"Sleeping bag tech has made its way into the space age," say our friends at Gear Patrol, camping aficionados and world's most discerning judges of outdoor equipment. "Your 20-year-old sleeping bag from summer camp is no longer up to snuff."
Photo by Foster Huntington for A Restless Transplant
After an exhaustive Gear Patrol investigation of everything there is to know about water-resistant breathable fabrics and synthetic insulation and temperature ratings and 800-fill down, and warmth-to-weight ratings and about a zillion other variables, the editors came up with the 10 Top Sleeping Bags to take backpacking. Here's the list (go to Gear Patrol to get the full scoop):
1. REI Igneo: Best All-Around Sleeping Bag; $339. Thanks to its 800-fill down and superlight shell, the Igneo is one of the lighter bags on our list. Sporting a new waterproofing coat developed by Toyota and a performance cut, it does away with some of the frills but none of the comfort.
2. Marmot Cloudbreak: Best New Tech Sleeping Bag; $199. Marmot's body-mapping technology puts their Thermal R Micro insulation in all the right places to keep you warm without overheating. Their dual-hood closure is also a novel feature: different shaped shock cords around the head and neck keep you comfortable rather than tightening the hood like a noose.
3. Stoic Somnus 15: Best Mountaineering Bag; $350. The Stoic features a center zip rather than the side zip seen elsewhere, a design element originally developed so climbers could stay in their bag while roped up on a big wall. ...Weighing in at under two pounds, it's easily one of the lightest bags in our line-up.
4. Sierra Designs Pyro Maniac 15/30: Most Versatile Sleeping Bag; $227. The Pyro Maniac splits the difference between ultra warm and lightweight. It's got an optional down comforter that buttons into the main bag for added warmth down to 15° during spring and fall camping.
5. Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Down: Best Budget Sleeping Bag; $100. Bottom line: If you're an ultralight hiker planning a week-long trek, this probably isn't your bag. If you're looking for a car camping bag, you're good to go.
6. Eddie Bauer First Ascent Karakoram +20°: Most Comfortable Sleeping Bag; $349. One of the most feature-rich bags on the list. A roomy foot box, interior pocket for essential gear, and full-length draft collar and baffles round out a nearly perfect bag.
7. Sierra Designs DriDown Zissou 15 Degree: Gear Patrol Editor's Pick; $271. If you're worried about getting wet and willing to pay a little premium, the Zissou is your best bet to stay warm and happy.
8. Feathered Friends Hummingbird Nano: Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag; $389. It may be the most expensive bag on the list, but ounce for ounce, the Hummingbird is one of the warmest around. A 1 lb. 10 oz, this bag can be compressed down to the size of a Nalgene bottle.
9. Sea to Summit TkII: Best Recreational Travel Sleeping Bag; $249. The TkII is no slouch when it comes to repelling water, but what really sets it apart is the attention paid to the fill patter: none of the 650-fill down is wasted in unnecessary baffles or quilting.
10. L.L. Bean Katahdin 20: Best Updated Sleeping Bag; $169. L.L. Bean recently updated the insulation in the Katahdin to PrimaLoft Synergy, which is the only insulation on the market that is inherently water repellent. A Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment is woven into the insulation and lining to ensure you stay dry no matter the conditions.
Prefer to sleep off the ground? See Remodelista's 7 Classic Canvas Cots for Summer Slumber.