The Best Sleeping Bag for Hunting in 2023

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If you’re in a rush and want to find out what the best sleeping bag for hunting is, we recommend the Sea to Summit Spark Ultralight 5F sleeping bag.

Hunting season only takes up a relatively small portion of the year. So, if you’ve been counting down the days until you can pack up your bow or gun, the last thing you want is to be miserable on your trip.

Cold temperatures and uncomfortable sleeping arrangements can make it hard to get a good night’s rest, causing you to wake up feeling groggy and unprepared for the day. To help you get the most out of hunting season, we’ve prepared a list of the best hunting sleeping bags to help your body recharge for the following day.

In this article, we’ll be reviewing the following best sleeping bags for hunting:

Materials

two backpacks on a rock by a log

Whether it’s from rain, mud, dirt, or a trip through the washing machine, your sleeping bag is going to be exposed to a variety of harsh environments. That’s why the materials used in its construction need to be top notch, to keep your sleeping bag in one piece, to prevent moisture from saturating your fill, and to make it easy to clean.

Synthetics are almost exclusively used to make the outer layer and inner lining of any sleeping bag. Sometimes you’ll see something like flannel used as a material, but that’s the exception, not the rule. More often than not, the outer layer will be ripstop nylon and the inner lining with be polyester.

Down Vs Synthetic Fill

The fill of your sleeping bag is what allows you to stay warm during the night. It acts as an insulator, trapping your body heat inside, while preventing cold air from entering from the outside. In reality, you only have two options to pick from here: down and synthetic.

A down fill is usually made from goose or duck feathers. It’s an incredibly lightweight material, and the superior option in terms of insulative properties, since you only need a small amount for it to be effective. For extreme cold temperatures, or for ultralightweight backpacking, you’re not going to find anything better. However, it’s not without its flaws.

For example, down loses its insulative properties when wet, so if your sleeping bag happens to get fully saturated, it won’t work anymore. Down is also the more expensive option, which makes it less than ideal for people on a budget.

Synthetic, on the other hand, is fairly cheap and will continue to insulate even when wet. In many ways, you can think of it as the inverse of down. While it will keep you warm, it usually doesn’t have as low of temperature ratings, and it certainly isn’t as lightweight.

Fill Power

sleeping bag next to a campfire in the forest

Fill power is a measurement to determine the loftiness (fluffiness) of down. The higher the fill power, the fluffier the down, the better it’s able to trap warm air. And when the insulation is better able to trap warm air, you’ll need less of it in your sleeping bag, compared to a product with a lower fill power. With less insulation weighing it down, your sleeping bag will be lighter, and much more suitable for hike in, backcountry hunting.

As a side note, the concept of fill power only applies to down insulation. Synthetics don’t have this type of metric.

Weight

Different hunters will have different requirements for their sleeping bags. A friend of mine likes to backpack through northern Colorado to hunt elk, and he likes to stay as lightweight as possible. However, plenty of you won’t be traveling around as much as he does, which means you can get away with a couple extra pounds of weight.

Generally speaking, the products listed in our review are going to lighter. Since they’re all mummy sleeping bags, they won’t have the bulk and heft that you might find on a rectangular or semi-rectangular bag. That allows you to keep weight to a minimum, while amplifying the amount of heat retention that you’ll experience.

Packed Size

blue sleeping bag packed away on the floor

One feature that I feel is often overlooked by people looking for a hunting sleeping bag is packed size. Which is to say, how much space does it take up when it’s packed away? This particular metric is measured in liters, and can vary dramatically depending on the type of sleeping bag you choose.

Generally speaking, mummy bags do a good job of maintaining a small packed size. I would say that 9 liters is pretty standard, though you will find some that dip down to 5 liters or less. Conversely, there are some that measure in excess of 20 liters, which will take up a lot of space inside of your backpack.

Durability

The durability of a product is directly correlated to the materials used in its construction. We’ve already established that nylon and polyester are what you’ll see the most, so is there actually any difference in durability between sleeping bags?

The answer is “yes.” And that’s because you can’t overlook an important metric called denier.

Denier is essentially a measurement of the thickness of a thread. The higher the denier, the thicker the thread, which ultimately equates to a more durable material. A denier of 10-20 is pretty standard, but some of the more durable options can get up to 50. Just beware that a higher denier also means a heavier weight, and a larger packed size.

Price

Sleeping bag prices can range from $100 to several times that number. We tried to keep things balanced by reviewing some of the best hunting sleeping bags across a wide range of prices, but most of them will still cost a pretty penny.

