Teton Sports Tracker Review

From $65 Best

Best Winter Sleeping Bag Under $100

Pros:

  • Extra layer of insulation keeps the foot box warm and toasty, reviewers say.
  • Lifetime limited warranty.
  • Easy to store compactly, owners say.
  • Zippered interior pocket.

Cons:

  • Manufacturer-rated to 5 degrees, but many campers say it's comfortable only to about 20 degrees.
  • Like other mummy bags, this model feels confining to some tall or heavy people.
  • Zippers are prone to malfunctioning, reviewers say.

Takeaway: Most owners say the Teton Sports Tracker is comfortable and very easy to roll up and pack in its water-resistant stuff sack. At 4.1 pounds, it's too heavy for backpacking but ideal for car camping. Reviewers praise features like the three-piece hood, which keeps the head elevated off the cold ground, and the zippered interior pocket for stashing personal items. Many owners say they like the long interior and exterior zipper pulls. They're less than thrilled that the sleeping bag zips up on the left side rather than the right. The biggest drawback, according to owners, is that the sleeping bag doesn't live up to Teton's comfort rating, a complaint common to cheap cold-weather sleeping bags.

Teton Sports Celsius Regular Review

From $46.38 Best

Best Winter Sleeping Bag Under $50

Pros:

  • Very comfortable, flannel-like interior lining, according to reviews.
  • Temperature rating of 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Lifetime limited warranty.

Cons:

  • Doesn't stay warm in sub-freezing temperatures, some reviewers complain.
  • Some campers who are over 6 feet tall say this sleeping bag doesn't feel long enough, although it measures 80 inches.
  • Weighs 5 pounds, too heavy for backpacking.

Takeaway: Most owners are satisfied with this three-season sleeping bag and say it delivers good value for the price. Owners praise details like the built-in loops at the base, so the sleeping bag can hang upright for storage, and the choice of a left- or right-hand zipper. However, we also found a number of complaints from people who say the bag tends to unzip as they toss and turn during the night. A handful of reviewers say that although this bag is comfortable to about 30 degrees, it doesn't keep them warm enough in colder weather, despite the manufacturer's 0-degree comfort rating.

Where to buy

Kelty Tuck 20 Degree Review

From $90 Best

Best 3-Season Sleeping Bag Under $100

Pros:

  • Available in two sizes to accommodate people up to 6-foot-6.
  • Foot box can be unzipped if your feet get too warm.
  • Comfortable, even for taller users, according to reviews.

Cons:

  • Can be challenging to pack into its stuff sack, some owners say.
  • Scattered complaints that the bag doesn't stay very warm at colder temperatures.
  • Weighs just 3 pounds, but some reviewers complain that it feels much heavier.

Takeaway: Three-season mummy bags can cost $200 or $300, but this Kelty bag is nearly as good and much cheaper. Most owners say this sleeping bag is very comfortable, something borne out by the relative lack of complaints about it feeling cramped or too snug (something that can't be said about all mummy bags). Despite generally positive comments from professional and consumer reviewers alike, a few users report that the bag didn't keep them warm enough when the mercury dipped below freezing, even though it is rated to 20 degrees.

Where to buy

Coleman Brazos Cold Weather Review

From $25 Best

Best 3-Season Sleeping Bag Under $50

Pros:

  • Very low price.
  • Rectangular bag can be unzipped and connected to a second sleeping bag to make a double size.
  • Good choice for car camping or slumber parties, owners say.

Cons:

  • Doesn't stay warm in the coldest temperatures promised by its 20-degree rating, owners say.
  • Warranty is only 5 years, shorter than other brands.
  • Not designed for campers over 5-foot-11.

Takeaway: This three-season, rectangular Coleman sleeping bag is very roomy, but that bulk also makes it too hefty to pack easily or take on a hike — something a number of owners note in their reviews. Several consumers also complain that the polyester lining feels cheap and uncomfortable, while others say the zipper breaks easily. But for most owners, this bargain-priced sleeping bag is a terrific companion for car camping, kids' sleepovers, and nights when you need an extra blanket on the bed.

