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10 Best Winter Sleeping Bags in 2020

Sleeping bags are great pieces of camping equipment that can keep you warm, comfortable, and feeling safe in even the worst conditions, both indoors and out. However, they are not all identical: just like a real bed, there’s plenty of different factors that go into their design, which means that it can take a while to find a very specific sleeping bag that works best in a certain situation. Winter camping is a great example, and finding the best winter sleeping bags for your next outdoor camping session can seem tricky if you are not sure what you should be looking for.

Below are the ten best sleeping bag designs for winter camping, as well as details about why they are so good.

View The Best Winter Sleeping Bags Below

1. Coleman Big & Tall Cold-Weather Sleeping Bag

Coleman Big & Tall Cold-Weather Sleeping Bag

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This long sleeping bag uses a special range of materials to create a very insulated, comfortable interior lining while still being compact enough to carry around. The design has an adjustable hood that you can use to cover up your face while sleeping, helping to reduce heat loss through thermolock construction that applies to the entire body of the bag.

Not only that, but the ZipPlow zipper system prevents snagging and ripping, making it much easier to adjust how the bag fits on the fly without worrying about getting tangled. At only 3 kg, it is surprisingly lightweight and easy enough to pack into a car or large bag.

Pros:
+ Insulation-focused bag design.
+ Comfortable interior lining.
+ Non-ripping zip.
+ Low overall weight.
+ Focused on warmth and comfort.

Why We Like It – This winter sleeping bag is built to feel comfortable and secure in all situations, retaining warmth and helping you get a good night’s sleep.


2. Hyke & Byke Hydrophobic Sleeping Bag

Hyke & Byke Hydrophobic Sleeping Bag

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This hydrophobic winter sleeping bag is made with extremely light materials that lower its overall weight and increase its moisture resistance, making it an excellent choice for wet weather. The waterproof fabrics used inside are also able to trap heat and retain warmth better in cold temperatures, and the entire design is much more durable than the average sleeping bag would be.

Thanks to the wide shoulders, snag-free design, and easy-to-use dual zippers, the bag can become a part of your camping set up almost anywhere. As an added bonus, it is easy to fold up into a compact shape for on-foot transport.

Pros:
+ Low material weight.
+ Very durable.
+ Waterproof design.
+ Easy to transport.
+ Offers high comfort.

Why We Like It – Unlike many winter sleeping bags, this design is fully waterproof and can protect you from all kinds of direct weather conditions.


3. CANWAY Sleeping Bag

CANWAY Sleeping Bag

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This lightweight sleeping bag uses a waterproof compression sack design to help you sleep comfortably in nearly any conditions, getting rid of water and moisture while holding warmth to make cold-weather less of a disturbance. The bag can withstand up to 32 degrees Fahrenheit and uses a large shape that is easy to move around in, stopping you from feeling restricted.

The double zipper system even allows two of these winter sleeping bags to be linked together to create a larger one, and you have a zip on each side to make adjusting the specific fit of the bag incredibly simple and convenient.

Pros:
+ Easy-to-use zip setup.
+ Resists bad temperatures well.
+ Waterproof.
+ Zipper guard to prevent stuck zip hooks.
+ Roomy interior design.

Why We Like It – This winter sleeping bag is comfortable, easy to handle, and great at keeping warmth in while blocking cold or wet weather.


4. Coleman North Rim 0 Degree Sleeping Bag

Coleman North Rim 0 Degree Sleeping Bag

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The semi-sculpted hood design used in this winter sleeping bag uses drawstrings to let you change how tight it fits, trapping warmth inside without forcing you to feel restrained. The bottom also unzips to allow for better ventilation if you get too hot, and the Thermolock draft tube used in the main body improves warmth retention in the long-term.

Alongside that is a ZipPlow system that prevents snagging when you are handling the zip, as well as an insulated foot box to stop you from getting cold feet and feeling uncomfortable. It is designed to allow for more wiggle room and movement compared to other sleeping bag designs, increasing comfort through more freedom of movement.

Pros:
+ Well-insulated design.
+ Adjustable good for extra warmth.
+ Warm insulated foot box.
+ Two-way zipper system.
+ Low weight.

Why We Like It – This is another winter sleeping bag that is ideal for keeping warm on cold nights, especially in bad weather conditions.


5. UPSKR 4-Season Sleeping Bag

UPSKR 4-Season Sleeping Bag

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This high-quality sleeping bag uses a special design that lets your arms stick out, allowing you to feel the extra warmth and comfort while still being able to do all of your usual activities. You can also free your feet with a bottom zipper to make movement easy, and the excellent materials used for an internal lining can help track heat to keep you warm even if part of the bag is unzipped. Despite these design changes, the bag is just as light as ever and can easily be rolled up into its carrying sack for quick and convenient transportation.

