How to Choose the Best Value Sleeping Bag – Complete Guide

Essentially the most significant part of camping is staying hot, and also how to choose the best value sleeping bag that can be viable for sleeping comfortably outdoors. Whether you are enjoying a hot summer night at the rear of your pick up or backpacking into the backcountry.

If you’re an avid fan of hiking and camping, then a sleeping bag is the most essential part of a backpack. Undoubtedly, a long day of the tiring trail is enough to break your bones to an extent that one can only then demand a comfortable place for a cozy sleep. In short, the choice of the right sleeping bag gets to decide how’ll you sleep on tiring nights. If one remains ignorant about this key aspect, it can severely damage your excursion trip.

So, to help you get on with the best sleeping bags you can choose for, according to your trip we have compulsively discussed the all-important essential factors you need to consider before choosing a sleeping bag. Whether it be weight, insulation, temperature rating, compressibility, or other such features, they all need to be properly dissected so you can get an idea of what you are going for. Indeed, these factors matter but what matters the most is what kind of trip you’re going for as there are all kinds of sleeping bags available in the market.

Sleeping bag season is one of the most vital factors when you’re considering buying a sleeping bag. We have dilated the different aspects below so you can choose for yourself what is best for you. However, we have also mentioned our picks as well.

How to Choose the Best Value Sleeping Bag – Things to Consider When Buying Your Sleeping Bag

Undoubtedly, if you are choosing the best sleeping bag for yourself, you must be doing backpacking. Well, if this is the case and you are all geared up to relish your journey then you don’t want any kind of hurdle within your way. Perhaps, you’re ready to go for a hike, either you’re planning to camp up a mountain or trying to get some kip on an overnight train. It is just about how to choose the best value sleeping bag, otherwise, things could get nasty.

When you are not able to comprehend which sleeping bag suits you the most, you are left with the option of pondering over certain key features. Of course, there are certain key factors to consider before buying your sleeping bag:

  • Weight can be the most crucial factor. The ideal bag is the amalgamation of light weights and warmth. When comparing the bags for weights, look for those bags having similar temperatures. Last but not the least, you have to fit in the luggage, so look for the optimal size for yourself.
  • Temperature ratings are considered the most essential factor. Staying warm during camping is paramount in choosing the sleeping bags. However, it is impudent to understand that every sleeping bag has its own temperature gauge. Therefore, choose a bag a bit lower than the temperature, you anticipated.
  • Types of insulation are one of the most frequently asked queries among the backpackers. Whether you choose down or synthetic. It all depends on you, yet one needs to know that both have their own advantages and disadvantages. It is also known as fill.
  • Extra features are always the plus points but they’re also necessary for a good quality sleeping bag. These features make your bag better than ever, they may include a built-in mosquito net, pad compatibility, stash pockets, an attached torch, and more.

Difference Between Backpacking and Normal Sleeping Bag

Usually, both are considered the same. Yet, there are three major differences between the two that allows backpacking bags to differ from sleeping bags.

  • They are more efficient which ultimately allows them to provide greater warmth for the weight.
  • Backpacking bags are lighter in weight.
  • They pack down smaller.

However, there isn’t any hard-fast rule or a clear line of demarcation between the two but one can go for both. Preferably, backpacking bags win the race.

How to Choose the Best Value Sleeping Bag – Sleeping Bag Tog Guide

Togs are like sleeping bags of babies. Obviously, babies are really sensitive to temperature fluctuations and are prone to sickness. In this regard, their body temperature should be kept constant all night long.

A sleeping bag is similar to a classic blanket for the baby which is certainly more suitable than conventional sheets or blankets. Sleep bags consist of armholes and necks that are worn by the babies at night. They keep the temperature of the baby intact and prevent the baby from overheating as well.

How Should I Choose the Right Tog?

