One of the pleasures of hiking is sleeping after a long and tiring day on the trail. Nothing beats the warm feeling of snuggling inside a cozy and comfortable sleeping bag.

The weather in the mountains can become unpredictable. It can drop from a normal to a freezing temperature overnight. No one wants to spend a night on the woods shivering and sleepless due to the cold. At times like this, it is essential to have a reliable sleeping bag with you at all times.

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Sleeping Bag Buying Guide

Temperature Ratings

Temperature ratings on sleeping bags help you compare sleeping bags to one another. Depending on the season you are camping in, the temperature rating guides you for what season it works well. A temperature rating of 30F and higher is usually for the summer season, 15F to 30F works well for 3-season and 15F lower temperature rating for winter.

Warmth

Choose a sleeping bag that can trap or release your body warmth accordingly. If you will camp on a cold to freezing night, choose sleeping bags that are close fitting and with more insulation that can trap heat and keep you from freezing. If you are camping in summer, sleeping bags with proper ventilation and a lot of interior space would be a great choice.

Weight

A sleeping bag is one of the heaviest and bulkiest items in your backpack. Most sleeping bags that offer great warmth and comfort come in a large and heavy size. It is therefore essential to find a sleeping bag with an excellent weight-to-warmth ratio, a bag that is suitable for light backpacking without compromising warmth and comfort.

Compressibility

Warm and comfortable sleeping bags usually come in a heavy and bulky size. Just like weight, you should find a balance between warmth, comfort, and size of the sleeping bag. Most sleeping bags come with their compressing sack to make it smaller.

Price

Sleeping bags, especially quality ones, do not come cheap. Sleeping bags range from $50 to $550. Although you can go cheap as a beginner backpacker trying things out, buying a quality sleeping bag is a wise investment. The ten best budget sleeping guide list we presented to you above can help if you are short on budget.

Down vs. Synthetic

There are two types of sleeping bag insulation, the down and synthetic. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Most prefer the down because it has a better warmth-to-weight ratio. It has a smaller compressed size and better packability. However, compared to synthetic sleeping bags, down bags are much more expensive.

Synthetic sleeping bags are cheaper. They also perform better in wet conditions, retaining warmth even when wet. It comes low on packability score though. Synthetic bags tend to be much heavier and bulkier compared to down bags.

Searching for the perfect sleeping bag can be a daunting task. To help you decide which is best for you without being too heavy on your pocket, we listed the ten best budget sleeping bags, highlighting their best attributes, weight, size, comfort, and functionality.

10 Best Budget Sleeping Bags & Quilts of 2019

Kelty Cosmic Down 20

Temperature Rating:  19F
Weight:  2.4 lbs

Kelty is a brand that makes inexpensive but quality gears. For beginner backpackers looking for a best budget sleeping bag, the Kelty Cosmic Down 20 is a great choice. For a price less than $200, the Cosmic 20 provides acceptable levels of warmth and comfort at a weight still comfortable for backpacking.

Cosmic 20 has enough room for movement, an interior that is soft and cozy, a neck baffle, and the convenience of a stash pocket. Moreover, it has a hydrophobic down fill for wet conditions. An all-time favorite, the Kelty Cosmic Down 20 proves to be one of the best if not the best sleeping bag on a budget.

 

The North Face Cat’s Meow

Temperature Rating: 20F
Weight: 2.7lbs

The North Face Cat’s Meow has been in the market since 1977 and has seen improvements over the years. With a cleverly placed insulation, this bag gives a warm and fluffy feeling to the user. Cat’s Meow is a perfect choice for kayaking since its Heatseeker Pro insulation feature gives it a quick drying property. It offers enough room that even side sleepers will be happy to have.

A downside, however, it has a large packed size for a down bag. The internal fabric is generally okay but lacks the softness found in pricier models. Overall, for a budget sleeping bag, it’s warm and durable and can work for backpacking or canoe trips. It is one of the best budget sleeping bag in the market.

 

Marmot Trestles Elite Eco 20

Temperature Rating: 20.3F
Weight: 2.4 lbs

This budget sleeping bag from Marmot gives an ample amount of warmth and comfort for three seasons. The Marmot Trestles combines three different fiber types for maximum warmth and feel without giving up weight and compressibility.

At almost 2.5 lbs, this is an ideal backpacking sleeping bag that is not heavy on the wallet. It comes with a compression stuff sack and separate storage bag to help you with packing. Moreover, it is environmentally friendly as it uses recycled materials for sustainability without giving up performance and durability.

 

They also have another that’s specially designed for women.

