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Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags Under $200 (Review & Buying Guide)

A sleeping bag for backpacking is one of the most important gears of camping essentials. A good lightweight sleeping bag is one of the best investments one can make as an outdoor enthusiast because the less weight one carries on the trip, the better. And after a long day enjoying nature, the best pleasure is snuggling up in a warm, cozy sleeping bag. However, the easiest way to ruin a backpacking trip is to bring the wrong sleeping bag. In an adventurous trip, there’s nothing worse than ending up with back pain for the heavyweight, ending up in the cold, or fighting a stuck zipper, or waking up in the rain and realizing your own insulation is soaked.  Therefore, a traveler needs a proper backpacking sleeping bag that is lightweight, comfy, safe, and easy to use. Besides, one doesn’t need to pay too high to get a sleeping bag that’s comfortable and functional.

We are familiar with the situation that with lots of sleeping bags on the market advertising themselves as the best, it can be difficult to make a choice. We’re here with some buying guides and recommendations to help you pick the best lightweight sleeping bag for backpacking under $200 for your next adventure.

Why Do You Need Backpacking Sleeping Bag?

If you’ve ever spent a night on a trip too cold to sleep, trembling uncontrollably, and eagerly waiting for the sunrise, then you definitely understand the importance of a quality sleeping bag. Good sleep is crucial for a great day on the trail. Besides, Cozying into your sleeping bag at the end of a long day on the trail is one of the great pleasures on your trip. A sleeping bag not only functions as your bed, but it’s also a guard against cold and dank weather, and the right one makes any camping trip much more pleasant. 

A backpacking sleeping bag is one kind of sleeping bag which is lightweight and can be easily packed in a small space before traveling and can be used for sleeping outside in a small space on a trip. On your trip, if you plan to walk a long way or hilly road with weight on your back and don’t want to give your back hard times dealing with back pain, you definitely need a backpacking sleeping bag. You should get one because backpacking sleeping bags are lightweight and compressible, they pack down small, and they are efficiently providing a good amount of warmth. A sleeping bag doesn’t create warmth. Your body creates warmth.

By trapping your body warmth in an enclosed space, your sleeping bag keeps you warm. Sleeping bags with more insulation trap heat better, so they’re warmer. Therefore, backpacking sleeping bags are warmer as they are compressible. Besides, it doesn’t need much space, and that’s why it can be easily set up in a small tent. Therefore, packability, warmth, lightweight, and versatility, all important factors that exist in a backpacking sleeping bag. Go with a backpacking sleeping bag because every ounce counts when you carry it in a pack rather than in a car or other type of vehicle.

How We Picked These Backpacking Sleeping Bags

When you’re looking for a sleeping bag for backpacking, you’ll quickly find there are a lot of options out there. To help you make a choice, we have purchased, rigorously tested, and reviewed numerous backpacking sleeping bags for you. We’ve collectively spent years in camping, backpacking, and using sleeping bags, and all of that knowledge went into testing. To evaluate the best backpacking sleeping bags, our experts took key performance factors into account, including warmth-to-weight ratio, comfort, temperature rating, construction, cost, versatility, and other features. Our review covers 7 of today’s top models under $200, and these are our favorite sleeping bags of the season. We know that you want good sleeping bag options, and we’ve done our best to make selecting one an easy task.

Here, we break down the best lightweight sleeping bags for backpacking under $200.

Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags Under $200 Review

1. TETON Sports LEEF Lightweight Mummy Sleeping Bag

TETON Sports LEEF Lightweight Mummy Sleeping Bag under $200

If you are searching for a budget-friendly backpacking sleeping bag, the TETON Sports LEEF is a solid contender. The Teton LEEF sleeping bag is the best item for campers who are concerned about very cold temperatures. The bag has body-mapping technology, and there is extra insulation in the area of the feet, so they will stay perfectly warm all through the night. However, you will not want to take this on a summer camping vacation. It is advised that you use this sleeping bag in the winter, early spring, and late fall, where temperatures are cold and windy.

Teton also gives a durable compression sack that’s easy to stuff the mummy style bag into for ultimate compressibility. The Teton Sports Leef Ultralight Mummy bag has a 3 piece hood that pulls in tight around your face which keeps your entire head warm. The ripstop shell has a water-resistant rating of 40DD, making it excellent if you are sleeping near water or if you are concerned about the morning dew at your camp. 

