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The 5 Best Sleeping Bags for Backpacking



Find the Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag for your needs can be a real challenge because, with so many options on the market, you’re simply spoiled for choice. This is where our team at Outdoor Command can help you save time, money, and effort when buying a backpacking sleeping bag. We’ve scoured the web for the top-rated, best-value, lightweight designs, bundling them in this comprehensive ‘Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag’ overview. 

In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:

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And here’s an overview of the best backpacking sleeping bags on the market today:

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We’ve ensured there is a match for every type of backpacker, and budget. For example, some of you may only go camping in the summertime, meaning a 3-season sleeping bag is already insulated enough. However, others may want a bag with year-round comfort, for which a 4-season sleeping bag is essential. We also wanted to include options at every price-point. So, whether you’re able to spend a lot, or a little, there’s a sleeping bag to keep you comfy at night! 

Though these sleeping bags vary in size, shape, and material, there are 2 important buying factors they all have in common: lightweight, and compact packing dimensions. When you’re a backpacker, finding a sleeping bag that takes up minimum space and weight in your pack is key to your comfort. That is exactly why we only included bags that can be compressed to moderate dimensions, and that have an excellent weight-ratio. 


These are our Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags:

Explore our in-depth overview of these lightweight backpacking sleeping bags below, and upgrade your outdoor gear with this must-have essential! 



Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag – Overview



Therm-a-Rest Oberon 0°F Mummy Sleeping Bag 

[amazon box=”B078Y6F5X8″] If you’re a backpacker that loves cold weather camping, you need premium protection to keep you warm and cozy at night. This is where the Therm-a-Rest Oberon 0°F Mummy Sleeping Bag could be ‘the best’ match. This well-insulated sleeping bag is ideal for 4-season camping and offers the benefit of superb insulation, without the bulk of hefty-weight. The streamlined sleeping bag only weighs 2lb 4 oz: ideal for backpackers! This design includes a stuff sack that enables you to pack down the sleeping bag to a compact 10″x 17″ bundle.

The Therm-a-Rest Oberon Mummy Sleeping Bag has a temperature rating of 0°F/ -18°C: more than sufficient for most cold weather camping. The secret to how this bag can be so insulating, yet so lightweight at the same time, is the material used: 800-fill Nikwax Hydrophobic Down insulation. The down-fill is ultralight and been treated with a special water-resistant coating to make the bag more waterproof. This Hydrophobic Down insulation coating reduces water absorption, whilst allowing the down to maintain its insulation properties. The result: you’re kept comfy, warm, and dry – even on the coldest and wettest nights. Another perk: the waterfowl down-fill used in this sleeping bag is responsibly-sourced and comes with Responsible Down Standard Certification. 

Zoned Insulation and ThermaCapture Lining

The Oberon Sleeping Bag by Therm-a-Rest features a mummy-shaped silhouette with special zoned insulation. This means that the down-fill in the bag is more abundant in certain areas/zones where your body is more prone to catching a chill. The design also comes with a down-fill foot box, which helps prevent cold feet and gives your toes some extra wiggle room. To add further protection on cold nights, the Therm-a-Rest Oberon comes with a ThermaCapture Lining, which traps body heat and helps retain warmth – without feeling bulky. 

That’s not all, the Therm-a-Rest Oberon 0°F Mummy Sleeping Bag also comes with a cinched (drawstring hood), draft collars, and draft tubes along with the full-length snag-free zippers. These features help keep the heat in and prevent cold spots and cold air from entering, making it truly one of the warmest lightweight sleeping bags on the market. 


  • 0°F/ -18°C temperature rating
  • Ultralight (2 lbs 4 oz)
  • Special Zoned Insulation
  • 800-fill Nikwax Hydrophobic Down™
  • Heat-trapping draft collar
  • ThermaCapture Lining top-layer
  • Cinched hood and draft tubes
  • External zip pocket
  • Stuff sack included


  • Expensive
  • Too heavy-duty/insulated for warm weather conditions



TETON Sports Lightweight LEEF Mummy Sleeping Bag

[amazon box=”B00TZRPQMG”]The TETON Sports LEEF Lightweight Mummy Sleeping Bag is a popular choice for backpacking trips, thanks to its spacious yet lightweight silhouette, and compact packing dimensions. The TETON Sports LEEF includes a compression sack for easy storage. The included compression sack has 6 points where you can apply tension, packing down the sleeping bag to a nifty 15″ x 9″ x 9″ bundle. The total weight of the bag is approximately 4.1 lbs, which we reckon is more than manageable for most backpackers. 

