Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags

Best Budget Sleeping Bag Under $100: Nemo 6.0L

Nemo is one of the most popular brands among backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts. They are known for their quality products at affordable prices.

Their line up includes sleeping bags, quilts, jackets, pants and accessories. Some of their top selling items include the Nemo 6L (which retails for around $50), the Nemo 2 (around $40) and the Nemo 3 ($30).

The Nemo 6L is one of the cheapest sleeping bags available. It is made from a ripstop nylon fabric with a polyurethane coating.

The dimensions are 20″ x 12″ x 11″ and weighs 1 pound 4 ounces. It comes in two sizes: Small and Large.

It features a zippered front pocket, which holds your cell phone or other small items; it also has an elastic waist belt with drawstring closure for easy packing and unpacking. There is a large interior pocket for storing extra clothing and a smaller inner pocket.

A removable foot box keeps your feet warm when not using the pad.

In addition to its great value, the Nemo 6L is very lightweight and packs down small making it ideal for car camping trips. You can use it as a ground sheet in case of snowstorms or even just as a blanket if you’re not worried about keeping it dry during inclement weather.

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The only major drawback is the fact that it doesn’t come with a stuff sack. Instead, you have to use the bag as a stuff sack (difficult) or find a large enough sack to fit it.

The good news is that it’s so light and small, you probably won’t have much of a problem finding something to fit it. Alternatively, you can get a cotton bag for around $2 to use as its stuff sack.

Best Lightweight Sleeping Bag: Kelty Cosmic Down 20 Sleeping Bag

The Kelty Cosmic Down sleeping bag is a no-frills sleeping bag that is designed to keep you warm at an affordable price.

This sleeping bag has been designed for three season use. The shell is made from a combination of 30 denier and 60 denier taffeta with a water repellent finish.

It is also pretty lightweight, weighing in at 2 pounds 3 ounces. It fits sleepers up to 6 feet 4 inches and has an internal drawstring to keep the cold out and keep the warmth in.

The bag is filled with quality duck down (700 fill power) and weighs a little over 2 pounds. It has been designed for three season use, so if you plan on sleeping outside in the winter, make sure you have a good sleeping pad to keep you warm.

The bag also comes with small integrated hang loops so you can easily keep the bag clean by hanging it from your tent or a nearby tree. The baffles are designed to keep the down distributed evenly and keep the cold spots to a minimum.

For a $100 sleeping bag, the Kelty Cosmic Down is a great deal. It has been designed with lightweight backpacking in mind, making it much easier for you to carry it on long hikes and backpacking trips.

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In addition, it has been designed to be roomy so you can store all your extra clothing inside the bag. It is an ideal 3-season bag for spring, summer and fall backpacking trips when it’s not too hot or too cold.

The only major drawback is that the bag doesn’t have a stuff sack. Instead, you’re supposed to just roll it up.

It does have a drawstring to tighten the bag and minimize space, but it’s still a bit awkward. You can always buy a cheap stuff sack from elsewhere.

Best Lightweight Sleeping Pad: Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Sleeping Pad

The Z-Lite SOL by Therm-a-rest is an extremely light weight sleeping pad. It only weighs 10.5 ounces so it’s great for backpackers who want to cut down on excess weight.

The pressure relief system gives you a good night’s sleep by combining closed cell foam with mini-tubular beams. Your hips, back and shoulders are given extra support without feeling like you’re sleeping on the ground.

The insulation is also quite good for a sleeping pad in this price range. The air-filled beams act as tiny little air mattresses within the mattress.

This insulation helps keep you warm from below on chilly nights.

When packing up, the air beams are folded up and the foam rolls up to cover them. The whole pad can then be rolled together and secured with the integrated strap.

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It’s really quite ingenious.

The only drawback is that this pad doesn’t fold up as small as the Z-Rest Regular or the Air Mattress. For most backpackers, though, this isn’t going to be an issue.

If you’re looking for a cheap sleeping pad that’s still durable and comfortable, take a look at the Z Lite. It’s much more durable than an air mattress and much lighter than the Regular Z-Rest.

Best Packable Down Jacket: Columbia Steens Mountain Full Down Jacket

The Columbia Steens Mountain Full Down Jacket is a packable down jacket that’s great for fall and early winter. If you’re going somewhere cold, you might want to pair it with another jacket or a fleece layer.