Well, togs sleeping bags are meant for babies. They are crafted with great delicacy and expertise. Since, we need to know that togs are specially manufactured for babies, which are obviously sensitive. Therefore, they ensure consistency in temperature and avoid overheating as well. Basically, togs refer to the thermal resistibility of the baby’s sleeping bag. preferably, 18-20 degrees Celsius is regarded as the optimum temperature.

One must understand that tog is referring to the warmth the sleeping bag can retain so as the tog increases, the temperature retention increases as well. While vice versa in the case when lowering the tog.

Different Togs and Their Accessibility for Different Seasons

There is a range of different togs available that are specifically designed for different seasons. This usually divided the baby’s sleeping bags into two types. The ones having the higher tog rating, the warmer the sleeping bag is best suited for winter seasons. In the meanwhile, lower tog ratings sleeping bags are best suited for summer seasons.

One still needs to check the baby all the time, as there’s always a possible threat of overheating. However, it’s widely considered that it’s better to be cool than being hot. So, choose togs wisely as you buy them. The sleeping bag to guide is therefore essential to be considered before opting for a sleeping bag for your baby.

Season Guide/ Warmth Rating

Sleeping bags are designed to keep the person warm. They are meticulously crafted and designed to serve the best user’s experience according to temperature. Now, what you need to know is why this warmth or temperature rating matters so much? A temperature rating basically points towards the lowest temperature at which the sleeping bag is able to keep its user or sleeper warm.

However, as if now there isn’t any universal way of determining the temperature ratings. This gives the different manufacturers the leverage to make their own personal claims regarding their product warmth. Although these claims are mostly based on reality sometimes they are found to be just optimistic.

While you must be getting worried about the false claims, a new standardized rating system has found its footing in Europe. It is profoundly called EN 13537 in Europe. On the basis of this standardized system, the bags are assigned a rating according to it:

  • Upper limit: is known as the highest temperature of the air in which a certain person is able to sleep with ease.
  • Comfort: It is known as the optimum or the average temperature at which the person can sleep with quite ease.
  • Lower limit: It is regarded as the lowest temperature of the air which the person can bear to sleep easily.

However, there is yet room for the development of a universal temperature rating standard. Until then our best bet is to rely on these standards and more importantly on gut feelings.

How to Choose an Accurate Temperature Rating?

If you’re seeking the best value sleeping bag then the big question is how to choose the right temperature rating according to one’s needs. The best advice you can get over this is to choose a sleeping bag with that temperature rating that shall be lower than the lowest temperature rating you’ll encounter.

However, the sleeping bag usually falls into three categories.

S.no.Bag typeSeasonTemperature rating
1Summer seasonHot nights30°F and higher
23-SeasonSpring and fall trips20°F and above
3Winter season
(0 degree sleeping bag)
Cold nights but not frosty20°F and below up to 0°F

Now let’s dissect these categories in more detail.

Summer Season

These bags are best suited for temperatures 30°F and higher. These are light-weighted bags that are designed with the least insulation factor so as to be as light as feather. Usually, they are equipped with full-length zippers. It adds to the ventilation factor as the bag can be completely unzipped for adequate ventilation in summer seasons.

Summer bags can be easily described as the simplest sleeping bags with the least amount of accessories. In addition to that, there are no hoods and collars attached. However, one thing all summer season sleeping bags have is the ultralight weight.

3-Season

These bags are perfectly suited for spring and fall trips due to their optimum temperature ratings. Even if you are planning to have a trip to a mountainous area in hot summers, they can be used there as well. These bags are designed to counter the colder temperatures as well. In addition to that, the bag is properly equipped with all the added features to combat the cold weather.

Features like cinch-able hoods, zipper draft tubes, and draft collars are the essential part of the best 3 season sleeping bag. They are designed to cope with a mild cold temperature, however, don’t expect them to work against frosty cold temperature.

Winter Season

These stuffed sleeping bags are designed to cope with the frosty winter temperatures. The sleeping bags are manufactured to withstand the coldest of winters. However, one needs to understand that once the temperature keeps falling below 0 degrees then things can become a bit nasty.