When it comes to camping gear, I always recommend paying a little more for a premium product. If you want something that will get the job done well, and stand the test of time, there’s no getting around paying a little extra for something high quality.

The Best Sleeping Bags for Hunting – Reviewed

Mountain Hardwear Men’s Bishop Pass 0 Sleeping Bag

  • Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 3.3 Pounds
  • Temperature Rating (Comfort): 13 Degrees
  • Insulation: Down
  • Compressed Volume: 11.5 Liters

A sleek and comfortable sleeping bag, the Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass works wonders in cold temperatures. While the rating says it’s a 0 degree bag, it’s important to remember that this is only telling you what temperature you can survive down to. You will not be comfortable in this sleeping bag if it’s below 13 degrees.

However, for climates hovering between 15-35 degrees, you’re not going to be disappointed. The down insulation has a fill power of 650, which is fairly average as far as the products in this review are concerned. Though it’s a tad bulky when packed away, a good compression sack will help you squish it down enough where it shouldn’t take up too much of the space inside your backpack.

For a mummy bag, it’s surprisingly spacious, and offers more than enough room for side sleepers to find the perfect position. The collar around the neck is warm and comfortable, doing a great job of trapping heat. Aside from how bulky it is, the only real downside I see with this bag is that the zippers don’t always want to cooperate. The internal zipper, especially, can be a little finnicky, which can make it difficult to get out in the morning. If you don’t mind playing around with it, though, the Bishop Pass is a one of the better cold weather sleeping bags that you’ll find for hunting.

Pros:

– Very warm
– Comfortable
– Spacious interior
– Reasonable weight
– Durable materials
– Decent fill power

Cons:

– Bulky
– Sticky zippers

REI Co-op Down Time 25 Down Sleeping Bag

  • Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 2.6 Pounds
  • Temperature Rating (Comfort): 35 Degrees
  • Insulation: Down
  • Compressed Volume: 6.3 Liters

As a relatively inexpensive sleeping bag, the REI Down Time is what you’d expect to get for the price. Overall, it’s a great product for fall camping and hunting, with a tested comfort rating of 35 degrees. Although, generally speaking, I’d say that you would stay comfortable inside this bag even if it dipped down to 30 degrees. That’ll get you through most climates in the United States until sometime in November, at which point you would need to use a liner, if you aren’t already.

At 3 pounds, it’s a pretty average weight for a cold weather sleeping bag. The compressed volume is a little better than the Bishop Pass mentioned above, so it won’t take up quite as much space inside your backpack. Additionally, the materials used in its construction have a high denier, which means the Down Time is a lot more likely to survive extended use in tough conditions.

Unfortunately, it’s not what I would consider a sleeping bag suitable for big people. Whether you’re tall, wide, or both, it’s going to be a tight fit. The knees, especially, are quite restrictive, and won’t leave you much room to stretch out and get comfortable. Most of you will want to go with the “long, wide” size for optimal comfort, but even that won’t be enough if you’re taller than 6 feet.

Pros:

– Good heat retention
– Very durable
– Decent weight
– Packs down well
– Good zippers

Cons:

– Narrow design

Mountain Equipment Iceline Sleeping Bag

  • Material: GORE-TEX Nylon
  • Weight: 3.6 Pounds
  • Temperature Rating: -22 Degrees
  • Insulation: Down
  • Compressed Volume: N/A

For most of you, the Mountain Equipment Iceline sleeping bag will be complete and utter overkill. However, for the hunter who finds himself in subzero temperatures, there’s nothing better to have than this particular sleeping bag.

Technically designed for mountaineering, the Iceline can be brought anywhere there’s heavy snow and brutally cold temperatures. The outer shell makes use of GORE-TEX, which is a highly durable, waterproof, and breathable material. As such, the shell can withstand the effects of snow accumulation without getting saturated, and it will repel falling condensation to keep you dry inside your tent.

But surely a sleeping bag with an 800 fill power down insulation would weigh too much to carry any reasonable distance. After all, a lot of material must have been used to create such a tank, right?

In reality, the Iceline is about the same weight as the Bishop Pass mentioned above. As a sleeping bag that’s superior in every way, there are only two major downsides that I can think of off the top of my head. First, it’s going to be too warm in temperatures that rise above freezing. This can be mitigated by using the bag as a top quilt, instead of sliding into it like it’s a cocoon, assuming you have a decent mattress underneath you. And the other downside is that it’s the most expensive product in our review. Is it worth the money? Absolutely. However, I also recognize that not everyone has the funds to spend on a hunting sleeping bag like this. If that sounds like you, I’d suggest taking a look at the next sleeping bag in our lineup.