The fill power of this jacket is pretty good for its price range. Most fill powers are around 700, but the Steens Mountain reaches a 950 fill power.

This means it’ll hold in heat better and will insulate you better from the cold.

The jacket also weighs less than a pound and packs up very small. It’s great for backpacking or camping because it won’t weigh you down at all.

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When packed up, it’s about the size of a tennis ball.

It also has some good features. It has a soft fleece lining that’s great for cold weather.

There are also two front pockets and a chest pocket for storing small items. The cuffs can be secured around your wrists to keep warm air from escaping.

But the Steens Mountain jacket isn’t perfect. Some people have complained about the sizing being a bit off and the sizing guide on Amazon isn’t very helpful.

Order a size up if you’re in doubt. Some people have also complained that the jacket loses its loft after a few years of use.

Overall, the Steens Mountain jacket is still a great buy for its price. It’s very affordable while still being very warm and comfortable.

Insulated Camping Mug: Stanley Classic One Hand Vacuum Mug

The classic vacuum insulated mug, the Stanley Classic, holds your coffee (or tea) much warmer than a normal mug. This is because the vacuum insulation holds in heat much more efficiently.

The Classic also has a cool little locking mechanism that keeps the mug from spilling. When you want to drink, just push down the lever on top and the lid unlocks.

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It’s a really cool feature and works well.

The only real drawback of this mug is that it doesn’t have a handle. This makes it a bit harder to carry around, especially with a full cup of coffee.

It also doesn’t have a closing mechanism, so you have to manually hold the lid down with your hand.

Despite these drawbacks, the Stanley Classic mug is still very popular among hikers and campers. It keeps your drinks warmer, longer and has that classic look that never goes out of style.

Best Backpacking Stove: MSR DragonFly Micro Stove

The MSR DragonFly Micro is a great lightweight backpacking stove. It only weighs 3.5 oz and takes up very little space in your pack.

It’s perfect for the ultralight backpacker or just for saving space.

The stove runs off of isobutane canisters and has no trouble heating up water for coffee or dehydrated meals. One canister will last for about 3 days of backpacking.

The DragonFly has all the basic features you need in a stove, with nothing you don’t. It’s durable, dependable and packs up small.

It’s also very affordable considering it has no metal parts to corrode or wear out.

The only real downsides to this stove are that it has a pretty slow boil time and it doesn’t have an on/off switch. It automatically stops sending flame when the canister is empty.

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This is nice for safety, but it would be better if you could turn it off yourself.

All in all, the DragonFly is a great backpacking stove for one or two people. It’s very lightweight and takes up almost no space in your backpack.

It’s also very affordable and dependable.

Water Filters: Sawyer Mini with Hose

Sometimes, no matter how clean you are, you just can’t get that yucky taste out of your water. That’s why you should always carry a water filter.

The Sawyer Mini with Hose is perfect for this purpose.

The Mini weighs only 1 oz and has a very small pack size. It also filters out 99.99999% of all bacteria and such from your water.

It even filters out viruses, to an extent. The Mini cannot filter out heavy metals and such, so if there is any concern about that in the water, don’t use this filter.

The only real downsides to the Mini are that it doesn’t come with a container and you can only filter about a half-liter of water at a time. Other than that, it’s a great water filter for 1 oz.

Sunscreen: BullFrog Sport Performance Sunscreen

Sunscreen should be a no-brainer to most people, but you’d be surprised how many don’t use it. This stuff is important for the simple fact that it protects you from the harmful rays of the sun.

Those rays are not only going cause skin cancer down the road, but they can also mask serious conditions like heat stroke and hypothermia.

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The BullFrog sunscreen is very lightweight and only takes up a tiny bit of space in your pack. It’s also affordable and protects you from the sun’s damaging rays.

The only issue with this stuff is that it can be hard to apply to an entire body. It’s best to get somebody else to put this on you or apply it in a stationary position.

It’s not impossible to do it yourself, as long as you have enough space. It’s just easier with another person.

Rain Jacket: OR Helium II Rain Shell

A rain jacket is an important piece of gear for many reasons. It shouldn’t matter if you’re in the desert or the arctic, you should always have a rain shell with you.

The OR Helium 2 is a great jacket and can save your life.

The jacket is made out of Pertex Shield+ material which provides a waterproof exterior and a breathable interior. It also has underarm venting for when you’re working up a sweat.

It even has zippered pockets to keep your stuff from getting wet!

