Depending on your job, your hobbies, and your local climate, you may be in need of a quality extreme cold weather sleeping bag.
Don’t Go Cheap On A Extreme Cold Weather Sleeping System
Not everyone is camping in the fabulous spring and summer weather. Let’s look over the top 10 best extreme cold weather sleeping bags of 2020. If you’re needing a sleeping bag rated for sub-zero temperatures, your life could quite literally be at risk in those environments just related to hypothermia alone, not to mention lion, tigers, and bears, oh my!
If you must save a few bucks, I have compiled these in order from least expensive to most expensive extreme cold weather sleeping bags, as well as grouping them into rating categories.
Sleeping Bag Ratings Explained
Every sleeping bag has a certain rating. To better understand these ratings without getting too far into the weeds, here is what you need to know. Rating Organizations include the European Norm (EN) and the International Standards Organization (ISO). Sleeping bags go through testing by these EN and ISO standards, and after testing are awarded a temperature rating.
Lab-tested temperature ratings (as indicated by “EN” or “ISO” ratings) are useful when making a good “side-by-side” comparison between sleeping bags from different brands, giving you a reliable expectation when you spend your hard-earned money. However, it’s important to know, that the actual comfort levels you expect based on the rating may not match the lab-tested temperature ratings because of the multitude of external conditions the lab can’t simulate.
The standardized ratings tell consumers what the lowest temperature the sleeping bag will keep the average person comfortable through the night. Depending on your climate, how much weight you can afford to bring, and what exactly you are doing on your expedition, certain bags will cater to you specifically.
So, let’s get cozy and check out 10 of the best extreme cold weather sleeping bags on the market in 2020.
15 to 32 Degree Ratings (Prices Low to High)
Big Agnes Dream Island 15
- Rating: 15 degrees F
To kick it off, let’s assume you have a date, here is dual person bag, the Big Agnes Cabin Creek 15 is a good choice, especially for its price point. This will easily fit two adults and has zippers on both sides to allow easy exit and entry. This also has a connective area where you can attach the bag to your sleeping pad.
This ensures you won’t be sliding off the pad and onto the cold ground in the middle of the night. If you must be in need of an extreme cold weather sleeping bag, having one made for two people just makes sense, cozy sense.
Nemo Jazz Duo 20
- Rating: 20 degrees F
Another companion sleeping bag is the Nemo Jazz Duo 20. There are zippers on either side, and it has large headspace for maximum mobility and comfort. Luckily, there is a limited lifetime warranty that will protect the buyer against factory defects such as zipper issues, fabric rips, and stuffing issues. This provides comfort in the fact that any issues can be resolved with very little hassle.
- Rating: 15 degrees F
One of the bags used for warmer winter weather is the NEMO Riff. At a 15-degree rating, this is not suited for extreme cold but is very good for early spring and late fall temperatures in many areas. What puts this bag apart from the others is the trademarked Thermo Gills. These are slits on each side of the bag that helps maintain an ideal temperature. You can use these to control your internal bag temperature by closing it off or venting in some cool air.
0 to 15 Degree Ratings (Prices Low to High)
Kelty Tuck 0
- Rating: 0 degrees F
For those who are on a budget, the Kelty Tuck 0 is a great choice. With this option, you do not have to sacrifice a good rating to save some money. Also, this is one of the roomier bags as they do not have a tight mummy-style like many of the others. If you toss and turn in your sleep while still wanting to be warm, this is a good option, especially when looking into a more budget-friendly market of extreme cold weather sleeping bags.
Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 0
- Rating: 0 degrees F
A very versatile sleeping bag is the Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 0. The weight hovers around three pounds and the rating is great for the price point. Plus, this is a great bag for a variety of scenarios as it is not too high or lowly rated. Overall, this is a bag that can accompany several climates and situations.
Sea to Summit Ascent ACIII 0
- Rating: 0 degrees
To round out the category, there is the Sea to Summit Ascent ACIII. This is one of the lightest bags on the market weighing in at just under three pounds, which makes it perfect for backpacking or lightweight camping. It is very hard to find a bag of this rating at such a lightweight, but here one is. Plus, the price range is very reasonable, especially for a sleeping bag that will last a long time and can be used in a variety of climates.
-50 to -1 Degree Ratings (Prices Low to High)
Marmot Wind River -10
- Rating: -14.4 degrees F
- Price: $367
One of the lighter down sleeping bags that are rated for negative degree temperatures is the Marmot Wind River. Rated at -14.4 degrees, the bag compacts down and weighs just over four pounds. Marmot offers a lifetime warranty that the bag will be free from factory defects. For example, if a zipper breaks, you can pack up the bag and ship it to Marmot to be fixed and sent back to you.
- Rating: -20 degrees F
If you are looking for a high-quality bag with a mid-to-cold level rating, the Marmot Col is a good option. This is a sleek bag that clocks in at just under 4 pounds, which is great for a -20-degree sleeping bag. The Col also provides a trademarked Pertex shield that ensures the outside of the bag is waterproof and built to handle the elements.
Mountain Hardwear Phantom GORE-TEX -40
- Rating: -40 degrees F
Another bag in the Mountain Hardwear family is the Phantom GORE-TEX -40. This is a very high-end bag that will last a long time. Its biggest asset is the GORE-TEX shell that is completely windproof and stops moisture from entering the bag. The price may be high, but that outer shell and the -40 rating is why. This mummy bag will keep you warm in the harshest of conditions. as is definitely a good option for extreme cold weather sleeping bags.
NEMO Canon -40
- Rating: -40 degrees F
Another high-end bag is the NEMO Canon -40. The rating ensures that you can thrive in very cold conditions. A cool perk of the Canon is zipper armholes that allow easy access without completely compromising your heat source inside the bag. This is something that no other competitors are doing. There is also the Stove Pipe Tunnel Hood that keeps a pocket of warm air right in front of your face. This keeps you warmer while also making it easier to breathe.
As you can see, extreme cold weather sleeping bags can run you a bit more the colder the rating goes, however, when it comes to surviving in sub-zero temperatures, you should definitely not take any chances.
But, at the end of the day, what bags you get comes down to your budget, the climate you will be using it in, and what the companies can provide you as a consumer. Be sure to think about your needs and find the right sleeping bag for you! Now, you know the deal, GET OUTDSIDE!