- 1 How to Choose the Best Cold Weather Sleeping Bag
- 2 Check Out the Temperature Rating
- 3 Check Out the Materials
- 4 Pick Bonus Features
- 5 Why You Need a Cold Weather Sleeping Bag
- 6 The Top Thirteen Best Cold Weather Sleeping Bags
- 7 1. Hyke and Byke Down
- 8 2. Coleman Mummy
- 9 3. Coleman Palmetto
- 10 4. Farland Mummy
- 11 5. Outdoor Vitals Mummy
- 12 6. Coleman Dunnock
- 13 7. Hyke and Bkye Zero-Degree
- 14 8. Browning
- 15 9. Teton Sports
- 16 10. Rioyalo Sack
- 17 11. Wenzel Windy Pass Mummy Bag
- 18 12. Outdoor Vitals Atlas
Unlike many outdoor activities, you can camp all year round in most places – as long as you have the right backpacking gear.
While many enjoy camping in the summer, heading out hiking during the cooler months can be just as rewarding. There are fewer bugs; you won’t get overheated while hiking and nothing beats waking up to gorgeous autumn leaves and a warm cup of coffee. If camping in the cold sounds like your thing, don’t head out without the proper gear. Here’s a round-up of the best cold weather sleeping bags on the market to stop you freezing at night. (Read: Best Summer Sleeping Bags)
How to Choose the Best Cold Weather Sleeping Bag
First a word about the under appreciated sleeping pad. One of the most important bits of kit for cold weather camping is a sleeping pad. Investing in a good pad makes the difference in two main areas:
- The pad is your main protection from the ground frost or lower temperature under you
- Buying the best pad you can inside your budget will results in a better rest due to the better couching, (a must for me).
Check Out the Temperature Rating
A sleeping bag’s temperature rating dictates the lowest temperature that you will be able to keep warm in while using it, all the bags on this list are suitable for zero degree camping. Keep in mind that this rating assumes that you will be using one of the better sleeping pads and wearing warm clothing. Ratings vary by manufacturer, and everyone’s comfort levels are different, so keep that in mind while you are shopping for a cold-weather sleeping bag, but you do want the best in your budget. The temperature ratings (in Fahrenheit) are as follows:
- Winter: Ten degrees or lower
- Summer: Thirty-five degrees or higher
Check Out the Materials
Sleeping bags are typically made of three types of materials, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Goose Down: Goose down is durable, but it is also more expensive. Goose down is popular because it is excellent at helping you stay warm, making it a great option for cold weather sleeping bags. It easily compresses, making it easy to carry, but it may not be any good if it gets wet.
Synthetic: This polyester option is the least expensive. It won’t go bad if it gets wet, and it’s hypoallergenic. The only downside is that it is a little bulkier; don’t expect a synthetic sleeping bag to compact easily into your pack.
Water-Resistant Down: Although this option is the most expensive and usually the best; you get all the same benefits of a goose down sleeping bag without the risk of it getting damaged in a rainstorm. It’s like buying a sleeping bag with insurance. These normally have the best warmth to weight ratio.
Pick Bonus Features
Everyone loves bonus features, and you will be able to select a sleeping bag that has everything you need and want. Here are some of the most common bonus features that you may want to look for in a cold-weather sleeping bag.
Custom Shapes: Sleeping bags come in a variety of shapes to suit a variety of body types and needs. Some bags are shaped to trap air, some are designed to give you lots of room to move around, and the well-known “mummy” sleeping bags provide maximum warmth, but don’t offer much room to move around. The shape you choose depends on what makes you comfortable during your cold-weather camping trip.
Lining and Shell: The inside of your sleeping back should be designed to wick away sweat from your body. The outer shell should be designed to repel water. Look for these two features when choosing your cold-weather sleeping bag.
Hood: Not all sleeping bags include a hood, but hooded sleeping bags are great for cold weather because they help trap in the heat that you lose out of the top of your head, also lookout for a quality draft collar. This prevents the need to wear a hat while you sleep.
Pillow Pockets: If you want a pillow but don’t feel like dragging one along on your next camping trip, choose a sleeping bag with a pillow pocket. Just stuff some clothes in the attached slot, and you have a built-in pillow.
