Backpackers love to sleep in comfort as they anticipate the next day’s adventure. But, this supposed fun-filled exploration may soon come to ruin with the wrong backpacking equipment.
You’d relate better if you ever did a freezing night in the woods. Just a night out there could feel like a dreadful unending experience. If you ever had such, you wouldn’t mind investing your last dime for the best backpacking sleeping bag on the market.
Down sleeping bags contain down filling as insulation instead of synthetic filling. Similarly, these sleeping bags are best for the winter season.
Down filling absorbs water quickly, and most down sleeping bags are not waterproof. But these sleeping bags offer the best insulation and keeps you warm throughout the cold nights.
Because most of us are on a budget, it’s essential to make the best possible choice with your first sleeping bag. Later, you’ll be able to buy more to fill in your needs.
We’re going to dig into the best sleeping bags on the market today that you can pick up within a $200 budget.
WINNER OUTFITTERS Mummy Sleeping Bag with Compression Sack
Considering its affordability, Winner Outfitters Mummy Sleeping Bag is an excellent pick. But for the same reason, being price, you may not expect the best functionality from this traveling pack. However, this sleeping bag is ideal for backpackers who explore temperate regions.
The bag is built with a unique quilting construction with a complete draft tube. Its buyer reviews on amazon speak volumes of its efficiency, particularly when compared with its relatively low cost. Even more, the sleeping bag is machine-friendly.
Indeed, washing a sleeping bag after camping is a big plus – you don’t want to stink sweat and wood smoke on your next trip. You’d appreciate this feature more when out with the kids.
- Full draft tube
- It got designed with SBS – a world-leading sipper supplier.
- Lifetime warranty
- Zipper not strong enough.
Hyke & Byke Eolus 0 Degree F 800 Fill
At just 200 dollars, this EN temperature-rated 0-degree bag gives you a ton of cold weather insulation thanks to the ultralight premium quality goose-down filling.
This type of fill also helps it compress down a bit to fit comfortably into a bivy sack or even a hammock.
The DWR face coated water repellent 400T 20 D ripstop nylon fabric liner adds to the bag’s durability.
Of course, you want to care for your sleeping bag and not treat it too roughly, but the bag can handle the rougher terrain if you do.
There’s a hood with a drawstring, which is nice to use when sitting around the campfire.
To make things easy on the trail, the Hyke & Byke 800 fits easily into a 6.5-liter compression sack to take up minimal space in your pack, about the size of a standard-size water bottle.
The vertical baffles are a nice touch as well to be able to adjust the down more throughout the length of your body.
There’s the right balance of the space and fill in the shoulders and foot box to protect these areas from getting cold.
- Water resistance
TETON Sports Celsius XXL Sleeping Bag
You can unzip the sleeping bag from either the top or bottom, which gives you added airflow. The bag, which is available in black, gray, and olive green, is 90 by 39 inches. It weighs 7 pounds when packed.
It comes with a compression sack with heavy-duty straps, so it’s easy to store when you’re not using it. It has an interior pocket that can hold items such as a wallet or keys.
The TETON Sports Celsius has fiberfill, double-layer construction, and draft tubes to keep the cold air out and the warm air in.
The flannel lining wicks away moisture, and the bag features hang loops that keep it lofty during long-term storage. The bag is also available with a correct zip or a left zip, depending on your preference.
However, there have been some complaints that the zipper malfunctions after a short period of use. The sleeping bag also tends to unzip relatively quickly. In addition, the inside material feels more like slick polyester instead of soft flannel.
- Very comfortable.
- Pleasant materials.
- Pocket for valuables.
- Baffles for extra protection.
- Adjustable hood.
- Great price.
- No zipper on the bottom.
Paria Outdoor 0 Degree Down Mummy Sleeping Bag
The outer layer of the bag is made of a durable 20D ripstop nylon fabric and YKK zippers which are built to last.
Despite the insulating powers of this bag, it’s still amazingly lightweight, weighing in at just 2lb 15oz. When compressed, the sack measures just 12 x 7 inches, making it the perfect backpacker companion.
This bag retains heat well thanks to the draft collar and trapezoidal foot box with extra insulation, and it’s also easy to get in and out of thanks to the two-way zipper and zip-guard, and no drawstrings or velcro for ultimate ease and comfort.
The fully insulated and contoured hood can also be cinched entirely down, while you can quickly shed heat on warmer nights with the large two-way YKK zipper, which opens from top and bottom.