Pros:

– Very warm
– Comfortable
– Spacious
– Internal storage
– Good weight
– High fill power
– Made from GORE-TEX

Cons:

– Price

Sea to Summit Spark Ultralight 5F Sleeping Bag

  • Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 1.9 Pounds
  • Temperature Rating (Comfort): 18 Degrees
  • Insulation: Down
  • Compressed Volume: 6.6 Liters

The Sea to Summit Spark series will always be one of my favorites, when it comes to finding the best sleeping bags for anything. It strikes the perfect balance between being lightweight and being extremely warm and comfortable, checking all of my requirements with flying colors.

Specifically, the “long” size of the Spark 5F sleeping bag weighs in at just over two pounds. That’s the lightest we’ve seen so far, and it even has a tested comfort rating of 18 degrees. In terms of sheer versatility, you’re not going to find anything better than the Spark when looking for the best hunting sleeping bag.

If you find yourself in warmer temperatures, you can still use this product as a 3 season sleeping bag. Just unzip it all the way down to your toes to let your body heat escape, and you’ll be able to survive a camping trip in mid-July. Packed size is pretty similar to the REI Down Time mentioned above, allowing you to leave most of your backpack open for other gear.

While it is still on the expensive side, this is the best value sleeping bag for the money. Wide and spacious, even tall hunters and campers can rest comfortably at night, regardless of their preferred sleeping position.

Pros:

– Lightweight
– Warm
– Packs down small
– Unzips all the way to the feet
– Best value for money
– Great customer service

Cons:

– Price

Kelty Cosmic 0 Sleeping Bag

  • Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 4.8 Pounds
  • Temperature Rating (Comfort): 17 Degrees
  • Insulation: Down
  • Compressed Volume: N/A

Upon first inspection, you might be tempted to pass over the Kelty Cosmic 0 sleeping bag. After all, it has a fill power of 550, which is comparatively less than most of the other products in this review. Surely you would freeze inside of it when temperatures dip into the teens and single digits, right?

Actually, that’s not the case at all. Even for cold sleepers, the Cosmic does a splendid job of creating and retaining heat. Whether you’re spending the night on the ground or in a hammock, most of you would be comfortable sleeping in your underwear, even without a base layer.

While it’s certainly not the lightest sleeping bag in our lineup, and it’s a bit bulky when packed down, it gets the job done well for a very reasonable price. If you plan on staying close to the same area for hunting, this is a sleeping bag you can put your confidence in for keeping you warm in temperatures that push the subzero limit. With a fairly spacious interior, people of all sizes will feel comfortable spending an extended amount of time inside of this bag.

Pros:

– Warm
– Good baffle
– Comfortable
– Fairly spacious
– Reasonable price

Cons:

– A bit heavy

The North Face Eco Trail Synthetic 20 Sleeping Bag

  • Material: Polyester
  • Weight: 4.4 Pounds
  • Temperature Rating (Comfort): 29 Degrees
  • Insulation: Polyester
  • Compressed Volume: 18.65 Liters

As the cheapest hunting sleeping bag in our list, The North Face Eco Trail sleeping bag is surprisingly good at what it does. Because of the low price, there’s certainly going to be a reduction in quality compared to the other bags in this review. However, it’s not going to be as big of a difference as you might expect.

From a warmth perspective, it’s not going to be as impressive as the Kelty Cosmic or the Sea to Summit Spark. However, the tested comfort rating is still 29 degrees, which isn’t too bad for a sleeping bag in this price range. In terms of sheer comfort, it’s an extremely cozy product that will make you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud. There’s enough room for a side sleeper to get in a comfortable position, or for someone to pull up their knees a little bit.

However, the biggest problem with this design is how bulky it is. The Eco Trail does not pack down well at all, with a compressed volume of almost 19 liters. That’s way too big to use on a backpacking trip, even though the weight is pretty similar to the REI Down Time mentioned above. However, if you don’t plan on moving around very much, it’s a nice option for 20-30 degree weather. The entire bag is made from recycled materials, except for the zippers, making it one of the more environmentally friendly choices as well.

Pros:

– Made from recycled materials
– Affordable
– Fairly comfortable
– Effective within a relatively large temperature range

Cons:

– Very bulky
– Insulation likes to separate

NEMO Sonic 0 Sleeping Bag

  • Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 3.3 Pounds
  • Temperature Rating (Comfort): 14 Degrees
  • Insulation: Down
  • Compressed Volume: 9.6 Liters

Without a doubt, Nemo is one of my favorite outdoor brands. My wife and I both have sleeping bags made by them, and we both agree that they’re the best that we’ve ever owned. The Sonic is yet another success by the brand, especially since it’s such a versatile bag, despite being designed for extreme cold temperatures.

