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Looking for an affordable sleeping bag? Our experts researched over 100 options, then purchased and tested the best 10 budget sleeping bags, putting them through a series of rigorous hands-on tests. From big things like warmth and comfort, down to little things like zippers and stitching, we thoroughly analyzed each bag's overall performance. The recommendations that follow should help you make sure that you find the best possible sleeping bag for your next adventure, whether it takes place in a national park, your backyard, or a living room couch.
Comfy camping requires more than just a sleeping bag. You will also need a tent to crash inside, a stove to cook your food, and some cookware to serve it in. And don't forget a cooler for your drinks and a chair to kick back in. Although these reviews focus on gear designed for car camping, we also have detailed reviews geared towards lightweight camping equipment for backpacking.
Editor's Note: This review was updated on June 8, 2022, to remove one discontinued model and add two new products.
The Redcamp Cotton Flannel is a gem in the field of budget-oriented sleeping bags. This bag offers a trifecta of warmth, comfort, and versatility in an overall spacious sleeping experience — and all of this at a reasonable price. It even sports a convenient velcro stash pocket to keep your phone warm (and holding a charge).
In our extensive testing, we found only minor annoyances. While the zipper passed our durability test, it is not the strongest we tested. Also, the bag's overall length will be too short for the tallest sleepers' shoulders, but at a measured length of 70 inches, it will be sufficient for many. Still, we love this bag. It is our favorite single-person bag, and you can easily turn it into a double bag by buying a second one and zipping them together.
If the perfect price is what you are looking for, the Oaskys 3-Season is an excellent deal. This sleeping bag's performance impressed us. Its rectangular shape is roomy, yet its stow size can be quite small, and the attached hood is a plus for colder nights. While there are definitely better sleeping bags out there, we didn't find any at this price.
The biggest drawback we found is the zipper, which can be finicky and failed towards the end of our durability test. You'll need to be careful when opening and closing to avoid issues with the zipper. Our testers also didn't love the polyester lining, generally preferring the softer flannel options. However, polyester is light and affordable. Despite these issues, we believe this bag could still be the best choice for those shoppers on the tightest budgets.
The Teton Sports Celsius XXL sets itself apart with luxurious dimensions and exceptional warmth. It was the widest single sleeping bag we purchased for testing, with a significant 39-inch width that does a lot to negate the common complaint that sleeping bags feel too confining. While most temperature ratings feel overly optimistic to us, this sleeping bag's 0°F rating seems pretty close to accurate. It's filled with hollow fiber insulation and has a draft collar and hood that help keep heat in. The Celsius XXL also features a brushed flannel lining, our lead tester's favorite.
There are some tradeoffs to consider with this bag's benefits. The ample insulation means the sleeping bag does not pack down small. You will need to have sufficient car and storage space. Also, its 0°F temp rating is likely to be too warm for many folks who like to camp in the summertime, making it better suited for those camping at high-elevation or in the spring, autumn, and some mild winter conditions. The Celsius XXL is an excellent deal when you're taking quality into consideration, but there are still less expensive bags out there that will meet most people's needs, especially when conditions don't merit the warmth of this bag.
The Teton Sports Mammoth is our top pick for those in the market for a great two-person bag. Like its cousin, the Teton Sports Celsius, it features our tester's favorite brushed flannel lining. This supple lining is combined with spacious interior dimensions to provide remarkable comfort. We also think it has plenty of insulation to live up to its 20°F temp rating. Finally, you can unzip this bag into two separate blankets if you find yourself getting sick of your sleeping mate.
The issues with the Mammoth are minor. The six drawcords used to adjust the hood and draft collar seem a bit excessive. We also worry it could be too warm for hot summer nights. Finally, the higher price tag may make some shoppers hesitate. If that's the case, you can save some money by picking up two Redcamp flannel bags and zipping them together to make a more affordable double bag.
Why You Should Trust Us
Lead tester and research analyst, Jack Cramer, has now tested and slept in more than 100 different sleeping bags, ranging from insomnia-inducing cheapos to ultra-premium, down-filled dreams. The knowledge gained from this formal testing dwarfs the experience one might gain from a lifetime of casual camping. For this review, we purchased every bag and brought them through a battery of tests. We measured and weighed each one, followed by repeated warmth testing in a temperature-controlled 48°F room and many nights inside tents. Zipper problems are a frequent complaint among more affordable bags, so we ran each bag's zipper back and forth 100 times to assess whether it had the strength to withstand long-term use.