- Let you stay toasty warm
- Reliable and durable
- Swift zipper operation
- Competitive performance
- They should improve the zipper position
- Only suitable for small body built
OmniCore Designs Multi Down Mummy Sleeping Bag
The Multi-Down Rectangular Sleeping Bag from OmniCore is a super spacious option that’s great for space-loving sleepers offered in three different temperature ratings! (-10, 10, and 30 degrees F)
This sleeping bag is designed to feel like a traditional rectangular sleeping bag with lots of sprawl space yet employs a few more typical mummy bags.
There’s a full enclosure hood with a built-in pillow pocket that can boost your warmth if used effectively.
For that matter, full enclosure hoods (and pillow pockets) are super underrated, in my opinion, and can make all the difference when it comes to remaining insulated overnight.
A 75-denier Diamond Ripstop (DWR) shell keeps you dry on the outside while two different down insulations work together to keep you warm.
Six hundred fifty fill power duck down is layered with OmniCore’s proprietary StratusLoft fill for an insulation system that’s both exceptionally warm and more waterproof than the vast majority of competitor insulation.
The price is quite reasonable on this one; it’s a great affordable sleeping bag option for car camping. Its larger dimensions limit the applications of this bag, but for the exemplary scenario, this unit will provide you with some serious comfort and bang for your buck.
- Mummy design creates extra comfort
- Affordable, budget-friendly price
- Different colors to suit different temperatures
- It can be quite narrow, causing restriction
Coleman 0°F Mummy Sleeping Bag
Baffles around the neck and the zip also make sure that warm air stays in the bag rather than leaking out.
The North Rim is rated for temperatures between 0°F and 10°F (-18°C – -12°C).
This is a minimum temperature rating, not necessarily a comfort temperature rating, but even so, this is a warm bag.
So warm that you want to keep it for cold weather use only as it’ll be far too hot in summer.
The one downside is the bag size and weight.
This is a beast of a sleeping bag, and if you want a bag for winter backpacking, you may want to invest in a lighter (and more expensive) model.
But if you’re looking for maximum warmth for minimum cash, you won’t find a better value bag than the Coleman North Rim.
- Very warm!
- Lots of features for your money
- Two-way zipper so you can let your feet breathe
- Bulky and heavy
- The stuff sack is a little small
Hyke & Byke Antero Down Sleeping Bag
Hyke & Byke’s hammock compatible sleeping bags serve as both an under the quilt and top quilt to keep you snug in cold weather even above ground!
The warmest bag in the Antero range is given a 15°F lower limit rating (for men) and a 30°F comfort rating (for women).
It’s stuffed full of 800 fill power goose down, which means it is pretty compressible and lightweight.
The bag is designed to be 4 inches wider than standard sleeping bags to give some wiggle room inside your hammock.
If you’re a more prominent person who finds standard sleeping bags too restricting, it may be worth checking out the Antero range for use in a tent.
This seal around the hammock at the head and the toe may not be quite as tight as you like, and if you can feel a draft coming through, you might want to stuff some clothes in the ends to prevent icy toes.
- Flexible design – can be used on a hammock or the ground
- Lightweight and compressible
- Good value
- Drafty at the foot end
Choosing Your Sleeping Bag Shape
Sleeping bags come in four main shapes to fit individual campers’ specific needs and wants, including a rectangular, semi-rectangular, mummy, and then double bag.
To choose which type of sleeping bag shape is the best fit for your needs, you must first think about how and where you plan to use the sleeping bag.
To help with this process, we have broken down the four main types of sleeping bags so that you have a better idea of which one will be the right fit for how you plan to use your sleeping bag.
- Rectangular Shape
The first and most common type of sleeping bag is the essential rectangular-shaped bag as it appeals to the largest group of campers.
This type of bag is best suited for casual campers that camp in primarily fair and warm weather conditions.
The bag is typically simple in design and heavier when compared to more compact and expensive sleeping bags.
One of the best things about the rectangular-shaped sleeping bag is that it provides a lot of room to move around inside the bag comfortably. Also, the rectangular sleeping bag can usually be completely opened up and used as a comforter if desired.
This type of sleeping bag is best thought of as a compromise between the roominess of a rectangular sleeping bag and the warmth of a mummy sleeping bag.
Provide a little more room to move around inside the sleeping bag than a full-on mummy bag.
But also providing more warmth than a standard rectangular sleeping bag typically will offer. This type of sleeping bag is best suited for campers looking for a little more warmth when camping in the spring and fall but don’t need or want to sleep in a full mummy bag.
