TETON Sports TrailHead +20 Degree F Ultralight

Backpacker Nirvana – The Best Bag for your Buck

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Let’s face it; there are few things worse than spending a cold, wet night on the ground. Whether you are deep in the woods or just kicking it with the kids in the backyard, your sleeping bag makes or breaks the adventure.

To help you have a great night’s sleep in the great outdoors we’ve completed research to compile the Best Sleeping Bags of 2013-2014. You have many choices, and we hope our article will help you make the right one.

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Sleeping Bags are the essential camping companion. They have to keep you warm, dry and comfortable for a long period of time. If you are hiking they need to be light, compress well and easy to care for when in the wilderness. For general, or car camping you still require comfort and warmth.

Made with either Goose down, or synthetic materials they are designed to trap air inside the sack so your body can maintain a comfortable temperature. Both down and synthetic has their advantages and disadvantages; however, our review is focused on the budget-conscious camper, and we are only reviewing synthetic versions.

These tend to be more durable, easier to clean, and water resistant than down options. Most synthetic options can be commercial machine washed, typically a much cheaper alternative than dry cleaning Goose down.

We also divided our review into two sections: backpacking and general camping to further help you chose the one that is right for you.

There are many factors to consider, including durability, fill, temperature rating, and season. We have reviewed all these factors to compile our Best Sleeping Bags of 2013-2014 for outdoor adventures.

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TETON Sports TrailHead +20 Degree F Ultralight- Best Choice for Backpackers

Those of us who like to strap on a rucksack and head off into the wilderness face a conundrum. How can we port all our essential gear as lightly as possible and still make sure we have the right stuff for warmth and comfort?  Which is why we put the TETON Sports TrailHead +20 Degree F Ultralight at the top of our list.

A relatively new player in the outdoor gear market Teton has quickly gained popularity by providing quality adventure products at affordable prices. Orange with grey accents, and a focus on comfort, durability and warmth make this stylish, technical product a great three-season option.

Warm and Durable

Designed with backpackers in mind Teton’s mummy style version is filled with PolarLite, an innovative 7-denier interwoven insulation that provides warmth without bulk, actually you will find its pretty svelte. You will also enjoy its breathable, soft, double-brushed P5 Poly Hi-Count liner that keeps you warm and cozy. 

Reviewers noted its warmth and comfort level in the 40 degree range. But when winter comes along and pushes the mercury down you will discover it has a temperature rating of +20 degrees F. The product is light, thin and offers the 75D 2MM diamond Ripstop water and tear resistant shell that will keep you dry and wear well over many uses.

Larger campers will enjoy the extra shoulder and leg room with its 32 inch by 87inch (W x L) mass while the box foot area lets you lie with your toes up in comfort for a great nights sleep.  I’m 6’1” and weigh over 205 lbs. and it was a nice fit.

If you are carrying a backpack, you will be concerned about weight. Long days on the trail can be hard, and even a few extra pounds can add to fatigue.  But our top selection is a great choice as it weighs just under 3 pounds (2.9 lbs.); pack size is 14.5″ x 6.5″ x 6.5″, and compresses well. An excellent selection if you’re setting off on a long backcountry trek or mountain expedition. General campers will want to take a look at the TETON Sports Celsius XXL -18 Degree C / 0 Degree F Flannel Lined product.

You will find it comes with a lot of well thought out bells and whistles not found on other products we reviewed. Features include zipper pullers inside and outside, a mummy hood with shoulder baffle and drawstring, and a zippered inner pocket for valuables. I particularly like the zippered inner pocket, so I know exactly where my phone and keys are at all times. Also, the tapered, anti-snag zippers enhance the full-length zippered draft tube and make quick exits a breeze.

Perfect for backpackers and campers who need to consider weight and comfort the Teton Sports TrailHead +20 Degree F Ultralight is warm, lightweight and durable to provide satisfaction on the trail.

Coleman North Rim 0 Degree Sleeping Bag

Despite its shape, size and low temperature rating, we evaluated the Coleman entry with our casual camping section for one reason; it does not compress well nor fit compactly into a backpack to make it a good choice for backpacking. It is also heavy, weighing in at over 7 lb. But for the casual camper, this product is great value for money.

The Coleman North Rim 0 Degree Sleeping Bag 

There are many who have yet to experience the fun of camping. They are missing out, and one reason for their reluctance is the fear of not being comfortable. Well, with this bag from Coleman you will be feeling good in any camping environment.

Outdoor adventurers will find that this selection delivers th for less while offering some of the same benefits of the TETON Sports Celsius XXL -18 Degree C / 0 Degree F Flannel Lined product. The 0 degree selection from Coleman, a heavyweight in the outdoor product arena for years, includes double batt-offset quilt construction to eliminate those dreaded cold spots.

Warmth and comfort are further enhanced with a semi-sculpted hood to keep your noggin snug, insulated chest baffles to help retain body heat, and a box foot silhouette that allows extra wiggle room. A big plus if you like me and have big feet.

