You’re planning your next summit to Mount Rainier and you’re in need of a new sleeping bag. When you’re on an expedition, you need a sleeping bag that is tough, incredibly warm and durable. When you’re sleeping at 10,000 feet, your sleeping bag becomes your lifeline- your protection from the unforgiving winds and bone-chilling cold. For this article, I’m going to be taking a look at the best expedition sleeping bags on the market today.
The best expedition sleeping bags are mummy shaped, down insulated and water resistant. Expedition sleeping bags are designed to literally keep you alive in extreme sub-zero conditions. You’ll find the best expedition sleeping bags on the market are also the most expensive. The price tags may be a bit shocking, but what’s the cost of staying alive in the Arctic or at Denali base camp? You’ll find it’s money well spent.
Feathered Friends Snowy Owl EX -60 Sleeping Bag
If the mountains are calling and you must go, take the Snowy Owl EX -60 Sleeping Bag sleeping bag with you. John Muir would want you to! This sleeping bag is designed and made to keep you warm in the harshest climates in the world. From the top of Mount Everest to the snow-covered ice of Antarctica, this bag has you covered and protected from head to toe. The bag is known in the expedition community as the warmest bag in the world. Here’s why: it’s packed with 900 fill down in the hood all the way down to the bottom of the bag.
The bag also features a double zipper system in the event the outer zipper snags or breaks while you’re out in the cold. This backup system makes sure you can zip up your bag, even when you run into a problem. The designers at Feathered Friends have sure thought of everything. The outer shell is treated with a durable water-resistant coating to keep snow from penetrating your bag. This is an extreme bag for your most extreme winter adventures. It’s rated to keep you warm when the mercury dips below -60 degrees F. The Feathered Friends Snowy Owl retails for $1,119.
Feathered Friends Snow Goose EX -40 Sleeping Bag
The Feathered Friends Snow Goose is fan favorite for hikers and climbers who like to push the envelope, glissade down glaciers and sleep at 8,000 feet. This is bag is much like the Snowy Owl, except it’s much lighter. The Snowy Owl tips the scales at five pounds. This sleeping bag weighs in around four pounds. The Snow Goose is packed with 900-fill goose down. All that down wrapped around your body creates a cocoon of heat.
The slim cut mummy shape keeps the heat trapped close to your body, providing ultimate comfort and even heat distribution. The bag also includes a big down hood, draft tube, and zipper guards to make sure cold air doesn’t stand a chance. The Feathered Friends Snow Goose is rated to keep you warm when it’s -25 degrees outside. This bag retails for $939.
Feathered Friends Ptarmigan
If you still need to cut weight in the sleeping bag department, the Feathered Friends Ptarmigan EX -25 Sleeping Bag is the bag you’ll want to pack. It’s much like the Snow Goose, except a pound lighter. When you are climbing big mountains, every pound in your pack matters- it adds up fast. Cut the weight without sacrificing the warmth with the Feathered Friends Ptarmigan. This bag boasts 900-fill goose down, a taffeta liner and nylon outer shell. The mummy shaped bag will keep the heat close to your body, even when you are caught in a blizzard.
The large down hood wraps around your face, leaving just enough opening to breathe. When it’s sub-zero temperatures, you will be thankful for the hood and draft tube. Special zipper guards will keep cold air from finding a way inside your toasty sleeping bag. If you need a quality bag, but don’t want the hefty weight- this is the choice for you. The Ptarmigan retails for $769 and its handmade right in downtown Seattle!
The North Face Inferno
The North Face Inferno will keep you warm no matter what Mother Nature throws your way. Snow, sleet, high winds and fierce white-out conditions don’t stand a chance against the Inferno. This bag will make you feel like you’re sitting in hot tub, 10,000 feet above sea level- without the water of course. The bag is part of the Summit Series line by The North Face. This line of gear is made specifically for the most extreme expeditions on the planet.
The bag is packed with 800-fill ProDown. The mummy shaped bag is a bit roomier than a traditional mummy, giving you extra room for any added layers you may want to put on. The center zipper makes this bag easy to get in and out of in the middle of the night. The shell of the bag is made with a durable water-resistant Neovent Air fabric. This keeps the snow, ice and other moisture from getting in your bag. The North Face Inferno is made for the most extreme adventures in the most extreme climates in the world. It’s rated to keep you warm when the temperature drops below -40 degrees. This bag retails for $729.
The Marmot Col
The Marmot Col is a mustard color sleeping bag packed with 800-fill goose down. This bright and cheery bag, will keep you warm, comfortable and ensure you get a good night’s sleep no matter what the temperature outside your tent. This bag is rated to keep you warm in temperatures around -20 degrees. If you’re planning an epic expedition, you want to take this epic bag with you. The proprietary Marmot cross baffle quilting keeps the down in place and prevents it from shifting.
The bag also includes a hidden draft tube, ground level side seams, fluffy down hood, zipper guards and drawcords. This bag is tough. The outer shell is made with a Pertex waterproof material. It’s also breathable allowing sweat to evaporate and keep you warm and dry all at the same time. The Marmot Col is made for bad weather. This bag currently retails for $699.