Rei Co-op Helio Sack 55 Review

From $60 Best

Best Summer Sleeping Bag

Pros:

  • Weighs just over a pound.
  • Available in two lengths (72 and 78 inches), plus an extra-wide model.
  • Lifetime warranty.

Cons:

  • May feel confining to some big and tall campers.
  • Limited temperature range; not designed for cold weather.

Takeaway: Weighing just 1.1 pounds, this REI mummy bag is a good choice for people who tend to camp and hike only in warm weather. It fully unzips for use as a blanket, and there's a second zipper on the side that can be used as an air vent or armhole, an unusual detail that reviewers like. The bag packs and compresses just as easily, owners say. Keep in mind, this bag is rated only to 55 degrees Fahrenheit, so it's not a good choice for cooler climates or seasons. Unlike most REI sleeping bags, this model has relatively few customer reviews online. But the previous version of the same sleeping bag (which differed only in color) got stellar user reviews and recommendations from professionals, so expect the updated Helio Sack 55 to be an excellent option for summertime camping.

Where to buy

Available from REI

Coleman North Rim Extreme Weather Review

From $47 Good

Good Winter Sleeping Bag

Pros:

  • Rated to 0 degrees Fahrenheit and keeps users warm and cozy.
  • Relatively low price for a four-season sleeping bag.
  • Can be fully unzipped and used as a comforter.

Cons:

  • Zipper is prone to breaking, many reviewers say.
  • Weighs 5.8 pounds, too heavy for backpacking.
  • Height limit of 6-foot-2, but some adults over 6 feet find it too snug.

Takeaway: Coleman has been making camping and outdoor gear for more than a century, so it's little surprise that its four-season North Rim sleeping bag gets largely positive reviews from consumers. Owners consistently praise this mummy bag for its warmth and comfort in a variety of weather conditions. But some of those same reviewers also complain about durability, most notably the zipper and the stitching on the polyester ripstop fabric. This Coleman sleeping bag does come with a five-year limited warranty, although other manufacturers like Teton and REI offer longer guarantees.

Teton Sports Trailhead Review

From $55 Good

Good 3-Season Sleeping Bag

Pros:

  • Weighs 2.9 pounds, just light enough for backpacking.
  • Zippered interior pocket is handy for stashing personal items.
  • 87 inches long; accommodates users over 6 feet tall.
  • Comfortable brushed polyester lining.
  • Lifetime limited warranty.

Cons:

  • Doesn't stay warm in sub-freezing temperatures, some reviewers complain.
  • Big and tall users say this mummy bag is too snug at the shoulders and chest.
  • Can be difficult to zip up all the way once you're in, owners say.

Takeaway: This three-season Teton sleeping bag is lightweight and fairly easy to pack into its stuff sack, reviewers say, making it a good choice for backpackers or car campers who want to toss it into the trunk and go. It's also available in a shorter (and cheaper) 75-inch size. Reviewers say this sleeping bag is well-constructed, with a waterproof rip-stop polyester shell and zipper pulls that are easy to handle. The most common complaint is that the manufacturer's 20-degree temperature rating is overly optimistic. Campers who are heavy or taller than 6 feet also may find this sleeping bag too confining, a common complaint about mummy bags in general. Despite these gripes, most users say this is a good sleeping bag for a weekend camping trip.

Buying Guide

Choosing a Sleeping Bag

Whether you're camping in the backwoods or sending a kid to a sleepover, a comfortable sleeping bag is essential for a sound night's sleep. Prices range from about $20 for a cheap sleeping bag suitable for a backyard slumber party to $800 or more for the kind professional mountaineers use. When you factor in purpose, quality, and budget, your options begin to narrow. That said, there are good cheap sleeping bags to be had, and Cheapism.com has compiled the best in this guide.