The extra-long sleeping bag is 87″ in length, which offers a bit of extra wiggle room – ideal for taller campers. This spacious sleeping bag comes packed with high-end perks, yet is still listed at an affordable price-point. The TETON Sports LEEF Lightweight Mummy Sleeping Bag is more than equipped to keep you warm in cold weather conditions. The design can be used in temperatures as low as 20° Fahrenheit and comes with special Body-Mapping Technology. What this means is that certain areas of the silhouette are more padded/insulation, providing extra protection where you need it most. (This construction technique is very similar to the previously listed Oberon Sleeping Bag by Therm-a-Rest). 

Budget-friendly with high-end perks

Also, the TETON Sports LEEF Lightweight Mummy Sleeping Bag has a 3-piece hood, which ergonomically contours the head to eliminate cold spots. To prevent cold feet, the sleeping bag features a vaulted foot box with additional insulation. The design also comes with a full-length zipper draft tube along the length of the anti-snag zipper. The style also has two interior zippered pockets, perfect for keeping smaller personal belongings – such as your phone or torch – within reach. 

The TETON Sports LEEF Lightweight Mummy Sleeping Bag is also highly-rated by other backpacking enthusiasts, who give it top marks on Amazon for its quality, comfort, spacious sleeping area, and handy compression sack inclusion. For year-round usage, and 4-season backpacking trips, this well-insulated, compressible sleeping bag is an excellent investment! 


  • 20°F / -7°C temperature rating
  • Small packing dimensions
  • Extra-long silhouette
  • Body-Mapping Technology
  • 3-Piece contoured hood
  • Vaulted, insulated foot box
  • Two interior zippered pockets
  • Affordable
  • Compression sack included


  • Slightly heavier than other options on this list (4.1 lbs)
  • Synthetic fill
  • Not the most durable
  • Not the most breathable



Kelty Cosmic 40 Degree DriDown Sleeping Bag

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The Kelty Cosmic 40 Degree Sleeping Bag is a lightweight and versatile sleeping bag, ideal for three-season usage. The design is the most popular bag from Kelty’s line-up and combines premium materials with mid-budget pricing: making it simply a great deal. The ultralight Kelty Cosmic 40 Degree Sleeping Bag weighs just 1 lb 9.7 oz (regular-size), which is an outstanding weight-ratio that is ideal for backpacking adventures. It truly is one of the lightest mummy bags on the market. The stuffed size (stuff back included) of the sleeping bag is only 7″ x 12″, taking up minimum space in your pack. 

Do note that we’ve listed the most recent, upgraded version (product number 35414819RR) of the Kelty Cosmic 40 Degree DriDown Sleeping Bag. The previous model of this bag is also available via Amazon but doesn’t come with some of the high-end perks of this newly released version. Why do we prefer this slightly more expensive new edition? Because Kelty has made some minor tweaks to the best-selling silhouette to make it even more appealing for backpackers. These include refinements such as the new soft-as-silk nylon taffeta fabric, more down-fill (600 versus 550), and a handy stash pocket for your personal belongings. Plus, the new Kelty Cosmic 35414819RR model is also lighter than its predecessor, which is a key buying factor for when you’re planning to carry it in a backpack! 

Hydrophobic DriDown™ fill

The upgraded Kelty Cosmic 40 Degree Sleeping Bag has a comfort rating of 40°F/ 4°C, and a lower limit of 37°F / 3°C, this means the sleeping bag can be used in cold weather as low as 37°F but is mostly recommended for usage in temperatures of 40°F and higher. 

This backpacking sleeping bag features Kelty’s special 600-fill power hydrophobic DriDown™ insulation. What does this entitle? Well, simply put, it means that the down used has been treated with polymers, creating water-repellent finish on each plume. Or, even simpler: waterproof DriDown™ can stay dry longer, loft better, and dry faster than untreated down, keeping you warm and dry in any environment. 

The outer shell of this Kelty Cosmic model is a soft, butter-like, highly-durable 20D Nylon taffeta shell, whilst its 50D polyester taffeta liner has a satin-like, super comfy feel. Other high-end features of the Kelty Cosmic 40 Degree Sleeping Bag are a quilt-through construction for extra durability, a thermal-comfort hood that can be cinched to eliminate cold spots, and a ‘natural-fit’ foot box for extra wiggle room. The lightweight sleeping bag also features dual-slider, locking zipper with anti-snag design and a draft collar and draft tube to eliminate cold spots. 


