Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags Under $200 [2017 Buyer’s Guide]

backpacking sleeping bags

Sleeping bags can be one of the most expensive pieces of backpacking equipment you’ll have to purchase. What’s worse is that you’ll probably have to buy more than one of them. Why? Because you’ll want one that’s right for every temperature range you might be hiking in.

Because most of us are on a budget, it’s important 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. Just click one of the links below to jump to the right section:

3-Season Bags

Winter Bags

Down Bags

3-Season Bags

These bags are usually good from spring through summer and into fall. They’re not meant for really extreme cold weather and some may be too warm for the heat of summer. It can be hard to find the perfect bag for all of these conditions!

Outdoor Vitals OV-Light

It’s hard to disagree with a price tag that’s affordable. On top of that, the OV 35 is rated for temperatures that can easily handle 2.5-season backpacking conditions. It’s remarkably packable compared to other bags in the category and, overall, features most of what any backpacker might expect to see in a mummy bag’s features.

One thing I like about these bags is that a left handed and right handed model can be zipped together to make a double size bag. This isn’t a new concept but it is a fun way to go backpacking or camping with your partner.

At 34 ounces overall weight the bags aren’t necessarily lightweight, but they’re light enough to make a good choice for a budget sleeping bag that will handle plenty of backpacking situations. Adjustable facial baffles and zipper baffles help to improve the overall warmth and flexibility of the Outdoor Vitals OV. They’ll help you stay warm when you push the sleeping bag to its limits in the cold.

TETON Sports TrailHead +20F Ultralight Sleeping Bag

TETON delivers us another good mummy bag with hollow fill synthetic lining and all the major features we need to get started backpacking. This time it’s a bit lighter overall coming in at just under 48 ounces overall – that’s a tad shy of 3 pounds. Twenty degrees is the temperature rating I usually choose for most 3-season backpacking.

Twenty degrees is the temperature rating I usually choose for most 3-season backpacking. That said, it should serve you well in most spring, summer, and fall conditions but don’t expect it to handle cold-winter camping. They’ve chosen the lofty and roomy circular sewn foot box which provides tons of room for stretching your feet and the extra space helps keep your toes warm!

I like the internal mesh-zippered pocket on the TETON Sports TrailHead, which can be handy for stashing your wallet, keys, or a headlamp for nighttime excursions to use the bathroom. Most users’ biggest complaints are that the bag seems to be more of a 30-degree bag than a 20-degree bag.

Kelty Tuck 22 Degree Bag

Kelty is a mainstay name in backpacking equipment and they’ve delivered what I might consider being the best overall product on our list. This 22-degree bag weighs about 3 pounds overall (48 oz). It can be chosen in either regular size or long size. It’s also stuffed with tons of Thermapro insulation for maximum warmth.

One thing I love about this bag is the totally unique zipper design. The full-length zipper crosses over the top of the bag just before the end of the foot box. This means you can unzip the lower half of the bag and just stick your feet right out. Or simply unzip a portion of the bag for better temperature regulation.

Overall, I think the quality and price on this Kelty Tuck Sleeping Bag is a tough match to beat in the price range.

Cold Weather & Winter Bags

These bags are bulky, heavy, and full of insulation. When it comes to winter bags you may have to shell out more money to get the products that will keep you warm. With more warmth and insulation, however, comes greater weight and bulk.

TETON Sports Tracker +5F Ultralight Sleeping Bag

At a whopping 4.1 pounds, or over 64 ounces this sleeping bag is one of the heavier options out there. Why so heavy? Because it’s rated down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit and won’t cost you hundreds of dollars. Of course, when we’re looking to find the best sleeping bags on a budget, we’re going to have to compromise in some areas.

Wide horizontal baffles help distribute the synthetic insulation. Full-length zipper draft tube puts extra insulation right where it’s needed to prevent cold air exchange through the zipper. Of course, it comes with an included compression sack. This is a stuff bag with straps that can be used to reduce the overall bulk of the sleeping bag when packed away.

They’ve crafted the outer shell from a ripstop nylon fabric which will resist tearing or spreading of damage should the Sports Tracker Ultralight bag get snagged. I’m always a fan of companies seeking to provide a budget minded product for consumers so I’m glad to see TETON putting out an affordable bag.

Ohuhu 0 Degree Mummy Camping Sleeping Bag

My first ever winter camping trip was done in a zero degree synthetic bag. When we start camping in these cold temps, it’s necessary to have some serious insulation. Because of that, the bags can become quite bulky and heavy.

