The Best Budget Sleeping Bags for Your next Camping Trip Leave a comment


   07.08.21

The Best Budget Sleeping Bags for Your next Camping Trip

So maybe you’re not a hardcore backpacker or mountaineering expert. Maybe you just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and get out into the great outdoors but you’ve got to do it on a budget. Well today that’s what we are here to talk about. Sleeping bags are one of those items that would seem like they have a pretty uniform price scale but depending on what you’re doing the reality may shock you as far as pricing goes. Summer camping is usually the easiest type of sleeping bag to shop for because you can get away with less material but what about budget options for fall, winter and spring when the weather can be more unforgiving and unpredictable? That’s what we’ll find out by going over the 5 best budget sleeping bags for any camping adventure.

1. ALPS Mountaineering Blaze – Editor’s Pick All Season

This “mummy style” all season sleeping bag is made from a durable polyester outer shell and features two layers of insulating material. The lower end of the temperature range for this sleeping bag goes below freezing to just 11 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, this sleeping bag won’t get you quite into the top of the ALPS as it also does just as well in warmer temperatures. The sleeping bag comes with a standard stuff sack and comes in regular and extra large sizes as well as a handful of different color variations. The Alps Mountaineering Blaze sleeping bag is available for $79.95.

Pros/Insulated enough to keep you warm at night while having easy zipper access for letting cool air in and body heat out

Cons/Might be slightly better suited towards more northern regions all year around

Bottom Line/A great bag from a company with a solid reputation for all season gear

2. ECOOPRO Warm Weather Sleeping Bag – Editor’s Pick Summer

I’ve actually been using one of these off and on for the last 3 years on all my summertime camping trips. The backpack is not only perfect for hot summer months of camping but also extremely lightweight and compact. The ECOOPRO finds itself right at home whether you’re doing some camping by the lake or going on a backpacking trip and need a light and cheap sleeping bag to take along.

The ECOOPRO comes in 6 different colors and configurations and features  an 86”x30” bag size which is perfect for most adults with room to spare at the bottom. In a pinch, the ECOOPRO can also be used as a comforter so you get the benefit of both the bottom and top layers of insulation. The ECOOPRO is available for $30.99.

Pros/Light and easy to carry, perfect for summer

Cons/If it gets cold, which can happen in the summer, it’s too light

Bottom Line/A perfect bag for those hot summer nights

3. Big Agnes Buell – Editor’s Pick Spring

Springtime can be tricky in certain parts of the country so it is best to come prepared for anything. Rain, Sun, Wind and even Snow. Having a sleeping bag that is not only good to go no matter what the temperature and also able to wick away any moisture from heavy spring rains. The Big Agnes Buell features their Fireline pro synthetic insulation which can trap heat well but is also extremely breathable.

The sleeping bag is also very water repellent by using a DWR finish which makes it perfect for adverse conditions in the back country should you run into them. The Big Agnes Buell sleeping bag is available for $109.95 and is available in only red/navy coloring.

Pros/Lightweight and perfect for backpacking

Cons/On the expensive side of budget territory

Bottom Line/As long as below zero temperatures aren’t forecasted this one should get you through the night in comfort

4. FARLAND Waterproof Compression Sack – Editor’s Pick Fall

Fall brings about cooler temperatures, occasional heat spikes and in certain parts of the country, a ton of rain. That doesn’t mean your camping adventures need to stop. The FARLAND sleeping bag is rated down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit and is portable and somewhat lightweight. The FARLAND compresses down into a compact size much like the ECOOPRO but this one weighs 7lbs and is more suitable for group camping trips as it can sleep two people easily. .

What makes the FARLAND compression sack unique is that it is completely waterproof and breathable which means you’ll be in the best shape no matter what the backcountry throws at you each day. The sleeping bag is available in 14 Different styles and can be had from between $39.99 to 55.99 depending on the style you pick.

