Best Winter Sleeping Bag

Are you planning on taking a camping trip in cold weather? If so, one thing you’ll need the most is a sleeping bag that handles extreme elements – a winter sleeping bag.

Those who often camp in regions with cold weather know that there’s nothing worse than going to sleep inadequately prepared. If you’re losing heat throughout the night, you can’t rest well – and having a good night’s sleep is of vital importance for outdoor enthusiasts.

In case you don’t want to read all the reviews, the Western Mountaineering Kodiak MF is our favorite winter sleeping bag.

Fortunately, this problem is quite easy to solve. All you really need is a quality sleeping bag with proper insulation, ample interior space, and good compressibility.

However, with so many different brands and models on today’s market, choosing the right winter sleeping bag for your needs can be challenging. To help you out, we’ve rounded up the market’s most popular models and analyzed their features and performance. See here for all the best backpacking sleeping bag reviews.

The Top Twelve Best Winter Sleeping Bags Reviewed

As we said, figuring out which model is right for you is the hard part. The following is a list of the market’s best winter sleeping bags, together with short but comprehensive reviews that determine each model’s benefits and downsides.

1. Western Mountaineering Kodiak MF Winter Sleeping Bag

Western Mountaineering Kodiak MF Winter Sleeping Bag

Specifications:

  • Temperature rating: 0°F
  • Weight: 2.85 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Insulation: Down
  • Fill power: 850

The combination of warmth, weight, and comfort offered by Kodiak MF is unmatched – it’s the best winter sleeping bag for a good reason.

Besides the extra roomy interior, which makes it perfect for those who need a lot of room to move around, this model also offers great thermal efficiency. The hood, on the other hand, provides plenty of loft. It is held in place by two cinch cords.

Kodiak’s shell fabric, zipper, and the drawcord are exceptionally durable and lightweight. WM’s Microlite XP fabric deserves special words of praise since it’s water-resistant and dries out very quickly.

However, the best thing about Kodiak is its warmth-to-weight ratio. The model comes with 30 oz of down, while the rest of it weighs only 15 oz.

Pros

  • Exceptional warmth-to-weight ratio
  • Very comfortable and warm
  • Water-resistant and durable

Cons

  • Expensive

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2. Nemo Sonic 0 Winter Sleeping Bag

Nemo Sonic 0 Winter Sleeping Bag

Specifications:

  • Temperature rating: 0°F
  • Weight: 2.63 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Insulation: Down
  • Fill power: 800

This new, updated version of Nemo’s Sonic model introduces a couple of novelties. These include draft collar/tubes, a better-designed foot box, as well as hydrophobic down with the fill power of 800.

The model’s generously wide cut gives the sleeper plenty of room to sprawl, turn, and toss. In addition, the elastic foot box, wide shoulder cut, and a deep hood allow one to change clothes while still in the bag.

While not as thermally efficient as WM’s Kodiak, Nemo Sonic 0 features quality shell fabric that successfully protects against rocks and sticks. Although big and roomy, the model is also very compressible. There is also a small storage pouch just outside from the draft collar.

Pros

  • Spacious and comfortable
  • Lightweight and compressible
  • Vents for temperature control

Cons

  • Could be more thermally efficient

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3. Marmot Col -20 Winter Sleeping Bag

Marmot Col -20 Winter Sleeping Bag

Specifications:

  • Temperature rating: -20°F
  • Weight: 4.08 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Insulation: Down
  • Fill power: 800

As the name suggests, this winter sleeping bag is an ideal choice for those often camping in truly foul weather. With loads of convenient features, such as vertical baffles or a tough waterproof shell, it’s one of the warmest bags on the market.

This big burly sleeping bag has a fantastic loft and insulative powers. Its cut is wide enough to accommodate layers and movements, but the extra space does not have a negative effect on the overall warmth.

However, the model’s superb durability and spaciousness come at a cost – it’s one of the heavier options out there. Still, features like the reinforced foot box or the thick, full-length draft tubes turn it into a worthwhile investment.

Pros

  • Spacious – super wide cut
  • Warm and weatherproof
  • Reinforced inside the foot box

Cons

  • Bulky and takes up lots of space

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4. Therm-a-Rest Questar 0 Winter Sleeping Bag

Therm-a-Rest Questar 0 Winter Sleeping Bag

Specifications:

  • Temperature rating: 0°F
  • Weight: 2.91 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Insulation: Down
  • Fill power: 650

This comfortable winter sleeping bag introduces a number of unique features but still comes at a reasonable price. It is, therefore, a great choice for those looking to save money.

