Backpacking is one of the activities that lets you explore your inner ‘care-free’. You get to venture into nature; ready, willing and able to take anything she throws at you.
Just two small problems... 1) You quite enjoy getting a good night's sleep and 2) You don't have a massive budget.
Often, a decent sleeping bag will be the most expensive item in your backpack. The good news is this doesn't have to be the case! Because the best backpacking sleeping bags under $100 will keep you warm and cosy without breaking your back or the bank.
Bob Ward's currently has some amazing offers on 3 season and 4 season sleeping bags.
Alps Mountaineering "Fahrenheit" bags are 40%-50% off (in the $50 range)
The Therm-a-Rest Saros 20F is reduced from $170 to just $102 (Note: only the short version so a perfect deal for anyone 5'6" or less)
And there are loads more options from other leading brands like Kelty, Browning, Columbia and High Peak USA. But they won't last forever so we'd suggest get while the getting's good!
Editor's Top Picks
Kelty Tuck 20 - RRP is 100 bucks on the nose. Rated for 20F. Weighs just 3lbs. Just buy it!
High Peak USA "Kodiak -15" - Also 100 bucks, it's the warmest sleeping bag in this price range but very heavy at more than 9lbs.
Marmot "Nanowave" - By far the lightest sleeping bag we could find under $100. Several options from 25°F to 50°F, all weighing around 2lbs.
If you don't fancy those we've worked our way through loads of other options and hand-picked even more of the best budget sleeping bags for you:
The shell and the liner are made of durable 75D polyester Tafetta material with ThermaPro insulation. This sleeping bag has a temperature rating of 20 degrees. It weighs 3 lbs and will comfortably fit the taller adventurer—6-feet tall. The Kelty Tuck 20 packs down to 9 inches by 15 inches.
Kelty is proving to be one of the best brands for outdoor gear. This mummy-shaped sleeping bag is proof of a brand that understands the market. It feels soft to the skin but is still durable enough to be used outdoors.
The ThermaPro insulation is specially engineered to lock body heat inside. That’s why this bag has a temperature rating of 20 degrees—ThermaPro will keep you warm even when temperatures drop below freezing point.
This bag is highly compressible. Packing and storing the sleeping bag will be a breeze. Weighing in at just 3 lbs, the Kelty Tuck Sleeping Bag is one of the lightest sleeping bags in the market.
There is one more cool feature in this sleeping bag; a media integrated storage pocket. This pocket has two openings: the bigger one is meant to store valuables and the smaller one is designed for your earbuds. The stash pocket has a flap to secure your valuables in place—you don’t have to worry about anything falling off.
This bag is comfortable for adventurers as tall as 6 feet, surprising for a bag that can be compressed down to 13 inches by 8 inches. That said, this sleeping bag is a bit narrow. It may be too tight for bigger users.
Although this sleeping bag comes in two sizes, the long version exceeds the $100 benchmark. The regular-sized one is usually available for just under $100and the price is 100% justified! The Kelty Tuck sleeping bag is ideal for you if you’re looking for a lightweight sleeping bag that you can take on your backpacking trip.
The Nanowave is Marmot's flagship, budget, lightweight sleeping bag series. Synthetic fill (no surprises at this price point).
- Available in 55°, 50°, 45°, 35°, & 25°
- Regular or Long
- 4 colors to choose from (red, blue, grey or green)
- Mummy or Semi Rectangular
- Weights from 1lb 13oz to 3lbs 3oz
On first glance this is a real feat of engineering! The Nanowave basically promises everything a typical backpacker might want to see in a sleeping bag: warm, light, compact and cheap!
And, to be fair, these bags live up to a lot of the hype.
So what's the catch?
Well, while there isn't a catch exactly, there are a few caveats. You see, these bags are really good. They are well-designed. They boast great materials. They will absolutely do the job and do it well! But it's possible the marketing department may have been a little bit fast and loose with the truth...
Firstly, some people report that the bags are just not as light as Marmot claim they are. They are still ultralight in the context of this price bracket. But if the reports are to be believed, the bags may be a few ounces heavier than advertised.
Secondly, some people complain that the ratings are...optimistic. Basically, some folk say they have been cold in temps significantly higher than the advertised temperature ratings. Are these people cold sleepers? We don't know. But it's worth noting nonetheless.
