In a hurry? Our top pick for the best rectangular sleeping bag is the REI Co-op Groundbreaker 30 Sleeping Bag.
Camping and hiking take up a lot of energy, so a good night’s rest is a must. For those who like to move around and shift positions in their sleep, a rectangular sleeping bag is the way to go.
This type of bag is all about comfort, while weight and portability usually aren’t a top priority. However, that’s not always the case. The market is swamped with all kinds of rectangular bags, and it can be hard to find one that suits all your needs.
If a rectangular sleeping bag isn’t for you, and you’d rather find a good mummy shaped bag, Outdoor Vitals’ Summit range is a spectacular choice. Personally, as someone who tosses and turns at night, I’m a big fan of rectangular sleeping bags. To find the best ones on the market, I’ve spent countless hours researching a wide variety of bags. I’ve narrowed the list down to 5 bags I believe are the best you can find. Read on to find out all about them.
Table of Contents
Best Rectangular Sleeping Bag: Our Top 5 Choices
- REI Co-op Groundbreaker 30 Sleeping Bag (Overall Best Rectangular Sleeping Bag)
- Exped MegaSleep 25/40 Sleeping Bag (Best For Backpackers)
- The North Face Eco Trail Bed 20 Sleeping Bag (Best For Tall People)
- Coleman Brazos 30 Sleeping Bag (Best For Car Campers)
- REI Co-op Kindercamp 40 Sleeping Bag – Kids’ (Best Kids’ Rectangular Sleeping Bag)
REI Co-op Groundbreaker 30 Sleeping Bag
REI is one of those brands that combine quality with affordability. This Groundbreaker 30 sleeping bag is comfy, warm, lightweight and well-made. And, for the price it retails at, it’s a steal! It isn’t any wonder it’s listed as one of the best budget sleeping bags out there.
This bag has synthetic insulation that keeps you warm down to 30°F. It features an offset quilt construction. This is a technique where layers are offset over each other, thus preventing cold spots.
It also has a DWR finish which makes it stain-resistant and water-repellent. Obviously, this bag is not intended for rainy weather, but a bit of drizzle won’t ruin your camping trip.
A two-way main zipper makes this 30°F bag a great option, even for warmer nights. If you get too hot, you can unzip the bottom for air ventilation, or even just use it as a blanket.
The Groundbreaker 30 weighs around 3 lbs, which isn’t bad for a synthetic sleeping bag. Plus, it comes with a stuff sack. However, despite being lightweight, it takes up a good amount of space when packed, so it’s not ideal for multi-day backpacking.
- One of the best sleeping bags on the market in terms of price-to-quality ratio
- Anti-snag strip prevents the zipper from getting stuck
- Additional filling around the neck and drawcord improve insulation
- Comes with a stuff sack
- Takes up a lot of space when packed
Best for: camping enthusiasts who want a premium bag at an affordable price
Exped MegaSleep 25/40 Sleeping Bag
A synthetic-filled sleeping bag weighing only 1 lb? Yes, it’s possible! Just look at the medium sized version of the Exped Megasleep bag.
It’s suitable for people up to 5’9”. If you’re taller than that, you’ll need to get a long version that weighs 2 pounds, which is still featherlight compared to other bags on the market.
You’ll notice that this bag has different shades of blue on either side. That’s because each side has a different temperature rating.
If you use the bag with the light blue side up, it will keep you warm in weather down to 40°F. However, when you flip it and the dark blue side is facing upwards, you can sleep comfortably on a cold 25°F night. This makes it a great choice for backpacking.
- Two temperature ratings make this bag suitable for use in a wide range of weather conditions
- One of the most lightweight synthetic sleeping bags there is
- Draft tube along the zipper traps heat
- Glow-in-the-dark zipper puller is easy to find in the dark
- Adjustable head-end drawcord provides better insulation
- Duffel bag it comes with is very bulky
- A bit on the pricier side
Best for: backpackers who love the comfort of a rectangular bag
The North Face Eco Trail Bed 20 Sleeping Bag
The long versions of most sleeping bags can fit a person up to 6’6” tall. But what about those taller than that? Here’s a solution – check out the North Face Eco Trail Bed 20!
