The Best Winter Sleeping Bags (0-14F)
Winter sleeping bags contain more insulation and are therefore warmer than summer or three-season sleeping bags. You would not want to take this style of bag with you on your average summer backpacking trip. With temperature ratings between 0 and 14 degrees Fahrenheit, these specialized models are most often reserved for expeditions, winter mountaineering and multiday backcountry ski trips. Because of the cold and possibly wet conditions where winter bags are used, they often come with waterproof shell materials and now frequently can be found containing hydrophobic down insulation as well. This makes them bulkier and heavier than models for warmer conditions. Due to the extra insulation and more technical materials, winter bags are more expensive.
In winter seasons or in remote locations at high elevations with snowy conditions, a sleeping bag often ensures your survival, and can be one of your most crucial pieces of protective gear. You want your expedition bag to stand up to the harshest weather and keep you warm no matter what. This is why we also include durability in our scoring metric, along with warmth, comfort and compressibility.
We most recently tested the best winter sleeping bags in 2016 on trips as far flung as Tibet.