Pricey vs. Cheap Sleeping Bags

The upscale end of the market is where you'll find sleeping bags by Marmot, REI, Big Agnes, Sierra Designs, GoLite, North Face, L.L. Bean, and Mountain Hardwear. These companies produce highly rated sleeping bags for use in extreme cold weather by serious hikers and campers. Many are filled with goose down, which is lighter than man-made fibers, lasts longer, and provides the most warmth.

You won't find goose down in a cheap sleeping bag, however. All the bags we researched contain synthetic fill, which is bulky but stays warm. Synthetic fill holds up better in wet weather than down, which loses much of its insulating ability when wet and dries very slowly. If you're planning on sleeping in subzero temperatures or pitching a tent on a snowy mountainside, experts strongly advise that you don't skimp on a sleeping bag. But if Alpine climbs or expeditions to the Arctic aren't on the calendar, there's no need to spend hundreds of dollars. The best sleeping bags under $100 are suitable for indoor use and camping in less extreme conditions.

Rectangular vs. Mummy Bags

Sleeping bags come in two basic styles. Rectangular sleeping bags give you room to stretch out and change position easily while you sleep, and most can be fully unzipped and used as blankets. They tend to be lightly insulated, making them suitable only for three-season or summertime camping. Rectangular bags rated for extreme climates tend to be heavy and bulky, making them appropriate for tent camping but not backpacking.

Mummy bags are more form-fitting. They are cut close in the shoulders, hips, and feet for a shape that hugs the body. The tapered cut eliminates cold spots, keeping campers warm even in extreme conditions. These bags are usually designed for winter or three-season camping and often have synthetic fill that makes them very lightweight and portable. On the other hand, some campers say mummy bags can be too snug, making them feel overheated or claustrophobic.

Some manufacturers also offer semi-rectangular or barrel-shaped sleeping bags, which look like a cross between a rectangular bag and a mummy bag. These sleeping bags are good for three-season camping because they're relatively roomy yet warm and lightweight. Double sleeping bags for couples are also available.

Sleeping Bags for Women and Kids

Women who camp regularly may prefer a sleeping bag designed specifically to fit a woman's body. These bags are a little shorter and narrower than unisex sleeping bags and have extra insulation at the feet and chest for comfort.

Kids' sleeping bags often are little more than cheap bags with cartoon prints meant for sleepovers, not camping trips. A temperature-rated kids' sleeping bag can cost up to $100. Some have inner pockets or hooks for attaching a sleeping pad or pillow.

Sleeping Pads

A good sleeping pad does more than provide a more comfortable night's rest. It can also help keep you warm by creating a barrier between your sleeping bag and the cold ground (or a rocky surface). The chief drawback: It's one more thing to pack. Sleeping pads come in two styles: inflatable and foam. Foam pads are more rigid, providing a firmer foundation, and some can do double-duty as a windbreak or seat. They typically fold or roll up for storage, some more compactly than others. Inflatable pads are essentially slim air mattresses. They can be deflated and stored very compactly, a major advantage over foam sleeping pads, but they must be manually inflated and can get cold at night. Inflatable sleeping pads are also prone to leaks and deflating overnight. Expect to pay about $50 for a good sleeping pad.

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Features Comparison Buying Guide continues below table