One of the best things about Therm-a-Rest Questar 0 is that it’s an affordable model that weighs under three pounds, which is a rarity. Its hydrophobically treated down does its job well, although the bag certainly isn’t the warmest one in our roundup. Still, it provides a decent amount of warmth at a good price.

Other features worth mentioning are the Synergy Link connectors, a down-filled foot box, and a zippered pocket on the outside. All in all, those often camping in milder winter weather won’t make a mistake by going with Therm-a-Rest Questar 0.

Pros

  • Provides warmth and comfort at a reasonable price
  • Lightweight and roomy
  • Lots of unique features

Cons

  • Lower quality down

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5. Western Mountaineering Versalite 10 Winter Sleeping Bag

Western Mountaineering Versalite 10 Winter Sleeping Bag

Specifications:

  • Temperature rating: 10°F
  • Weight: 2.06 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Insulation: Down
  • Fill power: 850

The next model in our roundup is an ideal choice for ultralight winter outings. While not as weather-resistant as other bags on the list, it is sufficiently warm and feature-packed.

Western Mountaineering Versalite 10 strikes a good balance between spaciousness and thermal efficiency. There’s enough room to layer up and move around, while the big draft collar keeps the cold air out. Versalite’s snag-free zipper deserves special praise – it’s vastly better than the zippers on all other winter sleeping bags.

For its price and weight, this model is a top-of-the-line bag. Its features, such as the comfy draft collar, light shell, and good warmth-to-weight ratio are all worth the price. It’s a smart choice for those who want to move light and sleep warm.

Pros

  • Lightweight and super lofty
  • Good warmth-to-weight ratio
  • Impressive snag-free zipper

Cons

  • Not as resistant to snowmelt and rain

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6. Kelty Cosmic 0 Winter Sleeping Bag

Kelty Cosmic 0 Winter Sleeping Bag

Specifications:

  • Temperature rating: 0°F
  • Weight: 4.09 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Insulation: Down
  • Fill power: 600

For winter campers looking to save money, Kelty Cosmic 0 is a great choice. While not as compressible or lightweight as other models, it keeps the sleeper warm – and that’s the most important thing.

At 4.09 pounds, Kelty Cosmic 0 is one of the heaviest models in our roundup. However, it is thick, durable, and comes at a low price. It allows both the side and back sleepers to snuggle in comfortably, while the tight foot box efficiently maintains heat around your feet.

Kelty Cosmic 0 also has a full-length draft tube, which, when fully zippered, keeps the moisture and wind at bay. Furthermore, the hood is well-insulated, and the bag comes together with a stuff sack.

Pros

  • Comes at a bargain price
  • Efficiently maintains heat
  • Great for short backpacking trips

Cons

  • Heavy

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7. Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0F Winter Sleeping Bag

Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0F Winter Sleeping Bag

Specifications:

  • Temperature rating: 0°F
  • Weight: 2.60 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Insulation: Down
  • Fill power: 850

The next winter sleeping bag on our list is one of the more premium offerings. However, Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0F makes up for its price with a fantastic construction that provides maximum warmth and comfort.

As it uses innovative Q.Shield down, this sleeping bag is both warm and super light. What’s more, it packs very small and comes together with a proprietary compression sack.

The cutting-edge down we’ve mentioned is treated with DWR. In other words, it successfully repels water and retains warmth in wet conditions. Other features worth mentioning are the comfortable foot box, insulated draft tube, ergonomic draft collar, and an insulated hood.

Although expensive, Phantom 0F provides all you’ll need for warm and comfortable nights under the stars.

Pros

  • Provides maximum warmth
  • Weather-proof & breathable fabric
  • A number of convenient features

Cons

  • Quite expensive

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8. The North Face Inferno 0 Winter Sleeping Bag

The North Face Inferno 0 Winter Sleeping Bag

Specifications:

  • Temperature rating: 0°F
  • Weight: 2.87 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Insulation: Down
  • Fill power: 800

Although somewhat heavy and big, this interesting winter sleeping bag provides enough warmth due to its 800 fill power goose down.

The down used in its construction is actually ProDown, which has hydrophobic properties. In other words, it dries very fast and retains loft in moist environments.

Another great thing about Inferno is that it features quite a wide cut. This means that the user can easily wear more layers if needed. However, the model’s wide-cut also makes it heavier and less packable.

