In alpine conditions you need gear that can perform, like alpine sleeping bags. There is plenty of gear that will perform when conditions are good, but the real test for gear is when conditions are not good, and conditions are very often not good in the alpine. Alpine camping and backpacking gear needs to be able to handle things like wind, rain and the occasional storm, and all while keeping you comfortable and performing well for the duration of your trip.
Alpine Sleeping BagsWhat to look for when buying an alpine sleeping bag.
- Water Resistant – At the very least, your alpine sleeping bag should be water resistant, and maybe even waterproof. If the insulation inside your sleeping bag gets wet it will do a much worse job of keeping you warm. For that reason, it’s in your best interest to keep that insulation warm, especially in alpine conditions where things can get wet more easily.
- Temperature Rating – Another important thing to pay attention to when it comes to alpine weather conditions is the temperature rating of your sleeping bag. It’s certainly possible to improve your warmth inside a sleeping bag, by wearing layers to bed, for instance, but a temperature rating safely below the temperature you’re expecting is the safer thing to do.
Best Alpine Sleeping BagsSome of the better alpine sleeping bags to choose from.
- Western Mountaineering UltraLite Sleeping Bag - The Ultralite from Western Mountaineering is a great sleeping bag good down to 20 degrees, which is ample for many summer alpine excursions. It uses very high quality 850+ fill down, and has a few essential features, like a draft collar, to help keep you warm. It's not a water resistant or waterproof sleeping bag, but it helps make up for that by weighing a very reasonable 1 pound 10 ounces, or 737 grams.
- Mont Bell U.L. Spiral Down Hugger #1 - Another very good sleeping bag with a temperature rating of 15 degrees, so slightly warmer than the Ultralite above. This one only uses 800+ fill down, which is still a very high quality, but does also include a durable water repellent treatment, or DWR, which will help keep the down dry. It's also the 2009 winner of the Outside Magazine Gear of the Year award. It weighs a very respectable2 pounds, or 907 grams.
- Mountain Hardwear Phantom +0 Sleeping Bag - Finally, for those colder alpine environments there's something like the Phantom. It uses a very narrow mummy cut which is designed specifically for alpine adventurers. It uses 800+ fill down, and has a DWR, or durable water repellent finish, so you don't have to worry so much about getting it wet. But what really helps it stand out amongst the 0 degree sleeping bags, and there are a lot of them, is the very low weight of 2 pounds 10 ounces, or 1.2 kilograms. So a great all around sleeping bag with a specific alpine mummy cut.