Best sleeping bag 2018: soft, snugly bags for cold and warm weather camping

Cosy up on your camping trip or outdoors adventure with a high quality sleeping bag built to keep you dry, comfortable and snoozing for longer

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Camping is all very well in the daytime, when you're relaxing in a comfy camping chair in your warm clothes, quietly watching the world go by. But if you've bought a poor quality sleeping bag, nighttime will be a challenge. 

That's why it's important to invest in the best sleeping bag you can afford. One that will keep you warm (but not overcooked) and comfortable enough to drift off to sleep.

If prices do drop in the Boxing Day sales, those prices will be shown below so you can be sure you are always getting the best deal.

Luckily for you, we've rounded up seven of the best sleeping bags of 2018, each designed to boost your slumbering pleasure. But first, let's look at what you actually need to consider...

How to choose the best sleeping bag for you

Sleeping bags are split into two broad groups: down bags and synthetic bags. Broadly speaking, down sleeping bags offer lightness and unparalleled warmth... And also the opportunity for you to catch hypothermia if they get soaked. 

Down bags have evolved a wide range of waterproof coatings and down treatments to try and stave off the damp problem, but these are sometimes only partially effective, and the treatments often lose their potency over the years. 

Synthetic bags tend to be heavier for the same warmth rating, though they can be bulkier in pack terms, and will see you right in the dampest scenario. On the other hand, synthetic fill bags suffer from de-lofting over time, which reduces their warmth too. So picking the right combo is essential.

Also, be wary of taking minimum temperature ratings too literally – often the lowest temperature in a rating is a ‘survival’ temperature, which won’t add up to a pleasant camping trip.

The best sleeping bags you can buy right now

Best sleeping bags

1. Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Sleeping Bag

The best sleeping bag for balmy summer camping

Specifications
Weight: 480g
Filling: Down
Temperatures Limit: 4°C
Shape: Mummy
Reasons to buy
+Super lightweight design+A pedigree sleeping bag
Reasons to avoid
-Limited to summer temperatures

An old favourite among the camping fraternity, the Ghost Whisperer is packed with 900-fill-power goose down, and is ‘QShield’ treated to combat the dreaded damp. 

A 10D ripstop fabric two/three-season bag with a lower rating of 4 degrees, the Mountain Hardwear's is widely considered to be one of the best sleeping bags around because of its impressive lightweight and extremely packable design. 

The Ghost Whisperer bag is aimed at alpine-style mountaineering types, as well as hikers who want to stay warm at night without paying a hefty weight penalty.

Best sleeping bag: Mountain Equipment Iceline

2. Mountain Equipment Iceline

The best sleeping bag for winter camping

Specifications
Weight: 1,650g
Filling: Russian Goose Down
Temperatures Limit: -30°C
Shape: Mummy
Reasons to buy
+Multi-baffle design for maximum warmth+Highly breathable+Rain resistant
Reasons to avoid
-Certainly not cheap

It’s not a new sleeping bag, but the classic Mountain Equipment Iceline has graced many an expedition to very cold places, and rightly so. 

It keeps you relatively comfortable down to a frigid -30 degrees, thanks to 994g (minimum fill power 800) of 90-10 Russian Goose Down, all wrapped in a rain-resistant and breathable Gore Thermium 10D outer shell. All that makes this the best sleeping bag for cold weather camping. 

Mountain Equipment has gone to town with the baffle design, packing in a variety of shapes in different areas to maximise loft to keep you warm. An anatomically shaped hood hugs your head, and a neck collar provides a snug yet soft fit.

The fact that the Iceline comes ‘expedition fitted’ (so it’s roomier than usual) is another reason why this serious bit of camping gear is top of our best sleeping bags list. When you’re done using it, just roll the bag into the supplied waterproof roll-top stuff-sack.

Best sleeping bag 2018: Vango Venom 300 Sleeping Bag

3. Vango Venom 300

An excellent value spring to autumn sleeping bag

Specifications
Weight: 900g
Filling: Down
Temperatures Limit: 0°C
Shape: Mummy
Reasons to buy
+Recommended by DofE+Ethically sourced down+Ideal for spring to autumn camping
Reasons to avoid
-On the heavy side for the rating

A stone cold classic, for years the Vango Venom has been a byword for budget-friendly lightweight sleeping bags. Boasting considerable technical assets for a minimal spend, it’s no surprise that this bag is recommended by DofE groups. 

One of the cheapest picks in our best sleeping bags guide, the Venom 300 brings with it a box wall construction, which ensures an even distribution of warmth once you're nestled inside it.

The ethically sourced hydro barrier-treated down (at 700 fill power) is teamed with a durable, water-resistant mini ripstop 30D nylon fabric. It'll see you through sprint to autumn without a whimper.

Best sleeping bag: Mammut Tyin MTI Winter Sleeping Bag

4. Mammut Tyin MTI Winter

The sleeping bag that laughs in the face of ice and rain

Specifications
Weight: 2200g
Filling: Ajungilak MTI Endurance
Temperatures Limit: -18°C
Shape: Mummy
Reasons to buy
+Ace for staying warm in the wet+Robust design that’s built to last+Machine washable
Reasons to avoid
-Quite bulky once unpacked

The Mammut Tyin might not be the lightest winter sleeping bag, but the artificial insulation is a definite win in anything other than very dry conditions… Or in other words, anywhere in Europe. 