  • Ultralight (1 lb 9.7 oz)
  • Great value-for-money
  • Excellent weight-ratio
  • 600-fill power hydrophobic DriDown™
  • Durable 20D Nylon taffeta shell 
  • Satin-like 50D polyester taffeta liner
  • Quilt-through construction
  • Thermal comfort cinched hood
  • Natural-fit foot box
  • Dual-sliding zipper with anti-snag design
  • Draft collar & draft tube
  • Stuff sack included


  • Not suited for winter camping
  • Not the most impressive temperature rating



Sierra Designs Cloud 20 Degree DriDown Sleeping Bag

[amazon box=”B0798RGFY2″]Looking for a superior quality-standard and outstanding durability, and don’t mind splurging on a pricier model? Then the Sierra Designs Cloud 20 Degree DriDown Sleeping Bag could be your well-insulated, lightweight match! This mummy-shaped sleeping bag offers outstanding warmth and comfort, yet only weighs 1lbs 13oz. Meaning maximum performance in all seasons, minimal packing weight. The only downside is its price-tag, but if you’re willing to spend a bit more, this ultralight, ultra-durable design could be a toasty match! 

The Sierra Designs Cloud 20 Degree DriDown Sleeping Bag is more than equipped for usage in cold weather conditions and offers 4-season functionality. The design has a temperature rating of 15°F / -9.4°C and a lower limit of 26°F / -3.3°C. Do note that this is only an indication, and each camper will experience cold differently based. That said, it is a good reference point to understand the insulation-properties of this high-end sleeping bag. 

High-quality 800-fill DriDown insulation 

The Sierra Designs Cloud 20 Degree DriDown Sleeping Bag features 800-fill DriDown insulation. The individual plumes in the down-fill have received a water-resistant coating, making them less prone to absorbing water. This helps keep your sleeping bag dry, even when faced with heavy-condensation of wet conditions. The outer shell of the mummy-shaped silhouette is made of 15-dernier ripstop nylon.

Other premium design-elements of the Sierra Designs Cloud 20 Degree DriDown Sleeping Bag include a self-sealing foot vent that enables ventilation (enabling better temperature regulation) and a cinch-hood. The sleeping bag also features a ‘draft dodger baffle’ construction. This is a type of stitching that prevents the down-fill from sinking to the bottom or gathering in one place. Ensuring optimal down-distribution in every corner of the silhouette.

Zipperless design

Though similar in style to other cold-weather sleeping bags, there is one big noticeable difference in the Sierra Designs Cloud 20 Degree DriDown Sleeping Bag: the lack of zipper. The bag has been designed to offer ‘zipperless’ comfort. Another perk is that this style features an integrated comforter to resemble all the comforts of your bed at home. Additionally, the silhouette comes with a handy sleeping pad sleeve (sleeping pad not included). This sleeping pad sleeve keeps an optional sleeping pad firmly in place, preventing you from sliding off onto cold underground in the night. 

The comfort, quality, and lightweight appeal of the Sierra Designs Cloud 20 Degree DriDown Sleeping Bag do not come cheap. But if you’re serious about backpacking, and you’re willing to spend big, it’s an excellent investment that should last you for many years…


  • Ultralight (1lbs 13oz)
  • 15°F / -9.4°C temperature rating
  • 4-season usage
  • Great for side sleepers
  • Superior quality standard
  • Outstanding durability
  • 800-fill DriDown insulation
  • Self-sealing foot vent for breathability
  • Cinched hood
  • Draft dodger baffle
  • Zipperless, meaning no snags at all
  • Sleeping pad sleeve
  • Stuff sack included


  • Expensive
  • Can be too insulating in warm weather conditions



The North Face Dolomite 40F/4C Sleeping Bag

[amazon box=”B078Z3DW4H”]Though the previously-listed mummy-shape sleeping bags offer outstanding insulation, you may not need that must toasty heat. The North Face Dolomite 40F/4C Sleeping Bag is a prime choice in backpacking gear for camping in milder summer nights and warm weather. Though this style may look a bit old-school with its rectangular shape and style, it’s made with innovative technology to maximize its performance, without adding bulk or weight. The sleeping bag weighs 2 lbs 9 oz, has a temperature rating of 40°F / 4°C and measures 10″ x 18″ when packed in its included stuff sack. 

The North Face Dolomite Sleeping Bag is simple, yet very functional in design. The bag features full-length zippers on each side for easy access, which allows both right-handed as the left-handed opening. The zippers can also be fully unzipped to enable the sleeping bag to lay flat, for example, to be used as a picnic blanket. 

Other high-end details of the Dolomite 40F/4C Sleeping Bag by The North Face include a wraparound foot box zipper so the bag can lie flat, and premium Heatseeker™ Eco synthetic insulation. The type of synthetic insulation is composed of 30% ‘post-consumer recycled material’, making it a more environmentally-friendly option to standard synthetic fill. 

Both the outer shell and interior liner of the Dolomite Sleeping Bag are made of 50-dernier ciré polyester taffeta: soft to the touch, yet very tear-resistant. The spacious rectangular silhouette of the Dolomite also offers plenty of room to combine it with a separate sleeping bag liner if desired, allowing you to add softness or insulation when needed. 