The Marmot CWM
The Marmot CWM is the perfect companion on your next expedition. The bright red bag can take on every weather condition you can imagine. This bag is made for harsh climates, unforgiving winds, and sub-zero temperatures. This is the kind of bag you stay in all day and all night because it’s too cold otherwise. This bag is designed to keep you alive and warm when you’re camping in -40 degrees weather. You can thank the 800-fill goose down for all that protection. This bag is exceptionally warm!
The shell of the bag is made with a Membrane waterproof fabric, keeping you dry even when it’s snowing outside your tent. The mummy shaped keeps the insulation close to your body. However, this bag isn’t overly restricting. The bag also features down-filled draft tubes, down collar, zipper guards, and baffle quilting. The Marmot CWM retails for $799.
Big Agnes Crosho
The Big Agnes Crosho is made for big expeditions. The Crosho bag is specifically designed to keep you warm in the most extreme weather on the planet. This bag is packed with 850 fill power down. The down is treated with a water-repellent finish to repel moisture. This will come in handy if you get caught in a blizzard at base camp. The bag is rated to keep you comfortable when the mercury dips below -20 degrees.
Even with all that down insulation, the bag weighs in at just over two pounds. If you need to cut weight in your pack, this is an excellent bag for you. You don’t have to sacrifice quality or warmth with the Big Agnes Crosho. In addition to all that great insulation, the bag features an oversized anti-draft collar, contoured hood baffle and fabric loops to attach a sleeping pad. The Big Agnes will make your next expedition feel like you are sleeping in your bed back home. This bag retails for $579.
Mountain Hardware Ghost
The Mountain Hardware Ghost is packed with down insulation and it’s one of the few sleeping bags on the market today that is waterproof. A lot of bags have a durable water-resistant coating, however not many can claim 100% waterproof. This bag can do that! The bag boasts 800 fill down, which will keep you warm when the temperature hovers around -40 degrees F. This bag also includes an interior shell, to allow sweat to evaporate and keep you dry.
The welded seams make it virtually impossible for cold drafts to make it inside your sleeping bag. The six-chamber hood keeps a thick layer of insulation wrapped around your head for those really cold nights on the mountain. The bag also features double draft rubes, laminated double zippers, two stash pockets and a down-filled gasket to keep your face protected. The Mountain Hardware Ghost retails for $1,000.
Mountain Hardware Wraith
Once inside the Mountain Hardware Wraith sleeping bag, you will not feel the wrath of old man winter. This bag is waterproof, breathable, lightweight and incredibly warm. It’s like a mountaineer made a wish list of the perfect sleeping bag and this is what designers came up with. Now, only if it could carry you to the top of the mountain. This bag is packed with 800 fill down. The mummy shape keeps the heat trapped around your body all night.
The Wraith will keep you warm and toasty, even when there’s a sub-zero blizzard knocking your tent around at 8,000 feet. This bag also features laminated double zippers, down filled draft collars, draft tubes and extra wide foot zone for added comfort. If you need a waterproof sleeping bag, this is the bag for you. The water beads up on the bag and rolls off, just like that. The Mountain Hardware Wraith currently retails for $900.
Western Mountaineering Puma
The Western Mountaineering Puma is packed with 850 fill power down. All that down adds up to about 37 ounces of pure warm down feathers. This bag is made for extreme expeditions and extreme weather. The bag is rated to keep mountaineers warm when the temperature hovers around -25. The bag is mummy shaped, however, it’s a generous mummy with plenty of room to move around. The bag also features down hood, which also doubles as a pillow. The hood is made out of Gore Windstopper, which will keep the wind from stealing your body heat while you are trying to sleep.
Like most expedition sleeping bags, the Puma feature a down-filled collar, interlocking draft tubes and zipper protection from cold air. If you are planning an expedition, you should plan to take the Puma with you. This bag is lightweight too- just three pounds! Western Mountaineering has been making high-quality sleeping bags and outdoor gear for more than 45 years. This sleeping bag will not let you down. The Puma retails for $900.
The Nemo Canon is one of the best bags you can buy for an expedition. This bag isn’t messing around. It’s well designed, well insulated and it’s everything you’ve ever dreamed about for sleeping bag. The bag is made specifically for the mountaineer. The bag is equally technical as it is comfortable. First off, it’s packed with 850 fill power down. As you know, down is the world’s best insulator for hikers in cold climates. The shell of the bag is made with a waterproof and breathable material to keep moisture at bay and allow sweat to evaporate.
The bag is a generous mummy shape, allowing you room to sleep on your side. The Nemo Canon also has a trademarked Stove Pipe Tunnel Hood. This hood is a literally a hole in the front of the bag, keeping your face fully covered with just enough space to breathe. This hole also keeps a warm air near your body, so you’re not breathing in ice cold air all night long. Zipper arms allow you to make a cup of coffee without fully getting out of your bag. The bag is so innovative, there is currently a patent pending on the design. This bag is rated to keep you warm in temperatures around -40 degrees F. The Nemo Canon retails for $849.
See also “What Is The Warmest Sleeping Bag?“