The Best Sleeping Bags of 2022, Tested by an Expert

Patagonia’s Fitz Roy sleeping bag is our favorite.

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best sleeping bags
Courtesy of Amazon; Feathered Friends; Patagonia; Zenbivy

Purchasing a sleeping bag is a long-term investment, something you don't want to skimp on —a good sleeping bag is one of the most critical elements in ensuring a good night's sleep away from your bed.

For this roundup, we used our wealth of expertise and experience with sleeping bags in all kinds of environments. We also interviewed other experts on which sleeping bags perform best based upon weight, price, warmth-to-weight ratio, insulation, or size. Then, we tested the bags they recommended in a variety of conditions: backpacking versus car camping, in warm weather and cold weather, with kids and without. As the best overall option, we like the Patagonia Fitz Roy, because the centered zipper with three sliders offers gaps so you don't have to climb out of the bag to cook or climb. But there are plenty more to love.

Here are the best sleeping bags on the market.

Best Overall: Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Sleeping Bag

Fitz Roy Down Sleeping Bag

Patagonia

Why We Love It: It's warm and features a centered zipper with three sliders allowing flexibility — and you can even wear it like a jacket.

What to Consider: There is no water resistant shell or treatment on the down, which means if this sleeping bag gets soaked, then it will be too heavy and won't be able to insulate as well as synthetic options.

In 1972, Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, modified a sleeping bag because he couldn't find one on the market that fit his needs. He stuffed goose down into the channels of his bag, then placed three sliders on a center zip so he could stay warm inside the bag while running "a tether from his harness to an anchor without having to snake a line out through the face opening," says Austin Robbs, Patagonia's Equipment Director. Patagonia launched their sleeping bag line in 2017 based upon Chouinard's ingenuity, the company's experience with down jackets, and four decades of modern technologies. The result was an 850-down-fill bag with a wide knee girth, hood-cinch, and centered zipping.

My family and I have used that bag while sleeping on a climb; the third slider allows us to stay harnessed all night by running a safety tether from the harness to the anchor. I also use this bag on cold nights in my office because I can wear the bag like a jacket. In April 2022, Patagonia released the Fitz Roy, which is identical to its predecessor except for "100% recycled and solution dyed materials," 800-fill-power, available in three sizes (short, regular, long) and two temperatures (20 and 30 degrees). According to Robbs, "We set out to refine our bag to function very well in an even broader variety of situations — from car camping to port-a-ledges — and have the lowest impact from a supply chain standpoint."

Weight: 1.75 pounds (short size) | Temperature rating: 20 or 30 degrees | Fill: 800-fill-power Advanced Global Traceable goose down | Compressed stuff sack size: 7.5 x 11.5 inches

Best Budget: The North Face Eco Trail Synthetic Backpacking Sleeping Bag

The North Face Eco Trail Synthetic 35F / 2C Backpacking Sleeping Bag

Amazon

Why We Love It: For the price, this sleeping bag offers the best warmth-to-weight ratio.

What to Consider: There is no internal pocket to store your cell phone or wallet.

The North Face Eco Trail Synthetic offers the best value for a sleeping bag that is lightweight, durable, and environmentally friendly (made from fully recycled materials). It comes in two sizes, regular and long, with the choice of zipper on the left or right side; it also comes in three different temperature ratings: 0, 20, and 35 degrees. It is durable because the shell is made with 50D recycled polyester ripstop with a non-PFC Durable Water-Repellent. The insulation is also recycled polyester. The fitted mummy hood has a cinch-cord to retain warmth. There's also a draft collar and zipper baffle to prevent heat loss.

Weight: 2.4 pounds (regular size) | Temperature rating: 0, 20, or 35 degrees | Fill: Recycled Polyester | Compressed stuff sack size: 8.5 x 15 inches

Best for Car Camping: Zenbivy Bed

Zenbivy Bed

Zenbivy

Why We Love It: It features clever solutions for eliminating common sleeping bag problems such as drafts in the footbox cinch and drafts through neck cinches.

What to Consider: There are several components packaged in their own stuff sacks — a quilt, a sleeping pad, and a pillow, made up of an inflatable cushion and case — so there is some stuff you'll need to take with you.

The Zenbivy system offers three options (Light Bed, Zenbivy Bed, and MotoBed) each in four sizes and customizable in multiple configurations: quilt mode, which is great for warm days when you want more ventilation; mummy mode, which is more restrictive and certainly warmer; or rectangular mode, which is not as warm as mummy but not as cool as quilt. We thought the MotoBed option was too heavy, weighing over 8.5 pounds. Our favorite is the Zenbivy Bed option, which is marketed for backpacking. My children especially enjoyed it in quilt mode, plus, the price point is reasonable, especially with 700 fill power using Hyperdry down from Allied, which is durable, fluorocarbon-free, water-resistant, and responsibly sourced and traceable.

