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At the end of a long trek, few things are as rewarding as kicking off your hiking boots and snuggling into a comfy down sleeping bag. However, your good night’s rest is completely dependent upon just how good your down sleeping bag is. Poorly insulated, balled up, or wet down is a recipe for disaster so you want to make sure you have one of the best down sleeping bags around. But with so many options, how do you choose?

That’s where we come in. To guide you through the decision making process, we put together this helpful guide as well as our top picks for the best down sleeping bags.

For more of our top backpacking gear recommendations, check out the Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags.

 

Quick Answer - The Best Down Sleeping Bags

  1. Marmot Hydrogen
  2. Therm-a-Rest Hyperion 20
  3. NEMO Disco 15
  4. NEMO Jam 30
  5. Kelty Cosmic 20
  6. Big Agnes Pluton UL 40
  7. Big Agnes Anvil Horn 15
  8. Sea to Summit Ascent AcI
  9. Marmot Sawtooth 15
  10. The North Face Inferno

 

Comparison Table - Best Down Sleeping Bag

PictureNameWeightTemperature RatingShapePriceRating
Marmot Hydrogen1 lb. 7.3 oz.30 degrees (F)Mummy$$4.4
Therm-a-Rest Hyperion 201 lb. 4 oz.20 Degrees (F)Mummy$$4.0
NEMO Disco 152 lbs. 11 oz.15 Degrees (F)Semi-rectangular$4.3
NEMO Jam 302 lb. 3 oz.30 Degrees (F)Semi-rectangular$$5.0
Kelty Cosmic 202 lb. 6.6 oz.19 degrees (F)Mummy$4.3
Big Agnes Pluton UL 401 lb. 3 oz.40 Degrees (F)Mummy$$3.0
Big Agnes Anvil Horn 152 lbs. 5 oz.15 Degrees (F)Semi-rectangular$4.5
Sea to Summit Ascent AcI1 lb. 14 oz.25 Degrees (F)Semi-rectangular$$4.0
Marmot Sawtooth 151 lb. 3 oz.15 Degrees (F)Mummy$$4.4
The North Face Inferno3 lb. 5 oz.-20 Degrees (F)Mummy$$$4.8
PictureNameWeightTemperature RatingShapePriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Down Sleeping Bags for Backpacking

Marmot Hydrogen

Specs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Weight: 1 lb. 7.3 oz.
  • Temperature Rating: 30 degrees (F)
  • Fill Power: 800-Fill Goose Down
  • Shell Material: Nylon
Features
  • Lightweight
  • Quality Construction
  • Packable
  • Internal Stash Pocket

BEST FOR: SUMMER BACKPACKING

Durable and lightweight, the Marmot Hydrogen is a quality down sleeping bag and a great choice for the summer months. The Marmot Hydrogen will keep you warm from head to toe when temperatures drop down to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The anatomically shaped footbox maintains loft around your feet while the adjustable hood helps trap all that warmth in. We also like the fact that the Marmot Hydrogen stuffs all that lofty down into a durable shell with a water repellent finish. Mix together all these features and you have the perfect recipe for a comfortable night’s rest on a summer backpacking trip.

Therm-a-Rest Hyperion 20

Specs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Weight: 1 lb. 4 oz.
  • Temperature Rating: 20 Degrees (F)
  • Fill Power: 900-Fill-power Nikwax Hydrophobic
  • Shell Material: Ripstop Nylon
Features
  • Responsible Down Certified
  • Exceptional Warmth
  • Minimal Weight
  • Moisture Resistant

BEST FOR: MINIMALIST BACKPACKERS

Max out your comfort and not your pack weight with the Therm-a-Rest Hyperion. This down sleeping bag was awarded the Backpacker Magazine 2019 Editors’ Choice Award and it’s not hard to see why.

You’ll get the best of both worlds here with a temperature rating of 20 degrees Fahrenheit and a featherweight of almost a single pound. Should you awake to condensation beading on your tent, the exceptional down fill-power will maintain loft thanks to its hydrophobic treatment that keeps water from sleeping into your bag. 

