Updated on October 13, 2020

Mountaineering is no joke. The strong wind, freezing temperatures, icy cliffs and hard nights will pummel you. After only a few hours, your body is going to hurt. Your head is going to pound. And your legs are going to cry out for rest. So you set up camp. You’ve lugged your tent up the mountain and now you need as much warmth as possible. Fortunately, you brought along the best mountaineering sleeping bag you could find, so you can rest assured that tomorrow will be a better day.

Finding the right sleeping bag for your alpine adventures is no easy task. Normally it might take you a few trial and error expeditions into the backcountry to find out which bag suits you best, but we here at The Adventure Junkies are here to expedite that process. Below, we’ve picked out ten of our favorite mountaineering sleeping bags which we think you’ll love too. Read through the list to determine which one best suits your next mountaineering adventure!

For more of our top mountaineering gear recommendations, check out the Best Mountaineering Backpacks.

 

Quick Answer - The Best Mountaineering Sleeping Bags

  1. Marmot Col
  2. The North Face Furnace 20
  3. Therm-a-Rest Oberon
  4. Kelty Cosmic Down 0
  5. Mountain Hardwear Phantom Gore-Tex
  6. NEMO Sonic 0
  7. Marmot Lithium
  8. Marmot Ouray 0
  9. Marmot CWM
  10. Sierra Designs Nitro

 

Comparison Table - Best Mountaineering Sleeping Bag

PictureNameTemperature RatingInsulation TypeShapeGenderPriceRating
Marmot Col-29 Degrees F (Lower Limit)DownMummyUnisex$$$4.8
The North Face Furnace 2020 Degrees F (Lower Limit)DownMummyWomen's$4.5
Therm-a-Rest OberonTherm-a-Rest Oberon0 Degrees F (Lower Limit)DownMummyUnisex$$4.9
Kelty Cosmic Down 02 Degrees FDownMummyMen's$4.3
Mountain Hardwear Phantom Gore-TexMountain Hardwear Phantom Gore-Tex0 Degrees F (Lower Limit)DownMummyUnisex$$4.7
NEMO Sonic 0-1 Degrees F (Lower Limit)DownMummyUnisex$$3.8
Marmot LithiumMarmot Lithium-1 Degrees F (Lower Limit)DownMummyUnisex$4.8
Marmot Ouray 0-12.3 Degrees F (Lower Limit)DownMummyWomen$4.8
Marmot CWM-40 Degrees F (Lower Limit)DownMummyUnisex$$$4.6
Sierra Designs Nitro2 Degrees F (Lower Limit)DownMummyUnisex$4.5
PictureNameTemperature RatingInsulation TypeShapeGenderPriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Sleeping Bags for Mountaineering

Marmot Col

Specs
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Temperature Rating: -29 Degrees F (Lower Limit)
  • Insulation Type: Down
Features
  • Hidden Pocket For Nighttime Essentials
  • Drawcords Allow For Quick Adjustments
  • Waterproof Breathable Fabric

BEST FOR: LOW-ALTITUDE BASE CAMPS

Made with a thick, dry layer of premium goose down, the Marmot Col Sleeping Bag keeps you warm down to -20 Degrees Fahrenheit. Its unique waterproof, breathable fabric can resist even the harshest of weather while the specially designed “nautilus” hood, as it’s called, offers a complete and superior warmth for your head. And in the dead of night, when you’re all cozied up, use hidden drawcords around the hood to adjust your comfort in the dark. 

All-in-all, this is a strong, warm sleeping bag that will fare well on most any backcountry expeditions. If you plan on battling seriously frigid temperatures on a mountain summit, you may want to consider a thicker sleeping bag. But if you’re journeying anywhere else in less-than-frigid conditions, this all-encompassing sleeping bag will do just the trick.

