Along with tents, sleeping bags have got to be one of the most important items to enable you to get a good night’s sleep. It doesn’t matter where you are, after a long day’s riding you’ll certainly going to want to be getting a solid amount of shut eye. Even more so if you’ve been on some tough tracks.
But what sleeping bag should you go for? The market is vast with many different options at various different price points and that can make for some confusing shopping. To understand what you need to be looking for in a sleeping bag, be sure to check out our buying guide by clicking here.
Just remember, you’ll be carrying it with you on the bike so you don’t want anything too bulky and heavy. But don’t let that be a prerequisite to get something that won’t keep you warm. Having a sleeping bag that is warm enough is of the upmost importance, otherwise you may end up in big trouble.
With that in mind here is our pick of the eight best sleeping bags on the market for motorcyclists. We have a selection of both down and synthetic bags that range from £60 to £330 so there really is something for everyone.
The Quechua 0º Light Hiking Sleeping Bag has a price that will appeal to everyone and, again, I’ve found it for much cheaper on the net. Don’t let that cheap price tag influence your perception of the overall quality of this product though, for such a small amount of money you’re getting one hell of a great bag here.
While not exactly the smallest in pack size or the lightest in weight the 0º Light Hiking Sleeping Bag just about fits into the bottom of our Touratech 38 litre Zega Pro panniers and with a better compression sack you’ll be able to get it smaller. When unpacked and laying down in all its glory it’s pleasant to see that there’s plenty of room inside even for guys on the larger side of life.
The bag uses an unbranded synthetic fill to keep you warm and, as the name might suggest, it’ll allow you to comfortably sleep in temperatures around the 0C mark. A 3/4 length two-way zip allows for ventilation if you start to overheat, there’s a sufficiently sized baffle over the zip to prevent cold spots and the bag can be cinched in where it’s needed to prevent cold drafts entering.
For such a low price you can’t go wrong with this bag, so if you’re in the market for one and you’re looking for a bargain: this is it.
Over the years we’ve come to know Snugpak for their great quality sleeping bags and insulated jackets. The fact that they still manufacture some of their products in the UK makes us like the brand that little bit more. The Chrysalis 3 is their offering to this review and it uses Snugpak’s Softie synthetic fill to help keep you warm; a tried and tested insulation that is used by the British military in the Snugpak sleeping bags that they use.
The bag’s not the lightest at 1.69kg nor is it the most packable in this test but you should be able to fit it in most large panniers. Despite that fact, there does appear to be a lack of room inside the bag and I found it difficult to actually do the zip up, even when using the second zip which is there to expand the size.
Of course this isn’t exactly a fault with the bag itself, more something you should look out for if you’re on the larger side of things (I’m 6’2 and 53 inches around the chest and shoulders).
Included with the bag is an LED torch which attaches to the hood (a genius idea). The bag can be cinched in where it needs to be and it has a comfort rating that will suit you for a wide variety of three season adventures; even some winter excursions. All in all, try the bag for size and if it fits you get it!
The Robens Caucasus 600 is the first of four down sleeping bags we have in this review and there’s no surprise that they’re also four of the five most expensive, but at £169.99 the Robens Caucasus 600 represents good value for money for those looking for a down sleeping bag.
Indeed, over the years Robens camping kit has been building quite a reputation in the ABR office. If you want good quality at affordable prices then you can bet that Robens will have something for you.
While the price of the Caucasus may be low, the quality is not and for your money you get a very nice bag indeed. The weight and pack size is one of the most attractive features of the Caucasus 600 as it packs down to a small 33cm x 18cm and weighs in at 1.3kg.
At this size it fits nicely into most panniers and the stuff sack which comes as standard is excellent, being fully waterproof with taped seams. The temperature rating given will cover you for all but the coldest three-season adventures and you’ll likely get away with using it over winter in milder countries.
You get all of the features you’d expect from a bag of this price; internal pockets for stashing valuables, tension adjustable face and neck baffles, a near full-length zip for ventilation, an ergonomic foot bed and an anti-snag zip guard which actually works.
In all, the Caucasus 600 is an excellent down bag for the price.
The Prism is a sleeping bag that’s been designed by British company Montane for use in ‘rough and tough’ conditions and over the years we’ve come to know the brand for their excellent apparel.
The combination of Primaloft Eco synthetic fill and a Pertex Microlight fabric make it an ideal choice for those hiking in the UK and Northern Europe or other similarly ‘damp’ locations. At £175 it may be painful on the wallet, but if you’re looking for comfort, durability and a good night’s sleep you can’t go wrong.
Aside from the excellent Primaloft fill and the light but durable and windproof/water resistant Pertex fabric, there are a number of features which combine together to make this a superb sleeping bag. You get two internal pockets, non-slip tabs on the back to help keep you on your sleeping mat, a quality two-way 3/4 length YKK zip with glow in the dark zip pulls, an ergonomically designed foot bed to help reduce cold spots in that area and the stuff sack is waterproof with taped seams.
It’s hard to find fault with the Prism but it can’t be ignored that it has a slightly large pack size. While it does fit in our 38 litre Touratech Zega Pro, it takes up a lot of room and if you’re a large guy then you might find it a little tight around the shoulders.