Finally, the bags have a reputation for being narrow. Again, different people experience comfort differently so you may just have to just try for yourself. But if you have a bulkier than average frame, you may want to have a think before jumping in.
I'm still blown away that you can pick up a really high-quality, lightweight, super-compact, warm sleeping bag at these prices. If you're looking for an ultralight sleeping bag for less than a hundred bucks, then look no further!
The only things you might cause you to reconsider are:
- You obsess over weight, in which case manage your expectations or look for another brand.
- You run cold at night, in which case err on the side of caution and consider buying a warmer version of the bag you think you need.
- Your body shape is on the big side in which case perhaps consider a different brand.
Where to Buy Marmot Nanowave Sleeping Bags
Alternatives to the Nanowave
To be perfectly honest, all the alternative ultralight sleeping bags that I'm aware of are north of a hundred bucks. But if you're willing to push the boat out a bit, you wouldn't want to dismiss either:
As the name suggests, it has a 0 degrees temperature rating. The bag’s dimensions are 82 inches by 32 inches, and it weighs 5.8 lbs. This product has a quilted construction with evenly distributed insulation. The shell is made of ripstop polyester, and when fully stuffed, the bag is 17.1 inches tall.
If you’ve gone camping or hiking before, you’ve no doubt heard of Coleman products. The North Rim sleeping bag has a temperature rating of 0 degrees; the inside will remain warm even when the outside is freezing. It is mummy-shaped to ensure you’re both comfortable and warm while you sleep.
For taller people, this sleeping bag is exceptionally suited to be comfortable for you. Measuring 82 inches by 32 inches, it can accommodate people up to 6’2 inches tall.
It also features Thermolock technology to prevent the heat from escaping the bag via the zipper. This technology will work even when conditions outside are too hot—the inside will remain relatively cooler.
This bag is suitable for all four seasons.
The shell is made of ripstop polyester which makes it sturdy and keeps the cold weather in check. This sleeping bag’s heat retention is made exceptional by its quilted construction and evenly distributed insulation.
Weighing in at 5.8 lbs, this sleeping bag has enough internal room for you to move around. However, it’s a bit bulky and some users reported they had trouble stuffing it into the compression stuff sack.
The Coleman North Rim Sleeping Bag has it all: sturdiness, heat retention, and comfort. It also comes with a 5-year warranty, you’re covered in case of any mishaps. It only falls short on portability, and even then, it’s not too heavy.
This sleeping bag is rated for 20 degrees. It weighs 4.2 lbs for the single version and 5.95 for the double version. The single version is 86.6 inches by 31.5 inches. This bag’s waterproof and made of 100% polyester. While fully stuffed, it stands at 13 inches tall.
MalloMe excels in the manufacture of outdoor gear. The company has gained the trust of many people, including yours truly, because of the quality and affordability of its products. The MalloMe sleeping bag is designed to be versatile in the range of activities it suits.
For starters, this bag can be used by both kids and adults. It is also suitable for multiple activities—it is small enough for sleepovers and tough enough for hiking in the woods.
Thanks to its 20 degree rating, this three-season sleeping bag is great in warm weather. Additionally, the bag is designed and constructed to be both weatherproof and waterproof.
The Mallome ensures you won’t get chilly from cold temperatures and it’ll keep you dry in rainy conditions.
The bag’s zipper looks and feels premium. It also has a zipper at the bottom to allow your feet to breathe during warmer temperatures. Being 100% polyester, this Mallome bag feels gentle and soft to the touch. I found it quite relaxing.
This bag is available in two options: Single and double. How do you choose?
The double version has a roomy envelope shape that can accommodate two people comfortably—it’s 86.6 inches by 59.05 inches. If you plan to sleep alone, however, the extra volume is just extra baggage—the single version would be more appropriate in your case.
The MalloMe sleeping bag is very easy to clean—thanks to its polyester composition. Wiping the bag with a wet piece of cloth will get rid of most stains, but for the more stubborn patches, this sleeping bag is machine-wash friendly.
This bag comes with a compression sack and straps to reduce the carry-volume. It’s still somewhat bulky, but that’s a drawback we can live with.
With excellent customer service, the MalloMe Camping Sleeping Bag is one of the best options in the market. Even on the off-chance that you get a faulty bag, Mallome guarantees that you’ll get a full refund.
