature rating: 25 degrees F
  • Buy this bag if: You’re around 6 feet tall and camp a few times per year

Check Price at AmazonCheck Price at Coleman

NEMO Stalker

NEMO Stalker Sleeping Bag

Our lead hunt editor slept in this bag for the majority of 2020, and it proved a high performer. Extremely durable and flexible, it worked in every situation from summer to late fall hunts.

One brutally cold night below 5 degrees F did lead to some especially cold feet. But overall, the NEMO Stalker ($600-650) was comfortable, well-made, and bombproof in the field. The brand’s patented Thermogills are an epic addition. They extend a very warm bag into a sleeper appropriate for hot summer nights.

And while not the spoon shape NEMO lends many of its bags, the Stalker has stretch material at the knees and elbows to add a little wiggle room (literally). And if this purpose-built collab bag, built with First Lite, somehow succumbs to the demands you place on it, you can rest easy with NEMO’s lifetime warranty.

The camo design isn’t for everyone. (What else can you realistically expect from a First Lite collab though?) We see the Stalker being incredibly popular for folks glassing the high country for that trophy bull. Those fall nights are always surprisingly cold at first. 

  • Insulation: 800-fill down
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 14 oz.
  • Packed volume: 15.6 L (regular)
  • Temperature rating: 0 degrees F limit, 14 F comfort
  • Buy this bag if: You need a bag to work in the field across multiple seasons and enjoy a hunter aesthetic
  • Burly construction
  • Thermogills add multi-season versatility
  • Heavy-duty zippers can be tricky
  • Not as warm as other 0-degree bags we tested

Check Price at NEMO Equipment

Sea to Summit Ascent (0/15/25 Degree) 

Sea to Summit Ascent II sleeping bag

The Ascent ($370-489) provides a plush, comfy cocoon for sleeping. Its large hood left ample room for a camp pillow or to shift your head without the bag constricting. Sea to Summit employed vertical baffles along the torso to prevent the down from shifting around when you do. And shift you can, because this bag is roomy!

The also has a full-length zip on one side and a half-zip on the other. So, those who run hot can flip the front down to vent quickly or leave the sides open to vent more slowly. Plus, a foot zip helps regulate temps by making exposing a few toesies an option. 

The Ascent’s 750-fill down means it won’t pack down as small as higher-loft bags, so if you’re light on space or backpack frequently with lots of gear, this might not be the bag for you. You also might find the multitude of zippers to be a bit confusing in the middle of the night haze. 

That said, this bag is a really versatile pick for all kinds of camping, and Sea to Summit is a brand known for its durability. 

  • Insulation: 750-fill down
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 1 oz.
  • Packed volume: 6.2 L (15 degrees F)
  • Temperature rating: 0/15/25 degrees F
  • Buy this bag if: You want to invest in a backpacking-capable bag that’s also great for car camping
  • Plush and soft
  • Accessory pocket
  • Fold-down front option
  • Lots of zippers
  • May have more features than you need

Check Price at Sea to Summit

Kelty Galactic 30 Dri-Down

 Kelty Galactic 30 Sleeping Bag:

This is a solid bag — especially for beginning adventurers — if you want something for the occasional car camping trip or short hike-in site. Kelty’s Galactic 30 ($160) has one standout feature for cuddly couples — two bags can zip together to turn one rectangular bag into a double-wide snuggle factory. 

Otherwise, it’s a basic bag with fewer bells and whistles (like cinchable hoods, advanced venting, mummy shape) than the pricier models on this list. 

But at about $160, the Galactic manages to pack in value for the budget-minded car-camper just the same.

  • Insulation: 550-fill down
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 11 oz.
  • Packed volume: 14 L
  • Reported temperature rating: 30 degrees F
  • Buy this bag if: You want the occasional snuggle and don’t have long hikes ahead
  • Simple
  • Zips together with another bag
  • Low fill weight down
  • Heavy

