Are you set on avoiding freezing your arse off when going on your next winter adventure? Then, let me help you find the Best -10º Sleeping Bag for you, read on!
Being cold on a camping night it’s not fun! You cannot sleep. You feel like coughing all the time -sorry friends, I’m the only one who doesn’t have proper winter gear! You can forget about feeling rested the following day, when you need to be super focused to go down a snowy mountain.
Lemme just say it…it sucks.
More so when all the other happy campers can stay happy, cozy, and pretty much naked inside their sleeping bags, even if they are visiting Antarctica.
So this year I’ve made a decision. I’m going to finally get the best winter sleeping bag my money can buy!
In this guide, I’m sharing with you the best -10º sleeping bags available on Amazon. I’ve curated the list by doing extensive research and, of course, using my own experiences as a compass.
As temperature ratings can be quite confusing, I’m throwing into the mix a -20 sleeping and a couple of 0 to -10 budget sleeping bags suited more for just camping and no so much for hiking.
Being mindful of your sleeping system as a whole is key, so complete your ‘combo’ with a sleeping pad with an R-Value that stands up to the occasion -4/5+.
If you want more resources for gearing up, check out this The Camping Check List: Guide and Printable Camping Lists
Before we dive in, I’ve prepared a quick summary of the sleeping bags included in this article. Plus, you’ll also find all the ins and outs of choosing the right one for you.
If you’d rather jump ahead, click here and get to the selection of the best cold weather sleeping bags!
- Best for price and quality for year-round adventures: TETON Sports ALTOS Lightweight Mummy Sleeping Bag
- Best for sub-zero hiking adventures: Outdoor Vitals Summit Mummy Down Sleeping Bag
- Best for affordable winter camping trips: Coleman Mummy Sleeping Bag
- Best for budget campers who enjoy space for sleeping: TETON Sports Fahrenheit Sleeping Bag
- Best for altitude expeditions -also has great waterproofing: Marmot Col Sleeping Bag -20 Degree Down
Types of Sleeping Bags: The Basics
Let’s take a quick look at how sleeping bags are categorized. Keep reading as in the next section I explain how temperature ratings work.
By Season: Summer, 3-season and Winter Sleeping Bags
One of the main ways to classify a sleeping bag is by season. Clearly, cold weather calls for a highly technical piece of gear that can keep you safe over chilly or even sub-zero temperatures.
In hot summer nights, you’d want to stay light and fresh and be able to unzip your sleeping bag fully. This is why many summer hikers choose to ditch their sleeping bags and use just a liner. However, others go for roomy, rectangular sleeping bags that pack small and are ultralight.
The average temperature rating for summer bags: 32°F -0ºC- and above
Wonder what temperature is a 3-season sleeping bag? Well, it’d keep you safe down to 32ºF -0ºC- but the bag wouldn’t be optimal for cold weather. Note that I say ‘safe’ and not comfortable, so keep reading as this gets interesting!
The average temperature rating for a 3-season sleeping bag: 20 to 32°F –6ºC to 0ºC.
Proper winter sleeping bags are designed to keep you dry and warm when things get real -and have heaps of smart features to achieve this.
The average temperature rating for a winter sleeping bag: 20º and below.
It’s interesting to try and understand which type of sleeping bag suits your needs best. Many folks would go for a 3-season and carry a liner for a bit of extra warmth.
By Filling: Synthetic vs Down Sleeping Bag
There’s a lot to say about ‘all-things-gear,’ but the main goal of this guide to the best cold weather sleeping bags is to keep it simple so you don’t have to become a gear-snob
The filling inside your sleeping bag is the main factor determining its level of insulation -hence, how warm it will keep you.
When you read that a sleeping bag is filled with ‘down,’ this refers to the layer of fluffy and tiny plumage under goose or duck’s feathers. The main perks of this type of filling is that provides excellent insulation, takes little space -this is called ‘warmth-to-weight ratio’- and it lasts years.
The con of down filling is that it’s not naturally water or moisture resistant. However, as you’ll note in the descriptions of the sleeping bags I’ve selected, each brand has its own way of treating the filling.
Many brands add a coating of a water-resistant or water-proofing product. When looking for specifications, a down fill rating of between 500 to 800 -inches per ounce- would indicate a good quality down.
Understand that the superiority of a down filling comes at a price! There are affordable sleeping bags made with down, but you need to take the time to research -or keep reading this guide as I’ve chosen some for you!
You’d find this type of filling in most budget sleeping bags. The great perks of synthetic filling are that it’s water-resistant and washable. However, synthetic fibers don’t retain as much heat and can be super-mega bulky! There are still some great options out there!
By Shape and Features
There are basically 3 shapes of sleeping bags: mummy, rectangular, and semi-rectangular. I’ve chosen mostly mummy-shaped bags as these are more efficient. By having a tighter fit, among other features, these bags won’t let the heat escape that easy. Comfy and spacious rectangular sleeping bags would hold patches of cold air.
If you tend to feel claustrophobic inside mummy sleeping bags.
There are more features leading to the overall performance of a cold-weather sleeping bag. The hood, the shell, the draft tubes, the zippers…every single piece of design has a part to play.