Pros:
+ Easy to carry.
+ Perfect for camping trips.
+ Can be unzipped to free your arms and legs.
+ Low overall weight.
+ Waterproof and warm inner lining.

Why We Like It – This sleeping bag is perfect for anybody who wants a good night’s sleep without being forced to stay restrained for the entire time.


6. SOULOUT Sleeping Bag

SOULOUT Sleeping Bag

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This all-season sleeping bag is designed to handle a wide range of weather conditions, using a waterproof and durable exterior to improve comfort in almost every situation. The polyester used as a lining is meant to help you stay comfortable on both soft and hard surfaces, and the double-layered design means that you won’t get damp as easily even in wet weather.

Not only that, but it uses a compression sack for extra convenience and can easily be folded or rolled up for simpler transport, making it much easier to move about and use almost anywhere. It is also much lighter than you might expect.

Pros:
+ Lightweight design.
+ Great for both cold and warm weather.
+ Made with high-quality materials.
+ Easy to transport.
+ Skin-friendly inner lining.

Why We Like It – While this sleeping bag isn’t specifically designed for winter, it can be a great way to stay comfortable in almost any weather condition.


7. Bessport Winter Sleeping Bag

Bessport Winter Sleeping Bag

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This waterproof sleeping bag is made with an excellent lining that resists most types of bad weather and makes it easier to stay warm when it is cold and windy. Not only that, but bags of this style are very wide and offer plenty of space, making them useful for people who sleep on their sides or shift around in the night.

The reverse double-sided zipper system is built to avoid snagging and hold together for as long as possible, giving you full control over ventilation and how warm you will be when inside the bag. The sleeping bag also resists all kinds of physical damage, including sharp stones or other natural annoyances.

Pros:
+ Traps warmth well.
+ Handles all weather types well.
+ Durable and long-lasting design.
+ Protective outer layer.
+ Comfortable interior.

Why We Like It – This winter camping sleeping bag is great for staying warm and cozy in bad conditions, even in the rain.


8. Terra Hiker Down Outdoor Mummy Bag

Terra Hiker Down Outdoor Mummy Bag

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This backpacking bag is made with extremely lightweight materials that make it much easier to carry. The interior is roomy and stretchy to allow for more space while also using materials that won’t rustle, and the water-repellent exterior helps you stay comfortable and warm in wet and cold weather.

The two-way zipper makes it easy to open from both the outside and inside, letting you control ventilation on the fly, and the entire bag design is supposed to protect you from natural sources of irritation such as stones, sticks, and hard patches of ground. The warm footbox also helps you retain warmth a little bit better.

Pros:
+ Very comfortable.
+ Two-way zip system.
+ Protects against water, wind, and cold weather.
+ Physically durable.
+ Extremely lightweight.

Why We Like It – Using this sleeping bag in cold weather will show you just how good it can be at keeping you warm, safe, and away from any hazards or uncomfortable surfaces.


9. Outdoor Vitals Mummy Sleeping Bag

Outdoor Vitals Mummy Sleeping Bag

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This extremely lightweight sleeping bag is perfect for people who need to travel a lot, combining a reduced weight and easy-to-fold-up shape with a high level of warmth retention. The high warmth-to-weight ratio works well alongside the improved interior to make sure that you stay warm for a long as possible, as well as a lower area that specifically focuses on keeping your feet warm and comfortable for as long as you are inside. The design also offers plenty of compression and uses water-resistant materials to keep you from getting damp or chilly in the rain, snow, and other types of bad weather.

Pros:
+ Provides a good night’s sleep.
+ Keeps you safe from rain and condensation.
+ Offers a high level of insulation.
+ Extremely low weight.
+ Very well insulated.

Why We Like It – This sleeping bag is perfect for cold and wet conditions, adding warmth and keeping you dry even if you are sleeping in an open area.


10. Bessport Flannel Lined Winter Sleeping Bag

Bessport Flannel Lined Winter Sleeping Bag

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This winter camping sleeping bag is another design that uses water-repellent fabrics, with the main difference being the high level of durability that comes with it. This can protect you from stones and harsh ground while also helping you stay warm and dry, with the added room of the larger bag design making it perfect for taller, larger, or more mobile sleepers.

It can still be folded down to a very low weight and uses double-sided zippers to give you a higher level of ventilation adjustment, using a reliable anti-snag design that won’t get stuck or rip at the fabric when you are trying to open it.

Pros:
+ Made with tough materials.
+ Retains warmth well.
+ Uses a two-sided zipper.
+ Plenty of room.
+ Deals with extreme weather really well.

Why We Like It – This bag is great for bad weather conditions, but also offers enough comfort to make it a genuinely nice sleeping bag even in normal weather.


