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Over the last decade, we've purchased 50 of the best camping sleeping bags, and this review puts 12 of this year's top models to the test. Our team has spent countless nights in the great outdoors scoring each bag's details and quirks side by side. Our road trips have landed us under the stars in national parks as well as dozens of common campgrounds from Alabama to Utah. We've spent hours examining each bag, prioritizing warmth, comfort, thoughtful features, spacious cuts, and more. For our take on how each bag ranks against one another, we compiled an extensive review aiming to help lead you to cozy, restful nights in the outdoors.
Whether you're living the van life full-time or stocking up for your first camping trip, there's a lot of essential gear to consider. We've tested almost everything you would need for your next camp trip and can recommend the warmest sleeping bag and the most functional backpacks to save you time and help you find the gear you need. If you find yourself overwhelmed by our vast selection of gear and aren't sure where to start, we recommend you take a look at our dream camping gear list. You'll find information and tips on everything from the best camping stoves for all your outdoor cooking needs to the best camping tents to nestle into at the end of the day.
Editor's Note: We updated this sleeping bag article on November 10, 2022, to include more details on our metric scoring process.
Claimed Temperature Rating: -10 F | Weight: 11.7 lbs
REASONS TO BUY
Warm and heavy
Cotton flannel liner
Thick canvas exterior
REASONS TO AVOID
Huge packed size
Too warm for some climates
Lacks a protective storage bag
The Alps Outdoorz Redwood is a massive rectangular camping sleeping bag with a rugged, vintage design. This bag measures head to toe with high-quality materials that keep you warm and comfortable. We were impressed from first glance, and after months of testing, our experts unanimously selected the Redwood as our favorite. We named it our top bag for several reasons: It's warm, plush, super comfortable, but also uber rugged and stylish. This bag feels almost like a weighted blanket when you slide inside. The general weight of the bag settled around us as if we were being hugged to sleep. The fabrics are soft, void of cool spots, and are virtually soundless during nighttime movement. We're big fans of the comfort and warmth of flannel liners in camping sleeping bags, and this model's got it.
Caveat: Though Alps Outdoorz lists a -10 Fahrenheit temperature rating on the Redwood, we would not recommend using this bag in our favorite tent at those temperatures. The bag is warm, but not that warm. We assume that they are listing the Extreme Limit for this sleeping bag with this rating. The Redwood has a large packed size, which may be a factor if you have limited space in your home, car, or trailer. It also rolls up bed-roll style, so it lacks the added convenience and protection of a separate stuff sack. It likely isn't the best for wet climates and is probably too warm for summer nights at low elevations. But for folks who want a super warm and cozy camping sleeping bag to make overnights in the outdoors luxurious, this durable bag is our favorite to recommend.
Claimed Temperature Rating: 20 F | Weight: 4.1 lbs
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Narrow and short
Not very water-resistant
Interior liner is very grabby
For six years running, the Coleman Brazos has reigned supreme as our favorite low-priced model. We are consistently impressed by this bag's ability to perform adequately against a long list of competitors, despite its simple design and cheaper price tag. When it comes to warmth, this bag can hold its own against bags that cost far more. It's ideal for families looking for first-time bags, price-conscious buyers, or just about anyone looking to save a buck.
While the Brazos is a great value purchase, it is a noticeable step down in comfort and quality compared to the top-shelf models we tested. This bag is quite narrow and short, so you'll probably want to look at some other options if you're broad-shouldered or above 6 feet tall. But for the average camper looking to spend a few nights under the stars each year, there aren't a lot of reasons to spend more when you can get the Brazos at this price.
Somewhat narrow, may feel too confining for some users
Polar fleece liner is grabby
Difficult to pack into its stuff sack
From its rugged outer shell to its warm fleece center quilt, Teton Sports Polara 3-in-1 is a stylish interchangeable bag that offers a wide range of customizable warmth. Each piece of the Polara is a separate and unique layer that can be added, removed, or interchanged, allowing it to be multiple bags in one. This layering system allows users to enjoy a more active role in how warm they want to stay in a wide variety of climates, temperatures, and seasons. It packs up much smaller and lighter than many of the sturdier bags in our review. It's warm, has lots of features and options, and, importantly, the Polara 3-in-1 is reasonably priced. On the list of good stuff are loops, snaps, zippers, pockets, drawstrings, and a detachable fleece liner. The Polara is a combination of your favorite on-the-couch movie blanket and a hardcore, cold-weather camping bag.
