The average sleeping bag is made for the kind of safe, predictable conditions that most people go backpacking or camping in. But sometimes you need something that will handle conditions that range beyond safe and predictable. Gear like extreme sleeping bags are the perfect solution to unpredictable conditions. After all, at the end of the day you need to stay warm, no matter what, even in the very worst of weather conditions.
Extreme Sleeping BagsWhat to look for when shopping for extreme sleeping bags.
- Temperature Rating – If you’re getting an extreme sleeping bag it’s best to get one with a temperature rating well below what you’re expecting. That way, even if the temperature dips down farther than you were expecting you will still manage to stay warm and comfortable.
- Water Resistant – In extreme weather things often get wet, but the last thing you want getting wet is the insulation inside your sleeping bag. Wet sleeping bag insulation, particularly when it’s down, doesn’t do a very good job of keeping you warm, so it’s a good idea to get a sleeping bag with a water resistant exterior, if not a waterproof exterior.
Best Extreme Sleeping BagsSome of the better extreme sleeping bags.
- Mont Bell U.L. Super Spiral Down Hugger #1 - First up, a great sleeping bag from Mont Bell with a minimum temperature rating of 15 degrees, which makes it a good 4 season sleeping bag for milder winters. It uses a water resistant exterior, to keep water out, and 800+ fill down. What helps to make it ideal for extreme situations is Mont Bell's unique construction technique, where the baffles are all cut on a 45 degree angle, and will coil and squeeze around you at night as you move, increasing the warmth. It also weighs a very slim 2 pounds 4 ounces, or 1.02 kilograms.
- Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0 - For colder temperatures, the Phantom, which has a temperature rating of 0 degrees, is a great choice. What helps to make it ideal for extreme weather is the very narrow alpine mummy cut, which minimizes excess internal space, without being too cramped. So your body heat is heating as small a space as possible. It uses 800+ fill down, and is not water resistant, but does weigh very little, at just 2 pounds 10 ounces, or 1.19 kilograms.
- Marmot CWM EQ -40 - If you want to be prepared for truly extreme weather conditions, then there are few sleeping bags better than the CWM. It will keep you warm all the way down to -40, and uses a fully waterproof shell to keep the 800+ fill down dry. Given its temperature rating it's not the lightest sleeping bag around, but 4 pounds 10 ounces, or 2.09 kilograms is a small price to pay for staying warm all the way down to -40.