October 9, 2021

7 Best Winter Sleeping Bags

October 9, 2021

7 Best Winter Sleeping Bags

If you want to face the cold without any fuss in the wild, you must have the best winter sleeping bags. These sleeping bags often contain down insulation to optimal warmth generation and preservation. They also have a sturdy construction, which often features rugged waterproofing. 

Numerous winter sleeping bags exist today. To avoid further confusion, I've listed some of the most effective sleeping bags when it comes to below-zero conditions in the list below. Check them out now. 

7 Best Winter Sleeping Bags

 Temperature Rating Insulation Type
Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 0 Sleeping Bag 0 degrees FahrenheitDown
Marmot CWM Sleeping Bag -40 degrees FahrenheitDown
Mountain Equipment Iceline Sleeping Bag -22 degrees FahrenheitDown
Marmot Never Summer 0 Sleeping Bag 0 degrees FahrenheitDown
NEMO Tempo 20 Sleeping Bag 20 degrees FahrenheitSynthetic
Sea to Summit Spark Ultralight 5F Sleeping Bag 5 degrees FahrenheitDown
Mountain Hardwear Phantom GORE-TEX 0 Sleeping Bag 0 degrees FahrenheitDown

1. Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 0 Sleeping Bag

PRODUCT LINK

Tailored to withstand the frigid regions, the Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 0 is a highly reliable sleeping bag for most outdoor adventures. It features a 650-fill-power down, which is composed of 80 percent down and 20 percent feather. It is so cozy and fluffy that it gives you the similar comfort that you get from your bedroom. Of course, the down meets the Responsible Down Standard, which guarantees that this has an animal-friendly construction. The interior has a premium lining that is exceptionally soft to the skin. 

Moreover, this sleeping bag is light and highly compressible. It is suitable for expeditions and alpine hikes because of its innate portability. Its Performance Plus Mummy construction enables it to conform closely to your body shape. But at the same time, the bag isn't that restrictive; there's still some space for your body to move around. Meanwhile, the fabrics of this sleeping bag received a durable water repellent finish to shed stains and moisture. It has a stuff sack, too, for more accessible transport. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Temperature rating - 0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested lower limit - 0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested comfort - 13 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weight - 3 pounds 
  • Shell material - Ripstop nylon
  • Insulation type - Down
  • Fill material - 650-fill-power down (80% down; 20% feather)
  • Lining - Plain weave nylon
  • Shape - Mummy

2. Marmot CWM Sleeping Bag

PRODUCT LINK

Tackling severe winter settings is possible with the Marmot CWM Sleeping Bag. This winter sleeping bag features an 800-fill-power goose down to exude insulation and protection against the cold weather. This sleeping bag can keep you safe in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. The bag also includes a proprietary Pertex Shield waterproof shell that protects the down dry and unscathed. The shell is also breathable, which allows the lofting of the down to be preserved. 

The Marmot CWM Sleeping Bag also features a cross-baffle architecture. The latter prevents the down from shifting, which, in turn, removes any possibility of cold spots. Its wraparound foot box optimizes the warmth that your lower body can feel. Furthermore, it is spacious enough for your feet to lay as naturally as possible. A nautilus hood also ensures that the down will remain in place even if you move around while you sleep. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Temperature rating - -40 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested lower limit - No information available
  • Tested comfort - No information available
  • Weight - 4 pounds
  • Shell material - Pertex Shield 2-layer ripstop nylon
  • Insulation type - Down
  • Fill material - 800-fill-power goose down
  • Lining - Pertex Microlight ripstop nylon
  • Shape - Mummy

3. Mountain Equipment Iceline Sleeping Bag

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The Mountain Equipment Iceline Sleeping Bag has a tried-and-tested reputation when it comes to freezing outdoor applications. Designed for backpacking and mountaineering purposes, the Iceline Sleeping Bag has a temperature rating of -22 degrees Fahrenheit. You can remain warm and safe here, even below-zero degree situations. It also features the Gore-Tex Infinium 10-denier exterior shell. It is highly rugged but light enough for hassle-free packing and compression. The fabric is also breathable and can protect you from condensation. Even the hood lining and foot box are made from this said fabric. 