The only real downsides are that it doesn’t pack up very small and it isn’t quite as breathable as it claims to be. Other than that, this jacket is a great investment.

Emergency Blanket: Mylatex 18″x60″

These things are so cheap and useful that it’s a wonder how people get by without them. The Mylatex brand emergency blankets are made out of flexible and durable mylar material which can reflect up to 90% of your body heat.

It’s important to have one of these with you in case of emergency.

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These blankets are super thin, lightweight, and pack up very small. They take up almost no room in your pack and weigh next to nothing.

For the price, you really can’t pass these up.

Fire Starters: Coghlans Fire Paste

Fire is the most important tool for survival and you should always have a means of starting one. Cotton shirts, dry grass, and other natural tinder just won’t do in all situations.

Coghlan’s Fire Paste is a great fire starter that works when everything else fails.

All you have to do is scrape some of this paste on cotton or dry tinder and you’ll have the beginnings of a fire. All you need to do after that is find something like a lighter or matches and you’re good to go.

This stuff even works when it’s wet, so no need to worry about water putting out your flame.

Cotton Bandana: Rotate Colors Every 3 Days

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It’s important to keep your head covered while outside. Not only will it keep the sun off of your head, but a bandana can be used for all sorts of things.

You can use it as a filter, a sling, a belt, a tourniquet, a bag, and so much more. Always have a bandana on you somewhere.

Your bandana should be made out of a light material, such as cotton. Having a bright colored one will help if you get lost.

You should change your bandana every 3 days.

Sewing Kit: Mini Needle,Thread,Antibiotics

It’s always good to know how to sew yourself up if you get wounded or cut. It’s also good to carry some antibiotics with you, you never know when you’ll need them.

Flashlight: Mini LED Flashlight

A flashlight is an essential part of any survival kit. The Mini LED flashlight is waterproof, durable, and will produce a beam of light at full power for over 5 years!

It’s small enough to keep in your pocket, yet still very powerful. I always have one attached to my pack.

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Whistle: Cat Rescuer

A simple and straightforward device, the whistle can be used to alert others of your presence or as a signaling device. Use it when you are lost and need to signal for rescue.

First-Aid Kit: Band-aids, Antibiotics, Pain Meds

It’s always good to carry a standard first-aid kit with you. The Mini First-aid kit is compact and fits in the palm of your hand.

It has bandages, pain meds, and enough room for you to customize it for your specific needs.

Mini Camping Stove: Lightweight and Powerful

If you’re going to be in the wilderness for any length of time, it might be a good idea to have a heating source. The Mini Camping Stove is perfect for cooking up some food or even boiling water to purify it.

This mini stove runs off of easily accessible denatured alcohol, which can be found at most hardware stores.

Water Jug: 4 Gallons of Water

While tap water is generally safe to drink, it’s not ideal. After a disaster, the water supply could be contaminated or even cut off.

You should have a ample supply of water on hand at all times. Store in a cool, dry location.

Miscellaneous Items: Wool Blanket,Sunglasses, Duct Tape, etc.

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These items are small, light, and take up almost no room in your pack. The usefulness of these items is apparent, they should be self explanatory.

He knew how to survive out in the wilderness, but he didn’t know what was making those raspy sounds or where it had disappeared to.

He had seen many things die and there is always a last movement or sound that they make just before expiring. This sound had been much different and much more terrifying.

He had heard it in the tent last night as he lay there with his gun in his hand, waiting to see if what he thought had happened, actually had. The noise had not been as bad as he thought, but when he woke up this morning, his tent was ripped to shreds and the food he had laid out for himself was gone.

This couldn’t be a good sign.

He had packed everything up quickly and left the campsite to find more evidence of what he had feared. He didn’t have to look far.

The noise came from deeper in the woods, sounding like a mixture of a moan and a roar. It was an animal, but not like anything he had ever heard before.

He knew he had to be very careful from here on out. He was already out of his element being in the woods and now he had to look out for some savage beast.

He decided that it would be best if he found a high point somewhere in the area and set up a watch. He wanted to be able to see the beast coming before it was able to attack.

He had come across a few rock outcroppings in the immediate area and decided to check them out.

The first one proved to be a small cliff ledge that he could just barely climb up on top of and survey the land from. He figured this would be as good of a temporary perch as any until he could find something better.

As he climbed up, his foot dislodged a rock which went tumbling down the face of the ledge and right before it disappeared from view it emitted a small “thunk”.