Reviewers had noted that when using an insulated sleeping pad this product performed very well, especially in winter and colder temperatures-but was too hot for some on milder summer temperatures.  Although it can be unzipped and used as a big blanket in milder temperatures, you will find it’s not as good a three-season choice as other selections in this review.  But, like the TETON Sports Celcius XXL, this baby offers a two-way, no-snag zipper for ease and maximum ventilation.

Great Casual Camper – Warm and Durable

Coleman designed this selection to provide warmth and comfort no matter what the elements throw at you. With the company’s ComfortSmart Technology you are assured of a pleasant, durable, high-quality product that comes with a stuff sack, and a five-year warranty.

This long-wearing selection features a 100% Diamond Ripstop polyester cover to resist water, a polyester liner, and filled with 100% polyester, so it’s completely hypoallergenic- an important consideration if you are camping in high pollen seasons. One drawback, a minor one, is that the drawstrings for the hood are on the inside of the hood, which means they could chafe if rubbed up against the skin during sleep. Again, this is a minor complaint that may not affect everyone.  And like most synthetic bags it is Commercial machine washable for easy and affordable care.

Great for campers up to 6’2” it measures 32 inches by 82 inches (W x L), keeps you nice and toasty in cold temperatures, and offers features like a two-way zipper, chest baffles and a mummy style hood.  It’s high-on-quality-low-on-cost camper favorite that is filled with 60 ounces of Coletherm insulation. Designed to meet industry standards, and bearing the pedigree of an outdoor industry leader you can be sure this is a product that will keep you warm and comfortable in the car, the campground, at the beach or in a tent.

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The TETON Sports Celsius XXL -18° C / 0° F Flannel Lined Sleeping Bag

For some moving the bedroom to the outdoors, is what camping is all about. And while it’s not very practical to be lugging bedroom furniture outside, Teton has the bed covered, well almost, with this selection.  After all, what is the sense of sleeping separately when camping with your partner when you can sleep together, just like at home?

The TETON Sports Celsius XXL -18° C / 0° F Flannel Lined Sleeping Bag

This Teton product is a big, and I mean ‘big’ brother to the other products in this review.  With oversize measurements of 39 x 90 inches (W x L) this product is almost bed-like and is designed for larger campers or for two people who want to snuggle. And if you need even more room, this baby easily attaches to a second bag via both right and left zippers. Perfect for those who want to get away from it all, but not from each other.

This oversized three season product is filled with body-heat trapping SuperLoft Elite four-channel hollow fiber insulation and rated to 0°. TETON doesn’t skimp when it comes to comfort, and this one is enhanced with cushioning baffle tubes around the zipper and shoulder opening to repel drafts and keep cold air out.  Staggered seams distribute the fill evenly to reduce bag compression and eradicate chilly spots that occur from sleeping on one position too long. The soft, breathable flannel lining takes the chill out of cool nights by retaining body heat. Reviewers stated that the sack keeps them warm, really warm, at cold temperatures; and some even in their birthday suits at the 45-50°. This is definitely the choice for partners who won’t tolerate being cold when camping.

No Hassle Camping

If you’re like me, nothing is more frustrating than having to tussle with a stuck zipper. Which is why we were delighted to discover the self-repairing, snag-free zipper that opens two ways (top or bottom) for as-you-like-it ventilation – an important consideration if there are two of you in one sack.  Now here is the cool part for when you take your wife, girlfriend or partner camping, the women’s left side zipper zips to the men’s right side zipper to make one big happy bag that fits you both comfortably.

However, with its size and heavier weight of 5.5 lb. you will not take off trekking into the wilderness with it as you would with its brother- the TETON Sports TrailHead +20 Degree F Ultralight or the Suisse Sport Adventurer Mummy Ultra-Compactable Sleeping Bag. Nor does it give you the option of short trip backpacking like the Slumberjack Latitude product does, unless carrying heavy loads is your game.

It does, however, deliver on quality for the price with double layer construction the entire width and length to increase warmth and durability.  Like other products in this review, it has a durable Ripstop outer shell that resists punctures and tears, even on rough ground. The outer shell resists water too, keeping you dry if you’re sleeping out under the stars where early morning dew can be an issue.

Campers will also enjoy a half circle hood with drawstring that keeps pillow or head off the ground. There is an oxford compression sack for easy stowing, internal storage pockets for keys and other valuables, and the sturdy taffeta shell will wear well for years.  For a fun, comfortable camping adventure go large with the Sports Celsius XXL -18 Degree C / 0 Degree F Flannel Lined Sleeping Bag, an oversized gem from TETON.

Slumberjack Latitude 20 degree Mummy Bag

Campers come in all sizes, and every camping adventure is different. Good for entry level backpackers and comfortable enough for the campground, our next pick is a popular choice for a variety of outdoors folks and adventures.

Get the Right Fit with the Slumberjack Latitude 20 degree Mummy Bag

Trapping air so your body will heat it and keep you toasty warm is the goal of sleeping bags. With this in mind the company designed its Latitude line to retain warmth by fitting the contours of your body while providing space to maintain comfort throughout the night.

