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Best Winter Sleeping Bags

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Best Winter Sleeping bags

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This is a gear review about the Best Winter Sleeping Bags for Backpacking. All the best 4 Season Sleeping bags for trekking in the mountains, backcountry skiing, arctic expeditions, high-altitude mountaineering, and more.

When the temperature drops well below freezing finding the best cold weather sleeping bag can be a balancing act trying to find the winter sleeping bag most suitable for you and your needs.

With so much to consider, let’s take a look at the Best Sleeping Bags for Winter in 2022.

Best Winter Sleeping Bags for Backpacking 2022

The Best Winter Sleeping Bags for Backpacking in 2022 are:

Best Sleeping Bag for Winter 2022 – Overall

Feathered Friends Snowbunting EX 0

Pros:
> 900 FP Down
> 100% Responsible Down Standard (RDS) Certified
> Pertex Shield EX Outer Fabric is water resistant, breathable, and Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treated
> Draft tube, hood, and draft collar with continuous baffles
Cons:
> No stash pockets or extra room, a tight fit for some

This bag is an extremely weather-resistant winter sleeping bag and is suitable for the most arduous of treks into the cold mountains. The Pertex Shield EX provides a breathable, water-resistant shell that is coated with DWR (Durable Water-Resistant) for added protection against the elements.

The highest quality 900 Fill power will keep you warm in harsh, freezing environments, whilst the draft collar, hood, and collar will provide extra heat retention.

The 3D contoured hood adds extra insulation around the user’s head, whilst the continuous baffles allow for the adjustment and moving of the goose down when needed. The two-way zipper allows for easier access and movement.

It could be a tight fit for bigger people, and the snug fit doesn’t allow for a stash pocket like many other bags on the market.

Overall, this ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to lightweight sleeping bags for winter camping. Very impressive.

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Best Cold Weather Sleeping Bag 2022

Western Mountaineering Kodiak

Pros:
> 850 FP down
> A massive 66 inches of shoulder width and 41 inches of foot girth
> 4-season bag with draft collar, full down collar, secure hood, and continuous baffles
Cons:
> Not Hydrophobic Down

A mighty impressive down-filled mummy sleeping bag, with a whopping 850 Fill Power, will keep you warm in temperatures down to 0F. A 4-season bag suitable for use year-round, with excellent heat retention via the draft collar, secure hood, full down collar, and continuous baffles.

These baffles allow the user to move the high-quality down fill around the bag when needed. The Gore Windstopper material is durable, lightweight, and provides incredible weather resistance.

It’s suitable for even larger people, as it has an ultra-large shoulder width, whilst providing plenty of room for your feet.

Overall, this is one of the best cold weather sleeping bags for winter camping and is highly rated.

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Best Expedition Sleeping Bag 2022

Sea to Summit Alpine Apii

Sea to Summit Alpine Apii

Pros:
> 850 FP of RDS Loft Goose Ultra-Dry down
> It comes in two sizes of 183cm and 198cm
> ‘Expedition Sized’ to allow the wearing of further clothing
> 100% Responsible Down Standard (RDS) Certified
> Contoured Mummy Shape
Cons:
> Zipper prone to snagging

This mummy bag has been designed for use in the most extreme environments one could face, challenge yourself in high altitude and arctic conditions whilst still staying warm. The 850 Fill power of RDS-certified Ultra-dry goose down provides warmth at lows of –4F.

The ‘Expedition Sizing’ is a great feature, as it allows the user to wear added layers of clothing whilst inside. The anatomically shaped foot box is oversized to allow for comfort, movement, and even the wearing of boots in those harshest of locations.

The Sea to Summit Alpine Series of Sleeping Bag also has an expedition sleeping bag with a temperature rating down to -40F / -40C so if you need an extreme sleeping bag that gives you more warmth than all the bags in this review, they have you covered.

It has a large internal security pocket for keeping your valuables safe and secure.

Overall, the Sea to Summit Alpine Series bags is some of the best expedition sleeping bags on the market.

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Best Winter Sleeping Bag for Australia and New Zealand 2022

Macpac Serac 1000

Pros:
> 800 FP of HyperDRY RDS goose down
> Pertex Quantum Shell
> 100% Responsible Down Standard (RDS) Certified
> Cool zips to allow only your arms to come out of the bag, great for inside the tent
Cons:
> Only Available in Australia and New Zealand

Stay warm in extreme temperatures thanks to the 800 Fill Power HyperDRY RDS goose down. The 100% Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certification shows the manufacturer is environmentally conscious.

Made with Pertex Quantum fabric, it is lightweight, durable, windproof, and weather resistant. A Twin Chamber Directional draft tube increases insulation and protects against air seeping in via the zipper. The draw-cord collar ensures added comfort and heat retention at your head.

