Written by 2:41 pm Hiking, Material

My Best Hiking Sleeping Bag in 2021 (Comparison & Buying guide)

Product:
Features:
Pros & Cons :
Price:
Good for summer weather with a good weight / price ratio


ALT
Millet Baikal 750 (Regular)
  • COMFORT T °: + 10 ° C
  • PADDING: Synthetic fibers
  • WEIGHT: 0.77 kg
  • LENGTH: 210 cm
  • Full opening
  • Twin
  • Several accessories (pocket, compression bag, drawstring)
 
  • Price can be expensive for some
  • Can be bulky (3.5 L)
My best for not very cold weather


ALT
Millet Baikal 1100 (Regular)
  • COMFORT T °: + 5 ° C
  • PADDING: Synthetic fibers
  • WEIGHT: 1.15 kg
  • LENGTH: 215 cm
  • Good insulation/weight ratio
  • Full opening and can be twinned
  • Accessorized (inside pocket, compression bag, anti-cold flap)
 
  • Can be bulky (3.5 L)
  • Price a bit expensive
Performante sleeping bag with a good price


ALT
Mountain Hardwear Lamina Z Spark (Regular)
  • COMFORT T °: + 6 ° C
  • PADDING: Synthetic fibers
  • WEIGHT: 0.96 kg
  • LENGTH: 198 cm
  • Good quality
  • Quality/price ratio
  • Full opening and can be twinned
  • Accessorized (inside pocket, compression bag, anti-cold flap)
Performs well for its price


ALT
Deuter Orbit -5° (L)
  • COMFORT T °: 0 ° C
  • PADDING: Synthetic fibers
  • WEIGHT: 1.78 kg
  • LENGTH: 220 cm
  • Good insulation/weight ratio
  • Full opening
  • Anti-cold flap and collar
 
  • Price can be expensive for some
A good quality, performance sleeping bag


ALT
Mountain Hardwear Women’s Laminina Z Flame (L)
  • COMFORT T °: -6 ° C
  • PADDING: Synthetic fibers
  • WEIGHT: 1.69 kg
  • LENGTH: 198 cm
  • Quality/price ratio
  • Full opening
  • Collar
  • Accessorized (compression bag, storage cover, anti-cold flap ...)
 
  • Price
A lightweight and excellent quality sleeping bag.


ALT
Wilsa Down Ultralite 150 (Unique)
  • COMFORT T °: + 10 ° C
  • FILLING: Goose down
  • WEIGHT: 0.44 kg
  • LENGTH: 210 cm
  • No bulk (20 × 10 cm)
  • Full opening
  • Compression bag
  • Lightweight
Good performance and comfortable at the level of the feet


ALT
Sea to Summit Trek TKI (Regular)
  • COMFORT T °: + 5 ° C
  • FILLING: Duck down
  • WEIGHT: 0.79 kg
  • LENGTH: 203 cm
  • Full opening
  • Comfortable on the feet with its rectangular shape
  • Accessorized (inside pocket, compression bag, storage cover)
 
  • It may be bulky (5.1 L)
  • Expensive price
A very versatile sleeping bag for a cold temperature


ALT
Rab Ascent 500 (Regular)
  • COMFORT T °: + 1 ° C
  • FILLING: Duck down
  • WEIGHT: 1.04 kg
  • LENGTH: ~ 185 cm
  • A good compromise between quality, price, insulation, and weight
  • 3/4 opening
  • Collar, compression bag, storage cover, and anti-cold flap
 
  • Expensive price
  • Can be bulky (39 × 22 cm)
My best sleeping bag for cold conditions with a good price / weight ratio.


ALT
The North Face Blue Kazoo (Regular)
  • COMFORT T °: -3 ° C
  • FILLING: Goose down
  • WEIGHT: 1 kg
  • LENGTH: 213 cm
  • Full opening
  • Anti-cold flap, compression bag, collar
  • Excellent insulation / weight / price ratio.
 
  • Expensive price for some
  • Can be bulky (43 × 23 cm uncompressed)

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST HIKING SLEEPING BAG FOR YOU

The happiness of each day of hiking is directly linked to the quality of sleep the night before. And since the sleeping bag plays an important role in the quality of your rest, it is among the material to choose correctly.

As with my previous article on How to Choose Your Backpacking Tentwe’ll start by determining your needs (with questions I’m going to ask you), then move on and explore what the two main types of sleeping bags are.

After that, I’m going to list the most important features for hiking sleeping bags for you.

Finally, I’ll show you how to try on sleeping bags in a store.

 

DETERMINE YOUR NEEDS

  • Do you prefer a narrow sleeping bag to save a little on weight, or for you, is nighttime comfort the most important criterion to consider?
  • The second question you need to ask yourself when determining your needs is this: What season will you be using your sleeping bag in? Rather for spring and summer, or rather for fall and winter?
  • The third question is to know if you will be exposed to the elements or not?
  • Is the weight criterion important to you? Personally, and since I am overweight, a lightweight on my back will come before price.
  • Often, do you have enough space in your backpack, or is it rather limited?
  • Do you use sleeping bag liners or not? This detail is important because if it is not, you will have to take a sleeping bag that is easy to wash.
  • Are you going to sleep directly on the floor?
  • Do you have other constraints like allergies?

 

TYPES OF SLEEPING BAGS

For sleeping bags, there are two main types of insulation (or fillings), down and synthetics.

