A good quality cold weather sleeping bag is probably the most critical piece of sleeping equipment because it reduces convective heat loss and keeps you warm and comfortable during night time. A cold weather sleeping bag’s warmth depends on the amount and quality of insulation used. So what is the best cold weather sleeping bag?
The best cold weather sleeping bags ultimately use high-grade insulation, e.g., insulation with an excellent warm-to-weight ratio. A small amount of insulation is used in lower-quality cold weather sleeping bags. The warmest sleeping bag, the Snowy Owl Sleeping Bag, has been the bag of choice for polar expeditions from the beginning. However, there are other good qualities and more affordable cold weather sleeping bags available.
Searching for and choosing the best cold weather sleeping bag may take some time and effort, but it will be worth it. There are some affordable and high-quality winter sleeping bags that you can use when sleeping under the stars. Below are some tips that can help you choose the best and warmest cold-weather sleeping bag for you.
How Do I Choose a Winter Sleeping Bag?
The right and best sleeping bag in winter are the first that make all the difference to a restful night’s sleep, whether you are camping in the summer or planning a winter adventure outdoors. It is recommended that you choose a sleeping bag with a temperature rating a couple of degrees colder than the coldest temperature you plan to camp in for the most comfortable sleep at night. Don’t forget if you plan to camp at higher elevations, and it will be colder.
If you get too warm in the sleeping bag, you can always unzip your bag for ventilation. In the winter season, a sleeping bag with a temperature -15°C or below is best.
When deciding to buy the high quality and best winter sleeping bag, consider the following key factors:
Choose a sleeping bag rated slightly lower than the typical temperature you plan to camp in.
Type of Insulation:
There’s down vs. synthetic filling. Each has its pros and cons.
The type of insulation and the cut of the bag are the two significant factors. When you compare (weight) values, make sure to compare sleeping bags with the same temperature ranges.
Keep in mind the extra features as well. Additional elements on your sleeping bag can make the difference in why that particular a sleeping bag works best for you—for example, features like: types of adjustment features, stash pockets, pad compatibility, etc.
It’s also essential to choose the right Sleeping Pad when camping in the outdoors. Being comfortable at any temperature not only depends on how warm your sleeping bag is but other variables such a sleeping pad also play an essential role, especially the R-value of your sleeping pad.
The R-value of a sleeping pad measures it’s the capability to resist the heat flow going through it. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation to keep you warm when sleeping on the cold ground. R-values of sleeping pads range from less than 2 to 5.5 or higher. The higher the number, the warmer it will keep you.
Why Am I Cold in My Sleeping Bag?
Many factors depend on the question, “why am I cold in my sleeping bag?”. Such as;
- If your sleeping bag’s size is too big, the cold air pockets created inside leave you feeling cold.
- If your sleeping bag is too short or small, you won’t be covered up completely.
- If your sleeping bag is too tight, you will also feel cold.
- If your sleeping bag is not insulated enough.
- When your toes are sticking out of your sleeping pad.
- When you’re sleeping or camping in a firm or cold wind.
- If you go to bed when you’re already cold, your bag might not be able to warm you up.
- If you are a woman, it can be more difficult to warm up because women tend to be and sleep a few degrees colder than men due to their smaller size.
How Do You Sleep in a Sleeping Bag in Cold Weather?
Here are a few tips on cold weather sleeping:
- Choose the right ground for your campsite (preferably on low grass or leaves).
- Put your sleeping pad inside your sleeping bag.
- Put an extra blanket under your sleeping pad.
- Use a Sleeping Bag Liner.
- Stuff clothes into your sleeping bag.
- Sleep with your clothes or pajamas on.
- Put your cold feet inside your backpack to warm them up.
- Make sure you are already warmed up before going into your sleeping bag.
What is the Lowest Temperature Sleeping Bag?
There are different sizes and different temperature sleeping bags for different seasons. For example, for the winter season, the recommended temperature rated sleeping bag is -15°C or below. A good winter sleeping bag is a necessity for winter camping and mountaineering or can also be used when summer camping.
The appropriate temperature rating for cold or warm weather outdoor sleeping adventures depends on the current weather conditions. The extreme polar expeditions sleeping bags can handle temperatures of -40 degrees/ Fahrenheit or lower. The warmest sleeping bag on the planet is the Snowy Owl, which is being used for polar expeditions. A more affordable, also high-quality cold weather sleeping bag is the High Peak Outdoors Cascade -40 Degree Sleeping Bag (click to check the current price on Amazon). Good value for your money are the sleeping bags of TETON Sports (click to check the current prices on Amazon). They are affordable and keep you warm when camping or backpacking, even in colder temperatures.
What Do You Wear in a Winter Sleeping Bag?
The best to wear in a Winter Sleeping bag is dry layered underwear, clothes, or maybe even a hat. This will keep you warm and comfy in cold weather conditions sleeping in the outdoors. The more layers of air you can create around your body, the warmer you will get and stay. A layer or two should be sufficient to keep you warm at night. Clothes act as an insulation layer that keeps your natural heat close to your body and prevent the warmth from escaping.
Which is Better Down or Synthetic Sleeping Bag?
Here are some pros and cons of down and synthetic sleeping bags.
The difference between a Down and Synthetic sleeping bag is the significant price difference between these two types of sleeping bags. Sleeping bags with down filling are more expensive. They start at around $300- due to the increasing popularity of hip down jackets worldwide with insulation and undercoating that provides warmth. So due to more extensive demands, the worldwide down filling is more expensive than synthetic-filled sleeping bags.
Warmth to Weight Ratio:
The advantage of down’s warmth to weight ratio is unmatched. It’s called fill power. So what is fill power? Generally, it is a measurement of the cubic inches an ounce of down can fill a sleeping bag. The higher the fill power, the warmer the sleeping bag. In comparison, the synthetic bag’s insulation is made from polyester fibers, which has heavier warmth to weight ratio that also affects a synthetic bag’s compressibility. Conclusion: A down-filled sleeping bag is lighter and easier to pack in your backpack than a synthetic sleeping bag, which is heavier and takes up more space in your backpack. On Amazon, you have an extensive choice of affordable, good quality Down-Filled Sleeping Bags (to check the latest prices click here) which will definitely keep you warm when camping or backpacking in cold temperatures.
When you plan to camp in the winter season, when the weather can be wet due to rain, snow, or camp near a river, synthetic sleeping bags are the safer bet. Synthetic insulation is designed to maintain insulation even when it gets wet. Also, synthetic material dries faster. For down, moisture is killing. However, recently a new type of down has been created called “hydrophobic down,” a type of water-resistant down that absorbs 70% less moisture than “normal” down filling and dries faster.
So which type is better? Despite the new invention of hydrophobic down, a synthetic sleeping bag is still better than down when sleeping in wet conditions. Synthetic dries faster and is more reliable in damp weather conditions than down filling. Check out the current prices on Amazon for high-quality, warm, and affordable Synthetic Sleeping Bags.
What is the Best Cold Weather Sleeping Bag? Conclusion:
Choosing the best cold weather sleeping bag depends on many factors depending on the individual, physical needs, type of temperatures, weather conditions, and money to spend. There are good-quality sleeping bags in different shapes, sizes, and price ranges. Hopefully, this blog has helped you to know what to look for when choosing the best cold weather sleeping bag for yourself.