Backpacking Sleeping Bags




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Backpacking sleeping bags are different from camping sleeping bags because they need to be a very lightweight sleeping bag.

Your backpacking essentials have to be carried on your back, including your backpacking tent and your sleeping pad. Every ounce counts and your sleeping bag needs to be lightweight too.

If you are new to this activity, check out our page on sleeping bags for more info on what you should be looking for in general terms.

For overnight hiking trips I highly recommend a down filled sleeping bag . They weigh less, compact well and keep you warm at night avoiding cold pockets of air.

There is also the ultralight sleeping bag which generally weighs less than a pound without the stuff sack for true minimalists.

Our family are not minimalists, but we are careful about the weight on our backs.

I get colder at night more often than my husband and so my sleeping bag weighs more than his because of the extra down filling.


3 Things to Know When Choosing Backpacking Sleeping Bags

  1. Know the temperature rating of the backpacking sleeping bag. This is really important to avoid being cold at night. Know where you will most likely go backpacking and in what types of weather.

    Buy for the coldest temperature you believe you will be sleeping in.

  2. Size and Weight of any lightweight sleeping bag. Comfort and weight sometimes conflict when deciding which should be part of your backpacking supplies.

    Ideally, a nice combination of comfort and lightweight is perfect. You need some room to move without the extra bulk. I highly recommend the mummy shaped sleeping bag for backpacking.

  3. Insulation. There are two choices, down fill and synthetic. Goose down will give you longer overall value, is very lightweight, makes great cold weather sleeping bags, extremely compressible and very breathable.

    On the other hand synthetic fill is excellent in damp weather, is less expensive but it is heavier and less compressible.



Whatever you choose, make sure you try before you buy to check for body comfort, fit and snugness around the head and face for colder nights.

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Keep up to date with the latest and greatest tips, advice and gadgets. Family Camping and Hiking Newsletter is totally free and will show up in the e-mail every month or so! Just fill out this short form:

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