How to Choose the Best Cold Weather Sleeping Bag for You
As I did on my guide to choosing the best budget hiking boots, here are some things you should consider before buying a cold-weather sleeping bag.
What are you going to use it for?
It’s extremely important to understand the weather conditions and temperature brackets. I find that for 1 or 2-nights hikes or just sleeping in your car, an affordable winter sleeping bag can go a long way. This would be an option for cold but not extreme weather as you can make it up with a liner or extra layers of clothing, which you may be wearing anyway. Always check and stay on the safe side!
How cold do you get?
Women usually get colder than men -more on that below! Keep this in mind when choosing. Every time I discuss how cold the night was, my male friends tell me they did great, whereas us ladies frickin’ froze all night. At the end of the day, the important thing is to be mindful of how much you suffer from being cold.
How much weight can you (or should you) carry?
Some sleeping bags are bulky and heavy. If you are small or feel back pain when hiking with your backpack, then an ultralight winter sleeping bag would be a great investment. Being as comfortable as possible when hiking is very important as pain can ruin the hiking experience. I’m not talking about discomfort, but actual pain that could be avoided by choosing the right gear.
- Here’s a wee story. My best friend came to New Zealand a couple of months ago. She brought her tent. A fab, winter tent designed for alpine weather. So this thing was heavy and huge. Like…huuuuuge. The problem was that she came over the summer. Even though we went to the mountains and the weather was cold, we didn’t use it as it was a bit of a pain to set. In the end, we used it only for 3 nights, painfully carried it for most of our trip, and then got rid of it. We ended up renting a summer tent. It wasn’t what we needed for our hikes, and it only ended up causing her back pain.
It’s REALLY important to choose your gear wisely.
We are both experienced hikers, but we should’ve known better. This was not the piece of gear we needed.
What type of sleeper are you?
Are you the ‘hold me tight li’l sleeping bag’ type? Or more like…’ set me free you evil, claustrophobic sleeping bag?’ Some people wouldn’t recommend a mummy-shaped sleeping bag to side sleepers but I just roll with it and instead of bending my legs inside the sleeping bag, I just bend the whole thing. My priority is to avoid cold from getting in but, if you really need a lot of room for sleeping, a rectangular sleeping bag would still be a good choice.
How Do Temperature Ratings Work?
I’ll try to keep this as simple and easy to follow as possible. Somehow sleeping bags temperature ratings are hard to really understand. The key thing, at least for me, is to always stay on the safe side and choose a sleeping bag designed for the lowest temperatures we might experience.
For starters, most sleeping bags nowadays have 3 ‘temperature brackets.’ One is for optimum comfort, the other is for the ‘near-the-limit’ temperature, and the last one is for the bare minimum temperature, meaning that it’s not sustainable to stay warm for long periods.
Sleeping bags are tested in labs, so the testing doesn’t fully represent a real-life scenario. Also, consider that you have more than one piece of gear you use for sleeping eg: sleeping pad, a mattress, a liner, and even the type of tent will influence.
There are also different testing methods -some brands would even use their own. So I’d say it’s important to take these ratings seriously, but understand they are not 100% accurate.
Sleeping bags temperature ratings 101
T Comfort – Based on an adult woman sleeping relaxed and comfortable while wearing 1 layer of clothing.
T Limit, or the lower limit of the Transition Range – Now, picture an adult male. He’s also wearing 1 layer of clothing but needs to snuggle to stay warm. Well, that’s the lowest temperature that man can still get a good night’s sleep. If it gets colder, he won’t be comfortable any more. As its name explains, this is the transition range between feeling comfortable and those nights where you just wish you had a couple more layers of clothing.
T Extreme, or the lower limit of the Risk Range – Again, picture an adult woman feeling an intense cold sensation that’s sustainable only for a limited period of time. So in this scenario, things are getting complicated. You should never ever expose yourself to something like this, as it can cause extremely serious health issues.
As I mentioned before, men’s and women’s bodies’ temperatures vary, so these standards aim to cover the temperature brackets for everyone.
Best for: A great balance between price and quality for all-round winter adventures.
Filling: MTN-DRY™ hydrophobic white duck down
Temperature rate: –10°F (-23°C)
Size: 84″ x 32″ -at the shoulders- x 17″ -foot (213 x 81 x 43cm)
Weight: 4.2 pounds (1.9kg)
Pack size: 16″ x 8″ x 8″ (42 x 25 x 25cm)
Rating: 4.2 (Amazon – 143 reviews)
- Keeps you dry as it’s water-resistant
- Easy to pack! You don’t need to roll it to put it in the compression sack
- Adjustable hood that keeps your face warm and keeps cold out.
- Zippers can be closed from both inside and outside the sleeping bag.
- Extra room for feet -ideal if you move a lot at night or feel a bit claustrophobic inside a mummy shaped sleeping bag.
- Lifetime Warranty
- Some components in this winter sleeping bag are sustainable and recycled.
- Not the tiniest, nor the lightest of the lightweight range of winter sleeping bags.
