7 Great Cold-Weather Sleeping Bags

Feel that nip in the air? It should tell you that the cold seasons are upon us. But recreators shouldn’t be deterred from overnight excursions in the outdoors just because the temperature is (extremely) low. Pick up one of these cold-weather sleeping bags, and you’ll sleep like a hibernating bear in even the chilliest of climates.

Note: ‘Weather Rating’ represents the coldest temperature at which the sleeping bag still provides effective insulation and prevents adverse health effects like hypothermia and frostbite. Comfort level is a different story altogether, but let’s face it — if you require non-stop comfort then you’re probably not likely to take any wintertime camping trips.

Wenger Gelarus Right (starts at $169.99)
Weather Rating: o degrees F/-17.8 degrees C
Why it’s great: At less than 4 pounds, this mummy bag is one of the lightest cold-weather sleepers on the market. Signature ClimashieldXP insulation sealed in a polyester liner keeps the interior warm, while an insulated draft tube, storm collar and pullover hood work to eliminate unwanted chills throughout the night. Take it from the Swiss — they know a thing or two about enduring the harsh weather elements.

Coleman Crescent Extreme Weather Sleeping Bag (starts at $62.99)
Weather Rating: 15 degrees F/-9.4 degrees C
Why it’s great: This big boy provides roughly 220 square feet of sleeping space, lined with 46 ounces of Coleman’s trademark insulation material, Coletherm. A pullover hood at the top provides additional warmth for your noggin, while a custom quilted pattern ensures the sleeper won’t detect cold spots anywhere on the bag. The Crescent is also durable, thanks to a polyester ripstop cover — so feel free to machine-wash it.

Nemo Equipment Nocturne 15 (starts at $399)
Weather Rating: 15 degrees F/-9.4 degrees C
Why it’s great:
Most people don’t actually sleep in the way that sleeping bags are designed. While there are some people who sleep like mummies, most people sleep like either a starfish or a spoon. Lucky for the latter, Nemo Equipment has designed a sleeping bag for people who sleep on their side. Better yet, it’s designed for two spoons – who would have known that folks enjoy snuggling even (or maybe, especially) when they’re camping?

High Peak USA Mount Rainier 0 (starts at $139.95)
Weather Rating: -18 degrees F/-27.8 degrees C
Why it’s great: This double-layered bag is rainproof, windproof and insulated with Thermolite Quallo to keep you extra toasty. But if you get too warm, its taped seams effectively expel all the bodily moisture (no jokes, please) that builds up. And despite its mammoth dimensions, the Mount Rainier 0 weighs less than five pounds — making it the perfect companion for overnight trips anywhere in the wilderness, including the mighty peak that shares its name.

Master Sportsman Magnum Cold Weather Sleeping Bag (starts at $56.99)
Weather Rating: -25 degrees F/-31.7 degrees C
Why it’s great: Just for a moment, try to imagine how cold -25 degrees Fahrenheit actually is. To put it into perspective, Spokane (a notoriously cold spot in Washington) hit -24 degrees in 2007 — and that was the city’s lowest recorded temperature since 1888! The Magnum’s outer canvas is rendered from duck cotton, while the interior is stuffed with polyester insulation. And if there’s two of you, the bags can be zipped together for added warmth.

MEC Phoenix Hybrid Sleeping Bag (starts at $161)
Weather Rating: 10.4 degrees F/-12 degrees C
Why it’s great: Part synthetic, part duck down — all awesome. The Hyperloft Eco polyester insulation not only keeps you warm, but also retains its puffiness after multiple uses. The shell, also made from polyester, is treated with DWR to keep the entire bag dry, inside and out. To get the most softness out of the down layer, Mountain Equipment Co-op suggests sleeping on your back — and if you roll over, do so inside the bag, not with it.

Valandré Thor (starts at $855)
Weather Rating: -50.8 degrees F/-46 degrees C
Why it’s great: All hail, the God of Thunder! You’re probably wondering who could possibly have the need for a sleeping bag rating below -50 degrees. Everest climbers, for one, who have summited the world’s highest peak with this sleeping bag in their gear since it was first released in 1988. Thor keeps you relatively warm wherever you choose to sleep — but at high altitudes, it’s a potential lifesaver. Plus, the goose down filling keeps its weight at a relatively light 4 pounds, 12 ounces.

What sleeping bag model/brand do you trust to keep you warm during those cold, cold campouts?

By Brad Nehring