what can be more lovely than sleeping outdoors while camping in the wilderness? watching shiny stars in a black sky, till you fall asleep.
SO SWEEEET. ha?
But wait, what if it will be freezing out there? I tell you what:
It all turns into a nightmare for you!
If you are reading this article it means that you are probably planning to get yourself a sleeping bag. with a simple goal of keeping your body warm and comfortable throughout the night.
But since sometimes you are gonna walk long distances with your backpack, you want the smallest sleeping bag after being packed.
DO you want to avoid packing and carrying a heavy backpack?
Here’s the deal:
Most sleeping bags out there on the market are so heavy and huge to carry for a hiking or motorcycling camping, even when compressed and packed in your backpack.
So what then?
Here I have Three things for you :
1-Firstly, specific tips on the size and the weight of sleeping bags
2-Secondly, you can find my reviews and a comparison table for suggested most small and compressible camping sleeping bags when packed which you can find on market.
3- Thirdly, in the end, some general tips, and ideas for choosing the right sleeping bag for your camping
Before i start, lets watch this great video on “The most comfortable way to sleep warm in a tent” :
why the weight and the size of the sleeping bag matter the most?
Walking long distances while hiking during camping, the weight and size become super important. You have to pack your stuff as efficiently as you can. Between all the things in the camping gear that you pack into your backpack, how you store sleeping bags and your clothes is going to effect the remaining space in your backpack. So it really matters to pick up the smallest size of sleeping bag after packing and compressing in your sack, so you can save up lots of space in your backpack for packing other stuff.
The other important matter to keep in mind is, how you attach sleeping bag to your backpack. because, even if you have the smallest sleeping bag out there, if you just through it in your backpack without any order, still it will occupy a lot of space in there. Therefore you have to find the best way to pack inside your backpack or just attach it to the outside of your backpack.
How some sleeping bags are smaller and lighter than others?
The most effective factor in the final size of a packed sleeping bag is the expanded size itself. But since you don’t wanna sacrifice your spacious legs room inside the sleeping bag, you have to to choose a more compressible material.
I suggest choosing a “Down Sleeping Bag ” , since it will be noticeably smaller in size, when packed into a sack. and also at least 1 pound lighter than the “Synthetic Sleeping Bags“.
Moreover, have this in mind that, after all you are gonna need a pad for putting under your sleeping bag. So if you choose the sleeping bags which have eliminated the bottom insulation and come with a pad sleeve on the bottom, then your sleeping bag is going to be lighter and compressed into much smaller sizes.
The other important thing is the size of compression sack for a sleeping bag. in order to compress the sleeping bag up to the limit. Most of the sleeping bags provided on market, have a compression sack suitable for their size. but sometimes you might have to buy one yourself, to make it as compact as possible.
Decide for the Material and Insulation Type
There are two Insulation types for sleeping bags out there. “Synthetic” or “Down” . And trust me, It is simply the most effective difference when It comes to how much you enjoy your camping, sleeping out there. Ok, what are the differences?
If you wanna Save Money, then buy a “Synthetic Sleeping Bag“
If you wanna Save Weight, then go with “Down Sleeping Bag“
Here goes a more in depth explanation:
Firstly, comparing a down and a synthetic sleeping bag with the same temperature rating; the down sleeping bag is at least a pound lighter than a synthetic one.
One Pound ! Its a lot.
Which is a huge difference when you are backpacking and hiking for long distances. Moreover the Down sleeping bags are super compact, ultralight, and have the smallest size when packed. It is all because of the lightweight and comprisable material.
On the other hand the synthetic sleeping bags are much better with the wet conditions.They are not moisture sensitive and dry very fast. and to be honest you really can find an ultralight synthetic sleeping bag out there on market. but it’s just much harder to find, in comparison with a Down sleeping bag.
I personally prefer the down. Mainly because the it makes you warm much quicker and is more breathable compared to synthetic. And you can always find other solutions for the wet ground problem.
you can also find a nice article on choosing the right sleeping bag by rei .
Top 3 smallest and lightest backpacking sleeping bags
1- Editors Choice :
Brand : Abco Tech Sleeping bag
weight : 4.19 pounds
temp rating : 20 degrees
Pros : The best quality for the price – Breathable material – Waterproof – Easily washed – Roomy – Comfortable
Cons: Not small enough to put into a backpack
From the comfort point of view it has a wide room for your shoulders and legs so you can easily move over night. Perfect for freezing conditions. the temp rating is 20 degrees which is perfect. Moreover, the cleaning of a sleeping bag can be hard. but for this one you can simply wash it in a washing machine.
This sleeping bag has lots of good reviews on amazon. Which is a good point and can be helpful for making your choice on purchasing one.
2- Smallest Sleeping Bag When Packed :
Brand : OutdoorsmanLab sleeping bag
weight : 3 pounds
temp rating : 47 degrees
Pros : Cheap price – Small size after being packed (can be compressed for smaller sizes) – Separated zippers so you can put your feet out – Integrated pillowcase – Pad loops
Cons: Doesn’t breathe well – Problems with being waterproof
It might not be the lightest or smallest sleeping bag after being packed, on the market, but one of the smallest, considering the price and the quality. Because, assume if you only have the size or the weight in your mind then the quality would be crap. Trust me on that. This Outdoorsman Lab sleeping bag has a good material. consider it an ultra compact sleeping bag for the money you pay. Also has lots of reviews on amazon. Most importantly it has a 90 days risk-free trial which is a nice warranty.
material. consider it an ultra compact sleeping bag for the money you pay. Also has lots of reviews on amazon. Most importantly it has a 90 days risk-free trial which is a nice warranty.