The size of this sleeping bag is 87 x 34 x 22 inches and gives you lots of leg and shoulder space for those like needing a little extra space, which is a great thing when having a mummy sleeping bag. The sleeping bag weight is only 4.2 pounds. This makes this bag quite lightweight and an ideal option for backpackers. With regard to the guarantee, the product is covered by a limited lifetime warranty.

·       Size Options: Adult 87″ x 34″ x 22″ (221x86x56 cm) / Scout Size 75″x 30″x 20″ (191x76x51 cm)

·       Price: $84.99 / $70.91

·       Weight: 4.2 Pounds / 3.45 Pounds

·       Temperature Rating: Extreme

·       Color: Black

·       Closure Type: Zipper

·       Shape: Mummy

2. Hyke & Byke Quandary 15 Degree F 650 Fill Power Hydrophobic Down Sleeping Bag

best-sleeping-bag-under-$200

The Hyke & Byke is an ultra-lightweight mummy-shaped sleeping bag that is specifically designed to keep your body warm, protect you from water, and keep you comfortable all night long. As our best overall choice, the Hyke & Byke Quandary Sleeping Bag is a three-season bag designed to be used throughout the entire year. 

Made with hydrophobic 650 FP duck down, ultralight water repellant 400T polyester ripstop nylon fabric, and a compression stuff sack, this mummy sleeping bag is one of the best on the market. Plus, it pulls tightly over your head with a convenient drawcord. The bag is also waterproof. But the zipper sometimes catches on the fabric. It functions as a second layer of protection against wind and cold weather.

For a mummy-shaped bag, this bag offers plenty of space at both the shoulders and in the feet. The two-way zipper gives you the benefit of opening up the bottom to let your feet stick out if it is a little warmer outside. For all that you get, these Hyke and Byke bags are very low cost.

It is available in five colors and three sizes to fit your specific needs – Short (Individuals up to 5’6″), Regular (Individuals up to 6′), and Long/Tall/XL (Individuals up to 6’6″). It’s even light—just shy of 3 pounds—which makes it great for packing away on your backpack if you hike to your campsite. 

The Hyke & Byke Quandary 15 Degree F 650 Fill Power Hydrophobic Down Sleeping Bag is one of the best backpacking sleeping bags under $200 in the market, without any doubt.

·       Size Options: Short – up to 5’6’’ / Regular – up to 6’’ / Long – up to 6’6’’

·       Price: $149.97 / $154.97 / $159.97 

·       Weight: 2.95 Pounds

·       Temperature Rating: 15 Degree

·       Color: Black / Blue / Light Blue / Maroon / Red

·       Closure Type: Hook-and-Loop

·       Shape: Mummy

3. Hyke & Byke Katahdin 32F 15F 0F 625 Fill Power Hydrophobic Sleeping Bag with Advanced Synthetic

Hyke & Byke Katahdin 32F 15F 0F 625 Fill Power Hydrophobic Sleeping Bag with Advanced Synthetic

If you’re searching for a non-down, lightweight sleeping bag that will offer plenty of room at both the shoulders and in the feet and also keep you warm in frigid weather, then this bag can be a great choice. It has a large foot box, snag-free velcro, a drawstring, and horizontal baffles to ensure a great amount of warmth and tailored comfort.

Hyke and Byke’s Katahdin bag is a lightweight mummy bag that is filled with 625 Fill Power advanced ClusterLoft microfiber insulation, which gives better durability and moisture resistance than many other bags.

Not only will this bag keep your body warm, but it’ll keep you dry, too. The bag’s outer fabric is waterproof. Hydrophobic insulation and an ultralight water repellent fabric liner will keep water out, while the microscopic air clusters found in the advanced synthetic create a “loft” that traps heat and retains it all night, too. 

This bag is good for long-distance hikers and is super lightweight, so it won’t weigh you down. The bag comes in three sizes – Short (Individuals up to 5’6″), Regular (Individuals up to 6′), and Long/Tall/XL (Individuals up to 6’6″).