Analysis and Test Results
To assess these budget sleeping bags in our hands-on comparison tests, we evaluated them across five metrics: warmth, comfort, versatility, features & design, and packed size. The performance in each is discussed below.
Although the performance of a sleeping bag is a huge part of a purchasing decision, we know value is also important. Fortunately, all of the sleeping bags in this review can be considered a decent value, especially compared to some of the sleeping bags designed for backpacking that cost several times as much. Among the products detailed here, we think the Redcamp Cotton Flannel offers the best value. Its comfort and build quality are at the top of the field, yet its price remains reasonable. If you're on the tightest of budgets, the Oaskys 3-Season is our best suggestion. However, we believe most people will be happier paying a little more to receive the superior performance of the Redcamp.
The whole idea of a sleeping bag is conceived around creating an insulated space to keep you warm. Blankets leave gaps where cold drafts can creep in. A closed bag seals them out. When executed well, you're left with a cozy cocoon at an ideal temperature for maximum rest and recovery.
Quantifying sleeping bag warmth is trickier than you might imagine. Generally, it is done by assigning a temperature rating, which is meant to indicate the temperature at which a specific sleeping bag will keep you warm. Although official standards have been devised for consistently measuring temp ratings, the added cost of independent testing means that it's not conducted for budget sleeping bags.
Therefore, the advertised temp ratings listed for all the budget sleeping bags in this review are chosen entirely by the manufacturer. Unfortunately, our testing found little consistency or reliability in these temp ratings between manufacturers. We observed bags with identical temp ratings feeling substantially different in terms of warmth.
It's also important to acknowledge that maximum warmth is not necessarily desirable. Sweating inside a warm bag can be just as unpleasant as shivering inside a cold one. Instead, it's best to match a bag's warmth with the anticipated temperatures. The Teton Sports Celsius XXL and Coleman North Rim Extreme were the warmest bags we tested, both with advertised 0°F ratings. The bags are best suited for the colder nights of spring or fall but could be sweltering on a warm summer night.
The Redcamp Cotton Flannel, the HiHiker Mummy, the Coleman Brazos, and the Teton Sports Mammoth provide a more moderate warmth. They all feature reasonably thick insulation but include additional venting possibilities for the hottest nights. A third grouping of cooler bags is the Sleepingo Double, the Kelty Catena 30, and the Oaskys Three-Season. The insulation on these bags is a little thinner. They should still be adequately warm in the summer but might get too cold during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. Finally, the Revalcamp Sleeping Bag supplies the least warmth of any bag we tested, but it's still a suitable choice for peak summer, indoor sleepovers, or RV camping.
There might be nothing more maddening than trying to fall asleep when you're uncomfortable. With their confined spaces, scratchy fabrics, and annoying drawstrings, sleeping bags have been the cause of more than a few campers' restless nights. When testing this group of bags, we endured all of these issues, and we're eager to share our findings so you won't have to do the same.
The lining of a bag is one of the most significant factors affecting comfort. Our testers unanimously agree that the soft feel of flannel is superior to the crinkliness of polyester or nylon. The Redcamp Cotton Flannel and both the Teton Sports bags are lined with similarly cozy flannel. The Coleman Brazos also features flannel, but its particular variety is prone to collecting dirt and sticks, which is sure to reduce your comfort. If you know you're not a fan of flannel, the Kelty Catena 30 has our favorite polyester lining.
The roominess of a bag is another significant influence on comfort. Most people are likely to find spacious dimensions more comfortable than overnight confinement. That's why our testers prefer the broader feel of rectangular bags over a tapered mummy shape. A mummy design is useful for trimming materials and weight in a bag intended for human-powered adventure. However, when car camping, ounces don't matter much, so we suggest that car campers go with a rectangular model.
Rectangular sleeping bags are not all the same size, but we generally found the manufacturers' listed dimensions to be accurate. Make sure the length is long enough for your height. Beyond that, wider bags will usually feel more comfortable. With 39 inches of width, the Teton Sports Celsius XXL is notable in this regard. Combined with its soft flannel, these wide dimensions lead us to consider it the most comfortable bag in this review.