If you are going to Mount Everest Base Camp, Mt Kilimanjaro or winter ski touring then you should know this is the ideal winter sleeping bag for you.

My personal winter sleeping bag is the older version of this bag, the Macpac Epic 1000 which is a great bag. This upgraded Macpac Serac 1000 is much lighter and better.

The Macpac Serac 1000 has been tested according to international ISO 23537-1 standard and rated at Comfort -10°C / Limit -17°C / Extreme -40°C.

Overall, this is the best winter sleeping bag for winter camping in Australia and New Zealand.

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Other great Winter Sleeping Bags

Nemo Sonic 800-Fill Down

Pros:
> 800 FP down
> 100% Responsible Down Standard (RDS) Certified
> Waterproof resistant, spacious, and breathable
Cons:
> Exterior Pocket not big enough for most larger phone models

Guaranteed to keep you warm in the harshest of environments. This award-winning sleeping bag stuffed with 800 FP (Down Fill Power) hydrophobic down will keep you cozy. There are two expedition sleeping bags with temperatures rated at 0F and -20F.

It is 100% Responsible Down Standard (RDS) Certified, ensuring that throughout the supply chain there is a humane treatment extended to any animals involved. To allow maneuverability and comfort, the knee area is built with stretch construction.

The waterproof Toester footbox provides breathability and comfort. The internal draft collar and draft tubes keep the heat in and the cold out. The Adjustable Thermo Gills vent body heat at your core without letting the cold air sneak into your bag.

A waterproof contoured hood with a drawstring helps to protect your face from the elements and keeps you as snug as a bug in a rug. Lightweight and easily compresses down small for storage and easy carry.

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REI
Amazon

Marmot Lithium 0F

Pros:
> 850 FP goose down
> Pertex Microlight shell and lining
> Down Defender – Improved water resistance, loft, and drying time
Cons:
> Stuff Sack is small considering the size and loft of the sleeping bag

With a Fill Power of 850, this down sleeping bag is designed with the most extreme climates in mind. The Pertex Microlight is an ultra-light fabric used for the shell which is also treated with a Durable Water-resistant (DWR) coating, ensuring durability and protection from the elements.

The lining is durable yet soft on the skin for increased comfort. The Down Defender offers improved water resistance in wet conditions, meaning improved loft and faster drying time.

Stuffed with high-quality goose down to ensure a warm night’s sleep and reduced cold spots whilst still being incredibly lightweight. The snag-less draft tube and two-way anti-snag zipper protect against damage.

Nautilus Multi-baffle draw-cord hood and smooth-curved baffles reduce downshifting and aid heat retention.

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Therm-a-Rest Oberon 0 Degree

Pros:
> 100% Responsible Down Standard (RDS) Certified
> 850 FP and Nikwax Hydrophobic down
> Zoned Insulation – Ensures optimum distribution of the fill to prevent cold spots and provide balanced warmth
Cons:
> Zipper can catch on the inner lining

The certified RDS (Responsible Down Standard) 800 Fill Power Nikwax Hydrophobic down, designed to retain loft up to sixty times longer than regular untreated down. With reduced water absorption and vastly improved drying time even in damp conditions.

The zoned insulation allocates sixty percent of the fill on top and fourth percent on the bottom for an improved balance of warmth-to-weight ratio. ThermaCapture lining at the top of the bag captures radiant body heat and retains warmth.

The Toe-asis Foot Warmer Pocket rapidly warms your feet, which aids with circulation. This is compatible with Therm-a-Rest’s other products such as sleeping mats, meaning you can attach the sleeping bag directly to them for improved comfort and warmth.

The down sleeping bag comes in three sizes, with the large being suitable for users as tall as 6’6”. This is a longer bag than many other manufacturers provide.

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Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0F

Pros:
> 850 Fill Power goose down
> Durable, water-repellent, and lightweight
> Ease of access and use of hands outside the bag
> 100% Responsible Down Standard (RDS) Certified
Cons:
> Incredibly snug fit could feel rather restrictive for some users

Combining durability and comfort with lightweight and quality materials, this is a great sleeping bag to take on your adventures. Insulated with Responsible Down Standard 850 Fill Power goose down to keep the warmth in and the user comfortable.

Durable Nylon Ghost Ripstop shell is water-repellent, lightweight, and easy to compress for storage and movement. Designed to follow the contours of the body to improve heat retention and minimize heat loss.

Dual-sided anti-snag zippers with glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls are convenient, improve ventilation and ease of access. The anatomically contoured footbox accounts for a natural foot position for optimum comfort and warmth.