·       Size Options: Short – up to 5’6’’ / Regular – up to 6’’ / Long – up to 6’6’’

·       Price: $109.97 – $129.97 

·       Weight: 3.38 Pounds / 3.38 Pounds / 3.56 Pounds

·       Temperature Rating: 0, 15 & 35 Degree

·       Color: Charcoal Grey / Aubergine / Forest Green

·       Closer Type: Zipper

·       Shape: Mummy

4. Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Down Sleeping Bag

Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Down Sleeping Bag

If you don’t like the traditional “mummy” shape because of its lack of room, you will definitely appreciate the extra width of Kelty Cosmic 20. This sleeping bag comes in three sizes – Short, Regular, and Long. The bag is roomy enough to give you the chance to wear layers, and the thermal comfort hood does a good job of keeping your upper body warm. 

The Kelty Cosmic is a 3 season bag and is rated at 600 fill power for a lower limit rating of 20 degrees. For anyone looking for a backpacking sleeping bag for extreme environments, we’d recommend going for a bag that has higher fill power and with a superior EN comfort rating, but for regular backpackers who don’t have the intention to do their camping in the cold of winter or camping at high altitude, this bag gives more than enough warmth to let you sleep soundly in 3-season conditions in most portions of the globe. 

With the Kelty, the shell material is not a “rip stop” fabric, so it’s not as tough and durable as other bags. As long as you don’t abuse it and take care of the bag, it will last a long time.

The Kelty Cosmic weighs 2 pounds which makes it one of the lightest of the ultra-light sleeping bags, and considering its warmth and price; it’s a great deal. Compared to its 20-degree competitors, it measures up favorably. So, it is one of the best lightweight sleeping bags which can be carried on any lengthy backpacking trip and off-course car camping.

·       Price: $129.95 – $156.25

·       Weight: 2 Pounds

·       Dimensions: 78 x 29 x 8 inches

·       Temperature Rating: 20 Degree

·       Color: Blue / Purple

·       Closer Type: Zipper

·       Shape: Mummy

5. Featherstone Moondance 25 850 Fill Power Down Top Quilt Mummy Sleeping Bag Alternative

Featherstone Moondance Ultralight Backpacking Camping and Thru-Hiking sleeping bag

If you don’t want a compressible mummy sleeping bag and want more lightweight than a mummy bag under $200, then this is definitely one of the best sleeping bags for you. It is perfect for all-season camping. The interior of the Moondance is made of sheer 10-denier fabric, giving you a comfortable unclammy feeling when sleeping inside. It maintains breathability, prevents a clammy-like feel that’s experienced in most sleeping bags. The fabric has been calendered to prevent down from escaping.

Created with DOWNTEK PFC-FREE Water Repellent 850 Fill Power Duck Down Insulation, the quilt gives superior loft, warmth to weight ratio. The cinch-able foot box allows you to adjust the temperature of your sleeping bag by simply closing it up when it gets cold or allowing air to flow through when it gets too hot.

The Moondance offers versatility, warmth, and comfort for any occasion. It has versatility because zippers and snap closures on the back allow for this quilt to be used as a blanket as well as a sleeping bag.

The Moondance is one of the best lightweight sleeping bags for backpacking. It packs small and compact. That’s why this lightweight bag is best for outdoor travel, which has long walking or hill climbing with a backpack.

This bag provides a compression stuff sack and pad straps to connect with your sleeping pad. Pairing this quilt with other camp tools builds the ultimate sleep system while camping. Besides, it has a limited lifetime manufacturer warranty from a U.S. company.

·       Price: $179.99 – $199.99

·       Weight: 27 Ounces

·       Dimensions: 90.16 x 57.87 x 1.97 inches

·       Temperature Rating: To 26 Degree

·       Color: Orange / Grey

·       Closer Type: Drawstring

·       Shape: Semi-Rectangular

6. Nemo Forte Ultralight Synthetic Sleeping Bag (20 & 35 Degree)

Nemo Forte Ultralight Synthetic Sleeping Bag (20 & 35 Degree) - Men's & Womens

The Forte 20 provides one of the warmer temperature ratings among bags in this category. It has enough warmth for spring and fall overnights in most temperate climates. 

The Forte 20 straddles the border between premium and budget in terms of price, but in terms of weight, it crosses the border toward the heavy side. We think that makes this bag perfect for overnights that aren’t too far from the trailhead.