The North Face Furnace 20

Specs
  • Gender: Women's
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Temperature Rating: 20 Degrees F (Lower Limit)
  • Insulation Type: Down
Features
  • Anti-Compression Pads Provide Further Insulation From Ground To Keep You Warmer
  • Fitted, Mummy Shape Keeps You Especially Warm
  • Draft Collar Provides Comfort And Warmth Around Neck And Shoulders

BEST FOR: WARM-WEATHER MOUNTAINEERS

This sleeping bag is stuffed full of 600-fill-ProDown, an officially certified down that guarantees it was humanely acquired. The down is coated with a hydrophobic (AKA water repellent) treatment to ensure that it dries faster than any untreated down on the market. 

The women-specific design uses a draft collar for neck comfort and a fitted hood to match the contours of your body. And, strategically placed anti-compression pads create buffering zones between you and the ground at the coldest of points to keep you cozy and warm all night long. 

We recommend this sleeping bag strictly for warm-weather mountaineering. With a low-temperature limit of only 20 Degrees Fahrenheit, this bag won’t survive in extremely cold weather; however, it should do just fine in windy environments.

Therm-a-Rest Oberon

Specs
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Temperature Rating: 0 Degrees F (Lower Limit)
  • Insulation Type: Down
Features
  • Zoned Insulation Throughout The Bag Adds Warmth Where You Need It Most
  • ThermaCapture Material Reflects Back Your Own Heat For Extra Comfort And Warmth
  • Internal Pocket And Loops Compatible With A Quilt Or Blanket
Therm-a-Rest Oberon

BEST FOR: EXTENDED MOUNTAINEERING

Most mountaineering sleeping bags can sustain temperatures down to 0-degrees, which includes the Therm-A-Rest, but few have the capacity to mount a blanket or quilt to add even more warmth. The Therm-A-Rest sleeping bag, however, comes with an internal pocket and loop design to mount any separate blanket. Furthermore, a well-designed foot space naturally encases your feet so your toes stay toasty and an included stuff sack means you can easily pack this bag away for any alpine adventure. 

We recommend this sleeping bag to those considering mild climates and extended stays. The blanket connector particularly grants you a bit more comfort at base camp than most other bags will provide.

Kelty Cosmic Down 0

Specs
  • Gender: Men's
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Temperature Rating: 2 Degrees F
  • Insulation Type: Down
Features
  • Soft Yet Durable Nylon Shell
  • Dual-Sliding Locking Zipper
  • Hand Pocket For Storing Overnight Essentials

BEST FOR: BUDGET CLIMBERS

If you’re on a budget and looking for a highly affordable, cold-bearing sleeping bag, then definitely consider the Kelty Cosmic 0. This bag, although ringing in at a lower cost, will keep you warm down to 2 Degrees Fahrenheit and it comes equipped with all the features you need for a good night’s rest. A draft collar ensures warmth around the neck while the water repellent coating easily wicks away moisture. 

Pack this bag if you’re thinking about a quick, cold weather expedition. You probably won’t want to rely on this bag for long duration expeditions, where you may be spending a lot of time in your tent, but if a quick in-and-out journey is on the docket, then definitely consider saving yourself some money and going with the Kelty Cosmic 0.

Mountain Hardwear Phantom Gore-Tex

Specs
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Temperature Rating: 0 Degrees F (Lower Limit)
  • Insulation Type: Down
Features
  • Glow-In-The-Dark Zipper Pulls
  • Draft Collar For Maximum Warmth Around The Head And Shoulders
  • Expedition Specific Design
Mountain Hardwear Phantom Gore-Tex

BEST FOR: ALPINE BACKPACKING TRIPS

One of the most versatile sleeping bags on the market, Mountain Hardwear’s Phantom Gore-Tex Sleeping Bag is capable of keeping you warm on a backpacking, skiing, climbing or mountaineering trip. This mummy-shaped bag is made with Gore-Tex protection to block out the wind and rain while its draft collar keeps your head and shoulders warm and restricts the elements from ruining your night. 

