Nighttime comfort can make or break your camping trip. After vetting over 100 models, we chose 12 of the best sleeping bags in 2019 to test at car camping sites across the West. The OutdoorGearLab team logged a lot of nights outside to find the bags most likely to make your next trip a success. We looked for thick and warm fabrics, spacious cuts, thoughtful features and a lot more in single and two-person bags. In the end, we summed up our experience in each model and came up with recommendations for bags that will give you cozy, restful nights under the stars, inside your tent or just about anywhere else your adventures may take you.
The Best Sleeping Bags for Camping of 2019
|Price||$165.49 at Amazon||$118.55 at Amazon||$112.46 at Backcountry|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$90.35 at Amazon||$200 List|
|Pros||Massive/luxurious bag, several unique features, hearty zipper, exceptionally warm, removable cotton liner, convenient zip-on tote bag||Very warm, well-crafted, tons of features, soft and cozy, adjusts well to different temperature ranges||Durable design, completely zipperless, lots of practical features, seemed warmer than 35-degree rating||Versatile layering system, extremely warm and comfortable||Compact mummy design, warm, comfy, well-crafted|
|Cons||Expensive, not water-resistant, cream-colored interior prone to stains, very large packed size||Grabby liner, may be confining to larger body types||Narrow design may not fit two larger bodies, extra effort to get into its stuff sack||Less water-resistant, bulky, fabric is a little grabby||More expensive, doesn't unzip completely, less versatile than general purpose bags|
|Bottom Line||If you're willing to shell out the bucks, this bag will not disappoint; it's pure luxury - almost like sleeping in your own bed.||This bag is warm, soft, and has lots of features and configuration options.||This bag has no zippers, tons of features, and could fool you into thinking you were in your own bed.||This bag has more layering options than any bag we've studied, offering many options for a large temperature range.||Design and fabric choice allow this bag to be and lighter than traditional car-camping bags and perform just as well.|
|Rating Categories||Slumberjack Country Squire 0||TETON Sports Polara 3-in-1||Frontcountry Bed 35 Duo||All-Weather Multi-Layer||Homestead Bed 20|
|Packed Size (15%)|
|Specs||Slumberjack...||TETON Sports...||Frontcountry Bed...||All-Weather...||Homestead Bed 20|
|Temp Rating (F)||0 degrees||0 degrees||35 degrees||0 degrees||20 degrees|
|Measured Weight (lbs)||12.2 lbs||8.3 lbs||8.2 lbs||10.1 lbs||7.4 lbs|
|Draft Tube||Full length||Full length||Full length||Full length||Full length|
|Shell Material||12 oz. Cotton Duck||Taffeta||50D polyester ripstop||Brushed polyester||75D cire polyester taffeta|
|Lining Material||Poly-Cotton||Inner bag: 100% Brushed Poly Flannel
Outer bag: PolarLite Fleece
|68D polyester taffeta||Brushed polyester||50D cire polyester|
|Insulation||Slumberloft Synthetic Insulation||SuperLoft Elite Hollow Fiber||Synthetic||Polyester||Heatseeker Eco (synthetic)|
|Measured Size L x W||84" X 42"||82" X 36"||87" X 50 "||76" X 34"||85" X 32"|
Our Favorite Bag for Luxury
Slumberjack Country Squire 0
If you sit quietly and look at the Slumberjack Country Squire, you can almost feel it staring back at you with a confident smirk. This bag is king of the hill. It's the most opulent sleeping bag we've ever experienced, earning it our Editors' Choice Award for its overall luxury. This bag is downright massive, relentlessly warm, impeccably comfortable, and crafted with the utmost care. Sleeping in the Slumberjack is like being snuggled up at home in your own bedsheets. This bag's only competition is our other Editors' Choice Award Winner, The Teton Sports Polara 3-in-1. The Slumberjack towers over the Polara 3-in-1 in terms of sheer size, high-end craftsmanship, and use of pleasant, expensive natural fabrics. If the Slumberjack could speak, it would have only one thing to say: "You're welcome."