Inferno’s foot box, hood, and the back all use Neovent Air, which is a fabric that provides protection against humidity. Unlike regular zippers, this model’s half-length center zipper gives fewer ventilation options.

Pros

  • Comes with a wide cut
  • DWR-treated down provides warmth
  • Special fabric protects against humidity

Cons

  • Front zipper is too short

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9. Big Agnes Boot Jack 25 Winter Sleeping Bag

Big Agnes Boot Jack 25 Winter Sleeping Bag

Specifications:

  • Temperature rating: 25°F
  • Weight: 2.37 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Insulation: Down
  • Fill power: 600

Big Agnes Boot Jack 25 is a good choice for those often camping in high to mid-winter temperatures. As the name suggests, this model provides ample protection from cold at temperatures of around 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, Boot Jack 25 is also treated for maximum water protection. The model’s water-resistant shell is a very effective first barrier against humidity and moisture. Even the insulation of this sleeping bag has been treated to keep wetness and rain at bay.

As a traditional mummy bag, Boot Jack 25 also has a contoured hood and an anti-snag zipper. There are also nylon and mesh storage sacks, as well as exterior loops – it’s easy to air the bag out.

Pros

  • Lightweight and water-resistant
  • Generously insulated
  • Comes at a reasonable price

Cons

  • Not for camping in very cold climates

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10. Rab Ascent 900 Winter Sleeping Bag

Rab Ascent 900 Winter Sleeping Bag

Specifications:

  • Temperature rating: 0°F
  • Weight: 3.29 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Insulation: Down
  • Fill power: 650

If you’re on a budget and often take three or four-day trips in the cold outdoors, Rab Ascent 900 is a good choice.

In fact, this model has some killer features for the price. While not the lightest option out there, Rab Ascent 900 comes with a lofty 650 fill power duck down and a highly weather-resistant shell. In other words, this affordable model doesn’t cut corners where it counts.

Another thing we like is the spaciousness of this winter sleeping bag. You’ll have enough room to move around, whether you’re a back, stomach, or a side sleeper.

The model’s full-length draft tube keeps the cold and moisture at bay, and the stash pocket with a zipper can be used for the storage of lamps, phones, and other accessories.

Pros

  • Inexpensive but feature-packed
  • Spacious – suitable for all types of sleepers
  • Weather-resistant outer shell

Cons

  • Heavier than expected

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11. Marmot Lithium Winter Sleeping Bag

Marmot Lithium Winter Sleeping Bag

Specifications:

  • Temperature rating: 0°F
  • Weight: 2.90 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Insulation: Down
  • Fill power: 800

Marmot Lithium is a seriously warm bag. Although not waterproof or treated, its 800 fill power down provides a great sleeping experience. It really shines in terms of comfort – Marmot’s designers undoubtedly know how to do their job.

While somewhat heavy at 2.90 pounds, Marmot Lithium compresses well and is very compact when packed. Unfortunately, it’s not as weather-resistant as we’d like it to be. It keeps light moisture at bay, but it’s not a winter sleeping bag you want to use in extremely wet or cold conditions.

Nevertheless, Marmot Lithium offers a good value for the money. It’s a well-executed model that scores high marks in terms of warmth and comfort.

Pros

  • Warm and comfortable to sleep in
  • Compact when packed
  • Well-designed hood

Cons

  • Low weather resistance

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12. Sierra Designs Nitro 0 Winter Sleeping Bag

Sierra Designs Nitro 0 Winter Sleeping Bag

Specifications:

  • Temperature rating: 0°F
  • Weight: 2.70 lbs
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Insulation: Down
  • Fill power: 800

The last model in our roundup is Nitro 0 by Sierra Designs, a lightweight, comfortable, and compressible winter sleeping bag.

This model is insulated with 800 fill power down with water-resisting properties. It comes with a simple zipper draft tube and draft collar to retain your body’s heat. In addition, it sports a special foot vent – when you’re too warm at night, you can simply stick your feet out.

The combination of hydrophobic-treated down and nylon shell protects the user from mild dampness. Moreover, Nitro 0 is decently compressible and packs down into a relatively compact package.

While not the warmest or most waterproof bag in our roundup, Sierra Designs Nitro 0 is undoubtedly an attractive option for cost-conscious campers.

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Decently compressible
  • Self-sealing flap in the foot box

Cons

  • Not as warm as others

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Winter Sleeping Bag Buying Guide

The sun goes below the horizon, the stars come out, and the air turns crisp. You enter the tent and snuggle inside your winter sleeping bag. The warmth and the feeling of safety engulf you and you fall asleep, getting a good night’s rest that you need for tomorrow’s adventures.

