Camping, Outdoor Gear, Top Outdoor Lists

Top 5 Cold-Weather Sleeping Bags

cold-weather sleeping bags

One of the most important things in life is sleep. We all love sleeping and we spend a lot of money on ensuring our quality of sleep, whether it be a new bed or a new speaker to play soothing sounds. So why wouldn’t you spend money on a decent sleeping bag? The last thing you want to be when in your tent at night is awake and the last thing you want on the trail is to be tired and uncomfortable because you chose the wrong sleeping bag. Make sure to choose the right cold-weather sleeping bags to optimize your sleep levels.

These sleeping bags are best for cold weather and will make sure to keep you warm whilst also keeping you comfortable on rough terrain. Whether you’re hiking for a couple of days or a couple of weeks, your sleeping bag is important. So, during the day you can keep your strides long and fast, not slowed down by the fatigue from a bad night’s sleep.

Check out this camper’s guide to selecting the best sleeping bag.

Note: All prices listed are at the time of writing and are subject to change by the manufacturer.

5. Mountain Hardwear 0F Phantom

This sleeping bag is super light and warm, it packs down very small so it is great for longer expeditions where you have more kit to carry. It’s been hard to find a bad review about this much-loved sleeping bag but one con is the price tag, at $650 it is one of the priciest on this list.

The Mountain Hardwear Phantom repels water from its surface and therefore dries very quickly and keeps more warmth if dampened or soaked in water.

This tried and tested bag is versatile in the fact that it’s great for anyone. It can be used on two-day hiking trips but also suits a few weeks of climbing in rough terrain. It works for everything although if you’re deterred by the price tag then I’d check out one of the other cheaper options on our list.

cold-weather sleeping bags

Price: Approx $650

Best Use: Backpacking

Tested Lower Limit: 11 degrees (F) – ISO

Tested Comfort: 23 degrees (F) – ISO

Temperature Rating: 15 degrees (F) or -9 degrees (C)

Weight: Regular-Left Zip: 2 lbs. 1.2 oz. Long-Left Zip: 2 lbs. 3.9 oz.

Ultralight: Yes

Shell: 10-denier recycled ripstop nylon

Zipper Location: Left

Insulation Type: Down

Learn how to survive a winter storm.

4. The North Face Inferno

This next sleeping bag on our list of cold-weather sleeping bags offers similar warmth to the others but has a wide cut which allows you (if you so wish) to wear more layers as well as the sleeping bag. However, the wide cut of this sleeping bag leads to increased weight and size. Therefore, it’s less compressible and is larger when packed down. It has a zip down the center to offer fewer ventilation options than a conventional zip on the side.

This sleeping bag is offered in four different versions, each with different temperate ratings (15F, 0F, -20F, and -40F). Choose the version sensibly basing your decision on the weather expected and the typical temperature of the region.

(Temporarily Unavailable – The image at right is a great North Face Eco Trail Replacement)

Price: Approx $450-$800

Best Use: Mountaineering

Temperature Rating: (VARIES) 0 degrees (F) -18 degrees (C)

Shell: Synthetic

Zipper Location: Front

Insulation Type: Down

Get ready for your next winter camping trip with these 10 tips.

3. Kelty Cosmic 0

Even when the temperature teeters on the 0 mark this sleeping bag will keep you cozy and warm. However, the Kelty Cosmic 0 is heavy and has a large packing size as well as little weather resistance.

It’s a less expensive and more affordable option but won’t be much good for longer treks with less predictable weather. This bag would work fine for car camping but if you venture out more than that we’d recommend a more comfortable, lighter sleeping bag within the same price range.

cold-weather sleeping bags

Price: Approx $300 – $320

Best Use: Car Camping

Tested Lower Limit: 4 degrees (F) – ISO

Tested Comfort: 17 degrees (F) – ISO

Temperature Rating: 4 degrees (F) or -15 degrees (C)

Weight: Regular: 4 lbs. 9 oz. or Long: 4 lbs. 13 oz.

Shell: 20-denier nylon

Zipper Location: Right

Insulation Type: Down

2. Marmot Lithium

On this sleeping bag, there’s not only one zipper but two. The main zipper is one and then another on the side gives you more options for ventilation if needed. The hood is insulated as well as the draft tube.

The sleeping bag uses Marmot Down Defender technology which allows the sleeping bag to dry faster and it retains loft even when damp. If your sleeping bag does get wet then you can dry it with the two hag loops.

It is super light and it also packs down very small so after it’s dry you don’t have to waste space holding onto it. The Marmot Lithium is a perfect sleeping bag for every occasion, everywhere you go you can take it and it suits all terrain and the majority of weather.

Price: Approx $560

Best Use: Backpacking

Tested Lower Limit: -5.4° F

Tested Comfort: 9.0° F

Temperature Rating: 0° F or -18° C

Weight: 2.90 lbs

Shell: Pertex Microlight

Zipper Location: Two zippers center and on the side

Insulation Type: Down

Staying warm is key in the daytime too. Learn everything you need to know about layering in winter.

1. Kelty Cosmic 20

Much like its partner mentioned earlier on (the Kelty Cosmic 0) this sleeping bag will keep you nice and toasty. However, in contrast to the Cosmic 0 this Cosmic 20 is much lighter and smaller, and more affordable.

It is not exceptional in any single aspect but is decent in all making it a great bang for your buck and at this price it doesn’t need to be the best. This sleeping bag is great if you’re prioritizing the packability and low price but if you want more durability and comfort then I urge you to look elsewhere – the Kelty Cosmic 20 is probably not for you. It is a good starter bag for the winter to see if it is something you want to pursue. It may also be a good option for children.

cold-weather sleeping bags

Price: Approx $160 – $190

Best Use: Backpacking

Tested Lower Limit: 21 degrees (F) – ISO

Tested Comfort: 32 degrees (F) – ISO

Temperature Rating: 21 degrees (F) or -6 degrees (C)

Weight: Short: 2 lbs. 7 oz. or Regular: 2 lbs. 10 oz. or Long: 2 lbs. 15 oz.

Shell: 20-denier nylon

Zipper Location: Right

Insulation Type: Down

Better find a four-season tent to put that sleeping bag in! The bag won’t protect you from the elements.

Final Cold-Weather Sleeping Bag Thoughts

Cold-weather sleeping bags are an important part of winter camping. Let’s face it. If you have a terrible night’s sleep then you are going to have a terrible day afterward. You might as well prepare yourself now to sleep all snug and warm!

With 5 sleeping bags of every shape and size, we hope you’ve found the perfect one for you. Whether you’re an amateur hiker needing a sleeping bag for a cold night or a climber going on a week-long voyage there’s a sleeping bag fit for your occasion. We hope you enjoy your next hiking trip with your new and improved sleeping bag and we’ll see you next time when you need more gear.

Remember that the most important thing while winter camping is staying warm and dry. If you cannot manage these two things then you are going to have a bad trip. A little planning upfront will make your overall experience that much better! So take your time and remember to practice

What do you think? Would these five cold-weather sleeping bags make your top list? We would like to hear about your favorites in the comments, on our Facebook, or on Reddit!