As with cars, clothes, and cuisine, luxury comes with a higher price tag, and it's no different in the sleeping bag world. The Slumberjack will definitely set you back a few bones. In fact, you could buy two Polara 3-in-1's for less than it would cost to buy just one full-priced Slumberjack — and you'd stay just as warm. The Slumberjack is rooted tradition, making it heavy, earthy, expensive, and timeless. The Polara 3-in-1 boasts an intense, innovative vibe. Its made from lighter-weight synthetic fabrics that are less-expensive, more versatile, and still warm. If you're tight on money or car or closet space, the Slumberjack may not be a smart choice. The Slumberjack's quality and construction, including the rugged exterior, makes for a bag that could last a lifetime, but also one with a significant price tag.
Read review: Slumberjack Country Squire 0
Our Favorite Bag for 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 pulled it off. As a result, it is at the top of our list of camping sleeping bags, and winner of our second Editors' Choice Award for overall versatility and cost. The Polara 3-in-1 shares this honor with the Slumberjack Country Squire, but it outpaces the Slumberjack when it comes to versatility and innovation. Its layering options allow it to be several bags in one. It packs up much smaller and lighter than the Slumberjack. It's almost as warm, has more 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 smaller than the Slumberjack and made from cheaper, synthetic materials. It will never equal the luxury and size of the Slumberjack. The Polara 3-in-1's interior liner and fleece blanket are incredibly soft and warm, but they're grabby when compared to the smooth, bedsheet-like interior of the Slumberjack. However, it's an equally toasty bag with lots of innovative options, and it's far more versatile, portable, packable, and affordable.
Read review: Teton Sports Polara 3-in-1
Best Bang for Your Buck
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. A no-brainer for our Best Buy Award, 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
Top Pick for a Two-Person Model
Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed 35 Duo
The Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed 35 Duo has the features, comfort, weight, and warmth to cause you to reconsider zipping two bags together the old-fashioned way. This bag offers a revolutionary zipperless system that mimics your household bedding. It has a self-sealing foot box that makes it easy for your piggies to get some air. It also boasts a massive hood, over-sized top quilt, and built-in, adjustable sleeping pad sleeves. For dedicated snugglers, this bag is the bomb.
Do know, however, that 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. If you're looking for a bag to share with your partner, our testers found the unique design of this bag to be the most cuddle-worthy of any two-person model we've tested.
Read review: Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed 35 Duo
Top Pick 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 backcountry fanatic, if you like down --and like rectangular 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
Why You Should Trust Us
OutdoorGearLab Review Editor Jason Wanlass, a Utah resident, lives in a camping paradise. He avidly gets after it at every opportunity, whether hiking, backpacking, or taking road trips. Additionally, Jason is an avid solo hiker and solo backpacker with more than 20 years of experience. He has logged thousands of hours alone on trails in Iceland, Nepal, and the Patagonia Regions of Argentina and Chile. He also has solo backpacked a large majority of Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, California, and Arizona. He has extensive knowledge of 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. At the end of the road, there was solid data.
We decided on four essential performance areas rated on relative importance. The most important were warmth and comfort. While comfort is naturally subjective, we added some rigor with tests such as the one during which we deliberately rolled around on a sandstone slab with each bag to get a true sense of relative padding abilities. 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. But we didn't do a few subjective tests. We took each bag and got an idea of how we felt about it, and then compared our opinions to basic science — and we weren't overly nice.
The individual metrics we studied (Warmth, Comfort, Features, Packed Size) are very important. The 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.
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 Teton Sports Polara 3-in-1 have some of the highest value, because they perfectly balance warmth, comfort, features, and cost. Our other Editors' Choice Award Winner, the Slumberjack Country Squire costs considerably more than the Polara 3-in-1, making it more of a luxury purchase. However, for occasional use, or in friendly summer temperatures, you can usually get away with spending much less than these premium models. For example, the Coleman Brazos or the The Northface Dolomite will absolutely suffice for camping across America on a summer road trip. When it comes to two-person bags, the REI Co-op Siesta Double 30 costs the least of the doubles we tested. If you're strapped for cash as a couple, this bag keeps costs low and does its job fine.
