Outdoors Camping The 10 Best Cold-Weather Sleeping Bags of 2023 Mountain Hardwear's 0F Phantom Sleeping Bag is our favorite winter sleeping bag By Krystin Arneson Krystin Arneson Instagram University of Edinburgh Krystin Arneson is a writer and editor based out of Berlin, Germany. She covers an array of hotels, products, and destinations for TripSavvy. TripSavvy's editorial guidelines Updated on 02/10/23 Share Pin Email We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission. TripSavvy / Chloe Jeong If you're planning on taking a cold-weather camping trip, you'll need a sleeping bag capable of handling extreme elements. Being inadequately prepared for a cold night can be miserable at best and dangerous at worst. Having the right sleeping bag with proper insulation is crucial if you're in extreme cold. At the very least, a good night's sleep helps re-energize a tired brain and body, which is important to a cold-weather adventure. The hard part is figuring out the right sleeping bag for you. Things like temperature ratings and materials should be considered. Where you adventure and camp is also crucial. For example, will you primarily use the bag for high-alpine nights? Or in more humid winter climates like the Midwest? We've rounded up the best options currently available, taking into account price, shape, and warmth rating. The Rundown Best Overall: Mountain Hardwear 0F Phantom at Backcountry.com Jump to Review Best Overall, Runner-Up: Sea To Summit Ascent Down Sleeping Bag at Seatosummit.com Jump to Review Best Budget: Kelty Cosmic 0 Degree Sleeping Bag at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Backpacking: Western Mountaineering Versalite 10 at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Expeditions: Therm-a-Rest Polar Ranger -20 Sleeping Bag at REI Jump to Review Best for Extreme Cold: The North Face Inferno -40F/-40C Sleeping Bag at The North Face Jump to Review Best for Wet Weather: Big Agnes Boot Jack Sleeping Bag at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Short Trips: Rab Ascent 700 at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Hot Sleepers: NEMO Sonic -20 Sleeping Bag at Backcountry.com Jump to Review Best for Kids: The North Face Youth Eco Trail Sleeping Bag at Amazon Jump to Review Table of contents Expand Our Picks What to Look For FAQ Why Trust TripSavvy Best Overall Mountain Hardwear 0F Phantom Sleeping Bag Mountain Hardwear View On Backcountry.com View On Mountainhardwear.com View On REI What We Like Ultra-lightweight Maximum heat retention Water-repellent finish What We Don't Like Expensive Not good for larger people Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0F Sleeping Bag Review Mountain Hardwear's 0F Phantom is a solid do-everything winter bag—though it's a bit pricey. Losing heat through the head can happen. That's why we love the Phantom's four chambers of loft in the hood. And the draft collar and face gasket help trap precious warm air inside the bag. Packing small and weighing in at less than 3 pounds makes this bag, which has an 850-fill goose-down insulation, ideal for backpacking and hut trips. The Phantom's 10D recycled nylon ripstop holds up to normal backcountry wear and tear. A DWR finish helps repel outside moisture, which is handy for any potential snowy conditions. We appreciate the two-way glow-in-the-dark zipper for easier nighttime exits. Pro-tip: Store the bag in the mesh sack it comes with, not to crush the down fill, which will cut down on warmth. "Mountain Hardwear's Phantom 0F is essentially a puffy down jacket in sleeping bag form," one of our testers said. The bag utilizes the typical backpacking "mummy" shape that tapers down along the legs and can feel restrictive for first-time users. The reasons for utilizing a mummy shape are to minimize the space inside the bag that your body has to heat. The taper also reduces the volume and weight of the bag. "The hood is an area where the Phantom really stands out compared to other bags we tested, with a solid draft collar to hold in warmth," our tester reported. "There's also a cinch to seal the hood around your head for when temperatures are at the lower end of the bag's capabilities. These features make the bag more comfortable by creating a de facto built-in pillow around your head even if that's not their main purpose." Overall, the weight and warmth make this a great sleeping bag for those spending many nights backpacking in the high alpine or push their seasons into colder months. But it's probably overkill for campers or backpackers not spending many nights a season in colder environments. Price at time of publication: $640 for short/left zip Weight: 2 pounds, 10 ounces | Temperature Rating: 0 degrees | Type of Fill: Goose down | Fill Rating: 850 Justin Park / TripSavvy Best Overall, Runner-Up Sea To Summit Ascent Down Sleeping Bag 4.8 Sea to Summit View On Seatosummit.com What We Like Not the traditional mummy shape Extremely lightweight and warm Can be zipped together if partner has same bag What We Don't Like Nothing yet Sea to Summit's Ascent Down