Winter Sleeping Bags Buyer’s Guide

Choosing a good sleeping bag from the thousands of winter sleeping bags on the market isn’t easy, especially if you are looking for the best of the best winter sleeping bags and don’t want to settle for anything that is not ‘perfect.’

If you are not sure what to look for, this can get incredibly confusing and difficult, but there is thankfully an easy way to get around this issue: narrow down your search by figuring out which features and design elements you actually want. This makes it much easier to find a unique product that has all the benefits you need with none of the problems that you consider to be serious issues.

Materials

Sleeping bags live and die by their materials since they act as the main source of everything the bag can offer. A sleeping bag that uses materials to get synthetic insulation is almost always guaranteed to be better at holding warmth compared to bags that don’t, even if there is a draft: this kind of thinking is important when you are choosing winter sleeping bags since winter weather can quickly make even the best sleeping bags far less reliable.

Synthetic insulation isn’t the only thing you will want from your sleeping bag, either. A good sleeping bag should help you sleep comfortably, and that means that there might be certain features you want more than others. Materials can still matter here: the right kind of outer materials can provide waterproofing, physical protection, wind resistance, and a range of other benefits, all of which are useful for winter camping (as well as camping in general).

Warmth

caucasian female hiker drinking beverage from cup while wild camping outdoors

The more warmth you can get from winter sleeping bags, the more comfortable you will be during winter camping. In most cases, warmth almost directly translates to comfort, so having more ways to keep yourself warm can make a big difference and help you sleep comfortably for longer. This is extremely important in winter sleeping bags since winter weather is the coldest in the entire year (often dropping below 0°f). Because of this, you will want as much synthetic insulation as possible, as well as other features that can keep warmth trapped inside.

One of these features is a good zipper system. While the zipper is also a way to add more comfort to bags by letting the user change how tight the bag feels around them, it can also offer more ventilation, since you can open a wider hole in the side of the bag by simply moving the zipper. If the bag starts to get too cold, you can move the zipper back to trap in more warmth. Some bags even use a double-sided zipper to help you unzip it while you are already inside.

The Warmth-to-Weight Ratio

Sleeping Bag isolated on white

The Warmth-to-Weight Ratio is meant to tell you how much warmth bags can provide relative to their weight, essentially telling you how efficient they are for the total weight of each of the bags. This might seem irrelevant, but it has a useful purpose: the higher the weight of a bag, the more time and effort it takes to move it around and the less space you have for anything else useful.

This means that bags with a higher weight that can’t actually keep you that warm are an inefficient use of space, which becomes a big problem for hikers and other people who need to make maximum use of their vehicle storage, etc.

This is similar to the temperature rating that gets used for sleeping bags often. This temperature rating is meant to tell you what temperature you can sleep comfortably. It is the lowest temperature at which the sleeping bag will still keep you warm properly. A rating of 0°f is extremely good and better than one at 4°f, but that doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to go for the 0°f option – it is just meant to show you the relative usefulness of each sleeping bag.

Fill Power

Fill power is another rating that is used to judge the relative heat and comfort offered by bags but works slightly differently. Fill power focuses on the amount of down or other ‘fluffy’ padding used, showing you how much heat can be trapped inside and used to bring you extra comfort in cold areas. If you are trying to sleep in 0°f (or near 0°f) conditions, higher fill power is extremely useful, since it means that you are getting more insulation as well as a reduced weight.

Keep in mind that fill power is only one of the measurement methods: bags can have a low fill power and still be useful, especially if you are nowhere near 0°f and are just dealing with a slightly colder than normal temperature.

Weight

Professional equipment is needed during the camping

Weight has been mentioned a few times, but it is one of the most recurring factors in all sleeping bag designs. A heavy sleeping bag is not only harder to move around but might be harder to feel comfortable in if it is pressing down on you. Remember that you have to carry your sleeping bag with you, either by hand or in a car: this means that a heavy sleeping bag will take up more room and weight (in a vehicle) or just force you to carry more for the entire trip (by hand), which can be much harder than it sounds in winter weather.

Even worse, more features often lead to more weight. Bags with extra padding or lining can weigh more, and those with thinner and less insulated bodies will generally have a lower weight. This isn’t always the case, and a lot of bags are designed to minimize weight while still being some of the best winter sleeping bags available, but that doesn’t mean that they are common.

Comfort

Sleeping bags are meant for sleeping, so any sleeping bags that don’t actually work well as a sleeping pad are going to be a problem. You are not just using sleeping bags to keep warm, but you are trying to rest inside them, so a high level of comfort is always desirable. This comfort can be anything from a padded internal sleeping pad to materials that make the bags much softer: the only thing you need to focus on it whatever gives you more comfort, even if it is not something that many people agree is the best option.

