If you want a decent bag for a bargain price and are willing to sacrifice long-term durability, the Cabin Max Metz and nearly identical AmazonBasics Carry-On are remarkable for their low price and efficient pocket layouts. While it felt warmer than most 30F, the 25F rating is pushing it.
No sense limiting yourself to just one kind of bag. While most bags with that kind of versatility are either bursting with too many pockets or are so slender you can't fit much inside, somehow, the 3-Way is both cavernous and slim. It's got pockets and pouches for days, includes a cushy sleeve for a laptop and roomy external pockets with enough space for spare clothes, books, gear -- basically whatever you need.
It bunkers your stuff inside poreless nylon fabric, and the stitching is sealed tight with high-frequency welded seams. There's no dedicated pocket for a laptop but CampLand includes a inch sleeve with the pack. And a lifetime warranty guarantees this bag will survive any camping, kayaking, or spelunking trip you dive into. The simple black messenger bag, but better.
Cool Bell riffs on the shoulder-bag shape by crafting in two outside pockets with enough storage to hold every tool in your daily carry arsenal. Cool Bell says the main pocket area can store 3 days of clothes, even with a We like the canyon-colored shoulder and hand straps and the matching brown leather accents on the buckles, strap covers, zipper tags.
But what do we love the most? The Everki Titan is a beast. With a liter capacity and almost comical number of compartments, the Titan is designed for people who like to travel with all of their belongings. Along with multiple interior and exterior pockets, the Titan comes with an external accessories pouch. The Titan can house all of your electronics, including game consoles, in its zippered media compartment.
It has an Everki crafted the Titan with an attention to detail you don't find in other backpacks. For example, the zippers are metal, the interior lining is high contrast so it's easier to stay organized, and there's even a water-resistant poncho that keeps the exterior and interior of the backpack dry. Don't be fooled by its size, the Titan is surprisingly nimble. It has a degree Checkpoint-friendly design so you can fly through airport security and never miss a flight.
The backpack should provide enough juice to charge your phone or tablet from empty to full at least once. Better yet, unique straps make cable management a breeze, and you can remove the portable battery from the bag altogether, should you need it on the go.
Making the Traveler the ultimate tech bag is its TSA-friendly compartment that fits There's nothing wrong with flaunting a designer brand every now and then. But just because this backpack has Kenneth Cole on the side doesn't mean its attributes are skin deep. It offers all the compartments you could ask for, including a padded top pocket for sunglasses and a front slot with a mesh zipper pocket.
The Brooklyn Commuter comes in three color options: No matter which option you choose, you'll be looking fresh carrying this stylish backpack around. Feminine, useful and budget-friendly, the Solo Executive Ultrabook Tote is a triple threat.
The khaki polyester exterior with faux-leather accents will look at home in any boardroom, while the inch laptop compartment and inch tablet pockets will make sure you're properly equipped for your big meetings.
The tapered top, zippered pocket keeps the overall look simple and elegant. This behemoth backpack is designed for neat freaks who want to keep their things organized in separate spaces. The Renegade RSS fits most inch laptops and even has a separate tablet compartment. For your tech, there is a crush-resistant pocket and another padded pocket for a mouse or camera.
Most importantly, a side slot is designed for you to quickly access and store your smartphone. Osprey is best known for its lightweight outdoor gear, but many of its products make for great school or work bags.
The FlapJack for men and FlapJill for women messenger bags are a great fit for students, travelers or business professionals. Technophiles will appreciate their ample padding for protecting up to a inch laptop and there is loads of storage space for chargers and peripherals.
One of our favorite features is a hidden compartment under the handle, which is perfect for passports, money or credit cards when you're walking through large crowds. On the outside are a zipper pocket and side water bottle holder. Made of polyspun fabric, the Osprey Courier bags are lightweight and durable. They come in four colors: If messenger bags aren't your thing, Osprey offers a traditional FlapJack backpack. The Command may look like a standard messenger bag, but its secrets are revealed once you open it up.
Inside is an oasis for all of your gadgets and supplies, where there's plenty of space and enough compartments to keep everything organized. Folks who prefer not to stand out will appreciate the Timbuk2 Command's understated design. It has a clean, industrial appearance that's professional but not snobbish. Other things we like about the Command are its zipper pocket for power bricks, smartphones, and other small gadgets, and a waterproof flap for rainy commutes to work.
