10 Smallest Sleeping Bags When Packed | Most Compact Sleeping Bags

Last Updated on 05/09/2023

smallest sleeping bag when packed

In this guide to the smallest sleeping bag when packed, we share the most compact and packable sleeping bags for all seasons. You will learn what shape sleeping bag is the smallest as well as the most compact fill type. I am positive that this is the most accurate and thorough list of compact sleeping bags in the world right now. Enjoy.

Getting a small sleeping bag for backpacking is important because you will need to travel with it inside your backpack most of the time. Space inside your backpack is limited and extremely valuable, so the smaller your sleeping bag is when packed away. The more space you have for clothes and other necessities.

The first problem with this guide was that all the most compact sleeping bags are designed for warm weather. So, I had to include the smallest sleeping bags of all different temperature ranges from -10 C to 50 C. To figure this out, I spent hours putting over 50 of the smallest sleeping bags when packed into a spreadsheet and then sorting by pack size.

We do not include any quilts as we feel they gain an unfair advantage and deserve an article of their own. To try and keep things as simple as possible, we used regular sized mummy shape sleeping bags with a hood.

In a Hurry? Here is a Quick List for You to Check Out:

10 Smallest Sleeping Bags When Packed

Sea to Summit Spark 4 Sleeping Bag

Sea to Summit Spark Ultralight Down Sleeping Bag, 18-Degree, Regularshop outdoor gear

  • PACK SIZE: 8 x 11 in / 28 x 20 cm / 2.7 Liters
  • WEIGHT: 31 oz / 880 g
  • FILL WEIGHT: 21.9 oz / 620 g
  • SIZE/SHAPE: Regular Mummy
  • MATERIALS: Ultra Dry 850 FP Down Insulation, 10D Nylon Shell With 7D liner Fabric

The Sea to Summit Spark range of sleeping bags is consistently one of the most lightweight and compact sleeping bags in multiple different temperature ranges. There are five options of the same Spark sleeping bag available, which all have a different amount of fill insulation. A cool feature of this sleeping bag is that it uses block shaped stuff sack to make packing even easier.

The Sea to Summit Spark 4 is the warmest in the range, with a rating of 5 degrees Fahrenheit and a mere pack size of 8 x 11 inches. This is incredibly warm for such a compact packed size and is one reason why the Spark sleeping bag is so popular with backpackers and through hikers. 

You may notice the multidirectional baffles, which help to ensure you always have some insulation on top of you, even if it does travel to one end of the baffle. There is extra insulation around the foot box to keep your feet warm, and the down is treated to repel water, so it is a safe choice for outback adventures.

VERDICT: The Sea to Summit Spark 4 is the warmest in the range and offers one of the most compact pack sizes of any sleeping bag in its temperature limit. 2.7 liters is nothing in a 50-liter backpack and leaves you a tonne of space for your other gear without compromising on warmth and comfort.




  • Amazing warmth to pack size/weight ratio.
  • Available in 5 different warmth ratings.
  • Block-shaped compression sack for efficient packing.
  • The 850 FP down is nice and lofty and is water resistant.
  • Ultra lightweight.


  • Nylon lining can feel a bit sticky if you sweat at night.
  • If left packed for long periods, you lose some of the loft (store unpacked).


Western Mountaineering Versalite Sleeping Bag

Western Mountaineering 10 Degree Versalite Sleeping Bag Moss Green 6FT / Left Zipshop outdoor gear

  • PACK SIZE: 8 x 15 in / 20 x 38 cm / 3-6 Liters
  • WEIGHT: 32 oz / 905 g
  • FILL WEIGHT: 20 oz / 565 g
  • SIZE/SHAPE: Regular Mummy
  • MATERIALS: 850+ FP Goose Down Insulation

The Western Mountaineering Versalite is the 3 season sleeping bag I would choose if I wanted the smallest and warmest option. Western Mountaineering bags are arguably the best in the world, and unlike some other brands, they don’t exaggerate their figures. So even though this isn’t the most compact 10F sleeping bag, it is pretty close and will keep you much warmer.

The packed size of 6 Liters might look massive compared to the Big Agnes Pluton UL’s size of half a liter, but it will compress down to at least 3-4 liters if you need to. The only issue with compressing it beyond the manufactures guidance is that it can, over time, degrade the performance of the down. The bag’s loft is impressive, expanding to about 12 inches in height (6-inch loft) as soon as it’s taken out of its stuff sack.

