When someone says “camping,” your brain probably pictures a beautiful summer day, a delicious meal cooked over the campfire and a stunning sunset to cap things off. That’s because camping is purely a fair weather activity for most people. But people who only venture into the great outdoors in the warmer seasons are completely missing out.
Unforgettable snow-filled scenes, beautiful frozen lakes and the lack of annoying bugs (and people) all fall into the plus column for winter camping. It’s really a different, gorgeous world out there in the winter, but camping in the coldest season comes with its challenges. And, chief among those is the cold.
However, if you’re prepared for the cold, you’ll barely notice it and even come to enjoy winter camping. Your packing list during the colder months will be slightly different when compared to summertime camping, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. But outside of the obvious equipment (boots, jackets, beanies and gloves), you’ll want to pack the appropriate sleeping bag. For this reason, we only recommend using a cold-weather sleeping bag. These bags are rated to keep you warm in sub-freezing temperatures, all the way down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t try to tough it out by sleeping in several layers of coats and jackets. These sleeping bags were made to handle frigid temperatures, and they do so quite well.
Below, we’ve put together a list of the nine best cold-weather sleeping bags. Be sure to order one before your next foray into the winter wilderness.
1. TETON Sports Celsius Sleeping Bag
With over 550 five-star reviews, the TETON Sports Celsius Sleeping Bag is a popular and well-reviewed cold-weather sleeping bag. It’s rated up to -25 degrees Fahrenheit and includes a compression sack for easy storage and transport. You can also choose between three different colors as well as right and left zipping options. You’ll find a brushed poly flannel lining and added padding around the neck and shoulders to maximize comfort and keep the cold out. As an added bonus, there’s a built-in internal pocket for keeping your essentials close overnight.
2. Bessport Winter Sleeping Bag
If you’re looking to avoid a big investment but still want protection from seriously cold weather, give this Bessport Winter Sleeping Bag a look. It has five-star reviews from over 85% of Amazon users and is rated up to -14 degrees Fahrenheit, which is enough protection for the average camper. You’ll also find plenty of space inside for more movement than many competing options. The bag sports a double-layer, waterproof fabric, which can endure use fraught with stones, branches and most things the natural world might throw at it. The bag also sports a handy drawstring and comes with a compression sack for easy storage.
3. Coleman Big & Tall Sleeping Bag
BEST BAG/BLANKET COMBO
This Coleman Big & Tall Sleeping Bag is capable of keeping you warm in temperatures as low as zero degrees Fahrenheit. The design features no-snag zippers and a draft tube alongside the enclosure to help prevent heat from escaping. The bag also boasts a durable construction and can easily be unzipped to create a handy blanket instead of a wrap-around style sleeping bag. Furthermore, it’s possible to attach two of these bags together to cover two people.
4. High Peak Outdoors Cascade Sleeping Bag
BEST MUMMY-STYLE BAG
With the ability to endure temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit, this High Peak Outdoors Cascade Sleeping Bag is an option for every season of the year. The mummy-style bag sports a thermal collar along with a hood and drawstring for when you really want to keep the cold out. It’s also ideal for couples who don’t like to be apart as it’s possible to zip two bags together to create a larger bag. In addition, the bag includes a handy compression sack to save space and make storing your bag especially easy.
5. Browning Camping Kenai Sleeping Bag
BEST HEAVY-DUTY BAG
The Browning Camping Kenai Sleeping Bag is a heavy-duty option which is built to last. The outer shell is made from durable, 210T nylon diamond rip-stop fabric, so that it’s capable of keeping the cold out and the heat in. The double-layer design is rated up to -20 degrees Fahrenheit and stuffed full of 7 Denier TachLoft Silver Insulation to provide a significant barrier between you and the outside cold. It also comes with a compression sack to make the bag easy to store and minimize the space it takes up in your pack.
6. Hyke & Byke Snowmass Power Sleeping Bag
If you’re looking for a lightweight and compact option, the Hyke & Byke Snowmass Power Sleeping Bag could be the right choice for you. It’s made from 400T rip-stop nylon fabric for a high-quality feel and long-term durability. On the bag itself, you’ll find durable YKK zippers and, when compressed, it only measures eight inches in diameter and 11 inches in length. Plus, the USA-made bag includes only responsibly sourced down.
7. The North Face Inferno Sleeping Bag
BEST FOR MOUNTAINEERING
If you’re heading into the sub-freezing wilderness and need a bag capable of taking on the challenge, think about adding The North Face Inferno Sleeping Bag to your kit. This sleeping bag was designed with sub-zero mountaineering and camping in mind, so -20 degrees Fahrenheit should not be an issue. In addition, it’s stuffed with ProDown for a hydrophobic quality which helps you retain warmth in wet weather. Plus, the NeoVent Air hood, foot and back are all made to resist moisture while providing a breathable experience. An internal pocket makes it easy to keep your essentials by your side throughout the night.
8. Marmot CWM Sleeping Bag
The Marmot CWM Sleeping Bag may be the most expensive offering on our list, but that’s for a good reason. This bag is designed for adventurers taking on the harshest and most unforgiving environments in the world. If you want to guarantee your warmth in -40 degree Fahrenheit temperatures, you’ll want this sleeping bag around you. It features a Pertex Shield 2L waterproof and breathable membrane along with 30D nylon rip-stop outer fabric to put plenty of warmth between you and the outside world. The interior is full of 800-fill goose down, and the wrap-around foot box and down-filled draft collar further protect you from the cold.
9. Western Mountaineering Puma Super MF Sleeping Bag
The Western Mountaineering Puma Super MF Sleeping Bag has received a five-star review from every user to date. And while the heftier-than-average price tag may scare many away, customers comment on how pleased they are with the investment. The bag is rated to -25 degree Fahrenheit and includes a storage and compression sack. Altogether, this bag and its accessories weigh less than 3.5 pounds. For maximum warmth, the bag features interlocking draft tubes and a down-filled collar to keep the cold at bay.
SPY Guide: How To Pick The Right Sleeping Bag For Your Next Camping Adventure