Best Hunting Sleeping Bag 2023

Turning in for a decent sleep the night before a hunt or rewarding yourself with one after a successful day is crucial to your performance.

The foundation of good sleep is a suitable sleeping bag. This makes it an essential consideration when you’re selecting and assembling your hunting gear.

Sleeping bags come in a vast range of options with various sizes, packed sizes, and fillings. The highest-quality sleeping bags have an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio, making them extremely comfortable.

Today we’ll look at some of the best sleeping bags of 2023, each offering superior comfort and warmth with their own features that meet your needs. The models we’ll be looking at today are:

Which Kind of Sleeping Bag Do You Need?

The most obvious thing to consider when looking for a sleeping bag is how cold your destination will be.

If you’re out in the Rockies looking for bull elks, you can expect warmer conditions than the harsh rain of Prince of Wales Island.

Speaking of rain, no matter how well-insulated your bag is, it will be more challenging to maintain warmth in cold weather if it’s soaked with rain.

Synthetic or down filling

Knowing the difference between the two fillings is crucial before you decide on your next bag. Down and synthetic bags are both very light and offer excellent insulation. However, there are other features you should be aware of before making a purchase.

Down – Feathers from ducks and geese usually fill more high-end sleeping bags, and they’re lighter and provide more insulation, that is, up until they get wet. While they can steal and keep warmth if wet, synthetic insulation is better.

Synthetic- Synthetic insulation is typically heavier and cheaper than down fill. Its warmth-to-weight ratio is also lower, but they’re better at keeping you warm if they get wet: an essential consideration if you’re expecting poor weather.

Fill power

If you decide on a down sleeping bag, it will have a “fill power” measurement. This is a scale of how fluffy the down feathers it’s using are. So if the fill power is higher, you’ll save weight due to the feathers’ effectiveness.

If you’re planning on trekking into the backcountry, even a few lbs can make a difference to a comfortable carrying load, so you should consider fill power.

We’ve assembled this list of the top sleeping bags for the different bases they cover, but it’s up to you to choose the one that fits your needs.

The time of the season you’re hunting, how long you plan to hunt, and the temperatures you expect are all factors you should consider when you’re sizing up your options.


Best Sleeping Bag for Hunting: REI Co-op Magma

REI Co-op Magma 15 Sleeping Bag - Men's Red Inside

What I love about this bag

For its snug, chunky size and fluffy goose down that offers a bumper 850 fill power; this mummy bag style bag packs a bunch of warmth into a sleeping bag that barely weighs more than 1lb in both the regular and large sizes.

The mummy-style hood keeps your head and ears warm as the night reaches its coldest points at around 4-5 AM.


  • Weight: Regular – 1 lb. 12.2 oz./Long – 1 lb. 14.6 oz.
  • Insulation type: Water resistant down
  • Fits Up To: Regular – Left Zip: 72 inches/Long – Left Zip: 78 inches
  • Stuff Sack Size: 7.5 x 15 inches
  • Temperature Rating: 16 degrees (F)
  • Zipper Location: Left


Potent fill power provides excellent warmth tested to 16 degrees, and waterproof down filling provides insulation in poor weather.


The regular fit might be tighter for taller users around the 5’10 mark, so you may need to stretch to the large for a comfortable sleeping room.

Full Review

The benefits of mummy bags can only be overstated once you’re out in the backcountry without one; trying to sleep with freezing ears while all the heat escapes your head is challenging. The hood of the Magma is contoured to fit your head and has two separate zip cords, making it easily adjustable from inside the sleeping bag.

The 850 fill power down is also located in the collar and shoulder, where warmth is generally lost.

The fill power of the down insulation makes a huge difference too. This considerably light bag features a hefty temperature rating while being as light as a feather!

Some users say that the regular bag doesn’t fit the recommended 72-inch user, but if you’re conscious of your height, you can upgrade to the large one for no extra charge.

Best Sleeping Bag on a Budget: Kelty Cosmic 20

Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag - Men's Blue Colour

What I love about this bag

At nearly a third the cost of the Magma, the Kelty Cosmic offers a robust 550 fill power and has been tested to 21 degrees. Though this is obviously less than the Magma, this is a no-brainer on a budget for the humble price point of $189.95.


