For summer camping, it’s pretty easy to find a sleeping bag that will keep you toasty and warm for under $50.
Finding a budget sleeping bag for winter camping is much tougher.
In this article, I’ll be reviewing the Abco Tech – a highly popular 4-season sleeping bag.
Its price is very attractive to those on a budget, but is it really warm enough for camping in the snow?
Let’s find out…
Abco Tech Sleeping Bag Review
There are two ways you can look at the Abco Tech sleeping bag.
You can compare its performance to what the manufacturer claims – a waterproof sleeping bag made from high-quality materials that will keep the average sleeper warm at 20°F (-7°C). Or you can look at its performance in relation to its price.
I wouldn’t expect to be able to buy a waterproof winter sleeping bag for under $35.
And neither should you – whatever the manufacturer claims.
What you do get with the Abco Tech sleeping bag is a comfortable, relatively lightweight synthetic bag that will keep you warm during late spring, summer and early fall.
It can be fully unzipped to use as a blanket when you’re sat out around the campfire and as it’s machine washable, you don’t have to worry about getting rid of that smoky campfire smell.
For a super budget friendly sleeping bag this makes it an exceptionally good value.
However, it’s worth noting that it’s narrower than most sleeping bags and if you have a larger stature, you may find it confining or struggle to fully zip it up.
Size: Smaller Than Average
Usually, when I see rectangular sleeping bags, I assume they’ll be roomier than mummy shaped bags.
The Abco Tech bag is a bit of an exception to this rule.
It’s 86 inches long (including the hood) so even tall people won’t have any trouble with the length but unlike most rectangular bags, which are around 32-33 inches wide, the Abco is only 29 ½ inches wide.
This makes it a tight fit for larger adults.
On the plus side, the smaller size makes it a great choice for smaller adults and kids.
Fill and Fabric: Polyester
The Abco Tech is a synthetic sleeping bag with polyester fill and lining.
It claims to be waterproof, but I can’t see how any fabric at this price point could be both waterproof and breathable, so I’d suggest not sleeping out in a rainstorm with it.
Some users reported issues with the zipper breaking and the fabric tearing.
Bearing in mind this is a budget sleeping bag, you can’t expect super high-quality materials (whatever the manufacturer says!).
You can treat budget sleeping bags one of two ways.
Either you take extra care to look after it because it’s more likely to get damaged easily, or you treat it rough and accept that you may end up having to replace it.
On a more positive note, the Abco Tech has a good level of fill to keep you warm and the polyester liner is soft and comfortable.
It also feels surprisingly light for a synthetic bag.
Seasons: More of a 3 Season Sleeping Bag
Although it’s rated as a 4-season bag, it doesn’t meet my definition of a 4-seasons.
This doesn’t mean you can’t use it in winter – if you’re a hot sleeper then you may find it fine – but most people are likely to need some extra layers to stop them from getting cold during the night.
However, it is warmer than it looks and if you’re sleeping in temperatures in the higher 30s or 40s, you shouldn’t have any problem staying warm all night.
If you want to use it all year round, then one option is to pull on a hat and some extra clothes or add a sleeping bag liner to the mix.
The sleeping bag comes with a useful compression sack.
It’s pretty easy to stuff the sleeping bag into the sack and the straps help reduce the size a little but as with any warm synthetic bag, it’s bulky.
If you are planning to take this hiking and it won’t fit in your backpack, I can recommend getting a waterproof compression sack to keep it dry.
The Abco Tech sleeping bag has a basic rectangular design with a hood that you can pull in tight using a drawstring.
It doesn’t have draft tubes around the neck and along the zipper, which surprises me considering it’s supposed to be a 4-season bag.
Draft tubes help stop height leaking out of the bag and would be a nice addition.
The zip runs all the way around the feet, so you can open the bag up fully to create a blanket – useful in warmer weather or if you want to use two sleeping bags together for extra warmth.
Synthetic sleeping bags are much easier to clean than down bags.
As long as you follow a few simple precautions you should have no problems washing and drying the Abco Tech bag.
For all its faults, the Abco Tech sleeping bag is fantastic value for money.
If you’re looking for a budget sleeping bag for occasional camping use in mixed weather conditions then it’s a great option.
Alternative 4-Season Sleeping Bags
If you want a sleeping bag that will keep you warm in the coldest of winters, check out these alternatives to the Abco Tech sleeping bag.
On a Budget? Coleman North Rim Adult Mummy Sleeping Bag
The North Rim is another budget sleeping bag only slightly more expensive than the Abco Tech.
But whereas the Abco Tech is more of a 3-season bag, the North Rim is specifically designed for cold weather.
It has a mummy-shaped design (common for cold weather bags) with a full-length draft tube to prevent heat from leaking out through the zipper.
There’s also a neck baffle and adjustable hood to keep your head warm.
For a budget sleeping bag, it’s incredibly warm and should keep you cozy when camping in the 20-30°F temperatures.
The only downside is that it’s very heavy and bulky so not great for backpacking.
For Backpackers: Hyke and Byke Eolus 0 Degree Ultralight Mummy Bag
This lightweight winter bag weighs just 3 lbs and packs down small enough for even ultralight backpackers.
It’s filled with 800 fill power goose down which gives it an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio.
It has a survival rating of 0°F and a comfort rating of 30°F.
You rarely get this high a fill power on sub-$200 sleeping bags which makes the Eolus a bit of a bargain.
It’s also got a water-repellent ripstop nylon outer fabric, a solid zip, and a decent hood.
Even better for those of you who aren’t ‘average’ size, it comes in three different lengths.
If you want to try some winter backpacking, it’s worth paying extra for this lightweight, warm bag. Check the current price here...
For Taller Folks: Kelty Cosmic 0 Degree
If you’re tall, it can be frustrating to find a sleeping bag that’s long enough for you to stretch out in.
The long version of the Kelty Cosmic 0 Degree bag is designed to fit people up to 6 ft 6 inches in height.
It’s filled with 600 fill power DriDown – down that’s been treated with a hydrophobic finish.
Put simply, it helps the feathers resist water and creates a better loft (or ‘fluffiness’).
It has a lower limit rating of 5°F (-15°C) but should keep even cold sleepers warm well below freezing (30°F).
Wrapping It Up…
I’m going to cut to the chase. The Abco Tech sleeping bag isn’t a 4-season bag unless you live in a place that has very mild winters.
But for $35 I wouldn’t expect to get a true 4-season bag.
What you do get is a sleeping bag that’s likely to keep you warm during summer and late spring/early fall.
It’s relatively lightweight and you can chuck it in the washing machine if it gets dirty.
And – let me repeat this – it’s LESS THAN $35.
If you want a sleeping bag that’s guaranteed to keep you warm through the winter, you’re going to have to dig a little deeper into your pockets.
But if you’re on a tight budget, you could do a lot worse than the Abco Tech sleeping bag.