ourComparison

Vaude Rotstein 450

Environmentally friendly but still very functional

Therm-a-Rest Corus HD Quilt

Just do samn comfy

Mountain Equipment Firelite

Designed for minimum weight and maximum warmth without compromising on comfort.

Cumulus Teneqa 850

George, our founder used this on his bike trip off road from Alaska to Panama and loved it!

Rab Mythic Ultra 180

If you’re looking for the optimum warmth to weight ratio, the Rab Mythic Ultra 180 is the best sleeping bag for you

Cumulus Lite Line 400

The Cumulus Lite Line 400 offers a fantastic weight/packed size ratio thanks to its filling of high quality down. It also offers a great range of design features for the price.

final score

90

%

final score

87

%

final score

92

%

final score

92

%

final score

90

%

final score

82

%

The Good

• Environmentally friendly

• Waterproofed down

The Good

• Some much prefer to a sleeping bag

• Ultra-light

The Good

• Ultra-light

• Good for alpinism

• Breathable

The Good

• Very warm

• Can join with other bag increasing warmth

• Very comfortable

The Good

• Truly ultra-light

• Great down quality

• Thoughtful design

The Good

• Ultra-light

• Clever design

• Eliminated cold spots

The bad

• Colour

• Weight

The bad

• Colour

The bad

• Not cheap (but the best options rarely are)

The bad

• The extra warmth means extra weight

The bad

• You're paying for the features

The bad

• The colour

Features

90

%

Design

100

%

Durability

100

%

Comfort

70

%

Features

80

%

Design

90

%

Durability

90

%

Comfort

90

%

Features

100

%

Design

100

%

Durability

80

%

Comfort

90

%

Features

100

%

Design

100

%

Durability

90

%

Comfort

80

%

Features

90

%

Design

90

%

Durability

80

%

Comfort

100

%

Features

90

%

Design

80

%

Durability

80

%

Comfort

80

%

No items found.

Vaude Rotstein 450

Best down sleeping bag for green adventurers

Why we like it

Environmentally friendly but still very functional

The Good

• Environmentally friendly

• Waterproofed down

the bad

• Colour

• Weight

The Aqua Quest Defender is a seriously sturdy bit of kit (with the price to reflect that). This is one to invest in for long, back-to-basics trips in unpredictable weather. Not only is it 100% waterproof (or at least close to it), it packs down nice and small and comes with its own stuff-sack to stash it in. It is fairly heavy though, so you may need to sacrifice other items in your pack if weight’s an issue. We reckon it’s worth it.

Features

90

%

Design

100

%

Durability

100

%

Comfort

70

%

No items found.

final score

90

%

Vaude Rotstein 450

Check latest price

Therm-a-Rest Corus HD Quilt

Best down sleeping bag for comfort

Why we like it

Just do samn comfy

The Good

• Some much prefer to a sleeping bag

• Ultra-light

the bad

• Colour

Throwing in a left-field option here, our next pick is actually a quilt as opposed to a bag. Ohhh hello fancy pants.This quilt provides the perfect blend of comfort, functionality, and scalability, without the constraints of a traditional sleeping bag. The Therm-a-Rest Corus HD Quilt saves weight on the trail whilst keeping you warm during three-season backcountry adventures. Filled with responsibly sourced waterfowl down, the filling absorbs 90% less water and dries three times faster than most traditional alternatives. Great if you’re sleeping out in Britain or on a longer trip where you’ll encounter wet weather. There’s nothing worse than curling up in a soggy sleeping bag after a hard day on the trail. It also comes in regular and long length.

Features

80

%

Design

90

%

Durability

90

%

Comfort

90

%

No items found.

final score

87

%

Therm-a-Rest Corus HD Quilt

Check latest price

Mountain Equipment Firelite

Best down sleeping bag for alpine camping

Why we like it

Designed for minimum weight and maximum warmth without compromising on comfort.

The Good

• Ultra-light

• Good for alpinism

• Breathable

the bad

• Not cheap (but the best options rarely are)

The Mountain Equipment Firelite is made with the alpine adventurer in mind. Its goal is to ensure you get a good night's sleep whilst high mountain camping in the summer months and low altitude trips during the shoulder season.Its construction includes a six baffle shark foot compartment with slanted box-wall baffles throughout. It also has an anatomically shaped hood for maximum comfort (which basically means its shaped liked your head).It also comes in a regular and longer length ensuring you can find the ideal fit.

Features

100

%

Design

100

%

Durability

80

%

Comfort

90

%

No items found.

final score

92

%

Mountain Equipment Firelite

Check latest price

Cumulus Teneqa 850

Best down sleeping bag for cold conditions

Why we like it

George, our founder used this on his bike trip off road from Alaska to Panama and loved it!

