7 Best Winter Sleeping Bags of 2021

Best Winter Sleeping Bags
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Winter is coming, and warm winter sleeping bags are an absolute must when it comes to outdoor activities in freezing temperatures. The last thing you want is to wake up shivering, or lose a toe to frostbite! Check out our list of the top seven best winter sleeping bags of the year to find the perfect vessel to keep you warm, dry, and cozy all night long, no matter what the weather is doing outside!

Our Top Picks: Best Winter Sleeping Bags

Pressed for time? Here’s the short version:

  • Best Overall: Nemo Sonic. With a -20°F temperature rating, stretch stitching, adjustable vents, internal draft collar, drawstring hood, and cozy 800 Fill Power down insulation, there’s nothing not to love about the Nemo Sonic!
  • Best Runner Up: The North Face Inferno. A close second, this winter sleeping bag has many of the great features of the Nemo Sonic, with ultra-hydrophobic materials to keep you dry and an internal insulated storage pocket.
  • Best Eco-Friendly: Marmot Trestles Elite Eco. Made with 100% recycled synthetic materials, you can rest assured that no animals or planets were harmed in the making of this sleeping bag!
  • Best Budget: Marmot Trestle. This water-resistant, roomy sleeping bag offers a respectable temperature rating and SpiraFil synthetic insulation at an unbeatable price.
  • Best Lightweight: Western Mountaineering Versalite. This incredible sleeping bag offers a good temperature rating of 10°F while weighing in at less than two pounds!
  • Best for Camping: Kelty Cosmic. For the casual camper, look no further than this reasonably-priced, mid-range winter sleeping bag.
  • Best for Backpacking: Mountain Hardwear Phantom. Lightweight, compact, and warm — perfect for multi-day backpacking adventures!

1. Nemo Sonic 800-Fill Down Sleeping Bag

The best winter sleeping bag overall

Nemo Sonic 800-Fill Down Sleeping Bag

Brand: Nemo | Insulation: 800 FP Down | Temperature Rating: -20°F | Weight: 58oz | Price: 💰💰💰💰

The Nemo Sonic is everything a winter sleeping bag should be: lightweight, warm, durable, and reasonably priced. Temperature rated at -20°F, this cozy sleeping bag will keep you safe and warm in even sub-zero temperatures. The 800 Fill Power down insulation is hydrophobic for less-than-dry environments. It is also 100% Responsible Down Standard (RDS) Certified, ensuring all animals involved receive humane treatment.

Adjustable Thermo Gills vent body heat to keep you comfortable, while the internal draft collar seals in the heat around your head and blocks cold drafts. Nemo’s stretch stitching over the knees helps maintain thermal efficiency while still allowing for comfortable movement and side sleeping. The hood is ergonomic with a drawstring for a customizable heat seal. Both the hood and footbox are waterproof and breathable to protect against tent wall condensation.

  • Roomier footbox than most mummy-style sleeping bags
  • Thermal vents help prevent overheating when temperatures rise
  • Warm enough at above-zero temperatures without insulated clothing

  • A bit pricey
  • The “long” size is much pricier than the “regular” size

2. The North Face Inferno 0 Sleeping Bag

The best winter sleeping bag runner-up

The North Face Inferno 0 The best winter sleeping bag runner-up

Brand: The North Face | Insulation: 800 FP Down | Temperature Rating: 0°F | Weight: 46oz | Price: 💰💰💰

The 800 Fill Power down insulation of the North Face’s Inferno 0 is treated with a hydrophobic coating that allows your sleeping bag to dry up to 10 times faster than untreated down. It offers moisture repulsion designed to protect against condensation and dew. Plus, North Face reinforces the hood, footbox, and back of the bag with water-resistant Neovent Air fabric that keeps the interior insulation dry from contact with wet tent walls.

Design features like the full draft collar, integrated draft overlap, and cinch-cord hood seal heat in and cold out for a reliable temperature rating of 0°F. The included storage sack aids with compression and ensures the sleeping bag takes up minimal space when not in use. As a bonus, there’s an internal pocket for insulated storage that you can use to keep your phone and other valuables safe from freezing temperatures.

