Are you planning a hiking adventure but unsure about what sleeping bag to bring? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Choosing the right sleeping bag is essential for a comfortable night’s sleep during your outdoor escapades. In this article, we will discuss some crucial factors to consider when selecting a sleeping bag and help you make an informed decision.

First and foremost, you need to think about the warmth you require. The temperature rating of a sleeping bag indicates the lowest temperature at which it will keep you cozy. The EN13537 rating system is a useful tool for comparing sleeping bags’ temperature ratings. Additionally, the shape of the bag plays a significant role in its performance. Bag options range from rectangular, mummy, to tapered rectangular, each catering to different preferences and body types.

Another factor to consider is the fill material. Down sleeping bags are known for being lightweight and highly compressible, but they can be expensive and take longer to dry if they get wet. On the other hand, synthetic sleeping bags are more budget-friendly, dry quickly, and still provide insulation when wet. Alongside these considerations, don’t forget the features that the sleeping bag offers. Take note of the bag length, hood, draft tubes, zipper configuration, security pocket, and zippered foot box. These additional features can greatly enhance your comfort and convenience while camping.

Once you have considered these factors, keep in mind the weight and size of the sleeping bag. Hiking and backpacking require you to minimize weight and bulk. Therefore, look for a sleeping bag that is not only warm and comfortable but also lightweight and compact. Lastly, don’t forget to take your budget into account. While it’s tempting to splurge on the most expensive sleeping bag, choose one that fits within your means. Remember, the most crucial aspect is ensuring that the sleeping bag keeps you warm throughout the night. So, happy hiking and sweet dreams under the stars!

See the Tips for Choosing the Right Sleeping Bag for Hiking in detail.

Tips for Choosing the Right Sleeping Bag for Hiking

When you’re heading out on a hiking adventure, one of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll need is a good sleeping bag. A sleeping bag is not only your bed for the night, but it also provides essential warmth and insulation to help you rest comfortably in the great outdoors. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right sleeping bag for your needs. In this article, we’ll guide you through the key considerations to keep in mind when choosing a sleeping bag for hiking.

Considerations for Choosing a Sleeping Bag


One of the first factors to consider when choosing a sleeping bag is the level of warmth you need. Sleeping bags are usually rated for specific temperature ranges to help you determine their suitability for different weather conditions. The temperature rating is often indicated by a system called EN13537. This rating system takes into account the insulation properties of the sleeping bag and provides a standardized comparison of different bags.


The shape of the sleeping bag is another important consideration. There are three main shapes to choose from: rectangular, mummy, and tapered rectangular. Rectangular sleeping bags offer ample space for movement but tend to be less efficient at trapping heat. Mummy bags, on the other hand, are snug and form-fitting, providing excellent warmth retention. Tapered rectangular bags offer a compromise between the two, offering some room for movement while still providing good insulation.

Fill Material

The fill material of a sleeping bag plays a crucial role in its performance. The two most common fill materials are down and synthetic. Down sleeping bags are filled with the soft and fluffy feathers found under the outer layers of duck or goose feathers. They are known for their excellent insulation properties, lightweight nature, and compressibility. However, down sleeping bags can be expensive and take longer to dry when wet. Synthetic sleeping bags, on the other hand, are filled with man-made fibers designed to mimic the insulation of down. They are often more affordable, quick-drying, and retain their insulating properties even when wet.


Lastly, consider the features that are important to you. Some key features to look out for include the length of the sleeping bag, a snug hood to keep your head warm, draft tubes to prevent cold air from seeping in through the zipper, different zipper configurations to allow for ventilation options, a security pocket to keep your valuables safe, and a zippered foot box to allow for temperature regulation.

Understanding Temperature Ratings

The EN13537 rating system is the industry standard for temperature ratings of sleeping bags. It provides an easy way to compare sleeping bags based on their insulation qualities. The rating is divided into four categories: upper limit, comfort, lower limit, and extreme. The upper limit is the highest temperature at which a standard male can sleep comfortably without excessive perspiration. The comfort rating indicates the temperature at which a standard female can have a comfortable night’s sleep. The lower limit is the temperature at which a standard male can sleep for eight hours without feeling cold. The extreme rating is the minimum temperature at which a standard female can survive in the bag for six hours without risk of death from hypothermia.