In all though, the Prism is an excellent sleeping bag and one that comes highly recommended.
The big talking point about the Kelty Ignite DriDown is that the down insulating fill it uses has been treated on a molecular level to make it hydrophobic (that’s water-resistant to you and I). What this means is that DriDown is able to stay dry for longer (according to Kelty 10-times longer), retain its loft when wet (170% more loft than untreated down) and, if it does get wet, dry faster (33% faster).
While I’ve yet to get the Ignite wet enough to test this out, my previous experience of hydrophobic down has been extremely positive so its inclusion in this bag can only be a good thing.
This treatment essentially takes away the main disadvantages associated with down with the only stumbling block now being the price tag, though at £199.99 it’s the cheaper of the three down options in this review.
The DriDown functions exactly like untreated down when dry and the bag packs down small and has a luxurious, soft feel with a nice, high loft which makes for a comfortable night’s sleep.
Additional features include a near full length zip to offer a great amount of ventilation for times when it gets to warm, a great fitting hood, draft excluding baffles and cold spots are kept to a minimum with the box-wall baffles preventing migration of the insulating fill.
In all the Ignite is a brilliant sleeping bag, and the DriDown in the bag is excellent as it removes most of the limitations of down while still maintaining the benefits. Highly recommended.
Note: weights and measurements given are for the women’s version.
The Blue Kazoo sleeping bag has been part of The North Face’s range for a long while now with many outdoor enthusiasts choosing the bag because of its warmth-to-weight ratio, small pack size and the amount of comfort it provides. It’s a great sleeping bag, there’s no doubt about that, but at £250 it may be out of many people’s price range. If you’ve got the cash, is it worth the buy?
Recent changes to the Blue Kazoo has seen The North Face using a quality 650 fill Hungarian goose down as the insulation to keep you warm (Hungarian down has a great reputation in the world of insulating fills) and there’s an impressive loft to the bag once it’s been allowed time to air out. The down insulates exceptionally well and it’s distributed evenly throughout with the box-wall baffles preventing any migration and cold spots occurring.
To further prevent cold spots, areas which are likely to be in contact with the ground (feet, butt and shoulders) have been reinforced with compression resistant Climashield Prism thermal pads for added insulation – a great touch.
You get all the other features you’d expect from a sleeping bag (two-way main zip, internal pockets) and the zips come with glow-in-the-dark pulls so you won’t have to reach for your head torch every time you want to adjust them.
In all the Blue Kazoo is an excellent bag, it packs down small, has minimal cold spots and if you look after it it’ll last a long, long time.
Coming in at an eye-watering £330 is the Mira sleeping bag from Therm-a-rest. The brand is more well-known for its excellent sleeping pads (the Neoair XLite is a particular favourite in the ABR offices) but as the Mira shows, they sure know how to make a good sleeping bag as well.
The Mira is a lightweight three-season bag which uses a 750+ fill goose down to offer warmth at a small pack size. The Mira is actually the lady’s specific version of the sleeping bag with the Antares being the unisex model.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Mira is the tiny weight and pack size, even though this is the lady’s version and we would expect it to pack down smaller than the rest, it’s still impressive. At 898g and a tiny 18cm x 31cm (with the pack size of the Antares being the same) you’ll have no problems fitting it into your panniers making it ideal for multi-day adventures.
For such a packable bag it still manages to maintain its thermal properties thanks to the 750+ fill down and the presence of a few other features which aid in performance.
In particular the ThermaCapture Radient Heat Technology and the zoned insulation which puts the insulation in the places where you need it most. A lovely feature is the SynergyLink Connectors which allow you to attach your sleeping bag to your sleeping mat for a more comfortable, less slipping all over the tent, night’s sleep.
In all, a superb bag with a thermal range that will be perfect for a wide variety of three-season adventures and even some winter excursions.
Note: This review is of the women’s Thermarest Mira, the unisex version of the bag is called the Antares.
I’ve got a bit of a ‘thing’ for Rab gear, over the years when I’ve been testing kit I’ve yet to come across one of their products that hasn’t performed well in use and the Ignition 2 certainly lived up to my expectations of the brand.
For £120 you get a bag that uses Pyrotec synthetic insulation and packs down to about the size of a small loaf of bread making it perfect for packing unnoticed into your panniers.
Despite the bag’s tiny pack size there’s a surprising amount of room inside it and I found there to be no problems with zipping the bag up. The polyester inner lining of the Ignition 2 feels luxuriously soft and comfortable against the skin and, again despite its small pack size, in terms of thermal properties it performs well and kept me at a comfortable temperature while camping in about 6-8C.
Additional features include a 3/4 length two-way zip, a zipped pocket for stashing your valuable in and draft baffles where you need them. The Ignition is also available to cater for those venturing into colder temperatures with the Ignition 3 offering a comfort rating down to -3.5C and the 4 down to -7C.
In all the Ignition 2 is an excellent bag if it covers your thermal requirements. A superb compression sack gives it a small pack size and this, combined with the light weight, makes it ideal for stuffing in your panniers and it’s comfortable to boot.
Rating: 9/10 – Best in test