Likewise, these bags are equipped with all the same features as the 3-season sleeping bag but at the same time, they are way bulkier. In short, they have much high insulation rather than the other types making it perfectly suitable for winter seasons.

Piece of advice

Although, the temperature rating standard has a mighty effect on the choice of the bag. As there isn’t any denial about the significance of this factor. Still, one shouldn’t just rely upon this factor as the bag isn’t the only thing determining the warmth. The sleeping pad is also significant, personal metabolism, the clothes you’re wearing, tent quality, and the expectancy of drastic fluctuation in temperature. These all factors also play a major role, therefore, as we talked about above, your gut feeling is your best partner in this case and an educated guess too.

Understanding Best Value Sleeping Bags Insulation or Fill

Like we’ve discussed above the most important aspect we need to consider before going for a sleeping bag. In the same way, comprehending the insulation of sleeping bags can help your mile when choosing a sleeping bag for backpacking. Just to get things straight, like every camping bag, mid-layers, with all Here isn’t just a simple chart to guide you through the types of insulation.

Down vs Synthetic Sleeping Bag

Insulation typeKey difference
SyntheticBulkier, heavier, and cheap
DownLighter, expensive

When you’re going for sleeping bags, the question of the down or synthetic sleeping bag is the first one to face. Here we’ll pen down both the pros and cons of them, regardless of what you choose.

Down

It is regarded as the lighter, compressible, and efficient insulation one can get. The feature of higher compressibility makes it a perfect choice for all backpackers. In addition to that, it is more expensive and durable than the synthetic one. However, it all depends on the fill-power of the sleeping bag. The Fill-power rating is somewhere between 600 to 900.

This feature is a way of determining the quality of down. However, you need to know that all the downs aren’t created in the same way as their fill-power differs according to the needs. Moreover, a higher number of fill-power indicates the increasing warmth making it loftier for the weight.

Pros:

  • works in dry conditions
  • Lighter in weight
  • Compressible
  • More efficient

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Can’t work in damp and moist climates

Synthetic

Unlike the down bags, they are best suited for damp and moist climates due to its sheer ability to insulate in wet conditions. It is made up of fluffy polyester material that cumulatively allows the synthetic bags to not absorb or adsorb the water. There are several types of synthetic bags.

Unfortunately, there isn’t any feature like the fill-power to determine the quality of the bag. Consequently, one can’t evaluate the performance of different brands. It shall also be noted that these bags are comparably bulkier and heavier than the down bags. Still, they are the best in the business if you’re planning to camp on rainy days.

Pros:

  • Best for rainy seasons
  • Cheaper than the down

Cons:

  • Bulkier and heavier
  • No evaluation parameter like fill-power in down fills for synthetic fill is there

Importance of Shape/Fit and Their Types

After having a general idea about the insulation and temperature factors, one should be wondering that I am going to get fit in any kind of bag. The answer is no, of course, therefore, manufacturers have developed different shapes and sizes of bags to accommodate the sleepers.

These different sleeping bags sizes and shapes are delicately designed to appeal to different kinds of campers. Undoubtedly, each one of us has different tastes and choices, therefore manufacturers cunningly gasped the concept of appealing the mass by developing different sleeping bags sizes and designs. Let us discuss the renowned types below.

Rectangular

These shapes of sleeping bags aren’t suggested for outdoor camping. Due to the unavailability of taper cut through the legs, this shape isn’t a good option. But it can be a good option for backyard camping and maybe basements sleepovers.

Mummy

This shape is the most used one by campers throughout the world due to its efficient taper cuts through the legs. Consequently, making it the best possible option for any type of camping. When going for sleeping bags, the major priority is the retention of heat within the bag. While mummy shape is the obvious choice for fulfilling this demand and priority.

Mummy shaped sleeping bags offer less space making this possible but it can sometimes make the sleeper restless due to lack of space. Although, this doesn’t fit here because it is spacious through the torso and shoulders. In addition to that, they are smaller to pack and comparatively lighter in weight.