The regular version is for people up to 6’6”, while the long version is suitable for people up to 7’ tall. You finally won’t have to sleep with your knees bent, no matter how long your legs are.
Besides its length, there are a lot of other great things about this bag too. First off, it has a 20°F rating, which makes it suitable for camping in harsh weather. It also has a brushed polyester liner for maximum comfort and warmth.
One that really stands out about this bag is that it’s made of 100% recycled polyester. We’ve got to give The North Face bonus points for sustainability!
Here’s one drawback – it’s bulky and heavy, so it isn’t great for backpacking. It weighs around 5 pounds, so you wouldn’t want to be carrying it on your back long distances. If you’re a car camper, however, this bag is an excellent choice.
- Longer than standardized sleeping bag sizes
- Has an internal pocket for your phone or a flashlight
- Made of 100% recycled materials
- Side zipper on the collar lets you sit up comfortably
- Too heavy and bulky for backpacking
- Can’t be zipped together with another bag
Best for: tall people who struggle to find a sleeping bag they can fit into comfortably
Coleman Brazos 30 Sleeping Bag
If you’re searching for a good quality sleeping bag that will keep you warm, but won’t hurt your bank account, the Coleman Brazos 30 is a great option.
It features Coletherm insulation, which is exclusive to this brand. Coletherm is a hollow-core fiber that creates pockets of air which serve as an extra layer to protect you from the cold. This fill will keep you warm during the night in temperatures ranging from 40 right down to 20°F.
The interior lining is made of tricot knit, which provides extra warmth. This material is a bit snaggy though, so beware of twigs and leaves getting stuck on it.
It only comes in one size and is suitable for people up to 6’ tall. If you’re taller than that, this bag isn’t going to be big enough, unfortunately. It’s also quite heavy, weighing in at 5 lbs, so it’s not going to be suitable for thru-hiking and backpacking. However, it does pack down to a fairly compact size.
- Very affordable
- The interior liner is so soft you’ll feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud
- ZipFlow guide prevents the zipper from getting stuck
- Rolls up easily and is compact when packed
- Only comes in one size
- The interior liner grabs onto twigs, leaves and even dry skin
Best for: car camping aficionados
REI Co-op Kindercamp 40 Sleeping Bag – Kids’
Having a lot of empty space inside your sleeping bag can make it difficult to stay warm. Therefore, it’s always better to get your child a kids’ sleeping bag, rather than an adult-sized bag. The REI Co-op Kindercamp 40 is suitable for anyone under 5’6”.
The first thing I have to point out about this bag is that it looks amazing. Vivid colors and fun inner liner graphics make it perfect for kids. It weighs 3 pounds, so it’s not too heavy for little camping enthusiasts to carry it themselves.
The shell is made of lightweight ripstop nylon, while the inner liner is made of soft polyester taffeta. It’s treated with fluorinated DWR treatment both inside and out. This gives it a good amount of water-resistance.
The Kindercamp 40 comes with an attached stuff sack. The reason for this isn’t so that it doesn’t get lost (although that’s a bonus. It actually lets you downsize the bag for smaller kids, keeping them warm at all times.
This bag has a temperature rating of 40°F, so it’s perfect for spring, summer and fall camping. If you’re looking for a winter sleeping bag, you should look elsewhere.
- Fun colors and patterns that every kid will love
- Both inner and outer liners are water-resistant
- Features an anti-snag zipper
- Attached stuff sack allows you to shorten the length
- Not suitable for use as a cold weather sleeping bag
Best for: young campers who appreciate comfort
How To Choose The Best Rectangular Sleeping Bag
Choosing the best rectangular bag is no easy task. After careful analysis, we concluded that the top factors you need to consider when buying one are:
- Temperature rating
- Weight & portability
- Additional features
Let’s dive in!
As you know, a sleeping bag’s temperature rating indicates the lowest temperature at which you’ll be able to stay warm. While this rating is helpful, it shouldn’t be taken as gospel. This is especially true with rectangular bags, since the wide opening doesn’t retain heat as well as a mummy bag does.
Take temperature ratings as more of a guideline, rather than a guarantee of warmth. There aren’t many things worse than a sleepless night spent freezing inside a tent. To avoid that, you need to play it safe when deciding on a temperature rating.
