What Should I Look for in a Sleeping Bag Backpacking?

By Michael Ferguson

When it comes to backpacking, having the right sleeping bag can make or break a trip. When you’re out in the wilderness, you want to be comfortable and warm, so choosing the right sleeping bag is essential.

But with so many different options on the market, it can be hard to know which one is best. Here are some things to look for when shopping for a sleeping bag for backpacking:

Temperature Rating

The most important factor when choosing a sleeping bag is temperature rating. Sleeping bags will often have a temperature rating that indicates the lowest temperature at which the bag should keep you warm. If you plan on camping in cold conditions, look for a bag with a lower temperature rating.

Filling Material

Sleeping bags are typically filled with either down or synthetic materials. Down is lightweight and packs down small, making it great for backpacking trips where weight and space are important considerations.

However, down can lose its insulating properties if it gets wet so it’s not ideal for wetter climates. Synthetic materials are heavier but more resistant to moisture, making them better in damp conditions.

Shape and Size

Sleeping bags come in two shapes: mummy and rectangular. Mummy bags are tapered around the shoulders and feet, providing more warmth since there is less space for your body heat to escape.

Rectangular bags offer more room but don’t provide as much insulation as mummy bags. When selecting your sleeping bag size, make sure you choose one that fits your body type.

Weight & Packability

When backpacking, weight and packability are important considerations when choosing a sleeping bag. Make sure you select one that is lightweight enough to carry on your trip but still provides adequate warmth and comfort.

Look for one that packs down small so it won’t take up too much space in your pack.


When looking for a sleeping bag for backpacking, consider factors such as temperature rating, filling material, shape/size, weight/packability to ensure optimal comfort and warmth during your trip. With this knowledge in mind you should be able to choose the perfect sleeping bag for your next backpacking adventure!