To find the best, we purchased the top 11 sleeping bags of 2020 for side-by-side testing. With 8 years and 47 total products under our belt, we're confident in our ability to help you decide. Our team has logged an overwhelming number of nights outside to score every detail and quirk. We've prioritized warmth, thoughtful features, spacious cuts, and more in both single and two-person models. For our take on how each bag ranks against one another, we've compiled an extensive review to help you determine which contender will provide a cozy, restful night, wherever the adventure leads you.Related: The Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags of 2020
The Best Sleeping Bags for Camping of 2020
Best Overall Sleeping Bag
ALPS OutdoorZ Redwood
There are three words that do not exist in the Alps OutdoorZ Redwood language: Cold, uncomfortable, or dainty. Like the renowned tree it's named for, this bag is built to weather just about anything, including a decade or more of outdoor adventures. At first glance, we had a hunch it was the one, and after months of testing, our experts unanimously selected the Redwood as our favorite. It's our favorite bag for several reasons. It's warm, uber comfortable, very plush, and super rugged and stylish. We love the weightiness of this bag as we slipped inside; it settles around our bodies as if to hug us to sleep. One word (or half a word) effectively sums up this bag — legit.
Earning our king-of-the-hill status usually means very few negatives. Such is the case with the Redwood. It packs up large, which may be a factor if you live in or drive something with very limited space. Cotton tends to absorb water and hold onto it, giving this bag virtually no water resistance. Additionally, it may be a little too warm for warmer weather camping, super humid summertime climates, or lower altitudes. But for most folks who want a super warm and cozy sleeping bag to make overnights in the outdoors cozy, this durable bag is our favorite to recommend to you and all our friends.
Read review: Alps OutdoorZ Redwood
Best Bang for Your Buck
Kelty Callisto 30
If you're searching for a quality bag with a modest price tag, stop now. The Kelty Callisto 30 fulfills most car camping needs without emptying your wallet. This bag is the perfect blend of quality and price. It offers warmth, comfort, and lifetime-warranty workmanship. If you like to watch your budget, what more could you want?
This polyester bag lacks some of the cush and coziness of flannel-lined models. We're also skeptical that many people will truly be comfortable sleeping in this bag at 30F without significant extra layers. Then again, not many people choose to camp in temps this low. When comparing its design and overall quality with its intended types of use, we found no real faults with the Callisto. It fits the bill for bargain shoppers and a great deal of camping needs.
Read review: Kelty Callisto 30
Best Value on a Tight Budget
The Coleman Brazos is the least expensive bag on our list, but when it comes to warmth, this bag can hold its own against name brand bags that cost far more. This bag is perfect families, price-conscious buyers, or anyone else looking to save a buck.
While this bag is a great value-purchase, it is a noticeable step down in comfort and quality compared to top-shelf models we tested. This bag is narrow and short, so if you're broad-shouldered and above 6 feet, you definitely want to make another selection. 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 this bag at this price.
Read review: Coleman Brazos
Best 3-in-1 Versatility
TETON Sports Polara 3-in-1
Being best at nearly everything is hard to achieve, but the Teton Sports Polara 3-in-1 has certainly come close to pulling it off. As a result, it is near the top of our list of camping sleeping bags, and a top choice for overall versatility and cost. Its layering options allow it to be several bags in one. 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, and drawstrings, and a detachable fleece liner. The Polara is a perfect combination of your favorite on-the-couch movie blanket and a hardcore, cold-weather camping bag.
The Polara 3-in-1 is made from cheaper to produce, synthetic materials than top of the line canvas designs, and will not reach the cush luxury of many high dollar bags. The Polara's interior liner and fleece blanket are incredibly soft and warm, but they're grabby when compared to the smooth, flannel interior of some sleeping bags. However, it's a toasty bag with lots of innovative options, and our recommendation for those looking into the value having three bags in one.
Read review: Teton Sports Polara 3-in-1
Best for Down
Kelty Galactic 30
Do you love how down insulation performs but don't like feeling like a human chimichanga while sleeping in a tight-fitting mummy bag? We introduce to you the Kelty Galactic 30. Insulated with 600-fill high performance down, we feel this bag stays warmer than its 30-degree rating. 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, if you like down, but don't like constrictive mummy-style bags, you may have just found sleeping bag nirvana.
A rectangular bag filled with down is a rare find. This bag is perfect for the campground and can be brought into the backcountry, too, for double duty. But, it's not the cheapest option. Down is simply a more expensive material than synthetic insulation. This bag also comes with little extras that car-camping bags often provide. That said, this is a sweet, fluffy cocoon that our testers reached for time and time again.