It is truly great at giving comfort. The primary reason for this is its spacious dimensions, some of the roomiest of any bag in the category. This gives this model a vague hourglass shape that’s designed to provide plenty of space for side or stomach sleepers.

Another area where this bag excels is in versatility. Its synthetic Primaloft RISE insulation is ideal for wet climates because it can still provide significant warmth even if it gets soaked. We’re also fans of the pair of “thermo gills” sewn into the upper side of the bag. These are small zippers that allow the insulation to spread apart and ensure you can shed excess heat on warmer nights.

·       Price: $159.95 – $236.06

·       Weight: 2.9 Pounds

·       Dimensions: 8 x 9 x 14.4 inches

·       Temperature Rating: 20 & 35 Degree

·       Color: Eternal/Altitude, Glow/Abyss, Tide Pool/Shaded Thistle, Twilight/Aurora

·       Closure Type: Zipper

·       Shape: Spoon

7. Klymit KSB 20°F X-Large, Oversized Sleeping Bag

Klymit KSB 20°F X-Large, Oversized Car Campign Sleeping Bag

If you’re looking for a customizable sleeping bag that can be adjusted to fit your unique height that is also warm, comfortable, and packed with thoughtful features under $200, then the Klymit 20˚F X-Large Oversized Sleeping Bag is all you’ll need. 

This sleeping bag has other features like a draft collar, an over-stuffed foot box, and an insulated mummy hood to round out the bag. And what really sets this sack apart from the rest is the Perfect Fit Length Locks. Perfect Fit Length Locks let you size the bag to your height, lightweight and warm. In this bag, you’re able to toss and turn without feeling constricted. You can also use this sleeping bag to get changed inside of where there is no privacy. The KSB 20 is more stretchable than any bag we have tested.

The Klymit KSB 20 proved durable even after weeks of serious use. The zipper performed well, aside from occasional snagging, and the shell handled tent condensation well. The Down is lofty, and the sleeping bag compresses down very well, and it is small enough to chuck onto a hiking pack. At 3.7lbs, it’s worthy of any car camping trip but not impossible to hump out for shorter hikes to set up camp.

A little extra empty space inside your sleeping bag becomes a trap for cold air to gather and can unfavorably affect you in colder conditions. But for regular backpackers who don’t intend to do their camping in the dead of winter or camping at high altitude, this bag offers more than enough warmth to let you sleep soundly in three-season conditions in most portions of the globe.

·       Price: $179.95

·       Weight: 3.7 Pounds

·       Dimensions: 82 x 40 x 3 inches

·       Temperature Rating: 20 Degree

·       Color: Gray

·       Closure Type: Zipper

·       Shape: Mummy

Also Read: 5 Best Convertible Backpacks Purse for Travel in 2021

What to Keep in Mind Before Buying Backpacking Sleeping Bag

Sleeping bags come in a large range of styles, weights, and warmth. So, picking out a new backpacking sleeping bag for any outdoor adventure can be super overwhelming. One thing that can be surely helpful is prioritizing what’s most important to you in a sleeping bag. Here is a list of the most crucial factors to consider when purchasing a backpacking sleeping bag so it fits your needs and preferences.

1. Fill Power

Fill power measures the quality of the down fill. The highest down fill power is around 1000, and you’ll see cheaper sleeping bags closer to 500. A higher fill power down has more compressibility and less weight than a lower fill power down. 800 fill power is great and usually considered to be high quality, and these bags will be more costly. But, especially if you will not be doing cold-weather backpacking, you may be okay with 500-600 fill power which will save your money. It’s likely to still be a very good sleeping bag, but the warmth-to-weight ratio won’t be quite as good.

2. Insulation

There were only two types of insulation, down and synthetic. Down was warmer and more compressible for its weight, while synthetic was not so expensive, more long-lasting, more insulating when wet, and hypoallergenic. It’s not that simple anymore. For hydrophobic treatments, now down has more water-resistant, and newer synthetic insulations has less weight and more compressibility. And there are creative combinations of both. These combination or hybrid bags contain a blending of down and synthetic insulation, and they come in two types. The simplest one sets down in one part of the bag and synthetic in another part. Generally, this means synthetic insulation on the bottom of the sleeping bag because it insulates better when it is compressed and down on top. More recently, companies have played around with combining down and synthetic fibers throughout the bag. Ideally, hybrids provide the durability of synthetic but the feel and compressibility of down.