3- Best For Couples :
Brand : Sleepingo double sleeping bag
weight : 3 pounds
temp rating : 32 degrees
Pros : Roomy and comfy ( size of 87″ X 59″ ) – Strong and waterproof fabric – Good breathing
Cons: The description on amazon says that it can be divided into two separate sleeping bags which seems not to be true – Because of the large open space on top the warmth can escape easily so it might not be comfortable at the temp rating claimed
If you are a couple going camping together it is the perfect choice for you. Since this sleeping bag makes you warm together which is firstly of all kind of romantic, and then helps you sleep better if it is how you use to sleep at nights.There is also an option for buying two single sleeping bags with a zipper on the side so you can merge them together, but i suggest this one cause this way it is much lighter to carry. According to amazon the size is only 3 pounds which is about the weight of lightest single sleeping bags out there. Moreover as a couple sleeping bag it has lots of good reviews on amazon.
Other Main decision points for buying a sleeping bag
1- Season and Temperature
Sleeping bags are rated for different seasons and temperature ranges. So you’r gonna find a variety of options depending on the season and the place you are going to camping.
Firstly have this in mind that if it gets too hot inside the sleeping bag you can simply unzip it.
but on the other hand in the freezing weather you have nothing but your sleeping bag protecting you against outside environment.
So generally you wanna choose the warmer ones.
As of the seasonal ratings there are 5 choices for you in the market :
|one season sleeping bags||an ultralight and compact sleeping bag for backpacking in summer|
|two season sleeping bags||good for late Spring to early Autumn
(families mostly go for camping through this time )
|Three season sleeping bags||early spring to late Autumn|
|four season sleeping bags||used in winter
(well down below freezing)
|five season or expedition sleeping bags||for temperatures down to -40
(for freezing mountain situations)
Temperature Rating: Another range that you can make your choice based on, is temperature range. There is a standard temperature rating called “EN”. It is a limit for the temperature an standard man will be able to sleep comfortably at night. Moreover we have “EN Extreme” which is the temperature, a standard woman will survive for six hours.
I personally suggest an EN rating with a limit of 15 degrees Fahrenheit. It will be a 3 season sleeping bag. will be good through spring to fall.
To make it short: When we say that a sleeping bag temperature rating is 15 degrees , It simply means that a standard man is gonna sleep comfortably if the air temperature doesn’t drop under 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
2- Other Extra Features
Zipper for Connecting Two : Some sleeping bags have a zipper on the side which is used to merge two sleeping bags together. It’s a good feature for couples. However it makes the whole insulation less efficient. But on the other hand makes the whole camping sleeping more romantic! obviously the central zip sleeping bags don’t have an feature like this.
Hood: The hood helps you keep your head warm and blocks the heat inside the sleeping bag from being wasted from the top. Moreover some sleeping bags have a pocket for you to stuff your clothes inside, and make a pillow for yourself. You might still have to wear your own hat, but it is still preferable over a hoodless sleeping bag.
Draft tube: Some bags have an insulation-filled tube behind the main zipper in order to keep the warmth inside and insulate it from escaping through the zipper. Most effective feature for you to keep your body warm during the night without having to carry a heavy low temperature range sleeping bag.
Stash pocket: You can use the pocket to keep the things you might need during the night, or even after waking up in the morning near to yourself. Things such as your glasses, watch, phone or pills. You probably don’t wanna keep these things in your own pockets, Since they make you uncomfortable while sleeping in a sleeping bag.
Pad loops: These loops are primarily used for attaching a sleeping mat to the bottom of a sleeping bag. They are necessary. Specially for the down sleeping bags which need a pad under them as a protection against wet ground. Some sleeping bags might have a pad sleeve instead of the pad loops. it can be easier, since you can put the whole sleeping pad inside that sleeve. the advantage of a pad sleeve over pad loops is that, in case of the sleeves the pad has no room to move during the night as you turn. which guarantees complete cover under your sleeping bag through the whole night.
Spacious Foot box: When we are talking sleeping bags, comfortability is everything. if you sleep on your back instead of your sides. The sleeping bags are mostly very tight, so you want some room for moving your legs. It can help you get better sleep. Moreover, it makes an extra space inside the bag which makes the whole insulation thing work better.
Pad sleeve: It is like a large pocket at the bottom of your sleeping bag to put a mat inside. I suggest using an inflatable mat, so you can firstly put it in place inside the pocket and then blow it up, to be fixed in place. Having a pad sleeve, means that your sleeping bag is not gonna have an insulation on the bottom which makes it much lighter and more comprisable after being packed in a sack.
Smallest Sleeping Bags Comparison Table
The sleeping bags
Also about the couple’s sleeping bag, you have to be careful with the choice you wanna make on that. Since in some of your campings, in the future you might actually need separated sleeping bags to be more comfortable or simply sometimes you are going to be single on your camping trip and the couple sleeping bag is gonna become useless in those situations.
I hope you have found this article useful, for choosing a cheap and compact sleeping bag for your camping trips. These tips are mostly based on my own personal experience and also the research i have done. If you have any questions, you can post it in the comment section below.
Wish you a calm and comfortable camping sleep.