How to Choose the Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag?

How to Choose the Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag?

When it comes to the most important components of an overnight kit, we have to mention sleeping bags. A poor sleeping bag may ruin your good night’s sleep quickly. Therefore, it’s important to look for the right sleeping bag.

As long as you have proper sleep, you can recover your body. You can also keep your body warm by using sleeping bags. This is also a great way to decrease the weight of your backcountry kit.

In this article, we are going to go over all the important points you need to keep in mind when choosing the best backpacking sleeping bags.

Sleeping Bag Types

  • Summer

This type is ideal for the temperature of 30 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. These sleeping bags are lightweight. Some of them bring full-length zippers, so you can zip these bags over for ventilation. They don’t have too many whistles as well as bells. They also don’t require much need for a draft collar during hot nights.

  • Three-Season

These sleeping bags are designed ideally for a temperature of 20 degrees Fahrenheit and above. They work best for spring as well as fall trips. These models are known for their added features. They can fight colder temperatures such as draft collars, draft tubes, and more.

  • Winter

This type is great for 20 degrees Fahrenheit and below. They offer you all the features you can get from three-season bags. However, these models are packed with more insulation. They are heavier a bit to pack. Therefore, it’s a good idea to purchase a great compression stuff sack in order to tame it.

Insulation Type

When choosing the best backpacking sleeping bag, we have to decide which one we should go for between down or synthetic. Now, let’s take a look at points below to learn about their pros and cons:

  • Down

If you are going for the lightest insulation, consider the down type. This type is actually is more compressible compared to synthetics. This one is also more expensive. However, it is also based on the fill-power which raging between 600 and 900.

  • Synthetic

The synthetic insulation is available in various types. They are from fluffy polyester material. They are not able to absorb water. That’s why they are great for those who have to face with wet conditions. These models are heavier compared to the down. However, they are more affordable.

How to Choose the Right Shell Fabric of Sleeping Bag

This depends on your decision of which one you want between a waterproof product or not. If you like to camp with no tent and you’re living in wet conditions like the Northwest, the answer is waterproof. And, you have to pay for it if you want a shell.

Actually, a waterproof product must have a cover with a waterproof fabric. If you choose one with a breathable fabric, it can protect you from the rain. Moreover, these bags also should be seam-taped.

Sizing your Sack

Let’s take a look at below to learn about the way to choose a bag that fits you greatly so you can enjoy the best night’s sleep.

  • Try before making your purchase

You should try as many products as you can. Moreover, wear the right layers in order to have a good idea of the way the product fits.

  • Integrate the sleeping pad

For a bag with a sleeping pad sleeve, you should rig it in the store since it will decrease the interior volume of the bag.

  • Roll around

For a cold sleeper, it’s best to look for a more snug fit. These choices are also ideal for cold-weather campers. Ones that allow you to rotate your body with comfort are ideal for a side sleeper as well as a thrasher.

Sleeping Bag Accessories

  • Stuff sack: This feature is to compress your bag down so you can pack with ease.
  • Storage sack: If you leave a sleeping bag that is compressed in a stuff sack, it will insulate efficiently. That’s why some sleeping bags are designed with a large mesh storage sack.
  • Sleeping bag liner: in order to keep your sleeping bag clean, you need a soft sleeping bag liner. You can get more 8 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit of warmth if you add a liner to the sleeping bag.

How to Wash Your Sleeping Bag

Wash your sleeping bag following these tips below:

  • Read the label

It’s important to read the label. Also, you should look for advice on the website of the company. It’s also a good idea to follow the guidelines of the manufacturers.

  • Use the proper soap

You need to look for a cleaning product that doesn’t remove the essential oils from the feathers. There are some good recommendations like the ReviveXDown Cleaner.

  • Wash it

You can wash your sleeping bag by your hands in a tub. Another way is to use a front-loader. You should choose a gentle cycle. Remember to use cold water for this. Once finished a complete cycle, don’t forget to run one more rinse or more to eliminate completely soap.

  • Dry it

You should put the damp bag in a big commercial dryer on low heat. You have to check it often. It’s best to keep it in the dryer for about 30 minutes. You should keep your bag empty for a few days. When storing it, don’t forget to use a large cotton sack instead of the little nylon stuff sack used on a trip.

Tips on Choosing a Backpacking Sleeping Bag

  • Look for a sleeping pad for your sleeping bag. This item offers you more cushioning. Also, it is able to increase insulation.
  • In order to know if your sleeping bag has a waterproof shell, you can use a wet cloth and apply it to the bag’s outside. If you notice the water beading up, the bag is constructed with a DWR finish.
  • You should go for a too-warm sleeping bag instead of one that isn’t able to offer enough warmth. Actually, you can use the zippers to vent your sleeping bag during the warmer nights.


There are some important things you need to consider when choosing the best backpacking sleeping bag such as the types of sleeping bags, the type of insulation, and more. You should try many different brands of backpacking sleeping bags to make your decision with ease.

More importantly, you have to remember that we just want to keep warm when using sleeping bags. Hopefully, our guide today can help you go in the right direction, and you can make the right purchase decision after that.