Best Camping Sleep System Gear That's a Dream to Use

Whether you prefer camping on the ground or in the trees, these recommended sleep-system components are perfect for pack-weight conscious adventurers.

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May 16, 2019

Outdoor Vitals StormLOFT Down MummyPOD Sleeping Bag

Outdoor Vitals StormLOFT Down MummyPOD Sleeping Bag works great as a standard 15-degree-rated sleeping bag with 800-down fill. But when you're hammock camping, unzip the toe box, zip it around your hammock and bliss out in cocoon comfort. The multiple configurations of this bag allow it to be used as a quilt or blanket as well.

Buy It: Amazon, $279.97

MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

The MSR Hubba Hubba is a tried-and-true trail favorite of backpackers and comes in one, two and three-person sizes. The two-person size weighs less than four pounds while providing almost three square meters of floor space. The tent is freestanding (meaning you don't have to stake it) and uses one pole for a quick and straightforward setup. Use the weatherproof rain fly, or leave it off to see the stars through its top mesh.

Buy It: Backcountry.com, $449.95

Big Agnes Lost Dog 15 Sleeping Bag

Rated to 15 degrees F, the Lost Dog incorporates Big Agnes' clever Flex Pad Sleeve to keep you from rolling off your sleeping pad in the middle of the night, and a separate sleeve keeps your pillow in place. Using synthetic fill for maximum water protection, the Lost Dog weighs in at under four pounds.

Buy It: Backcountry.com, $189.95 - $209.95

Helinox Lite Camp Cot

Love backpacking light but want to stay as comfortable as possible? The Helinox Lite Camp Cot weighs less than three pounds and rolls up to five inches wide by 21 inches long. Its four leg braces provide even support in your tent or on the ground. Pair with a sleeping pad or a sleeping bag for a hotel-like stay in the wilderness with a minimum weight and space penalty.

Buy It: Backcountry.com, $249.95

MSR Thru-Hiker Mesh House

Beat the bugs with the MSR Thru-Hiker Mesh House. Weighing just 18 ounces, it sets up quickly using your hiking poles or included guy lines. Paired with the MSR Wing lightweight tarp, the bathtub flooring keeps water out. The micromesh keeps the smallest of gnats out while letting the views in.

Buy It: Moosejaw.com, $177.99

Outdoor Research Interstellar Bivy

Travel light with the four-season Outdoor Research Interstellar Bivy. Weighing just 18 ounces, weatherproof and still breathable to control condensation, this bivy sack packs small and rolls out easily to protect you and your sleeping bag from the elements. It also keeps bugs at bay with its mesh screen. One internal pole supports the top of the bag to give you plenty of headroom.

Buy It: Backcountry.com, $274.95

Grand Trunk Parachute Nylon Hammock

Get off the ground and swing in the trees with the Grand Trunk Parachute Nylon Hammock. Attaching quickly to trees or other vertical supports, this hammock weighs 20 ounces and packs into its attached stuff sack to take up little backpack space. With extra-strength materials and triple stitching, this hammock comfortably supports up to 400 pounds.

Buy It: Backcountry.com, $49.99

Cotopaxi's Sueno Sleeping Bag

Cotopaxi's Sueno Sleeping Bag uses 800-fill waterproof duck down to keep you toasty down to 15-degrees F. It weighs just shy of three pounds and can handle mild winter excursions. Its tall footbox keeps feet comfy. The two-way, anti-snag zipper on the right completely opens the bag, and the half-way left zipper allows you to sit up in the bag comfortably. It has a built-in stuff sack for easy packing and an internal pocket for your valuables.

Buy It: Cotopaxi.com, $350.00

Outdoor Research Helium Bivy

The Outdoor Research Helium Bivy weighs in at 18 ounces and packs down to the size of a water bottle. Completely zip yourself in to protect from the elements, use it with the mesh bug shield (or completely open) or a combination of both for venting.

Buy It: Backcountry.com, $178.95

Therm-a-Rest Slacker Hammock Bug Shelter

Love hammocks but hate bugs? The Therm-a-Rest Slacker Hammock Bug Shelter clips around your hammock to let the fresh air in and keep the creepy crawlies out. The large zippered entry makes getting in and out of your hammock a breeze. Guy lines can be used to keep the netting taut for maximum space.