Check Price at at REICheck Price at at Kelty

Comparison Chart

Camping Sleeping Bag Price Weight Packed Volume Temperature Rating Insulation
NEMO Jazz Synthetic  $300 6 lbs. (single) 16.1 L (30 degree F) 30 F limit, 32 F comfort 100% recycled Stratofiber synthetic
Coleman Brazos $47 5 lbs. 32 L (20 degree F) 2o F Synthetic
Big Agnes Diamond Park $300-400 3 lbs., 5 oz. (long) 5 L (30 degree F) 0/15/30 F 600-fill down
Sea to Summit Altitude  $379-450 2 lbs., 6.1 oz. (25 degree/regular) /2 lbs., 9.3 oz. (25 degree/long) 6.5 L (25 degree F) 15/25 F Ultra-Dry Down 750+ in body, Thermolite synthetic insulation in toe box
Therm-a-Rest Questar $340-380 2 lbs., 7 oz. (long) 5.4 L (20 degree F) 0/20/32 F 650-fill down
Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed $170 5 lbs., 1.5 oz. 31 L (regular size) 20 F limit, 31 F comfort Synthetic
Zenbivy MotoBed $350 8-10 lbs. 48 L (size large) 35 F limit, 45 comfort Synthetic
The North Face The One $340-350 4 lbs. (long) 17.5 L (5 degrees) 5/20/40 F 800-fill goose down
Big Agnes Roxy Ann & Lost Ranger 3N1 $330-420 1 lb., 2 oz. (inner), 1 lb., 6 oz. (outer) 8.3 L (Roxy Ann 30 degree) 55/45/30 F 650-fill DownTek down
Big Agnes Torchlight $330-320 2 lbs., 4 oz. (men’s 30 degree regular) 4.3 L (men’s 30 degree F) 20/35 F 600-fill down
Coleman Kompact Mummy 25 $100 4 lbs., 5 oz. 17.5 L 25 F Coletherm Max synthetic
NEMO Stalker $600-650 3 lbs., 14 oz. 15.6 L (regular) 0 F limit, 14 F comfort 800-fill down
Sea to Summit Ascent $370-489 2 lbs., 1 oz. 6.2 L (15 degree F) 0/15/25 F 750-fill down
Kelty Galactic 30 Dri-Down $160 2 lbs., 11 oz. 14 L 30 F 550-fill down

Why You Should Trust Us

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

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

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

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

NEMO Jazz Synthetic Sleeping Bag
(photo/Nick Belcaster)

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Sleeping Bag

It’s worth spending time finding the right sleeping bag. After all, this is a piece of gear that will not only keep you comfortable at night but can easily last through years of use.

And while there isn’t a single sleeping bag that’s best for every camper out there, this buyer’s guide will help identify the best bag for you.

It’s worth noting this article is aimed at general camping. While some may be fine for backpacking, most are better suited to car camping or short hike-in scenarios due to their size and weight. For longer trips in the backcountry, check out our review of the best backpacking sleeping bags.

Take a moment to imagine your camping future. Do you plan to spend a lot of time in the backcountry? Or do you mostly car camp? Do you sleep outside all year round? Or just in the warm summer months? Are you a side sleeper or a back sleeper? Do you snore? (Just kidding!) 

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

Down or Synthetic Fill

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

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

Down Insulation

Like the insulation of many down jackets, the down insulation in many sleeping bags comes from the soft plumage of birds — mostly geese and ducks. These wispy under feathers are different from the flight feathers, and have an incredible warmth-to-weight ratio.

As the best insulator nature has come up with yet, down is able to insulate by trapping air in between the fibers and holding it there. It also has the ability to release moisture from within, meaning sleeping bags made with it are more breathable than those made with synthetic fill. 

Down sourced from geese is often finer than that of ducks, and thus insulates at a slightly higher level as well as tolerating compression better. This also means that it commands the highest price when used in a sleeping bag.

All down lands on a sort of continuum of efficiency that measures how much loft the fibers have. This “fill power” is measured by filling a cylinder with one ounce of down and taking its weight, landing it somewhere on a scale that typically runs from 600 all the way to 900 for premium goose downs. The North Face The One, uses a high-quality 800 fill weight down.

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

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

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

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

Synthetic Insulation

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

There are many different brands of synthetic fill, including market leader PrimaLoft, 3M, and others, as well as many proprietary technologies. All can be categorized by two broad filament styles: short strand or continuous.

Short-strand synthetics use shorter fibers to up the density of their fills and create warmth similar to the way that down does. These materials can shift around with time, and create cold spots. Continuous fiber synthetics get around this by using much longer filaments, woven into themselves to make a stronger and more durable material.

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

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

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


Sleeping bags come with a temperature rating, but it’s not always clear what that number means. Depending on the person, a 20 degree bag might keep you cozy down to 20 degrees, or it might be more of a survival number.

Sure, you’ll make it through, but you’ll spend the night shivering instead of snoozing. Women tend to sleep colder than men. And for that reason, women’s-specific sleeping bags tend to be warmer.