While most users rave about the bag’s performance to value ratio, some warn of the temperature rating. My suggestion is to always test your sleeping bags in the temperatures you intend to backpack in by sleeping in the back yard. Once you’re sure it’ll meet your needs, then take it out on a long trip.

Despite their use of waterproof 300 denier nylon outer shell material I’d avoid getting this bag wet. Even synthetic insulation loses its ability to retain heat when wet. With that said, it does help in shedding rainwater splash or blown rain when tarp camping. For that reason, the Ohuhu 0 Degree Mummy Camping Sleeping Bag is a good choice for tarp campers!

Coleman North Rim Extreme Weather Sleeping Bag

This extremely popular bag is produced by Coleman which most readers will recognize as a staple of the outdoor brands. It’s rated for 0-10 degree temps and most users find that it holds up to those ratings just fine. As is always a concern with winter sleeping bags, it does have some serious bulk and weight.

Tipping the scales at nearly 6 pounds and packing down to approximately 10″ in diameter and 20″ long, this bag will take up a ton of space in your pack. Without a doubt, the Coleman North Rim Extreme Weather Sleeping Bag is a bag you’ll want to only rely on when it’s truly necessary. When the mercury drops and you’re on a budget you’ll want this one in your repertoire though!

Down Bags

These bags are made from lightweight nylon shells and down insulation. This type of insulation is usually from ducks or geese and can vary in quality. It’s lighter and more insulative than most manmade insulation. One major drawback is that down loses most of its warmth when wet.

Hyke & Byke Shavano 32 F Ultralight Mummy Bag

This is the first down filled bag we’ve tossed into the list. Why? Because they’re usually quite expensive! Not so in this case.

Hyke & Byke have delivered to us a 32 degree down mummy bag at a price that can’t be argued with. That said, I’d take the 32-degree rating with a grain of salt. However, you can get their 15-degree down mummy bag for just a few dollars more and it’s still less than $200!

At less than 2 pounds overall, this bag ranks among the lightest we’ve reviewed for under $200. The light weight is mostly thanks to the impressively thin 20 denier nylon shell and down insulation. Of course, we need to be aware that these materials need to be handled appropriately. 20D nylon won’t take as much abuse as thicker materials!

Outdoor Vitals – 0 Degree Down Sleeping Bag

With a lifetime warranty, high fill power down, and lightweight nylon shell this is a pretty high quality down bag at a budget price. Using 800 fill power down OV has managed to pull off a 0-degree mummy bag at just a tad under 3 pounds. This is far better than many of the synthetic bags in this price range!

I like the included compression sack to help compress the bag. Just remember to keep the bag out of its stuff sack when not on a trip. It’s extremely important that down bags be stored in their “lofted” state. I hang mine over a pair of hangers in my closet.

I’d say this makes the Outdoor Vitals – 0 Degree Down Sleeping Bag very solid 4-season sleeping bag choice for any hiker. Just keep in mind that it will be much too warm for most summer uses and you’ll end up wanting a backup bag for warm temps.

Outdoor Vitals Explorer 25°F Rectangular Down Sleeping Bag

Finally, we’ve got a backpacking sleeping bag that breaks the mold a bit. If you’ve ever felt like a mummy bag is just too restrictive, you’re not alone. This OV rectangular bag uses the traditional square style foot box to overcome that problem.

On top of that, it’s also made to fit two people side by side when you pair it with a second bag. Simply zip the zippers together for a double! If you’re looking to do some backpacking or camping with a partner, it’s always more enjoyable to share a bag. OV managed to pull off this roomy one-person down sleeping bag at just 3.1 pounds overall!

I do like that OV stands behind their products with a 1-year warranty. Thanks to the 20d nylon shell materials, 700D duck down fill, and a roomy bag you’ll be able to have the flexibility to choose how you sleep.

Conclusion

There’s no one bag for everyone. Some will want a synthetic bag, others will opt for the more expensive down bags. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses.

Our list includes some of the best and some of the most affordable bags commonly available at under $200. Of course, you’ll need to increase your budget if you expect to find the most advanced and lightweight bags available.

Even on a budget, however, you’ll be able to find something on our list that can meet your needs at a price you’ll love.

About the author

Casey Fiedler

Professional ski instructor and backpacking guide, Casey Fiedler went to school with CWC and NOLS for Outdoor Education and Leadership. Want to read more about what it takes to lead great adventure trips? Casey writes about outdoor education at caseyfiedler.wordpress.com