The Polara 3-in-1 is made from synthetic materials that we didn't find as cozy or comfortable as the top-of-the-line canvas designs. It does not provide the same cushy degree of luxury as many high-dollar bags. The Polara's interior liner and fleece blanket are soft and warm, but they're grabby compared to the smooth, flannel interior of some camping sleeping bags. However, it's a toasty bag with lots of innovative options, and our recommendation for those interested in the value found in the versatility of three bags in one.
Claimed Temperature Rating: 20 F | Weight: 8.8 lbs
REASONS TO BUY
Large hood keeps pillows in place and heads warmer
Extra-wide top quilt
Separate built-in individual quilts
Packs up easily
Easy to use U-shaped zipper system
REASONS TO AVOID
Lightweight fabric prone to snags
Does not unzip completely
The Kelty Tru.Comfort 20 Doublewide is our favorite two-person model. Many double bags are simply extra fabric, resulting in little more than a super large sleeping bag. However, the Tru.Comfort offers cuddlers an array of features aimed at providing more of a sleeping system. Individual, built-in blankets allow sleepers the ability to customize personal warmth preferences. A U-shaped, top-side zipper bypasses the foot box, allowing toes to stay warmer, while a massive hood keeps pillows in place and helps trap heat escaping from the top of the head. These features and other add-ons create one of the best systems we have seen to allow two sleepers independent customization of personal temperature. This bag is as large as a standard queen-sized bed.
This model is pricey. You can find two single bags to zip together for a wider two-person system at a lower overall cost, but then you'll be sacrificing the excellent features this bag offers. The Kelty Tru.Comfort's taffeta fabrics are very silky and ultra-soft but also seem prone to snags and small tears. Additionally, we feel the built-in individual quilts could be a bit wider. Minor qualms considered, this double bag is better than other two-person models we've tested in the past and currently.
Claimed Temperature Rating: 30 F | Weight 2.13 lbs (Long)
REASONS TO BUY
High performance down insulation
Packs up small
Rides fence between backpacking and car camping model
REASONS TO AVOID
The Kelty Galactic 30 takes the best features of the high-performance mummy and the traditional camping sleeping bag and blends them into one. Its rectangular shape is wide and non-restrictive and it's loaded with 600-fill down. These two features offer a near-perfect bag for campers desiring better-performing down insulation minus the cocooning nature of narrow mummy-shaped bags. The Galactic kept us warm down to 30 degrees F, and maybe a touch colder. It's lightweight, packs up nicely, and can be compressed even further in a compression sack. Whether you're a car camper or a weekend backpacker, the Galactic is worth a look if you prefer down fill but aren't a fan of constrictive mummy-style bags.
A rectangular bag filled with down is a rare find. This bag is perfect for the campground and can also be brought into the backcountry. However, its down insulation and increased capability come at a higher price. It doesn't pack down as small as many modern, mummy-shaped backpacking sleeping bags, and it also lacks some of the extra features often provided by car-camping bags. That said, this down-filled sleeping bag packs up small and is lightweight enough for short hike-in trips with ample warmth per ounce.
At the outset of our review, we wrote down every desirable feature found in a top camping sleeping bag and then narrowed those characteristics into four key performance areas or test metrics. Each metric was then weighted or assigned a factor based on relative importance. The most important (or more heavily weighted metrics) for us are warmth and comfort. Comfort was assessed by sharing the bag with multiple testers to garner diverse opinions. We also conducted specific tests involving ease of movement, bag dimensions, and natural padding. For warmth, we were able to test even more scientifically with an ice-block test, a laser thermometer, as well as side-by-side timed tests on the same chilly night. Features and packed size were the final performance areas of interest, and we broke features down into a list and rated each one. While a small packed size is nice, we ascribed the least importance to this metric.