This brand is affordable, high-quality, suitable for a wide range of activities, and all versions of the bag are available in 5 colors: Blue, green, grey, orange, and red.
This sleeping bag has double insulation and a 210T water resistant polyester outer shell. It has a temperature rating of 20 degrees. It weighs 4.19 lbs and measures 86.6 inches by 29.5 inches. When packed, the Abco Tech Sleeping Bag is only 16-inches tall.
Abco Tech Sleeping Bag is an excellent option for the camping enthusiast on a budget. It will keep you both warm and dry in moderately cold weather—thanks to its 20 degree rating, double filled technology, and S-shaped quilted design.
To keep you dry and safe from various weather conditions, the outer shell is made of 210T polyester that is weather-resistant and water resistant. It’s filled with double insulation that keeps you warm when things start to cool down after dark.
This bag weighs 4.19 lbs and is suitable for 3 seasons. It has a barrel design that offers you more space at the shoulders and a narrower fit at the feet. This allows you to move freely while sleeping.
The Abco Tech Sleeping Bag is 86.6 inches by 29.5 inches, and it has an adjustable hood to keep your head warm. The bag’s zipper is held in place by a velcro cover. Our issue with the zipper is that it can snag. Some users complained that it broke off almost immediately after purchase.
This bag also comes with a stuff sack, with built-in compression straps, for more convenient carrying and storage.
The Abco Tech Sleeping Bag is available in two colors: blue and red. It has a 100% risk-free satisfaction guarantee, evidence of how much trust the manufacturer has in the product. It's not an ultralight sleeping bag but you won't get that on a budget. But this is about as lightweight as you'll find in this price bracket.
On the flip side, although it’s supposed to be machine-wash friendly, some owners claim otherwise. Hand wash the bag to be on the safe side. Overall, it’s a reliable sleeping bag that excels during the summer months
It’s made of high quality water-resistant 210T polyester that comes with TC lining. This sleeping bag has a 32-50 degrees temperature rating. It weighs 6.08 lbs and measures 86.6 inches by 59 inches. The Ohuhu Double Sleeping Bag is 13 inches tall when compressed into the stuff sack.
If you’ve not heard of Ohuhu before, you’re not alone. It’s not as popular as the other brands on our list. We, too, were pleasantly surprised to see a little known brand make a sleeping bag of the quality we see in the Ohuhu Double Sleeping Bag.
Do you and your loved one enjoy the outdoors? Then this sleeping bag is just what you need. If you and your partner would rather sleep separately, this bag is easily split into two.
This budget sleeping bag is made of water-resistant 210T polyester and high-quality TC lining which makes it both durable and suitable for rainy conditions. It also has generous fillings of cotton that keep you cushioned against any bumps on the ground.
We can’t call this a lightweight sleeping bag—it weighs about 6.08 lbs, but keep in mind it’s meant for two people. You can split the bag into two and share out the weight. This bag also comes with a compression stuff sack for easy storage.
Measuring 86.6 inches by 59 inches, the Ohuhu Double Sleeping Bag has enough room to accommodate all body types. Two pillows are included in each purchase, but they’re too small and you’re better off bringing your own.
Some users also reported that the zipper broke down rather quickly.
We may be a little bit wary of brands we haven’t heard of, but the Ohuhu Double Sleeping Bag is sturdy and comfortable enough for us to encourage a leap of faith.
It comes with 3D cotton fillings that make it quite warm and comfortable, even when it’s freezing outside. Its water-resistant polyester shell is soft to the touch and it’ll keep the rain out.
This sleeping bag has a temperature rating of 0 degrees. It weighs 7 lbs and measures 90 inches by 30 inches. This double-layered sleeping bag has a sturdy taffeta shell with soft poly-flannel lining. It’s 17-inches tall when fully stuffed.
This three-season option from TETON is an excellent choice if you’re after both warmth and comfort. Passionate adventurers and hunters will love this sleeping bag.
This spacious bag has enough room to accommodate the plus-sized camper comfortably. I am far from plus-size, but this product didn’t feel too big for me—something I found surprising given its generous dimensions. I also found that my two sons, aged 7 and 9, could comfortably share this bag.
If you want to buy sleeping bags for your kids, this item will prove economical—two sleeping spaces for the price of one!
