Staying Comfortable On The Trail

Backpacking is a popular, low-cost recreational activity almost anyone can enjoy. If you’re planning on an overnight backpacking trip – especially in a chilly region- you’re going to want a sleeping bag.

Choosing the right sleeping bag is more involved than you might think, especially for people who usually shop in Big And Tall. Backpacking means you have to carry everything; ergo, a larger person, who requires a larger sleeping bag, will have more weight on their shoulders than they might otherwise like.

Fortunately, bag manufacturers are well aware of this. Here are some Big And Tall sleeping bags made for backpacking.

The NEMO Disco Down Sleeping Bag

The top choice for big, lightweight sleeping bags is the NEMO Disco Down. This bag has everything you’d find in a traditional sleeping bag; it stays warm in temperatures as low as 15°F, has a comfortable down filling, and even includes thermal gills – a zipper-based venting feature for warm nights.

This bag is ideal for backpacking because of its size. This bag only weighs 2 pounds, 11 oz.

When folded, it compresses to 18 x 9 inches and 6.6 L. The down insulation means it’s literally light as a feather.

It’s arguably the best sleeping bag for backpackers – a bag that can accommodate a 6-foot man and still manage to compress down enough to be comfortably carried. With all these features, it’s no surprise that its only downside is the cost. If you’re backpacking on a budget, you may have to look elsewhere.

Nemo Men's Disco 15-Degree Insulated Down Sleeping Bag, Deep Sea/Key Lime, Regular
  • SWEET DREAMS - Backpacking is better after a great night's rest; The 3 season Disco is designed to give you the best sleep in the backcountry; 650 fill power Nikwax Hydrophobic Down is feather-light and toasty warm even when damp
  • SNUGGLE UP - Like your favorite comforter, NEMO's Blanket Fold gives some extra material around your face to cuddle up with; Cozy and practical, this helps regulate temperature
  • LET'S SPOON - The Disco's unique spoon shape is designed with extra room at the elbows and knees that make side sleeping comfortable if you don't like to sleep on your back
  • LET IT BREATHE - When you get too hot, ThermoGills unzip to let out warm air, allowing superior temperature control and added versatility; A waterproof, breathable footbox protects from condensation so your feet stay warm and dry
  • TECHNICAL SPECS - Weighs 2 lbs 11 oz (1.22 kg) with a packed size of 18 x 9 in diameter and a compressed volume of 6.6 L; Nylon Ripstop with water-resistant DWR; 1-person capacity fits men up to 6 ft tall; Left zipper

Last update on 2019-09-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Big Agnes Hog Park Bag

The runner-up choice is the Big Agnes Hog Park 20 sleeping bag. This bag is built for big people, or those who need room to toss and turn.

You should especially consider this bag if you’re sensitive to down; it has a fill of thermolite polyester fibers that retains warmth down to 20°F. However, it weighs more than its competitor, clocking in at 6 pounds, 7 oz, and only compresses to 16.7 L.

In that same vein, the Agnes Hog Bag is considerably less expensive than the NEMO, in part due to the synthetic filler. It’s the ideal choice for a backpacker who’s willing to spend a little extra for high-end equipment, without breaking the bank.

Last update on 2019-09-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tough Outdoor All Season Hooded Bag

The bargain choice for budget-conscious campers is the All Season XL sleeping bag – at only $40, this bag is considerably cheaper than the other two. If you’re trying to keep costs down, then this is your best option.

This bag is the roomiest out of the list, fitting people up to six feet, six inches tall. It’s a good choice for people who shop in Big And Tall, or those who air on the side of claustrophobic.

This bag weighs 5 pounds and collapses to 15 x 8x 8 inches, making it easy to transport. It is good down to 40°F. Its creators recommend you use this bag for nightly temperatures between 60°F and 40°F for maximum comfort.

All Season XL Hooded Sleeping Bag with Compression Sack - Perfect for Camping, Backpacking, Hiking. Temperature Range 32-60°F. Fits Adults up to 6'6. Tough Ripstop Waterproof Shell & High-Loft Fill
  • PERFECT FOR THE 5-BILLION STAR HOTEL EXPERIENCE: Cozy up in this comfy extra large sleeping bag as you gaze at the Milky Way and listen to the crackling fire and sounds of nature.
  • COMFORT FOR ALL SEASONS: With a comfort temperature range of 40-60°F, our sleeping bag xl is perfect for camping, hiking & backpacking trips, mountaineering, hunting, trekking & other outdoor activities. It's constructed with a durable, ripstop waterproof shell, high-loft insulation and a soft, non-scratchy woven liner. Our backpacking sleeping bag has an extreme temperature minimum of 40°F.
  • FITS ANYONE UP TO 6'6: Our sleeping bag is one of the biggest and widest out there, great for big and tall guys or active sleepers who like to move around. Dimensions: 88 x 34 in.
  • VERSATILITY: Our machine washable sleeping bag comes with a compression sack, allowing it to pack down to 15x8x8 inches. Need a guest blanket? Just unzip our Tough Outdoors Sleeping Bag, and you've got a queen-sized comforter. How handy!
  • SAFELY STORE YOUR KEYS AND PHONE: Our plus size sleeping bag features an inner storage pocket, perfect for keeping your keys and phone accessible at all times. Just don't forget to enjoy your 5-billion star hotel experience!

Last update on 2019-09-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sleeping Bag Accessories

In addition to finding the perfect sleeping bag, you should also find the right pad. In order for these bags to stay warm during chilly nights, they must be aided by adequate insulation, most notably below.

The ground constantly leeches warmth from you, causing your body to work much harder to maintain your temperature.

For the most comfortable experience, consider purchasing a pad to go beneath your sleeping bag. This pad will help you conserve heat, stay warm, and stave off the morning dew.

If you consider yourself a bigger person, you may need to double up pads, or find one with extra cushioning. It’s estimated that a pad will account for a third of your overall insulation, making it the difference between a warm and cold night.

At A Glance

The Nemo Disco Down is the best; it’s light and large. It is also the most expensive.

The Big Agnes Park Bag is synthetic, making it heavier, but also cheaper. The Sleeping Hooded Bag is the absolute cheapest, but not good below 40°F.

Don’t be afraid to get creative, or go a little bit over budget. The right sleeping bag (and pad) can make or break your backpacking trip. Make sure you’re comfortable on the trail during the day, and on the ground at night.