Our testing of camping sleeping bags is divided across four different metrics:
Warmth (35% of overall score weighting)
Comfort (30% weighting)
Features (25% weighting)
Packed Size (10% weighting)
OutdoorGearLab Review Editor Jason Wanlass lives in a camping paradise. If not already in the outdoors, he's certainly busy planning his next adventure. He avidly gets after it at every opportunity, whether hiking, backpacking, or canyoneering. He also enjoys the open road and takes car-camping road trips whenever possible. Jason has hiked or backpacked throughout the Western U.S., including Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, California, Washington, Oregon, and Arizona. He more recently has turned his interest to exploring backwoods areas of the Deep South. When not on the trail, Jason enjoys the convenience and added luxury of car-camping and often enjoys a few days lounging about in campgrounds near the backpacking trails he's recently completed. In the last few years, he has turned some of his attention to the international scene, logging thousands of hours on trails in Iceland, Nepal, Slovenia, and the Patagonia Regions of Argentina and Chile. In total, he has 20 years of experience and extensive knowledge of camping and backcountry gear, including sleeping bags and sleeping systems.
During his most recent testing, Jason shoved the bed of his truck full of camping sleeping bags and hit the highways for several road trips throughout Utah, including its five national parks. Springtime in Alabama was also on his list, as he spent several days camping along the beautiful rivers and waterfalls of the South. He also spent some time testing products with family on many weekend warrior campouts in campgrounds, public lands, and even the back of a truck in the middle of Utah's high deserts.
Analysis and Test Results
Of the four metrics we tested, we devoted a large amount of our attention to determining each bag's warmth and comfort scores. When the sun goes down and the cool mountain air begins to settle, we are most concerned with whether the sleeping bag covering us is warm and comfortable. A bag can have lots of style and tons of different bells and whistles, but if it doesn't keep you toasty or swallow you up like your favorite down comforter, what's the point? For this very reason, we consider warmth the most important factor, followed closely by comfort. Read on to discover the sleeping bag that suits your needs best.
The individual metrics we assessed each bag across are important to a good night's sleep. They serve as a solid foundation in determining which bag is right for you. However, these metrics become the most helpful when you have a clear idea of the type of camping you plan to do. For example, the warmest bag may not be as important to you if you only camp in the summer or lower elevations where the air is warmer. In the end, the best camping sleeping bag for you is the bag that gives you the most value by matching your specific needs.
Our testing confirmed that shelling out three figures will generally get you a higher-performing bag. Most of the top bags we reviewed all fit in this price profile. So what exactly does the extra dough get you? In general, more warmth (i.e., more insulation), more features, and more comfort (i.e., higher quality materials and typically more spacious dimensions). All these things usually add up to costing more overall.
Products like the TETON Sports Deer Hunter and REI Co-op Siesta Hooded Sleeping Bag have some of the highest value because they balance warmth, comfort, features, and cost. However, you can usually get away with spending even less if you're planning on occasional use or use in warm summer temperatures. For example, the Coleman Brazos will likely suffice for camping at most elevations on a summer road trip and is one of the least expensive options we have ever tested.
When it comes to thermal insulation, it doesn't matter whether it's keeping something cool or something hot. We conducted several tests to determine each bag's ability to retain temperature. We figured if they could keep things warm, they should keep other things cold. We used laser thermometers to help us determine how each performed. Then we compared these results to information from our first-hand sleeping tests.
As anticipated, the Alps OutdoorZ Redwood handily outperformed all the rest, followed closely by the TETON Sports Polara 3-in-1, Teton Sports Deer Hunter, The North Face Dolomite One, and Coleman All-Weather Multi-Layer. The Redwood is just right. It is incredibly cozy and warm. We found it a challenge to want to unzip and get up for the day after sleeping in it. When comparing the warmest bags side by side, the Redwood led in warmth. It's also the only bag on our list with 100% cotton materials, providing a soft next-to-skin feel and by far the coziest experience. Cotton generally offers a more even temperature, resulting in fewer cold spots. Its heavier canvas external fabric also provides a tucked-in feeling that most of our testers love.