 

Kelty Tuck 20

Temperature Rating: 20F
Weight: 3 lbs

For a budget of less than $100, the Kelty Tuck 20 is a favorite. With its ThermaPro Ultra Synthetic Insulation and a cushioned hood with drawcords, this sleeping bag will keep you warm and toasty through the night. Kelty Tuck 20 has versatile temperature regulation and its ventilation makes it one the best budget sleeping bags. With a convenient foot zipper, you can let air in during warm nights. Anti-snag zippers ensure that there’s no snagging allowed.

Available in 2 different lengths, regular for 6’ height and long for 6’6”, and size especially for women, you will find the right range and fit for you. The package also includes a stuff sack for easy transport and storage.

 

They also have another that’s specially designed for women.

 

Hammock Gear Burrow Econ 20

Temperature Rating: 20F
Weight: 1.59

The Burrow Econ 20 is inexpensive, versatile, and has a good feature set. One thing that is great with the Burrow Econ 20 is its versatility. It does not function only as a ground quilt, but it also opens up as a blanket or top quilt. Moreover, it offers comfort with its roominess.

This sleeping bag uses a duck down instead of a goose down which is why it is not as warm as expensive quilts. However, as long as you layer properly, the Burrow Econ 20 can keep you warm just above freezing temperatures.

 

The North Face Furnace 20

Weight: 2.94 lbs
Temperature Rating:20F

You get a cozy sleeping bag in less than $200 with The North Face Furnace 20. With anti-compression pads sewn into high-pressure areas that contact the ground, it ensures proper insulation and enough warmth. Its mummy shape feature fits the contour of the body to maximize warmth. It has a draft collar for warmth and comfort around the neck. The Furnace 20 is also enhanced with a hydrophobic finish allowing it to dry faster and repel moisture.

The Furnace 20 combines 600-fill down and synthetic which isn’t as warm as expensive options but will give an ample amount of warmth for most 3-season adventures.

 

They also have another one that’s specifically designed for women.

 

NEMO Kyan 35

Weight: 1.89 lbs
Temperature Rating: 35F

Although made of synthetic insulation, this budget sleeping bag is not heavy and bulky. The NEMO Kyan 35, although a mummy bag, provides generous extra space for comfortable movement. It offers great versatility with its synthetic insulation that can insulate during wet seasons. A pair of gill, which is an innovative design by NEMO, provides temperature regulation. The gills are slits on top of the bag that opens and closes to let in airflow when it gets too warm inside the sleeping bag.

With a temperature rating of 35F, it provides a little less warmth compared to other sleeping bags with a similar temperature reading. The NEMO Kyan 35 is, therefore, best for summer and the warmer nights of spring and fall.

 

Mountain Hardwear Lamina 30

Weight: 2.28 lbs
Temperature Rating: 30F

The Mountain Hardwear Lamina 30 offers versatile synthetic insulation with a moderate warm-to-weight ratio at a low price. Compared to the best budget sleeping bags, it is enough to keep you warm on warm nights of spring and fall but not too warm in summer. The Thermal Q insulation feature of this bag provides warmth even when soaked. Its anti-snag and pull tabs on the zipper, inside and outside, make it convenient to zip and unzip the bag.

At 2.28 lbs, it is heavier than other models but is light enough for backpacking. It comes with its compression sack to pack it down to almost 8.6L. The Mountain Hardwear Lamina is suited for average 3-season overnights and, because of its synthetic insulation, can do well in wet conditions.

Mountain Hardwear Heratio 15

Weight: 2.5lbs
Temperature Rating: 15F

Another excellent budget sleeping bag from Mountain Hardwear is the Heratio 15. Specially designed for women, the mummy fit efficiently maximizes warmth without constriction. It has a water-resistant coat, so you don’t need to worry about dew or moisture when you sleep out. It doesn’t come with a compression sack, but this down sleeping bag packs down quite small. If you want to get it even smaller, buying a compression bag with this is a good idea.

Although it offers extra insulation in the torso and foot areas, the Heratio 15 is not warm enough under freezing conditions.  For a budget of less than $200, you will get a mummy bag that would do well in cool and warm weather.

 

REI Co-op Radiant 19

Weight: 2.5 lbs
Temperature Rating: 19F

At just $199, the REI Co-op Radiant is suitable for 3-season use. Warmth and comfort come from its 600-fill water-resistant duck down. Furthermore, its ripstop nylon shell has water repellent finish which further makes this sleeping bag perform during wet conditions. Features include a contoured hood, insulated face muffler, and full-length draft tube to help keep warmth inside the bag. The bag has a stash pocket under the collar for valuables. It also comes with pad loops that let you strap the bag to a sleeping pad.

As with some duck down fillings, it is not that super warm for a 19F temperature rating. If you are not camping out at a freezing temperature, this budget sleeping bag will do well.

 

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