Its insulation features the use of 800-fill-power goose down that features a down-to-feather ratio of 90/10. The said down is derived from a Down Codex-approved European goose down manufacturer. Moreover, it includes an expedition fit with the proprietary EXL system. This made the sleeping bag extra roomy without sacrificing any thermal efficiency. It can remain comfortable even if you stay inside it for extended periods.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Temperature rating - -22 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested lower limit - No information available
  • Tested comfort - No information available
  • Weight - 3 pounds
  • Shell material - Gore-Tex Infinium nylon
  • Insulation type - Down
  • Fill material - 800-fill-power goose down
  • Lining - Gore-Tex Infinium nylon / Ultrasoft nylon
  • Shape - Mummy

4. Marmot Never Summer 0 Sleeping Bag

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The Marmot Never Summer 0 Sleeping Bag has a name that simply catches attention. This sleeping bag is crafted for expeditions where you are expecting subzero weather conditions. After all, it features a water-resistant, 650-fill-power duck-down insulation. It is also equipped with a Down Defender to ensure that the elements won't compromise the insulating material. Furthermore, its rugged nylon shell features a water-repellent finish to shed off condensation, snow, and water. Of course, there's a guarantee that the down used on this sleeping bag complies with the Responsible Down Standard. 

Interestingly, the anatomic wraparound footbox of the Marmot Never Summer Sleeping Bag maximizes the room and insulation that your feet receive. During cold nights, it can keep your lower extremities comfortable and free from frostbites. The sleeping bag is also equipped with a collar filled with down for added comfort in your neck region. Its nautilus multi-baffle hood ensures that your head gets the insulation and coziness it deserves. There's also a snag-free YKK two-way zipper that blocks cold air from entering the bag. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Temperature rating - 0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested lower limit - -4.7 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested comfort - 9.5 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weight - 3 pounds
  • Shell material - Mini ripstop nylon
  • Insulation type - Down
  • Fill material - 650-fill-power goose down
  • Lining - Nylon plain weave
  • Shape - Mummy

5. NEMO Tempo 20 Sleeping Bag

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One of the best winter sleeping bags for women today is the NEMO Tempo 20. It has an innovative design, as it caters to side sleepers primarily. Its patented Spoon shape construction enables it to provide sufficient space for sleepers without compromising its thermal efficiency. The said shape provides spacious cuts on the knees and elbows to support sleepers who can change positions as comfortably as possible. 

Among all the sleeping bags here, this one isn't designed to handle sub-zero temperatures. At the same time, it uses synthetic fill instead of down. Of course, that's not a bad thing since the sleeping bag still has a temperature rating of 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The insulation provides warmth without being too heavy. It is also compressible, which makes it ideal for backpacking purposes. The exterior shell has a durable water repellent finish that effectively resists the elements. Interestingly, the sleeping bag features an integrated pillow pocket where you can stuff your clothes and gear. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Temperature rating - 20 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested lower limit - 12 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested comfort - 23 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weight - 3 pounds
  • Shell material - Ripstop polyester
  • Insulation type - Synthetic
  • Fill material - Stratofiber synthetic fiber 
  • Lining - Polyester taffeta
  • Shape - Semi-rectangular

6. Sea to Summit Spark Ultralight 5F Sleeping Bag

PRODUCT LINK

The Sea to Summit Spark Ultralight 5F Sleeping Bag is a suitable option for early and mid-winter use. It has a construction that can handle demanding adventures that would test the limits of your gear's durability. It has sufficient insulation, as it features an 850-fill-power down. It has no problems providing comfort and warmth during the cold season. The sleeping bag has been baffled, too, so that insulation won't diffuse, which, in turn, can result in cold spots. 

The exterior shell of this sleeping bag utilized 10-denier nylon. It strikes the perfect balance between durability and weight management. Moreover, such a construction lets you easily compress the bag and stow it inside its stuff sack. There's also a 7-denier lining on its interior that is soft to the touch. Meanwhile, the full-length side zipper of this sleeping bag optimizes its accessibility. There are two sliders on its body so that you can customize its ventilation. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Temperature rating - 5 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested lower limit - 5 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested comfort - 18 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weight - 1 pound
  • Shell material - Nylon
  • Insulation type - Down
  • Fill material - Ultra-dry down
  • Lining - Nylon
  • Shape - Mummy

7. Mountain Hardwear Phantom GORE-TEX 0 Sleeping Bag

PRODUCT LINK

Another impeccable option for a winter sleeping bag is the Mountain Hardwear Phantom. This sleeping bag has been crafted to overcome the harsh, frigid conditions brought by the low temperatures. Hence, it is an ideal choice for mountaineering and snow camping. It can give you a warm and cozy reprieve inside your tent, even if the external temperatures are falling. It has an 850-fill-power down that has been certified under the Responsible Down Standard for guaranteed warmth and compressibility. 

