Are you gearing up for your next big trek, but aren’t sure your trusty sleeping bag is up to the challenge? Perhaps you’ve just started backpacking in the great outdoors, but aren’t quite sure what to look for to pick the right sleeping bag for all your grand adventures?
Today, we will walk you through exactly what you need to look for to pick the best sleeping bag for all your backpacking adventures. Next, we’ll offer our thorough review of the top 5 best backpacking sleeping bags and announce the final winner for the best backpacking sleeping bag under $100.
Sounds like something you need to know, right?
Let’s dive right in!
Getting all the right gear for your outdoor treks shouldn’t break the bank. Here’s what you need to know to select the best backpacking sleeping bag under 100 for many trails ahead.
The first aspect you’ll need to consider when picking out the best backpacking sleeping bag under 100 is its temperature rating. A sleeping bag’s temperature rating is the lowest temperature at which it can keep you nice and warm. For summer backpacking adventures, you’ll want a temperature rating of +30 degrees Fahrenheit and up.
If you like to backpack year round, you’ll probably want to pick a 3-season sleeping bag designed to withstand temperatures between +15 and +30 degrees Fahrenheit. For very cold weather backpacking, sleeping bags with a temperature rating of +15 degrees Fahrenheit or lower are a must.
As a rule of thumb, you should pick a sleeping bag with a temperature rating below the absolute lowest temperature you anticipate dealing with while on your outdoor adventures. You can easily unzip your sleeping bag if you find you are too warm, but you don’t want to find yourself in a position where your sleeping bag isn’t warm enough and you don’t have sufficient insulation.
Nowadays, sleeping bags are assigned ISO or EN temperature ratings. EN is an older system of measurement, with ISO being the more modern one, but there is very little difference between the two. ISO and EN temperature ratings make it easy to do brand comparisons of the best sleeping bag under $100.
In the case of ISO and EN temperature ratings, bags are typically categorized by limit ratings and comfort ratings. A sleeping bag’s limit rating is the minimum temperature that will ensure a “warm sleeper’s” comfort, while comfort rating is the lowest temperature where the sleeping bag will ensure the typical “cold sleeper’s” comfort.
Bear in mind, everyone has a different comfort level and temperature rating is just one of several factors you should consider when selecting the best backpacking sleeping bag under $100.
The insulation of the best backpacking sleeping bag under 100 is another key point to consider before making your final purchase. Your two options for sleeping bag insulation are going to be either down or synthetic fibers. The primary benefits of down sleeping bags are that they are super lightweight, highly durable, hold up well against colder weather, and are easy to fold up into your gear.
On the other hand, synthetic sleeping bags dry a lot faster when they get wet, keep you insulated even in damp conditions, and are a great choice if you are allergic to down feathers. Down insulation is typically more expensive than the synthetic variety, but many seasoned backpackers prefer down for its very lightweight design that is easy to fit into your pack while remaining light to carry.
If you do decide that a down sleeping bag is the best one for you, it’s critical to understand fill power. Fill power tells you the quality (and ultimately warmth) of the down. Higher fill power numbers mean down with higher lofts that offer more warmth. Sleeping bags with fill powers around 800 are designed for very cold weather, lightweight backpacking adventures. Naturally, bags with higher fill power are often more expensive.
The main disadvantage with down is that it loses its insulating power when it becomes wet. The good news is, many manufacturers have figured out how to resolve this issue by incorporating a water repellent design into down sleeping bag products. If you do select a down sleeping bag as the best backpacking sleeping bag under $100, water resistance is key.
If you’re not sold on down, synthetic fibers will still give you great longevity of use at a far more cost-effective price. Synthetic materials don’t lose their insulating power when they become wet either, making them a great pick for wet weather conditions. Some sleeping bags come in synthetic and down blends, designed to be compact with a better loft while still offering quality insulation.
Along the same lines, you should pay close attention to the material of the best backpacking sleeping bag under $100 before making your final choice. Most sleeping bags are designed from polyester or ripstop nylon. The best backpacking sleeping bag under $100 sports a durable water repellent finish to keep you warm and dry.
Here are a few key features you ought to look for when selecting the best backpacking sleeping bag under 100. First, look out for a sleeping bag hood that you can secure around your head in the event it gets cold or starts to rain. Draft yokes or collars are also quality features to look for, as they help keep warm air inside the bag and offer nice insulation.
In addition, keep an eye out for features like anti-snag zippers so you can open and close your sleeping bag with ease. No one wants to grapple with their sleeping bag after a tough day on the trail! Other handy features that the best backpacking sleeping bag under 100 might sport include a stash pocket for small objects and a pillow pocket to store clothes in and use as a pillow.