DOWN SLEEPING BAGS

 

BACKPACKING SLEEPING BAG

If we are talking about down, we are talking about duck or goose down.

Advantages:

  • Heat: thanks to its swelling power, down has a better warmth/weight than synthetic fill.
  • Lightness: if the weight of the sleeping bag is your first major criterion, choose a down sleeping bag.
  • Comfortable.
  • Very compressible: down is a more compact material than synthetic.
  • Durable: despite the years that accumulate, a down bag retains its heat capacity more than a synthetic, so it will have a long durability.

Disadvantages:

  • The first disadvantage of down filling is its price. Usually, it is more expensive than synthetic.
  • It loses its thermal insulation capacity when wet.
  • Long drying.
  • Depending on the quality and type of down, it can also cause allergies.
SYNTHETIC FIBERS SLEEPING BAGS

Advantages:

  • The first advantage of synthetic fibers is their resistance to humidity. It is, therefore, less affected by perspiration or rain.
  • Quick-drying .
  • More affordable.

Disadvantages:

  • Less efficient and heavier.
  • Less compressible.
  • Loses its insulating capacity with age.

Now that you know the pros and cons of each type of sleeping bag, you are able to choose the right one for your needs.

 

 

CHOICE FEATURES

TEMPERATURE

To talk about temperature, you have to understand the European standard (EN 13537) which is often used to classify sleeping bags according to their temperature.

This standard uses three temperature categories: comfort temperature, limit temperature, and extreme temperature.

  • The first, which is the comfort temperature, is based on a standard female (i.e. 25 years old, 1.60 m tall, and weighing 60 kg). This is the temperature she can expect to sleep comfortably in a relaxed position.
  • The second, which is the limit temperature represents the temperature where a standard man (i.e. 25 years old, measuring 1.73 m and weighing 73 kg) will sleep in a curled up position without waking up for 8 hours.
  • The third, which is the extreme temperature, is the minimum temperature at which a standard woman can sleep 6 hours without the risk of death from hypothermia, but with the possible risk of frostbite.

Now that you understand the different temperatures of this standard, look for a backpacking sleeping bag with a temperature limit closest to the minimum temperature of the zone where you will be sleeping. If your shelter is your tent, the minimum temperature is, therefore, that of the outside; if you sleep in a shelter with a heater, you will look for the minimum nighttime temperature inside your shelter.

Another thing to understand about temperature is that what insulates us is not the packing, but the air trapped in.

When we are rolled up in our sleeping bag, the part below us is crushed, so the air is no longer trapped, so there is no insulation in this part of the bag.

Now that we are done with the temperature, let’s move on to the next criterion which is the shape of the bag.

 

SHAPE

Hiking Sleeping Bag

Since the sleeping bag does not warm us, but only retains our body heat, the more empty spaces our sleeping bag has, the more our heart is dissipated.

For a sleeping bag with maximum thermal efficiency, opt for the mummy shape, narrower at the feet and tighter around your body.

Rectangular sleeping bags with more empty space at the feet are more recommended for summer climates.

There are other forms of sleeping bags that are a bit extremist, and which are reserved for hikers who seek ultra-light on the one hand, and who already know their personal preferences through their previous experiences on the other hand.

  • The first form in this category of ultra-light is the quilt. It stops at the shoulders, and between your back and the floor, there are only straps.
  • The second form of ultralight sleeping bags is the elephant foot shape, which stops at the chest because you will be using it while wearing your down jacket for example.

These forms are reserved for people who have real problems with the load weight on their back and who know what they are doing.

 

DIMENSIONS

Since most of the time manufacturers only talk about the length of their product, measure your length, and add 30cm to it, the result will be the correct length of your sleeping bag.

For the width, measure your width at the level of the shoulders, and add the number of centimeters necessary for the clothes you will be wearing and the comfort you want.

 

FABRICS

The thing to look for in the fabric of a sleeping bag is:

  • Strength: to keep the filling in place.
  • Water resistance: to help the lining to keep its insulation (be careful, when we talk about water resistance, we only mean against condensation in a tent and not against rain). The water resistance is due to a waterproof and breathable coating. It is expressed in DWR, which stands for “durable water repellency”.
  • The last thing to look for in the outer fabric of a sleeping bag is the windproof criterion, to protect you from the wind if you are exposed to the elements.

The strength of the fabric is expressed in denier (25D for example); the higher the denier, the stronger and heavier the fabric.

ZIPPER

BACKPACKING SLEEPING BAG

If you often hike in hot weather, it is best to choose a sleeping bag with a zipper that opens the full length of your sleeping bag, as this will give you more versatility.

For sleeping bags used at low temperatures, look for a bag that has a flap filled with padding throughout the zipper, to prevent heat from escaping through this area.

 

HOW TO TRY A BACKPACKING SLEEPING BAG

  1. My first tip for trying on sleeping bags is to check shoulder width, especially if you are going to use them while wearing tops, such as a down jacket.
  2. Check the quality of the seams, to ensure the good hold of the filling inside the sleeping bag.
  3. Buy the bag that was not stored compressed.
  4. Compress it yourself to determine their size.
  5. If you are allergic, take a test to see if it is causing a reaction to you.

 

That’s it that’s all! Now you are able to choose your sleeping bag correctly. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me in the comments. 

Updated on January 23, 2021 by Ben

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