Its Gore-Tex Windstopper shell offers foolproof wind-proofing; it also prevents moisture and elements from breaching its interior. At the same time, such a design allows the moisture inside the bag to escape. With its large zipper draft tube, you no longer have to worry about cold spots on the zipper part. The tuck stitching of the Phantom Sleeping Bag also prevents the baffle stitches from being damaged by abrasion. Of course, that adds to the overall longevity of the gear. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Temperature rating - 0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested lower limit - 0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tested comfort - 13 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weight - 3 pounds
  • Shell material - Ripstop nylon
  • Insulation type - Down
  • Fill material - Goose down
  • Lining - Nylon taffeta
  • Shape - Mummy

How To Choose The Best Winter Sleeping Bags

Insulation 

There are two types of insulation used in sleeping bags: synthetic and down. 

Between the two, down is considered to be the better one. After all, this one has an exceptional warmth-to-weight ratio as compared to synthetic fill. At the same time, it can easily be compressed. It can retain its loft after you stuff your sleeping bag inside its carrying bag. If you want a lightweight sleeping bag that you can carry on your trip, I suggest that you get a sleeping bag with down insulation. 

However, keep in mind that the performance of down fill is not that great when it gets wet. This is where synthetic insulation comes in. It can still keep you warm even if it is soaked in water or moisture. Moreover, synthetic fills are quick to dry. Moreover, they aren't that pricey. 

Fortunately, water-related issues aren't an issue anymore for high-end sleeping bags with down insulation. They treated the fill with water repellent agents to prevent it from getting wet quickly. Furthermore, their exterior shell is made seamless and impenetrable. 

Temperature Rating

You should also check the temperature rating of the sleeping bag. You need to know how much heat it will absorb before you start using it. Generally, you wouldn't care much about this if you are camping in fine weather. The story changes once you decide to head out in the middle of the winter. The same thing is true if you want to climb to high altitudes. 

The temperature rating of a sleeping bag defines the recommended temperature that can keep you warm and comfortable. For instance, summer sleeping bags have temperature ratings of 35 degrees or higher. Meanwhile, 3-season sleeping bags have temperature ratings of 15 to 30 degrees. For winter sleeping bags, the recommended temperature rating is 20 and below. But if you want a foolproof performance, better go with those that have a 0-degree temperature rating. 

Shape 

As much as possible, you would want the sleeping bag to provide sufficient heat retention. This thing is possible depending on the shape of the sleeping bag. For winter and cold-weather applications, nothing can beat mummy-shaped sleeping bags. 

A mummy sleeping bag provides maximum space for your body while keeping you warm at the same time. In addition, it allows air circulation around your core area. As such, it keeps you warmer than other shapes like rectangular ones. Rectangular sleeping bags are good for people who prefer more room but less warmth. On the contrary, mummy sleeping bags give you both comfort and warmth. 

Size

Of course, size matters too. When choosing a sleeping bag, make sure that it fits well within your backpack's dimensions. Ideally, you don't want to lug around something bigger than what you really need. So choose wisely. 

For most winter backpacking and mountaineering applications, you don't need to carry a two-person sleeping bag. Hence, you should be able to save much space and weight here.  The only thing that you need to keep in mind is the compressibility of the sleeping bag. Is it compact enough to fit inside a stuff sack?

Shell

The shell or exterior fabric of a winter sleeping bag should be durable. If its durability is compromised, then the chances are that it won't last long. Besides, you shouldn't expect any waterproofing features either. However, there are some exceptions. Some manufacturers offer waterproof shells for extreme conditions. These include snowstorms, avalanches, etc. 

If you plan to use the sleeping bag during rainy days, then you might consider buying one with rain protection. Most of them come with taped seams which makes them impervious to leaks. 

In Summary

When purchasing a winter sleeping bag, you have to be mindful of factors such as temperature ratings, insulation, and the durability of the shell. As long as you can get these things right, you will get a sleeping bag that is suitable for cold-weather applications. 

If you want to refine your search, then you can check out the list of best winter sleeping bags that I've included here. They are among the most notable options in the market due to their exceptional performance in low temperatures. 

That's it for now. If you have inquiries, feel free to ask me in the comment section below.

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