Outdoor camping in the desert can get tricky due to the extreme climate conditions which see very hot weather during the day and plummeting temperatures at night. On one hand, traditonal winter sleeping bags meant for cold weather may be too heavy to carry while hiking on sand dunes, while on the other ultra-light sleeping bags may not keep you warm enough at night when the temperature drops heavily. A quality sleeping bag is an essential item for your desert camping checklist.
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Best Sleeping Bags for Desert Camping
The key to finding the perfect sleeping bag for desert expeditions is to reach a compromise between warmth and weight, keeping in mind also the time of the year and specific location you are travelling to. We recommend a sleeping bag that can perfom well at a 30F temperature for most deserts that usually reach these temperature at night.
1. Western Mountaineering Megalite
Brand: Western Mountaineering
Length: 5ft 6in
Warmth Rating: 30° F
Inside Girth (Shoulder/Hip/Feet): 63in /56in /39in
Fill Weight: 11 oz.
Total Weight: 1lb 7 oz
Stuff Size: 6in x12in
Sac Size: XXS
The Western Mountaineering MegaLite Down Sleeping bag is cut to suit large folks so they too can enjoy the benefits of the ExtremeLite bags. No claustrophobia here with 64in of shoulder girth tapering to 39in at the foot. 12 ounces of goose down provides a temperature rating of 30°, and continuous baffles allow you to adjust the fill to suit your needs. At only 1 lb. 8 oz. this is your best friend during a summer bike trip.
This is easily the best ultra-premium sleeping bag for desert backpacking and camping. It is versatile enough to allow for lightweight hiking on sand dunes in the warm day weather while keeping you from freezing when the temperature drops below zero at night. The design of the sleeping bag allows you to freely move the feather within the fabric, distributing warmth according to your needs. Shift feathers to the top on cooler nights to trap additional heat, shift them to the bottom to release heat when it’s already warm outside – this feature is a lifesaver when you are subject to extreme weather fluctuation in the desert. Cherry on top, we find the design and overall look and feel of most Western Mountaineering products to be top-notch, especially for mummy-shaped sleeping bags. See for yourself!
Nemo Disco 30
Fill Type: 650 Fill Down
Weight: 2 lb 3 oz
Packed Size: 11 x 7.5 in
Shape: Classic Spoon / Mummy
Seventy percent of people sleep on their side, yet mummy bags are not designed to accommodate this. Updated with new contours, Disco continues to reign as the ideal down backpacking bag for side-sleepers, offering the plushest comfort possible on the trail. The classic Spoon shape provides a generous cut at the elbows and knees so side sleepers can shift positions comfortably throughout the night, while still packing remarkably small. Premium 650FP hydrophobic, PFC-free, RDS Certified down ensures traceability throughout the supply chain. These 3-season backpacking bags are loaded with features, including Thermo Gills that help regulate temperature during the night, Blanket Fold that provides tucked-in comfort, and a waterproof/breathable footbox to withstand tent condensation. Left-sided zippers on Men’s and right-sided zippers on Women’s allow Disco to zip together for a double version of these favorite sleeping bags.
The Nemo Disco comes into variants: 15 (warmer) and 30 (for cooler nights). The 30F should be good enough for most desert trips, although it is still not as warm as our Western Mountaineering MegaLite top pick, and it’s also not as lightweight… BUT when it comes to comfort, this model is the absolute winner. We love the experimental design that is thought to accommodate hikers who prefer to sleep on their side or stomach, definitely a revolution when it comes to mummy-style bags. If you are a light sleeper and need comfort above all, you won’t mind the extra weight. For especially cold nights, you may want to wear an extra layer of clothing, but it won’t be a problem as the bag is as roomy as it gets (and keeping a shirt on hand when sleeping in the desert is never a bad idea). Overall, this is a great pick from a very reputable brand.
Hyke & Byke Eolus 30
Brand: Hyke & Byke
Fill Material: Down
Outer Material: Synthetic
Weight: 2.8 Pounds
Packed Size: 6.5″ x 8.5″ (30F) or 6.5″ x 9.5 (15F)
Closure Type: Drawstring
These Direct-to-Consumer premium quality ultralight 30 & 15 ºF mummy goose down sleeping bags for backpacking are the lightest, most compressible bag with the highest quality available.
Professionally designed for thru-hiking, backpacking, and camping, this bag boasts superior weight-to-warmth ratio and is the ultimate sleeping bag for saving space and weight.
Stay Warm as a result of Hydrophobic Goose Down insulation capabilities and waterproof fabrics – the microscopic air clusters found in down feathers creates “loft” that traps heat and keeps you warm for 4 season versatility.
Hike Farther and Faster with some of the lightest 30 or 15 degree mummy down sleeping bags available!
Long Lasting Durability from ultralight water repellent 400T 20 D ripstop nylon fabric liner with double large YKK zippers and anti-snag slider, wide shoulders and large footbox, snag-free velcro, drawstring, vertical baffles, and compression stuff sack case for storage included. Available in size Short, Regular or Long (Tall / XL).
As far as sleeping bags below 200$ go, this is makes a great value-for-money pick. It is relatively lightweight and meant for temperatures ranging around 20C, ticking most desert trip requirements. The top half of the bag is insulated at 60%, while the underside at 40%, and while it comes with little versability it’s overall very well compressed and insulated. If you are only a casual desert camper and looking for a budget friendly sleeping bag that still offers quality performance, the Dyke and Byke Eolus is as good as it gets.