Best Sleeping Bags

A cheap sleeping bag can really ruin a camping or backpacking trip. We've identified the best sleeping bags under $100 for winter, summer, and all-season use, plus kids' sleeping bags and sleeping pads, based on sleeping bag reviews by professionals and owners. They come from top brands like REI, Coleman, and Marmot.

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.

We Looked At

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.

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.

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.

Our Top Pick

Teton Sports Tracker
Our Picks
Teton Sports Tracker

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Teton Sports Celsius Regular

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.

  • Very comfortable, flannel-like interior lining, according to reviews.

  • Temperature rating of 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Lifetime limited warranty.

  • 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.

Kelty Tuck 20 Degree

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Coleman Brazos Cold Weather

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Rei Co-op Helio Sack 55

Rei Co-op Helio Sack 55 Review

Available from REI

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.

  • Weighs just over a pound.

  • Available in two lengths (72 and 78 inches), plus an extra-wide model.

  • Lifetime warranty.

  • May feel confining to some big and tall campers.

  • Limited temperature range; not designed for cold weather.

Coleman North Rim Extreme Weather

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Teton Sports Trailhead

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Other Products We Reviewed

Coleman Clear Lake Warm-Weather Sleeping Bag reviews may be few in number but those we found are decidedly positive. Users approve of the bag's overall quality, including the materials and the zipper, along with its user-friendly qualities. Sleeping Bag reviews on Amazon say it provides warmth at temperatures in the 40-degree range and the relative light weight and ease of folding are most appreciated. One review on Walmart, however, considers this model too bulky for backpacking and says the straps broke while he was rolling up the bag; a post on Slickdeals reports a snagged zipper.

The temperature rating for the Clear Lake Warm-Weather Sleeping Bag (starting at $27, Amazon) is 40-60 degrees, putting it squarely in the category of outdoor gear for late spring, early fall, and summer. It measures 75"x33", which should be good for people up to 5'11". The polyester shell and cotton flannel lining encase three pounds of fill.

This is a basic, limited-frills bag for a value price, and one best suited for car camping or slumber parties.

lg everest mummy large

The Everest Mummy +5F/-15C Degree Sleeping Bag (starting at $25, Amazon) boasts one of the lowest temperature ratings (5 degrees F) among sleeping bags with price tags under $45. Indeed, users award it points for warmth in Everest Mummy sleeping bag reviews on Walmart, where it garners more than 200 five-star ratings, which is more than half of the total reviews currently posted. Users' Everest Mummy reviews rave about the value, noting that the very low price is quite a deal for a sleeping bag that keeps you warm in freezing temperatures. That said, some users are skeptical about its effectiveness when it's really cold outside. One camper beefs up the bag's capabilities with a pad that's topped with an insulating layer, a liner inside the bag and a blanket on top, and by wearing lots of clothing; users posting sleeping bag reviews on Amazon likewise report the bag needs some help in temperatures that dip below 40. Still, the Everest Mummy wins points for the built-in padded hood, pockets for stowing small items, roominess (for a mummy bag, that is), manageable weight, and cozy comfort. Many reviews say it's light enough for backpacking, but some suggest reserving this inexpensive sleeping bag for car camping because the bulk and weight make it awkward for carrying on your back. Do note that the zipper may be temperamental, and some campers' reviews report problems zipping up from the inside.

The Everest Mummy is lined in and out with polyester and is packed with 3.5 pounds of insulating fill. It measures 84 "x33 "x24 " and accommodates campers slightly taller than six feet; one 250-pound six-footer reports all-night comfort. The bag comes with a stuff stack for easy stowing and consumers say it washes well.

With some of the most positive feedback in consumer Everest Mummy reviews of cheap sleeping bags, the Everest Mummy is one of our top picks. If you're in the market for a mummy bag, you'd be hard-pressed to find better value than the Everest Mummy.

guide gear portage 30 degree sm

This is a reliable bag for three-season camping, according to Guide Gear Portage 30-Degree Sleeping Bag reviews. It's neither too hot nor too cold when the temperatures dip below 40 or reach summer heights, say reviews on SportsmanGuide. Campers write about using this bag on trips down the river or in recreational vehicles; in a sleeping bag review posted on Amazon, one says it was perfect for summer camping in the Yukon. There's also a double-size version of the Guide Gear Portage bag (starting at $40), which campers report easily fits two. Campers say the lining is soft, the padding sufficient, and they like that the two-person version opens on both sides, enabling either sleeper to poke out arms and legs and to get in and out without clambering over the other.

The single Guide Gear Portage bag (starting at $25) sleeping bag measures 81"x38" and contains 4.5 pounds of fill; the double bag measures 80"x66" and holds six pounds of fill. The lining is a brushed material, and each size comes with a carry sack; users say it carries light.

