Because of extreme weather conditions, winter camping can become deadly if you don’t take proper precautions. It can turn critical and become a matter of life or death. So, a cold-weather sleeping bag is not just for comfort, it’s for your survival as well.
When you’re getting ready for your next winter adventure, your sleeping bag is your main priority. Whether you’re buying one for the first time or upgrading your older bag, it doesn’t hurt to get recommendations. The more you look for the
Here are our reviews for the best sleeping bag for cold weather so that you can compare the models and choose the right one for yourself. If you have trouble finding one, our buying guide can help to factor in your wants and needs.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the land of winter sleeping bags.
Coleman North Rim 0 Degree Sleeping Bag
Combining great features with a reasonable price, the Coleman North Rim 0 Degree is one of the cheapest cold weather sleeping bags out there.
The bag comes with 100% polyester fill and will keep you warm in conditions as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17C). It also has a semi-sculpted hood that can be tightened by a drawstring trapping the heat inside. It can accommodate up to 6 feet 2 inches in height and the bottom can be unzipped as well. A handy trick if you like to sleep with one foot out. Although no need to be afraid of cold feet, as it comes with an insulated foot box and quilted shell.
The high-quality features at an affordable price made the Coleman North Rim one of the most popular sleeping bag choices currently in the market.
- Ultimate Value for Money
- Zipplow System for Snag-Proof Zippers
- Maximum Ventilation and Comfort
- A Good Option for Car Camping
Bulky Option for Backpacking
Browning Camping McKinley -30 Degree Sleeping Bag
Want a larger size sleeping bag with extra warmth? Then check out this Browning Camping McKinley -30 Degree Sleeping Bag.
With the 7 denier TechLoft Silver insulation and the two-layer construction, you’ll keep warm even during extreme weather. The extremely durable 210T nylon shell with a brushed polyester liner
will protect you from harsh temperatures. The bag is 36 inches wide and 90 inches long to comfortably move around. But it’s still cozy enough with a contoured hood to trap in maximum heat and prevent unwanted cold spots.
The Browning McKinley comes with a compression stuff sack and roll-up straps for easy transportation. Overall, with McKinley, you’ll be getting the warmth of a mummy bag without the constraints.
- Unique Design for Ultimate Warmth and Extra Space
- Ideal for Winter Camping Or Hunting Trip
- Maximum Insulation, Loft, and Compactness
- Extremely Affordable
- Only Suitable for Extreme Cold Weather
Hyke & Byke Snowmass 0 Degree F 650 Fill Power Hydrophobic Down Sleeping Bag
Specially Catered Towards Hikers And Bikers, The Hyke And Byke Snowmass 0 Degree Sleeping Bag Is Perfect For Cold Weather Backpacking.
The 650-Fill-Power Down Mummy-Style Sleeping Bag Offers Superior Weight-To-Warmth Ratio And Keep You Warm In 10 Degrees And Above. You’ll Remain Warm And Dry With Its Hydrophobic Down Insulation And The Water Repellent 400T 20 D Ripstop Nylon Fabric Liner. Also, The Double Large YKK Zippers And Anti-Snag Slider, Wide Shoulders And Large Footbox, Snag-Free Velcro And Drawstring Add More Durability To The Sleeping Bag.
The Snowmass 0 Degrees Comes In Three Sizes – Short, Regular And Long. With the Compression Stuff Sack Case, You Can Easily Store The Bag In A Small Place. Not Only Just Comfort, but it Also Offers Huge Value For Money. You’ll Get A Lightweight But Durable Winter Sleeping Bag With More Space To Save.
- Loft Technology for Trapping Heat
- Water Repellent and Tear-Resistant Nylon Shell
- More Durability Under Compression and Moisture Resistance
- Fantastic Budget Winter Sleeping Bag
- Lesser Construction Quality
Marmot Col Sleeping Bag: -20 Degree Down
The Marmot Col -20 is one of the warmest cold-weather sleeping bags ideal for expeditions/mountaineering.
The bag is packed with 800-fill down and can keep you warm down to -20 degrees F (-29 degrees C). The waterproof breathable fabric shell makes it weatherproof and durable. Despite being a mummy bag, the inside is very spacious and comfortable. The foot box and hood both come with insulation so you won’t be losing any sleep over cold spots. The best design is perhaps the glow-in-the-dark zippers and drawcords. This ingenious feature will help you spot zippers and pull them without snagging even on the deepest darkest nights.
The Marmot Col -20 Sleeping Bag is mostly suited for long winter trips where warmth, comfort, and resilience take priority. The price may seem a bit steep but it’s worth it for getting the premium level features with this bag.