Lifetime warranty

Another reason we rate Dolomite Sleeping Bag by The North Face as a top-choice for backpacking, and backcountry adventures, is the bag’s ‘Lifetime Warranty’. This lifetime-warranty by The North Face means that if you encounter any manufacturing defects in the bag, the brand will find a suitable solution – such as issuing a refund or replacement. This makes it a risk-free purchase and serves as a testimony of how confident the brand is in its product’s quality. Not every brand can offer this guarantee, so we consider it a big perk. 

Simple, classic, spacious, yet also lightweight and portable: the Dolomite 40F/4C Sleeping Bag by The North Face proves that sometimes less can be more. It’s not the most heavy-duty or insulated bag, but for backpacking trips in milder conditions, it ticks all the boxes. 



  • Affordable
  • Basic but functional
  • High-quality construction
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent value-for-money
  • Great for mild weather conditions
  • Classic, spacious rectangular shape
  • Anti-snag zippers on both sides
  • Can be fully unzipped into a blanket
  • Heatseeker™ Eco insulation
  • 50-dernier ciré polyester taffeta 
  • Lifetime warranty


  • Not suited for cold weather conditions
  • Can’t be cinched to prevent cold spots
  • No fancy features or perks





All 5 products in this overview are worthy of your attention. Choosing a top pick to classify as the ‘Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag’ depends on a few important factors.

How much insulation?

Firstly, determine how warm/insulating you want the sleeping bag to be. If you want year-round functionality, or simply are a cold sleeper, consider a sleeping bag with down-fill. Not only does down-fill have natural insulation properties and great breathability, but its also ultralight and very compressible: saving on packing weight and space in your pack. That said, you may not require a very insulated sleeping bag if you only plan on backpacking in warmer climates and mild weather conditions. In this case, a simple yet comfortable option such as The North Face Dolomite 40F/4C Sleeping Bag could be your match. Though this bag lacks fancy features, it ticks all the most important boxes: quality, comfort, packability, and – most importantly – its very lightweight.

Budget-friendly vs High-end

Secondly, determine how much you’re willing to spend. Setting yourself a budget, and sticking to it, will instantly narrow down your search options. 

Don’t worry: there’s a great-quality option at every price point, whether you want to spend a lot – or a little. Of course, you’ll have to make some concessions if you want premium insulation, for example, choosing a more affordable synthetic fill/ synthetic sleeping bag over a more expensive natural down-fill option. That said, for the price listed, each sleeping bag in this overview offers excellent value-for-money. The high-end options deliver superior durability, whilst the more budget-friendly options still meet a high-quality standard needed to keep you warm, cozy, dry, and comfortable during the night. 

Finding a match

Determine the temperature rating you need, determine how much you’re willing to spend, and determine which bag style you like most: finding your best backpacking sleeping bag in this overview is that simple. 




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Selecting a winner from this Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag Overview is an impossible task, as each product has its pros and cons. That said, I can share my top pick: the Kelty Cosmic 40 Degree DriDown Sleeping Bag. I’ve owned a previous model of the Kelty Cosmic for a few years, and the sleeping bag has never failed to keep my comfy and dry. Do note that I am not a cold-weather camper, and mostly go backpacking in spring/summertime, with low nightly temperatures of around 45°F-50°F – so I’ve never tested the bag to the limit. However, I can attest to its quality, comfort, and great packability. 

This new model of the Kelty Cosmic 40 Degree DriDown Sleeping Bag is even lighter than its predecessor, weighing just an ultralight 1 lb 9.7 oz. Meaning you won’t even notice the difference when strapped to your backpack! The design also includes a stuff sack, which lets you pack it down to a neat 7″x 12″ bundle. Kelty has also upgraded the comfort of the Cosmic (which was already fantastic, to begin with), adding a silky taffeta lining for maximum smoothness. I don’t mind roughing it when backpacking, but if there’s a comfy alternative without adding bulk or weight to my gear: I’m all for it. Also, I prefer the 600-fill power waterproof DriDown™ to a synthetic fill, as I like the loftiness of natural down.

A highly-rated backpackers’ favorite

Don’t just take my word for it: the Kelty Cosmic 40 Degree DriDown Sleeping Bag is a firm favorite amongst many backpackers, as is confirmed by the bag’s many 5-star reviews. Plus, for an ultralight down-fill bag, the Kelty Cosmic 40 Degree DriDown Sleeping Bag is very reasonably priced. It’s not the most heavy-duty or high-end bag on the market, but when it comes to budget-friendly, 3-season sleeping bags, this is about as good as it gets!