Buy It: Backcountry.com, $79.95

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Tent

Big Agnes enjoys an excellent reputation for making sturdy, lightweight outdoor sleeping gear. Much of this rep comes with their Copper Spur HV UL Tent, a three-season, freestanding tent that weighs just three pounds (two-person model). Two zipped doors provide easy access, and gear pouches keep your items at hand. The two-pole design is quick to set up.

Buy It: Backcountry.com, $449.95

Cotopaxi's Inti 2 Tent

Cotopaxi's Inti 2 Tent features double-walled construction, two doors and two vestibules when the rain fly is used, and a freestanding design. It's three-season rated, and the removable gear loft gives you plenty of space to store small items.

Buy It: Cotopaxi.com, $450.00

Mountain Hardwear Aspect 2 Tent

Mountain Hardwear's Aspect 2 Tent comes in at under three pounds while maximizing headspace with pre-bent poles and a design that packs tight. Its three-quarters mesh canopy lets starlight in, while its featherlight rainfly goes up quickly to keep the rain out. Three stash pockets keep small items secure.

Buy It: Mountainhardwear.com, $430.00

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Sleeping Pad

Therm-a-Rest is all about making the ground less hard, and its new NeoAir UberLite Sleeping Pad does just that while staying below a pound. An easy twist valve makes inflation simple, and an insulation factor with an R-value of two makes it the warmest pad in its weight class. It deflates and rolls up small enough to fit in a jacket pocket.

Buy It: Backcountry.com, $139.95 - $209.95

Marmot Tungsten Single Tent

For those who like to travel solo, the Marmot Tungsten One-Person Tent makes the perfect companion. Simple to set up, it weighs less than four pounds (including the footprint) and uses pre-bent poles to maximize headroom and create vertical walls for more space. A smart lampshade pocket uses your headlamp to light the entire interior. Its sturdy construction withstands knocks on the trail while allowing proper ventilation.

Buy It: Marmot.com, $179.00

Big Agnes Q-Core SLX Double-Wide Inflatable Sleeping Pad

The Big Agnes Q-Core SLX Double-Wide Inflatable Sleeping Pad keeps you and your camping partner warm and comfortable or provides a luxurious sleep for a single camper. Filling the floor of most two-person tents, this pad acts as an excellent insulator and keeps you from sliding off onto the cold floor. One-way valves make inflation easy, and it weighs less than three pounds, about the same as two single pads.

Buy It: Backcountry.com, $299.95

Tentsile Connect Two-Person Suspended Camping Tree Tent

Take your hammock camping to the next level with the Tentsile Connect Two-Person Suspended Camping Tree Tent. Attaching to three points, this tent can support 880 pounds (weight can be divided up between campers if you’re backpacking). The fully functioning tent on top is rated for four-seasons and has four doors for easy entry. Keep the doors open for summer nights, or use the mesh or rain fly to create a cozy home. A center tensioning line creates effectively two side-by-side hammocks, or leave it untensioned for one big hammock. Can't find any trees? The system works well staked in the ground, too.

Buy It: Moosejaw.com, $450.00

Big Agnes Onyx UL Tarp

The simple, versatile Big Agnes Onyx UL Tarp weighs eight ounces and can be supported with your hiking poles, pitched over your hammock or tied to trees. It measures 8.5 square feet, and with its many guy-line points can be configured in several ways, from a fast sunshade to weatherproof roofing.

Buy It: Backcountry.com, $279.95

Black Diamond Distance Tent

Using Black Diamond's Carbon AR hiking poles (sold separately), this two-person, three-season tent weighs less than two pounds when packed without poles and packs down to the size of a water bottle. Designed to protect while being as light as possible, it has four stake-out points to keep it tight, and the internal headlamp pocket lights up the room. The single door has both mesh and solid flaps.

Buy It: Amazon, $299.96

Therm-a-Rest Hyperion Sleeping Bag

Rated to 20 degrees F, the Therm-a-Rest Hyperion Sleeping Bag weighs just 20 ounces and comes with 900-fill goose down coated with waterproof Nikwax. Its ThermaCapture lining reflects heat to retain heat while not increasing bulk.

Buy It: Backcountry.com, $399.95 - $439.95