  • Weight: Short: 2 lbs. 7 oz./Regular: 2 lbs. 10 oz./Long: 2 lbs. 15 oz.
  • Insulation type: Water resistant down
  • Fits Up To: Short: 66 inches/Regular: 72 inches/Long: 78 inches
  • Stuff Sack Size: Short: 7 x 13 inches/Regular: 8 x 13 inches/Long: 8 x 14 inches
  • Temperature Rating: 21 degrees (F)
  • Zipper Location: Right


The most obvious pro is the $189.95 price tag, which gets you solid 550-fill power down insulation. While not as warm as other sleeping bags on our list, this is the best sleeping bag if you’re looking to keep costs low.


A common issue with sleeping bags is that they sometimes need to match up to their recommended heights which is an issue that Kelty Cosmic users have reported. It’s hard to know how much of that is just personal opinion, as many users over 6ft enjoy comfort with the Cosmic.

We advise sizing up once if possible: in that case, if worse comes to worst, you’ve got plenty of room to wriggle your toes!

Full Review

Users are typically pleased with this bag, not least because of the money they saved to get it. The Cosmic is smaller than your standard oversized bag, and all three sizes can be compressed. When they’re compact it’s easy to store them in your ruck or hang them off the side in their stuff sack.

The variability in size offers plenty of freedom to find the size that fits you. It also has an inside stash pocket to keep a phone or two-way radio.

It’s easy to see a cheap price tag and be put off by what seems to be too good a deal, and of course, paying top dollar is more likely to get you the best. But the Cosmic’s attractive price tag doesn’t skimp on temperature rating or comfort. It traps air effectively; providing considerable waterproofing, offering a competitive, low-cost alternative for backpacking sleeping.


Best Cold Weather Sleeping Bag: Mountain Hardwear Phantom

Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15 Sleeping Bag Red and Blue Colour

What I love about this bag

Another potent 850 fill power rating makes the sleeping bag liner of the Phantom a fantastic choice for winter camping. The mummy cut is extra snug, providing maximum warmth, and it also comes with a down-filled face gasket for optimal insulation on bitterly cold nights.


  • Weight: Long – Left Zip: 2 lbs. 3.9 oz.
  • Insulation type: Goose down
  • Fits Up To: Long: 78 inches
  • Stuff Sack Size: 15 x 7 inches
  • Temperature Rating: 11 degrees (F)
  • Zipper Location: Left


The down-filled draft collar and face gasket creates a seal to trap warmth where other bags are weakest. You only need to take one look at the Phantom to know it’s been designed to maintain body heat in inhospitable conditions.


The impressive $580 price tag is sure to have many folks looking elsewhere quickly. If you’re serious about camping in cold weather, maybe you’re willing to fork out the cash, but it will be prohibitive to some hunters.

Full review

The Phantom is designed with alpine climbers in mind, so its temperature ratings and specs are suitable for the rigors of people who climb up mountains to seek the cold air. So, if you’re looking for a sleeping bag to keep you warm, you’ve found it.

This versatile down bag has multiple layers of heart retention technology woven into its design. The extremely lightweight nylon shell is so easy to compress you’ll be amazed by how something that packs so small could pack so much heat.

The potent 850 fill goose down runs through a collar and face covering to create a seal against brutal weather that other sleeping bags can’t contend with.

This is, of course, a more specialized bag; far too specialized for a general purpose, all-season hunting sleeping bag.

This bag is built for Arctic and Alaskan explorers, people who seek conditions where the weather doesn’t compromise. You have to contend with the price tag, which is steep for any budget, but it’s a guarantee that you’ll be prepared for whatever the elements have in store for you.


Best Sleeping Bag for Elk Hunting: Nemo Riff

Nemo Riff Mens 30 - Down sleeping bag

What I love about this bag

Like many people reading this, I’m a side sleeper and like the room to switch sides at night. This is especially important when looking down the barrel of a week of nights in uncomfortable terrain.

The Nemo riff is a roomy bag with plenty of space to accommodate comfortable movement while you sleep. The hourglass figure has been designed with side sleepers in mind, allowing you to shift position more comfortably than a standard sleeping bag allows for.


  • Weight: Long: 2 lb, 6 oz.
  • Insulation type: Down
  • Fits Up To: 72 inches
  • Stuff Sack Size: 15 x 7 inches
  • Temperature Rating: 11 degrees (F)
  • Zipper Location: Left


This bag features excellent space for movement with more legroom than other bags on our list. Limited legroom is a common complaint, but Nemo has designed a bag that doesn’t skimp on comfort.


The extra room that provides the boosted comfort also makes the Riff slightly heavier than other sleeping bags on our list, but this is a small price to pay for the added room.

Full review

Besides added sleeping room, this bag has two “gills” – two zips on the bag’s upper end that open slits of uninsulated fabric on the bag.

