When preparing for a cold winter camping trip, one item you do not want to forget is a 0 degree sleeping bag. If the temperature drops below freezing, staying warm at night is crucial for your safety, health, and comfort. Freezing temperatures can pose a real danger when camping, and a zero degree sleeping bag can help keep you warm, insulated, and safe.
The best 0 degree sleeping bags provide a good balance of warmth, comfort, functionality, and weight. However, finding one with all of these features is not an easy endeavor, especially at an affordable price. So before you start planning your next winter camping trip, let’s take a look at the five best 0 degree sleeping bags.
The 5 Best 0 Degree Sleeping Bags
5. ALPS Mountaineering Blaze Sleeping Bag
Even when the temperature falls to -20° F outside, the ALPS Mountaineering Blaze Sleeping Bag will have no problem keeping you warm. The mummy-style design covers and insulates everything except for your nose and eyes, keeping you warm and comfortable throughout the night. With a length of 80 inches, even the tallest campers should be able to fit comfortably inside.
The outer shell and inner lining are both made from durable polyester fabric. The fabric is rip-resistant which is great for sleeping on the ground. The double-layer design keeps warmth inside the bag, and it also comes with a zipper baffle and chest insulation to eliminate drafts and cold spots.
Inside of the sleeping bag is high-quality TechLoft Silver 7-denier insulation, which will keep you warm in temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit. The insulation and thick outer shell also keep you comfortable on hard surfaces.
The Blaze Sleeping Bag is exceptionally easy to carry, so you will not have any problems hiking or traveling with it. It weighs less than 7 pounds and also comes with a convenient stuff sack.
Pros & Cons
4. Hyke & Byke Antero 0 Degree Sleeping Bag
The Hyke & Byke Antero 0 Degree Sleeping Bag is designed for warmth and comfort. It is a combination of a down sleeping bag and a hammock underquilt. It features a hammock collar, so you can actually hang it between two trees. In addition, the Antero Sleeping Bag also functions as a traditional sleeping bag. Whichever way you use it, it will certainly keep you warm and comfortable throughout the night.
You can use the Antero Sleeping Bag throughout the year, it is an insulated, four-season sleeping bag. The rip-proof nylon liner is water-repellent and lightweight. You will stay warm and dry through light rains and early morning dew. When temperatures drop below freezing the goose down feathers trap heat inside, and the large anti-snag zipper keeps cold drafts out.
The sleeping bag is designed for comfort and convenience. The shoulders and toe-box are wider than other 0 degree sleeping bags, it also comes with a drawstring hood. A sack case makes storage a breeze, along with the Velcro strips. Weighing only 3lbs, you will not have any trouble carrying the bag on your hikes.
Pros & Cons
3. Browning Camping McKinley 0 Degree Sleeping Bag
The McKinley 0 Degree Sleeping Bag from Browning Camping is one of our favorite bags for winter camping trips. It is warm, roomy, lightweight, and easy to carry. With 36 inches of width and a length of 90 inches, you have plenty of room to get comfortable inside.
Even if the temperature drops to -30 degrees F during your camping trip, the McKinley bag will have no problem keeping you safe and warm. The oversized sleeping bag boasts a 2-layer offset construction that effectively eliminates cold spots.
For added warmth, during freezing temperatures, the sleeping bag comes with a chest insulator. Zipper baffles effectively lock heat in and prevent cold drafts. The hood helps lock heat inside, and you will love the TechLoft insulation. Not only does the insulation keep you warm, but comfortable as well.
When it comes time to hit the trail in the morning, the sleeping bag is easy to roll up and shove in the included sack case. Weighing 8.9 pounds, it is not the lightest 0 degree sleeping bag on the market, but you should not have any issues carrying it.
Pros & Cons
2. ALPS Outdoorz Redwood Sleeping Bag
The ALPS Outdoorz Redwood Sleeping Bag is one of the most popular winter sleeping bags on the market. Intended for use in temperatures as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit, it features a fantastic rectangle design that really combines comfort with functionality. Compared to mummy-style or standard bag shapes, the Redwood’s rectangle design provides significantly more interior room.
