How Do You Choose a Sleeping Bag for Backpacking?

By Anna Duncan

Choosing the right sleeping bag for backpacking can be a daunting task. With so many types, brands, and features available, it’s important to know what to look for when selecting a sleeping bag that will meet your needs.

Temperature Rating

Temperature ratings are one of the most important considerations when choosing a sleeping bag for backpacking. It is important to select a sleeping bag that is rated for temperatures below what you expect to experience on your trip. Most companies offer temperature ratings based on their own standards, so it’s important to compare ratings between different brands in order to get an accurate idea of how warm the sleeping bag will be.

Fill Material

The fill material of a sleeping bag is also an important factor to consider when selecting one for backpacking trips. Synthetic fill materials are usually cheaper but tend to be less compressible and heavier than down fill materials. Down fill materials are more expensive but are more compressible and lighter than synthetic materials, making them ideal for backpacking trips where weight and size of gear is important.


Sleeping bags come in two shapes: mummy bags or rectangular bags. Mummy bags are designed to keep the user warm by being snug around the body while still providing enough room to move around comfortably during sleep. Rectangular bags provide more room inside and can even be zipped together with another rectangular bag if two people need to share one sleeping space.


When choosing a sleeping bag for backpacking, it’s also important to consider any additional features that could make your trip more comfortable or enjoyable. Features such as hoods, draft collars, zipper baffles, foot boxes, internal pockets, and water-resistant coatings can all add comfort or convenience while on the trail.

Conclusion: When choosing a sleeping bag for backpacking trips, it’s important to consider temperature ratings, fill material (down or synthetic), shape (mummy or rectangular), as well as any additional features that could add comfort or convenience while out on the trail. Taking into account these factors will help you find the perfect sleeping bag that meets all of your needs!