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Disclaimer: For this Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag Overview, we only chose to include sleeping bags with full stock availability on Amazon at the time of writing. This selection criteria meant some products that we regard very highly, and get our expert seal of approval, were automatically excluded from the list. However, we do want to mention these sleeping bags, as they’re also worthy of your consideration. This concerns the Nemo Kyan Mummy Sleeping Bag, the Marmot Sawtooth 15F Degree Down Bag, The North Face Aleutian Sleeping Bag, the REI Co-Op Magma, the Big Agnes Sandhoffer 20 Lightweight Down Sleeping Bag, the Western Mountaineering MegaLite Sleeping Bag, the Western Mountaineering Summerlite Sleeping Bag, and the Mountain Hardwear Men’s Phantom Flame Down Sleeping Bag.




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Backpacking Gear Reviews & Guides

How to have amazing experiences camping in Alaska?




Do you want to make the most of your camping experience in Alaska? Camping is the best way to cherish the mesmerizing Alaskan scenery and be in proximity to Mother Nature with your friends and loved ones.

Are you wondering where to camp, where to go, and what items to pack for an Alaskan camping trip? This article has all the answers regarding camping in Alaska! Moreover, this place comprises a few amazing bewilderments that make it different than other camping locations.

If you’re ready to explore Alaska and be immersed in its camping, here are the top 4 tips for a seamless camping experience in Alaska.

  1. Be ready for the varying types of weather

The temperature of Alaska is unpredictable. Hence, if you’re camping in summer in blisteringly hot weather, it would be great to carry something waterproof and warm clothes. In your Alaska travel and camping, it’s required to carry your bibbed waterproof rain pants, raincoats, and hip boots.

This is how you don’t worry about the sudden rain and catch fish all day. Moreover, camping without a bathing suit doesn’t seem right! Camping and cruising go hand in hand; hence, a trip to Alaska will help you get the most out of your Alaska trip.

  1. Pick a campground mindfully

Although you are not mandated to stay at a campground run by the federal government if you wish to go tent camping, it may be the best bet if this is your initial camping trip. Establishing your individual camping place in the bush might feel more adventurous. Still, when camping with small children, you should remain closer to society in case a bear visits your campsite.

When you opt to lease a camping site, you must make your booking ahead because the more renowned campsites might fill up rapidly. Look on the internet for campgrounds near the events and routes you want to visit.

  1. You will have the option to relax or unwind

Although some corporate Alaska campers provide cable TV and Wi-Fi facilities, none of the federal campsites do. Whether you come here expecting to remain up to date on all the accouterments of technologies (or your beloved TV show), you may feel frustrated. But what if you treat your camping vacation as a time to relax and enjoy the unique stunning scenery surrounding you? It feels exciting.

  1. Keep the bears at bay

Bears are amazing animals, which doesn’t imply you should invite them with welcoming hands inside your camp. You must be capable of keeping bears away from your campground if you wish to enjoy the woods with them without causing mishaps. Below are a few suggestions:

  •     You can bypass bear highways by not camping along riverbanks or pathways.
  •     Do not even camp alone: for your safety, striving to remain close to others would be better.


These are the top 4 tips to enjoy camping in Alaska. What are you thinking of? Dive into the best experiences of camping, and cherish the moments forever. Happy camping! 



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Backpacking Gear Reviews & Guides

Why Duck Boots are Good for Hiking



are duck boots good for hiking

The quest to find the perfect hiking shoes is never-ending, so the next option we’re going to explore is Duck Boots. Duck Boots have been around for more than 100 years and they’re used for all sorts of outdoor activities, so we can’t discount them as a hiking boot. Let’s dive in a little deeper into what duck boots are, and whether they’re an ideal choice for your next hike.


A pair of Bean Boots.

The legendary Maine-made L.L.Bean Boot was designed by “L.L.” himself in 1912 and has been keeping feet dry and comfortable ever since.


What are Duck Boots?

Duck Boots, also known as Bean Boots, were created by Leon Leonwood Bean, who founded the company L.L. Bean. Bean, who got sick of wet feet during hunting trips, wanted to create a boot that would keep his feet dry while still being ideal for the outdoors. He theorized mixing together two types of boot, combining the rubber sole of a work boot with the leather upper of a casual or hunting boot.

The rubber sole would provide all the necessary protection from the elements, while the leather upper would retain the flexibility and comfort of a regular leather boot. Thus, the Duck Boot was born and became a huge success. Other brands now produce this style of boot, but you can never forget the original waterproof boots.

Related: The 7 Best Two Person Tents


A pair of Duck Boots in a puddle of water.

When choosing which hiking boots you should buy, Duck Boots should be considered for their weatherproof design.


What makes a good hiking shoe?

If you’re considering Duck Boots for use as a hiking shoe, you should first know what you’re looking for. There are so many elements to consider when searching for the perfect boot, as there is no one size fits all. Different shoes are optimized for different conditions, different situations you might encounter on the trail, so finding the right shoe isn’t an easy task.