Unlike other manufactures we reviewed, Slumberjack makes their own polyester fill called Slumberloft Synthetic Insulation. It is temperature rated at 20 degree/-7 and performs well in the 40—50 degree range. But if you are looking for a solid three-season bag that will keep you warm at near freezing temperatures, you may want to stick to the Teton Sports product previously reviewed. Remember temperature ratings are based on the assumption you are wearing long underwear and using a sleeping pad. Your metabolism also greatly influences temperature rating as well. Thinner folks tend to have less body fat that often allows them to feel the cold more than others.

This product offers a range of features to keep you warm and feeling good. A draft tube on the zipper locks out cold air, and the inside has soft polyester taffeta to keep you snug-as-a-bug. Cold spots, which occur when you lay in one position for two long, were all but eliminated with the two- layer, offset construction and differential cut.  The product also features a polyester diamond Ripstop shell with DWR water repellent finish to keep moisture off, and you dry.

But this product is probably a bit heavy for some backpackers and may be better suited for general campers. Stick to the Suisse Sport Adventure Mummy Ultra-Compactable or the Teton Sports TrailHead +20 Degree F Ultralight for compression and lighter packing for backpacking.

Your head will rest nicely as you have your choice of flat or contoured feel with the flip-over hood while the draft collar prevents heat loss from the neck and shoulder area. The drawstrings on the hood are good quality nylon and work well. There is trapezoidal foot box space that allows your feet to remain in a natural, able position, and an anti-snag zipper to ensure fast in and outs when needed.

Size and Shape Matter

Backpackers will find the Slumberjack Latitude mummy sack light and compact enough for treks into the forest and along mountain trails. Sumberjack also offers a wide range of options for different campers. But remember, weight increases with the size.  As a guide the regular size weighs 3lb, 8oz. they also offer quality options for women and children. Light, comfortable and warm at mid-range temperatures, and the ability to purchase the right fit, make this a solid choice for campers.

Not everyone wants to pull on a backpack and grind out 5-10 miles along a wilderness trail.  Some of us like to simply drive to our forest or beach camping spot, pitch a tent and enjoy the day. This is a great choice for casual or entry level campers and backpackers who want warmth and fit for their outdoor adventure.

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Suisse Sport Adventurer Mummy Ultra-Compactable Sleeping Bag

Backpacking on a budget is easier than ever these days. But be careful, sometimes important criteria are lost when going low budget. There is no sense in saving a few bucks only to spend the night shivering in frosty temperatures.

Value for Price: Suisse Sport Adventurer Mummy Ultra-Compactable Sleeping Bag

Next on our list for backpackers seeking a lightweight option that works well on the trail is the Suisse Sport Adventurer Mummy Ultra-Compactable. Like the Teton Sports Trailhead it’s light, warm and durable, but much more suited for moderate late spring, summer and early fall temperatures, and smaller built outdoorsman.

The first thing you will notice with this selection is that it’s a very plain looking product, not much for style points. But it’s ideal for long treks when a few extra ounces and pack space, can make a difference.  This option will keep you comfortable in 40 – 50 degrees, and when the temperatures dip to the freezing point it is low-temperature rated to 30 degrees. But reviewers found the 30 degree rating much more of a survival rating than a comfort rating. Breathability is an issue too, so be sure to wear lightweight long underwear, including sleeves, that will capture any sweat your body produces during the night. This will prevent you from waking up slick and cold. The sack has a 100-percent polyester Ripstop outer and inner lining, a double-layer construction, and a 700-gram Micro Tekk.7 high-performance microfiber insulation.

Small, Light and Excellent Compression

Measuring 29.5 inch by 84.5 inch (W x L) when rolled out this lightweight option comes with a compression storage sack that reduces to 12 x 7 x 7 for travel. Like our first choice, this option only takes up a third of your pack space.  On our scale, it weighed 2.8 lb. and 3lb. stuffed in the compression sack. It weighs a little too much to be considered ‘ultra-light’ but pretty good for the price.  Reviewers have also noted that this selection will slip and slide on the pad, so be sure your pad has straps or sleeves to hold it in place. If you are using it in a hammock, you will want to make sure the hammock is level to the ground to prevent sliding.  Although campers up to 6’2” will have fit length wise very well, we noted this product is a little narrow in the shoulder area. Larger outdoor adventure enthusiasts will be happy to know they can get the right fit as the company also offers an Adventurer XL, which is a little wider on the top.

This selection from Suisse has a double-action zipper inside and outside, and offers both the cinch hood and draft tube for additional body heat retention and protection against the elements. You will also find an internal zippered pocket for valuables. It’s made with a double-layer offset quilt construction and comes with a compression stuff sack, and compression straps that make it easy to stuff down to its compact size.  Although I did find it difficult to stuff back into the sack the first couple of times. You may want to check out some easy to find videos online that show you how to make it easy to get into the stuff sack.

At its ridiculous low price point, the Suisse Sport Adventure Mummy Ultra-Compactable is a good choice for hikers, bikers or anyone who needs a lighter option that delivers value for less. However, unlike the TETON Sports TrailHead +20 Degree F Ultralight this option does not offer the quality for the dollar, but despite this, backpackers will find it a good performer for the price.  Campers who do not backpack will also find this an attractive buy for general camping or a back up bag for kids and drop-in guest campers.

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