62.5% of the total weight is made up entirely of goose down, which is why it lofts up so much. It is not hydroponically treated, but there are benefits to non-treated down (explained here). As the heaviest model in the ExtremeLite Series, it weighs just under 2 lbs, which is actually very good for a sleeping bag as warm as this.

VERDICT: The Western Mountaineering Versalite is the most well-rounded and versatile sleeping bag that can be used most of the year round. If packability isn’t your only concern and you want a sleeping bag that is guaranteed to keep you warm, then stuff this into your gear bag and stop looking for anything else. If you try and find one of these second-hand, you will struggle because no one wants to get rid of them.




  • Highly compressible and portable
  • Temperature rating of 10°F
  • Features like full-length box baffle and no-snag zipper
  • Made in the USA


  • Expensive
  • Non-treated down


Thermarest Hyperion Sleeping Bag

Therm-a-Rest Hyperion 20-Degree Ultralight Down Mummy Sleeping Bag, Regular, Deep Pacific

  • PACK SIZE: 6 x 8 in / 15 x 20 cm / 1.7 Liters
  • WEIGHT: 20 oz / 580 g
  • FILL WEIGHT: 12.5 oz / 360 g
  • SIZE/SHAPE: Regular Mummy
  • MATERIALS: 900 FP Nikwax Hydrophobic Down Insulation

The Thermarest Hyperion Sleeping Bag comes in two different temperature ratings, 20 F and 30 F. I am blown away with just how compact they pack away as well as how warm they are to sleep in. The 20 F bag especially has a very impressive 6 x 8-inch pack size (or 1.7 liters) which takes up hardly any space in your average daypack, let alone a big backpacking bag.

Some cool features of this compact sleeping bag are that it has two underside stretchy straps that fasten underneath a sleeping pad so that you never roll off, and your sleeping bag never gets twisted as you toss and turn at night. Also, because down compresses so much, Thermarest only uses a bare minimum on the underside of the bag and instead focuses almost all of the insulation on the top, with special attention to the torso and foot box areas.

The down is 100% responsibly sourced and treated with Nikwax Hydrophobic treatment to retain loft up to 60 times longer than untreated down when exposed to water. Instead of sewn-through stitching, the Hyperion sleeping bag has box baffles that allow the down to loft up far more than your average down sleeping bag and avoids any cold spots where heat can escape.

VERDICT: The Thermarest Hyperion range is the second-best compact sleeping bag behind only the Sea to Summit Spark range. The 20 F sleeping bag is ridiculously small when packed and will keep you warm for a good 3 seasons of the year. Whether you are backpacking, thru-hiking, or just want the smallest sleeping bag pack size, this is a seriously good option.

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  • Ultralightweight
  • Incredibly compact when compressed
  • It also includes a storage sack that doesn’t compress the bag
  • Box baffle construction
  • 900 FP hydrophobic down
  • Integrated and removable mattress connecter (SynergyLink)



Snugpak Softie 9 Hawk Sleeping Bag

Snugpak Softie 9 Hawk Sleeping Bag Olive

  • PACK SIZE: 7 x 8 in / 19 x 21 cm / 2.1 Liters
  • WEIGHT: 53 oz / 1500 g
  • SIZE/SHAPE: Regular Mummy
  • MATERIALS: Softie Premier Insulation, Paratex Steelplate Shell, Paratex Light Lining

The Snugpak Softie 9 Hawk Sleeping Bag has been around for close to 15 years now (maybe longer); I know this because I had one as a teenager, and I still use it to this day (it’s the one I keep in the car). It was designed for military use, which means it is incredibly durable and reliable but is now one of the most compact synthetic sleeping bags around. The name Softie is perfectly suited to this sleeping bag which feels incredibly soft to the touch on the inside.

It doesn’t use any fancy “synthetic down,” but the Softie Premier is designed to be compacted down incredibly tight and still loft up every time it is released. I find it does take some effort to get it down to 2.1 liters, and I have broken one compression bag in the past trying to do this, but most importantly, it lofts up when unpacked. It is fairly minimalist in the hood and doesn’t even have an internal pocket, but what it lacks in features, it makes up for in performance.