Why You Need a Cold Weather Sleeping Bag
It may be tempting to pull out your trusty sleeping bag that you’ve used for the past ten summers, but camping in cold weather is an entirely different ball game than camping in the summer.
Hot nights can be uncomfortable, but cold nights pose risks like hypothermia if you aren’t properly prepared. Cold weather sleeping bags are specifically designed to block out the cold and lock in your body heat to keep you safe and warm while you slumber under the stars. Take it from someone who has hiked many cold-weather routes; a cold-weather sleeping bag isn’t just a comfort; it’s a necessity for your safety and survival.
The Top Thirteen Best Cold Weather Sleeping Bags
Choosing the best cold-weather sleeping bag isn’t easy, so we’ve rounded up the top thirteen bags that will keep you nice and toasty on your winter camping adventure, without having to wear extra clothing when you go to sleep.
1. Hyke and Byke Down
This mummy-style sleeping bag from Hyke and Byke maximizes durability, warmth, and water resistance. Made of super soft duck down, this cold-weather sleeping bag will keep you warm in temperatures of ten degrees and up. Hydrophobic down is specially designed to resist moisture while providing a compact bag that’s easy to transport in backpacks. Because down sleeping bags are easily compatible, you will be able to take the Hyke and Byke bag on all of your lengthy adventures. This hooded sleeping bag will keep you warm from head to toe, and it includes a compression stuff sack to make storage and transportation easy.
• Loft technology creates air pockets that trap in heat
• Nylon shell is water and tear-resistant
• Some customers have reported problems with the zipper
• Some customers have had issues with the quality of the stitching
2. Coleman Mummy
This mummy-style sleeping bag can accommodate heights up to 6’2″. The hood is specially designed to lock in more heat, keeping you extra cozy while you slumber in the wilderness on your cold-weather camping trip. If you get too toasty, you can unzip the bottom of this sleeping bag. If you are the type of person who likes to sleep with one foot out, you will definitely appreciate this feature. If you have cold feet, this bag still saves the day thanks to its insulated foot box and quilted shell.
• Keeps you warm in zero-degree temperatures
• Can accommodate tall people
• Features snag-proof zippers
• It’s a bulkier sleeping bag
3. Coleman Palmetto
This rectangular sleeping bag is 100 percent polyester, and it will keep you warm in temperatures ranging from 20 to 40 degrees. Most people will be able to use this sleeping bag comfortably; it can accommodate heights up to 5’11”. While this sleeping bag is a little bulkier than goose down bags, it does a great job of keeping you warm in cooler weather. The tricot knit lining is either loved or hated; many people find that it traps debris from the great outdoors too easily; those with dry skin may find the interior fabric abrasive. However, this sleeping bag has several redeeming features; the comfort cuff provides a nesting spot for your face.
• Bonus features like the comfort cuff and snag-proof zippers
• Many people don’t like the interior material
• The bag is bulky
4. Farland Mummy
If you are heading to a damp climate, this sleeping bag may work well for you. It has the ability to keep you warm in temperatures as low as twenty degrees, and the weatherproof shell helps repel moisture, keeping you dry and cozy all night long. This sleeping bag is available in a multitude of colors; each camper in your group can choose a color, and sleeping bags won’t get mixed up. If you are camping with your sweetheart, you can zip two of these bags together and cuddle under the stars.
• You can zip two together
• The bag is thinner towards the feet; your feet may get cold if you don’t wear socks
5. Outdoor Vitals Mummy
The goose down mummy sleeping bags from Outdoor Vitals provides a lot of warmth for their weight. The baffled shell helps lock in heat and makes the sleeping bag lighter so you can hike farther. This sleeping bag works with the laws of heat; there is less stuffing under the back area, but more in the foot box, so you can stay warm in the places that are most vulnerable to the cold. The included compression bag helps you pack your bag away until you reach your destination.
• Water-resistant shell
• Extremely light and compact
• Issues with the drawstrings and zippers make it harder to use
6. Coleman Dunnock
Those above 6’4″ will rejoice with this sleeping bag. Aside from being perfect for tall folks, the Coleman Dunnock cold-weather sleeping bag will keep you toasty in temperatures as low as twenty degrees. This sleeping bag offers maximum softness; cotton and flannel materials work to keep you warm and cozy on your outdoor adventure. This sleeping bag is a favorite because of its bedroom-level comfort.
