If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best budget sleeping bag is, then we recommend the Coleman North Rim Cold Weather Sleeping Bag.
The time has come for you to say goodbye to your nice, cozy bed, and hello to the unpredictable expanse called “Nature.” Nighttime is coming, the air is getting little chilly, and you’re starting to miss the comforts of home.
If you’re on a tight budget, but want more than a few old blankets to keep you warm at night, check out our review on some of the best cheap sleeping bags.
In this article, we’ll be reviewing the following sleeping bags:
- Coleman Palmetto
- Coleman North Rim Cold Weather Sleeping Bag
- MalloMe Camping Sleeping Bag
- Redcamp Cotton Flannel Sleeping Bag
- Winner Outfitters Mummy Sleeping Bag
Types of Sleeping Bags
Everyone has a different opinion when it comes to sleeping bags, and to be honest, there are a lot to choose from. Looking at brand alone, you have Coleman sleeping bags, Teton sleeping bags, Kelty sleeping bags, Sea to Summit sleeping bags…and you get the idea. And if you’re wondering where to look for them, well, that’s pretty easy too. For example, I took this picture of a Kelty sleeping bag in a random baby store in Michigan while on vacation last week:
They’re literally everywhere, and I’ve found Kelty to be a high quality brand, but we’re talking about budget sleeping sleeping bags in this review. So…pretend I never mentioned Kelty. Or Teton. Or Sea to Summit.
If you’re starting to change your mind about how much you’re willing to spend on a well made sleeping bag, feel free to take a gander over our other sleeping bag reviews.
How to Choose the Right Sleeping Bag
Anyway, back to the topic at hand.
When picking a sleeping bag to carry you through the night, you’ll need to do some prior planning. Where will you be? What time of year? Is it going to be hot or cold? Do you need to carry it long distances? Ask yourself these questions, and scan through our more detailed considerations below before making your final decision.
Camping vs Backpacking
If you plan on hiking a significant distance, do your shoulders a favor and avoid purchasing sleeping bags designed for camping. While they’re fantastic if you’re staying in one spot, because of their larger size and added comfort, they are much heavier and not as easy to compress.
Sleeping bags developed for backpacking, however, are much smaller, lighter, and easier to roll up tightly. You might not feel like you’re floating on a cloud, but they’re cozy and a lot more convenient for longer excursions. Not to mention, you’ll also be able to fit things other than your sleeping bag in your backpack!
If you’re not sure what kind of situation you’ll need your sleeping bag for, I suggest going with one designed for backpacking. This is also true if you plan on doing both camping and backpacking. You can use these bags in either case, whereas camping sleeping bags will limit you to camping.
Be careful with this one. A lot of people assume they won’t need a sleeping bag rated for lower temperatures since they’re camping during the warmer months. While that might be true, is summer the only time you plan on using your sleeping bag? It’s better to buy for the colder weather, since you can always unzip if you get too hot.
Not to mention, your sleeping bag isn’t the only thing keeping you warm at night! If you don’t have a very good sleeping pad (or if you’ve forgotten one altogether), you’ll notice a chill seeping up from the ground. This can make for some miserable nights if you don’t have any other way to insulate yourself. I also recommend investing in a sleeping bag liner, as these can noticeably boost the amount of warmth and comfort that you experience.
Generally speaking, a 3 season sleeping bag should be fine for any kind of camping or backpacking you find yourself doing. However, if you plan on trekking through the mountains or want to camp in the dead of winter, you’ll want something warmer. A flannel sleeping bag can be a nice option for heat retention, otherwise combining your bag with a good cold weather tent will be more than enough to keep you comfortable all night.
Again, the shape of your sleeping bag will depend on what you plan to do with it. Are you camping in one place? You’ll probably want one that’s rectangular, as it offers the most space for you to spread out and wiggle around during the night.
For all you backpackers out there, you’ll want to opt in for the mummy shape. Smaller, lighter, and better insulated, it’s ideal for anyone who plans on hopping from place to place. The only downside is that if you like to move around a lot in your sleep like I do, you might find yourself all tangled up when you open your eyes in the morning!
If you’re trekking and want something easy to compress, but don’t like how restrictive the mummy shape can be, consider looking into something semi-rectangular. It’s a good compromise if you like a little more roominess, but don’t want to completely sacrifice compressibility.
Here, you really have two options to choose from: synthetic or down. Both will get the job done without too many complaints, but there are a few pros and cons worth noting.
Synthetic is the way to go if you’re looking for something a bit more affordable. Even better, it retains its insulation capability when wet, which can be a make it or break it factor for many people.
While down can’t quite compete when it comes to water resistance, it is still the better choice. It’s warmer, lighter, more durable, and will keep springing back to its original fluffiness even after compressing it countless times. In my opinion, it’s the best option when it comes to sleeping bags and cold weather gear as you layer for the day.
Budget Sleeping Bag Reviews
Nothing says cozy quite like the Coleman Palmetto sleeping bag. The rectangular design and soft synthetic material will keep you warm and snug without making you feel trapped.