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.
The Slumberjack Country Squire and the Teton Sports Polara 3-in-1 handily outperformed all the rest, followed closely by the Coleman All-weather Multi-Layer and The Northface Homestead Bed. If all the elements of the perfect cup of hot chocolate were turned into a sleeping bag, the result would be the Polara 3-in-1 and the Slumberjack — it simply comes down to how much you're willing to pay for this cup of hot chocolate. Both bags are incredibly cozy and warm. In fact, we found it a challenge to want to unzip and get up for the day after sleeping in either one of them.
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 two that came the closest are the Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed 35 Duo and the Kelty Tru.Comfort 20 Doublewide. Both of these bags employ a hooded design that traps in heat around the head, allowing them to handily out-perform both the REI Siesta Double 30 and 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 beat the The North Face Dolomite and 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 Polara 3-in-1, Country Squire, and Coleman Multi-Layer scored the highest out of the single bags. Out of the three, the Country Squire is the roomiest. The Multi-Layer has layers of padding and the softest fabrics. The Country Squire's cotton-sheet liner was the softest against our skin, and stands out exceptionally in this metric. Hands down, this is the most comfortable model that we've ever slept in.
Of the two-person bags we tested, the Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed 35 Duo smashed its competition. From its fabrics to our ease of movement, we loved this bag. The Kelty Tru.Comfort was a close second for comfort. This is the largest double bag on our list, making it very comfortable. We found the REI Co-op Siesta Double 30 to be a little narrow and average. 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 was our worst performer. 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. We like the fabrics used in The North Face Dolomite 20, but we also feel the bag is a little narrow.
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 were 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.
TETON Sports Polara 3-in-1
Removable fleece liner, two interior pockets, lifetime warranty, compression stuff sack, ample zipper and shoulder baffles, water-resistant shellSlumberjack Country Squire 0
Over-sized design, quality zipper, removable and washable bedsheet liner, removable carrying tote, exterior fabric, lifetime warrantyColeman All-weather Multi-Layer
Patented ZipPlow zipper design prevents snags, multiple layering options, removable fleece linerSierra Designs Frontbed 35 Duo
Zipperless design, large hood, over-sized top quilt, lifetime warranty, built-in sleeping pad sleeve, water-resistant shellKelty 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 shellTETON 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 shellThe North Face Dolomite 20 Sleeping Bag
Quality draft tube, velcro zipper closure, lifetime warranty, water-resistant shellREI Co-op Siesta Double 30
Bag can be unzipped and made into two individual bags, velcro zipper closure, lifetime warranty, vented storage bag, 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, bag can be unzipped and made into two individual bags, water-resistant shell
TETON Sports Polara 3-in-1
Must be washed by hand and left flat to dry, zipper catches at timesSlumberjack Country Squire 0
Interior liner is cream-colored and is prone to stain, shell is not water-resistantColeman All-weather Multi-Layer
Thinner shell fabrics may be prone to wear, no lifetime warranty, shell is not water-resistantSierra Designs Frontbed 35 Duo
Top quilt is wide but should be a little widerKelty Galactic
Down insulation requires specific cleaning detergent and instructionsKelty Tru.Comfort 20 Doublewide
Built-in side quilts are too narrow to fit over body effectivelyTETON 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 snagThe North Face Dolomite 20 Sleeping Bag
Lacks quality shoulder baffleREI Co-op Siesta Double 30
Zipper function is a little cumbersome and awkwardColeman 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, and surprisingly, the biggest bag, the Slumberjack Country Squire, was one of the easiest to stow, while coming in a huge and heavy package. Testing determined that the Teton Sports Celsius XXL and Coleman All-Weather Multi-Layer are the most difficult to store, 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