A couple of things to note are that it works to about 90% of its capabilities even if it gets wet. And if it does get wet, the insulation doesn’t hold onto much moisture and dries in just a couple of hours on a washing line. If you are concerned about the vulnerability of down, then this is a warm and reliable sleeping bag that packs down very small.

VERDICT: The Snugpak Softie 9 Hawk Sleeping Bag is one of the smallest synthetic sleeping bags when packed that is rated for temperatures down to below freezing. Even though it packs down small, there is no hiding the fact that it is much heavier, but that is the sacrifice you must make with synthetic bags. One of the best sleeping bags I have ever owned.

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  • Very compact for a synthetic sleeping bag
  • Warm and comfortable
  • Durable, well-made, and resilient
  • Okay with being compressed as much as possible and staying packed for longer periods of time


  • Heavier than a compatible down sleeping bag
  • Hood features are minimal
  • Zip can occasionally get caught on the material


Big Agnes Pluton UL 40° Sleeping Bag

Big Agnes Pluton UL 40 (850 DownTek) Mummy Sleeping Bag, 40 Degree, Long

  • PACK SIZE: 4 x 5 in / 10 x 13 cm / 0.4 Liters
  • WEIGHT: 16 oz / 454 g
  • FILL WEIGHT: 8 oz / 227 g
  • SIZE/SHAPE: Regular Mummy
  • MATERIALS: 850 FP DownTek insulation, 100% Recycled Pertex Quantum Nylon Rip-Stop Shell/Lining

The Big Agnes Pluton UL 40° is the smallest sleeping bag when packed with a compressed size of just 0.4 liters. That is about as wide as a large orange and as long as a Bic ballpoint pen, and it would fit inside a small Mcdonald’s cup (USA). The sleeping bag itself is very thin, and only half of the weight is made up of insulation, so I do not believe this would keep you even remotely warm at 40 F, and I am not willing to find out.

The compressed stuff sack is true to size, and you can’t make it much smaller than they recommend (4 x 5 inches). Filled with Downtek treated 850 FP goose down, you get a good loft after being unpacked, and it is resistant to moisture. But again, because there are only 8 ounces of it, it doesn’t go very far.

VERDICT: The Big Agnes Pluton UL 40° is the most compact sleeping bag when packed, but it is definitely not the warmest. It would be absolutely perfect for summer camping or backpacking in Asia or Australia, but if it gets cold at night, there isn’t much insulation to protect you.

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  • This really is the most compact sleeping bag for backpacking out there.
  • Water-resistant down.
  • Nice wide shoulders and full-length zip.
  • Ultra lightweight.


  • Very thin with very little insulation or padding.
  • I do not believe this would keep you warm at 40 degrees Fahrenheit.


Hyke & Byke Eolus 0F Sleeping Bag

Hyke & Byke Eolus 0 F Hiking & Backpacking Sleeping Bag - 4 Season, 800FP Goose Down Sleeping Bag - Ultralight - Black/Clementine - 78in - Regular

  • PACK SIZE: 7.5 x 12.5 in / 19 x 32 cm / 3.4 Liters
  • WEIGHT: 50 oz / 1405 g
  • SIZE/SHAPE: Regular Mummy
  • MATERIALS: Hydrophobic 800 FP Goose Down Fill, ClusterLoft Fill Base, DWR Coated 400T 20 D Ripstop Nylon Fabric Liner/shell

The Hyke & Byke Eolus 0F is another compact sleeping bag for 0-degree weather that packs down smaller and is even lighter than the Big Agnes Greystone 0° sleeping bag below. It has some very cool features, like the hybrid insulation combo that uses synthetic down underneath and 800 FP goose down across the top. This offers better underbody warmth with less compression underneath but with all the benefits of down on top.

Other features include the premium YKK two-way zippers, which are the best of the best and rarely ever snag the material or get caught, unlike some other smaller zip types. Also, the hood is so packed with down that you almost don’t even need a pillow, and the toe box is too… absolutely packed with down.

Why would I choose this over the Big Agnes Greystone? I would choose this over the Big Agnes Greystone because it is cheaper, smaller, lighter, and feels slightly better built. One reason to avoid this sleeping bag, though, is that you have to be careful not to shake all the filling to one end of the baffles, which are vertically aligned instead of horizontal baffles, which don’t allow for as much movement in down fill.

