Down is one of two types of sleeping bag filling (the other being synthetic filling). Down has fabulous insulative properties, but only as long as it remains dry. Down is also very light for the amount of insulation it provides compared to most synthetic insulation out there. Down is also downright soft and comfortable!
When it comes to choosing the best down sleeping bags on the market today, several factors have to be considered. Price, weight, comfort, and warmth rating are all important factors for backpackers out there. But they all vary depending on the type of hiking. If you like to backpack in the summer only, you won’t worry as much about the warmth rating. Weight is an especially important consideration, especially for the minimalist or ultralight hikers.
This was a difficult task in rating the top 5 down sleeping bags on the market, especially since there are so many different needs. But we think we have a very good list based on the considerations mentioned above. Below you will find our top 5 down sleeping bags.
#5 – Kelty Cosmic 0, 20 Degree $150-$220
Kelty is one of those brands that you just love because of the impressive value that you get from their products. The price of this bag compared to the others on this list is what bumped it into our top 5. Coming in at $150 for a 20 degree bag and $220 for the 0 degree bag, the Kelty Cosmic is a great deal for the amount of warmth you get. 550 Fill-Power Down is used as the insulation, which is heavier than higher power down, so the bag is a little on the heavy side (for this list). The regular 20 degree version weighs 2 lb 7 oz, the regular 0 degree weighs 3 lb 12 oz. This is a fantastic 3 season sleeping bag that won’t break the bank. Click the image or one of the links below to buy yours today!
#4 – Marmot Helium 15 Degree $400-$470
There are two down sleeping bags on this list by Marmot. And while they are the two priciest bags, they are amazingly soft, warm, and lightweight. They are also both Backpacker Editors’ Choice award winners, with the Helium winning 2008’s Gold award. The Marmot Helium is the lower priced of the two, ranging between $400 and $470, depending on whether or not you want the added waterproof and breathable MemBrain outer fabric, which bumps the price up. Lightweight 850+ Fill-power goose down will keep you toasty warm down to 15 degrees without adding too much to the overall weight. Each weighs 2 lb 5 oz, which is light for a 15 degree bag, and it compresses into a very small package. The Marmot Helium is a fabulous choice for its warmth, weight, and comfort, even if it is a little on the expensive side. Click on one of the following links for more purchasing information.
#3 – Sierra Designs Nitro 0, 15, 30 $250-$400
Sierra Designs Nitro down sleeping bag is our #3 rated option, and for good reason. Their bags are labeled as ultralight, and this isn’t an exaggeration. Their warmth-to-weight ratio is fantastic, and their price fits right in with other bags on this list. The 0 degree Nitro has a price tag of $400 and a weight of 2 lb 15 oz. The 15 degree bag costs around $300, and weighs 2 lb 2 ounces. The 30 degree Nitro is a great 3 season bag that costs around $250 and weighs a measly 1 lb 10 oz. With 800 Fill-power goose down, you will stay nice and warm even on cold nights. The stretchy baffles around your upper body help you feel like you aren’t mummified, and the footbox on the 30 degree Nitro zips open for a nice cool draft on warmer nights. The Nitro by Sierra Designs is a great choice of down sleeping bag for any season. Click on one of the links to order yours now!
#2 – Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0, 15, 32 Degree $200-$400
Coming in at #2 on our list is Mountain Hardwear’s Phantom series of down sleeping bags. There is a 0 degree, 15 degree, and 32 degree option, in men’s and women’s. They range in price from $200 (the 32 degree option) up to over $400 (the 0 degree option). The Phantom employs 800 Fill-power goose down, which offers excellent warmth-to-weight ratio as well as a soft and comfortable lofty construction. They also feature down filled draft tubes that keep cold from seeping into your bag at the openings and zippers. The 0 degree bag weighs 2 lb 10 oz (for the regular size), the 15 degree bag weighs 2 lb (5 ounces lighter than the Marmot Helium), and the 32 degree bag weighs a paltry 1 lb 6 oz. Light, warm, comfortable, and competitively priced, the Mountain Hardwear Phantom series of down sleeping bags is a winning bag for all seasons. Below are the links to get more ordering information on the Phantom bags.
#1 – Marmot Lithium 0 Degree $490-$550
Our #1 rated down sleeping bag is the Marmot Lithium. This bag is very similar to the Marmot Helium down at #4, but with extra insulation that should keep you warm and comfortable down to 0 degrees. It is also a Backpacker Editors’ choice winner. The Lithium does this by utilizing the same 850+ Fill-power goose down that is employed in the Helium. This down offers the best warmth-to-weight ratio. This sleeping bag compresses to a very small overall size, which when coupled with its weight of 2 lb 12 oz, makes for a very portable, lightweight, and compact package. The Lithium MemBrain ($550) adds a breathable waterproof fabric to the outside of the bag, increasing its durability while protecting the insulative properties of down. One reviewer notes that this bag is “as light as a feather and warm as a oven.” Well said. This is the winner of our survey and is rated the best down sleeping bag on the market. Click one of the below links to get the #1 down sleeping bag today!
Obvisouly, with only 5 spots on the list, we had to leave off some excellent down sleeping bags. What did we miss? What is your favorite down sleeping bag? Did we get the list right? Let us know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!