The Command is available in a dozen different colors, so you're bound to find something that fits your preferences. You can buy a lighter or a more comfortable bag but not much lighter or much more spacious; and, no other model combines these two performance characteristics as well. The MegaLite is just a solid all-around performer. While there are many great backpacking sleeping bags out there, the MegaLite is the best of the best.
When Marmot recently updated their sleeping bag line with the new Phase series, they certainly didn't pull any punches anywhere quality was a concern.
This new line easily is one of the nicest sleeping bag lines currently on the market. Both the Marmot Phase 20 and Phase 30 see below are top-notch models. This combination equates to one of the lightest and most compressible bags for their warmth currently available. A bonus is that the bag has an exceptionally well-designed hood and sports some of silkiest feeling internal fabrics we've tested. The Phase topped our rating metrics in almost every category, and was just a hair below our Editors' Choice winner.
The only tiny thing is our review team didn't care too much for was the zipper, which is small and easily one of the most prone to catching.
The shoulder and hip girths 60" and 59" respectively are in line with other performance-oriented mummy bags. It's also on the expensive end of the spectrum, but it sure does deliver for the price, and it's the lightest 20F-rated model in our review.
It's a superb balance of quality, fairly low weight, solid compressibility, and performance for a pretty unbeatable price. The only thing worth noting is our testers didn't find the Igneo lived up to its stated temperature rating. While it felt warmer than most 30F, the 25F rating is pushing it.
The 60" shoulder width is about average, tapering to 55" at the hips, and the legs felt unnecessarily tight. We did love some of the little features though, like the durable shell and non-snagging zipper. Overall, this is a stand-out backpacking sleeping bag, with solid materials, specs, packed size, and a respectable down-fill, all for an excellent price.
REI Co-op Igneo The affordable, yet reasonably light and compressible Kelty Cosmic Down 20 , also won our Best Buy award for those on a tight budget. This bag is far more durable and compressible than it's similarly priced synthetic insulated counterparts and offers beginning or budget-conscious backpackers an exceptional value. It's about a pound heavier than other degree bags in our review, so you'll have to ask yourself what's more important: And even though it's rated to 20F, it wasn't that warm, so if you are a cold sleeper or usually camp in lower temperatures, you'll want something warmer; for most backpackers, it is more than adequate.
Otherwise, everyone on a budget should consider the Cosmic Down 20 and pocket the savings. If you are backpacking in warm summer conditions and want to shave a few more ounces, check out the Kelty Cosmic Down 40 as well. Kelty Cosmic Down However, what truly sets the Hyper Cat apart from most other synthetic bags is how incredibly small it packs down and how lightweight it is for its temperature rating 1 lb 14 oz.
It's lighter and more compressible than several down bags we tested, and it even has roomier than average dimensions. All of our testers loved its half-length center zipper that still allowed plenty of ventilation on warm nights; it was also just plain easier to use.
This wasn't a particularly warm-for-the-rating bag, and there is noticeably less insulation in the legs than in other models.
That's fine though if you always use a pad underneath you, and it's probably how it achieves some of the additional weight savings and compressibility compared to other synthetic models. If you're looking for a synthetic bag, whether for wet conditions, animal rights concerns, or you have allergies to down and want one of the highest performing synthetic bags out there, the Hyper Cat is your bag. It is worth noting that the Mountain Hardwear HyperLamina Spark 35 is another fantastic option that, while not as warm, is more packable and slightly lighter 1 lb 12 oz.
The North Face Hyper Cat The Western Mountaineering UltraLite is an extremely toasty bag. By far the warmest model in our review, it was noticeably toastier than the other contenders we tested with a 20F rating. Even more impressive is that, despite being warmer than other similarly rated models, it was incredibly lightweight and compressible.
It packs down pretty small in its stuff sack, but we were able to get it a third smaller with a good compression bag. If you're on a trip where weight and pack space are your highest priority, but you need or want something more significant than an ultralight quilt, the Marmot Phase 30 is hard to beat.
It weighs only 1. It's a half to a full pound lighter than most bags with a similar temperature rating. The Western Mountaineering SummerLite is perfect for any backcountry adventure where pack space and every ounce carried is at a premium.
This model is designed to be as warm, light, and as compressible as possible without sacrificing any basic functionality but certainly won't win many buyers in the comfort-first crowd. It is among the very lightest models in our review but remains reliably warm. For more casual all-around applications this bag is okay, but for long-range missions or summer alpine climbing where every ounce matters this bags warmth to weight ratio is tough to beat.