Here are the top 5 best backpacking sleeping bags under 100 that all outdoor enthusiasts need to know about.
Our first pick for the best backpacking sleeping bag under $100 is the Teton Sports Celsius XXL Sleeping Bag. We love this 100% polyester sleeping bag because of its 3-season design, which means you can go camping with it almost year round. The sleeping bag sports a hood in a mummy shape to keep you insulated and warm, with zips to allow airflow and adjustment if need be.
The sleeping bag is a great choice if you’re going to be hiking in colder climates, as it sports a double layer design with a taffeta shell, poly-flannel liner, draft tubes and fiber filling for added warmth. The sleeping bag is also highly portable, as it comes with a compression sack to store the bag in and secure to your gear. The sleeping bag is durable enough for survival backpacking adventures, with a comfort rating between 20 to 30 degrees.
The Suisse Sport Alpine Sleeping bag rates as one of the best backpacking sleeping bag under $100 picks for its insulating 100% polyester design and integrated synthetic filling. The bag is durable and insulated enough to hold up against very cold weather climates, with a temperature rating down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit and an optimal temperature rating between 20 and 40 degrees.
We were happy to see the dual layer quilt insulation of this best backpacking sleeping bag under $100, with a drawstring hood to keep your head nice and toasty in chilly temperatures. The polyester lining of this sleeping bag is nice and soft, so it won’t irritate or itch your skin. We like the fact that this sleeping bag is very lightweight, weighing only 5 pounds for easy portability. The bag comes with a compression sack for storage as well.
The Northstar Sports Tactical Operations Sleeping Bag is the best backpacking sleeping bag under $100 for its 30 degrees Fahrenheit temperature rating, designed for tough survival backpacking and camping. The sleeping bag features a comfort limit rating of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a good choice for a variety of weather conditions.
We were happy to see that the Northstar Sports Tactical Operations Sleeping Bag has a dual-layer design, with synthetic filling that offers a high loft volume for ultimate comfort and insulation. We were also impressed with the sleeping bag’s full length, two-way zipper, allowing easy access to get in and out of your sleeping bag without any fuss.
The sleeping bag is manufactured from rip-stop poly shell fabric with an inner layer zipper draft tube. The bag also features a hood that you can adjust as needed and a chest baffle with a handy drawstring.
Our next pick for the best backpacking sleeping bag under $100 is by Kaufland, manufactured from 100% polyester with a mummy style design. The sleeping bag is incredibly affordable and durable, making it a great choice for newbie backpackers and seasoned pros alike. The sleeping bag comes equipped with a compression bag, so you can easily roll the bag up, store it in the sack, and secure it with the rest of your gear.
The sleeping bag’s shell is designed from 170T polyester with a quality lining. The bag weighs just 1.75 pounds, so it won’t weigh down or overbulk your pack. We like how soft the shell and lining of this best backpacking sleeping bag under 100 is, with a zipper design and Velcro tab to keep the bag closed as you prefer.
Our final choice for the best backpacking sleeping bag under $100 is the Slumberjack Odyssey Synthetic Sleeping Bag, with a dual-layer construction and draft collar to keep you insulated in the shoulder and neck regions. We liked the off-set design which helps prevent cold air from penetrating the sleeping bag in cooler climates.
The sleeping bag has a temperature rating of +0 and is designed with synthetic fibers for optimal moisture wicking and warmth. The sleeping bag sports branded G3 Fiber insulation that folds compactly for easy transport while offering sufficient loft to keep you nice and warm in freezing temperatures. The mummy design gives you freedom of movement without being so bulky that it weighs you down when you sleep.
We also noticed that the Slumberjack Odyssey Synthetic Sleeping Bag features a draft tube that runs along the zipper to prevent cold from escaping through, with an anti-snag zipper that you won’t have to grapple with after a long day on the trail.
While each of the top 5 options for the best backpacking sleeping bag under 100 serves a wide range of camping needs, our favorite was the Suisse Sport Alpine Sleeping Bag. We love that it is designed from super durable, 100% polyester to wick moisture and keep you nice and dry if damp conditions hit. We were also pleased with its temperature rating that goes all the way down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring you’ll stay warm even in very cool temperatures.
The optimal 20 to 40-degree temperature rating still makes the Suisse Sport Alpine Sleeping Bag a fantastic choice for different types of backpacking treks, which dual construction quilt insulation and a handy drawstring hood.
The finishing touches for us were the lightweight, 5-pound design and compression sack to make transporting the sleeping bag a piece of cake. For warmth, insulation, water resistance, user-friendly ease, and portability, Suisse Sport Alpine Sleeping Bag is the best backpacking sleeping bag under $100.