Different Shapes of Sleeping Bags

Rectangular sleeping bags are the most common shape and offer plenty of room to move around. They are suitable for those who prioritize comfort over warmth and weight. Mummy bags, on the other hand, are narrower and snugger, with a hood to cover the head. This shape is more efficient at trapping heat, making it ideal for cold weather conditions and backpackers who prioritize warmth. Tapered rectangular bags offer a compromise between the two, providing some freedom of movement while still offering good insulation.

Choosing Between Down and Synthetic Materials

When it comes to fill materials, down and synthetic are the most common options. Down sleeping bags are favored by many hikers for their excellent warmth-to-weight ratio and compressibility. They are incredibly lightweight, making them ideal for backpackers looking to minimize their pack weight. However, down sleeping bags can be expensive and require special care as they can lose their loft when wet. They also take longer to dry compared to synthetic bags.

On the other hand, synthetic sleeping bags are more affordable and perform better in wet conditions. Synthetic fibers are designed to retain their insulation properties even when wet, making them a safer option for wet weather or humid environments. They are also easier to care for as they can be machine washed and dried. However, synthetic bags tend to be bulkier and heavier compared to down bags.

Key Features to Consider

In addition to warmth, shape, and fill material, there are several key features to consider when selecting a sleeping bag for hiking.

Bag Length: Choose a sleeping bag that is the right length for your height to ensure proper insulation and comfort.

Hood: A snug-fitting hood helps trap heat and keeps your head warm during cold nights.

Draft Tubes: Draft tubes are fabric tubes filled with insulation material that run alongside the zipper to prevent cold air from seeping in.

Zipper Configuration: Different sleeping bags have various zipper configurations, such as full-length zippers, half-zippers, or multiple zippers. Consider which configuration suits your needs best, such as easy ventilation options during warmer nights.

Security Pocket: Some sleeping bags come with a built-in security pocket to store important items like your phone or wallet.

Zippered Foot Box: A zippered foot box allows you to regulate the temperature around your feet, providing extra comfort during varying weather conditions.

Importance of Weight and Size

When hiking, every ounce in your backpack matters. Choosing a lightweight and compact sleeping bag is crucial to minimize weight and bulk. Look for sleeping bags that prioritize weight reduction and compression, making them easier to carry and pack away.

Budget Considerations

Budget is an important factor to consider when choosing a sleeping bag. While high-quality sleeping bags can be quite expensive, it’s essential to invest in the best one you can afford. A good sleeping bag will last you for years and provide the necessary warmth and comfort during your hiking trips. Consider factors such as the temperature rating, shape, and fill material to find the best value for your money.

Prioritizing Warmth

When choosing a sleeping bag, always prioritize warmth. It’s better to have a sleeping bag that is slightly warmer than you need than one that leaves you feeling cold during chilly nights. Remember, being cold and uncomfortable can affect your sleep quality and overall hiking experience.


Choosing the right sleeping bag for hiking is an important decision that can greatly impact your comfort and enjoyment of the outdoors. By considering factors such as warmth, shape, fill materials, features, weight, size, and budget, you can find a sleeping bag that meets your specific needs. Whether you opt for a down or synthetic sleeping bag, a mummy or rectangular shape, or prioritize lightweight or budget-friendly options, make sure to prioritize warmth and choose a sleeping bag that will keep you cozy and comfortable on your hiking adventures.

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By Allan Prosser

Hi, I'm Allan Prosser, I write for Camping Supply Reviews as I'm a passionate outdoor enthusiast. I aim to provide you with honest and reliable reviews of camping equipment. With years of experience exploring the great outdoors, I understand the importance of having quality gear that enhances your camping experience. Whether you're a seasoned camper or just starting out, my goal is to help you make informed decisions when it comes to purchasing camping supplies. From tents and sleeping bags to cooking gear and backpacks, I'll guide you through the vast array of products available, ensuring you choose the perfect gear for your adventures. Join me on this exciting journey and let's make every camping trip an unforgettable one.