Weight: 2.5 pounds (regular size) | Temperature rating: 10, 25, or 30 degrees | Fill: 700 fill power Hyperdry down | Compressed stuff sack size: 5 liters

Related: The Best Camping Air Mattresses

Best for Kids: Big Agnes Little Red 15 Degree Sleeping Bag

Big Agnes 15

 Courtesy of Backcountry

Why We Love It: The Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra sleeping pad can integrate with the sleeping bag, so your child will never slip off the pad in her sleep. Plus, the bag has one of the best temperature ratings for any youth sleeping bags on the market.

What to Consider: Your child might outgrow the bag quickly. And without the Pad Inflation Sack, the pad will take a long time to inflate.

We have owned our Big Agnes Little Kids bag for five years. Three of our kids have already passed this bag down to their younger siblings, and now it belongs to our youngest (currently 5 years old). The sleeping bag has not shown any wear and tear all these years, probably because the shell fabric is polyester rip-stop with a water-repellent finish.

The Big Agnes kids line comes in three sizes: Little Red for kids up to 4 feet, 5 inches, Wolverine for kids up to 5 deet, and Duster for kids/juniors/teens between 4 feet, 5 inches for 5 feet, 6 inches. They all feature a sleeve for the Insulated Air Core Ultra, which is treated with antimicrobial to prevent microorganism growth. This pad also has Thermolite insulation and heat-reflective film that traps body heat and reflects it back to you.

Weight: 1.75 pounds (for Little Red) | Temperature rating: 15 degrees | Fill: M4 synthetic insulation | Compressed stuff sack size: 7.5 x 9 inches (for Little Red)

Best Versatility: Feathered Friends Flicker UL Quilt Sleeping Bag

Feathered Friends Flicker UL Quilt Sleeping Bag

Feathered Friends

Why We Love It: It's one of our favorite ultralight sleeping bags, and it's long-lasting and versatile with a full-length center zip.

What to Consider: Without a mummy hood, you will lose heat from your head.

Feathered Friends has a reputation for producing the lightest and longest-lasting sleeping bags (my husband actually introduced me to the brand on our first Valentine's date!). Feathered Friends general manager Juna Gates says, "While our bags have evolved a bit over the years, we're committed to using the best materials available and time-tested designs to make our gear last as long as possible. Rather than trying to sell a new product every season, we love hearing customer stories about how long they've been using their gear."

Available in regular and long and in temperature ratings of 20, 30, and 40 degrees, the Flicker UL Quilt is great for backpacking because it has 950-fill-power that compresses down to 5 liters, and it weighs only 1.2 pounds. Sometimes I'll throw it on my bed as an extra quilt; unzipped, it can cover two adults. It also has drawcords on both ends, the foot box and the neck collar. The shell is Pertex Endurance, which has a durable water resistance coating. All Feathered Friends sleeping bags are made in Seattle, Washington, says Gates, and the brand focuses on sustainability. She adds, "We're able to use every bit of the materials we source for our products, and once the materials are in our factory, we make the sleeping bags and ship directly to the consumer, no crisscrossing the globe or country to various contractors and warehouses."

Weight: 1.2 pounds | Temperature rating: 20, 30, or 40 degrees | Fill: 950-fill-power RDS goose down | Compressed stuff sack size: 5 liters

Best Down/Synthetic Hybrid: Marmot Warmcube Gallatin Expedition Sleeping Bag

Marmot Warmcube Expedition Sleeping Bag -30F Synthetic

Back Country

Why We Love It: It's composed of cubes stuffed with down, then lined on the outside with lofty synthetic insulation for moisture resistance.

What to Consider: Marmot WarmCube Expedition is designed for temperatures down to 30 below, which makes it expensive. For a much less expensive option, try the Marmot WarmCube Gallatin, which is designed for 20 degrees.

If you're not sure whether you prefer down or synthetic, try Marmot's WarmCube technology. Each 3D cube conforms to your body and prevents the 650-fill-power goose down (800 in the Expedition -30 model) from shifting. The channels between each cube also fill with warm air, providing another source of thermal protection. A synthetic insulation on the outer layers offer high loft and water resistance. Together the WarmCubes act like an ice tray, by multiplying the warmth of the down and synthetic. Extra perks include a two-way zipper, a down-filled draft tube, and a water-resistant Pertex shell (which is more durable in the Expedition).

