Gear Reviews

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks – Winter Sleeping Bags

Ready to endure all the elements, these bags offering warmth and protection for winter camping.

Big Agnes Hahns Peak SL -20

Big guys: Get this 800-fill down bag, and enjoy a winter-ready lightweight that has plenty of space in the shoulders and hips (the long size has a whopping 72.5 inches at the shoulders). You’ll need a good sleeping pad, as some of the weight savings is due to eliminating insulation on the bottom of the bag (there’s a sleeve for your sleeping pad). And the rating? One tester slept comfortably down to -15°F in Colorado’s Mt. Zirkel Wilderness. $580; 3 lbs. 6 oz.; -20°F;

Eureka Kaycee 0

Looking to try out some winter camping, but don’t plan on going far from the car? Try this affordable four-season solution (pictured above). At nearly five pounds, it’s not for backpacking, but the rating is accurate; it kept our tester comfortably warm at 10°F when he was ski-touring in Washington’s Wenatchee National Forest. Heads up: The cut was a little too trim for some of our testers. $160; 4 lbs. 12 oz.; 0°F;

Mammut Altitude Winter

Pack insurance against the worst weather. This 800-fill down sack and its waterproof/breathable shell fabric saved one tester’s bacon after he spent an overnight bivy exposed to rain, hail, and sleet (the seams aren’t taped for total weatherproofing). Winter-worthy details: a dual draft tube, fleece face mask, and mesh chest pocket for drying clothes. $650; 3 lbs. 10 oz.; -13°F;

Western Mountaineering Lynx GWS

The eight inches of loft in this 850-fill sack will incite bag envy among your friends. After a freezing rainstorm on Mt. Rainier, one tester said, “I avoided hypothermia thanks to this highly weatherproof, Windstopper-shelled bag. It kept me warm even though I was soaked, and all of the moisture on my body passed right through the shell’s membrane as I dried off and warmed up.” $720; 3 lbs. 8 oz.; -10°F;