The mummy shape sleeping bag is the ultimate sleeping bag for warmth when sleeping in extreme cold weather conditions.
However, the biggest drawback to using a mummy sleeping bag is that there is little to no room to move around in the bag, and some campers can find the bag claustrophobic.
When you’re sleeping in a mummy bag, when you roll over, you roll over with the bag instead of inside of it.
- Double Bag
The double bag is a great choice for the couple wanting to sleep together while camping. The double bag is just an extension of the standard rectangular bag; it’s just twice the size to accommodate two people.
While not meant for extremely cold weather conditions, it does provide a fair amount of warmth and allows for plenty of room to move around inside the bag comfortably.
However, a word of caution is that the double sleeping bag tends to be very bulky and heavy, so they are not a good choice for backpacking or hiking.
Buyers Guide for Best Down Sleeping Bag Under 200
It’s not difficult to buy a cold-weather sleeping bag, but more than their warm-weather counterparts, it’s kind of essential to get it right.
You don’t want to spend a night freezing or carry around a bag that’s the wrong material!
1. Down or Synthetic Fill Insulation
Most cold-weather sleeping bags use down insulation due to their high warmth-to-weight ratio.
It’s also more expensive than synthetic insulation, which is one reason why warm sleeping bags are expensive.
If you’d prefer a synthetic sleeping bag either because of cost or for ethical reasons, then expect to have a heavier, bulkier bag to get the same level of warmth as an equivalent rated down bag.
The quality of down used in a bag also makes a massive difference to its warmth and weight.
This is measured by “fill power.” Fill power is a measure of the volume filled by an ounce of down feathers.
The bigger the volume – or the greater the loft – the more heat can be held between the feathers and the warmer the sleeping bag.
As you may expect, sleeping bags with a higher fill power are typically more expensive.
There’s usually a trade-off between cost and weight – high fill power bags will be lighter and more packable, but they’ll also cost more.
One disadvantage of down is that it can lose a lot of its warmth when it gets wet.
If most of your camping is done in cold, rainy climates, then a synthetic bag may a better option for you.
2. Weight and Packability
We would almost always recommend a down sleeping bag for backpacking in cold weather as it’s much easier to compress down and lighter to carry.
The only exception would be camping in a situation where it’s highly likely that your sleeping bag will get wet – in that case, synthetic insulation may be a better option.
Even a down-filled cold weather sleeping bag will take up a fair bit of space in your backpack, so the trade-off then becomes a battle between price, weight, and warmth.
3. Temperature rating
Temperature rating helps determine what works best for various weather conditions. Lately, some temperature ratings on the labels can be misleading.
However, you still want to see what the labels say. For cold destinations, opt for temps between +10°F and -10°F. If lower than -10°F, arm yourself with a bag designed for frigid regions.
Yes – zippers matter a lot. Some bags have a full-length zipper, and others are one-sided. The zipper helps regulate warmth or cold inside the sleeping bag. If it gets too hot, unzip. In case it’s freezing? Zip up.
In the end, everything revolves around your budget and, most importantly, your convenience. When determining comfortability, the thickness and size of your bag are typical factors.
A larger and more spacious sleeping bag gives you more space. The downside, however, is that roomier bags come with less insulation and, in turn, more cold air inside.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does a comfort limit mean on a sleeping bag?
Comfort Limit: the temperature at which a standard man can sleep for eight hours in a curled position without waking. This rating is the lower threshold for a quiet night’s sleep.
Extreme: the minimum temperature at which a standard woman can remain for six hours without risk of death from hypothermia.
2. Is a down sleeping bag worth it?
The pros of down sleeping bags
Fluffy, light down works best to provide comfy sleep. Low quality down mixed with feathers or damp does not work better than a synthetic one.
Down sleeping bags last much longer than synthetic ones when you take proper care of them. They can last three-four times longer!
3. What is considered lightweight for a sleeping bag?
Lightweight Sleep Systems
Your goal should be to reduce the total weight of your sleep system to three pounds or less. This is achievable if you can get your sleeping bag or top quilt under two pounds (32 ounces) in weight and a sleeping pad under one pound (16 ounces).
Finding the absolute best sleeping bag under $200 is no easy task. However, We hope that our recommendations combined with our comprehensive buying guide will help you with your search. Remember, think about what you will use the sleeping bag for, along with your priorities in weight, warmth, and cost. Consider these points, and you’ll be snuggled up in your new sleeping bag in no time!