If you could describe the ideal backpacking trip in one word, it’s freedom. Backpacking gives you the opportunity to go wherever you want, whenever you want, and the ability to stay and explore the area as long as you desire. Backpacking takes you to remote places that are not accessible by plane or car. Everything that you need can be carried on your back. This means that everything in your pack needs to serve a purpose and be extra-lightweight, including your sleeping system. Backpacking sleeping bags are specially designed to hold in warmth. The best backpacking sleeping bag rolls up compactly and are light to carry.
Backpacking Sleeping Bags vs. Camping Sleeping Bags
Backpacking sleeping bags may look the same as a sleeping bag that is designed for camping, but there is a little more than meets the eye. It’s important for your backpacking sleeping bag to be lightweight and utilitarian, just as all of your camping gear should be.
A camping sleeping bag may be thicker than a backpacking sleeping bag, as long as they roll up fairly tightly for storage. Weight is not generally an issue when looking for a sleeping bag that it intended for use in a tent or RV.
Backpacking tents need to have a tight weave to keep cold air out. They should roll up tightly, alleviating bulk, so they don’t take up so much room in the pack. They also need to be as ultra-lightweight as possible. Look for a sleeping bag that has an attached hood that adjusts with a string cord. Pack a sleeping bag liner for a little extra warmth.
Our Favorite Backpacking Sleeping Bags In 2018
Teton Sports TrailHead Sleeping Bag—Read Product Reviews
Price: $59.99 at Amazon.com
This mummy bag is ultra-lightweight and still very comfortable. It is durable and water-resistant and the zippers are fully taped and have an anti-snag design. It fits compactly in the lower sleeping bag compartment of most hiking backpacks and has an interior pocket to hold your electronics or personal items.
Outdoor Vitals Backpacking Sleeping Bag—Read Product Reviews
Price: $59.98 at Amazon.com
This sleeping bag only weighs 2 pounds and compacts down to 10” x 7” or less, so it’s perfect for backpacking. It’s a great sleeping bag for colder temperatures and will keep you warm down to 35 degrees. Pull the drawstring tight to snug it around your face. Zip two of them together to make a double sleeping bag.
Rovor Tabei Backpacking Sleeping Bag—Read Product Reviews
Price: $46.99 at Amazon.com
This mummy-style backpacking sleeping bag keeps you warm down to -52 degrees, so it’s extra-warm while being ultra-lightweight. It has a 260 thread count microfiber lining for extra cushioning. If it was good enough for the first woman to climb Mt. Everest, it’s certainly good enough for you!
Suisse Sport Backpacking Mummy Sleeping Bag—Read Product Reviews
Price: $38.28 at Amazon.com
Suisse Sport makes this double-layer compression sack with a drawstring hood and draft tube for additional protection against the cold. It compacts to 12” x 7” x 7” and opens up to 29.5” x 84.5”. Use it for temperatures as low as 30 degrees. It’s rated as the best-selling adult-sized sleeping bag for backpacking.
Egoz Mummy Backpacking Sleeping Bag—Read Product Reviews
Price: $29.90 at Amazon.com
This sleeping bag compresses down tightly, while being ultra-lightweight and also providing superior warmth. It is specially designed with tactical quality to reduce humidity, condensation, and sweat. It has a box baffle construction with ground-level side seams. The differential cut helps keep in warmth. It’s great for backpacking, biking, scouts, and camping.
Kelty Tuck Backpacking Sleeping Bag—Read Product Reviews
Price: $89.90-$132.87 at Amazon.com
This is a 3-season backpack that weighs only 3 pounds. It fits people up to 6’ tall. It’s made of Thermapro synthetic insulation, which is a fiber blend. It will keep you warm down to 22 degrees and is specifically engineered to compress down for easy packing. It has a zipper on the lower end so that you can unzip it to create some ventilation.
Suisse Sport Alpine Backpacking Sleeping Bag—Read Product Reviews
Price: $41.07 at Amazon.com
This sleeping bag will keep you extra-warm, even on high-altitude mountaineering trips. It will even keep you warm when it’s 5 degrees. It has a double layer and offset quilt construction to eliminate cold spots. It has a drawstring hood and draft tube. It’s a little heavier than some backpacking sleeping bags, but the extra warmth capabilities make it worth it.
When looking for a backpacking sleeping bag, make size, compressibility, weight, and warmth ratings your top priorities. If you’re backpacking in areas where temperatures are likely to drop, it may be better to opt for a heavier sleeping bag and reduce the weight of the other items in your backpack as much as possible.