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RAB Ascent 900

Pros:
> Budget price winter sleeping bag option
> Pertex Quantum Fabric which is water-resistant and durable
> Semi-rectangular foot area for improved movement and comfort
> 100% Responsible Down Standard (RDS) Certified
Cons:
> Not suitable for taller individuals
> 650FP down

Pertex Quantum fabric has a Durable Water-Resistant coating to ensure moisture isn’t absorbed into the bag whilst protecting you from the wind. The 650 Fill Power Nikwax hydrophobic duck down will keep you warm whilst improving resistance to damp conditions.

Although a mummy-style bag, this is a wider fit that includes a semi-rectangular foot area, giving you more wiggle room and less restriction of movement than the conventional mummy style.

The three-quarter length anti-snag zipper allows for ease of access whilst keeping the heat in at your feet. The internal stash pocket allows you to keep personal possessions warm, safe, and dry.

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RAB Neutrino 800

Pros:
> 800 FP of hydrophobic goose down
> 100% Responsible Down Standard (RDS) Certified
> Pertex Quantum – High-quality, lightweight, and weather-resistant fabric
Cons:
> It’s only available in one size, so for the taller adventurer it could be limiting

The 800 is the highest-specification model in the Rab Neutrino range. It’s filled with 800 FP of ethically sourced, hydrophobic goose down that is traceable under the European Down & Feather Codex. It will keep you warm to lows of –7.6F.

The chevron-shaped baffles ensure the fill remains over the chest whilst eliminating cold spots. The Perspex Quantum fabric is durable, lightweight, and weather-resistant, whilst the insulated draft tube will keep the cold at bay.

It packs down small, and its lightweight ensures it’s easy to carry, as well as providing a high warmth-to-weight ratio.

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Buyers Guide

A good Winter sleeping is needed when camping in the snow
Looking for a 3 Season sleeping bag that will be comfortable in warmer weather around 32F / 0C? Take a look at the guide to the Best 3 Season Sleeping Bags.

Environment

When purchasing a winter sleeping bag for cold temperatures, it’s important to carefully consider when and where do you intend to use it. Taking into account the weather conditions and the environment in which you will take your trip is imperative to finding the right one for you.

Winter Camping can be quite a challenge, with cool or freezing temperatures, strong winds, maybe heavy rain, or a huge dump of snow possible. Ensure that you choose a sleeping bag that will keep you warm no matter what the conditions you’re in.


Shape

The two most common that can be found are the mummy sleeping bag and rectangular. Mummy sleeping bags are designed with heat retention in mind, whilst being smaller and more convenient to carry on your bag as you enjoy your trip.

They follow the contours of the body to keep you wrapped up warmly, which, whilst being the optimum shape for heat retention, does mean that there is less room for maneuver.

The hood on these ensure that you can stay warm in the harshest of climates, whilst those with a drawstring help to protect your face from the elements.

Rectangular bags are much wider from head to toes, allowing a more relaxed fit, with more wiggle room for the user. Incredibly comfortable and suitable for those who are bigger or taller. But not suited for cold weather camping and not really featured in the winter sleeping bags review.

They can often be bulkier to account for the additional material, as such, they can weigh more, which can be an issue if you’re engaging in a long or challenging trip.

The hood on these can vary, though often they include a half-circle mummy-style hood, which increases the comfort and protection from the elements.


Temperature Rating

Most manufacturers will explicitly state the temperature range and suitability of their products. This makes it easier to select the most appropriate sleeping bag for your needs. Often they are labeled one, two, three, or four seasons, but what does this mean?

When buying a winter sleeping bag, you should aim for a four-season product. The Winter sleeping bags in this review are rated to around 0F / -17C or lower. And they are all mummy-style sleeping bags. Some people already have a warm sleeping bag and could get by using a insulated sleeping bag liner to add just enough warmth to their current sleeping bag.

Most of the sleeping bags for winter camping in this review have options for much colder models if needed. If you suffer from cold feet, you could consider a pair of Down Booties to keep your feet warm.

The winter bag is designed with extreme temperatures in mind, with durable, water-resistant outer shells and a down or synthetic insulation-down filler.

A high-quality sleeping pad is needed when winter camping. If you go winter camping with one of the high-quality down bags and fail to take a well-insulated sleeping pad, you may not be warm. be sure to check the r rating of all the best-insulated sleeping pads to ensure they will keep you warm in winter. Many people still use a foam pad underneath the winter bag rather than an inflatable pad. The foam pads offer good insulation with minimal weight.


Lining Fabrics

The lining fabric plays a big part in both the retention of heat and the comfort of the user. Often they are lined with nylon, polyester, or taffeta, which are soft to the touch, breathable and smooth, ensuring comfort when nestling down for the night.

Sleeping bags for use in more extreme climates all use a lightweight, strong lining fabric.


Shell Fabrics

Nylon, polyester, and taffeta are also used for the outer shell of the sleeping bag. Although these are comfortable and breathable though they might struggle in wet conditions.