These slits add little weight to the Riff and allow for easy modulation of how well-insulated you want your bag to be. Too hot? Open a jot to allow air to circulate, or close them if you need the extra warmth. These help make this versatile bag ideal for long trail trips and changeable weather.

More tightly packed bags like the Magma or the Phantom can restrict movement lower down, making backpacking sleeping less than ideal. While the Riff doesn’t match these for warmth, it’s far and away the optimal choice if you prefer to have more space while you rest up.

While it’s not as cozy as these options, it provides dependable warmth for late-season elk hunting.


Best Backcountry Hunting Sleeping Bag: Nemo Disco

NEMO Disco 15 Sleeping Bag - Men's Orange and Blue

What I love about this bag.

Nemo does an excellent job carving out a niche by providing the roomiest sleeping bags. They’ve done it again with the Disco, one of the market’s most oversized, comfortable mummy bags.


  • Weight: Regular: 2 lbs. 11 oz./Long: 2 lbs. 13 oz.
  • Insulation type: Water resistant down
  • Fits Up To: Regular: 72 inches/Long: 78 inches
  • Stuff Sack Size: 9 x 12 inches
  • Temperature Rating: 14 degrees (F)
  • Zipper Location: Left


While most bags restrict movement, which can spoil your sleep, especially if you’re in less-than-ideal surroundings, the Disco has been designed for side sleepers and people who prefer wriggle room.

The hourglass design provides plenty of extra room without skimping on warmth and won’t break the bank either.


If you’re interested in ultralight sleeping bags, the Disco isn’t the right sleeping bag for you. While it’s still a negligible 2 lbs 13 oz. at the top end, you may prefer a bag with more weight savings.

Full review

If a bag with more wiggle room to bolster your comfort on extended backcountry trips is what you’re looking for, the Disco is a winner. Its generous inner proportions make it easy to find a comfortable position wherever you bed down.

I’m sure we’ve all felt trapped in tight sleeping bags. It might seem like a small thing, but anything that disturbs sleep when you’re dealing with the elements is likely to throw you off your game.

The roomy interior is fantastic for people who prefer more movement, though the space provides more room for air. This means the bag has to work harder to match the temperature rating of a warmer bag like the Phantom.

Though this is said to be a 14-degree bag, the extra room may make it rank a little lower, especially if you’re on the shorter side, thus leaving more room for air in the interior.

This bag is also plenty bulky and not ideal for ultralight backpacking and hunting. The upshot of the extra comfort makes this one of the more cumbersome bags on our list, though the stuff sack size offers similar proportions to our other top backpacking sleeping bags.

Though not quite as cheap as the Kelty Cosmic, the $224.89-$239.89 price point of the Disco is affordable on a budget and stacks plenty of features. These include the breathable gills in the Riff and a waterproof foot guard to prevent condensation from tent walls from affecting the insulation.


Best Synthetic Sleeping Bag: North Face Cat’s Meow

The North Face Cat's Meow 20 Eco Sleeping Bag Blue and White

What I love about this bag

North Face has been designing a variation of this sleeping bag since the late 70s. They’ve maintained its reliability, lightness, and versatility without breaking the bank, making it a reliable workhorse choice for many hunters and backpackers.


  • Weight: Regular: 2 lbs. 11 oz./Long: 2 lbs. 15 oz./Extra-long: 3 lbs. 4oz.
  • Insulation type: Synthetic
  • Fits Up To: Regular: 72 inches/Long: 78 inches/Extra-long: 84 inches
  • Stuff Sack Size: Regular: 10 x 18 inches/Long: 10 x 18 inches/Extra-long: 11 x 20 inches
  • Temperature Rating: 20 degrees (F)
  • Zipper Location: Right


Not only does this bag have years of updates backing up its evolution, but the price tag is much more reflective of a budget bag costing between $179.99 to $199.99 for the extra-long.

This 20-degree bag doesn’t skimp on insulation either; using North Face’s patented Heatseeker Guide insulation, which dries significantly faster than down bags.


Even at its lightest, the Cat’s Meow is one of the heaviest bags on our list, which is the trade-off you make for synthetic insulation, which is naturally weightier than down. The synthetic insulation also naturally makes this bag larger when packed down.

Full review

With constant upgrades, the Cat’s Meow has stood the test of time and is still a top choice among people seeking a synthetic sleeping bag.

Its robust, water-resistant insulation dries efficiently and packs smaller than most sleeping bags with synthetic fillings. The stuff sack has manageable dimensions and will do an excellent job minimizing the packed size.

