If you are looking to head out into the wilderness on a hunting or camping trip, your sleeping bag needs are going to be different than a hiker.
For someone going hiking looking for the best ultralight sleeping bag to keep their weight down while they are on the move, a thick heavyweight bag is not the right choice.
For a hunter or camper that’s setting up a base camp and not going too far from that location, a heavy duty sleeping bag makes a smart choice due to the thickness and comfort they provide. Below we break down 7 of our favorites and give you our top two choices for both 20 Degree Temps and Zero Degree Temps.
Top 20 Degree Bag: Coleman Brazos Cold Weather Sleeping Bag
Top Zero Degree Bag: Coleman Big Basin Extreme Weather Sleeping Bag
Two Great Heavier Bags for 20 Degree Camping:
1. Coleman Dunnock:
A traditional rectangular bag, the Dunnock is perfect if you like to have a bit more room at night. It’s generously sized – anybody under 6’4” will have plenty space – and you can zip two together as well.
It’s filled with Coletherm synthetic fiber but both the inner and outer shells are pure cotton. That makes it highly breathable and very comfortable. It also makes it relatively bulky and heavy, at just over five pounds, so it’s not ideal for ultralight backpacking. The cotton also has practically no water resistance.
On the other hand if you’re camping with a good tent the Dunnock will let you sleep in luxury. It’s a bit marginal as you approach the 20°F limit and if you regularly camp below freezing you might want to look at something else, but for summer and fall use it’s great. It also has an integrated stowage bag and carry handle.
2. Coleman Brazos:
Another rectangular bag, this uses the same easy-roll system as the Dunnock and in general it’s a fairly similar bag. The main difference is the shell, which is polyester. Some people will find this less comfortable but it does resist moisture a bit better, and it’s easier to keep clean.
It’s also a smaller bag, more suitable for anyone up to around 5’11”, and that makes it slightly lighter too. At around $40 it’s also a lot cheaper, so if you need a competitively priced spring to fall bag this could be perfect.
Like the Dunnock the Brazos doesn’t use box baffling, so there are stitching points that run through both inner and outer shells, and at lower temperatures you might feel some cold spots. The zip has a good baffle though and you certainly shouldn’t have any trouble down to a few degrees below freezing.
Four Great Zero Degree Heavyweight Sleeping Bags for Camping & Outdoors:
1. Browning Camping McKinley:
This is a heavyweight rectangular bag with mummy-style hood, weighing in at 8.8 pounds, but it’s extremely warm and comfortable. It’s a good sleeping bag for hunters that need the extra weight, but it’s not all that lightweight in comparison to the other models on our list.
Shoulder and zipper baffles, combined with offset quilting and a generous quantity of Techloft synthetic fill, give it all the insulation you could ask for – and it’s also very roomy.
Add in a soft microfiber lining and a well contoured hood and this is an excellent piece of kit.
It’s perfect for hunters, who’re usually less concerned with weight but need something to keep them warm in exposed locations, and it’s also very sturdy and durable.
2. Coleman Big Basin:
Below 0°F a sleeping bag has to work harder to keep you warm, so for the Big Basin Coleman have modified the simple rectangular design with some mummy features.
The result is interesting; it’s very roomy, accommodating campers up to 6’6” tall, and if you’re both more modestly sized it’s possible to fit two in there quite comfortably.
Meanwhile the bag has offset quilting to eliminate cold spots, a fully baffled two-way zipper and a drawstring hood.
The bottom end has a fleece liner to give your feet some extra warmth, and there’s also an internal pocket for a flashlight. This is a pretty large and heavy bag but at around $90 it’s an affordable cold weather option.
3. Teton Sports Celsius XL -25°F:
If you’re at all worried about getting too cold this monster from Teton should solve your problem. We didn’t want to include too many monsters on our list, but we felt we couldn’t ignore the quality on this one.
It weighs a hefty 9.5 pounds, so it’s not one for the ultralight fans among you, but it’s very, very warm.
It’s also rooms, thanks to its rectangular shape, and you can zip a pair of them together.
The shell is durable taffeta; the liner is comfortable flannel. It also has the features you’d expect from a mummy bag – fully adjustable hood, zipper baffle and two-way zippers.
This is a big, heavy bag, but for camping only use it should keep you warm through just about anything.
4. Teton Sports Celsius Regular:
Like the Big Basin this is a hybrid – a rectangular bag with some mummy features, including a generous drawstring hood to close off any drafts around your neck.
The shell and filling are both polyester, making it rugged and easy to keep clean. The zipper has a full-length baffle and is two-way, so in warmer weather you can open the bottom for some ventilation. This is a very high quality and well featured bag for the price range that it falls into.
It also performs well, and we wouldn’t hesitate to use it right down to 0°F. Teton have a great reputation for affordable but effective gear, and this bag lives up to it.
Putting it All Together:
Overall, any of these sleeping bags would make a great addition to your next hunting or camping trip. All of them are rated highly and don’t quite make the cut as a lightweight bag for hiking, but they will serve you very well if you are just looking for something that you can be used in your backyard or on trips where your base camp is near by.