Sleeping Bag has quickly become one of our go-to bags for all conditions. It's truly an incredibly versatile bag. First, we love that while it's considered a mummy bag, it's hardly the traditional mummy bag where feet can often feel cramped. A boxier foot space allows a bit more range of motion and movement. We also love what Sea to Summit calls its free-flow zipper system. Besides the main side zip, a half-zip on the opposite side and a foot zip can provide excellent ventilation if you want to take this bag into warmer conditions. It can also unzip completely to serve as a comforter on top of other sleeping bags, which we've done multiple times during our testing. The warmth comes from Sea to Summit's ULTRA-DRY Down 750+ Loft 90 percent Down Cluster Premium Duck Down, which has the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certification. This bag packs into a small size and weighs just under 3 pounds, making it ideal for backpacking. And it has the features you'd expect from a quality brand like Sea to Summit, like oversized draft collars and an internal stash pocket. Price at time of publication: $499 Weight: 2 pounds, 14 ounces | Temperature Rating: 0 degrees | Type of Fill: ULTRA-Dry Down | Fill Rating: 750+ Best Budget Kelty Cosmic 0 Degree Sleeping Bag Kelty View On Amazon View On Kelty.com View On Scheels.com What We Like Includes stuff sack Fast-drying Electronics pocket What We Don't Like Bulky Heavy Those testing out cold-weather camping—or those wanting a bag for a one-off trip—should look at the Kelty Cosmic 0 Degree bag. Kelty is known for high-quality outdoor products at value prices, and the Cosmic is just that. There's no better intro cold-weather bag at less than $200 and a warm rating of zero degrees. Now, the Cosmic won't blow away the other bags on this list. But it does great across the necessary categories like warmth, water resistance, and speedy drying. At 4 pounds, it's a bit heavier than other backpacking bags. But these days, that means it's still relatively light. We also love the Cosmic's PFC-free DWR coating and 600-fill DriDown filling, which uses a polymer application to coat each plume of down, making them hydrophobic. Bonus: The Cosmic has some nifty features like an electronics pocket and draft collar. We took this bag winter camping in the Midwest, where the humidity can go right through your down bag and zap the bones. But our tester found it comfy below freezing temps for multiple nights. Price at time of publication: $300 for regular Weight: 4 pounds | Temperature Rating: 0 degrees | Type of Fill: DriDown | Fill Rating: 600 The 9 Best Air Mattresses for Camping of 2023, Tested and Reviewed Best for Backpacking Western Mountaineering Versalite 10 Sleeping Bag Backcountry View On Amazon View On Backcountry.com View On Moosejaw.com What We Like Comfy Lightweight Breathable What We Don't Like Expensive Western Mountaineering Versalite 10 Sleeping Bag Review If packing light or moving fast is what you're looking for in a winter bag, Western Mountaineering's Versatile 10F sleeping bag is worth the investment. It weighs just 2 pounds and keeps sleepers warm to 10 degrees. The 850-fill is lofty and packs down tightly. We also like the breathability enhancements, such as interlocking draft tubes and a genius collar design, that helps keep air going while backpackers remain warm and cozy inside. Western Mountaineering also added some extra shoulder space for extra layering and for those with broad shoulders. Not surprisingly, considering the name, there's strong versatility with various lengths for this bag, which get much more specific than the usual regular and long sizing. Short is for those 5 feet, 6 inches, and shorter—and weighs less than 2 pounds—and there are also medium and long lengths. It's a durable bag, too, thanks to Western Mountaineering's ExtremeLite shell that uses taffeta inside for a bit more durability. We tested Western Mountaineering's Versatile 10F bag in nighttime temperatures at about 15 degrees and were never cold. The bag would likely hold up if the temps dropped further. Rated as 850+ fill, Western Mountaineering says the unique rating reflects the fact that their Eastern European down is at least that grade but often above 900. The upshot: It's some of the best down money can buy. What that gets you is more insulating power for less weight. That's the ideal combo for pushing your backpacking or bike touring journeys into multiple seasons. The Versalite has some excellent additional features that solve common problems with sleeping bags, like a Velcro strap that goes across the top of the zipper to keep it from inching down while sleeping. To avoid snagging the delicate fabric in the zipper, a piece of plastic runs down either side of the zipper's inside to give it a clear runway. This cuts down a little on the comfort inside the bag, but it's a minor concession to avoid infuriating snags that can instantly ruin your bag. If you're counting grams in your pack, the Versalite 10 does an incredible job of keeping you warm and your pack light for