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Digital Subscriptions > Tread > Tread Jan/Feb 2020 > GET SLEEP THIS WINTER


Choosing a Winter Sleeping Bag For Dropping Temps

One of the best benefits of having a fully dialed-in rig is that it can take you just about anywhere you want to go to do just about anything you want to do. With so many activities at your disposal, there’s bound to be a prodigious amount of gear that you and your truck will need to haul around to get it all done with.

Winter sleeping bags are a big investment. Consider the time of year you’ll be using the sleeping bag the most to get your money’s worth. A traditional sleeping bag works well for the spring, summer and fall seasons, but a winter sleeping bag is specialized for the weather and activities in much colder weather. It is much nicer to be warmer than colder, as you can always adjust the heat by ventilating the bag by unzipping and cooling off.

A few things to look for when selecting a new sleeping bag include temperature rating, insulation, shape, size and weight, construction and materials, and features. You may still want to test how you fit in each sleeping bag prior to purchasing, if possible, as everyone has different body types and preferences, such as purchasing a longer sleeping bag to keep extra clothes at the bottom of the bag to sleeping with base layers—or even without any clothes at all.

We selected a few winter sleeping bags to keep you warm and cozy through the coldest of nights.


Temperature Rating

Temperature rating is a key factor for the winter as you’ll want a bag with a temperature rating lower than the coldest temperature that you think you’ll be in. It is often listed by the EN 13537 standard, which is decided through four parameters: upper limit, comfort, lower limit and extreme. Some manufacturers conduct their own tests and have their own standards for setting a temperature rating. The temperature rating should match your activity and type of camping you’ll be doing, such as backpacking through the woods, mountain climbing and car camping.

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Tread Jan/Feb 2020