Various terrains put different pressures on your shoes during hikes. This is why hiking boots are usually split into three main categories, each optimized for a different sort of hike. Lightweight hiking shoes (trail shoes), which resemble trainers, are essentially reinforced running shoes. They provide some support, but their main purpose is to be light and breathable while still protecting your foot.

These shoes are designed for day hikes, but they’re actually a favorite among long-distance backpackers. A sturdier shoe would provide more support, but trail shoes are a popular choice long-distance as they aren’t as heavy or constricting as other boots, while still providing enough protection to keep your feet safe and happy during a hike. The only downside of trail running shoes is their lack of ankle support, which leaves you at risk of twisted ankles and other injuries.

Related: The Top 10 New Hampshire Camping Sites

 On the other end of the scale are mountaineering boots, designed for terrains which present more of a challenge to traverse. If you’re hiking through rocky territory or icy glaciers, this type of boot provides all the necessary extra protection. They’re much more heavy-duty than hiking shoes, often warmer, water-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and provide much more support to your foot.

Backpacking boots make a compromise between the two, as they aim to keep you prepared for any terrain. For multi-day treks, this type of boot is ideal as it’s durable and supportive enough to carry you through most challenges in the backcountry.

The materials used to construct a hiking boot define it, as the wrong fabric can cause so much suffering for your feet. Finding the right combination of waterproofing and breathability, while still being a comfortable shoe, can present a challenge. That’s why we’re going to break down the material considerations you’ll need to remember when deciding is a shoe is right for hiking.

Also read: The 7 Best Louisiana Tent Camping Sites

Full-grain leather is a very durable and versatile material, so many mountaineering boots are made using this fabric. For rigorous hikes which pass through rough terrains, full-grain leather is fully protective while remaining very comfortable. It has excellent waterproof properties, as well as being warm and highly durable. However, in return for this protection, you have to deal with the increased weight of these heavy-duty boots.

You may have heard the saying “one pound on your feet equals five on your back” and this applies to full-grain leather boots. They may not feel too heavy when you try them on, but five miles down the trail you might find yourself wishing for a lighter shoe. Of course, over rough terrain, the valuable protection full-grain leather provides is well worth the weight, but you don’t need such a heavy shoe for casual hikes.

Split grain leather offers reduced protection, but is more breathable than full-grain leather. It’s still a durable material, but it’s less heavy-duty and has reduced water-resistant properties. It’s often used in combination with synthetic materials, creating a compromise between protection and comfort, and this combination is the most common choice for casual hikers.

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Various synthetic materials are used in the construction of hiking shoes, such as nylon and polyester. One benefit of synthetic materials is that they are much easier to break in than leather. These shoes feel lighter and also dry faster, but lack the water-resistant properties of leather. Of course, you can improve the water-resistance, but this can affect the breathability. Check out how to waterproof hiking boots for more information.


A pair of boots in the grass.

Different hiking boots are better suited for different terrains and it’s best to find a pair of boots that fits your adventure.


Also, depending on the type of trekking you do, hiking boots are available in different cuts and heights. Lightweight trail running shoes are often low cut, meaning they end below the ankle. This allows for a wider range of motion but leaves your ankle vulnerable to injury.

Shoes like this are best worn on well-maintained trails, where there’s less risk of trail debris and uneven terrain. Mid-cut boots offer more ankle support and better balance and protection, but the most protective style of boot is high-cut. These boots reinforce your ankle fully and are necessary for off-trail adventures.

Many hiking boots are equipped with devices that provide extra internal support, the purpose of which is to protect both your feet and the soles of your shoes on uneven terrain. One option is shanks, which are 3-5mm thick inserts sandwiched between the midsole and outsole of your boot. These add load-bearing stiffness to hiking boots, which is important to ensure you stay stable and balanced.

Shanks vary in length, some running the whole way down the boot, others just half-way. This feature makes the sole of a hiking boot less flexible, keeping your feet in a mostly flat position.

This may seem counterintuitive balance-wise, but a flexible sole allows your foot to wrap around every root and rock you step on, which can be painful, and tires you out much faster. Having a reinforced sole is a big benefit, but it could make your boot heavier; it all depends on the material the shank is made from.

Related: Top 7 Best Microspikes for Hiking

Some hiking boots feature plates as a form of internal support, which are thin and semi-flexible. These can be used in conjunction with shanks, and they protect your feet from getting bruised by anything you step on.

All hiking boots have rubber outsoles, the part of your boot which spends the most time in contact with the ground. Some have additives such as carbon, which increases the hardness of the material. This is most commonly seen in mountaineering boots for extra durability, but the extra harness of the outsole can mean they feel slick if you go off-trail.

Traction is very important in a hiking boot for obvious reasons, so make sure you get a boot with enough traction to keep you comfortable. If you’re constantly trying not to slip, the increased pressure on your muscles can be painful and even damaging, whereas a boot with a good grip will make your hike so much easier.