• The material is to die for; it’s one of the most comfortable sleeping bags available
• It’s perfect for taller people or those who like extra room
• It’s a bit bulky
7. Hyke and Bkye Zero-Degree
The mummy sleeping bag from Hyke and Byke is rated to keep you warm in temperatures as low as zero degrees. The baffled exterior helps lock in heat and makes the sleeping bag lighter, so it’s excellent if you are planning to hike long distances in cold weather. This sleeping bag is made of synthetic material, so it’s water resistant; the stuffing is designed to be as compact as down.
• Good in very cold climates
• Down-like material is compact
• The drawstrings may fray easily
The cold-weather sleeping bag from Browning is designed to keep you warm in temperatures as low as -30 degrees. If you are planning a visit to the coldest of cold climates, this may be the perfect sleeping bag for you. This sleeping bag is unique because it has multiple layers inside to provide extra warmth and insulation from harsh temperatures. This sleeping bag resembles a mummy-style sleeping bag, but it offers more space to move around. The includes compression sack makes it easy to carry on your next camping trip.
• Unique design keeps you warm and gives you extra space
• Can not be used in the spring or summer; you will have to buy another sleeping bag for warmer climates
9. Teton Sports
This mummy-style sleeping bag does an excellent job of locking in heat around cold spots. The insulated foot box ensures that your feet will stay nice and warm while you sleep. Your head, neck, and face will also stay toasty thanks to the three-piece hood. If you get cold easily, this may be the perfect sleeping bag for you. Multiple sizes and temperature ratings are available, so you can choose the option that best fits your needs.
• The hood and footbox are designed to lock in heat, so you can easily stay warm
• Compression sack included for easy carrying
• None at this time
10. Rioyalo Sack
Stay warm in temperatures as low as five degrees with the cold-weather sleeping bag from Rioyalo. The silky soft lining in this bag is designed to feel nice against your skin so you can get a restful night of sleep. This sleeping bag compresses easy and includes a compression carrying sack with straps. This sleeping bag is made of synthetic materials, so it’s okay if it gets a little wet while you are traversing damp terrains. The shell is rip-resistant, and the wind buffers help keep drafts out.
• Includes a compression sack
• Wind buffer helps keep you warm
• Many people prefer to use this bag in the summer; it may not be suitable for the extreme cold
11. Wenzel Windy Pass Mummy Bag
With a zero-degree temperature rating, this cold-weather sleeping bag is designed to be warm, comfortable, and hypoallergenic. Tall campers will enjoy the extra space that this sleeping bag provides. The shoulder collar provides extra comfort against your face, and the soft interior cradles you as you sleep. This sleeping bag comes in a nice red and gray color scheme, and it won’t show dirt as easily as lighter-colored sleeping bags. A stuff sack is included to help compress this oversized bag down to a size that’s easy to transport.
• Shoulder collar provides extra comfort
• None at this time
12. Outdoor Vitals Atlas
This baffled sleeping bag from Outdoor Vitals locks in heat and will keep you warm in temperatures as low as five degrees. This sleeping bag is made of a highly-compressible, synthetic material that rivals down. It’s waterproof and ultra-light, so you can take it wherever you decide to roam.
• Includes water-resistant technology
• Comes with a lifetime warranty
• May be too snug for some people
If you are planning a camping adventure in the great outdoors, you need a sleeping bag that is going to keep you warm, comfortable, and safe from hypothermia, wind, and moisture. Whether you are an avid prepper or a camping enthusiast, it’s important to have a quality cold-weather sleeping bag on hand that you can take along on your journey.
While all of these sleeping bags can provide you with warmth and comfort, the best sleeping bag on this list is undoubtedly the Outdoor Vitals Summit Sleeping Bag. The down material is highly compressible, and the shell is water-resistant. Overall, the pros outweighed the cons of this sleeping bag, and it provides you with a lot of warmth at a very low weight. The baffled exterior adds to the lightness of the bag, and it includes an insulated foot box to keep your feet toasty in the coldest of temperatures.
This bag also has a lifetime warranty so you can replace it if something goes awry on your trip into the wild. The best part about this sleeping bag is that you can zip two of them together. It’s the perfect option for couples who want to spend a romantic weekend in the wilderness.