- Super Wide Cut
- Most Weather Resistant
- Hidden Pocket for Stashing Nighttime Essentials
- Reinforced Footbox to Handle Extra Damage from Boots
- Slightly Expensive
The North Face Inferno -20 Sleeping Bag
The North Face Inferno -20 remains true to its name, as you’ll be hot as hell inside the sleeping bag. Designed for expeditions in extreme sub-zero conditions, you’ll be able to weather out even arctic storms.
With its 800-fill-power ProDown, you can brave out brutal cold, going as low as -20 degrees F (-29 degrees C). The Inferno -20 enhances warmth by drying faster and repelling moisture up to ten times longer than others. It’s also full of unique designs such as trapezoidal side baffle preventing you from slipping down, center zipper for easier access, etc. The full draft collar and integrated draft overlap prevent heat loss. Moreover, the water-resistant Neovent Air fabric on hood, foot box and back keep the insulation dry even when touching wet walls.
There’s also an internal insulated pocket where you can stash essential items. The Inferno -20 comes with a compression sack and storage sack which come in handy while transporting. However, if you want something more extreme than this, check the North Face Inferno -40, which comes with the same features but at even lower temperature rating.
- Hydrophobic Finish for Improved Warmth
- Highly Water and Weather Resistant
- Wider Cut Allows To Wear More Layers
- Compression Sack and Storage Sack Included
- Zippers Too Short for Some
NEMO Sonic 0 Sleeping Bag
NEMO Sonic 0 is popular for its increased packability and warmth, along with the versatile features.
If you’re a light sleeper and have trouble getting easy sleep, then NEMO Sonic 0 is for you. The extra space gives you room to toss and turn at night and even stash necessities inside the bag. The stretchy fabric construction at the knee areas allows you side sleeping. The unique zippered vents design lets you zip down and ventilate your body on warmer nights. And for freezing nights, just tighten the drawstrings and the thermally efficient bag will take care of the rest.
800-fill-power hydrophobic down and the nylon shell fabric plus nylon taffeta lining featuring DWR treatments make this bag durable and water-resistant. Even though the temperature rating is at 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C), the NEMO Sonic 0 has been tested to have a lower limit of -1 degrees F.
Indeed a perfect sleeping bag designed for cold outdoor adventure.
- Spacious But Lightweight
- Unique Design for Warming Up Or Cooling Off
- Versatile and Comfortable Features
- Breathable and Waterproof Footbox with Synthetic Insulation
- Less Well-Insulated Than Other Models
REI Co-op Down Time 0 Down Sleeping Bag
REI is famous for its high-performance sleeping bags, and their Co-op Down Time 0 Down Sleeping Bag is no exception to that. It offers premium features at a reasonable price.
This mummy-shaped bag is pretty lightweight and has enough room to move around. It’ll save you from temperature as low as 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C) with its 650-fill-power down insulation. The ripstop nylon shell has a durable water repellent (DWR) finish and keeps the bag dry and lofty even in damp conditions. Contoured hood, oversized insulated face muffler, and full-length draft tube trap the heat from escaping and prevent the cold from entering.
Also, you can adjust the drawcords of the hood or the muffler in the dark matching your comfort level. The sleeping bag comes with pad loops where you can attach your bag with the pad to prevent rolling off onto the cold ground.
- Perfect All-Around Bag for Camping
- Easy To Access Snag-Free Zippers
- Comfortable and Thermally Efficient
- Stuff Sack and Nylon Mesh Storage Bag Included
- Some Quality Control Issues
Western Mountaineering 10 Degree Versalite Sleeping Bag
This Western Mountaineering 10 Versalite is versatile plus ultralight, making it a perfect choice for winter backpacking.
Packing 850+-fill-power down, the Versalite has an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio and keeps warm down to 10 degrees F(-12 degrees C). The mummy shape adds warmth but doesn’t feel restrictive. Also, it comes in short, regular and long size, the long size accommodates up to 6’6’’. So if you’re having trouble finding a proper sleeping bag to fit your height, you should definitely check this out.
The YKK snag-free zippers, insulated draft tube, and the warm draft collar increase warmth and comfort. It’s also lightweight and well-compressed for superior packing. Western Mountaineering’s ExtremeLite shell with taffeta inside adds more durability, but this is not well-suited for extreme conditions. The Versalite is targeted for winter backpacking where you’d be carrying your own gear so being lightweight is the main concern.