The Redwood Sleeping Bag is made from a sturdy canvas material, so it is durable and can withstand rugged camping conditions. It also comes with a durable wide zipper that not only blocks out cold air, but will also not get snagged on anything.
A 100% cotton liner ensures plenty of warmth during cold nights, effectively trapping heat inside the bag. To ensure you stay warm when the temperatures drop below freezing, it also features a high-quality, lightweight TechLoft Silver insulation.
The Redwood Sleeping Bag is easy to roll up and secure, thanks to the three straps. The straps also boast quick-release buckles for a quick setup at the campsite. Weighing over 11lbs, the bag is a little heavier than similar below 0 degrees sleeping bags but you will appreciate it on cold camping trips. Despite the weight, the three straps ensure that the Redwood Sleeping Bag is portable and easy to carry.
Pros & Cons
1. Hyke & Byke Snowmass 0 Degree Sleeping Bag
The Hyke & Byke Snowmass 0 Degree Sleeping Bag is our favorite sleeping bag to pack for cold winter camping trips. It provides warmth, insulation, comfort, and everything else you need in a 0 degree sleeping bag — all at an affordable price point.
With a durable rip-stop nylon fabric outer shell, tears are not an issue. Additionally, the shell is lightweight and water-resistant. While the water-resistant design may not keep you dry during a downpour with no tent, it is absolutely effective enough to resist a damp ground, morning dew, or light rain shower..
You will stay warm inside the Snowmass sleeping bag, even if the temperatures plummet way down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Along with its waterproof properties, it also boasts duck down insulation. The fill traps heat inside keeping you warm and comfortable. Horizontal baffles block cold air from getting in. You also have the advantage of the drawstring hood that prevents body heat from escaping.
Not only is the Snowmass a comfortable sleeping bag, but it is also portable and easy to transport. The bag compresses down easily to slide smoothly into the carrying case. Since it only weighs a little over three pounds, it is not a hassle to carry this sleeping bag on hikes to the next campsite.
Pros & Cons
Buyers Guide: How to Choose the Best 0 Degree Sleeping Bag
When you are looking for the best sleeping bag for winter camping, there are a few factors that you should consider. Let’s take a look at some of the most important things to keep in mind.
One of the most important factors to consider in a sleeping bag is the weight. The more insulated and thick a sleeping bag is, the heavier and bulkier it becomes. This means winter sleeping bags can get pretty heavy. Most winter sleeping bags have multiple layers of padding and insulation. The sweet spot for zero degree sleeping bags is a weight ranging from 3 to 11 pounds.
To determine what weight is best for you, think about where you are camping and how far you will have to carry the sleeping bag. If you are backpacking, hiking, or carrying your gear for long distances, you should choose a bag that is lightweight. On the other hand, if you are car camping, then the weight may not be as important of a factor for you.
Warmth & Insulation
Sleeping bags provide warmth by trapping in your body heat via insulation. Because of this, a good 0-degree sleeping bag should be packed with plenty of insulating material and padding. There are two types of insulation, down and synthetic.
Sleeping bags with down insulation, either duck or goose feathers, are typically more expensive. However, the feathers do trap heat in better than synthetic fill and compress down to a smaller size.
Synthetic insulation will also keep you warm, just not as effectively and efficiently as down insulation. However, sleeping bags with synthetic insulation can typically be purchased at a lower price.
It is also worth mentioning that not all sleeping bags are designed for use in freezing, zero degree temperatures. Be sure to choose a model that is properly rated for the temperatures you plan to use it during. Additionally, those who enjoy winter camping in warmers may want to opt for a regular winter sleeping bag instead.
Style: Rectangle or Mummy
Generally, the majority of 0 degree sleeping bags will come in one of two design style shapes: rectangle or mummy. There are advantages and downsides to both types, and it often comes down to personal preference.