VERDICT: The Hyke & Byke Eolus 0F Sleeping Bag is amazing value for such a warm and compact sleeping bag. It makes you wonder why other companies charge triple or double for a very similar product. If you want the features of a high-end sleeping bag at less than half the price, then this made-in-China alternative will make you question the high price tag of others.

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  • One of the cheapest compact sleeping bags for 0 degrees
  • Uses ClusterLoft on the underside to avoid compression damage and retain warmth
  • Lightweight
  • Uses the best YKK sleeping bag zips (there isn’t a better zip for sleeping bags)


  • Long vertical baffles can allow insulation movement if you aren’t careful
  • The real-life comfort range will be much closer to 10-20 F


Zpacks 10 F Mummy Sleeping Bag

Zpacks 10F Mummy Sleeping Bag

  • PACK SIZE: 6 x 13 in / 15 x 33 cm / 2 Liters
  • WEIGHT: 27.7 oz / 785 g
  • FILL WEIGHT: 19.8 oz / 561 g
  • SIZE/SHAPE: Regular Mummy
  • MATERIALS: 900 FP Downtek Insulation, 7D Ventum ripstop nylon shell/lining

The Zpacks 10F Mummy Sleeping Bag is one of the best lightweight sleeping bags for backpacking and offers an incredible warmth-to-pack size ratio. At just under 28 ounces and with a pack size of 6 x 13 inches, this is one for the ultralightweight hikers and backpackers who are willing to sacrifice comfort to save weight.

I really like the baffle design and the fact that they stuff them with 30% more down than necessary to guarantee they perform as well as they should. If you live outside the USA, it can be hard to get a hold of one, but if you are coming here to hike one of the National Trails, then you can pick one up on arrival.

Even though this has one of the smallest pack sizes and the lightest weights for how warm it is, there are some features that I am not really a fan of. For instance, the zip is on the underside, which isn’t as uncomfy as you might think, but how the heck are you supposed to zip it up behind your back? Also, the shell and lining use a 7D Ventum ripstop nylon which is incredibly tough for its weight, but the reality is that it is still tissue paper thin and vulnerable to tears.

VERDICT: The Zpacks 10F Mummy Sleeping Bag is a favorite among thru-hikers and ultralight backpackers because it packs down tiny and has a top-tier warmth-to-weight ratio. It does sacrifice some comfort and durability to achieve its impressive stats, but if weight and pack size are a priority, then this is one to compare others with.


  • Ultralightweight and packable
  • Multidirectional baffle design
  • Lots of down fill used in every baffle


  • The hood design leaves something to be desired
  • The zipper on the underside doesn’t make sense to me
  • Very thin 7D fabric


Western Mountaineering Lynx MF Sleeping Bag

Western Mountaineering Lynx LZ Microfiber Sleeping Bag - 6'0shop outdoor gear

  • PACK SIZE: 9 x 18 in / 23 x 46 cm / 4.2 Liters
  • WEIGHT: 50 oz / 1415 g
  • FILL WEIGHT: 32 oz / 905 g
  • SIZE/SHAPE: Regular Mummy
  • MATERIALS: 850+ FP Goose Down Insulation, 20 Denier MicroLite XP Lining/Shell

The Western Mountaineering Lynx MF has a similar pack size and weight to the Big Agnes Greystone; however, this is much, much warmer and lofts up close to twice as much. This does come with a cost, though, and it is around three times more expensive. Is it worth the money? If you can afford it, yes.

The Lynx MF is designed for serious expeditions to extreme locations and can’t be compared to the summer sleeping bags that compress to the size of a small water bottle. I sometimes do a little bit of consulting for people planning. Dangerous adventures like Mount Everest Base Camp, and this is a sleeping bag I always recommend. It’s way too hot to use in the warmer months of the year, but in winter, you won’t even feel the cold outside, even when it’s below freezing.

When you lay this down next to other sleeping bags in a similar weight class, you will see that it fluffs up as if it were inflated by air. That’s because there are over 32 ounces of 850+ FP down stuffed inside, and it is one of the warmest and comfiest compact sleeping bags available today. The total loft is nine inches tall, and with most of that concentrated on the top of the bag, it’s like sleeping underneath a cloud of warm air. Also, because of the v-shaped baffle shape, you don’t have to struggle with down clumping and migrating to the edges of the baffle.