Despite having twice the amount of body heat, we were surprised to see none of the double bags we studied could match our warmest single bag's warmth. The one that came the closest is the Kelty Tru.Comfort 20 Doublewide. This bag employs a hooded design that traps heat around the head, helping it outperform hoodless bags like the Exped MegaSleep Duo handily.
The bags that surprised us the most were the Coleman Brazos and Coleman Kompact 20. Looking at the modest price tag of the Brazos, we expected to be quite underwhelmed by its performance. However, its warmth ratings outperformed several of the more expensive bags. It is nearly tied with bags like the Teton Sports Celsius XXL. Additionally, despite its basic design, the Coleman Kompact also lived up to its cold weather rating. We found this bag to be warmer than it looks. We were also very impressed with the Kelty Galactic — its warmth to weight ratio, in particular. The Galactic is one of just a few down-insulated car-camping bags on the market. Its feather interior allows it to be the lightest bag we tested and still one of the warmest. Finally, the bag that disappointed us the most in this metric is the Exped MegaSleep Duo. Its microfiber insulation simply did not keep us as warm as we had hoped. The bag is still incredibly warm when compared to its overall size, weight, and volume. Based on our testing, it was not as warm as its rating.
Ever felt trapped and uncomfortable in a sleeping bag? When you're already far from the comforts of home, it's appreciated when your sleeping bag can increase your level of comfort. That's why we tested all of our bags for more than one type of comfort.
We squirmed back and forth in each bag for weeks to find out which one allowed for the easiest tossing and turning, which fabrics felt the best against our skin, and which bag had the most natural plush padding. We combined all of our data to determine the most comfortable bags.
The Alps OutdoorZ Redwood is the most comfortable out of the single bags, followed by the Teton Sports Deer Hunter, TETON Sports Polara 3-in-1, and Coleman Multi-Layer. The Multi-Layer has removable layers of padding and soft fabrics, as does the Polara 3-in-1. However, the two most comfortable single bags on our list are the Redwood and Deer Hunter. Both are oversized, traditional canvas bags with tons of space and padding. When comparing the two side by side, the Redwood is more comfortable because of its fabrics. It's lined with cotton flannel and enveloped in a cotton canvas shell. These materials are weighty, soft, and very comfortable. It's also very spacious, eliminating the claustrophobic feeling of narrower bags on the market. The Deer Hunter is constructed of synthetic fabrics that are silky smooth and comfortable, but there is a distinct difference between the two bags. The Deer Hunter simply cannot provide the same comfort level as cotton materials found on the Redwood.
Of the two-person bags we tested, the Kelty Tru.Comfort is the largest and most comfortable double bag on our list. The Exped MegaSleep Duo 25 Double is designed to be very thin. It has virtually no padding, but it is very easy to move and twist while inside. Our biggest complaint is its lack of padding and its silky interior and exterior fabrics. The fabrics feel super nice on the skin, but they seem to soak up the cold, creating multiple icy spots outside and inside the bag.
The Coleman Brazos suffers a bit in comfort. Its interior is less comfortable than its competition and tends to grab onto a tossing and turning sleeper, ending up a bit twisted in the middle of the night. The bag is also a bit small and confining. Likewise, with the Coleman Kompact 20, shares the same dimensions and grabby interior as the Brazos. If you're taller than 5 feet, 11 inches, or have a larger frame, you probably won't be comfortable in the Kompact. Still, for the odd night camping in parks, backyards, or bedding for a couch-surfing friend, either bag will suffice.
Car camping bags tend to have many features, which we found to be true with the models we tested. We inspected everything from the zipper function to how well they roll up. The following list is what we liked and disliked about the bags' features.