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So, what makes a good hiking shoe? The ideal footwear for hiking finds the right balance between comfort and protection, and this depends on your own personal hiking preferences. In general, you need a degree of protection from the elements, water resistance, comfort, and breathability. A good hiking boot should protect your foot without hindering your process, and if you make the right choice then your hikes will be so much better for it.


A girl hiking in the mountains.

Duck Boots are well-known for their water resistance and ability to be easily cleaned, but are they the best hiking boot option?


Are Duck Boots good for hiking?

Duck boots are constructed using a rubber sole and lower shoe, whilst incorporating a full-grain leather upper. This means Duck Boots have excellent water resistance. Full-grain leather is highly waterproof, as is rubber, so with these shoes, you’ll never have to worry about wet feet.

Of course, Bean Boots claim to be the “original antidote to wet feet”, so water resistance is one thing we know they’re good for. A good hiking boot should always be water-resistant, as there’s a high chance of encountering puddles, streams, and other wet terrains when you’re on the trail. There’s also always the possibility of rain, so even if you step around the puddles, your boots always need to have a good degree of water resistance. If there’s one thing Duck Boots are, it’s waterproof.

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L.L. Bean’s Duck Boots use a steel shank for additional support, and this is a great feature for a potential hiking boot. Reducing the flexibility of the sole means more protection for your feet, so this feature of Duck Boots is a big benefit. Remember, this only applies to L.L. Bean’s branded Duck Boots, as there are many other boots of the same style available which might lack this additional internal support.

Duck Boots are known for being very comfortable. Boots are the number one most important piece of equipment for a hiker, and comfort is paramount. If your hiking boots are uncomfortable, it can make you hate every minute you wear them. On the other hand, finding a pair of boots that are comfortable for you is a big first step towards having the right shoe, so regarding comfort, Bean Boots get a pass from us.

Another benefit of Duck Boots is that they’re easy to clean. This isn’t as important as other factors, but after a long hike through muddy and dirty conditions, these boots only need a quick spray from a hosepipe and they’re clean and ready to go.

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We’ve covered the benefits of wearing Bean Boots for hiking, and there are a number of reasons you might think they’re a good choice. Duck Boots are highly waterproof, very comfortable, and feature shanks which are a big help towards stability. However, there are some elements of these shoes which might mean they aren’t the best choice for hiking.


A man climbing on rocks.

While Duck Boots offer great water resistance, their ankle support is not the best which may deter some people from using them for longer hikes.


Why Duck Boots might not be the best choice

Ankle support is a big deal when it comes to hiking boots; as we explained before it can be the difference between a successful hike and a painful injury. Duck Boots are high cut, meaning they rise above your ankles. This means they do provide some support, but it’s minimal, and ideally, a hiking boot would offer more structure around the ankle. For hikers traversing rough terrain, more protection is needed, as if you miss a step in Duck Boots there isn’t much to save you from injury.

Another important thing to consider is traction. Duck boots are designed specifically to handle wet weather, and they do it very well. If you’re in wet, muddy, slushy or otherwise slippery conditions, Duck Boots are ideal, as they have plenty of traction and grip.

However, mud isn’t the only thing which hiking boots have to put up with. On the trails, the traction Bean Boots provides is considerably reduced compared to hiking boots, the difference is noticeable and unfortunately, the traction on the soles of Duck Boots just isn’t strong enough for any sort of serious hiking.

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The materials from which Duck Boots are made make them excellently waterproof. However, rubber and full-grain leather aren’t the most breathable of materials. Although they may do a good job of not letting in water from the outside, they also keep it in.

The lack of breathability here can be very uncomfortable, leading to hot and sweaty feet. This can cause blisters, and for this reason, we would not recommend them as a hiking shoe. All hikers need waterproof boots, but there are others available which won’t make you suffer.

Blisters are something which all hikers have to deal with at some point, but if your boots aren’t breathable then they’re much more likely and threaten to ruin your hike. The best hiking boots keep your feet dry while staying breathable and comfortable, so don’t make an exception here.

If you’re keen on mountaineering, then your hiking boots need to be crampon compatible, which Duck Boots are not. Crampons help with grip when scaling rocky terrain, so having a boot they work with is necessary for safety reasons.

We have no choice but to conclude that L.L. Bean’s Duck Boots are no good for hiking. Although they are comfortable and highly water-resistant, the lack of extra support and breathability means they aren’t the best hiking boot.

A boot specifically designed for hiking could offer the same level of comfort while giving you much more support on the trails. Hiking boots made from Gore-tex would provide the same level of excellent waterproofing while still maintaining breathability, so there are better options out there.


A pair of Duck Boots on a ladder in the snow.

While Duck Boots may not be the best option for hiking, they are still a great overall winter boot.