  • Spacious, roomy, and incredibly comfortable
  • Central zipper design offers ease of mobility without breaking the heat seal
  • Lightweight design with an included compression sack for compact storage

  • Some reviewers wished the zipper was longer for getting in and out
  • The central zipper doesn’t allow for as much ventilation should temperatures rise

3. Marmot Trestles Elite Eco Sleeping Bag

The best eco-friendly winter sleeping bag

Marmot Trestles Elite Eco Sleeping Bag

Brand: Marmot | Insulation: 100% Recycled HL-ElixR Eco Insulation | Temperature Rating: 0°F | Weight: 59oz | Price: 💰💰

Marmot makes our list with their Elite Eco version of their Trestles line of winter sleeping bags. For those who would prefer to avoid the ethical crisis of using down insulation but also disapprove of synthetic materials that often leave large carbon footprints, let us introduce you to Marmot’s HL-ElixR Eco.

The main insulation is synthetic, yes, but it’s also made of 100% recycled materials, meaning you can enjoy the warmth your sleeping bag has to offer with a clear conscience. The Trestles Elite Eco comes with all the features you know and love from their Trestles line of winter sleeping bags, including the 3D adjustable hood, insulated draft tubing, external stash pocket, blanket-soft bottom, and second venting zipper.

  • Eco-friendly insulation is still water-resistant and durable
  • 3D hood design can be cinched to your head for a custom heat seal
  • Temperature rated to 0°F to keep you warm in freezing temperatures

  • More expensive than other bags in the Trestles line
  • Heavier and bulkier than similar sleeping bags, even with the included compression sack

4. Marmot Trestles 15 Cold-Weather Mummy Sleeping Bag

The best winter sleeping bags on a budget

Marmot Trestles 15 Cold-Weather Mummy The best winter sleeping bags on a budget

Brand: Marmot | Insulation: SpiraFil | Temperature Rating: 15°F | Weight: 60oz | Price: 💰

Though it may ring up hundreds of dollars cheaper than some of the other sleeping bags on our list, don’t let the price tag fool you — the Marmot Trestles 15 is still a quality sleeping bag.

Most of the savings are thanks to synthetic insulation, which is much less expensive than down insulation. The trade-off here is that synthetic insulation just isn’t as warm as down, and the Trestles is only temperature rated to 15°F (which is still pretty cold). On the plus side, Marmot’s SpiraFil insulation is hydrophobic. It dries in a flash, unlike even the most water-resistant of downs. The 3D hood is adjustable with drawcords for a tight heat seal, and the anti-snag main zipper is full-length for easy entrance and exit. Other great features include the roomy footbox, blanket-soft bottom, and interior insulated stash pocket.

  • Full-length zipper is excellent for easy access
  • Hydrophobic insulation stands up against multiple nights in the snow
  • Good temperature rating at an unparalleled price for the casual camper or hiker

  • There’s only one size option, which reviewers over 5’10” found too small
  • The bag is heavier than most of the others on our list, and some reviewers found it cumbersome and bulky in their backpacks, even with the included compression sack

5. Western Mountaineering Versalite Sleeping Bag

The best lightweight cold weather sleeping bag

Western Mountaineering Versalite Sleeping Bag

Brand: Western Mountaineering | Insulation: 850 FP Down | Temperature Rating: 10°F | Weight: 30oz | Price: 💰💰💰

As backpackers, hikers, and mountaineers around the world well know, when you’re out in the thick of it, every ounce counts. Western Mountaineering keeps this in mind with their Versalite that weighs in at a mere one pound and 14 ounces — around two pounds less than other leading winter sleeping bags. Even the longer Versalite sizes only weigh in around two pounds, more than a pound less than other options.

The included stuff sack helps compress the sleeping bag down to take up as little space as possible in your pack so you can save room for other necessities. The 850 Fill Power down insulation is temperature rated to a respectable 10°F. Western Mountaineering’s Super Full Collar is also filled with 850 Fill Power down to seal in warmth and protect against unwanted drafts.

  • Super Full Collar seals against drafts and keeps heat in
  • Multiple sizes to accommodate adventurers of all heights
  • Incredibly lightweight and compact, perfect for mountaineering

  • Temperature rating isn’t as low as other major brands
  • Fewer insulation options make it pretty stuffy when temperatures rise

6. Kelty Cosmic Down Sleeping Bag

The best winter camping sleeping bag

Kelty Cosmic Down Sleeping Bag

Brand: Kelty | Insulation: 600 FP Down | Temperature Rating: 0°F | Weight: 64oz | Price: 💰💰

When it comes to casual winter camping, you don’t need all the bells and whistles like some of the other sleeping bags on our list — and you certainly don’t need the high price tag! The Kelty Cosmic down sleeping bag is at a reasonable cost with all the features you need for a winter camping excursion.