thru-hiking. But you can spend less if you're budget-conscious, and an extra pound won't make or break your trips. Price at time of publication: $655 for 5ft 6in/Left Zip Weight: 2 pounds | Temperature Rating: 10 degrees | Type of Fill: Goose down | Fill Rating: 850 Justin Park / TripSavvy Best for Expeditions Therm-a-Rest Polar Ranger -20 Sleeping Bag 4.2 REI Co-op Shop View On REI View On Thermarest.com What We Like Comfortable and warm Rugged and sturdy Very lightweight for its warmth rating What We Don't Like Expensive Therm-a-Rest's Polar Ranger -20 Sleeping Bag is warm, lightweight, and packed with features. Designed alongside Eric Larsen, the magic of this bag is in the box baffled construction and the PFC-free 800-fill Nikwax Hydrophobic Down. Therm-a-Rest claims the Nikwax down absorbs 90 percent less water and dries three times faster than untreated down. Even if it's half that, it's still clutch to have the treated down in the box baffles. We also love the snorkel hood, which traps heat while allowing moisture to escape, to prevent your breath from forming condensation inside the bag, which can freeze. A magnetic closure seals the hood. There's also a foot warmer pocket, an interior stash pocket for a phone or anything else you don't want freezing, over-stuffed draft tubes, and a draft collar. "If you're a frequent, cold-weather backpacking camper, then this bag has great value; it will keep you warm, it packs down into nothing, and it's durable and comfortable," our tester concluded. "If you're a casual camper who stops camping in November, it might be overkill." Price at time of publication: $790 for regular Weight: 3 pounds, 4 ounces | Temperature Rating: -20 degrees | Type of Fill: Goose Nikwax Hydrophobic Down RDS | Fill Rating: 800 TripSavvy / Grace Kelly The 7 Best Camping Blankets of 2023 Best for Extreme Cold The North Face Inferno -40F/-40C Sleeping Bag The North Face View On The North Face What We Like Center zipper Roomy cut Internal pocket for insulated storage What We Don't Like Bulky Full disclosure: You'll pay a lot for this ultra-warm bag, but what you get is The North Face's warmest bag suited for extreme cold. The 800-fill ProDown Inferno bag is rated down to minus 40 degrees. It also has smart design features like an interior pocket, full draft collar, and hood cinch. Its trapezoidal baffle, designed to keep sleepers from scooching down as they sleep, is also handy. The center zipper is also a unique feature, which makes shimmying in and out of the bag easier for both right- and left-handers. We dig that the feature also allows ventilation via unzippering to be distributed evenly across the torso rather than just drafting in through one side. A generous cut allows you to layer. And the bag comes with a compression and storage sack for when you're out in the wild—or back home from it. Price at time of publication: $790 Weight: 3 pounds, 14 ounces | Temperature Rating: -40 degrees | Type of Fill: ProDown | Fill Rating: 800 Best for Wet Weather Big Agnes Boot Jack Sleeping Bag Amazon View On Amazon View On Bigagnes.com View On Moosejaw.com What We Like Internal and external loops Affordable Water-resistant layers What We Don't Like Not good for extreme cold If your winters are spent in the Pacific Northwest or Northern California—or any other relatively warm and rainy climate—Big Agnes' Boot Jack bag is treated for maximum water protection. The water-resistant shell is a hugely effective first barrier to moisture, but that's not all the company does well. Big Agnes takes DWR-treated DownTek inside the lining, creating an extra layer of protection. We also love Big Agnes' typical ingenuity and cleverness in creating internal and external loops to add liners or hanging after your trek. The 600-fill bag weighs just over 2 pounds and packs down incredibly small. Price at time of publication: $210 Weight: 2 pounds, 2 ounces | Temperature Rating: 25 degrees | Type of Fill: DownTek | Fill Rating: 600 Best for Short Trips Rab Ascent 700 Sleeping Bag Amazon View On Amazon View On Backcountry.com View On Rab.equipment What We Like Roomy cut Affordable Hood drawcord What We Don't Like Heavy Bulky If you're the type of person who will take a few cold-weather trips a year, the Rab Ascent 700 is the perfect mid-level winter bag. The mid-weight, middle-of-the-road price point bag is rated to a low of about 10 degrees. For the price, the Ascent holds up its end of the bargain when it comes to value. We like the roominess of the bag—side, stomach, back, and whatever-else sleepers all have room to move about. The almost 25 ounces of 700-fill duck down is toasty without being overbearingly hot. Plus, a trapezoidal baffle design does away with the cold pockets that can pop up in other bags. It's not the lightest bag on the list—again, think mid-range weight. But this is a solid pick if you're camping from the car, going on a trip that's just a couple of days, or staying in a base camp. Price at time of publication: $330 Weight: 2 pounds, 13.5 ounces | Temperature Rating: 10.4 degrees | Type of