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He paused for a moment and then smiled. “Just what I needed”, he thought and climbed up onto the ledge to have a look at what he had hit.

He shined his light around on the ground and saw nothing but dirt until the light reflected off of something metallic about 4 feet away. He walked over for a closer look and bent down to pick it up.

It was a small canteen that looked like it had been out here for quite some time. It was rusted and falling apart, but the top sealed tightly so he slipped it into his knapsack for safe keeping. He had found a few other pieces of trash over the past couple days so he figured it couldn’t hurt to have more water storage.

He walked back over to the spot where the rock had hit and saw nothing else nearby so he decided to just stay put for now and get some rest since he still had a long way to go tomorrow. He made a pillow of his bag of treasures and the rifle and leaned up against the rock face.

As he was fading off to sleep, he heard some rustling coming from the rocks above him. He strained to look up and make out what it was and could only see darkness, but knew something was up there.

He slowly reached over to his bag and picked it up, taking out the flashlight and turning it on. He shined it up towards the ledge and saw that there was nothing there.

He turned around to sit back up and then heard a small “thud” as something hit his head.

He ducked down and shined the flashlight around wildly until he saw what must have made the noise. It looked like a rock, but it was beheaded and laying on the ground twitching.

He looked up and saw that it had come from the ledge so he shined the flashlight up again and saw dozens of the things dropping down from above.

He turned and ran towards the back of the ledge but got hit in the back of the head by another one of the twitching rocks and passed out.

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When he awoke, he was being dragged into a cave by his feet with his hands tied behind his back. He tried to shake himself awake but still felt tired.

He looked up and saw that he was being dragged into a large cave with at least a dozen men standing around it. They were all pointing guns in his direction and were wearing the same kind of face paint that the man in the desert had been wearing.

He felt himself being dropped onto the ground and searched before they tied his feet together and led him over to where two other people were sitting. One male and one female.

He was pushed down next to the female and his hands were retied in front of him so he could sit up better.

He looked over at the other two and saw that both had scratches on their faces and the woman had a large black eye. They both looked at him with equal parts fear and confusion so he knew it was safe to say that they were here for the same reason he was; kidnapping.

He looked around the cave and saw that there were at least 30 people inside including the three of them and he didn’t see any of the rock throwers. In the far corner was a stack of plastic buckets and jugs, most likely filled with water so they had plenty to survive on until they were eventually let out.

Off to the side was a row of ten small children, ranging from toddler to pre-teens. He didn’t see any relatives with them so he could only assume that they were here for ransom as well.

Over the next couple of days, the three captives stayed relatively silent and never ate or drank anything that was offered to them. They had no idea when the kidnappers were going to release them or what their fate was going to be until one day, the man who threw the rock came down and untied them.

He told them to follow him up the stairs and that they were going for a walk.

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They all complied and were taken out of the cave, but not before taking some blankets from the other hostages. It was still freezing outside and they had nothing else to use as blankets so it was either take the blankets from their fellow hostages or freeze at night.

The group consisted of the three captives and six men including the man who took them from the cave. They were led out onto a country road and towards the mountain.

They walked for hours and didn’t stop until nightfall when they were led into a cave.

They were given their blankets back and told that they could settle down for the night in that cave. There was no fire, just a few flashlights and the light from the moon as it came through various cracks and holes in the ceiling and walls.

Matt did not sleep well. His mind raced with thoughts of what was going on outside the cave and how he was going to get out of this situation.

It wasn’t like TV where everything got solved in an hour and a half. There were no rules here, anything could happen and it was up to him to decide how he was going to handle it.

The next morning, Matt decided that he was going to have to make his escape as soon as possible. Not because he didn’t think he could handle these men, but because there were no snacks here and he was running out of food already.

If they went too long without food, they were going to get weak and that would make them easier to catch.

They made their way further up into the mountains until they came to a cave with a dead deer next to it. There were already a few men there and more came trickling in over the next few minutes.

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They had been caught.

There was nowhere to hide and they were vastly outnumbered so resistance was out of the question. The only thing they could do was wait and hope that they got picked in the lottery.

Once all of the men had arrived, the three captives were surrounded by the men with weapons in hand just in case one of them tried something stupid. The leader of the kidnappers stepped forward and said, “Welcome, gentlemen.

You are no doubt wondering what is going on so I’ll tell you. The three of you were brought here as part of a Hunt.”

