The conditions outside will dictate everything, and could encompass thousands of different temperatures and climates. For this article we will be highlighting some of the Best Cold Weather Sleeping bags.
When it comes to wilderness outdoor activity there are really only 3 types of buschcrafters.
- The “Arm Chair Bushcrafter” – Enjoys the virtual arena of the outdoors, and finds enjoyment in the entertainment side of survival.
- The “Avid Bushcrafter” – Enjoys physically getting outdoors, and actually training in survival skills. They enjoy the occasional overnighter, but many times their outdoor activity is dictated by the conditions (weather/climate/etc.).
- The “Active Bushcrafter” – Enjoys testing themselves, and finds joy in challenging conditions. They like to see how their gear functions in less than ideal circumstances, and will typically stay out multiple days, as their schedule permits.
Depending on the type of bushcrafter you are, you may not have a need for a sleeping bag, but if you are a serious outdoorsman then an adequate sleeping bag is vital. (Unless of course you are solely a primitive skills practitioner.)
I have spent many nights sleeping on the cold ground with improper sleeping gear. When I first got into survival I was convinced I only needed a wool blanket to make it through the night, and although I still love wool blankets, in harsh environments they simply are not enough. Even the natives would use large thick animal hides such as elk or buffalo. I have found after years of training that I still prefer a quality layering system. That is why the Military Sleep System has been so popular, but over the years technology has evolved. Many companies now are making quality high end sleeping bags that are light weight, compact, and affordable. With the right sleeping bag you can easily survive in sub-zero temperatures, and when you add a simple wool blanket or down throw you will be able to comfortably sleep in negative degree temperatures.
Here are some of my top picks for the Best Cold Weather Sleeping Bags:
These are in no particular order.
- U.S. G.I. Modular Military Sleeping Bag System (4-Piece) – I used this system for years and loved they layering capabilities, but it can be bulky.
- Snugpak Tactical Series 2 – I personally love Snugpak sleeping bags, they are extremely warm and versatile.
- Snugpak Basecamp Series – Featured in the video below is the Basecamp Navigator SQ which has the squared bottom instead of the mummy design. If you can handle a tight footbox the mummy design is warmer
- Coleman North Rim Mummy Sleeping Bag – Affordable and reliable sleeping bag. Bulky, but really comfortable and warm.
- Big Agnes – 0 Sleeping Bag – Extremely comfortable sleeping bag filled with Thermolite Extra Simulated down and is for use in temperatures down to 0 degrees F.
- The North Face Sleeping – One of my friends is a mountaineer and has summit some of the top glaciers, and he swears by North Face Sleeping Bags. Only downside is they are pricey.
Don’t forget to add a sleeping pad:
- Multimat Foam Pad – Extremely durable closed cell foam mat. It is supplied to the British Army and is the most reliable sleeping solution.
- Thermarest Ridge Rest Solar Sleeping Pad – The aluminized surface is perfect for reflecting body heat adding to the effectiveness.
Things to Consider when Choosing a Sleeping Bag:
- Budget: “Buy Once, Cry Once” is our motto, and it is important that you get the best sleeping bag you can afford.
- Size: Be sure to purchase a sleeping bag slightly larger than you think you need.
- Temperature Rating: Be sure to do some research on what the bags insulate R value is. Make sure it is rated for the necessary temperature.
- Comfort: The size of the bag usually indicates the overall comfort. Large bags tend to have more padding, and provide more comfort.
- Shape: Sleeping bags come in all shapes and sizes. Mummy style bags are usually warmer, but are more restrictive to movement.
- Temperature Control: Think about where the zipper placements are, and preferably choose a sleeping bag with a head cover.
I wish you the best of luck on your next overnighter, and hope this simple sleeping bag list is helpful. Be sure to check out the video below, share, subscribe, and shop using the links provided in this article. Support Sigma 3 and shop SurvivalGear.us
Justin “Sage” Williams
Director of Operations
Sigma 3 Survival School