- Most of the critical reviews on Amazon mention that the down sleeping bag was losing feathers. Nothing serious though!
The same model comes in 2 different temperature ranges, so make sure to get the one that you really need!
Best for: Sub-Zero hiking adventures.
Filling: 800-Fill Power StormLoft™ Water Repellent Down
Temperature rate: -15°F (-26°C)
Size: Regular 75 x 31 inches (190 x 90 cm) – Comes on 3 different lengths (short, regular, long)
Weight: 2.16 pounds (1 kg)
Pack size: 11 x 8 (27 x 20 cm)
- Great for people that suffer extra cold feet -that’s me, every time!-because there’s extra down on the feet
- Center upper zip which makes it easy to get in and out.
- They’ve reduced the length of the zipper to make the sleeping bag even lighter.
- Shoulder baffles stop the cold air to flow down to the sleeping bag.
- Quite small and lightweight! I mean, the company is focused on ultralight gear, so…it makes perfect sense!
- The shell’s fabric is light and helps minimize down loss over time.
- Critical reviews on Amazon mention stuck zippers
- A few people commented on the adjustable straps of the compression sack’s snapping.
All in all, 5-star reviews are, by far, impressive for what most would qualify as a budget winter sleeping bag. Some of the reviewers mention sleeping on over 1 foot of snow and feeling comfortable. Of course, your sleeping mat and tent will also play a big role in keeping you warm.
There are different versions for different temperature ranges.
Best for: Happy campers looking for an affordable winter sleeping bag to stay warm and cozy!
Filling: 100% Polyester
Water-resistant: Yes – thanks to a ripstop polyester cover
Temperature rate: 0-10°F (-17º -23º C)
Size: 82″ x 32″ (208 cm x 81 cm)
Weight: 5.8 pounds (2.6 kg)
Pack size: 12 x 12 x 17 inches (30 x 31 x 43 cm)
Rating: 4.5 ( Amazon – 1844 reviews)
- Price point! Such an affordable sleeping bag.
- Super warm. For the price point, most people report feeling ‘toasty warm’ inside the sleeping bag.
- Machine washable
- Two-sided zipper
- 5-year warranty
- Quite bulky
- Heavy for multi-day hiking.
- Folks that ain’t happy with the sleeping bag commented on zippers breaking. Some people mention they are okay as long as you zip and unzip nice and slow.
Even though it says “0” on the sleeping bag’s name, it’s supposed to be a -10ºF. However, I wouldn’t trust it for temperatures below 0. I’ve decided to include it in this round-up because it’s a great option for winter campers that get to either sleep inside a car, hut, or if you want to be extra sure you’ll stay warm over mild cold temperatures. It’s a bit too big and heavy for multiday hiking in the cold, but overall it seems to be really a great and affordable sleeping bag.
The sleeping bag’s sack seems to be a bit too small. Many people recommend to actually fold the sleeping bag before putting it back.
Best for: Budget happy campers that enjoy extra sleeping space and can’t deal with mummy-shaped sleeping bags!
Filling: Super Loft Elite Hollow Fiber
Temperature rate: -25ºF (-32º C) There’s another model that’s for 0ºF.
Size: 90″ x 39″ (229 x 100 cm)
Weight: 10.5 lbs (4.7 kg)
Pack size: 19″ x 14.25″ x 14.25″ (48 x 36 x 36 cm)
Rating: 4.6 (Amazon – 274 reviews)
- Cotton flannel lining for comfy slumbers!
- Spacious, good for side-sleepers or those who need extra room to sleep.
- Ripstop shell
- The zipper and shoulder draft tubes help keep the cold out despite the sleeping bag’s rectangular shape.
- Quite heavy
- Some people review that because there’s not a lot of stitching on the inside linen, the fabric gets wrapped and may be uncomfortable.
I wanted to include this sleeping bag as it’s an affordable option for those camping adventures that aren’t focused on hiking. It’s especially good for people that feel trapped in mummy-shaped sleeping bags, I know I’ve definitely felt like this in the past and it’s annoying when you want space but fears freezing your arse off, right?
Best for: Serious altitude expeditions -you’d use this for Everest base camp for example. Great waterproofing makes it an ideal choice for bad weather.
Filling: 800 fill down800 Fill Power Goose Down
Temperature rate: -20
Size: 88 x 65 (226 cm x 165 cm)
Weight: 4.08 lb (1.85 kg)
Pack size: 14″ x 18″ x 12″ (35 x 45 x 30)
Rating: 4.75 (REI – 30 reviews)
- This sleeping bag will keep you warm and cozy even in extreme weather conditions.
- It has room for getting in with your boots on and some gear you want to keep safe from rain or snow.
- Room for boots
- Extremely warm
- Bulky and a bit heavy for a high-performance sleeping bag.
This is the type of sleeping bag you’d take to extreme weather expeditions. It will keep you warm and cozy, but it also provides room for hiking boots and gear you may need to protect from the rain. The high quality of this top-performing sleeping bag explains the price tag as it costs a good chunk of money. However, if you are going to be really exposed to extreme conditions then, you need gear like this.