With a comfort rating of 30 degrees and a small price tag, Guide Gear Portage bags are good bargains. Warm and cozy is the bottom line.

lg wenzel santa fe large

Wenzel Santa Fe 20-Degree Sleeping Bag reviews are, well, a mixed bag. In the pro camp, reviews on Amazon praise the roomy comfort (long enough for a near six-footer), the features, and the price. In the negative camp, sleeping bag reviews say it doesn't provide sufficient warmth even in 40-plus temperatures, and in general seems a bit thin and flimsy. Users report needing to boost the bag's capabilities by wearing thermal underwear, clothing, and/or placing a pad underneath. Campers say it's a bit bulky and heavy for backpacking.

The Wenzel Santa Fe (starting at $24, Amazon) is rated at 20 degrees and features a five-inch shoulder collar, a three-inch draft tube, a self-repairing zipper, and a two-layer outer shell. It measures 84"x33" and contains 2.5 pounds of hypoallergenic fill.

Despite its cold-weather rating, users' Wenzel Santa Fe 20-Degree Sleeping Bag reviews convince us this isn't really a cold-weather bag. There isenough disagreement about its merits and worth to keep this model off our list of top picks.

Coleman Scattered Boy's/Girl's Sleeping Bags

Coleman Scattered Boy's/Girl's Sleeping Bags Review

In addition to a wide assortment of cheap sleeping bags for adults, Coleman makes super-cheap sleeping bags for kids. And the Scattered Boy's/ Girl's Sleeping Bag (starting at $19) is one that wins applause from parents in sleeping bags reviews. This bag comes in gender-specific versions (different patterns and colors), and Coleman Scattered sleeping bag reviews on Amazon say the floral motif and vibrant color of the girl's model is appealingly feminine. Parents write in reviews that children happily use them for sleepovers and movie nights, without getting overheated, and they work just as well for outdoor camping in mild weather. One mother notes that her two-year-old handily manages the zipper but several reviews note the strings are difficult for some kids to tie after the bag is rolled up; one parent suggests Velcro straps would be a big, and simple, improvement.

Coleman Scattered sleeping bag reviews generally say this is a well-made, durable product. But unlike cheap Coleman sleeping bags for adults, which are lined in flannel, these kids' sleeping bags are lined with polyester; one parent notes this can be noisy at night and another says it makes for a low-quality feel. Still, with its 60" x 26" measurements, the Coleman Scattered sleeping bag is right-sized for children up to 4'11 . It holds two pounds of synthetic fill insulation and is machine washable.

This is a top-notch sleeping bag for kids, but one that may be nearing the end of its product life. If you have trouble finding it, check out other kids' sleeping bags by Coleman in the same price range.

According to Eureka Grasshopper reviews, this is one of the better cheap sleeping bags for kids. Parents posting Eureka Grasshopper sleeping bags reviews on Cabela's give it a nearly perfect score, saying it provides warmth and comfort on chilly nights. This cheap sleeping bag boasts a 30 degree temperature rating, which seems fairly accurate. But a few reviews on Amazon caution that it doesn't suffice when the air is that cold, and a couple of parents suggest adding a fleece blanket or wearing fleece clothing for extra warmth. Sleeping bag reviews on Amazon also indicate heavy use indoors and say children are thrilled with these bags; the inner stash pocket holds special appeal as a neat place to stow toys. Reviews also indicate the bag is easy to roll and stuff in its sack.

The Eureka Grasshopper (starting at $30, Amazon) is a mummy-style bag that measures 66" x 26" x 18". This design suits some kids -- it's really cozy, especially with the adjustable hood -- but others may not like the confinement around the legs. The three-pound weight, including 1.7 pounds of a proprietary synthetic fill, is light enough for children to carry. And it's lined with soft polyester taffeta.

You probably won't find a cheap mummy-style kid's sleeping bag that holds up better on cold nights than the Eureka Grasshopper. If you're camping with your kids or just need a durable bag for sleepovers and home use, then the Eureka Grasshopper is a solid buy.

You can't go wrong with this bargain-priced mummy-style bag, according to Kelty Cosmic 50-Degree Sleeping Bag reviews. Users posting sleeping bag reviews on Campmor say it's perfect for three-season camping and even provides warmth when temperatures dip into the 40s. Reviewers also praise its backpacking portability, noting that the Kelty Cosmic carries light and packs small. In Kelty Cosmic sleeping bag reviews, users tell of camping in northern Michigan, in the mountains of Tennessee, and in the Arizona desert and getting nothing short of top performance. One minor critique concerns the zipper: it doesn't reach the bottom of the bag and so prevents air flow around your feet.

The Kelty Cosmic (starting at $30) measures 80"x32" and should fit users up to six feet tall. It features 10 ounces of fill, a 3/4-length zipper, a cord lock, and a variety of loops (e.g., security loops, hang loops, and internal liner loops). It comes with a stuff sack.