The one major drawback for some will be the mummy shape of this sleeping bag. The Therm-a-Rest Hyperion has a very slim footbox meaning you’re sleeping in true mummy fashion. As long as you don’t mind the restricted foot room, the Therm-a-Rest Hyperion is an excellent option.

NEMO Disco 15


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Specs
  • Shape: Semi-rectangular
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 11 oz.
  • Temperature Rating: 15 Degrees (F)
  • Fill Power: 650-Fill Down With Nikwax
  • Shell Material: 30-Denier Ripstop Nylon
Features
  • Roomy Shape
  • Heat Regulating Ventilation
  • Water-resistant Down

BEST FOR: SIDE SLEEPERS

Get ready to party in the backcountry because Nemo Disco 15 gives you plenty of room to sprawl out. Side sleeper or acclaimed bed-hog, you’ll be comfortable in the Nemo Disco 15 because it ditches the mummy shape for a semi-rectangular design. This means ample room to stretch out. 

Surprisingly, the Nemo Disco 15 is able to utilize this shape and still maintain warmth at the same time. This is in part due to the vertical baffles that prevent the down from balling up in one spot. Should you find yourself a little too warm, this bag is designed with Nemo’s Thermo Gills which essentially let you unzip to allow heat to escape without cold air seeping in. If you don’t mind carrying around a few more ounces, this bag is an excellent choice for those who appreciate a less constricted sleeping bag.

NEMO Jam 30

Specs
  • Shape: Semi-rectangular
  • Weight: 2 lb. 3 oz.
  • Temperature Rating: 30 Degrees (F)
  • Fill Power: Down with Nikwax
  • Shell Material: 20-Denier Ripstop Nylon
Features
  • Roomy Shape
  • Women-Specific Down Placement
  • Breathable Footbox
  • Zipper Stash Pocket

BEST FOR: WOMEN

Ladies, if you want a bag tailored to a woman’s curves, feast your eyes on the Nemo Jam 30. Specifically designed for women, the Nemo Jam 30 strategically places extra down in just the right spots to keep you warm.

Whether you’re a side sleeper or want extra legroom, the “spoon” shape of the Nemo Jam 30 gives you ample room to move around. Well insulated and water-resistant, the Nemo Jam 30 has just what you need to sleep comfortably down to 30 degrees F. In case you find yourself a little too toasty, this down sleeping bag also features Nemo’s proprietary Thermo Gills which allow heat to escape without letting in unwanted cold air.

 

Kelty Cosmic 20

Specs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Weight: 2 lb. 6.6 oz.
  • Temperature Rating: 19 degrees (F)
  • Fill Power: 600-Fill-power DriDown
  • Shell Material: 20-Denier Nylon Taffeta
Features
  • Affordable
  • Anti-snag zippers
  • Moisture Resistant Durable Water Repellent

BEST FOR: BUDGETED BACKPACKERS

If you’re in the market for a down sleeping bag, but can’t afford to throw down your whole paycheck, consider the Kelty Cosmic 20. This down sleeping bag has some attractive features given its low price. 

A few highlights of this bag include the durable water repellent treatment, anti-snag zippers, and a cozy hood. This gives you some peace of mind knowing your bag won’t lose insulation because of moisture or that you might accidentally tear a hole in it because of a snagged zipper. The reasonable weight is also much appreciated given the tradeoff in money typically means more pounds.

With a 600-fill-power, the Kelty Cosmic 20 won’t be the most insulated bag on the list. However, if you’re shopping on a budget, the Kelty Cosmic 20 is still an attractive option.

Big Agnes Pluton UL 40

Specs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Weight: 1 lb. 3 oz.
  • Temperature Rating: 40 Degrees (F)
  • Fill Power: 850-Fill-power DownTek Down
  • Shell Material: Ripstop Nylon
Features
  • Super Lofty Down
  • Very Lightweight
  • Drawcord Hood

BEST FOR: SAVING WEIGHT

If cutting ounces are a concern to you, you’ll want to consider the Big Agnes Pluton UL 40. This down sleeping bag clocks in at an exceptionally light weight of 1 pound, 3ounces, making it one of the lightest bags around. 