He reached down and flipped the corpse over and everyone could see what he was talking about. The man had been chewed up pretty badly.

There were large chunks taken out of him and his face was smeared with blood and gore. It was clear that the man had not died quickly.

The leader continued, “This poor slob was infected with the virus we have all come to hate over the past few months. He wandered down from the mountaintop and passed into our territory.

Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem except this is deer hunting season. He was spotted by one of our men and brought down. He was then brought down from the mountain and left here as an example to all of us. The virus does not take away our humanity. These men were human. Think about that when you are deciding whether or not to choose the bullet or the knife.”

He tossed a small backpack at them and said, “You’ll find some provisions in there to help you in your decision process. Two of you get three full meals, the other only gets two.

You have until nightfall. May luck be on your side.

There is more, read the rest here .

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Nixon

Nixon was not a popular man. He had been elected during a time of turmoil in America.

The war in Vietnam was going badly, Martin Luther King Jr. had just been assassinated, riots were breaking out in cities across the country and a young man had just set himself on fire to protest the war. It didn’t help matters that he was extremely religious either. He had run on a campaign that promised to restore the strength of America after the losses in Vietnam and to crack down on the civil unrest.

He was not exactly the most sympathetic figure and, although he personally disapproved of the plan, he fully supported the decision to drop nuclear weapons on North Vietnam in order to win the war.

This is not what got him elected though. What got him elected was the general feeling among many Americans that things were out of control and that drastic measures needed to be taken to put things back in their place.

People wanted law and order again and he was the person who promised to provide it.

He had not been elected President though, his personality was just too overbearing for the average voter. Instead, he had been elected as Senator from the state of California.

It was in this position that he was able to put the pieces into place and build up support for the policies he wanted. Once he had enough support, he ran for and was elected as Vice President. His predecessor set a record for being unpopular as well and died only a few months into office giving Nixon the perfect opportunity to run for the top spot. He won handily.

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He had a great deal of power as Vice President and was deeply involved in the final decision to use the nuclear weapons at all. His political views were very much in line with those who favored a more aggressive approach to dealing with the problems facing America.

Of course, at the time it was not seen as an issue since most of the other major players had similar views.

Now, years later, he is firmly in charge of the country and has established himself as an extremely effective leader. He is a strong supporter of law and order and has put into place measures to deal with the problem.

Nixon genuinely feels that the country needs to be protected from itself at times. Riots are increasing in frequency and there have been calls for civil disobedience on several issues he considers important.

He has responded by increasing federal power, undermining the authority of local and state governments and effectively silencing dissent. Most of his opposition is subdued, but not completely gone. There are still minor acts of civil disobedience and protests that occasionally occur. These are quickly dealt with using the vastly increased police and military powers that Nixon has promoted. In some cases federal troops are deployed into major cities to deal with problem areas. There are allegations of abuse and a few cases of protestors dying under mysterious circumstances, but nothing ever sticks and it is always explained away.

The repressive measures that have been implemented are surprisingly popular. After so many years of chaos and violence, the average person just wants to see law and order return to the land.

Even those not particularly fond of Nixon or his policies mostly approve of them simply because they work.

Nixon and his people are pleased with the status quo. It is unlikely to change anytime soon.

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Things have become more repressive, but there has been an increase in the feeling of safety for most people. Crime, especially violent crime is down and the economy has stabilized somewhat.

You wouldn’t say life is great, but it’s at least fair for everyone and that’s a lot better than what it could be.

Sources & references used in this article:

Sleeping bag by C Sumnicht, M Glavin – US Patent App. 29/541,581, 2018 – Google Patents

Backpacking Gear: Shoes and Packs To Sleeping Bags by Ä BACKPACKING – 1967 – naldc.nal.usda.gov

Best Backpacking Trips in California and Nevada by M White, D Lorain – 2015 – books.google.com

Method of sleeping bag construction and articles made thereby by PF Kramer – US Patent 5,110,383, 1992 – Google Patents

Prediction of air temperature for thermal comfort of people using sleeping bags: a review by J Huang – International journal of biometeorology, 2008 – Springer

Physics for the camper: heat transfer in sleeping mats and sleeping bags by T Hill – Physics Education, 2019 – iopscience.iop.org

Sleeping bag by C Sumnicht, M Glavin – US Patent D889,771, 2020 – freepatentsonline.com