This full-featured mummy bag is an excellent buy and would have made the top of our list but for its limited availability. If you're a warm weather camper and can get your hands on the Kelty Cosmic, you won't be disappointed.

Adventurous children need their own kid-sized sleeping bags so they can get a good night's sleep, whether camping out or slumbering at a friend's house. Based on the Eureka Grasshopper sleeping bag reviews that we found, this model is one of the better cheap sleeping bags for kids. Parents posting sleeping bags reviews on Amazon give it an average four-plus stars (out of five) for kid appeal, along with warmth and comfort on chilly nights. The mummy-style bag boasts a 30 degree temperature rating that many parents say is fairly accurate. Some Eureka Grasshopper reviews, however, caution that it doesn't suffice for outdoor camping when the air is that cold -- adding a fleece blanket or wearing fleece clothing may be called for. The bag also gets heavy use indoors, according to Eureka Grasshopper reviews, which further note that children are thrilled with features like the inner stash pocket, which serves as a neat place to stow toys or a flashlight. Measuring 66"x26"x18", the Eureka Grasshopper is easy to roll and stuff in its sack and its three-pound weight, including 1.7 pounds of a proprietary synthetic fill, is light enough for children to carry. We did find a few reviews griping about seams that come undone. Nonetheless, if outdoor camping is on your family agenda, this kid-size mummy bag is a good bet.

Moving down the price scale gets us to Disney Kids' sleeping bags (starting at $16, Amazon), which are ideal for overnights with friends. Parents' Disney Kids' sleeping bags reviews on Walmart and Target say young children in particular are enthralled with the bags, which bear the imprint of Disney characters like fairies, princesses, and cars; once introduced to these bargain sleeping bags, many children insist on sleeping in them every night. But Disney Kids' sleeping bags reviews caution against planning to take them on outdoor camping adventures; parents say they're just too thin to provide the necessary warmth. Although the bags are machine-washable, one mom's Disney Kids' sleeping bags review grouses about the inconvenience of having to hang dry the Princess version and notes that the filling may shift in the wash. The Disney bags measure approximately 57"x28" and weigh about three pounds.

Outdoor Vitals Atlas 15 Degree Down

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.

  • Keeps users warm in cold weather, according to reviews.

  • Relatively low price for a down-filled mummy bag.

  • Lifetime warranty.

  • 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.

Rei Co-op Magma 10

Rei Co-op Magma 10 Review

Available from REI

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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.

  • Available in two lengths (66 and 70 inches).

  • Keeps campers warm at night, even in sub-freezing temperatures, according to reviews.

  • Lifetime limited warranty.

  • Weighs 4.8 pounds, too heavy for backpacking.

  • Down filling is relatively bulky.

  • Doesn't fit tall women.

Wenzel Backyard 30-Degree

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.

  • Very low price.

  • Keeps kids warm in cold weather, parents say.

  • 10-year limited warranty.

  • 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.

Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol

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.

  • Weighs just 14 ounces.

  • Lifetime limited warranty.

  • Very durable polyethylene material.

  • 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.

Klymit Static V

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.

  • Weighs 1.5 pounds, sufficiently light for backpacking.

  • Patch kit included for emergency repairs.

  • Lifetime warranty.

  • Must be inflated manually.

  • Prone to leaks and punctures, some reviewers say.

  • Scattered complaints about comfort.

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.

Features Comparison

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Review Score:
Product Title
Style
Max Height/Dimensions
Weight
Temperature Rating
Product Title
Style
Max Height/Dimensions
Weight
Temperature Rating

Teton Sports Tracker

$65
Mummy
87” x 34” at shoulder x 22” at feet
4.1 lbs.
5 F

Teton Sports Celsius Regular

$46.38
Rectangular
80” x 33”
5.1 lbs.
0 F

Coleman Brazos Cold Weather

$25
Rectangular
5 ft. 11 in. (75” x 33”)
4 lbs.
20 F

Kelty Tuck 20 Degree

$90
Mummy
6 ft. (long size available)
3.1 lbs.
20 F

Rei Co-op Helio Sack 55

$60
Semi-Rectangular
72” x 62” at shoulder x 56” at hip (long size available)
1.1 lbs.
55 F

Coleman North Rim...

$47
Mummy
6 ft. 2 in.
5.8 lbs.
0 F

Teton Sports Trailhead

$55
Mummy
87” x 32” at shoulders x 22” at feet
2.9 lbs.
20 F

Wenzel Backyard 30-Degree

$22
Mummy
66” x 26”
2.2 lbs.
30 F

Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol

$45
N/A
72” x 20” (small size available)
14.4 oz.
N/A

Klymit Static V

$47
N/A
72" x 23" x 2.5"
1.2 lbs.
N/A