Though the 600 Fill Power down may not be as soft and cozy as higher fill power-downs, it’s certainly enough to keep you warm in temperatures reaching 0°F. The included polyester taffeta liner helps make up for any loss in comfort. Each feather is treated with a hydrophobic coating to protect against condensation and ensure quick drying times. The integrated draft tube and insulated hood enhance thermal efficiency and provide a reliable heat seal. Other great features include the full-length, two-way locking, anti-snag zipper, the naturally-shaped, roomy footbox, and the small storage pocket for keeping electronics and necessities close by.

  • Great price for all the basics you need in a winter camping sleeping bag
  • Keeps you warm in colder weather while camping without going too extreme
  • Hydrophobic DriDown offers superior water resistance to other down insulations

  • At four pounds, this is the heaviest sleeping bag on our list
  • The included carry case doesn’t compress the size down, making storage a little bulky

7. Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0 Sleeping Bag

The best winter backpacking sleeping bag

Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0 Sleeping Bag

Brand: Mountain Hardwear | Insulation: 850 FP Down | Temperature Rating: 0°F | Weight: 43oz | Price: 💰💰💰💰

The Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0 Sleeping Bag is a lightweight option at just two pounds and 11 ounces (rounded up), perfect for multi-day backpacking excursions. It stores compactly thanks to the included compression sack and occupies a mere 9.7 liters when fully packed. The 850 Fill Power down insulation is luxuriously soft and temperature rated to 0°F for sub-freezing nights. Tuck stitching helps protect baffle stitches from abrasion, enhancing the bag’s durability and longevity on rough-and-tumble adventures. The oversized mummy cut is anatomically contoured for optimal comfort. It leaves plenty of wriggle room around your shoulders, middle, and toes to accommodate multiple sleeping positions and tossing and turning.

An oversized, insulated draft collar, with the help of a down-filled cinching face gasket, helps seal heat inside and protect against chilly drafts even as you reposition throughout the night. The bi-directional, anti-snag zipper grants easy access to getting in and out of the sleeping bag. As a bonus, it can zip together with compatible right-zip bags to make a two-person vessel. It even glows in the dark, so you can find and operate the zipper in the dark with ease!

  • Compresses down compactly to save space in any backpack
  • Comfortable, roomy design with an insulated draft collar for optimal heat retention
  • Weighs less than most other winter sleeping bags without sacrificing temperature rating

  • The most expensive option on our list
  • Some reviewers felt the cut was a little tight around the shoulders

What to Look for in the Best Winter Sleeping Bags

Resting in One of the Best Winter Sleeping Bags
Image by Dmytro Gilitukha / Canva

Every sleeping bag on our list will keep you warm, whether it’s the middle of winter or you’re just at a high altitude in the mountains. But while retaining heat is the main function of a winter sleeping bag, there are a few other features you’ll want to keep in mind as you decide where to invest your money:

1. Temperature Rating

Be sure to know the absolute lowest temperature your sleeping bag is rated for, so you know whether or not it will keep you safe on your intended trip. It’s important to note that most all-temperature ratings assume the user is wearing a base layer of warmth while inside the sleeping bag.

2. Insulation

Some winter sleeping bags use down fill, where others use synthetic materials. Down fill is generally warmer than synthetic, more easily compressed for compact traveling, and generally considered more luxurious. Artificial materials are significantly less expensive. Consequently, they weigh less and are more water-resistant than down fill with a hydrophobic coating.

3. Fill Power

Fill power refers specifically to the quality of the down fill. The highest fill power is 1,000, and most down fill sleeping bags average around 500 to 700. The higher the fill power, the warmer, softer, and higher-quality the feathers.

4. Size & Weight

Most sleeping bags measure in length (which should be at least as tall as you are) and width in three places: the shoulders, hips, and feet. The wider the sleeping bag, the roomier it will feel. Extra wriggle room is perfect for changing your clothes in the warmth or fitting a furry friend in your bag with you. But it may add some extra weight to your pack.

For backpackers, hikers, and mountaineers, every additional ounce can impact performance.

5. Packability

Some sleeping bags can pack down smaller than others, saving space in your backpack. Others might be more comfortable to use but bulkier to carry around.

6. Durability (Shell Denier)

The denier of the shell fabric of any given sleeping bag represents the thickness of the threads used, which directly correlates to how durable the material is. Most winter sleeping bags fall in the range of 10D to 30D, though they can be much higher than that.

Our Process

For this guide on winter sleeping bags, our team spent 3 hours researching the most popular options from over 20 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about one hundred user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each sleeping bag. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 7 winter sleeping bags on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.

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