3. Season & Temperature Rating

Think about the type of camping you really want to do. If you’re looking for the best sleeping bags for warm weather, then you don’t need to worry about having a 3-season sleeping bag. But if you’re preparing to camp in cold weather, be aware of the fact that the temperature ratings on a backpacking sleeping bag may be exaggerated. If a sleeping bag says, it has a 20°F temperature rating, that doesn’t mean you’ll be comfortable if the temperature falls down into the 20s. A good thing is to add about 15°F to whatever the temperature rating is, and that will be the lowest temperature you’ll feel comfortable in the sleeping bag. If you go to the market for the best sleeping bag for summer and are even considering assembling it with your camping hammock instead of a tent, bear in mind that even warm destinations can have normal evening temperatures, so it’s still important to be mindful of the temperature rating.

4. Fit & Shape

A Sleeping bag keeps you warm by holding air and holding it in a layer beside your body. Your body warms up this layer of trapped air to keep your body warm. The less air room there is in the bag, the speeder you warm up and stay warm! Choosing a bag based on your body size and shape is important for efficiency and warmth. Roomier sleeping bags will often be heavier as well. Sleeping bags for backpacking come in various shapes and sizes: rectangles, mummies, hybrids, blankets, and a whole mix in between. Rectangular bags offer more space for rolling and tossing around but tend to be heavier and colder because there is more area to heat up. More-fitted sleeping bags for backpacking, usually called mummy bags which are lighter, warmer, and pack smaller, but they offer less moving room. Several hybrid styles look to find a middle ground between the two types.

5. Water Resistance

Hopefully, it doesn’t rain during your camping, but it’s always advantageous to be prepared, so it’s a great idea to have a sleeping bag treated with durable water repellent (aka DWR). This allows the water to beat up on the shell of the sleeping bag instead of soaking into the material. Bear in mind that this treatment will eventually need to be applied again. Damp weather is one of the only reasons where synthetic insulation is a better option than down. Down feathers tend to lose their efficiency to insulate when they’re wet.

6. Weight and Pack Ability

A sleeping bag is one of the heaviest single items you’ll put in your pack, so weight and pack ability should be considerations, especially if you plan to carry it far. Yes, it’s important that it keeps you warm, but you want to make sure your back doesn’t end up hurting from carrying a heavy sleeping bag in your backpack. When shopping for your new sleeping bag, be mindful of the volume of your backpack and the compressibility of the sleeping bag so it doesn’t end up taking too much space in your bag. Insulation will play a significant factor in its weight: high-quality down is a lot lighter than low-quality synthetic fibers. But a bag’s zippers, pockets, hood, and fabric can all add significant ounces.

7. Shell Fabric

With down treatment, most reputable brands’ sleeping bags use synthetic shell fabrics and liners. Many technological sleeping bags resist soft, natural fabrics like cotton because of the inherent elements in the outdoors. Most of the bags use a ripstop fabric for the outer shell. A ripstop shell is a nylon or polyester fabric woven with weightier threads to resist friction and tearing. The unique form of ripstop also allows it to stay breathable.

As for the sleeping bag liners, taffeta is among the most common options. This is also a nylon or polyester element, but not like the coarse feel of ripstop fabric, and taffeta has an enjoyable, silky feel. And it is more breathable. This makes it an ideal option for next-to-skin pieces.

8. Features

Most sleeping bags are pretty alike when it comes right down to it, but there are some important features that set premium backpacking sleeping bags better than non-premium bags. These include very high fill-power goose down, draft collars, continuous baffles, non-snagging zippers, draft tubes positioned behind zippers to seal out the cold, spacious foot boxes, and full-length zippers that help extend the range of a bag in warmer weather.

Final Words

There are a lot of sleeping bags for backpacking available, but we can’t say one bag is best among them all. Each one comes with its unique design, style, features, and structure. Not every bag will suit everyone. Warmth, weight, convenience, price, and balancing comfort can be very difficult when picking a sleeping bag. When you choose to bring along any of these high-quality sleeping bags on your next adventurous trip, you can trust that your nights will be filled with warm, restful, comfortable sleep under the stars.

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