- Excellent Ultralight Design
- High Warmth-To-Weight Ratio
- Narrow Cut for Thermal Efficiency and Weight-Save
- Can Be Used As 3 Seasons Bag
- Not Suitable for Extreme Weather
Marmot Ouray 0 Sleeping Bag – Women’s
Women generally have differently shaped bodies and tend to sleep colder than men. Sure men’s sleeping bags work well for women, but specially designed women’s sleeping bags work wonders.
The Marmot Women’s Ouray 0 is a great choice in this regard due to its smaller size and extra insulation.
The bag offers an increased room at hips, decreased room at shoulders and a wraparound foot box with added insulation and comfort. The 650-fill-power down insulation is water-resistant and the durable nylon shell has a water repellent finish, making the bag weatherproof and resilient. The YKK 2-way zippers are snag-free and the fold-down second zipper provides more ventilation if you’re feeling hot. Having a temperature rating of 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C), the Marmot Women’s Ouray has been tested to have a lower limit of -12.3 degrees F.
It’s one of the best women’s cold weather sleeping bags out there, but smaller men and children can also use this bag comfortably.
- Designed to Fit A Woman’s Body
- Increased Ventilation and Easy Access Zippers
- Nautilus Multi-Baffle Hood for Warmth and Comfort
- Includes Stuff Sack and Large Storage Bag
- Heavier Than Similar Models
TETON Sports Mammoth Queen-Size Double Sleeping Bag
If you are looking for a winter family bag but under a tight budget, then look no further! The TETON Sports Mammoth Double Sleeping Bag is the one for you.
The bag comes with SuperLoft Elite fiber fill, double-layer construction, and soft poly-flannel lining. You’ll be super comfortable and warm for a whole night’s sleep with the lowest rating being 0 degrees F(-18 degrees C). The half-circle mummy-style has drawstrings so you can keep the cold out and the warmth in. The anti-snag zippers unzip the sleeping bag on both sides giving you easy access and maximum airflow.
This Mammoth sleeping bag also comes with a compression sack where you can just stuff the whole bag inside and no need to roll it beforehand. The bag comes in a double size but a family of four consisting of little children can easily fit inside.
For family winter camping, the TETON Sports Mammoth Sleeping Bag is the ultimate choice.
- Cheapest Double Sleeping Bag
- Great for Family Camping
- Sturdy But Soft Outer Layer
- Multiple Color Options
- Heavy and Bulky
Cold weather sleeping bags may look all similar at a glance, but there is a huge variety when you get to know more about them. A good night’s sleep and your survival both depend on the sleeping bag you’ll be using. The best sleeping bag for cold weather is able to keep you alive and comfortable even in extreme conditions with its variety of ingenious designs.
To find that bag, first, you need to know what factors make a sleeping bag great.
The temperature rating of a sleeping bag indicates the lowest temperature at which you’ll be able to keep warm while using it. Most manufacturers don’t use a standard rating system and it varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Also, everyone’s body temperature and comfort levels are different. Moreover, various factors like gender, age, fitness, environment, sensitivity, etc affect your body temperature while sleeping. However, nowadays many major brands use the European Norm (EN) 13537 Testing Protocol for labeling sleeping bags. You should be wearing warm clothes and using sleeping pads even with the cold weather sleeping bags. As experts suggest purchasing a sleeping bag rated at least 5-10 degrees below the average temperature you will be using your sleeping bag in.
The temperature rating is not an exact science but for easy identification, you can search for two seasons or three seasons sleeping bags:
2 Season Sleeping Bags
Summer sleeping bags are recommended for warmer weather from temperatures 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius). These are recommended if you are using sleeping bags in warmer weather only.
3 Season Sleeping Bags
These sleeping bags are ideal for temperatures around 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 degrees Celsius) and above. Most 3 season sleeping bags feature a drawstring hood, draft collars, and zipper draft tubes. These sleeping bags are actually perfect for all seasons meaning all sorts of climates.
Cold Weather Sleeping Bags
Also called winter sleeping bags. These are only suitable for extreme climate ranging from 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 degrees Celsius) and below. For extreme winter mountaineering and/or expeditions, cold weather sleeping bag is a must to survive.
Insulation is responsible for keeping you warm as it directly influences temperature rating and warmth. Better insulated sleeping bags trap the body heat inside and keep your body warmer at night. Generally, three types of materials are used as insulation for sleeping bags. These options include both advantages and disadvantages:
Down offers the best warmth to weight ratio. Also, it’s more durable and lighter, making it easier to carry. That’s why it’s a great choice for cold-weather sleeping bags. However, down is an expensive material and if it gets wet, it loses its insulation ability.