Many companies have developed their own textiles, such as DryLoft, which are designed to be hydrophobic and breathable whilst still keeping you warm and dry.

Ripstop is a reinforced fabric that is widely used, it’s still light enough to remain breathable whilst increasing the durability and therefore lifespan of the sleeping bag.

Pertex seems to be the best standard for outer face fabrics on most cold weather sleeping bags.


Filling

Synthetic – Synthetic sleeping bags are not as common on most high-end lightweight sleeping bags. Often a supplier will use a mixture of fabrics and manufacturing techniques to aim to provide suitable insulation even in more challenging environments.

Some of these materials can be on the heavier side, which may affect your choice if you’re embarking on a bigger adventure. Overall, synthetic bags might be cheaper and offer the same warmth but they are not better.

Down – This is the plumage underneath the outer layer of feathers on birds, usually in sleeping bags goose or duck down is used. These keep the birds warm in cold weather, therefore they are perfect for ensuring a warm night’s sleep.

This insulation strikes a balance between being incredibly warm as well as lightweight, with a better warmth-to-weight ratio than synthetic insulation filling.

More expensive sleeping bags use down or a synthetic-down combination to ensure the highest level of warmth and heat retention. These bags are not as easily compressed but great for base camp style camping.

All the best Winter Sleeping Bags use high fill power down. A down bag is best for its warmth to weight ratio.

Pro Tip: Take a look at How to Wash a Down Sleeping Bag so you can look after your Winter Sleeping bag for years to come. And use a Sleeping Bag Liner to keep your winter sleeping bag clean.

Zips

Winter Sleeping bags have either one or two-sided zips, whilst some may also unzip at the bottom near the feet. Zips can be a source of cold air sneaking into the sleeping bag, however, most quality manufacturers ensure that they include draft tubes to prevent this from happening.

Look out for products that contain anti-snag zips, as these ensure that you won’t accidentally damage the inner lining or outer shell of the sleeping bag. Even the best quality winter bag will sometimes snag the zips when opening and closing.

One-sided zips may well retain heat more efficiently, though two-sided zips allow for greater ventilation and faster drying when hanging up. Zips at the bottom or feet allow ventilation and breathability if you are overheating at night.


Water Resistance

When winter camping, it is essential to take into account the possibility of extreme cold. A high-quality winter sleeping bag will often have a DWR, or, durable water-repellent. This can save you, your belongings, and your sleeping bag from becoming damp in wet weather and difficult to dry.

After extensive use, the DWR coating may well wear out, and you might notice that water is seeping into the bag, or perhaps it’s taking longer to dry. You can buy a specifically designed spray to reinforce the water resistance of the bag.

Some down fill is also treated to be hydrophobic, to increase water resistance and allow faster drying, which can be essential when you’re outside braving the elements.

The synthetic insulation on a synthetic bag offers better weather resistance to water and can keep you warm even if it gets wet.


Draft Tube

This is an insulated tube that keeps warm air in and prevents the cold air from entering the sleeping bag along the length of the zipper. These are essential when camping in colder or more extreme cold climates and environments.


Baffles

Either horizontal or vertical, baffles keep the down-fill insulation distributed evenly throughout the sleeping bag. They greatly aid in the retention of heat and stop any cold spots from forming.

Shoulder baffles are designed to seal the bag around your shoulders and neck, ensuring that there is maximum heat retention.


Pockets

Many winter sleeping bags include pockets, external, internal, or a combination of the two. These are incredibly convenient as a safe space to store any valuables or essential amenities. The sizes can vary greatly, so it’s important to ensure that they will be a suitable size for your needs.

External pockets will include a zip for added security, whereas internal pockets will usually be sealed with Velcro for easy access.


Footbox

Sleeping bags with a foot box are designed to provide more room and maneuverability for your feet. Instead of adjusting your sleeping position, you’re able to sleep with your feet in a more natural position, providing comfort, a good night’s sleep, and limiting any possible circulation issues.


Compression Sack

These are designed for convenient storage and travel, removing the need to meticulously roll up the sleeping bag and attempt to fit it into the bag.

With these, the winter sleeping bag can be stuffed inside and held in place with a drawstring. Often they have straps to allow easy attachment to your backpack or camping bag.


Conclusion

The Best Winter Sleeping Bags for Backpacking in 2022 are:

Another one of the Best Hiking Gear Reviews from BikeHikeSafari.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know The Temperature Rating Of My Sleeping Bag?

Most manufacturers will explicitly state the temperature rating of their product. They will often provide a wide temperature range in which the user will still maintain comfort and warmth.

What Is The Warmest Sleeping Bag Lining?

A down or down/synthetic sleeping bag combination will provide you with the warmest sleeping bag. Using the birds’ plumage and natural defence against the cold to retain heat and provide comfort even in harsh environments.


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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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