The 3-season Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed bag has a unique design, creating one of the more comfortable and bed-like feels of any sleeping bag we have ever tested. This degree contender does not have any zippers or Velcro flaps; instead, it has a huge U-shaped opening covered by a down flap, which acts as a quilt.
The best part is the unmatched freedom of movement for your upper extremities, making tummy or side sleepers, who may tuck their arms under a pillow or jacket, about as comfy as possible. There's also a lower opening for your feet, so if they need to "breathe" at night for you to sleep well, you can pop them out of the bag with ease. It also has a sleeve for your sleeping pad, which helps keep you on your pad if you toss and turn a lot.
This bag has so many features that it's hard to list them all. On the downside, it's not a very warm bag. While it worked well at its 35F rating, on colder nights you'll want something warmer. It weighs just under 2 pounds, which is excellent, but not that light for a 35F bag. Finally, this bag doesn't compact that well. These points might all be mute if you dread "sleeping" in a sleeping bag. The Backcountry Bed gives you the feeling of home on the trail, and we loved how comfortable it was.
Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed The NEMO Disco 30 is one of our favorite models currently available that is geared towards comfort but is still light and functional enough to take into the backcountry.
The Disco 30 is easily one of the most comfortable backpacking sleeping bags on the market and is a notable for tummy, side, and high knee sleepers. The Disco's unique hour-glass shaped variation on a traditional semi-rectangular design coupled with roomy dimensions allowed for the most unencumbered movement of its occupants lower extremities.
The Mountain Hardwear Phantom Spark 28 is quite the fireball of three season bag, and our testers found it closer in warmth to most 25F rated models than most 30F. What impressed us further was despite how warm the Phantom Spark is, it provided remarkably low weight and a minimal compressed volume, outperforming many of those same 30F models.
The Phantom Spark archives this impressive warmth to weight ratio with a slim, thermally efficient dimensions, high quality down fill, and a review thin 10D shell. Despite the thin shell as long as regular care was taken, you could expect a few decades or more of use out of this notably solid all-around bag. Mountain Hardwear Phantom Spark Your sleeping bag is likely the most important insulating layer that is carried on any overnight wilderness excursion and likely provides the best warmth-to-weight ratio of anything in your pack.
Most importantly, except for shelters, sleeping bags have more impact on pack weight and available space than almost any other piece of gear or clothing in your pack. Investing in a quality backpacking sleeping bag that is suited to your needs has a significant impact on how good a night's rest you get and subsequent, your backcountry adventure.
Besides backpacking and mountaineering, sleeping bags are also the bed of choice for car campers, travelers, and couch surfers.
We rated each bag on its warmth, weight, packed size, features, and versatility. We packed and unpacked them, zipped and unzipped them, and of course, slept in all of them to evaluate their comfort, assess their dimensions, and compare any other features they may have. You can read our comparisons of each testing metric below. This year, we've updated our existing review to include several new, and innovative models and compared them to previous award winners. If you're on a budget, check out the table below.
It shows you each model's overall score on the X-axis , versus its retail price on the Y-axis. Not surprisingly, there's a gradual upward curve, where score tends to increase with price.
This isn't always the case - we often come across overly-expensive outdoor items that don't live up to the hype, or price tag. Conversely, sometimes a "budget" pick works just as well as a more expensive counterpart.
With backpacking sleeping bags, a higher price tag usually comes from a higher-quality fill and lighter materials, which all drive up the cost. When looking for a good value pick check out the bags that lie to the right of the graph higher score , but towards the bottom lower price. Warmth is more-or-less directly related to the amount of loft AKA insulation a bag has, measured in the thickness of the insulation between you and the external environment.
Except for loose fitting bags, which are far less thermally efficient, more volume of insulation not necessarily weight equals more warmth in the majority of cases. Fit or the cut of the bag is the next most important factor in determining warmth. Models that are too tight or too short won't allow the insulation to loft up correctly, and as a result, you may feel colder when pressed against specific areas.
More importantly, if a bag is too large or its dimensions are too roomy, it will take longer for your body heat to warm all the drafty dead air spaces. Conversely, depending on the external temperature your body heat will be spread to thin and you'll feel cold with a wide cut, thermally inefficient bag even though on paper it might have more insulation than a narrower cut model.
Some bags tested in this review, such as the Western Mountaineering UltraLite and SummerLite , have tighter interior dimensions, resulting in slimmer feeling cuts. Not to fear, most broad-shouldered folks can still at least wear a lightweight jacket while sleeping inside these bags.
The rest of the bags we reviewed are wider dimensionally speaking, and a majority of people could wear a mid-weight jacket or two to boost insulation on colder nights.