Rectangle or quilt sleeping bags are lighter in weight, making them an ideal choice for cold weather backpackers. The quilt works similar to a down or flannel comforter you have at home. Unlike a mummy-style sleeping bag with insulation compressed under you, the quilt is on top and effectively traps the heat inside. Your back will not get cold since you are lying on the sleeping bag pad.
Mummy sleeping bags are heavier and bulkier. They are ideal for car camping, you probably do not want to take one backpacking. If you are sleeping in cold and windy weather, you will stay warmer in a mummy bag. If the temperatures are below freezing on your camping trip, a mummy-style sleeping bag will keep you warmer. Additionally, this style sleeping bag commonly comes with hoods, which are a great feature in the extreme cold.
The length of the zipper on a sleeping bag might not seem important until you are camping. Shorter zippers can make it a little harder for taller campers to get in and out of their sleeping bag. Longer zippers not only make it easier to get in the bag, but they also allow for ventilation when it is not freezing outside.
Bag Length and Width
Sleeping bags come in a variety of lengths and widths. When it comes to length, you want the bag longer than your height. You do not want your toes pressing against the seams or having to sleep in the fetal position so you fit inside the bag.
The width of the sleeping bag determines comfort, and not only how much wiggle-room you have. It also affects how warm you are. Wider sleeping bags are cooler since there is more space for your body to heat.
Mummy sleeping bags usually come with a standard width, but rectangle bags are often wider. The added room is not always a downside, it does give you space to slip an extra blanket inside or wear a coat.
A few features to look for include a tear-resistant outer shell. It will ensure your sleeping bag lasts through years of 0 degree camping use. A water-repellent coating is another bonus, especially with down-filled insulation that will not retain heat when wet as well as a synthetic fill.
0 Degree Sleeping Bag FAQ
How do I store a 0 degree sleeping bag?
When you are out camping, it is fine to keep the sleeping bag compressed in the carrying sack. At home, you want to take the sleeping bag out and either hang it or store it flat. If you do cover it with a bag, make sure there is plenty of room.
Keeping your 0 degree sleeping bag compressed for long periods can damage the insulation. It might permanently shift leaving cold spots or lose some of its ability to retain heat. Your sleeping bag will last longer if it is not stored in its sack.
You should clean your sleeping bag after a few uses or when it gets visibly dirty. Luckily, it is easy to wash a sleeping bag, and zero degree bags can usually be cleaned the same exact way. However, it is always important to check the washing instructions that came with your specific sleeping bag, which can typically be found on an attached label.
Are 0 degree sleeping bags expensive?
One of the priciest pieces of camping equipment you can buy is a high quality sleeping bag. And with its additional insulation, a zero degree sleeping bag is no exception. For a good sleeping bag that is rated for use in zero degree temperatures, you can typically expect to pay anywhere between $100 and $300.
Along with the ability to keep you comfortable and warm in temperatures below freezing, these sleeping bags are also extremely durable. If you love year-round or extreme camping, you will quickly realize that a high quality 0 degree sleeping bag is worth its price.
Can I make a zero degree sleeping bag warmer?
There are a few things you can do to make it warmer inside of your sleeping bag. You can add a blanket inside or wear a thick sweater or winter coat if there is enough interior room. Additionally, depending on the model of your sleeping bag, you may be able to add another sleeping bag liner inside.
When it comes to camping in the winter, your health and safety is on the line, so it is important to be completely prepared. One of the most important types of gear to keep you safe is a warm, 0 degree sleeping bag. Be sure to choose one that is rated for use in the temperatures you will be camping in. Overall, as the best 0 degree sleeping bag for winter camping, we recommend the Hyke & Byke Snowmass 0 Degree Sleeping Bag.
No matter what gear you decide to pack, remember to be prepared, be careful, and stay safe. And, most importantly, have fun!
Is there a warm and comfortable sleeping bag that you love to use during your winter camping trips? We would love to try it out! Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.