When you are sleeping outside in the forest or mountains, one of the essential pieces of equipment is a sleeping bag. It is the one piece of equipment that can reduce the amount of convective heat that is lost which ensures you will stay warm during the colder nights. The insulation of a sleeping bag determines how warm it will feel. The best winter sleeping bags have an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio which makes them light and easy to transport. A light effective sleeping bag will lessen the load on your body as you are hiking or backpacking.
When looking for the best winter sleeping bags for camping, the number of choices can be overwhelming. In this article, the top ten winter sleeping bags have been selected and reviewed. These sleeping bags were chosen for a variety of reasons which include insulation, temperature rating, size, and style.
However, all of the sleeping bags in this review are lightweight and will pack down for more comfortable transport. Pros and cons have also been included to help you chose the best winter sleeping bag for your needs. A buyer’s guide is also added to ensure the most inexperienced can select the proper winter sleeping bag.
Best Winter Sleeping Bags Buyer’s Guide
A winter sleeping bag can help keep you warm and comfortable when sleeping in cold temperatures. Some winter bags can even help to prevent frostbite in extreme temperatures. When you are choosing a winter sleeping bag, you should consider four features before making a purchase.
Most sleeping bags are either insulated with down or synthetic insulation. Both types of these insulations have benefits and drawbacks. Down insulation is known for some of the best warmth-to-weight ratios that synthetic insulation just cannot match. A warmth-to-weight rate is the amount of padding that is required for a certain amount of warmth.
With a smaller ratio, the down insulation allows the sleeping bag to be lighter and pack smaller. One drawback is down insulation bags are more expensive than synthetic insulation. A significant disadvantage with down insulation, however, is it will lose its insulation properties faster if they get wet.
Many manufacturers try to eliminate this drawback by treating the down insulation with water repellant called DWR which helps it retain insulation properties even if it gets wet. The fill-power index is one way to measure the quality of down insulation. This index provides a rating from 400 to 900. A sleeping bag with a score of 850 has a better weight-to-warmth ratio than one with a grade of 700.
The EN13537 standard is used for most winter sleeping bags. This standard provides four parameters for temperatures which are:
1. Extreme temperature which means an average female would survive.
2. Lower limit which means an average male would be comfortable.
3. Comfort temperature which means an average female would be comfortable.
4. Maximum temperature which means an overheating limit.
Even with these four parameters, most labels only have the lower limit temperature listed.
Winter sleeping bags only have two sizes which are regular and long. If you are taller than six feet, you will probably need a long. It is essential to double check the bag before purchasing to ensure the perfect fit.
Winter sleeping bags have a variety of styles which include mummy, wearable, and quilt. The best style for winter is probably the mummy style because they have the best insulation and enclose your entire body. This fact decreases the amount of heat that escapes from inside the bag.
Top Ten Best Winter Sleeping Bags Reviews
The Hyke and Byke Eolus sleeping bag utilizes an ultralight goose down filling giving it a rating of 800 on the fill-power index. This rating means it has one of the best warmth-to-weight ratios on this list. With a mummy style, this sleeping bag is capable of enclosing a body from head to foot, so little warmth is released.
This bag also incorporates a water repellent to help make it durable. The Hyke and Byke Eolus features a YKK zipper, snag-free Velcro, drawstrings, and case for storage.
• Lightweight and durable
• Excellent warmth-to-weight ratio
• Water repellent
• Too long for petite women
The Farland sleeping bag was created to ensure a great night’s sleep after a hard day of hiking. It is rated for weather between 20° and 62° F and is water resistant to ensure warmth in moist conditions. It also utilizes a double-filled technology to guarantee comfort and reduced moisture while sleeping.
This sleeping bag uses a polyester pongee for its fill material making it lightweight and compact. The compact design associated with this bag makes it convenient to carry when hiking or trekking long distances and other outdoor adventures.
Some of this bag features include a joint left-zip and right-zip zipper, mummy style, a compression sack, and water resistance covering.
• Joinable left and right zippers
• Envelope shape measuring 86.6 inches long
• Breathable nylon fiber
• Polyester pongee fill material
The North Rim winter sleeping bag has a mummy style which will keep you warm in temperatures above 0° F. This sleeping bag was created to handle a 6-foot tall person. The bottom of the sleeping bag has a box-shaped foot which allows for movement.
With this sleeping bag, Coleman utilizes Thermolock technology which helps reduce the amount of heat loss through the zipper. This same zipper is a two-way zipper which allows the user to unzip the feet during warmer months but still zips up over the head during colder months.
This sleeping bag is machine washable with a ripstop-reinforced cover that helps to prevent snags and other damage. It also comes with a stuff sack for secure storage.