Read review: Kelty Galactic
Best Two-Person Model
Kelty Tru.Comfort 20 Doublewide
It's more than just two bags zipped together, which made the Kelty Tru.Comfort 20 Doublewide 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 tons of extra features, making it 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 to trap heat escaping from the top of the head. These features and more create a system that is one of the best we've seen at allowing two sleepers the ability to customize their personal warmth preferences without interfering with the other — all in a bag that is a large as a standard queen-sized bed.
This bag is pricey. You can certainly 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 awesome features this bag offers. The Kelty.Tru's Taffeta fabrics are very silky, which make them ultra soft, but 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 clearly better than other two-person models we've tested in the past and currently.
Read review: Kelty Tru.Comfort 20 Doublewide
Why You Should Trust Us
OutdoorGearLab Review Editor Jason Wanlass, a Utah resident, 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 taking road trips. He has hiked or backpacked throughout Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, California, and Arizona. 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 conquered. In the last few years, Jason has turned some of his attention to the international scene, logging thousands of hours alone on trails in Iceland, Nepal, and the Patagonia Regions of Argentina and Chile. In total, He has 20 year's extensive knowledge of camping and backcountry gear, including sleeping bags and sleeping systems.
The testing ground for this review was typical of Jason's outside life. These bags took a giant road trip through Utah's five national parks: Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands, as well as a few camping trips to some obscure areas of Utah's Rocky Mountains. At the end of the road, there was solid data.
We decided on four essential performance areas rated on relative importance. The most important are warmth and comfort. Comfort was assessed by sharing the bag with multiple testers to garner diverse opinions. With warmth, we were able to test even more scientifically with an ice-block test, and side-by-side timed tests on the same chilly night. In both tests, we utilized a laser thermometer. 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 relative to final scores.
Related: How We Tested Camping Sleeping Bags
Analysis and Test Results
Of the four metrics we tested, we care about two of them the most. 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 a zillion 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 weighted our warmth scores the most heavily, followed closely by comfort.
The individual metrics we studied (Warmth, Comfort, Features, Packed Size) are very important. They serve as a healthy foundation in determining which bag is right for you. However, these metrics become the most helpful to you when you have a clear idea of the type of camping you plan to do. For example, the bag with the highest scores for warmth, may not be as important to you if you only camp in the summer or in lower elevations where the air is warmer. In the end, the best sleeping bag for you is the bag that gives you the most value by matching your specific needs.
In this category, 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 (through more insulation), more features, and more comfort (higher quality materials and typically more spacious dimensions). All these things add up to costing more overall.
Products like the Kelty Callisto 30 have some of the highest value because they balance warmth, comfort, features, and cost. However, for occasional use, or in friendly summer temperatures, you can usually get away with spending much less. For example, the Kelty Callisto will absolutely suffice for camping across America on a summer road trip. And for a basic bag at a basement price, the Coleman Brazos is surprisingly warm and works fine for occasional use.
When it comes to thermal insulation, it doesn't matter whether it's keeping something cool or something hot, it all works the same way — by trapping temperature in dead air space.
We used this concept to try a little reverse psychology on each bag. We figured if they could keep things (us) warm, then they should be able to keep other things (a large block of ice) cold. If our theory proved correct, the warmest bags should also keep a massive block of ice the coldest. Our hunch was right.
In short, we conducted several tests to determine each bag's ability to retain temperature. We used laser thermometers to help us determine how each performed. Then we compared these results to what our sleeping tests told us. Our warmth scores accounted for 35 percent of each bag's total rating.
As anticipated, the Alps OutdoorZ Redwood -10 handily outperformed all the rest, followed closely by the TETON Sports Polara 3-in-1, Teton Sports Deer Hunter, Coleman All-weather Multi-Layer and The North Face Homestead Bed. If all the elements of the perfect cup of hot chocolate were turned into a sleeping bag, the result would be the Redwood. It simply comes down to how much you're willing to pay for this cup of hot chocolate. It is incredibly cozy and warm. In fact, we found it a challenge to want to unzip and get up for the day after sleeping in it. When we compared all of our warmest bags side by side, not only did the Redwood lead in warmth, its the only bad on our list with 100% cotton materials, making it much more cozy. Cotton generally offers a more even temperature, resulting in less cold spots. Its heavier canvas external fabric also provides us a tucked-in feeling that most of our testers love.
Despite having double the occupants, we were surprised none of the double bags we studied could match the warmth of our warmest single bags. The one that came the closest is the Kelty Tru.Comfort 20 Doublewide. This bag employs a hooded design that traps in heat around the head, allowing it to handily outperform the Exped MegaSleep Duo.
The bag that surprised us the most was the Coleman Brazos. Since it's the cheapest bag we looked at, we were prepared to be underwhelmed. However, the Brazos' warmth ratings outperformed several other bags with double or triple the price tag. It nearly tied with bags like the TETON Sports Celsius XXL . We were also very impressed with the Kelty Galactic, particularly its warmth to weight ratio. The Galactic just may be the only down-insulated car-camping bag 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. Just not as warm as its rating, according to our testing.