Warm and easy to use in the dark with glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls, this well-designed sleeping bag will last you years of expeditioning. And with just enough firepower to keep you warm in cold environments, it can be used almost anywhere you decide to adventure.

NEMO Sonic 0

Specs
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Temperature Rating: -1 Degrees F (Lower Limit)
  • Insulation Type: Down
Features
  • Offset Zipper For Optimal Seal To Keep Heat In And Cold Out
  • Drawstring Adjustable Hood To Keep Your Head And Neck Warm
  • Stretch At Knees For Sideways Sleeping

BEST FOR: UNPREDICTABLE ENVIRONMENTS

If you’re anticipating severe and rapidly changing weather, you may want to consider bringing along the NEMO Sonic 0 bag on your next adventure. This unique bag is made with patented Thermo Gills that allow you to regulate temperature on the fly without letting cold air in. Once inside of it, the contoured and drawstring-adjustable hood provides maximum warmth while the unique material stretches at the knees for added mobility. 

This is a sleeping bag that values comfort and customization. So if you’re looking for a comfortable and reliable bag that can face rain, snow, and wind at a moment’s notice, we suggest looking into the NEMO Sonic 0 Sleeping bag.

Marmot Lithium

Specs
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Temperature Rating: -1 Degrees F (Lower Limit)
  • Insulation Type: Down
Features
  • Offset Zipper For Best Seal To Keep Heat In And Cold Out
  • Evenly Distributed Insulation To Keep Your Whole Body Warm
  • Stuff Sack Included For Easy Packing
Marmot Lithium

BEST FOR: LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKERS

Weighing less than 3 pounds, the Marmot Lithium 0 Sleeping Bag is one of the lightest and warmest bags on the market. Stuffed full of 800-fill-down, this bag will keep you warm down to 0 Degree weather while the unique, double-zippered design allows for quick venting if you overheat. 

Whereas some down bags get wet and lose their efficiency, the Lithium is coupled with Marmot’s Down Defender water repellent to ensure that it stays warm and efficient in any weather, even if it gets a bit wet. We highly recommend this bag to any lightweight backpackers seeking a long-lasting sleeping bag for their adventures.

Marmot Ouray 0

Specs
  • Gender: Women
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Temperature Rating: -12.3 Degrees F (Lower Limit)
  • Insulation Type: Down
Features
  • Women-Specific Design
  • Drawcord Adjustable Hood And Collar To Keep Your Head And Neck Warm
  • Stuff Sack Included For Easy Packing

BEST FOR: ALL FEMALE MOUNTAINEERS

Designed to withstand temperatures down to -12 Degrees Fahrenheit and made especially for women, the Marmot Ouray 0 Sleeping bag comes with all the features and more that you need out of a good mountaineering sleeping bag. With an all-encasing footbag for extra toasty feet and a second, fold-down zipper for impromptu ventilation if needed, this bag will keep you at the perfect temperature in nearly any environment. 

Unless you’re looking for an extreme high-altitude or freezing weather bag, the Marmot Ouray 0 sleeping bag will work like a charm for all of your wildest mountaineering adventures.

Marmot CWM

Specs
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Temperature Rating: -40 Degrees F (Lower Limit)
  • Insulation Type: Down
Features
  • Waterproof, Breathable Shell
  • Unique Construction Eliminates Cold Spots
  • Several Drawcords For Easy Adjustment In Darkness

BEST FOR: EXTREME MOUNTAINEERING

Exposed cliff faces, frigid mountain summits, and sheer arctic conditions are no match for this extreme cold weather beast from Marmot. As the coldest bag on our list, the Marmot CWM sleeping bag is able to withstand temperatures down to -40 degrees F. 

Improvise a bivouac on the summit or tredge into the tundra with this bag and you’ll have all the warmth you need. Several drawstrings allow for quick and easy adjustments in the dark while its unique design eliminates cold spots by evenly dispersing the down beneath you. 

