It doesn’t matter how well-built your rig is, how spectacular a trail was or how many incredible people you met along the way: getting a good night’s rest is an integral part of any overland journey. Falling asleep while listening to crickets chirp or a crisp wind rustles through boughs of the trees surrounding your camp is only enjoyable if you’re not tossing and turning or shivering all night long. The outdoor adventure market is full of excellent gear to sleep on and in. While these decisions are highly personal, we’ve identified some leading sleeping bags and pads for overlanders to consider below.
Sea to Summit Comfort Plus Sleeping Pad
What the Comfort Plus Sleeping Pad lacks in thickness it makes up for in customizability, due to the double layer of Air Sprung Cells™. Each layer has it’s own valve and can be inflated according to the needs of the sleeper and/or the ground conditions. Made of 40-denier ripstop fabric, this Sea to Summit pad utilizes a liquid TPU lamination process which yields a strong bond between pad layers and minimizes the likelihood of delamination. An Airstream Pump is incorporated into the bottom of the stuff sack, which eliminates the need for inflation via the mouse and hence ensures increased pad longevity. The R-value of the Comfort Plus is 2.5, making it a good fit for early summer or fall camping.
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Topo Luxe Sleeping Pad
The NeoAir Topo Luxe Sleeping Pad is undoubtedly luxurious, measuring 4 inches thick and utilizing Therm-a-Rest’s patented Triangular Core Matrix. This means the user sleeps atop two layers of triangular baffles, which minimize shifting overnight in addition to heat loss. The R-value of this pad is 3.7, which makes it ideal for spring or fall camping. (An R-value of 1 provides minimal warmth and is best for sleeping in hot climates, while an R-value of 5.5 provides good insulation for sleeping in cold climates.) The NeoAir comes with a pump sack which not only increased the ease of inflating the pump, it ensures longevity as the user will not be blowing moist breath into the pad, which can lead to mold issues and the early demise of pads that are inflated by mouth. The NeoAir Topo Luxe Sleeping Pad is made in the USA and comes in four sizes.
MSRP: $149.95 – $209.95
Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0 Sleeping Bag
For the extra-cold sleeper or the overlander looking to explore in extra-cold climates, the Phantom 0 Sleeping Bag offers superior insulation with 850-fill-power down (which is certified to the Responsivle Down Standard (RDS). Mountain Hardwear included an insulated draft collar to block flow of air at the top of the bag in addition to a face gasket with a draw-string to further seal in the sleeper. 10-denier ripstop nylon, tuck stitching and a #5 anti-snag zipper contribute to a durable construction that will ensure this investment piece stays in great shape throughout many nights camping in the wild. As the name suggests, the Phantom 0 is rated down to zero degrees Farenheit (meaning it will keep the average warm sleeper comfortable down to that temperature).
Big Agnes Big Creek 30 Double Sleeping Bag
To accommodate couples or individuals who like to sleep in starfish formation, Big Agnes created the Big Creek 30 Double Sleeping Bag. Insulated with FireLine™ ECO synthetic insulation (from 100% post-consumer recycled polyester), this sleeping bag will keep a warm sleeper comfortable down to about 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The bottom of the bag had a stretchy sleeve that can fit two 20-25 inch wide pads or the Big Agnes SLX Floor Pad (see below). For increased warmth, there is a no-draft collar and a center flap that can be snapped or unsnapped to seal the bag in the middle at the top, essentially making a mono-hood into two hoods. The Big Creek 30 features “Pillow Barns” to tuck your pillows into, keeping them in place all night long and interior fabric loops to attach sleeping bag liners.
Big Agnes SLX Tent Floor Pad
At 50 inches wide, the SLX Tent Floor Pad fits perfectly into the flex pad sleeve of the Big Agnes Big Creek 30 Double Sleeping Bag, which comfortably accommodates two sleepers or someone who likes to stretch out. The top layer of the pad is insulated to ensure this can be a three-season pad, and is rated down to 32 degrees Fahrenheit. A bag pump comes with the Big Agnes SLX Tent Floor Pad, lending to ease of inflation and pad longevity.
NEMO Disco Women’s Down Sleeping Bag
Made with premium 650FP hydrophobic, PFC-free, RDS Certified down, with a Blanket Fold™ external draft collar and a full-length draft tube along the zipper, Nemo Equipment’s Disco Women’s Down Sleeping Bag boasts a host of features that aim to keep the coldest sleeper cozy. The waterproof and breathable footbox makes sure that any tent condensation gathering at the foot of a tent won’t wake the sleeper up. According to NEMO, 75% of people are side sleepers, so their Spoon shaped bags provide extra room for bent knees and hips. One of the features that sets this bag apart is the Thermo Gills which allow for venting in the middle of the bag.
Kelty Rambler 50 Sleeping Bag
Kelty’s affordable Rambler 50 Sleeping Bag is perfectly rated for mid-summer camping. The CloudLoft™ polyester insulation offers high compressibility and good loft recovery. The unique zip pattern of the Rambler 50 allows the sleeper to vent the bag at the feet or to fully unzip the bag to use it as a blanket.
Cocoon Silk Mummy Liner
When used with sleeping bags, silk sleeping bag liners can increase warmth by as much as eight to ten degrees Fahrenheit. However, when used on their own, liners can actually provide a cooler night’s sleep than simply going without covers at all. The added benefit of sleeping in a liner in a hot climate is that you protect your more-difficult-to-wash sleeping pad from sweat and oils from your body which can damage the pad over time.
REI Co-op Magma 30 Men’s & Women’s Sleeping Bags
A handful of sleeping bag manufacturers make male or female-specific models or offer left-hand or right-hand zippered bags that theoretically allow a couple to zip together their sleeping bags when camping together. REI’s Magma 30 Men’s and Women’s Sleeping bags do both. In matching grey with orange interior, the women’s Magma features increased room in the hips and decreased room in the shoulder area. The Magma 30 contains water-resistant 850-fill-power goose down (certified to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS)) within a Downproof Pertex® shell. The trapezoidal foot box and contoured hood retain warmth and ensure comfort from head to toe. Given the shape of the Magma Men’s and Women’s bags, they will not zip together as perfectly as purely rectangular bags, but their versatility and other features still render them excellent bags to consider for the camping couple or individual.
MSRP: $339.00 each
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