Weight: 3.7 or 6.1 pounds | Temperature rating: -30 or 20 degrees | Fill: 650 or 800-fill-power goose down with synthetic HL-ElixR Micro | Compressed stuff sack size: 9.4 x 18.9 inches or 40 liters

Related: The Best Hammocks

Best Double: Nemo Jazz Double Sleeping Bag

Nemo Jazz Double Sleeping Bag

Amazon

Why We Love It: When paired with the brand's Roamer self-inflatable sleeping pad, it feels more comfortable than your own bed.

What to Consider: This bag doesn't come in alternative sizes or temperatures.

True to their mantra that they will never bring to market a product that doesn't offer a better experience outdoors, Nemo Equipment was the first to introduce a removable, 100 percent recycled, ultra-soft machine-washable top sheet. The Jazz Double, paired with the Roamer self-inflatable sleeping pad, is perfect for car camping with the family. The sleeping bag is so spacious that on some mornings, before the sunlight has peeked into our tent, we discover our younger kids have crawled into our bag. Fortunately, the pillows and the pad inserted underneath are all locked in place, so no matter how much you all goof off, you won't feel the rocks and uneven landscape beneath your tent. The innovative internal air channels, called Flow Core, speed inflation/deflation and allow the pad to pack down small. The mattress feels firm and does not lose air over several days. When you're ready to pack up, just deflate the pad without removing it from the sleeve and roll up everything at once and stuff it into the Jazz duffel bag. Note: It is worthwhile to upgrade to a double rather than zip two sleeping bags together because of heat efficiency.

Weight: 8.9 pounds | Temperature: 30 degrees | Fill: 100 percent recycled Stratofiber synthetic insulation | Compressed stuff sack size: 14.2 x 31.1 inches (bag alone)

Best Ultralight: Rab Mythic Ultra Sleeping Bag

Rab Mythic Ultra Sleeping Bag

Amazon

Why We Love It: The world's first Thermo Ionic Lining Technology amps warmth-to-weight ratio by coating inner lining fibers with titanium, which reflects heat back to your body the way an emergency blanket works.

What to Consider: The zipper is located on the left side of the bag and only unzips 1/8 length (on the Ultra 180) and ½ length (on the Ultra 360) in order to save weight.

The Rab Mythic Ultra is one of the lightest sleeping bags on the market. Using the world's first Thermo Ionic Lining Technology, titanium is coated upon the fibers of the inner lining, making it reflect heat back towards the body, like an emergency blanket. This makes the Rab Mythic Ultra hard to beat in warmth-to-weight ratio. It comes in two options: 180, the lightest version with a temperature rating of 32 degrees, and 365, which is heavier but works at temperatures down to 18. Features include an anti-snag zip guard, an internal collar that seals in warmth, and an angled footbox.

Weight: 14 ounces or 1.3 pounds | Temperature rating: 32 or 18 degrees | Fill: 900-fill-power goose down with Nikwax fluorocarbon-free hydrophobic finish | Compressed stuff sack size: 6.3 x 12.6 inches or 7.1 x 14.2 inches

Best in Wet Conditions: Mountain Hardwear Phantom GORE-TEX Sleeping Bag 0F Down

Mountain Hardwear Phantom GORE-TEX Sleeping Bag 0F Down

Back Country

Why We Love It: Great for those who prefer not carrying a bivy or bivouac sack, this sleeping bag is lightweight, windproof, and highly water-resistant.

What to Consider: The goose down insulation is not hydrphobic.

A common problem for sleeping bags is handling rain or condensation (caused by morning dew or our body giving off a liter or more of water vapor overnight). Typically, synthetic bags perform better when wet. They dry quicker but they are not as warm. Some people carry a waterproof bivy bag into which they slip their sleeping bag and pad into. The Mountain Hardwear Phantom Gore-Tex, available in regular and long sizes, offers a great compromise if you don't like synthetic or carrying a bivy. The insulation is 850-fill-power goose down, protected by Gore-Tex Windstopper, which means it is highly water-resistant, windproof, and breathable (it's important that sleeping bags are breathable because if the shell was fully waterproof, then it would completely trap your body's water vapor inside the bag). Features include a full-length vertical baffle, which allows the bag to have high loft; an anti-snag zipper; extra length at bottom for anything you don't want to freeze; and extra room in the shoulders.

Weight: 1.4 pounds | Temperature rating: 0 degrees | Fill: 850-fill-power, RDS goose down | Compressed stuff sack size: 9.5 x 17 inches or 11.3 liters

Related: The Best Carry-on Backpacks

Tips for Buying a Sleeping Bag

Decide between down or synthetic — or buy a hybrid

Down has the highest warmth-to-weight ratio. Backpackers tend to prefer down sleeping bags because they are lighter and warmer. Shop for the down bag that has complex baffle construction (the stitching that prevents the down from clumping together) and is traceable, making sure that the birds who supply the down are not being force-fed or live-plucked. When wet, down loses all its insulation. It can also cause allergies and is expensive. Synthetics do not lose their ability to insulate no matter how wet they get. They are more affordable and they dry faster; however, they don't last as long as down, and they are heavier and bulkier. Hybrid sleeping bags combine both down and synthetic.