Synthetic sleeping bags are commonly made from polyester and the least expensive option. The material is durable and better for people suffering from allergies. Even it gets wet, the bag dries easily too. The only downside is it takes much space and bulkier, so harder to pack down.
It combines the better of the two worlds. You’ll get a lighter, warmer, portable sleeping bag but it won’t get damaged even with getting damp. To get the exclusive benefits, you have to pay a premium price as well. Other than that, this the best insulation option for sleeping bags.
For winter backpacking/camping trip, ultralight and portable gear is a must. This extends to sleeping bags as well, because a lightweight and easy to pack sleeping bag will save you lots of time and energy during the trip. Light sleeping bags tend to have less insulation fill, but you can’t compromise with warmth either. Heavy and bulky sleeping bags will provide you with much heat but is a liability to carry. You need to find the perfect balance between lightweight, comfort, and warmth. Actually, high quality down (800 or more) has a lower temperature rating plus lower weight. But it’ll cost more than average sleeping bags.
So, you need to decide if you want to invest more in a sleeping bag or go with a heavier option. Whether you feel comfortable with a light bag or a bulky bag, that completely depends on your personal preference.
Sleeping bags remain warm by trapping the air around your body and the less space there is, the warmer you can be. So, the shape of the bag is to be considered seriously while selecting a cold-weather sleeping bag.
The bags come with a variety of shapes so that you can select according to your body type and preference. The most common types out in the market are rectangular and mummy bags. Rectangular bags are more comfortable as there’s more space to move around and less restrictive. But more space means less warmth and they are more suitable for mild weather trips.
Mummy sleeping bags are mummy-shaped as in you’d literally be positioned similar to mummies. These bags are restrictive and you won’t be able to move at all. Although, for cold-weather mummy bags are the most suitable. They come with hoods and provide the most warmth.
If you’re looking for comfort, go for a rectangular shape. However, mummy bags will actually keep you alive in extremely cold weather. You can also look for other specialized shapes. For instance, women’s bags are designed to match their body contour and come with extra insulation in the body and foot area.
Good quality winter sleeping bags also offer many bonus features to increase comfort and warmth. Here, let’s look at some additional features you may want to consider before buying:
Camping in cold temperatures, people lose a lot of heat if their heads are uncovered. The best cold weather sleeping bags come with a built-in hood with a drawcord. The hood preventing the heat from radiating away keeps warm of your head along with your body.
Most sleeping bags come with different zipper lengths. Often they have two zippers so that they can be easily opened from the inside and the outside of the bag. With full-length zippers, you can completely open the bag and it is ideal for ventilation. Short length zippers give you less flexibility and open at just halfway. Zippers getting caught in the way and breaking down frequently will make your camping experience a nightmare. So, good quality zippers are a must. For winter camping, strong and durable zippers are ideal.
Shell and Lining
The outside material of the sleeping bag is called the shell, while the inside material is called the lining. The shell should be designed to repel water and the lining should be designed to disperse your sweat during the night. Polyester or nylon breaths and draws away moisture and cotton/flannel increase comfort but it won’t draw away moisture. So, you’ll be left feeling wet. Nowadays, many synthetic fill sleeping bags offer a shell fabric with a durable water repellent (DWR) finish.
Some sleeping bags come with a small pocket which can be converted into a pillow. Stuffing some soft clothes inside the pocket, you’ll get a built-in pillow. If you can’t sleep without a pillow but can’t bring one to your camping trip either, this can be a nice alternative. You’re getting not only comfort but also extra warmth for your head.
An insulated collar around the opening of the sleeping bag to limit the amount of cold air that enters the bag. It is perfect for cold weather sleeping bags, as it’ll ensure the bag stays warm and the heat doesn’t escape from the bag.
It’s the space at the bottom of a sleeping bag. If you sleep on your sides or turn over a lot at nights, then look for a more spacious foot box. Some bags also come with extra insulated foot box so that your feet remain warm.
It protects the sleeping bag from ground frost or low temperature. It works as a layer between your sleeping bag and the cold ground thus adding better insulation. Investing in the best and lightest sleeping pad, you’ll be getting more warmth and comfort for sure.
The best sleeping bag for cold weather isn’t just one bag. Different models serve different purposes and there’s one for everyone. The sleeping bag which covers your requirements, budget, and preference – all three is the right one for you.
Hopefully, our discussion helped you learn what you need in a sleeping bag and where to find it. If you are still feeling unsure, why not give a shout-out to us? We’d love to hear from you!