Not only are there three layers of insulation in the main sleeping bag, there are additional layers in the foot box to stave off those dreaded midnight chills. 

As well as shrugging off general dampness, the Tyin bag is made from robust Polyamide, so it will last you many a camping trip. 

This best sleeping bag contender is also rated for washing and tumble drying at 60 degrees, so you can get that expedition musk properly laundered out - something that down bags are usually much less tolerant of.  

Best sleeping bag: Mountain Hardwear HyperLamina Flame

5. Mountain Hardwear HyperLamina Flame

The best sleeping bag for soggy camping trips

Specifications
Weight: 1,110g
Filling: Thermal.Q
Temperatures: 0°C
Shape: Mummy
Reasons to buy
+Robust water-resistant bag+Synthetic insulation+Body mapped insulation
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy for its temperature rating

The HyperLamina Flame is an excellent choice for potentially rain-lashed camping, as the synthetic insulation keeps you warm regardless of how wet it is. 

This sleeping bag is no technical slouch either, packing in a half length centre zip, a face gasket and Lamina welded construction.

Another reason why it's routinely considered to be one of the best sleeping bags money can buy is something called mapped insulation. This clever design works to keep heat in and weight down. 

Best sleeping bags

6. Montane Deep Heat Sleeping Bag

The ideal choice for survival experiences

Specifications
Weight: 1,675g
Filling: Goose down (90/10, 800+ fill, 1,000g)
Temperatures: -20°C
Shape: Mummy
Reasons to buy
+Great choice for survival adventures+A must for winter camping+Seriously hardcore feature list
Reasons to avoid
-Snug fit could be restrictive

The Montane Deep Heat Sleeping Bag delivers on two key fronts: it’s very warm and, at a shade over a kilo and a half, it’s pretty lightweight too. In addition, Montane have deliberately designed the bag to work in cramped conditions, such as bivvy sites where sitting up might be the most relaxed you’ll get. 

The sleeping bag’s hood is designed to move with your head, keeping the insulation where you need it at all times and enabling proper protection, even if you’re propped up in a bivouac. In short, this is a bag for adverse weather camping and survival missions, as the specs go on to prove…

Not only is there an internal stash pocket for any batteries you don’t want frozen, there’s also a water bottle pocket, which means your Nalgene can be a hot water bottle at bedtime, and still be unfrozen by dawn.

Best sleeping bag 2018: Outwell Unisex Outdoor Constellation Lux

7. Outwell Unisex Outdoor Constellation Lux

The best sleeping bag for couples who love to snuggle

Specifications
Weight: 3,000g
Filling: Isofill Premium
Temperatures: -2°C
Shape: Double Duvet
Reasons to buy
+Ideal for couples+Luxurious feel+Can be split into two bags
Reasons to avoid
-Impossible to carry any distance

Do you have a romantic camping trip planned with your partner? If so, this is the Rolls-Royce of sleeping bags; a comfy double duvet big enough for two. 

With a slightly optimistic comfort rating of -2, Outwell's Constellation Lux Sleeping Bag will be ideal for car camping in late spring, summer and through to autumn. 

Rather brilliantly, the bag also zips apart into two separate sleeping bags... This might come in handy if you discover that your partner is actually far too wriggly a sleeper to share such a cosy space with. 

Best sleeping bags: RAB Ignition 2

8. Rab Ignition 2

A lightweight synthetic fill sleeping bag at a keen price

Specifications
Weight: 1,050g
Filling: Pyrotec polyester microfibre insulation
Temperatures: 0°C
Shape: Mummy
Reasons to buy
+Packable+Good value+Lightweight
Reasons to avoid
-Can’t handle the cold

The Rab Ignition 2 is a light-weight, yet burly, packable synthetic insulated sleeping bag that will serve you well for three-season camping trips. 

The synthetic fill makes it ideal for inclement conditions, while a plethora of robust materials – including a 30D ripstop outer fabric and YKK zips – add up to a bombproof package of warmth.

A classic mummy shape makes up the design, hugging your body without restricting movement too much. There are left and right-hand zips available, depending on your personal preference.

Best sleeping bag: therm-a-Rest Parsec Sleeping Bag

9. Therm-a-Rest Parsec

An impressive down sleeping bag for mountain camping

Specifications
Weight: 890g
Filling: Down
Temperatures Limit: -6°C
Shape: Mummy
Reasons to buy
+Impressive tech spec+Jack of all trades+Nikwax-treated
Reasons to avoid
-Middle weight

The Thermarest is unabashedly hardcore, claiming to target ‘alpine starts and ultralight bivys’, which are rarely the most comfortable camping events, even if they do provide memorable views.

With a rating to -6C the Parsec will keep you alive in all but the most intense alpine conditions. How so? With its combination of 800-Fill power Nikwax-treated hydrophobic goose down, zoned insulation and a snazzy Reflective ThermaCapture lining designed to capture your body heat.

Pack it into the included compression stuff-sack then throw it in your backpack for a lightweight and versatile trail and mountain camping option.