Don't worry too much about weight

Weight and size only become big factors if you are backpacking. In general, you don't want to carry anything heavier than 3 or 4 pounds on your back. Packability would also be important so that the bag doesn't take up too much room in your backpack. Otherwise, the bags are light enough that a bag on the heavier end won't cause too many issues.

Pay attention to temperature rating

You want to elect a sleeping bag that is rated to a temperature slightly below the conditions you will be camping in. In general, three-season bags are for warmer weather and range between 10-15 degrees and to 30-40 degrees. Winter sleeping bags are 10-15 degrees and lower. Summer or low-elevation sleeping bags are 30-40 degrees and above.

Marmot, Mountain Hardware, and The North Face use "EN" (European Norm) or "ISO" (International Organization for Standardization) ratings, which involve testing sleeping bags with a heated manikin and a R5+ insulated closed-cell foam sleeping pad. Some other ratings you'll see are EN Comfort (air temperature in which an average female can sleep comfortably through the night), which is comparable to ISO Comfort (cold sleepers), and EN Lower Limit (air temperature a standard male can sleep for eight hours without waking), which is comparable to ISO Limit (warm sleepers). Big Agnes, Feathered Friends, and Western Mountaineering set their own temperature ratings because studies have shown that the variability of the EN and ISO ratings have grown higher and higher over the years. If you're comparing two sleeping bags where one that is rated EN/ISO and the other is not, look at fill power. Note that the greater the measurement of loft, the higher the fill power, which means better insulation.

Much of the time, sleeping bags are mis-paired with sleeping pads that have a R-value of 3 or less. You'll want to make sure your sleeping pad matches or exceeds the insulation power of your sleeping bag because we all lose heat to the ground. Mike Glavin, the founder of Zenbivy, reminds us that "most cold nights are caused by an insufficient mattress, not the sleeping bag." All mattresses in Zenbivy's sleep system are insulated with an R-Value of 5+.

Ultimately, Juna Gates advises, "People should look for a sleeping bag that fits their bodies and their needs. Too often people will purchase a sleeping bag that's the absolute lightest weight or that received some award, only to take it out overnight and realize they're cold or uncomfortable because the sleeping bag is meant for a different climate or body type. Most manufacturers list sleeping bag dimensions, so people can look at measurements and consider if they have wider shoulders or want more room to pull up their knees while sleeping. In general, quality fabrics and high fill-power down make for a sleeping bag that will keep you warm for years longer than a lower quality one that will break down quicker."

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you wash a sleeping bag?

First, try not to wash your sleeping bag too often. On hot days, I use Sea to Summit Adaptor COOLMAX Liner with Insect Shield. On cold days, I use Patagonia Synthetic Liner Bag. The liner is a lot easier to clean than the sleeping bag, plus it adds additional warmth or protection from insects. Wear clean clothes before entering your bag, that way you are not tracking body oils or sweat.

Second, use a front-loading washer or a bathtub to wash your bag first with Nikwax's Down Wash Direct (designed for down) or Nikwax's Tech Wash (designed for synthetics). Note: Nikwax TX.Direct Wash-in Waterproofing can be used in a separate wash to restore water-repellency or breathability of a synthetic or waterproof sleeping bag. Mixing the products will coat your sleeping bags with sticky balls or a waxy residue. Be sure your washing machine thoroughly rinses the Techwash or Down Wash Direct away before adding TX. This has happened to us before, but fortunately you can mail your affected items to Nikwax and they will remove the residue.

Third, set your dryer to "air fluff" and dry your sleeping bags with tennis balls or dryer balls, especially if it's filled with down.

How do you pack a sleeping bag?

Do not compress a sleeping bag when you are storing it, because you will lose the down loft. Use the loose mesh bag that comes with your sleeping bag for storage and car camping. You only need to stuff the sleeping bag inside of a compression sack if you are backpacking. Once you set up camp, you'll want to open the self-inflating values on your sleeping pad and fluff your sleeping bag.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Leslie Hsu Oh, her husband, and four kids (16, 13, 9, and 5) test gear for Backpacker Magazine, Outside Magazine, REI, Sierra Magazine, and Travel + Leisure. Known for the extremes with which they will test gear and adventure travel with kids, such as snowmobiling with a 10-month-old across an ice-cap in Iceland, over a dozen active volcanoes, they have camped in Antarctica; climbed, hiked, kayaked, and white-water rafted through nearly all the national parks in the United States; and canyoneered in Jordan.

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