Semi-rectangular

This shape lies somewhere between the rectangular and mummy shaped. These are considered the best option if you can’t compensate for the space of mummy shape but want more warmth than the rectangular. It is safe to say that it is comparatively a better choice of sleeping bags than the others. It is also known as a barrel or modified mummy shape bag.

Dilating the Concept of a Sleeping Bag Weight

Similarly, like the above-mentioned aspects i.e sleeping bags sizes, weight is also an essential factor to be considered before buying your sleeping bag. However, one needs to know that the weight of a sleeping bag depends upon the shape and insulation too.

However, it is advised to always compare the bags of similar temperature ratings when you are going to compare the weights of bags. Similarly, there’s a common concept among the campers when buying the sleeping bags: consider insulation fill weight as a rough indicator for bed warmth. In a nutshell, an ideal sleeping bag is a combination of lower weight and high warmth.

Compressibility of a sleeping bag

Compressibility is a modern-day feature that everyone looks for in a sleeping bag. A compressible sleeping bag can be described as a bag that can be easily stored without any hustle in a small stuff sack. Either the bag is filled with synthetic or down insulation. However, down fill is considered to be the most compressible as they are packed the smallest. In addition to that, they are the light-weighted ones too.

There is an obvious benefit of a compressible sleeping bag that they are accommodated in a much lesser space in the backpack or your car. Moreover, you should be cautious when the bag is compressed, so as not to keep it for a long time as it can damage the bag.

How to store sleeping bags and why is it important?

The major query is how to choose the best value sleeping bag but it is also necessary to look at it in an ideal manner, after using your sleeping bag. You have to package it into a backpack – or even a storage tote. If you’re looking for an answer to how to store sleeping bags, it’s critical that it’s really dry, just before you store your sleeping bag. However, the way it is stored by you is vital. You should rather stuff your sleeping bag into the backpack instead of rolling or folding it. That would be counterproductive. Your bag can be damaged by pressure points. Especially down sleeping bags are sensitive. You shouldn’t compress them, it’s far better for the material. The incorrect way could break in the event that you shop your sleeping bag, and also the fibers can rip. Many manufacturers produce extra storing bags for the down fill bags

How to store sleeping bags may be a difficult query to address. In a nutshell, compressibility may not seem like a very important feature yet it is a feature of a good sleeping bag.

Final thoughts

If you were looking for the answer, how to choose a right sleeping bag then the above guidelines must have cleared the doubts in your head. Still, it is advised to observe things and materials at the spot. Be sure of what kind of weather you’ll be dealing with, and only then choose your cozy sleeping bag. After all, a long day of tiring trail deserves a cozying rest.

Therefore, we have enlisted some of our favorite sleeping bags with their essentials and add on. These bags fulfill all the above conditions and are the best solution to your tiring trails.

Best Value Sleeping Bag

Vango Aurora Double

Easily one of the best value sleeping bag and the best 0 degree sleeping bag. It is a 3-season sleeping bag and is quite famous among campers around the world. However, the astounding part about this sleeping bag is its supreme double layer of insulation and plush of 100% cotton flannel lining. The supreme and luxurious double lining of the sleeping bag provides enough warmth to sustain at lower temperatures.

The square shape of the bag makes it spacious for free movement. With its delicate and sophisticated design, it ensures that your night shall be well spent. Moreover, the bag is capable of separating into two bags as well to meet the needs of campers. It is designed in such a way that it’ll give an everlasting relaxing sleep that you haven’t experienced before.

Undoubtedly, it is a unique design with the added luxury of free pillows with it too. Well, one can’t possibly resist this bag, if truly understands the value of this craft. Are you worried about the cold? Well not anymore, as this best 3 season sleeping bag is capable of withstanding the most chill of weather.

Pros:

  • It is capable of withstanding the colder temperatures
  • 100% cotton fillings
  • It is portable
  • It is really handy and easy to use

Cons:

  • It isn’t the best option for warmer weather.