Though the weight is naturally a little chunkier than down-filled backpacking sleeping bags, it’s comparably warm to the Kelty Cosmic while only weighing less than 1lb more in the extra-long model.

Down bags show a marked difference in maintaining their insulative properties when they get wet, so if you’re expecting rain, you may want to equip yourself with a synthetic sleeping bag that will be more resilient in rainy weather.

While not nearly as plush as other, more expensive models, the Cat’s Meow has stood the test of time, and its robustness and versatility are sure to have you purring.


Considerations When Buying a Sleeping Bag


If you’re planning on getting deep into the backcountry, every pound you can save on the overall weight of your camping gear while you search for the ideal campsite is a bonus.

Luckily, most sleeping bags weigh less than 3 lbs. There is variation in weights in the bags on our list, but all of them incur minimal extra weight.

Packed size

Perhaps more important than the overall weight is the size of the sleeping bag you bring on your trip. Every bag will get a little bulkier the more you compress it. It’s wise to consider what you’re already bringing and whether an oversized packed-down sleeping bag might burden you.

Water resistance

I don’t need to teach my grandma to suck eggs and tell you to check the forecast for where you’re planning on taking your hunt. Still, if you’re going somewhere wet, ensure you’re taking either a synthetic bag or at least one that has proven itself in weather-tested conditions.


If you’re an awkward sleeper, you don’t want to be trapped in a tight tube of a bag that might have the right temperature rating but offers zero mobility. Comfort is king, and there’s no shame in feeling pampered and choosing a bag based on how comfortable it will make you.


How I Chose The Best Sleeping Bag for Hunting

It’s all well and good choosing a specific hunting bag for the same terrain or weather outcomes, but you want a single bag that covers as many of your bases as possible and not a walk-in cupboard full of situation-specific choices.

This is why the Co-op Magma came out on top. Versatility is critical, and the Magma offers a warm sleeping bag that feels like a premium choice at a distinctly affordable price point.

The down insulation means the Magma packs down snugly into a 9L sack and is impressively light for a 16-degree bag with a fill weight of barely over 1lb. Any extra weight savings and size reductions you can make in your loadout are essential. If you can achieve them without sacrificing warmth and comfort, you’re onto a winner.

Including a pocket to keep essentials warm and safe inside your bag can’t be overstated. It’s only when you don’t have this little bonus that you realize how useful it can be.

The warmth, comfort, and manageable weight make this a fantastic all-rounder that competently covers every base.



Should I get a sleeping pad?

Good question. While all the bags on our list offer excellent comfort, a sleeping pad is a great idea if you want to go the extra mile. It’s a no-brainer to say that wherever you set up camp, the ground you choose to sleep on will be cold. This cold will absorb your heat, especially with the insulative materials of your sleeping bag compressed beneath you.

A sleeping pad provides an extra layer of air that maintains heat and adds comfort.

Should a sleeping bag be tight?

To be effective, a sleeping bag should wrap tightly around you to warm the interior effectively. That being said, you shouldn’t feel trapped in one. People often complain about sleeping bags being too tight on their feet or around their hips.

People with broader set or longer bodies or those who prefer to shift around in their sleep may want to do additional research to find a bag like the Nemo Riff or Disco, which maintains a tight fit while allowing space for movement.

Do I need to wash my sleeping bag?

This depends on how mucky or sweaty you got on your most recent excursion. It shouldn’t be necessary to wash it after every trip, but you’ll be able to tell if it needs laundering with a quick smell test!

In any case, you should be washing it at least once a year and more if you’re regularly on the trail.


Final Thoughts on The Best Sleeping Bags for Hunting

When compiling this list, we wanted to ensure that whichever model you settled on, you got a well-rounded top-of-the-range sleeping bag.

All the above bags offer minimal weights and outstanding temperature ratings you would expect from premiere sleeping bag manufacturers.

While the Co-op Magma topped our list in weight, comfort, temperature rating, and versatility, all the subsequent bags offer excellent alternatives with clever perks that set them apart from the competition and make them ideal for a variety of hunting scenarios.

To ensure you’re getting the best gear for the campsite on your next expedition, check out our blog to find the best tent for hunting.

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Picture of Jack Simons

Jack Simons

Jack is a retired policeman who loves spending his free time around weapons and hunting across the state of Colorado with friends. His goal is to help newcomers find their way into the world of guns & hunting as well as review all the current best products and accessories for bow and rifle hunting.

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