It's worth noting that Western Mountaineering sleeping bags are available in multiple lengths and widths, which is a huge advantage because you can get a bag that fits your body well. Look at the foot, hip, and shoulder circumference to compare dimensions for unisex bags. We've included these measurements in the specification tables found in each review when available from the manufacturers.
The warmest contenders for their respective temperature rating were the high-quality down bags from Western Mountaineering, notably the MegaLite , and SummerLite and Ultralite. The Marmot Phase 20 followed closely behind the models mentioned above. The thinner insulation and sewn through the design of the Patagonia offers less protection from the elements. The lack of a draft tube allows more cold air inside the bag, leaving it less toasty than others.
It's worth noting that warmth is also heavily influenced by conductive heat loss to the ground. Choosing an appropriate sleeping pad is essential, especially in colder conditions or when sleeping on snow. Our Best Sleeping Pad Review will point you in the right direction for a warm, comfortable pad. Choosing the right backpacking tent or ultralight shelter for your trip will also influence the perceived warmth of a sleeping bag. Keep in mind that warmth degrades over time, especially if the bag is not cared for.
We recommend educating yourself on proper storage and care. The backpacking sleeping bags in the review were tested in traditional backpacking tents, single wall tents, silk-nylon tarps, and under the open sky during open bivies above tree-line and while sleeping on exposed alpine ridges.
See the Buying Advice on how standardized testing has helped or hurt! Keep in mind that EN comfort ratings are conducted in a lab and not real-world conditions. That helps explain how two bags rated 30 degrees can not have the same warmth in the real world.
The weight metric is simple as we compared how much each model weighed. Models with the same temperature rating tipped the scales differently mostly due to insulation type, amount, and quality, shell material, bag dimensions and features. In general, heavier bags use either synthetic insulation or lower fill-power down A bag's cut and its overall dimensions also play a major factor in the weight, as a slimmer cut bag has less overall materials, is more thermally efficient, and thus offers slightly less insulation for a given weight.
At 1 pound 1. While it wasn't the warmest 30F bag we tested, it's suitable for most backpacking and summertime mountaineering trips. The Western Mountaineering SummerLite was only a little over an ounce heavier but was noticeably warmer if our testers could quantify it we would call it 5F warmer than the Phase The SummerLite was able to do with by sporting slightly more insulation and slimmer internal dimensions. If you run on the cold of 30F, we'd recommend the Mountain Hardwear Phantom Spark 28 , which was as warm as several of the 25F models but only weighed 1 lbs 6.
What is impressive is both the Marmot Phase 20 and the Western Mountaineering MegaLite are less than two ounces heavier and are still warmer. The MegaLite 1 lb 8 oz offers a full-length zipper, is comparable warmth to the Spark III but is much more spacious but still efficient dimensions. While the Marmot Phase 20 was light, it's worth noting that the Western Mountaineering UltraLite was warmer and one of the lightest in our review at 1 lb 13 oz.
In addition to being incredibly lightweight, all of these models also scored a 10 out of 10 for warmth. Comfort is a subjective category that depends on a combination of internal dimensions, a given users sleeping style, and a bags interior fabric. Increasing the size of the bag's internal dimensions to a point allows for a "more comfortable" bag for most, as the user has more room to move around and spread out.
This trait becomes even more important for users who prefer to sleep on their sides or stomachs. How worth it is having more internal space? The answer is certainly not linear. As a bag is made larger, manufacturers will need to add more material and insulation to maintain the same warmth, with the primary disadvantage coming in weight and packability.
In addition to having the space for sprawling and thrashing, our ratings focus on which features will contribute to, or detract from comfort.
Insulation type influences comfort; all of our testers agreed that sleeping in a high-quality down bag is like floating on a super light cloud while zipping into a synthetic model is fine, but no-doubt less heavenly. The Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed was the most comfortable bag in our review, with the semi-rectangular Nemo Disco 30 being a very close second and the Western Mountaineering MegaLite ranking third.
First the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed , which provided our testers with the most bed-like feel of any backpacking sleeping bag we have ever seen. The Backcountry Bed doesn't have a single zipper or Velcro flap of any kind. Instead, it's designed with a large "U"-shaped opening that is covered with a down flap. This down flap acts and feels like a quilt. This not only helps regulate temperature exceptionally well but also offers unmatched freedom of movement in the user's upper extremities.
Best of all, this model weighs a respectable 1 pound 15 ounces.
Analysis and Test Results
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