While a good sleeping bag is essential to a successful camping trip, there’s no need for you to spend a fortune.
It’s possible to find a top quality bag at a bargain price—you just have to know what you’re looking for in advance. The aim of this guide is to help you find the best sleeping bag under 100 dollars.
What You Need To Know About Shopping For A Sleeping Bag
There are three basic types of sleeping bags meant for outdoor use. Summer bags are very lightweight, and often come equipped with full-length zippers. In addition to being heavier and bulkier, three-season models will usually offer extra heat-retaining features such as draft collars and drawstring hoods. Finally, a bag that’s meant exclusively for winter use will resemble a three-season bag, but include extra insulation for maximum warmth.
Before you make a purchase, think about which type of bag will best suit your needs. If temperature ratings are available, go for one that’s slightly lower than you think you’ll need. For example, if you typically camp when it’s no colder than 50 degrees at night, choose a sleeping bag that’s rated at 40 degrees. You can always open the bag slightly to avoid overheating.
You’ll likely have to choose between a down or synthetic (usually polyester) filling for your sleeping bag. Down is the preferred choice because it’s lightweight and portable, but you might have a hard time finding a cheap down sleeping bag. Fortunately, synthetics have their strong points as well: They insulate efficiently even when wet, they dry quickly, and they’re easy to care for.
“Regular” sleeping bags are rectangular, with clearly defined corners. Most can be fully unzipped and used as a blanket. Since they don’t retain heat as well as mummy bags, they’re best suited for summer camping.
Mummy bags, on the other hand, have rounded edges and hoods, providing a snug fit and superb heat retention. They’re also lighter and easier to pack than their “regular” counterparts, making them a good choice for backpacking.
Features To Look For
Even if you’ve purchased a sleeping bag before, you might not be familiar with all of the different components. Here’s a brief glossary of the terms you’re most likely to encounter:
- Baffles—Pockets designed to compartmentalize the filling
- Dryloft—Water-resistant fabric often used for the outer liner
- Neck or Shoulder Baffle—Also known as a draft collar, this padding is located around the opening of the sleeping bag and is designed to keep out the cold air
- Pockets—Not all bags are equipped with these, but they’re ideal for stashing wallets and other small valuables
- Ripstop—A form of durable nylon fabric, woven to keep tears from growing any larger
- Stuff Sack—Most mummy bags will come equipped with a drawstring bag for storage (not typically included with rectangular bags)
- Zip Baffle—Extra insulation located behind the zipper
- Zip Cover—Fabric to keep the zipper in place during sleep
For more tips on how to choose the sleeping bag that’s right for you, take a look at this YouTube tutorial.
Best Sleeping Bag Under 100: Product Review Guide
The design of the Celsius XXL is half mummy (with its half-circle hood) and half regular (squared-off corners rather than an oval-shaped fit). The synthetic filling is double-layered for additional protection from the cold. A convenient stuff sack is included in the purchase price.
2 .Oaskys 3-Season Camping Sleeping Bag
This lightweight, water-resistant bag is suitable for temperatures ranging form 20 to 50 degrees. The included compression sack is equipped with straps, making it a good fit for backpacking.
3. Coleman Big & Tall Sleeping Bag
An oversized rectangular bag with a cozy flannel liner, the Big & Tall carries a temperature rating of 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Coleman offers a five-year warranty on this product.
4. Coleman North Rim 0 Degree Sleeping Bag
This mummy-style bag features a drawstring hood, an insulated foot box, and a Thermolock draft tube to help seal in body heat. The outer liner is fashioned out of ripstop polyester, and a stuff sack is included, along with a five-year warranty.
5. Outdoor Vitals Atlas Ultralight Backpacking Mummy Down Sleeping Bag
If you have your heart set on a down sleeping bag, Outdoor Vitals offers one at just under $100. Its ultralight construction makes it perfect for backpacking, and the company offers a lifetime warranty with every purchase.
For overall value, we would recommend the Coleman North Rim sleeping bag over the other selections listed here. In addition to being toasty warm, it’s durable enough to last for several seasons, and the price is right. If you’re taller than six feet two inches, it might not be the best choice, but for anyone else, the North Rim delivers as promised.
Best of luck, and happy trails!