The TETON Sports Celsius has a temperature rating of 0 degrees Fahrenheit; it’ll keep you warm even under freezing conditions. Its double-layered construction and Taffeta shell with poly flannel lining make it sturdy enough to see you through the most demanding of adventures.
To keep body heat inside, the TETON XXL sleeping bag has a curved hood. Also, there is an adjustable shoulder opening and cushions around the zipper to make sure no draft enters the bag.
It has an evenly distributed fiber lining that efficiently keeps buildup heat from escaping the sleeping bag. On the other hand, if it’s hot outside and you need better ventilation, the bag has a snag-free full-length zipper that opens the bag from top to bottom.
You can also join the TEXLON XXL to a similar-sized bag if you don’t want to sleep alone.
One of the notable features in this sleeping bag that it has an interior stash pocket to store your valuables or handy items. It also comes with a compression sack to easily carry the 7 lbs of packing weight.
The greatest downside to this product is that it’s not waterproof—you’ll need a tent or tarp to keep you dry in rainy conditions. If you need a sleeping bag that’ll keep the rain out, try the Abco Tech Sleeping Bag.
In winter, the TETON Sports Celsius XXL Sleeping Bag will be your best companion—it’ll keep you warm and comfortable. The lifetime warranty is a big plus. It shows the manufacturer is confident of the product’s quality.
This bag is spacious, and it handles almost anything you throw at it—except the rain.
How to Choose the Best Sleeping Bag for You
Now, before settling for any sleeping bag, there are a few things you should take into consideration. Below are some pointers:
There are three main sleeping bag shapes: mummy bags, rectangular, and barrel.
These bags usually have a zipper on the longer side, running from top to bottom. Since they have more room than other shapes, they’re less efficient when it comes to retaining body heat. That’s why they’re only good for a couple of seasons, and the occasional backpacking trip.
The mummy-shaped backpacking sleeping bags are narrower at the shoulders than other shapes and get narrowed down the feet. This shape maximizes a bag’s heat-retention characteristics. The only downside to this shape is that it’s a little restricting.
A mummy sleeping bag usually come with hoods and the zipper goes half-way down. They are best-suited for backcountry camping or multi-day hiking.
What do you get when you mix a mummy-shaped bag with a rectangular-shaped one? A barrel-shaped bag. They offer both warmth and space. Barrel bags are shaped like a cocoon: wide at the shoulder and narrow at the feet.
Most of them don’t come with hoods and the zippers go all the way down. They’re suitable for most outdoor activities.
Each backpacking sleeping bag has a recorded temperature rating. This gives you the range of optimal conditions the bag is best suited to handle.
If you want a summer backpacking sleeping bag, then choose one with a temperature rating of 30 degrees or higher. Three-season backpacking sleeping bags are designed for 15 to 30degrees environments. If you plan to spend your nights below 15 degrees, opt for a winter sleeping bag.
Weight and Packed Size
You want a light bag, especially if you’re going to walk long distances. As a rule of thumb, you want a backpacking sleeping bag to weigh under 5lbs. Anything more is going to take up too much space in your back and weigh heavy on you over the course of the day.
Lighter bags have better insulation than their heavier equals because they don’t have as much room for padding. Better insulation will almost always translate into a higher cost. Light and affordable sleeping bags aren’t out of the question, though.
As for the packed size, the sleeping bag should compress as small as is most comfortable for you. When hiking, this will translate into more room in your backpack.
There are two types of insulation: down and synthetic.
Down insulation is made of a mix of feathers and small air pockets. These two make the sleeping bag fluffy, warm, and comfortable.
Down insulation provides better warmth to weight ratio than synthetic insulation. It can also be compressed to a smaller size making it the best choice for serious backpackers. However, these advantages come with a hefty price tag, and the insulation isn’t waterproof.
The most common insulation for backpacking sleeping bags is synthetic. All of the products on our list have this type of insulation, to some degree. Synthetic insulation is made of polyester, for the better part.
Polyester is budget-friendly, easy to clean, and most of these backpacking sleeping bags are waterproof. On the flip side, synthetic insulation makes a bag bulkier and heavier.
After thorough research, I can confidently say that the Kelty Tuck 22 the obvious winner. The Ohuhu Double Sleeping Bag is a close runner-up because of its size and durability.
The MalloMe backpacking sleeping bag has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from its users. It’s made of high-quality materials, has useful features, and is backed by a warranty and excellent after-sale services.