(from $65.00)
Style Mummy
Max Height/Dimensions 87” x 34” at shoulder x 22” at feet
Weight 4.1 lbs.
Temperature Rating 5 F
(from $46.38)
Style Rectangular
Max Height/Dimensions 80” x 33”
Weight 5.1 lbs.
Temperature Rating 0 F
(from $25.00)
Style Rectangular
Max Height/Dimensions 5 ft. 11 in. (75” x 33”)
Weight 4 lbs.
Temperature Rating 20 F
(from $90.00)
Style Mummy
Max Height/Dimensions 6 ft. (long size available)
Weight 3.1 lbs.
Temperature Rating 20 F
(from $60.00)
Style Semi-Rectangular
Max Height/Dimensions 72” x 62” at shoulder x 56” at hip (long size available)
Weight 1.1 lbs.
Temperature Rating 55 F
(from $47.00)
Style Mummy
Max Height/Dimensions 6 ft. 2 in.
Weight 5.8 lbs.
Temperature Rating 0 F
(from $55.00)
Style Mummy
Max Height/Dimensions 87” x 32” at shoulders x 22” at feet
Weight 2.9 lbs.
Temperature Rating 20 F
(from $22.00)
Style Mummy
Max Height/Dimensions 66” x 26”
Weight 2.2 lbs.
Temperature Rating 30 F
(from $45.00)
Style N/A
Max Height/Dimensions 72” x 20” (small size available)
Weight 14.4 oz.
Temperature Rating N/A
(from $47.00)
Style N/A
Max Height/Dimensions 72" x 23" x 2.5"
Weight 1.2 lbs.
Temperature Rating N/A
(from $120.00)
Style Mummy
Max Height/Dimensions 6 ft. 6 in. (80” x 30”)
Weight 2.75 lbs.
Temperature Rating 15 F
(from $109.00)
Style Mummy
Max Height/Dimensions 5 ft. 6 in. (66” x 58” at shoulder x 60” at hip; long size available)
Weight 4.5 lbs.
Temperature Rating 16.7 F
(from $350.00)
Style Mummy
Max Height/Dimensions 72” x 60” at shoulder x 57” at hip (long size available)
Weight 1.9 lbs.
Temperature Rating 10 F
(from $65.00)
Style Mummy
Max Height/Dimensions 87” x 34” at shoulder x 22” at feet
Weight 4.1 lbs.
Temperature Rating 5 F
(from $46.38)
Style Rectangular
Max Height/Dimensions 80” x 33”
Weight 5.1 lbs.
Temperature Rating 0 F
(from $25.00)
Style Rectangular
Max Height/Dimensions 5 ft. 11 in. (75” x 33”)
Weight 4 lbs.
Temperature Rating 20 F
(from $90.00)
Style Mummy
Max Height/Dimensions 6 ft. (long size available)
Weight 3.1 lbs.
Temperature Rating 20 F
(from $60.00)
Style Semi-Rectangular
Max Height/Dimensions 72” x 62” at shoulder x 56” at hip (long size available)
Weight 1.1 lbs.
Temperature Rating 55 F
(from $47.00)
Style Mummy
Max Height/Dimensions 6 ft. 2 in.
Weight 5.8 lbs.
Temperature Rating 0 F
(from $55.00)
Style Mummy
Max Height/Dimensions 87” x 32” at shoulders x 22” at feet
Weight 2.9 lbs.
Temperature Rating 20 F
(from $22.00)
Style Mummy
Max Height/Dimensions 66” x 26”
Weight 2.2 lbs.
Temperature Rating 30 F
(from $45.00)
Style N/A
Max Height/Dimensions 72” x 20” (small size available)
Weight 14.4 oz.
Temperature Rating N/A
(from $47.00)
Style N/A
Max Height/Dimensions 72" x 23" x 2.5"
Weight 1.2 lbs.
Temperature Rating N/A

Sleeping Bag Reviews: What We Considered

Sleeping bag reviews and comparative tests by professional hikers and climbers abound, but expert assessments of cheap sleeping bags are harder to come by. Hundreds of consumers have posted their opinions on retail and review sites, although their experiences are mixed because comfort is so subjective. They also comment a lot on portability -- how heavy the bag feels and how easy it is to roll up -- as well as durability. Few of the sleeping bag reviews we read were written by serious, all-weather campers; most seem to come from occasional users who venture into the wilds during spring, summer, or fall.

Temperature Rating

Sleeping bags are rated according to the minimum temperature at which they will keep you comfortable and warm. Pay attention to this number. Experts recommend that sleeping bags be rated for a minimum of 35 degrees Fahrenheit for summer use and 0 to 10 degrees for winter use. However, the manufacturer's temperature rating is only an estimate -- despite claims about independently certified ratings -- and your own sleep preferences must be factored in.