Along with the featherweight, the Big Agnes Pluton UL 40 is packed with highly compressible, water-repellent 850-fill down. This means this sleeping bag is not only super lofty, but it also won’t lose said loft when moisture strikes. Should you be backpacking on a warmer night, unzip the two-way zipper and turn it into a quilt. The one drawback you’ll find is this bag doesn’t give much wiggle room, so expect to sleep in full mummy fashion when not fully unzipped.

Big Agnes Anvil Horn 15

Specs
  • Shape: Semi-rectangular
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 5 oz.
  • Temperature Rating: 15 Degrees (F)
  • Fill Power: 650-Fill-power DownTek Down
  • Shell Material: Ripstop Polyester
Features
  • Compressible Insulation
  • Water-repellent Down
  • Adjustable Hood
  • Anti-snag Zipper

BEST FOR: INTEGRATED SLEEP SYSTEM

The Big Agnes Anvil 15 has a clever design uncommon in other sleeping bags. It includes a flexible sleeve on the bottom of the bag that attaches to your sleeping pad – think fitted mattress sheet. This means no slipping and sliding off your sleeping pad as you toss and turn at night. There’s even a space to tuck in your pillow so it won’t slip out from under your head. 

Along with the integrated system, the Big Agnes 15 is rather roomy and cozy enough for a chilly night. That said, this does add extra weight and some may find the innovative construction to be annoying rather than helpful, so if you fall into this category you may want to look elsewhere.

Sea to Summit Ascent AcI

Specs
  • Shape: Semi-rectangular
  • Weight: 1 lb. 14 oz.
  • Temperature Rating: 25 Degrees (F)
  • Fill Power: 750-Fill-power UltraDry Down
  • Shell Material: 20-Denier Nylon
Features
  • Extra Room
  • Breathable
  • Internal Security Pocket
  • Responsible Down Standard Certified

BEST FOR: EXTRA WIGGLE ROOM

Not a fan of the super slim mummy bags? Then take a look at the Sea to Summit Ascent AcI25. This down sleeping bag takes the mummy bag shape and beefs it up to give you extra wiggle room. 

To keep the down right where it belongs, the Sea to Summit Ascent AcI 25 incorporates horizontal baffles around the anatomically shaped footbox and vertical baffles around the chest. Climb on in and cinch down on the large hood. The draft collar is also amped up to prevent the cold from seeping in around the head area so you can get a good night’s rest no matter how chilly it is outside.

Marmot Sawtooth 15

Specs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Weight: 1 lb. 3 oz.
  • Temperature Rating: 15 Degrees (F)
  • Fill Power: 650-Fill-power Duck Down
  • Shell Material: 20-Denier Mini Ripstop Nylon
Features
  • Warm
  • Comfortable
  • Internal Stash Pocket

BEST FOR: 3-SEASON CAMPING

The Marmot Sawtooth is a quality down sleeping bag that incorporates a healthy mix of warmth and water protection given the price. With a comfort rating of 27.1 degrees F, the Marmot Sawtooth will keep you warm on most 3-season backpacking trips. 

For peace of mind when moisture strikes, this down sleeping bag not only incorporates water-repellent down but a durable water-repellent shell as well. The drawcord collar is a nice touch to help cinch this bag down and block out the cold. Should you find temperatures to be colder than expected, stuff a heat packet into the heat pocket at the bottom of the bag and keep your toes nice and toasty.

The North Face Inferno

Specs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Weight: 3 lb. 5 oz.
  • Temperature Rating: -20 Degrees (F)
  • Fill Power: 800-Fill-power ProDown
  • Shell Material: Synthetic
Features
  • Compressible
  • Extremely Warm
  • Ample Water Protection

BEST FOR: EXTREME CONDITIONS

The North Face calls this bag the Inferno for a reason. Stuffed with a lofty 800-fill power down, you’ll find yourself well insulated from the cold when you’re all bundled up inside. 