Pros/Lots of variety and features a waterproof design

Cons/Heavy compared to other packs on this list, probably not suited for backpacking

Bottom Line/This one is perfect for the couple on an adventure who need a good fall sleeping bag to share

5. Coleman North Rim Sleeping Bag – Editor’s Pick Winter

Cold weather typically brings in a higher premium for camping gear due to the cost of manufacturing lightweight yet insulating materials that won’t let you freeze. Coleman, however, has a great budget option that won’t break the bank but will still keep you warm down to zero degrees Fahrenheit.

 The bag is extra-large and can accommodate an adult up to 6’6” in height and features a semi-sculpted hood that also serves as a makeshift pillow when needed. The Zip Plow technology included in Colemans bags ensures snagging won’t occur when you’re trying to bundle up for the night. The Coleman North Rim Cold Weather sleeping bag is available for $49.99.

Pros/Heavy insulation and affordable for winter gear

Cons/While it is rated for 0 degrees there are sleeping bags that can handle negative temperatures

Bottom Line/It’s not as warm as a Tauntaun but it’ll smell a lot better and keep you warm down to all but the most bitter of cold nights

When you need a 0-degree bag

When it comes to cold weather performance, 0 degree sleeping bags do exactly what they say. While the temperature rating reaches down to zero, the reality is that this is just a guide and that you can probably sneak a bit below that before needing to upgrade to a different type of bag (that will no doubt cost you hundreds). Beyond that you could always just put on more layers to keep yourself nice and warm in the blizzard you just found yourself in.

A 0-degree bag will cover you for 20 and even 30 degree nights, and maybe even higher, although it is my experience that you’d need to vent more to be comfortable.

The main thing I want you to take away from sleeping bag temperature ratings is this – every person can and will be a little different. If you buy a summer-weight bag and find you get cold during the night, the next time out, you may want a warmer-rated bag.

Rectangle vs. mummy bags

Sleeping bags are generally either shaped like a coffin or a rectangle. I personally prefer the rectangular type of sleeping bag because they allow me to move around more but they are generally less warm than their mummy counterparts. The mummy style sleeping bags are best suited for people who want to be warm and like the feeling of being bungled up or don’t move around a lot.

There are bags to fit every type of season that come as a mummy bag or rectangle bag, so you can decide what you want.

Sleeping bags and stuff
Mummy bags can be comfortable, but if you move around a lot in your sleep, you won’t like one.

Pillows

Pillows are extra bulk and can be annoying to carry around especially on backpacking trips. I would say to bring one along if you don’t have far to go (casual camping) or consider getting a blow up or compressible sleeping bag pillow for longer treks. Keeping your head off the ground is just as important as keeping your body off the ground but in a pinch you could always use a sweater or use your backpack to keep your head and neck elevated. I’m not sure about how comfortable that would be, but it’s worth a shot if you don’t want to take a pillow along.

How much should I spend on a sleeping bag?

Boy, what a loaded question. There are a ton of variables when it comes to determining how much you should spend on a sleeping bag. As we’ve covered above, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get a good sleeping bag. Look at temperature ratings, materials used and construction to determine your budget.

Can I sleep on my side using a mummy sleeping bag?

Yes, you can sleep on your side, but it may not be very comfortable. You’ll most likely need a sleeping pad and a pillow to make it comfortable for you to sleep on your side in a mummy bag.

Can I use a 0-degree bag year round?

Of course you can. You just may need to sleep in less layers and open the zipper to vent some. On hot nights, if I’m using a 0-degree bag, I’ll leave it open and only cover up if I get cold, which can still happen at night any time of year.

About the Author

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Luke is currently a full-time writer for TheFirearmBlog.com, OvertDefense.com, AllOutdoor.com, and of course, OutdoorHub.com. Luke is a competitive shooter, firearms enthusiast, reloader, outdoorsman, and generally takes an interest in anything that has to do with the great outdoors.
Luke is also a private certified pilot and is currently pursuing his commercial pilot’s license in the hopes of becoming a professional pilot. Some of Luke’s other interests include anything to do with aviation, aerospace and military technology, and American Conservancy efforts.
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