Highlander Echo Sleeping Bag Technical

If you are an avid fan of camping and nothing stops you from doing it. So then no need to shy away or hesitate from the rough weather conditions. Nothing should stop you from doing what you love. However, you can’t deny the catastrophes of the harsh weather but a highlander echo sleeping bag has got you covered. We rate this sleeping bag in high esteem due to its commendable durability.

This camping sleeping bag is rightfully designed to withstand any kind of harsh weather conditions. If you are looking for the right camping gear and a rightful companion for harsh weather, then don’t look any further. If you love it the harsh way like frosty winters, then temperature rating should be highly considered. Since the highlander echo sleeping bag is capable of bearing temperature up to -7°C. If you’re enlisting the best hiking sleeping bag then this light sleeping bag surely makes our list.

The bag is a mummy shaped tapered to the bottom. While a 3D insulated neck baffle is considered best for providing optimal temperature. The bag is filled with warm synthetic fabric which allows it to easily get a wash in the washing machine. While the sleeping bags are designed in different shapes and sizes according to the needs of campers.

Summing up this sleeping bag is the best bag for backpackers and mountaineers. They are perfectly designed for each and every gender.

The highlander echo is really known for its warmth and insulation. Everyone who utilized it is pleased with the goods and their quality. An excellent insulation substance is one that will trap air economically and thus create a barrier that prevents heat reduction. The echo four hundred is full of a technical fabric called QFX3D that’s lighter than the normal filings.

Pros

  • The quality of products used for its manufacturing provides great warmth and comfort
  • This bag is the best choice chilled frosty weathers because the comfort range lies with 8 to -6 degree Celsius that is more than enough to fight with biting cold weather
  • Like we told above the quality of materials used by the manufacturers allows it to be easily washed within a washing machine.

Cons

  • The compressibility of the bag isn’t up to the mark that makes the packing of the bag a bit tough.
  • As it is not suitable for backpacking because due to its heavyweight and bulky size
  • Due to heavy stuff, the zip sometimes gets stuck with the material as well
  • There isn’t a wide range of variety due to limited colors

Coleman Hampton sleeping bag

Coleman Hampton easily walks down in our list due to its wide usability. It is widely regarded as the best sleeping bag for family vacations or best hiking sleeping bag. A soft and over-sized bag perfectly designed to accommodate two persons. If you need a spacious sleeping bag that is able to accommodate up to two persons then look no further as this light sleeping bag is the camper’s favorite.

It’s time to sleep calmly and escape from the restlessness outdoors. If you’re planning a camping trip with your family, then this bag has got you covered. In fact, this isn’t the only perk this bag has to offer as it is the easiest to carry so you can fly to your destination with ease and then enjoy the serene scenery of stars above you with profound ease. It isn’t one of those bags that occupy more trunk space.

If talking about the insulation, it is well insulated with coletherm. Consequently, it isn’t a bad option for biting cold weather as well. In addition to that, the texture of the sleeping bag is also commendable. In spite of every good feature and different adds on, the final product isn’t very satisfactory.

The more expensive size, rectangular design and style, and cotton liner make certain that this extra ample tote is perfect for camping, caravanning or if entertaining visitors in the home.

Pros

  • It is a double size sleeping bag that makes it one of the most spacious sleeping bags and that’s why it is on our list. The bag is rectangular down sleeping bag and wider in dimensions.
  • Coletherm insulation has proved to be one of the better insulation or fill making you feel comfortable and provides optimal warmth.
  • The promising feature of this bag is that it can even withstand the colder temperatures as well. It can even work up to -10 degrees Celsius, however, one needs to take other safety measures like wearing thermals inside as well.

Cons

  • The Coleman sleeping bag doesn’t have many attractive colors to offer at its disposal. Consequently, making it a major setback.
  • It is not easy to get it dry after washing in a washing machine
  • Zips of the bags aren’t of the supreme quality so sometimes it gets tough to close this bag.

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