VERDICT: The Western Mountaineering Lynx MF is more of a compact winter sleeping bag than one you want to use all year round. It features extreme loft and comfort that leaves you with no regrets when the nighttime temperatures drop below zero degrees. It lays snugly across the base of most backpacks so that you can still fit things like your tent, sleeping mat, and supplies on top.




  • Warm and reliable for extreme cold
  • Overfilled with high lofting down
  • Durable and water-repellent shell material that feels microfiber soft on the inside
  • V-shaped baffles prevent down migration


  • Very expensive
  • Long and pack size may be too much to lay flat in smaller backpacks.


Western Mountaineering Puma MF Sleeping Bag

Western Mountaineering Puma MF Sleeping Bag Royal Blue 6FT / Left Zipshop outdoor gear

  • PACK SIZE: 10 x 20 in / 25 x 50 cm / 5.18 Liters
  • TEMPERATURE RATING: -25° F / -32° C
  • WEIGHT: 55 oz / 1560 g
  • FILL WEIGHT: 36 oz / 1020 g
  • SIZE/SHAPE: Regular Mummy
  • MATERIALS: 850+ FP Goose Down Insulation, 20 Denier MicroLite XP Lining/Shell

The Western Mountaineering Puma MF is the warmest compact sleeping bag we could find. No other sleeping bag can pack as small and keep you as warm as the Puma MF. Unsurprisingly, it is the most expensive sleeping bag too. But if you are camping in -25 degrees, then your life is surely worth more. Or at least that’s my excuse.

There is over a kilogram of the highest quality down packing every baffle to ensure that enough warm air can be trapped to keep you warm in extreme conditions. The suggested pack size is very generous, and you could easily squash it down to below 3 liters at your own risk of damaging the loftiness of the down. However, I have never been disappointed with WM, and the Puma MF has 9.5 inches of loft which are way above some of the Nemo sleeping bags we decided not to include.

The draught tube and neck collar are oversized and also stuffed with down to prevent any heat loss, however minimal. As good as this bag is for people Arctic researchers, climbers, and anyone who has limited space and lots of gear, it is too warm to use in your average camping climate. Good job this isn’t made for your average camper then.

VERDICT: The Western Mountaineering Puma MF is a bundle of warmth that will protect you well into the minuses and pack down to an acceptable five liters or less. Most people won’t need a sleeping bag this warm, but if you’re the person who needs the warmest and most packable one possible, then try and find a better one than this. I bet you can’t.




  • Unbeatable warmth and pack size
  • Super high quality
  • Luxurious to sleep in


  • Expensive as ****


Big Agnes Greystone 0° Sleeping Bag

Big Agnes, Greystone Sleeping Bag, 0 Degree, (600 DownTek), Rooibos, Regular, Left Zip

  • PACK SIZE: 9 x 12 in / 23 x 30 cm / 3.9 Liters
  • WEIGHT: 53 oz / 1503 g
  • FILL WEIGHT: 34 oz / 964 g
  • SIZE/SHAPE: Regular Mummy
  • MATERIALS: 600 FP Downtek Insulation

The Big Agnes Greystone 0° is one of the most compact winter sleeping bags for four-season use. It has a generous amount of down (just under a kilogram) that is so warm you probably won’t want to use it in the heat of summer (check out these summer sleeping bags). But even though this is one of the heavier sleeping bags with a small pack size, it compresses to around 3.5 liters, leaving you plenty of room in your backpack for your other camping gear and supplies.

Rated for temperatures down to zero degrees, the comfort range sits at about 16 degrees Fahrenheit which is still warm enough for winters in many places. If you think that you might be camping in the snow or at altitude, then a warm bag like this is essential. The hood is well designed to trap all the heat in and adjust exactly how you like it.

The total weight is 1.5 kilograms which is 100 grams more than the Hyke & Byke Eolus above and not the most lightweight option. But if you spend a little bit more money on the Western Mountaineering Lynx MF, you can get a sleeping bag with higher fill power down (and higher warmth) that would save you a bit of weight.