What are Duck Boots good for?

Although we cannot avoid the conclusion that duck boots are no good for hiking, they’re still an excellent outdoor shoe. Bean Boots are ideal for making your way through snow and slush, so we do recommend this style as a general winter boot.

For any outdoor activity in cold weather, these shoes are ideal, as their warmth and waterproofing will keep your feet happy, while their traction is perfect for walking in the snow. Duck Boots are much closer to snow boots or rain boots than they are hiking, so for these weather conditions, we can whole-heartedly recommend these high-quality shoes.


Other branded duck boots

L.L. Bean was the original creator of the duck boot, but other brands have made their own version. Sperry offers a shoe called the Watertown Duck Boot, and its design is very similar to the original. Sperry’s version boasts a rubber lug outsole with no-slip traction, which could mean improved grip compared to L.L. Bean’s shoe. However, this is still not a hiking sole, so it’s not ideal for outdoor adventuring.


Final Verdict:

So, are Duck Boots good for hiking? The short answer; no. Although Duck Boots make an excellent winter boot, ideal for cold and wet weather, they just aren’t up to the same standard as hiking boots in other areas. The traction Bean Boots provide is optimized for wet conditions, such as snow and slush, but it’s simply not good enough for hiking in the backcountry.

The ankle support is admittedly better than trail running shoes, but more protection is needed if you do anything other than light and easy hikes. For your next hiking trip, Duck Boots aren’t the best choice, even though they’re comfy. If you’re still looking for an outdoor shoe, you might wonder, are Timberlands good for hiking? Read our article on the subject to find out if Timberlands might be the answer you’re looking for.

Bonus tip: To learn more about L.L. Bean’s original legendary boot, check out this interesting video we found below!

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Backpacking Gear Reviews & Guides

Bob And Brad C2 Massage Gun Review/The Best Massage Gun for Sports Lovers



Massage guns have become popular in recent years as a way to help people relax and ease pain. They are especially popular among those who enjoy sports, as the massage guns can help to reduce muscle soreness after a workout resulting in faster recovery and improved performance. 

Some other benefits associated with the use of massage guns include:


Increased blood flow– Massage guns can help to improve circulation by increasing blood flow, which helps to reduce inflammation and swelling in the muscles. This is especially important for those who are involved in sports or exercise, as increased blood flow can help to repair damaged tissue faster.


Improved flexibility– Massage guns also help to improve flexibility by loosening tight muscles and tendons. This allows the body to move more freely, resulting in improved performance during physical activity.


Reduced stress– The massage gun can also help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Massaging the muscles helps to release endorphins, which are hormones that act as natural painkillers. By releasing these endorphins, people can feel less stressed and relaxed after using a massage gun.


Relieves pain– Massage guns are great for relieving pain and discomfort, as the vibration helps to loosen tight muscles and release tension. This can help to reduce pain caused by inflammation, arthritis, or other aches and pains.


Enhances performance– Massage guns can help to improve performance when it comes to physical activities, as they help to reduce muscle fatigue and soreness. This helps people perform better in their chosen sport or activity.

Why Choose the Bob And Brad C2 Massage Gun 

It’s well known that massage guns are a great way to relieve tension and soreness after a long day or workout. But with so many different massage guns on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. In this Bob and Brad C2 Massage Gun Review, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of this popular massage gun to help you decide if it’s the right one for you.


If you are an athlete or just someone looking to soothe sore and aching muscles, the Bob And Brad C2 Massage Gun is an ideal choice. This powerful massage gun is designed to provide deep tissue relief through its variety of adjustable speed settings and interchangeable massage heads. The ergonomic design allows for comfortable use during longer sessions, and the lightweight body makes it easy to transport and store. With its powerful motor, the C2 Massage Gun is capable of providing up to 3200 revolutions per minute. With five different intensity levels, this strong force helps to penetrate deep into muscle fibers and provides effective relief from soreness and pain.


The Bob and Brad C2 Massage Gun is designed to help athletes and active individuals recover faster after strenuous activity. It provides a deep-tissue massage that can reduce soreness, improve flexibility, and increase the range of motion in the body. This massage gun also comes with four interchangeable heads for various massaging techniques including a flat head for larger muscle groups, a round head for deeper tissue work, a U-shape for joint relief, and a conical head for smaller areas like the neck or hands. With this variety of massage heads, the C2 helps to target specific areas of discomfort and provides customized relief.



Overall, the Bob And Brad C2 Massage Gun is an excellent choice for those looking for a reliable and powerful massage gun that can provide effective relief from muscle soreness after exercise or long days. With its adjustable speed settings and interchangeable massage heads, it is sure to meet your needs. So if you’re an athlete or just someone looking to give their muscles some well-deserved love and attention, the Bob And Brad C2 Massage Gun is a great investment.


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