First, consider what the coldest possible temperature you anticipate on your camping trips is. Then, add around 10-15 degrees – that’s your ideal temperature rating. Keep in mind that things like a sleeping pad and extra clothes will help you stay warmer and more comfortable at night.
When it comes to insulation, there’s a never-ending down vs. synthetic debate going on. While both kinds of insulation are comfortable, one has a leg up on the other for a couple of different reasons.
Down insulation has superior compressibility and a better warmth-to-weight ratio. It’s a great choice for long-distance and cold-weather backpacking. Down bags come with different fill power, which defines the quality of the down. They’re very durable, and with adequate care, they’ll last you forever.
So, why pick synthetic over down insulation? Well, it’s more breathable than down and it has the ability to stay warm even when wet. Synthetic is also way cheaper than down. Last but not least, synthetic insulation is hypoallergenic, while down isn’t.
You’ve probably noticed that many sleeping bags come in different sizes. You’ll want to make sure that the one you pick is suitable for your height.
Sleeping bag sizes are standardized across many camping brands. Most bags come in regular and long sizes. A regular sized bag will fit anyone under 6’, while a long bag can fit a person up to 6’6” tall.
Weight & Packability
Sleeping bags vary in weight quite a bit, depending on a couple of factors. The first is whether it’s a synthetic or down bag. Down bags are usually lighter than synthetic filled bags. Also, mummy shaped bags tend to be lighter than those that are rectangular.
That being said, a synthetic rectangular sleeping bag doesn’t have to weigh a ton. For instance, the medium sized version of the Exped MegaSleep bag mentioned above only weighs 1 pound! Obviously, this is going to be more of a concern if you’re going backpacking than if you’re car camping.
Some sleeping bags are also more portable than others. Usually, you’ll be able to see the compressed volume of a bag when you’re looking at its specifications. This gives you the bag’s volume in liters when it’s folded up and packed. The smaller the volume, the less space the bag will take up.
Sleeping bags commonly come with a classic stuff pack to put them away in, but you can make them even more compact by buying a compression bag separately.
Rectangular sleeping bags have a zipper on either the left or right side. What side it’s on doesn’t really matter, except in a few specific cases.
First of all, it’s a bit easier using your dominant hand to unzip a bag. So, if you’re right-handed you might want to go for one that has a zipper to the right and vice versa.
If you own a bivy sack or a tent with a side entrance, then it’s best to have the zipper facing the entrance.
Finally, rectangular bags with an L-shaped zipper can be connected together to form a large double sleeping bag for two. In order to do this, you need two bags with zippers on opposite sides.
When it comes to sleeping bag zippers, anti-snagging features are always a plus. Snagging causes the fabric to wear down faster and it can also tear it, not to mention how annoying it can be. Some bags feature an anti-snagging slide cover, while others have a guard along the length of the zipper.
Hoods & Drawcords
You don’t often find a hood on rectangular sleeping bags. It’s a great way to make a bag warmer, but it’s not as useful as it would be on a mummy bag.
Drawstrings, on the other hand, really help with insulation. You can tighten the sleeping bag around your shoulders to prevent heat escaping, helping you stay warmer in cold weather.
It’s always handy to have a flashlight or your phone closeby. That’s why stash pockets are usually located towards the top of a bag, so you can reach whatever you’ve got in them without having to move.
The main place heat can escape is usually through the zipper. Draft tubes that run behind the zipper prevent air from circulating. That way, warmth stays in while cold air stays out.
If you value comfort and a good night’s sleep above all else, then a rectangular sleeping bag is a great choice for you. Sure, it can be a bit bulkier and heavier than a mummy bag. Still, nothing feels better than being able to sleep unrestrained in whatever position you like, even when camping.
The REI Co-op Groundbreaker 30 is the best rectangular bag you can find on the market today. It gives you the perfect balance of comfort, warmth, quality and portability. And, you get all of that for such an affordable price! It’s versatile, so you can also use it as a quilt or a blanket. Plus, you can connect two bags together and cuddle up alongside your partner. This sleeping bag is sure to be a highlight of every camping trip.