VERDICT: The Big Agnes Greystone 0° is one of the best compact sleeping bags if you are on a budget and need four-season warmth. The compressed pack size is 9 x 12 inches, which is 4 inches shorter than its closest rival; however, it is heavier because of the lower fill power down. My honest opinion is that this is a great sleeping bag for the money, but for just a little more, you can get a much higher quality compact sleeping bag.

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  • Big draft baffles around the neck and along the zipper
  • 34 ounces of hydrophobically treated down
  • Adjustable hood design works very well
  • Great value


  • Low fill power down
  • Not as lofty as others


how to make a sleeping bag more compact

The Importance of a Compression Stuff Sack

Stuff sacks with compression straps like the Sea to Summit Ultralightweight Evac Compression Dry Bag, which is also waterproof, are crucial for reducing the size of your sleeping bag when packed. Many of the smallest sleeping bags with down insulation come with two separate bags: one for storage which is bigger, and a compression sack for when you need to transport it.

I have broken more than one compression sack in the past, trying to get my sleeping bag as small as possible, but I have found that the Sea to Summit sacks are much stronger than those supplied with most bags. Remember, you don’t have to roll your sleeping bag up neatly to get it as small as possible, although it can help with rectangular-shaped bags. Instead, you can just stuff them in and pull the compression straps tight.

Without a compression stuff sack to put your sleeping bag in while you travel, it will more than likely take up at least half the volume of your backpack.

Guide to the Most Compact Sleeping Bags When Packed

How did we find the smallest sleeping bags when packed? We painstakingly added all the available specifications for over 50 lightweight sleeping bags into a spreadsheet and organized them all by temperature rating as well as pack size. But then, when we went to the stores to buy the ones we didn’t have, we found that some just didn’t feel warm enough.

So we reconfigured the list not just to include the smallest pack sizes, as this would have just been summer sleeping bags anyway, and instead took multiple features into account. It’s one thing for a sleeping bag to be compact, but it HAS to be able to perform otherwise; what’s the point? Anyway, here are some of the features we considered, and we thought about them in terms of being a compact bag.

Pack Size

If you are trying to find a sleeping bag with the smallest pack size, then relying on the manufacturer’s specifications isn’t always the best way. With down sleeping bags especially, over-compression can damage the structure of the insulation and reduce its loft dramatically, so the makers of them choose to have a slightly larger stuff sack. So, if you use a slightly smaller stuff sack with compression straps, then you can often achieve a smaller pack size.

Knowing the pack size is important so you can figure out what size backpack you need and also how much space you’ll have left in there for your other gear. We converted all the pack sizes into an estimated volume in liters to try and help with this, as most backpacks are measured by volume and not by internal dimensions. If you are trying to work out the volume of a sleeping bag from the pack size specifications, then we share our calculation method further down the page.

most compact sleeping bag

Temperature Ratings

While pack size is important when you aren’t using your sleeping bag, warmth is the most important thing to get right while you are sleeping in it. You can make a fairly informed decision based on the warmth ratings of sleeping bags, as they are supposed to meet universal tests that measure them.

The extreme warmth rating is the temperature at which the sleeping bag will keep you alive and safe from hypothermia. Having tested dozens of sleeping bags, I can honestly say that if you use a sleeping bag in its extreme boundaries, you will spend the night shivering and trying to stay warm, albeit alive. The more realistic warmth rating is called the comfort rating. This is the temperature at which the sleeping bag is designed and performs the best.

If you have a compact sleeping bag that has its temperature rating in its name, then you can probably assume that this is the extreme rating (because brands want to make them appear as warm as possible). Western Mountaineering sleeping bags always seem to do well at their extreme limits, better than Big Agnes at the very least.

Total Weight

When looking for the smallest sleeping bag, weight is a good indicator of how compact it can go. The heavier the sleeping bag, the larger the pack size will be, for the most part. Snugpaks Softie 9 Hawk is an outlier that is heavy (in comparison to down) and compact. Weight is similar to pack size in that you have a limited capacity for what you can carry. This is why lightweight sleeping bags are where all the action is.

Fill Weight

Once you know the total weight of a sleeping bag, you should then check to see how much of that weight is from the insulation. The Zpacks mummy sleeping bag uses some of the most lightweight material of any sleeping bag and so you will see that the majority of the weight comes from the insulation – which is what you want.