We highly recommend the CWM to serious mountaineers looking for a bag that can sustain the most inclement of weather.

Sierra Designs Nitro

Specs
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Temperature Rating: 2 Degrees F (Lower Limit)
  • Insulation Type: Down
Features
  • Weighs Less Than 3 Pounds
  • Cinch Cord Adjustable Hood To Keep Your Head And Neck Warm
  • Anti-Snag Zippers For Easy In And Out

BEST FOR: MINIMALISTS AND THRU-HIKERS

If you’re looking for the lightest sleeping bag out there then you may want to consider the Sierra Designs Nitro sleeping bag. Clocking in at just 2 pounds and 8 ounces, this durable bag is good for warmth down to 2 Degrees Fahrenheit. It even comes equipped with a self-sealing footvent to aerate your lower half if you’re overheating. 

We highly recommend this bag to minimalists camping out in slightly warmer climates. This sleeping bag is simple, comfortable, and efficient, and makes for a good thru-hike trail bag that you’ll use for weeks on end.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A MOUNTAINEERING SLEEPING BAG

Unlike a normal, everyday camping bag, when buying a mountaineering sleeping bag, you’re going to want to keep you eyes on a few key features. Take a look through what REI has to say about choosing a sleeping bag and what Gearx advises about how to buy a mountaineering sleeping bag. After that, cruise through the most important considerations below before making your choice from the list above.

TEMPERATURE

Before you do anything, consider the typical nighttime temperatures of the place you’ll be camping and your intended environment. Where are you going? How cold will it be? Do you intend on bringing the bag out in extreme conditions? Whatever your answer, when choosing a sleeping bag for your next mountaineering trip, make sure that it matches the environment you’re venturing into. Check records to see the coldest temperature during the dates of your intended adventure, and then match the bag to that. The last thing you want is a freezing night on the side of the mountain because you brought an insufficient bag!

 

INSULATION / DOWN

When buying your sleeping bag, do as much research as you can on the type and quality of down insulation. Most bags range from 600- to 800-fill in their down inner quantities, with the higher number being warmer. Check before you buy. Furthermore, if you can, look into the type and percentage of down the bag has as well. Some bags have 95% down, whereas others may not have as much. A few bags may even use synthetic down which won’t keep you as warm in cold weather.

 

COST

Cost is a big one with sleeping bags. As you’ll see, the lower-end models are dramatically more affordable than the more serious of bags. So before you make your choice, make sure you know that a cheaper sleeping bag will not be as reliable and warm as a more expensive sleeping bag. On a less expensive bag, the zipper may tend to break or snag and the insulation might shift beneath your body, creating cold spots. Of course, this is not always the case, but when it comes to a life and death situation in the cold, we recommend spending a few extra bucks for a reliable sleeping bag.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

BAFFLE

A baffle is a vertical wall that separates one layer of down from another. These walls are used to enhance insulation by preventing any shifting of down beneath you. More expensive bags often have more baffles.

MUMMY

A sleeping bag design that encapsulates the sleeper almost completely, like a mummy, leaving only the eyes exposed.

FOOTBOX

The area of a sleeping bag that surrounds your feet.

READ MORE

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About The Author

While at the University of Virginia, Nate studied Spanish literature and contemporary philosophy and started for its Division 1 lacrosse team. At 20 years old, he began writing about his experiences attempting the world’s most insane adventures. From backcountry skiing in Patagonia to living in a Brazilian favela and high-altitude ice climbing in the Himalaya, Nate sheds light on parts and cultures of the world that remain widely unknown. He’s been featured on the top-rated travel podcast Extra Pack of Peanuts and has published work in a variety of outdoor publications. Currently Nate works as a freelance writer and explorer and competes for the Israeli National lacrosse team at tournaments around the world. He is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Nepali and proficient in French and Arabic. This past Spring, Nate became the first ever foreigner to porter in the Himalaya.

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