Draft Collar

A draft collar or draft tube is a tube of fabric that is meant to wrap around your neck, meaning that your head can peek out without letting a draft get down into the bag itself. A good draft collar isn’t hard to find, but a lot of them can rustle, and a full draft tube might even feel a bit stifling if you are not used to bags with a draft collar of any kind. Since most draft collar designs need your head to be outside the bags, you will also be exposing your head to the cold, which might not be what you want.

Remember that any draft collar or draft tube designs will add a little bit of weight, even if they are made with thin materials. This means that a small draft collar can put the weight of the bags up slightly, and a lot of draft collar designs end up using thicker materials for better draft protection. Whether or not you want a draft collar is entirely up to you since it is definitely not a mandatory feature (even for winter sleeping).

Branding

Man sleeping with sleeping bag

There are thousands of brands out there that all have their own unique features and bags, so don’t be afraid to look through them all. For example, the North Face Inferno bag has things that the Mountain Hardwear Lamina does not, but the Mountain Hardwear Lamina also had things that the North Face Inferno doesn’t. Both bags can be a similar weight and shape, but that doesn’t mean that they will function in the same way. In this case, if you pick the North Face Inferno, you might be getting more heat but having to deal with more weight.

The same can be said for bands other than Mountain Hardwear, like Western Mountaineering. Both Western Mountaineering and Mountain Hardwear product mountaineering sleeping bags, but a Western Mountaineering bag, will be significantly different from a Mountain Hardwear bag in a variety of ways. Add in a third brand, like Nemo Sonic, and you’ve got even more options to compare and sort through.

Because of this, it is a good idea to boil each brand down to a specific set of features. Western Mountaineering might be tough, Mountain Hardwear might be warm, and Nemo Sonic might be comfortable: if you prefer comfort, then you’d end up focusing more on Nemo Sonic. Branding can be a good shorthand tool for figuring out what sort of bags each company sells.

Buyer’s Guide Questions

What sleeping bag do I need for winter camping?

The best winter sleeping bags for winter camping are ones that provide a lot of warmth since the cold will be your main hazard. Weight and comfort still matter a lot, but your sleeping bag will need to protect you from low temperatures (sometimes even as low as 0°f in extreme weather), so having a general idea of what you need in a sleeping bag makes a difference.

Keep in mind that winter won’t always be as extreme as it sounds depending on where you live, and other times the winter weather might suddenly get far worse. Even if you are not expecting 0°f weather, you might want to prepare for it anyway: it is much easier to adjust sleeping bags to cool you down (if you are warmer than expected) than it is to heat yourself up, and a sleeping bag that literally can’t store the heat needed to keep you safe can put you at a lot of risk.

What is the warmest sleeping bag?

The warmest bags are almost always the ones with more insulation. Sleeping bags come in all shapes and sizes, but all sleeping bags need proper insulation, especially a sleeping bag used in winter. The best form of insulation is any layered materials inside the sleeping bags since this makes it easiest for the sleeping bag to actually trap heat. For a light sleeper, bag designs that can stop them from feeling a chill will help them sleep better – a heavy sleeper won’t have this problem, but they will still want a sleeping bag that can keep them safe.

Once you find a sleeping bag with good insulation, you will want to look for other useful sleeping bag features: a sleeping bag with good insulation and a comfortable lining is better than a sleeping bag with only one of the two, and it is always good to go for something above the bare minimum in terms of sleeping bag features. Your sleeping bags might seem fine as long as they keep you warm, but the experience becomes much better when you have sleeping bags that offer the best comfort, protection, and care that you can get.

What weather is too cold for camping?

While it is possible to sleep in 0°f temperatures, it is not recommended unless you are very carefully prepared with the best sleeping bag options on the market. Still, sleeping bags on their own can only do so much, and the heat will eventually dissipate regardless.

Choose the right kind of sleeping bag: 4 season sleeping bags aren’t designed specifically for winter, so they are not the best sleeping bag options here. It is best to prepare for a cold winter ahead of time and rely on more than just your bag: even the best sleeping bag can’t match a good portable heating tool.

Conclusion

By now, you should understand what to look for in winter sleeping bags, how to find a good sleeping bag, and what the best sleeping bag features usually are. Remember that a sleeping bag isn’t just a comfort tool: a good sleeping bag will keep you safe, and the best sleeping bag designs might even stop you from freezing to death.

All sleeping bags are different, but remember to focus on the key sleeping bag features rather than getting sidetracked with things that don’t matter, like the sleeping bag’s color or shape. At the end of the day, the best bag for winter camping is whichever sleeping bag can give you the best level of winter comfort, warmth, and protection.

 

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