If you’re in a rush, the best winter sleeping bag in 2019 is the Western Mountaineering 10-Degree Versalite Sleeping Bag.
Camping in the winter can be quite challenging if you aren’t prepared with the proper equipment. When the sun goes down, and the temperatures drop, the most crucial cold-weather gear you need is a winter sleeping bag.
No matter how warm the day is, nights get cold. It’s smart to prepare for severe weather even if it begins a beautiful day.
Your sleeping bag is your bedrock of warmth, so you must choose the right one. Sure, picking up a good winter tent will help you stay warm, but sleeping bags have much, much more insulation than tents.
The 5 Best Winter Sleeping Bags for Backpacking
I’ve reviewed a variety of cold weather sleeping bags and found the five best ones for camping and backpacking this winter. In this article, I’ll show you my five favorite sleeping bags, then explain what I was looking for.
Nemo Sonic – Zero Degree Down Mummy Bag
The Nemo Sonic Zero Degree Down Mummy Bag is a great sleeping bag for anyone camping in single-digit weather. The bag has plenty of room for moving sleepers, and it’s super waterproof to ensure you’ll be dry and warm all night long.
This sleeping bag was designed with an offset zipper to create an excellent seal and an oversized draft collar to trap in body heat. Not to mention, this sleeping bag was made with 100% RDS (Responsible Down Standard) certified down feathers, so you know the manufacturing process was humane.
- The stretch construction allows for movement while sleeping (especially side sleeping).
- The bag design traps body heat with an oversized draft collar and an offset zipper that creates an efficient seal.
- The foot portion of this sleeping bag is breathable and waterproof, so even sweaty feet stay warm and not chilly.
- The down in this sleeping bag is 100% RDS certified, which means that the entire down collecting process was very humane.
- Nemo gives you top-tier warmth all night long.
- Although a premium product, it does come with a premium price tag.
Best for: restless sleepers who want flexibility and warmth while sleeping.
Western Mountaineering – 10 Degree Versalite Down Sleeping Bag
This sleeping bag is great for backpacking because it is so lightweight. At only 2 pounds, it can compress down to a small size that is perfect for packing. When trying to keep packing light and small, this is a great tool for backpacking.
- The full down collar on this sleeping bag seals in your body heat to keep you snug and warm all night long.
- This sleeping bag is very lightweight and compresses down to a convenient, small size. It will not weigh you down or take up too much valuable tent space when camping.
- It definitely works in temperatures as low as zero degrees Fahrenheit.
- The top of this sleeping bag has a cinch so you can close it tightly and warmly around your face for an extra warm seal while steep breathing comfortably.
- This bag’s high-quality materials can withstand the elements, even through rugged use.
- Zero-degree warmth comes at a nonzero price, so consider a less warm bag if you’re on a strict budget.
- Although cozy, some people might not have much room for their arms when the sleeping bag is zipped up all the way.
Best for: campers who prioritize packing light and small, but still want superior warmth.
Marmot – Lithium Zero Degree Down Sleeping Bag
Marmot is a great brand known for making excellent tents, but their sleeping bags are nothing to sneeze at either.
The Marmot Lithium Zero Degree Down Sleeping Bag is a quality down sleeping bag that guarantees you keep you warm on cold nights. The inside is thick goose down and comes with Down Defender, a unique blend that helps keep it water-resistant.
This sleeping bag is also great for backpacking because it is very lightweight. It compresses easily, so you know your pack will be light. Even after compressing it, it expands back out into its fluffy normal state.
- Available in two sizes (regular and extended), people of every height can use this model to stay toasty.
- The materials are high quality (won’t rip) and the goose down is very cozy.
- Marmot included their unique Down Defender, which adds water-resistance for damp conditions.
- This sleeping bag is lightweight and compressible, which is perfect for packing light when backpacking.
- This sleeping bag is very fluffy, making any rocky terrain feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud.
- Like most quality winter tents, the price tag can put a dent in your wallet. But it is well worth it.
Best for: campers who want to be prepared for any conditions – including rainy nights.
Coleman – Zero Degree Mummy Sleeping Bag
Like most Coleman gear, this sleeping bag offers a top-notch experience at a very reasonable price.
I really like the Zero Degree Mummy model because it has several design features that guarantee you stay warm. That includes quilting, an insulated foot-box, and a Thermolock draft tube.
Not to mention, this sleeping bag is fantastic for tall campers as it accommodates heights up to 6 feet 2 inches. Several other features like the ZipPlow system (and a low price tag) make this sleeping bag a great choice.
- The bag’s semi-sculpted hood includes a drawstring to cinch it up around your face for added warmth.
- The hood also has enough room to fit a pillow.
- This bag was made to accommodate tall people and works well for people up to 6’2″ tall.