The Good

• Very warm

• Can join with other bag increasing warmth

• Very comfortable

the bad

• The extra warmth means extra weight

Cumulus is at it again, this time with the best sleeping bag for cold conditions. Thermal insulation is the superpower of the Cumulus Teneqa 850. It has 33 V-shaped down chambers and four extra chambers that keep the filling in place on the sides of the sleeping bag. Other features include two full-length down-filled baffles with zips. The icing on the cake though is the independent down-filled collar...positively toasty!

Features

100

%

Design

100

%

Durability

90

%

Comfort

80

%

No items found.

final score

92

%

Cumulus Teneqa 850

Check latest price

Rab Mythic Ultra 180

Best warmth to weight ratio down sleeping bag

Why we like it

If you’re looking for the optimum warmth to weight ratio, the Rab Mythic Ultra 180 is the best sleeping bag for you

The Good

• Truly ultra-light

• Great down quality

• Thoughtful design

the bad

• You're paying for the features

If you’re looking for the optimum warmth to weight ratio, the Rab Mythic Ultra 180 is the best sleeping bag for you. It offers an exceptionally light but durable ripstop 7D outer that allows the 900+ FP R.D.S Certified Hydrophobic Goose Down to fully loft. Buyers note: loft is the technical term that refers to the number of air pockets created by the down. More is better Its clever design maximises warmth whilst minimising weight. It's TILT liner also works to boost the sleeping bag's warmth by around 30%, meaning it needs less down filling. This results in a lighter bag for the same warmth. A big win on those long days out and about.

Features

90

%

Design

90

%

Durability

80

%

Comfort

100

%

No items found.

final score

90

%

Rab Mythic Ultra 180

Check latest price

Cumulus Lite Line 400

Best value down sleeping bag

Why we like it

The Cumulus Lite Line 400 offers a fantastic weight/packed size ratio thanks to its filling of high quality down. It also offers a great range of design features for the price.

The Good

• Ultra-light

• Clever design

• Eliminated cold spots

the bad

• The colour

The Cumulus Lite Line 400 is ultra-light and built with comfort in mind. It features a shark-fin foot box and trapezoid chamber construction. In plain English, this means that the shape of the chambers helps to eliminate cold spots. Even when compressed, the stitching doesn't line up together. You can open and ventilate the Lite Line 400 at the bottom of the sleeping bag. Other handy features include a 3D adjustable hood with a drawcord and lock. Alongside an internal mesh pocket with a fluorescent zip puller. This design is great for keeping extra heat in on those chilly nights. It's also useful for letting a bit of cooler air in when you’re a bit too hot and sticky.

Features

90

%

Design

80

%

Durability

80

%

Comfort

80

%

No items found.

final score

82

%

Cumulus Lite Line 400

Check latest price
With so many on the market, it can be hard to find the best down sleeping bag for you. Here are our top picks alongside our ultimate buying guide so you know what to look for.

Read in:

6

mins

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Charli M

We've selected the best sleeping bags for every kind of adventure


A down sleeping bag is one of the most important pieces of kit in your adventure arsenal. So it's important that you get the right one to fit your needs. But there are a lot of things to consider before buying. And making the wrong choice can be a major drag on your adventures.

We've broken down things to think about step by step to help guide your decision. And also put forward our top picks depending on your needs

There are also a few cheeky top tips thrown in too. So let's get to it.

The best down sleeping bag buying guide

Down vs Synthetic

This is important to consider when choosing the best sleeping bag. In short, natural down sleeping bags compress better for ease of packing and have better longevity than synthetic-filled bags. They also have a better warmth-to-weight ratio. But, synthetics are often lighter (although less compressible) and tend to dry out much quicker after becoming wet.

Where does down come from?

Down is the fluffy plumage found underneath the outer feathers on waterfowl such as geese and ducks. These tiny feathers act as insulation keeping the birds warm even in very cold temperatures. It’s also perfect for keeping us from freezing whilst camping on the side of a snow-capped mountain.

How does down filling work?

Down sleeping bags are often classified by a unit of rating known as Loft. Loft refers to the quality of the down and its ability to create tiny air pockets within the individual filled compartments of a sleeping bag.

Choosing high-quality down and supporting ethically sourced down

Sometimes cheaper sleeping bags are filled with a blend of down and feathers or filler. This may reduce weight but it will also reduce the warmth of the bag. For the best insulating value look for sleeping bags that are filled with 100% duck or goose down.