Fill: Duck down | Fill Rating: 700 Best for Hot Sleepers NEMO Sonic -20 Sleeping Bag Backcountry View On Backcountry.com View On Moosejaw.com View On REI What We Like Roomy cut Waterproof Comfy What We Don't Like Expensive Heavy This 800-fill hydrophobic duck-down bag is designed for super-cold weather—it's rated to around minus 20 degrees. But it has a small blessing for those who sleep hot: Nemo's Thermal Gills zip down, letting airflow come in across your core as you sleep. It's great for those who tend to wake up hot in sleeping bags. The Sonic is also pretty roomy, which, again, is excellent not only for those that toss and turn but also for extra layering potential. One additional design feature we like: The pulls for the hood drawstrings have a different feel to them so that you can adjust the tightness easily, even on moonless and starless nights. We also appreciate Nemo's PFC-free and Responsible Down Standard, which means there was humane sourcing of the down throughout the entire supply chain. Price at time of publication: $660 Weight: 3 pounds, 8 ounces | Temperature Rating: -20 degrees | Type of Fill: Duck down | Fill Rating: 800 Best for Kids The North Face Youth Eco Trail Sleeping Bag Amazon View On Amazon View On Zappos View On REI What We Like Wraparound J-zip Internal pocket Eco-friendly What We Don't Like Bulky This mummy-style sleeping bag is rated to -20 degrees and is made entirely from recycled materials—so it’ll keep your kid and heart warm simultaneously. There’s a fitted, cinched hood for extra warmth, and the 100% recycled synthetic insulation keeps little ones warm even if outside conditions are a little damp. The Eco Trail has an internal pocket and tie-down loops to attach a sleeping pad underneath. Price at time of publication: $119 Temperature Rating: -20 degrees | Type of Fill: Synthetic The Best Kids' Sleeping Bags to Keep Them Comfy and Cozy What to Look for in a Cold-Weather Sleeping Bag Price How much you spend on a sleeping bag should tie into how much you’re using it. Spending a little more might not be a bad idea if you’re looking for a bag that will keep you warm and comfortable for frequent weekends on the trail. If you’re a beginner or occasional camper, holding back on the budget might be a good idea. Shape Mummy-style bags have a hood-like topper and taper toward the feet, which is designed for holding warmth. Most bags designed for super-cold weather will be mummy-shaped, but if you’re just using the sleeping bag for the occasional backyard camping trip, rectangle-shaped bags will usually suffice. Warmth Rating When finding the right sleeping bag for you, warmth ratings should be used as a baseline—rather than an absolute rule. Manufacturers issue them, so take them with a grain of salt. But they generally indicate the lowest temperature someone could sleep in the bag and stay relatively warm. For cold-weather camping, it's always good to pack extra layers. Frequently Asked Questions How should I clean my sleeping bag? Look on the tag of your sleeping bag for specific instructions about how to wash—and dry—the bag. The tag will be your best source of information because it’s generated specifically for the brand of the sleeping bag and model you’re using. There is one rule about what not to do, and that’s to not dry-clean it. Doing so can damage the waterproof coating and damage the loft (the warm and cozy down that keeps you dry inside). Can sleeping bags be zipped together? Most rectangular sleeping bags can be zipped together for extra coziness on the trail or in the tent. Sleeping bags with hoods, however, don’t work quite as well for this. Many manufacturers will also say if a specific bag can or cannot be zipped to another. What should I look for when it comes to loft? Loft refers to how thick and plump the sleeping bag is—and correlates to how warm the sleeping bags are (higher lofts trap more air to keep you warm). A high loft will give you a lot of warmth but also be bulkier for backpacking and hiking when you might need a sleeker, lighter-weight bag. Should I get a synthetic or down sleeping bag? Less-expensive bags generally tend to be made from synthetic materials, which isn’t a bad thing. If you’re just looking for a bag for camping, one you don’t have to port with you, synthetic bags can be warm but are also a little bulkier because they need more material (loft) to keep you warm. Down bags tend to pack down a little easier than synthetic bags, but if moisture gets on them, they tend to take longer to try (and you might be a little cold in the meantime). Why Trust TripSavvy Krystin Arneson spent 20 hours researching to bring the best cold-weather sleeping bags our way. Multiple products were also tested by Justin Park, who has more than 20 years of experience covering outdoor adventure and gear. TripSavvy's Outdoor Gear Editor, Nathan Allen, also contributed to testing and insights found in this roundup. The 8 Best Sleeping Bag Liners of 2023 Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit Continue to 5 of 10 below. Continue to 9 of 10 below.