• Two-way zipper
• Box-shaped foot
• Machine washable
• Synthetic insulation
These MalloMe sleeping bags are great bags for all temperatures of the different seasons. They were designed as weather resistant and waterproof to ensure comfort in wet and moist climate. This design includes a double-layer technology to help remove the possibility of you getting damp.
The hexagon shape of the fabric and s-shaped stitching also helps prevent moisture from entering the sleeping bag. These two designs in the fabric also make it easy to wipe the fabric clean. Each of the sleeping bags comes with a compression bag making it simple to carry when backpacking.
This bag utilizes synthetic insulation which can handle temperatures from 20° to 80° F. Because of the 100% polyester material used, these bags are durable and lightweight. This material is also comfortable and soft on the skin.
• Temperatures from 20° to 80° F
• Hexagon shape in fabric
• S-Shaped stitching
• Synthetic insulation
Teton has done an amazing job with the Sports Celsius sleeping bag. This bag has SuperLoft Elite fiber insulation to keep the warmth inside where it belongs. With a double-layer construction, this bag should not allow you to come in contact with any cold air.
This bag does not require you to roll it. Instead, it comes with a compression sack where you stuff the bag inside it. Once the bag is inside, this sack has two straps that allow you to close it tight. The straps are heavy duty enabling you to achieve the ultimate compression.
The poly-flannel liner gives the user warmth and comfortability. This bag also has a tear-resistant taffeta shell to make it one of the most durable ones on this list.
• Tear resistant taffeta
• Double-layer construction
• SuperLoft Elite fiber insulation
• Might be difficult to stuff the bag into the compression sack
The Phantom Torch 3 is perfect for camping, climbing, hiking, mountaineering, etc. because it is warm but still lightweight. This bag has a lower limit temperature rating of 3° F but only weighs around 3 pounds. The Phantom Torch 3 sleeping bag also comes with a compression sack which allows it to be packed into a small ball.
This bag is one of the few on this list that utilizes a goose down insulation. This insulation has a fill power index of 800. The bag is also treated with DWR making it water resistant. These two items help to ensure the user will be comfortable despite the weather.
• Q-Shield down insulation
• Treated with DWR
• Only 2.6 pounds
• Tight fit may be uncomfortable for some users
The Lamina Z Torch has a Lamina construction which is proprietary and welded to help reduce the chances of cold spots while you are sleeping. This bag also utilizes insulation that is zoned to maximize warmth in the areas where it is needed.
The mummy cut of the bag efficiently takes full advantage of weight without any constriction. This bag also includes an ergonomic draft collar. This collar encourages the reduction of warm air escaping the bag while you are sleeping.
• Handles temperatures above 5° F
• Construction helps eliminate cold spots
• Double sliders for the best ventilation
• Synthetic insulation
This sleeping bag can be used for camping, hiking, and a variety of other outdoor activities. This bag is considered a budget winter sleeping bag so it perfect for those who do not want to invest a lot. Being the least expensive bag on this list, the Marmot Trestles uses SpiraFil high loft insulation.
This type of insulation is more substantial than others which make this bag weigh in at over 4 pounds. With this amount of weight, this bag can be rather large when packed. However, this bag is durable and comfortable. The outside fiber utilizes a 70-denier polyester.
• 70-denier polyester
• Lower limit rating of 0° F
• Less refined insulation
The Mammoth Queen comes with an indulgent poly-flannel lining which is incredibly comfortable. With the zipper and shoulder draft tubes, this bag does not release the warm air. The zipper opens on bottom sides and the bottom to allow you easy access. Teton Sports utilizes a SuperLoft Elite fiberfill for this winter sleeping bag.
This sleeping bag has a tear-resistant taffeta shell to help reduce damage from years of use. With measurements of 94 x 62, the Mammoth is more significant than a queen-size mattress making it comfortable for almost any size person.
This bag has thermal enhancing to ensure it is soft and compact for secure storage while it maintains its fluff. It is also advertised as non-allergenic.
• Poly-flannel lining
• Zippers on sides and bottom
• Tear resistant taffeta
• Synthetic insulation
While it is one of the lightest bags on the list, the Western Mountaineering sleeping bag can still provide the perfect amount of comfort, warmth, and other amazing features. It makes the most of its 20 ounces of 850-fill goose down insulation.
With plenty of room to move, you have enough flexibility to enjoy a wonderful night’s sleep. This bag also incorporates a variety of thermal properties to give the user an excellent cozy feeling. The goose down insulation is surrounded by the most durable fiber to ensure it will last a lifetime.
• Made durable
• 850-fill goose down insulation
• Extremely lightweight
• More expensive than others on the list