Down insulation is expensive, so many cheaper brands will try using as little as possible. A large quantity of high-fill power down is an excellent signal that the sleeping bag will be very warm.

most packable sleeping bag pack size

Size and Shape

You can often get compact sleeping bags in multiple sizes and shapes. These include women’s and children’s sizes as well as short, regular, and long men’s sizes. Then you have the shape of the sleeping bag, which is normally a choice between a mummy shape and a rectangular one. There are benefits to both, but mummy-shaped bags usually pack down smaller.

For this guide to the smallest packed sleeping bags, we used a regular-sized sleeping bag with a mummy shape. Regular size is typically 6-6.4 feet long; however, it can vary from bag to bag. Mummy-shaped sleeping bags are warmer, lighter, and smaller when packed, which is why we chose this shape.

Baffle Design

Baffles are the stitched tubes that run across a sleeping bag and are used to fill with down so that it stays evenly distributed to the areas you need it. You can get sewn-through baffles where both walls are stitched together, or you can get box baffles that have an additional wall to link both sides. Box baffles allow for better down distribution and lofting, which is why you only see them on the more premium sleeping bags.

One thing to pay attention to is the direction of the baffles and how they are laid out. Vertical baffles are best for the torso area so that the down stays central instead of spreading to the sides. Horizontal baffles are often used on the lower half to prevent the vertical baffles from getting too long and so extra down can be focused around the feet instead of wasting it on your legs.

Hood and Zip

The hood design isn’t a priority, but it shouldn’t be ignored if you are camping in cold weather. Ideally, you want a densely packed hood with adjustable toggles so that you can pull it in tight to trap heat. A good feature to look for is YKK zips which are the best in the world and help to ensure a smooth movement without trapping any fabric.

Another feature to look for on the hood and zip is an internal draught tube and collar. Along the zip, the draught tube will block any wind from getting through the zip and reduce any heat loss out through the zips. Likewise, the draught collar prevents heat from your body from escaping through the hood opening.

compact sleeping bag temperature rating


The main choice you have to make with the materials is what insulation to choose. We have an entire article dedicated to the subject of down Vs synthetic sleeping bags if you want to weigh up the pros and cons. The short story is that synthetic fill is cheaper, more durable, heavier, and less compact. And down fill is warmer, lighter, and more compact but vulnerable to moisture.

The other thing to think about with material is how durable the outer shell is and how comfortable the lining is to sleep against. The thinner the fabric, the smaller the sleeping bag will pack down, but then you have to be extra careful not to rip it. If I were to design my own compact sleeping bag, I would use an ultralightweight shell and liner but with a reinforced toe box for when you need to hop around without getting out of your sleeping bag.


As I mentioned above, you don’t want an outer shell that is so lightweight it will rip the first time it snags against something sharp. A reinforced toebox is essential for ultra-thin fabric. Another area of durability to think about is how well it performs in wet weather. Is the insulation hydroponically treated or naturally moisture-wicking? Does the outer shell have a DWR coating or waterproof treatment? It’s worth checking.

How to Work Out Sleeping Bag Pack Size in Liters

smallest sleeping bag comparison chart

Firstly, the packed volume of a sleeping bag is calculated, assuming it forms a perfect cylinder. This is done using the formula for the volume of a cylinder, which is V = πr²h, where V is the volume, r is the radius (half the diameter), and h is the height.

For example, let’s consider a sleeping bag with a packed size of 7 inches (diameter) by 8 inches (height). We’d first convert the diameter to a radius, which is half of the diameter, so in this case, it would be 3.5 inches. Substituting these into our formula, we calculate the volume in cubic inches.

Lastly, to convert the volume from cubic inches to liters (the standard unit of volume), we use the conversion factor that 1 liter is approximately 61.0237 cubic inches. So, in this example, the volume would be approximately 5.04 liters. This estimation is fairly accurate but assumes the sleeping bag forms a perfect cylinder when packed, which may not be completely accurate in reality.

This guide to the smallest sleeping bags was one of the most research-intensive articles I have ever written. Please let me know what you thought and if you’d like to see more like this.

Gear Assistant
Gear Assistant

This article has been written and/or edited by Andrew N. 20+ years of hiking, mountaineering, and camping experience, with access to all the latest outdoor gear.

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