Budget sleeping bags can be used for more than just sleeping, and it can be hard to predict the temperature of your next camping trip when purchasing a bag. For these reasons, we tried to evaluate each bag in terms of versatility. This is assessed based on the range of temps a bag can comfortably be used in and whether its design allows for other uses.
A sleeping bag's usable temp range is determined by an interplay between how well it can seal heat in versus how well it can let excess heat escape. While long zippers ensure you don't overheat on warmer nights, hoods and draft tubes enhance a bag's capacity to trap heat. The Oaskys Three-Season and Teton Sports Celsius are two of the best bags in this regard because they include the requisite features to adapt to a wide range of temperatures.
One of the most common alternative uses for a sleeping bag is to convert it into a blanket for lounging. Rectangular bags can usually accomplish this with ease, especially if the zipper extends around the foot of the bag. In contrast, mummy bags like the HiHiker or Coleman North Rim cannot unzip to become a fully flat blanket. Another perk of rectangular bags is that many models can be zipped together with a matching bag to create a two-person bag. This is easy to do with two Redcamp Cotton Flannel bags, which is one of many reasons why this model is our recommendation for an affordable double bag option.
Features & Design
The reality is that when price decreases, quality often does the same. This is certainly true for the top budget sleeping bags in this review. We believe the cheapest-built bags generally had the most delicate zippers and more glaring stitching mistakes. For example, in our zipper durability test, we ran each bag's zipper back and forth 100 times and observed substantial snagging and misalignment with the HiHiker Mummy, the Revalcamp, the Sleepingo, and the Oaskys bags. These models also happen to be some of the least expensive.
On the other end of the spectrum, we noticed burlier zippers and higher quality construction in the pricier models, particularly those from Teton Sports. The Redcamp and Coleman bags didn't feel quite as nice structurally but struck a good balance between quality and affordability.
Related to our observations on quality is the number of features each bag included. More expensive bags are likely to have draft tubes and neck baffles, which you are sure to appreciate on an unexpectedly cold night. Our favorite bags also come with interior stash pockets for storing a phone or headlamp. The Coleman, the Teton Sports, and the Redcamp bags all come with velcro stash pockets.
The flammability of mattresses and bedding materials is an understandable concern for many people. Regulations are particularly strict for camping tents sold in the US. Rules are generally looser for sleeping bags, but it's still common to see sleeping bags with law labels stating they meet the industry-standard fire resistance test (CPAI-75). The HiHiker, the Sleepingo, the Revalcamp, the Oaskys, and the Redcamp bags in this review do not clearly state whether they meet this standard. Unfortunately, GearLab does not possess the resources or expertise to conduct our own fire resistance testing. We can confirm the labels on the Teton Sports and the Coleman bags claim to meet fire resistance standards (CPAI-75).
When selecting a sleeping bag, a secondary characteristic to consider is how well it packs down and how much space it will take up. The packed sizes we measured generally corresponded with a sleeping bag's warmth—warmer bags were bulkier and colder bags packed smaller. The variation between similarly warm bags seems small enough that it shouldn't greatly influence a purchasing decision. However, there are two exceptions worth discussing.
Our favorite dedicated two-person bag is the Teton Sports Mammoth, but it is an absolute pain to pack. Its included stuff sack is borderline too small, and its narrow shape is unnecessarily inconvenient. If/when you finally get the bag inside the sack, it remains roughly two times larger than any other bag we tried. This probably won't be a huge problem for most people but could be a concern for those with limited space.
In contrast, the Revalcamp distinguishes itself with how impressively small it can stuff down. We measured its minimum volume at 8.5 liters, roughly half the size of its closest competitor. And with 2 pounds, 9 ounces of total weight, this bag is conceivably small and light enough to use for actual backpacking. We must temper this possibility by emphasizing that this bag barely meets its 40°F rating, and the consequences of breaking its fragile zipper miles from your car could be pretty harsh. Nevertheless, you would be hard-pressed to find a more affordable bag that's small enough to take backpacking.
There will never be one budget sleeping bag that's perfect for everyone. Every material and design decision comes with its own benefits and flaws. Add to that the myriad of uses people have for their sleeping bags, and there is no real hope of ever settling on a single bag above the others. Our hope is that the information provided in this review helps you obtain the ideal bag for you and your specific needs.
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