Most sleeping bags rated for brutally cold weather will hold up well in that specific climate. But what happens when you take it to an area where it stays above 40 degrees at night? You’ll be hot, uncomfortable, and unable to sleep because the bag is keeping you too warm.

Along with most Nemo products, the Sonic solves this problem with its trademark ThermoGills. If you look at the photo of the sleeping bag, you’ll notice two vertical, yellow lines over the chest and abdomen. When you unzip these gills, they don’t completely open up to the outside. However, they allow a controlled release of heat that makes it possible to use the sleeping bag in warmer climates without suffocating. That makes it a -20 degree sleeping bag that can be used across a 50-60 degree temperature range.

The knees are stretchy, and the chest is wide enough for side sleepers to get into their favorite positions. And at 3.5 pounds, it’s still a decent weight for backcountry hunting.

Pros:

– A sleeping bag rated for -20 degrees
– Thermal vents allow you to release warm air if you get too hot
– 3.5 pound construction is suitable for backpacking
– Stretchy material lets you sleep in different positions
– Stuffed with hydrophobic down

Cons:

– Quite expensive
– The fill is warm, but not as warm as some would like

REI Co-op Men’s Magma 15 Sleeping Bag

  • Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 1.9 Pounds
  • Temperature Rating (Comfort): 28 Degrees
  • Insulation: Down
  • Compressed Volume: 5.7 Liters

Finally, we have the REI Co-op Magma 15 sleeping bag. There are a number of things about this particular product that I really appreciate, making it stand out from the crowd. For starters, it’s the lightest sleeping bag in our review, weighing in at a meager 1.9 pounds. This makes it ideal for backcountry hunting where you’ll find yourself moving locations pretty frequently.

It also has one of the smallest compressed volumes, which means it packs down smaller than almost anything else. In fact, at 5.7 liters, it’ll take up about two thirds less space in your backpack, compared to The North Face Eco Trail. But a lightweight, highly compressible sleeping bag is pound to be expensive or bad at keeping someone warm, right?

Actually, the Magma is one of the cheaper options in this review. And in terms of heat retention, there is some truth to the assertion that it will be somewhat inferior. However, with a tested comfort rating of 28 degrees, you could definitely do worse. As it is with most REI sleeping bags, the sizing runs a bit small, so definitely get the “long” if you even remotely consider yourself a tall person. And bear in mind that it’s not the most durable product out there either, so you’ll want to be gentle with it, making sure it isn’t rubbing, snagging, or tearing on anything.

Pros:

– Very lightweight
– Very small compressed volume
– Perfect for backpacking
– Decent price
– Comfortable fit for smaller people

Cons:

– Sizing runs small
– Not very durable

FAQ

What is the Best Sleeping Bag for Hunting?

The best sleeping bag for hunting will often depend on the type of hunting that you’re doing. For example, if you’re hiking into the backcountry, you’ll need something lightweight that doesn’t compromise on warmth too much. The Sea to Summit Spark Ultralight 5F sleeping bag is a versatile product that’s light enough to go on extended backpacking trips, and warm enough to keep you comfortable in temperatures down to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are several factors to consider when selecting a sleeping bag. How warm is it? Do you like the zippers? How well does it cinch around your head? Are there baffles? Does it compress down well? Do you need a pocket for your phone or headlamp? Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be in much better shape to pick out a suitable sleeping bag.

Many different sleeping bag brands have risen to prominence in the last several years. Mountain Hardwear is well known in the mountaineering community, while brands like Marmot, Kelty, Nemo, and The North Face continue to be some of the best in the industry.

Final Thoughts

Excited for your next hunting trip? Make sure it’s one you’ll think back on with fondness, because you had enough rest at night to perform well the next day. A warm, lightweight, durable sleeping bag that fits you comfortably is essential for any activity that requires spending the night outdoors.

While all the products in our review have their own pros, cons, and individual settings that they work best in, we believe the Sea to Summit Spark is the best sleeping bag for hunting. It’s lightweight, compact, warm, and a fairly reasonable price for what you’re getting.


Spencer Yeomans

Spencer Yeomans

A lover of the outdoors, and especially the mountains, Spencer has always enjoyed pushing people to step outside their comfort zones. His mission is to help others get out of their homes to have fun and stay active in nature.

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