Built with cold weather expeditions in mind, The North Face Inferno features a fiery temperature rating with ample room to wear your sleeping layers inside. Since harsher conditions mean more moisture, The North Face ramped up the water protection on the Inferno by using hydrophobic down. They also utilized a water-resistant finish on the hood, back, and footbox to keep you dry despite wet tent walls. If you’re going to be backpacking or mountaineering in some extreme conditions, this sleeping bag may suit you well.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A DOWN SLEEPING BAG

COST

While there are many factors to consider when choosing the best down sleeping bag, your budget will be the big kicker. Down doesn’t come cheap. That said, you can still get a quality down sleeping bag at an affordable price. The cost will parallel the quality so it’s all a matter of the type of camping you’ll be doing and what you can squeeze into your budget. If you’re on a tight budget, check out these budget sleeping bags

 

WEIGHT

When it comes to weight versus warmth, here’s an important piece of advice: don’t skimp on warmth merely for a lighter weight! Down sleeping bags will vary from ultralight to heavy. And while a lighter sleeping bag helps you achieve a lighter pack weight, it may not be doing you any favors when you’re shivering at night. Be sure to compare weights with temperature ratings so they balance out rather than cause you to trade off one for the other.

 

WARMTH

Down is one of the warmest materials you can stuff inside a sleeping bag. It achieves this warmth by trapping your body heat inside the sleeping bag. This means a well insulated bag with less wiggle room will keep you warmer and vice versa. If you tend to run cold or will be sleeping in colder weather, you may want to consider maxing out the warmth of your bag.

 

TEMPERATURE RATINGS

The warmth of your sleeping bag is a major factor you’ll need to consider when choosing a down sleeping bag. To determine how warm a down sleeping bag is, you’ll want to take into account both the temperature rating and the comfort rating.

Temperature rating is the average lowest temperature the manufacturer claims will keep you warm.

Comfort rating is the lowest temperature a person can sleep comfortably and is also the temperature used to rate women’s sleeping bags. This rating is more so based on a real world comfort.

Keep in mind, without a proper sleeping pad to provide insulation from the cold ground, your sleeping bag rating won’t be able to operate at its full potential. Check out our guide on How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep Outdoors

 

INSULATION TYPE

There are two types of insulations you’ll encounter when searching for the right sleeping bag: down and synthetic. Here’s what you need to know about both:

Down is a natural material that typically comes from the plumage of either ducks or geese. It has an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio and is highly compressible. The bad news is, it doesn’t insulate when wet and it has a higher price point than synthetic.

Synthetic insulation is made from synthetic materials – polyester being the most common. This material is quick-drying, water-resistant, durable, and less expensive than down. However, it’s bulkier, heavier, and not as warm.

 

SHAPE

Down sleeping bags are offered in a few different shapes.

  • Mummy bags feature a tapered shape to optimize insulation while also reducing weight.
  • Semi-rectangular bags have a similar shape to a mummy bag except they offer more space.
  • Rectangular bags are common in car camping. They offer a ton of room but don’t insulate as well as other shapes.
  • Quilts fully unzip allowing you to sleep as if you would under your comforter. They’re great at insulating and reduce weight.

The thing to keep in mind is the snugger the fit, the better the insulation. Keep in mind that the snugger the fit, the more constricted you are inside. Choosing shape is all about what is more comfortable for you.

 

DOWN CERTIFIED

If you’re looking to buy responsibly sourced down, look for a down certified label. For more information, head over to the Responsible Down Standard website.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

BAFFLES

Baffles are stitching used on down products to keep the down in place. This helps prevent the down from clumping into one space and causing cold spots.

DRAFT COLLAR

A draft collar is essentially a large baffle or tube filled with down that blocks the cold from seeping in around the opening.

FILL-POWER

Fill-power is a measurement outdoor manufacturers use to tell you how lofty the down is inside the sleeping bag. The higher the number, the better the sleeping bag is at insulating.

DURABLE WATER-REPELLENT (DWR)

Durable water-repellent is a finish applied to outdoor gear and apparel to prevent it from becoming saturated.

READ MORE

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