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

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

Options like the NEMO Jazz Synthetic Sleeping Bag and The North Face The One were among our resident cold sleepers’ favorite bags. Think about any comfort rating as a guideline when comparing bags, not a guarantee of warmth in said forecast. 

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

Packed Size

Packed size is of particular importance when backpacking. Being able to pack your bag into the smallest stuff sack possible means more room for gear (or snacks). But, related to the point above, you’ll need to balance this with a bag that’s warm enough.

Anyone looking to minimize pack weight should consider something like the Questar sleeping bag. This 32 degree bag weighs in at just 1 pound 15 oz. and packs down impressively small.

On the other hand, if you mostly plan to car camp, the 8-pound Sierra Designs double sleeping bag could be the plush nighttime nest of your dreams.

Shell Fabric

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

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

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

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


Increasingly, brands offer one sleeping bag model in various lengths, oftentimes short, regular, and long. Some, though not many, even offer width options.

Typically, a regular-size sleeping bag will accommodate someone from about 5’7″ to about 6’1″. If you like more room for your feet and don’t think the extra air will make your toes chilly, size up to a long. 

Women’s-Specific Sleeping Bags

What makes a women’s sleeping bag different? Generally, they are slightly warmer and smaller. So regardless of gender, if you are shorter in stature or tend to be cold when sleeping, a women’s-specific bag could be a good choice.

Extra Features

From extra zippers to “gills that breathe,” there are all types of extra features being added to bags these days. Some are just marketing hype, but many really do make for a better sleeping experience.

The budget-friendly Kelty Galactic has a great cellphone pocket, and the Big Agnes Diamond Park integrates perfectly with a sleeping pad. Other features to consider are sleeping bags that zip together, extra zippers for venting, and a cinchable hood.


Break through the overwhelming number of options and get some guidance with the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Are Sleeping Bags Machine Washable?

You should always start by reading the manufacturer’s recommendation (on the tag or online). But, in general, the answer is yes, sleeping bags are machine washable. You don’t need to wash your bag obsessively, but once a year is a good idea.

These tips will have your bag smelling fresh in no time.

  1. Get yourself some Nikwax Down Wash Direct. It’s made specifically for washing down sleeping bags and jackets. It works on hydrophobic and non-hydrophobic down. According to the brand, it will restore and even add water repellency while maintaining fill power and insulation.
  2. Go to your closest laundromat. Don’t use a typical home washing machine with a central agitator. You want one of the big, front-loading washing machines that wash by spinning vertically.
  3. Remove detergent buildup from the detergent dispenser on the machine. It’s a pain, but bring a couple of old towels to do the job. Or try to find a clean one.
  4. Place a maximum of two items in the washing machine.
  5. Add 100 mL of Nikwax Down Wash.
  6. Wash according to the label if it has one. Generally, use a low setting and slow spin.
  7. Run multiple spin cycles, each time incrementally increasing the spin speed, to remove excess water.
  8. Dry in the dryer on low heat. Toss in a tennis ball to help re-fluff the down. Check regularly and tease out stubborn clumps by hand.
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How Are Sleeping Bags Rated?

In general, every sleeping bag has a temperature rating — from -40 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit — that signifies the warmth of the bag. In the past, each brand conducted its own testing and assignment of temperature ratings. This made for a lot of variance across sleeping bags.

Luckily, most brands now use European Norm (EN) temperature ratings. Bags are therefore tested by a third party in internationally certified labs, using a series of standardized tests. This makes it much easier to compare bags, but not completely foolproof.

As noted above, a rating that may be comfortable for some could mean a shivering night of survival for others. So to make sense of sleeping bag ratings, it’s useful to know if you tend to sleep warm or cold.

Women generally sleep cooler and prefer a bag with a corresponding rating. So for the same camping trip, one person may prefer a 20-degree bag while another is completely comfortable in a 32-degree bag.

Which Sleeping Bags Zip Together?

Hoping to snuggle up under the stars? Then it’s great to have two sleeping bags that zip together. The Kelty Galactic is a great budget-friendly option that zips together. Its rectangular shape also maximizes the room for two.

In general, mummy-style bags that share the same zipper type can be zipped together — although you’ll need one right- and one left-side zip bag.

And if you plan to always sleep together, it’s worth considering a double sleeping bag. These bags are designed for two and offer up the best features for a cuddly night’s sleep. We particularly like the Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed.

Should I Get a Down or a Synthetic Sleeping Bag?

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

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

Are Sleeping Pad Sleeves Necessary?

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

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