- Features like quilting, an insulated foot-box, and a Thermolock draft tube keep you warm with plenty of heat retention.
- The ZipPlow zipper system makes sure that the bag material is pushed out of the way to prevent snagging while zipping. You can even zip it up from inside the sleeping bag (super easy).
- Quite the deal – its price tag makes it a steal compared to other cold-weather sleeping bags.
- Although warm, this bag weighs more than other choices in this article. I recommend the Marmot or Nemo for backpacking.
- Because of all its fluff, it might be challenging to get this bag back in its carrying bag.
Best for: tall campers who want to save money but not skimp out on warmth.
TETON Sports – Fahrenheit Mammoth Double Sleeping Bag
It’s larger than a queen size mattress and unzips on three sides for easy access.
This sleeping bag was constructed with double layers and SuperLoft Elite fiberfill to keep you cozy. Not to mention, there is a cotton flannel lining that is soft and comfortable on your body. This sleeping bag is sort of like layering your clothes…it provides form and function while still being pleasant to wear.
- You can comfortably sleep more than one person since this double sleeping bag is more spacious than a queen size mattress.
- There is a soft, cotton flannel lining in this sleeping bag that provides comfort and heat.
- The top cover of this sleeping bag is removable, so you can enjoy using it even in warmer months.
- This sleeping bag zips up on the sides and across the top for easy access. Your +1 won’t wake you up if they have to get up and use the bathroom in the middle of the night.
- Double-layer construction and SuperLoft Elite fiberfill shelters you against low temperatures.
- Works well all the way down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The compression carrying bag might be too small, so be patient when packing it up.
- The bag can’t be run through the laundry and must be hand-washed due to its flannel.
Best for: couples or families who want to snuggle up in a big, flannel sleeping bag together.
How to Choose a Winter Sleeping Bag
When shopping for a winter sleeping bag, it’s essential to understand the different components of a sleeping bag. There are several varieties of sleeping bags, but not all of them are warm enough for winter.
As always, keep your own preferences and camping conditions in mind when choosing a winter sleeping bag. Understanding the options out there will help you make the best, most informed decisions for your needs.
There are a variety of shapes of sleeping bags available. These include rectangle, semi rectangle, mummy, and double.
The rectangular sleeping bag is your standard bag, and the double is just a larger rectangle that is made for multiple people.
While these are great options for chilly weather, especially since the double bag allows you to share body heat, there are other shapes out there. The semi rectangle and the mummy shapes both help retain heat inside better than the rectangle.
Sleeping bags can be insulated with several different types of insulation. Synthetic insulation is cheap and warm, but you won’t find a warmer sleeping bag than one that is filled with down feathers.
Not only is down optimal for any kind of weather (dry, wet, or even windy conditions) but it’s also vital for backpacking since it doesn’t weigh much.
Sleeping bags come with additional features that could make it great for winter use. Things like compression bags, hoods, and zippers can make a sleeping bag warmer when temperatures drop.
Take a detailed look at the bag to see if there’s any bells & whistles that really appeal to you. You’re going to be sleeping in this, after all, so why not go all out?
How to Stay Warm When Camping in the Winter
Staying warm in the winter when camping is more than just buying a winter sleeping bag. There are several tips and tricks you can use to warm yourself up, even when you are camping in single-digit temperatures.
Staying warm is all about layers, so layer up!
Wear several different layers to bed and buy a sleeping bag with multiple layers. Maybe even go as far as layering sleeping pads, so there is more than one layer between you and the ground.
Eat and Drink
Not only does improper nourishment lead to health problems, but it can also mean you are more prone to being cold.
When you camp in the winter, make sure to stay hydrated and eat plenty of food. Not only does a warm meal feel good going down on a cold day, but it can also result in feeling warmer for longer. If you start feeling cold, eat a quick snack as it revs up your metabolism and increases warmth.
During the Night
If you wake up feeling cold during the night, there are a few things you can do to give you a boost of heat.
As mentioned, a quick snack can warm you up. You can also bust out some jumping jacks before getting back in your sleeping bag, or even take a bathroom break.
If you have to pee, your body will use energy to keep your bladder warm, not the rest of your body. So emptying your bladder could help disburse that warmth throughout your body.
Camping in the winter doesn’t mean you have to feel cold the entire time. In fact, it can be the exact opposite! With the proper gear, especially a winter sleeping bag, you can be just as warm as you would be at home.
The best winter sleeping bag on the market today is the Western Mountaineering 10 Degree Versalite Sleeping Bag. This winter sleeping bag has everything you need to stay warm like a full down filling, a cinching hood, and a body heat seal.
Not to mention, it is super lightweight and easy to compress. You’ll never have to worry about adding weight or bulk to your packing with this epic sleeping bag.