Sleeping bags are great at keeping you warm, provided that you don’t get them wet. Both synthetic insulation and down, but down especially, loses insulating power when you get it wet. So if you’re unlucky enough to get your sleeping bag wet, you will be both wet and cold, which is never a good combination. Waterproof sleeping bags, however, help to solve this problem by protecting the down or synthetic insulation in your sleeping bag from the moisture in the outside world.
Waterproof Sleeping BagsWhat to look for when you're looking for waterproof sleeping bags.
- Waterproof or Water Repellent – Often sleeping bags are only water repellent, meaning that they will be protected from small amounts of water, but not large amounts. Usually this is all you need. But if you really do need a waterproof sleeping bag, you will likely want one with a Gore Tex shell.
- Insulation – In theory, if your sleeping bag is waterproof and the insulation inside wont be getting wet, then the insulation you use doesn’t matter too much. But it rarely works out that well in the real world. Just remember that down performs much worse than synthetic insulation when it gets wet, so if you see wet insulation in your future, you might want synthetic insulation.
Best Waterproof Sleeping BagsA few of the better waterproof sleeping bags to choose from.
- Marmot Plasma 30+ - Just because a sleeping bag is intended for warm temperatures, doesn't mean it cant be compromised by water. The Plasma only has a minimum temperature rating of 30 degrees, but its exterior is with a water repellent product, to keep the 900+ fill down inside dry. It also won the 2011 Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice award, so you know it's a high quality sleeping bag. And at just 1 pound 7 ounces, or 670 grams, it's also one of the lightest sleeping bags at the 30 degree temperature rating.
- Mont Bell U.L. Super Spiral Down Hugger #1 - This sleeping bag from Japanese manufacturer Mont Bell has a minimum temperature rating of 15 degrees, and has a DWR, or water repellent finish, to keep water out of the 800+ fill down inside. But aside the from the water resistance, this is another excellent sleeping bag. Mont Bell uses a unique construction technique where everything is cut on a 45 degree angle, so that the sleeping bag coils and squeezes around you as you move, keeping you warm at night. It's also very lightweight, at just 2 pounds 4 ounces, or 1.02 kilograms.
- Western Mountaineering Puma Gore WS - With a temperature rating of -25, this is the kind of sleeping bag that you want to take with you for true winter weather. It also uses Gore Windstopper for the shell, which is water resistant, and equally as important, wind resistant. It's filled with 850+ fill down, which is a great quality, and has plenty of other features to keep you warm, like a draft collar and zipper tube. It also weighs a very slim 3 pounds 10 ounces, or 1.64 kilograms.