You’re looking for the best backpacking sleeping bag, and you want something that really is the best. No browsing the Walmart sale racks for you, only to end up with something big, bulky, and, when it comes down to it, not warm at all. A good sleeping bag has three main features. It is:
• Lightweight—anything that goes on your back all day long has to be light
• Squashable – it’s not the only thing in your backpack, after all
• Comfortable—you’re not using this sleeping bag on carpets, and you want it to provide you with a comfortable nights rest even in less than comfortable circumstances
• Warm—Sleeping warm helps raise your spirits, cuts down calorie expenditure, and helps you keep healthy on the trail.
What is the very best backpacking sleeping bag available these days?
If you’re on a tight budget, the best sleeping bag is likely to be the Kelty Cosmic Down Sleeping Bag. This bag is ultra-light, ultra-warm, ultra-soft down, but it’s not just regular down straight off the goose: polymer treated, the down in this sleeping is hydrophobic, which means it doesn’t get wet easily and if it does get wet dries again in a jiffy. It makes a difference, and not only when there’s rain: there’s all the sweat you make when you sleep, and all that dew from nights in the mountain, that could make ‘standard down’ clumpy and cause it to loose it’s insulation properties.
The Kelty Cosmic Down Sleeping Bags come with a variety of temperature ratings, and you’ll need to choose the one appropriate to your regular backpacking night-time temperatures. They are:
• Cosmic Down 0 Degree Sleeping Bag: Comfortable down to 0 degrees Farenheit, this bag stuffs down to 9 by 16 inches and weighs just 1.6 kgs (3 lbs 9 oz)
• Cosmic Down 20 Degree Sleeping Bag: Comfortable down to 21 degrees but lightweight enough to be a good 3-season bag, the 20 degree sleeping bag stuffs down to 8 by 14 inches and weighs 2 lbs 9 oz.
• Cosmic Down 41 Degree Sleeping Bag: This one’ll keep you warm down to 41 F, and is extra small and extra squashable: 1 lb 12 oz and 7x 12 inches stuffed.
If you’ve got the cash to spend on a more comfortable sleeping bag, try the Eddie Bauer Kara Koram 0 Degree Storm Down Sleeping Bag. This bag is top notch quality and top notch comfort, and will keep you toasty through pretty much anything. The fabric is good hydrophonic stuff that’ll shed rain and snow to keep you dry, though as with any sleeping bag you will want to air it out between nights when possible. 2 lbs 12 ounces is pretty good for the insulation it provides.
Sleeping on the trail doesn’t have to be an experience in discomfort. Get the best backpacking sleeping bag you can afford, and stay warm and cozy at night while your body revives and stockpiles energy for the day to come.