Rated to keep you comfortable down to 30 degrees, it’s a great 3 season sleeping bag, if you keep yourself zipped up during those chilly nights. During the summer, keep yourself unzipped for added airflow, or just lie on top of it.
Because of its size and shape, the Palmetto is ideal if you’re planning on sticking around the same location. It is a little bulky when packed away, so you may struggle with it if you decide to bring it on a backpacking trip.
Coleman sleeping bags are known for their quality (I mean, it is one of the most popular outdoor brands for a reason!) so it makes sense that there would be even more handy features. The Palmetto in particular features roll control, which locks the sleeping bag in place, so you can toss and turn during the night without getting tangled in the bag. Pair that with the amazing price point, and you’ve got yourself a great, budget sleeping bag.
– Soft and roomy
– Doesn’t feel cheap
– Surprisingly warm
– Machine washable
– Double zippers
– Difficult to roll back up
– Lining texture may bother some people
Back again with another Coleman sleeping bag, we’re covering a completely different style than what we just mentioned above. Thinking of camping in the colder months and need something to keep you toasty? You’ll love Coleman’s North Rim cold weather sleeping bag. The mummy style is perfect for backpacking trips, or if you just don’t have very much room to spare inside your tent.
Rated for 0 degree temperatures, you don’t have to worry about freezing during the night. It’s also quite large for a mummy sleeping bag, so you don’t have to worry about fitting if you’re taller than 6 feet. The hood can tighten with a drawstring, sealing in all that precious heat.
All the extra cushion does make it a little bulky, but if you’re planning on camping in fall or spring when the nights still get chilly, the padding is worth it.
– Incredibly warm
– Spacious for a mummy
– Drawstring hood
– Zippers and the bottom for ventilation
– Carry case is too small
It’s hard to find anything critical to say about MalloMe’s sleeping bags. Large, comfortable, affordable, and cozy, you won’t have any issues with it during the fair weather months.
The entire bag is made from polyester, so it’s good for people with sensitive skin. With a hexagonal weave, you can be confident that this bag will hold up no matter where you take it.
Planning on going somewhere with extreme weather, or expecting heavy rain showers? The waterproof shell will make sure you can sleep easy at night without worrying about waking up damp or soaked.
This budget sleeping bag itself is big enough to fit an adult and child comfortably. There are also zippers on both sides of the bag, making it easy to get in and out.
– Comes with pillows
– Smooth zippers
– Plenty of wiggle room
– Great customer service
– Insulation can be thin
– Stitching sometimes rips
Thought flannel was just for shirts? Think again. Redcamp’s cotton flannel sleeping bag gives you all the comfort and warmth of a flannel liner with the durability of a polyester shell. This prevents water from getting in, while keeping you nice and toasty during the night.
Redcamp offers three options for their sleeping bags: 2 pound, 3 pound, and 4 pound cotton filling. If you know you’ll be outside in chilly weather, or trekking through the mountains, you’ll want to go with the 3 or 4 pound option for added insulation. If you plan on camping only during the summer, the 2 pound filling will suffice.
Wide and heavy, this probably isn’t the ideal sleeping bag for hardcore backpackers. But the features that make it undesirable for long hikes are the places where it shines for car camping or single location camping trips. I mean, who could resist a flannel sleeping bag to keep them warm and comfortable at night?
– Very comfortable
– Can choose how much insulation you want
– Convenient compression sack
– Great for rolling around in your sleep
– Soft liner
– Heavy and bulky
– Cheap zippers
Looking for a quality mummy sleeping bag that’s light enough to bring backpacking? Winner Outfitters has you covered. At only 3 pounds, you’re going to have a hard time finding another sleeping bag that beats it in weight, warmth, and price.
It comes with a compression sack for easy carrying. If you’re trying to stuff it in your backpack, the sack does come with straps that you can cinch up to make it even smaller.
The zippers are also high quality, which sadly seems to be rare among many other brands of sleeping bags.
While there does seem to be some debate over if it’ll keep you warm in freezing temperatures, there’s no question about its quality as a 3 season sleeping bag. If you’re worried about the cold, bring a pair of thermals to slip on before going to bed, and you should stay nice and toasty.
– Extremely light
– Small when packed away
– Machine washable
– Anti-snag zippers
– Difficult to stuff in the compression sack
Next to picking the right tent, finding the best sleeping bag is one of the most important things you’ll do before spending a night outside. That’s why the Coleman North Rim Cold Weather sleeping bag is our favorite out of the list. The mummy design is useful for all types of camping, and it’s light enough to carry with you anywhere.
Most mummy bags are tight and leave you feeling claustrophobic – not ideal, but usually necessary in order to cut back on weight and increase warmth. However, Coleman managed to make a warm and light sleeping bag that still gives you room to move around in.
Coleman sleeping bags tend to offer a comfortable option that will leave you feeling snug and cozy at night, and that’s especially true of the North Rim. When you wake up the next morning refreshed and ready to tackle another day outside, you’ll be glad you went with the North Rim sleeping bag.