Sleeping under the stars can be awesome, but it can quickly turn into a disaster if you don’t have the right equipment. This is particularly true if you’re often camping in cold temperatures. Without an adequate sleeping bag, you’re guaranteed to spend a miserable night.

To prevent this from happening, keep the following factors in mind when buying a winter sleeping bag:

Temperature Rating

While regional differences can’t be avoided, you won’t make a mistake by aiming for a zero-degree (0°F) winter sleeping bag. Making such a model warmer by 20 degrees is easy – you just have to use a sleeping bag liner or wear insulated clothes. This can save you quite a bit of money.

Another good thing about zero-degree bags is that they can be used in warmer temperatures, too. In such cases, one only has to loosen up the hood and crack open the zipper.

Furthermore, the packability and weight of zero-degree winter sleeping bags are quite reasonable when we compare them to their -20°F cousins. For most of them, buying a larger backpack is unnecessary.

Of course, none of this really matters if you’re someone who often camps in regions with truly freezing temperatures and foul weather. In such cases, models like Marmot Col -20 are a much better choice.

Type of Insulation

When it comes to camping in freezing temperatures, you’ll want to get yourself a sleeping bag with down insulation. After all, down insulation is the warmest insulation available by weight. It is also very compressible and easy to pack down.

The higher the fill power, the better – aim for a down fill power of at least 800. Budget-oriented models whose down fill power stands at around 600 are good too, but don’t provide as much warmth. Higher fill power means that your winter sleeping bag will be able to trap more body heat.

Camping enthusiasts often wonder which type of down is better – duck or goose down. In truth, all down is graded in the same way – it doesn’t really matter where it came from. So, 800 fill power duck down is just as good as 800 fill power goose down. The only reason behind goose down being more expensive is the smaller supply.

Must-Have Features

A good winter sleeping bag should have snag-free zippers, zipper draft tubes, and a draft collar at a minimum. Water-resistant down, vents, continuous baffles, and partial length zippers are also nice to have. However, they’re not strictly necessary – you can save some money and get by without them.

Snag-Free Zipper

With a snag-free zipper, one doesn’t have to worry about the zipper’s teeth tearing the shell fabric and letting the cold air get inside. A snag-free zipper is typically bordered by some sort of stiff fabric. This means that it won’t get snagged on the bag’s shell.

Zipper Draft Tubes

As you probably already know, draft tubes cover up the side zipper and are made of down. Their purpose is to prevent the sleeper’s legs from getting into contact with the zipper (since it’s cold). Moreover, draft tubes prevent freezing air from getting inside the sleeping bag via needle holes.

A lot of winter sleeping bags will come with a single draft tube. Some will have two, with one being at the top and the other at the bottom.

Draft Collar

For winter sleeping bags, the draft collar is essential. In simple terms, this would be a tube of insulation which drapes over the sleeper’s neck and keeps the body heat inside the bag.

When there’s no draft collar, body heat that’s trapped inside the bag escapes each time the sleeper moves around.

The simplest version of a draft collar would be a tube made of down, covering the sleeper’s chest. More expensive winter bags come with a second draft collar. This one is located at one’s neck and shoulders and can be tightened or loosened.

Here are some other sleeping bag options and related posts:

Why You Need a Winter Sleeping Bag

Camping in cold weather is completely different from camping during warm summer months – it’s as simple as that.

For that matter, using sleeping bags that were made specifically for freezing temperatures is essential. Without one, you’d be battling cold all night long, and even risk hypothermia. Fortunately, today’s market provides a myriad of options – there’s a sleeping bag for every season, including winter.

Winter sleeping bags are better insulated and provide more warmth than the standard ones. They are specifically designed to trap as much body heat as possible, as well as to provide room for other things you want to keep from freezing overnight, like water bottles or filters.

Out of twelve different models we’ve analyzed above, Western Mountaineering Kodiak MF takes the top spot. Offering a perfect balance of warmth, weight, and comfort, it’s the best winter sleeping bag money can buy.

The relatively high price of this model is entirely justified by its top-notch design and must-have features. Besides the extra spacious interior, which provides room for tossing and turning and storing essentials, Kodiak MF also has a two-way zipper that allows venting.

On top of being extremely durable, this model is also exceptionally lightweight and compressible. In other words, it provides both luxurious nights and easy transport. What more could one want?

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