Best Sleeping Bags 2017 Review
Before you step out on your cross-country trek, make sure you have the best camping gear. It can make all the difference between a great trek and a not-so-great one. Spending the night outdoors in the wild can present even the most seasoned hikers with some daunting challenges. Freezing temperatures, roaring winds and pouring rain can cause a lot of discomfort. But if you have the best sleeping bag, you have nothing to worry. A good quality, lightweight and sturdy sleeping bag is paramount for a successful backpacking, hiking, trekking or mountaineering trip.
Factors to be kept in mind while choosing the best sleeping bag:
- Warmth: The heat generated by your body is trapped by the sleeping bag. Sleeping bags with higher insulation will keep you warmer. Sleeping bags that have more space on the inside are not very efficient as your body needs to warm up a larger area.
- Weight: Your sleeping bag will be among the heaviest items in your gear. So make sure you pick a lightweight sleeping bag.
- Price: Sleeping bags come in a variety of prices ranging from $150 to $500. Pick one that suits your budget well.
- Temperature ratings: Depending on the weather conditions, sleeping bags come with different temperature ratings. They start from 32°F and warmer and dip down to -30° and below. Sleeping bags with ratings between 10°F to 30°F are ideal for 3 seasons namely spring, summer and autumn. However, temperature inside the sleeping bag will also depend on altitude, sleeping pad insulation, clothing and hydration.
- Insulation: Sleeping bags come with 3 different kinds of insulation – Down, synthetic and water-resistant down. Sleeping bags with down insulation are more expensive, last longer, have better warmth-to-weight
ratio and can be tightly compressed. But once they get wet, their insulation weakens. Sleeping bags with synthetic insulation are less expensive, bulkier and heavier. But they will keep you warmer even when wet and they dry quickly. Sleeping bags with water-resistant down insulation are very expensive but they keep you warm and cozy even when they get wet.
- Shape/type: Casual trekkers can opt for rectangular or semi-rectangular sleeping bags. They are roomier, less expensive and do not cling to your body. Mummy bags are ideal for extended camping and rougher, colder terrain. They offer more warmth, are lighter and less bulky.
- Fill power: The fill power indicates the quality and effectiveness of the down insulation in your sleeping bag. A high fill power sleeping bag will weigh less. The best sleeping bags have fill power of 850 and upwards.
- Shell and Lining Material: Sleeping bags shells with Durable Water Repellant (DWR) are highly recommended as they cause water to bead up and fall away instead of getting soaked up. Shells made of Ripstop Nylon are also very durable.
- Other factors: While buying the best sleeping bag for your trek, consider factors like length and width of bag, zipper length and hoods. Keep in mind your height and torso girth and accordingly buy the bag that’s ideal for you.
Here are 5 of the Best Sleeping Bags of 2017 handpicked just for you.
- The North Face Inferno 0F: The best sleeping bag for freezing weather conditions is the North Face Inferno 0F. It is of sturdy make and is designed for extreme adventure sports. It is made for professional mountaineers. It has fill power of 800 ProDown. It is water resistant and will remain dry 100 minutes. Regular down offers only 6 to 7 minutes of dryness. It is spacious, has a full draft collar and integrated draft overlap to prevent loss of warmth. To prevent getting wet, its external surfaces like the hood, foot box and back are made of Neovent Air which is a water resistant fabric. It has a central zipper, hood cinch cord, storage sack and an internal gear pocket. All these features make the North Face Inferno 0F our pick for the Best Sleeping Bag of 2017.
- Western Mountaineering Summerlite Mummy 32F: This is the Best Sleeping Bag for ultra light backpackers. At 1lb 3oz, it is the lightest sleeping bag ever. It is tough, made of high quality down sourced from mature geese, offers insulated draft protection and has a full length zipper. For avid trekkers who prefer to travel light, this is the best sleeping bag.
- Klymit KSB 20F: This is our pick for the Best Sleeping Bag for budget travelers. It is made of 650 down fill. Heat loss is prevented by a draft collar, mummy hood, fat foot box and flexible baffles around the middle of the bag. It is durable, cost effective and has extra foot room. Ideal for moderate temperature conditions.
- The North Face Blue Kazoo: This is our choice for the Best Sleeping Bag for campers. It is ideal for 3 season hikers as well. It’s been on the bestseller list of sleeping bags for decades. Durable and reliable, it has a temperature rating of 15° F. It can accommodate plus size campers easily because of its wide chest section and oversized hood.
- Kelty Dualist 6: This is our pick for the Best Sleeping Bag for hikers who desire a compact bag. It uses synthetic Thermadri insulation and is ideal for camping in high altitudes. It is made of quick drying water resistant material. It is roomy and has a full length zipper with anti-snag binding tape.