You should also check whether a down sleeping bag has been filled using unethically sourced down. Inhumane practices like force-feeding and live-plucking are used by some producers to reduce costs. Check whether a company uses traceable down and complies with the Responsible Down Standard before making your purchase.

Responsible down is harvested from birds slaughtered for meat, from moulting birds, or collected from nests after shedding.

What is hydrophobic down?

Hydrophobic Down was created specifically to perform in damp conditions. To achieve this, traditional down insulation is treated with a durable water repellent that enables the down to dry quicker and stay resistant to water for longer.

Why buy second hand down sleeping bags?

To maximise sustainability consider buying a second hand down sleeping bag. Check websites like Shpock, Gumtree, and Facebook marketplace at the start of spring and the end of summer when fellow campers are likely to be clearing out unused kit. Be sure to ask the bag’s age, and whether it has been damaged/repaired, to determine whether it is likely to perform as-new.

How to read temperature ratings on down sleeping bags

It’s important to note that the lower limits on sleeping bag temperature ratings are not the same as a comfort rating. The lower limit advises the temperature at which the bag would keep you alive. It does not recommend using the bag at/under those conditions.

The comfort rating suggests at what temperature you will be comfortable using the bag when camping.

Choosing a season/temperature rating

Before buying a down sleeping bag it’s important to identify when you plan to camp out, and how frequently you will use it. If you plan to climb Mount Everest you’ll need a different sleeping bag versus going camping with friends over the summer.

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. All down sleeping bags are given a temperature rating and suggest which seasons they are best suited to.

Choosing the right shape sleeping bag

Much like buying a pair of trousers, you need to buy the right length and width sleeping bag for your body.

Mummy bags come in standard widths and are usually a snug fit. Slim cut mummy bags are efficient when it comes to retaining heat and great for saving weight. But if you feel you might need a bit of extra room and your camping conditions allow for it, consider a different shape.

Brands now offer a range of different design features for mummy bags including shark foot compartments and additional width and length options.

Rectangular sleeping bags are better suited to temperate camping environments where cold weather conditions aren’t a concern. If you’re planning to use your down sleeping bag during the summer months and only occasionally, a rectangular bag will offer a less restrictive sleep experience.

Double sleeping bags are best suited to warm-weather tent camping and caravanning as they don’t offer the best warmth. They also don't tend to come in lightweight, packable designs.

Finding the right weight down sleeping bag

As well as choosing the temperature rating of the down filling, it’s important to consider the physical weight of the compressed bag. For car camping trips this isn’t necessary, but, if you will be using your sleeping bag for multi-day trips the difference between 0.5kg and 1kg will be noticeable after a day on the trail. Look for the best warmth-to-weight ratio for the best option here.

The benefits of a sleeping bag liner

A sleeping bag liner can add valuable warmth to your current sleeping bag, acting as an extra layer of insulation. It traps another layer of air between your body and the bag which helps keep you warm. For frequent campers, it can also act as a hygienic way to keep your sleeping bag smelling fresh as liners are washable and can be cleaned with ease after every trip.

Summing up

When buying a down sleeping bag for your adventures there are some key things to consider; temperature rating, filling material, durability, design, and overall weight.

Also, keep in mind that the functionality you require for one trip may differ to another so if you don’t have the budget for multiple bags, look for a multi-purpose sleeping bag that offers maximum warmth-to-weight.

Ready to get out there? Check out our complete guide to wild camping for our top tips including which sleeping pad is right for you.


Down sleeping bag FAQs

How are sleeping bags constructed?

Sleeping bags are made from natural down or synthetic insulation packed between an outer shell and an inner lining. The quality of the insulation and the design of the construction both contribute to how successful the sleeping bag is at preserving your body heat.

Which sleeping bags are the warmest?

Down sleeping bags are the warmest because the natural fibres of the feathers trap heat better than synthetic fillings.

What is the difference between cheap and expensive down sleeping bags?

The main difference between down sleeping bags at opposite ends of the price scale is the quality of the materials used for both the filling and outer shell. Premium bags use down with better loft capacity and have differential cut construction panels that preserve heat whilst being lightweight.

How can I wash my down sleeping bag?

You should follow manufacturers instructions if your sleeping bag contains hydrophobic down. However as a guide for all standard bags:

– fill your bath or a large trough with enough water to cover the sleeping bag (150mm)

– add a mild soap or natural detergent

– push down on the bag to fully soak it with water

– soak for 1-4 hours

– drain the water and add more

– repeat until you've thoroughly rinsed the bag

– press as much water as you can out of the bag

– hang to dry and re-shape whilst wet

How do you store a sleeping bag?

Ensure the bag is clean and dry and store it in a large, breathable cotton or mesh stuff sack in a well-ventilated place.

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