Experts say women usually "sleep colder" than men and recommend choosing a women's sleeping bag with a warmer (that is, lower) temperature rating. According to reviews, all our recommended sleeping bags are quite cozy and comfortable, and the temperature ratings seem accurate. That said, reviewers suggest springing for a pricier bag if you expect the temperature to dip below 20 degrees on a regular basis. Keep in mind that a sleeping pad can also help keep you toasty during the night by keeping your bag off the ground.

Weight

Most sleeping bags weigh between 1.5 and 3 pounds, although some bags weigh 5 pounds or more. Weight is an important consideration if you'll be backpacking -- experts say your sleeping bag should weigh no more than 2 pounds and your sleeping pad no more than 1 pound. A sleeping bag's weight matters less when you're car camping rather than hiking.

Portability

Rectangular sleeping bags tend to be bulkier and heavier than mummy bags, making them fine for car camping or as indoor bedrolls. They must be folded, rolled, and then secured with some kind of tie, which some users find challenging. If you're backpacking, you'll probably want a lightweight, down-filled mummy bag instead, which can be compressed and rolled up easily and stuffed into a sack for easy portability. Although you can leave most rectangular sleeping bags rolled up for easy storage at home, experts recommend hanging mummy bags at full length so they don't compress permanently.

Zipper

This may seem like a small thing, but an efficient, no-snag zipper is an essential part of a good sleeping bag. Zippers take a lot of grief in sleeping bag reviews for snagging on fabric and breaking, even on pricier models. If possible, test the zipper before you buy to make sure it zips up and down with ease from inside or outside the bag. Too many cheap sleeping bags have zippers with misaligned stops and teeth or generally disappointing performance. Also, look for a manufacturer that provides a lifetime warranty.

Durability

When it comes to buying a sleeping bag, the old adage is true: You get what you pay for. The cheaper the bag, the more frequent the owner complaints. Among the most common: fabric and seams that rip or fray easily, zippers that don't always work, and fibers that come loose whenever the bag is unrolled. Sleeping bags with synthetic fill usually are machine-washable, but some cheap fillings may clump or lose their shape. Some experts recommend using a mild detergent and putting the bag through a second wash cycle without soap to make sure it's thoroughly rinsed.

Additional Products We Considered

Outdoor Vitals Atlas 15 Degree Down Review

From $120

Best Cheap Down Sleeping Bag

Pros:

  • Keeps users warm in cold weather, according to reviews.
  • Relatively low price for a down-filled mummy bag.
  • Lifetime warranty.

Cons:

  • Several owners say the bag is difficult to compress and pack.
  • Scattered user complaints about torn seams and jammed zippers.
  • Like other mummy bags, this model might feel too snug to some big and tall campers.

Takeaway: Unlike the other manufacturers in this guide, family-owned Online Vitals sells its sleeping bags and ultralight camping gear only online. This down sleeping bag is half the price of some other top-rated bags, and most campers say it lives up to the manufacturer's 15-degree comfort rating. It weighs 3.9 pounds, which is a little heavy for backpacking but light enough to be toted on a short hike. This bag is designed to be unzipped and attached to a second bag, but several owners say that can be a frustrating endeavor. We also saw a few users warning that the straps on the compression sack break easily. Those two issues aside, reviews of this sleeping bag are favorable.

Rei Co-op Magma 10 Review

From $350

Best Down Sleeping Bag

Pros:

  • Weighs just under 2 pounds, light enough for backpacking.
  • Rip-stop nylon lining is comfortable and durable, reviewers say.
  • Available in 72- and 78-inch lengths.

Cons:

  • Some campers say the included stuff sack doesn't compress the sleeping bag enough.
  • Scattered owner complaints about being cold in this sleeping bag.
  • People with large frames may find the mummy shape too snug.

Takeaway: Professional reviewers and serious campers rave about this down sleeping bag from REI and say it's warm and comfortable even in extreme conditions. At $350, this bag is definitely above the Cheapism.com price limit, but it's a bargain compared with other high-end sleeping bags. It weighs just shy of 2 pounds, which is relatively lightweight for a down-filled mummy bag, making it a good choice for backpackers. As with other REI sleeping bags, there are relatively few negative reviews for this model.

