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 find the right model. 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: Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag of 2020
Best Sleeping Bag of 2020
Best Overall Sleeping Bag
ALPS OutdoorZ Redwood
The Alps OutdoorZ Redwood features a quality design to keep you warm and comfortable. Like the renowned tree it's named for, this bag is built to weather challenging climates and conditions. 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. This bag feels 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 luxurious nature of this sleeping bag makes car camping even plusher.
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 minimal 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, humid summertime climates, or lower altitudes. But for folks who want a super warm and cozy sleeping bag to make overnights in the outdoors luxurious, this durable bag is our favorite to recommend.
Read review: Alps OutdoorZ Redwood
Best Bang for Your Buck
Kelty Callisto 30
If you're searching for a high-quality bag with a modest price tag, This is it. The Kelty Callisto 30 fulfills most car camping needs without emptying your wallet. It offers warmth, comfort, and lifetime-warranty workmanship. It packs up much smaller than the bulkier models we tested, like the Alps Redwood, and weighs much less, too.
This polyester bag lacks some of the cush and coziness of flannel-lined models. This bag did not feel incredibly warm to us. We're skeptical that the average person will be genuinely comfortable in this bag at its 30-degree rating without wearing extra layers. Of course, not many people choose to camp in temps this low, so this concern might not apply to you. 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 on a Tight Budget
The Coleman Brazos is a very low-priced model among our list of competitors, but when it comes to warmth, this bag can hold its own against name brand bags that cost far more. This bag is ideal families, price-conscious buyers, or anyone 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 tall, you definitely want to purchase a different bag. 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 stellar choice for overall versatility. It has different removable layering options to enhance versatility and allow it to fill the shoes of multiple 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 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 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 interested in the value found in the versatility of three bags in one.
Read review: Teton Sports Polara 3-in-1
Best for Down
Kelty Galactic 30
Do you love the warmth and feel of down but find the restrictive fit of a mummy bag unappealing? Let us introduce you to 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 also be brought into the backcountry. However, its down insulation and increased capability come at a higher price. Down-filled bags tend to cost more than products filled with synthetic insulation. This bag also comes without many little extras that car-camping bags often provide. That said, this down-filled sleeping bag packs up small and lightweight enough for short hike-in trips with ample warmth per ounce.
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 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. Incredibly, this bag is as large as a standard queen-sized bed.
This bag 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 awesome features this bag offers. The Kelty Tru's taffeta fabrics are very silky and ultra-soft, but also 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 were packed along on a giant road trip, spanning hundreds of miles and five national parks over several weeks. We also spent some time as weekend warriors, sometimes sleeping in campgrounds, public lands, and even the back of a car.
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.
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 consider warmth the most important, followed closely by comfort.
The individual metrics we studied (Warmth, Comfort, Features, Packed Size) are important to a good night's sleep and, therefore, a good trip. 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 warmest bag, 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.
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 Kelty Callisto 30 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 friendly 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, 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 information from our first-hand sleeping tests.
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. 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 we compared all of our warmest bags side by side, the Redwood led in warmth. Its 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 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 outperform the Exped MegaSleep Duo handily.
The bag that surprised us the most was the Coleman Brazos. Looking at its modest price tag, we were prepared to be underwhelmed. However, the Brazos' warmth ratings outperformed several other bags sold for much higher prices. It nearly tied with bags like the TETON Sports Celsius XXL . We were also very impressed with the Kelty Galactic — its warmth to weight ratio, in particular. 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. 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.
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 to determine the most comfortable bags.
The Alps OutdoorZ Redwood -10 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 over-sized, 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 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 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, it's comfortable enough.
Features, features, features: these bags were riddled with them. We inspected everything from zipper function to warranties. 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. The following list is strictly what we liked and disliked about the bags' features.
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
Zipper snags at times, strict washing instructions — requires hand washing and needs to be left flat to dryThe North Face Homestead Bed
Built-in sleeping pad sleeve system hangs down and is prone to catch and snagColeman Brazos
No shoulder baffle, no lifetime warranty, 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 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, 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.
Throughout our review, we didn't give these bags any leeway. Regardless of price or prestige, we held all to high standards and the same test methods. We researched everything 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.
— Jason Wanlass