Ever felt trapped and uncomfortable in a sleeping bag? When you're already far from the comforts of home, nothing's worse than being trapped like a buried mummy all night. That's why we tested all of our bags for more than one type of comfort.
For weeks, we squirmed back and forth in each bag 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 together and came up with a solid list of the most comfortable bags.
The Alps OutdoorZ Redwood -10 scored the highest 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 over-sized, traditional, canvas bags with tons of space and padding. When comparing the two side by side, the Redwood is clearly 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 more narrow bags on the market. The Deer Hunter employs synthetic versions of these fabrics, which on their own, are very soft and comfortable, but they still don't come close to 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 in. Our biggest complaint is its lack of padding and its silky interior and exterior fabrics. The fabrics themselves are very nice on the skin, but they 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. If you camp regularly, it's probably a good idea to find a more comfortable option. Still, for the odd night camping in parks, backyards, or bedding for a couch surfing friend, its comfort is good enough.
In all, there were a lot of features we explored with each bag. Everything from zipper function and neck baffles to water-resistance and warranties was on our list. We'll spare you the comprehensive list, but we will give you a taste of what we liked and didn't like about each bag's features. This list is not what we liked overall about each bag, but rather, what we liked and disliked about the features we looked for in each.
Alps OutdoorZ Redwood -10
Real cotton flannel liner, real canvas shell, Velcro zipper closure, double-sided zipper draft tube, drawstring around the opening, unzips and opens up, lifetime warranty, excellent zippers, excellent craftsmanship
TETON Sports Polara 3-in-1
Removable fleece liner, two interior pockets, lifetime warranty, compression stuff sack, ample zipper and shoulder baffles, water-resistant shellColeman All-weather Multi-Layer
Patented ZipPlow zipper design prevents snags, multiple layering options, removable fleece linerTeton Sports Deer Hunter
Premium baffle, Velcro zipper closure, Cinchable hood, interior pocket, lifetime warrantyKelty Galactic
High-performance treated down insulation, quality zipper, lifetime warranty, water-resistant shellKelty Tru.Comfort 20 Doublewide
Massive design, large hood, Lifetime warranty, removable top quilt, additional individual side quilts, water-resistant shellKelty Callisto
Zipper draft tube, full-length zipper, interior pocket, lifetime warranty, water-resistantTETON Sports Celsius XXL
Large design, massive hood, velcro zipper closure, adjustable hood and shoulder baffles, lifetime warranty, water-resistant shellThe North Face Homestead Bed
Boxy 3D shape, large hood, removable top quilt, lifetime warranty, built-in sleeping pad sleeve, water-resistant shellColeman Brazos
Patented ZipPlow zipper design prevents snags, interior pocketExped MegaSleep Duo 25 Double
Quality zipper baffle, vented storage bag, two-sided design, can be unzipped and made into two individual bags, water-resistant shell
Alps OutdoorZ Redwood -10
Should be hand-washed and preferably line-dried, no interior pocket, not water-resistantTETON Sports Polara 3-in-1
Must be washed by hand and left flat to dry, zipper catches at timesColeman All-weather Multi-Layer
Thinner shell fabrics may be prone to wear, no lifetime warranty, shell is not water-resistantTeton 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-resistantKelty Galactic
Down insulation requires specific cleaning detergent and instructions, no draw-string around top opening, no Velcro zipper closureKelty Tru.Comfort 20 Doublewide
Built-in side quilts are too narrow to fit over body effectivelyKelty Callisto
No velcro zipper closure, does not have an interior pocketTETON Sports Celsius XXL
Must be washed by hand and left flat to dry, zipper catches at timesThe North Face Homestead Bed
Built-in sleeping pad sleeve system hangs down and is prone to catch and snagColeman Brazos
No lifetime warranty, lacks shoulder baffle, shell is not water-resistantExped MegaSleep Duo 25 Double
Drawstring system for top opening is strange and not very intuitive
Traditional 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.
We asked: Does the bag fit in its designed storage bag? We also questioned: "Does it fit easily into its storage bag? Shoving your bag into its stuff sack should not involve more action than an MMA fight. Most of the bags fit effortlessly into their storage bag. Testing determined that the Teton Sports Celsius XXL and Coleman All-Weather Multi-Layer are the most difficult to stuff into their sacks, but with a little elbow grease, we were able to get them back into their storage devices.
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, it's still a nice feature. We found a few that could fit the bill.
The top scorer is 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 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.
Throughout our review, we didn't give these bags any leeway. Regardless of price or prestige, we held all to high standards, and we were not afraid to score them according to their performance. We researched everything we would want to know if we were buying these bags for ourselves. In the end, we hope our efforts will benefit you in your decision making.
— Jason Wanlass