Where to buy

Available from REI

Marmot Women's Trestles 15 Review

From $109

Best Women's Sleeping Bag

Pros:

  • Available in two lengths (66 and 70 inches).
  • Keeps campers warm at night, even in sub-freezing temperatures, according to reviews.
  • Lifetime limited warranty.

Cons:

  • Weighs 4.8 pounds, too heavy for backpacking.
  • Down filling is relatively bulky.
  • Doesn't fit tall women.

Takeaway: The three-season Trestles 15 from Marmot is comfort-rated to 16 degrees Fahrenheit, and unlike some other sleeping bags, it lives up to the manufacturer's claim, owners say. That's because this mummy bag is filled with down, which does a better job of insulating than synthetic fillers. One drawback to down is that it doesn't dry quickly or provide much warmth when wet. Most owners say they appreciate the extra insulation in the head and foot box, as well as the interior pocket for stashing personal items. As with other sleeping bags, we did see some complaints about malfunctioning zippers, but in general this women's sleeping bag offers good value despite being just outside the Cheapism price range.

Wenzel Backyard 30-Degree Review

From $22

Best Kids' Sleeping Bag

Pros:

  • Very low price.
  • Keeps kids warm in cold weather, parents say.
  • 10-year limited warranty.

Cons:

  • Stitching rips easily, many owners complain.
  • Zippers are prone to breaking and jamming, reviewers note.
  • Some owners say this sleeping bag is bulky and hard to fit into the stuff sack.

Takeaway: Reviewers say this kid-size sleeping bag is perfect for backyard sleepovers and scout camping trips. It weighs just 2.2 pounds, which is light enough for a short backpacking excursion. This basic three-season bag doesn't have extras like an interior pocket for a cellphone, but it comes with a stuff sack. Most parents say their children were comfortable on weekend camping trips, but several complain that the insulation tends to get lumpy after washing. We also read a number of gripes about broken zippers and seams that tear easily. Still, most consumers seem willing to accept this bag's limitations given its low price.

Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Review

From $45

Best Foam Sleeping Pad

Pros:

  • Weighs just 14 ounces.
  • Lifetime limited warranty.
  • Very durable polyethylene material.

Cons:

  • 72 inches long; may not be sufficient for tall campers.
  • Not as comfortable as an air mattress.
  • Foam can compress over time, some reviewers say.

Takeaway: A good sleeping pad must be light enough for backpacking yet substantial enough to provide true comfort, and this Therm-a-Rest delivers, reviewers say. The pad can also be used as a windbreak or folded in half for sitting, something several owners like, and the reflective surface does a fairly good job of keeping sleeping campers warm in cold temperatures. This sleeping pad is available in two lengths, 51 inches and 72 inches, but some taller consumers say they wish the "large" model were longer than 6 feet. Foam sleeping pads like this also don't fold as compactly for storage as inflatable models, a concern for a handful of reviewers, who have found the folded-up pad hard to stash in a pack.

Klymit Static V Review

From $47

Best Inflatable Sleeping Pad

Pros:

  • Weighs 1.5 pounds, sufficiently light for backpacking.
  • Patch kit included for emergency repairs.
  • Lifetime warranty.

Cons:

  • Must be inflated manually.
  • Prone to leaks and punctures, some reviewers say.
  • Scattered complaints about comfort.

Takeaway: If space is at a premium in your pack, an inflatable sleeping pad is a better choice than a foam one because it can be deflated, rolled up, and packed tightly. The Klymit sleeping pad is very comfortable, most campers say, and the large plastic nipple cap is very easy to open and close. Like many inflatable sleeping pads, the Klymit can develop small air leaks over time, and a couple of reviewers say they had to wake up and reinflate the pad in the middle of the night. In general, however, most owners say they are very happy with the product, and decidedly negative reviews are few and far between.

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