Backpacking and camping are great hobbies, but like most hobbies, they can get expensive. The good news is backpacking is a great way to save money overall. After all, there are few things more cost-effective than walking through the wilderness and sleeping in the great outdoors instead of in a hotel. Camping and backpacking are the most affordable options for traveling, especially if you’re budget-conscious when choosing your gear.
The trick to planning a successful backpacking trip that is affordable is to find quality gear at a reasonable price. You don’t want to buy gear that is too cheap because you’re going to get lower quality. That can make things pretty uncomfortable when you’re spending time outdoors, especially if you intend to sleep under the stars. It can also be dangerous if you sacrifice certain features in equipment to save yourself money.
So, is it possible to get a quality sleeping bag at a reasonable price? Can you find something that will suit your needs for under $150? We think so.
We’ve put together a list of our favorite backpacking sleeping bags for under $150. Some are significantly under that price point.
But first, let’s consider what you should look for in a sleeping bag.
Perhaps the most important consideration in a backpack sleeping bag, especially when you’ll be sleeping in temperate weather conditions, is the weight. You want a bag that is lightweight as possible while still offering appropriate warmth and protection. Backpacking means you’ll be carrying everything you need for your time away on your back, so the lighter, the better for all of the items. And since your sleeping bag is one of the largest items you’ll have, it’s imperative you choose something as light as possible.
Next, you’ll want to consider the season and conditions you’ll be camping in and choose a bag with an appropriate temperature rating.
Chances are for less than $150 you aren’t going to get something suitable for subzero temps, so limit yourself to camping in three seasons until you’re able to afford a more highly rated bag. However, for this price point, you can find plenty of fantastic bags that will keep you comfortable in temps below freezing. Some bags are even safe for camping in temperatures as low as the teens.
Remember, when choosing a bag, consider the 20-degree rule. If a bag says it’s rated for as low as 10 degrees,that means you’ll probably be warm and cozy in temps as low as 30 degrees. You’ll survive in colder weather, but you’re not going to get as good a night of sleep, especially if you tend to be a cold sleeper.
Type of Insulation
The type of insulation in your bag is going to affect a few things. Down-filled bags tend to be warmer than synthetic, so if you are concerned about cold weather, you might want to lean toward natural filled bags. Down filling tends to be lighter weight, too. However, down bags don’t stand up to wetness as well as synthetics do and they are a lot more expensive, so you might not have that many down options in the price range. You can find a quality synthetic filled bag at less than $150, and the chances are that’s your best bet if budget is an issue for you.
You’ll want to consider two factors when looking at the size of the bag: the size it is when it’s packed up and you’re carrying it, and the size it is when it’s unrolled and you’re sleeping inside of it. Obviously, one affects the other. You want a bag that’s large enough to fit your body comfortably, but small enough to help you retain heat and that fits easily on your back with your other equipment.
The shape of your bag can affect comfort and how warm the bag can keep you. Mummy bags tend to be warmer, but they are smaller overall, and many sleepers find them too constricting. Mummy bags are also usually lighter weight because fewer of them feature zippers. You can find bags of any shape in this price range, so it really comes down to a matter of personal preference.
Finally, you’ll want to evaluate the durability of a bag. Consider what it’s made from and what other campers have had to say about the bag. Even though budget is an issue, you’re still investing up to $150, which is a solid chunk of change for most people. You’ll want to get a sturdy, long-lasting bag for this price, even if it lacks some of the features available in more expensive bags. You’re looking for simple and high-quality, as opposed to a cheap knock-off of a bag with all the bells and whistles.
Our Choices for Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags under $150
The Marmot Trestles Bag is known for keeping camping warm for an affordable price. Both layers feature 70D polyester, which is durable and able to stand up to the elements. And of course, it’s a mummy bag, so if you need to you can cover yourself head-to-toe and pull the closure around your face. It’s filled with Spirafil High Loft insulation, which adds extra warmth. We love this bag because it offers comfort and warmth for the more-than-reasonable price of $99.
Check it out on AMAZON.
This is Teton’s basic bag that offers comfort in temps as low as 20 degrees F. This makes it a great three-season sleeping bag. It is water-resistant and features a Double-brushed Poly lining that is soft and comfortable. It’s a thin bag, so it’s lightweight, but it’s fairly warm considering its size. It features an interior pocket for your belongings and can be purchased for $50.
Check it out on AMAZON.
Another bag from Teton, this is one of the most versatile you’ll find at this price point. It’s lightweight and thin, so it’s great for backpacking. But it claims to keep you warm at temps as low as 5 degrees. These bags have the unique feature of shaping to fit your body, which is great for using your body heat to add extra warmth.
The bag features an interior pocket for belongings you want to keep close to you while you sleep. We think this is a fantastic backpacking sleeping bag for those who are going on heavy-duty hiking trips with just the bare minimum along with them. It’s available for $70.
Check it out on AMAZON.