Alps OutdoorZ Redwood
Real cotton flannel liner, real canvas shell, Velcro zipper closure, double-sided zipper draft tube, drawstring around the opening, unzips and opens up, excellent zippers, excellent craftsmanship
TETON Sports Polara 3-in-1
Removable fleece liner, two interior pockets, compression stuff sack, ample zipper and shoulder baffles, water-resistant shell
Quality zipper baffle, vented storage bag, two-sided design, can be unzipped and made into two individual bags, water-resistant shell
Coleman Kompact 20
Patented ZipPlow zipper design prevents snags, interior pocket, two-strap compression stuff sack, bag liner is separate from insulation and shell which keeps heat in
Alps OutdoorZ Redwood
Should be hand-washed and preferably line-dried, no interior pocket, not water-resistant
TETON Sports Polara 3-in-1
Must be washed by hand and left flat to dry, zipper catches at times
Coleman All-Weather Multi-Layer
Thinner shell fabrics may be prone to wear, shell is not water-resistant
Teton Sports Deer Hunter
Must be hand-washed and line dried, no full-length zipper, bag cannot be opened up and placed flat, not very water-resistant
Down insulation requires specific cleaning detergent and instructions, no drawstring around top opening, no Velcro zipper closure
Kelty Tru.Comfort 20 Doublewide
Built-in side quilts are too narrow to fit over body effectively
REI Co-op Siesta Hooded Sleeping Bag
Hood cinches up a little strange, interior pocket should have a Velcro closure
The North Face Dolomite One
Zipper system is a little difficult, opening in the footbox lets in cold air
TETON Sports Celsius XXL
Zipper snags at times, strict washing instructions — requires hand washing and needs to be left flat to dry
No shoulder baffle, small overall dimensions, shell is not water-resistant
Exped MegaSleep Duo 25 Double
Drawstring system for top opening is strange and not very intuitive
Coleman Kompact 20
Bag dimensions are small, draft tube along zipper is quite thin, difficult to place into stuff sack, compression sack needs four straps instead of two
Traditional camping sleeping bags are known to be a little big-boned, so packed size was not a complete deal-breaker for us. But, space is rarely unlimited, so we rated each bag according to its stowed size.
Does the bag fit in its designed storage bag? We also questioned whether it fits easily into its storage bag. Most of the bags fit effortlessly into their storage bag. Testing determined that the Teton Sports Celsius XXL and Coleman All-Weather Multi-Layer required a bit of elbow grease to stuff them back into their sacks.
Additionally, we determined whether each bag could legitimately fit on or in a backpack and whether its weight was acceptable to carry. In a pinch, could one double as a backcountry bag on a multiple-day backpacking trip? Although this feature isn't a necessity for most car campers, it's still a nice feature. We found a few that could fit the bill.
The lightest in our test was the Kelty Galactic. Weighing 2.3 lbs, the Galactic is a very lightweight bag among the rectangular, traditional car-camping models. It's not exactly built for backpacking, but it also packs down small enough that we would certainly consider it for short hike-in campsites. Most will find it more comfortable than a mummy-style sleeping bag and easily worth it when your camping goal is a few miles from the car. It does the job in a pinch or for a beginner who doesn't want to invest a lot of money on a quiver of multiple sleeping bags. We were also stunned by the packed size of the Exped MegaSleep Duo 25 Double. This two-person bag has a smaller packed size than all of the double and single bags we've ever tested — that's a lot of bags. Both the Galactic and the MegaSleep can be placed in a compression stuff sack and reduced even smaller. The North Face Dolomite One comes in several packed sizes, depending on the layering system you choose. Compared to others we tested, the entire 3-in-1 system packs up relatively small. If only the top 50-degree quilt is attached, this bag's packed size is dramatically reduced.
We were somewhat disappointed with the Coleman Kompact 20 stuff sack. It's designed to be a compression sack, which allows the user to reduce the size of the stored bag. However, the compression sack only comes with two straps, instead of the industry standard of four straps. This greatly reduces the ability to compress the bag if trunk or storage space is an issue.
Throughout our review and testing tent side, we didn't give these camping sleeping bags any leeway. Regardless of price or prestige, we held all to high standards and the same test methods. We researched and tested for what we would want to know if we were buying these bags for ourselves. In the end, we hope our efforts benefit you in your decision-making and camping gear kit.
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