Sleeping bags are your last line of defense against anything Mother Nature can throw at you, so choose carefully! Without a good night’s sleep, you won’t be able to function at your fullest, and in a survival situation, that could prove costly.
With dozens of variations available today, choose a sleeping bag based on durability and the type of environment you will be staying in as well as certain conditions based on your own personal requirements, including temperature preferences, thickness of material and the overall weight of the bag when traveling.
Choosing the right sleeping bag for you and your family members is an important decision when selecting survival gear. Waking up in the middle of the night all wet and shivering is not the time to realize you made the wrong choice!
Model: Recon 5
Key Features: Designed to keep you comfortable in extreme cold conditions, down to -20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit)
Description: The Recon 5 is your ultimate cold-climate sleeping bag. Created using 210T ripstop nylon with a Teflon finish and 300 grams per square meter of insulation for ultimate warmth, the Recon offers intense cold protection and durability to withstand even the harshest environments. It features bonded seams, anti-snag zipper with a Velcro tab closure and a heavy-duty No. 8 spiral zipper with storm flap. Enjoy the shaped hood for added comfort and the internal PDA/phone pocket for your electronic conveniences.
Manufacturer’s Comments: “With sizes available to withstand temperatures to -4 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 degrees Celsius), the Recon line of sleeping bags [is] among the smallest, lightest-weight bags on the
market. Their rugged durability and compact size make them a perfect addition to any survival checklist.” —BRYAN BOGUE, PRESIDENT
Model: Blizzard Survival Bag
Key Features: 100-percent water- and windproof; compact and lightweight; reusable
Description: The Blizzard Survival Bag is considered standard equipment for many military and emergency services. It’s revolutionary design supply’s thermal protection in any situation where people need to be kept warm. Its compact carrying design makes it ideal for use by hikers, campers or survivalists, who all need to travel light yet need protection from the blistering cold during the night. The Blizzard Bag is reusable, weighs less than a pound and is available in silver, orange or green.
Manufacturer’s Comments: “Our Blizzard Survival Products were invented by an avid hiker in Wales, have saved countless lives in militaries worldwide and are compact, lightweight and simple enough to be used by any outdoor enthusiast. Our specially designed Reflexcell material and quality construction set us apart from any other hypothermia protection gear on the market, and our customers experience the difference.” —DEE WILLIAMS, DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT SALES
3. EDDIE BAUER
Model: Northern King +20 Degrees
Key Features: Large size for comfort; no-chill, down, baffle-box construction
Description: The Northern King +20 Degrees Sleeping Bag is the perfect bag for outdoor activities from springtime to late fall. Its rectangular, plush, down design offers you plenty of room and coziness while keeping you warm at temperatures down to +20 degrees Fahrenheit. Filled with premium goose down with protective polyester taffeta, the Northern King is durable without sacrificing comfort. YKK-patented zippers ensure smooth and durable closure. It is machine washable and comes complete with stuff-and-storage sacks.
Manufacturer’s Comments: “The King Series of sleeping bags has well over 60 years of history at Eddie Bauer. Eddie created this high-quality line of sleeping bags to address the needs of the market not looking to explore the highest peaks of the world but still wanted the quality and comfort that is the reputation of Eddie Bauer down sleeping bags. The Northern King is 3 pounds, 13 ounces, and is a fantastic choice for the person looking for the comfort of a rectangular sleeping bag that can be used at the early spring or fall campsite, the backyard or the for the field. Filled with premium grey goose down, the combination of the baffle box and horizontal interior baffle construction keeps even distribution of the down across the bag and maximizes loft for perfect warmth to 20 degrees outside temperatures.” —JACK MANNON, PUBLIC RELATIONS SPECIALIST
Key Features: Innovative sleep/wear system, multiple adjusting points, coldweather usage
Description: The Patagon is the most technically advanced model of sleepwear ever created by Selk’bag. It is essentially a sleeping bag that allows the user mobility and comfort when out in harsh environments. Padded with Krekran insulating material, the Patagon can withstand cold temperatures while keeping you warm and toasty inside. Adjustable hood and arm straps conform to your particular body type.
Removable booties, which double as a pillow when zipped together, allow you to wear your own footwear while in the suit. New quick-release hand closures allow fast hand entry and exit.
Manufacturer’s Comments: “The Patagon is our most technical product of the Selk’bag family so far and, most importantly, features removable booties so you can wear your own boots or shoes, making it ideal for a ‘ready to go’ type of sleeping bag.” —CRISTOBAL MURILLO, CO-OWNER
5. BIG AGNES
Model: Bellyache Mountain SL
Key Features: Water-repellant down; anti-microbial and anti-bacterial insulation
Description: The Bellyache Mountain SL takes a traditional mummy-style sleeping bag and gives it a technical face-lift. This old-school-style bag repels water using DownTek water-repellant down while maintaining insulation value, loft and breatha-bility. It features a no-draft collar seal to keep cold air from entering as well as insulation between the bag and pad and along the length of the zipper to keep you warm and dry during the night. Connect a partner’s bag to yours with ease to create a dual-sleeping chamber. Interior fabric loops hold your sleeping bag liner secure and in place. Storage sack and nylon stuffsack included.
Manufacturer’s Comments: “The Bellyache Mountain SL is a warm and lightweight sleeping bag that features DownTek water-repellent down and Insotect Flow vertical baffles to help body heat travel from the core to the extremities for more efficient and even thermoregulation.” —CARL JOHNSON, PR ACCOUNT MANAGER
Model: Kodiak 20
Online sellers MSRP: $79.99
Key Features: Windshield and thermal collar; dual-bag connection; rating to 20 degrees Fahrenheit
Description: Affordability and comfort are combined to create the Kodiak 20. This traditional rectangular bag keeps you cozy down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit while providing a windshield and thermal collar to avoid getting chilled from unavoidable wind gusts. A convenient hood with drawstring closures and the ability to join with a second bag make the Kodiak 20 perfect for a weekend getaway for two without breaking the bank.
Vendor’s Comments: “The High Peak Kodiak 20 is rated for 20 degrees and ultimately designed for your comfort. This sleeping bag has a puffy, rectangular bag, is constructed with a Dura Fiber H1 insulation and has a polyester ripstop shell. The inside liner has 100-percent cotton flannel. This bag can also be zipped together with another sleeping bag.” —AARON CURLEY, MARKETING MANAGER
Key Features: Sealed protection from the elements; waterproof and windproof
Description: For use in place of a typical survival blanket, the AMK SOL Emergency Bivvy offers the indispensible feature of being sealed on three sides. This ensures at least 90 percent of your body heat will be reflected back to keep you warm when nature is not so nice and gentle. With windproof and waterproof heatsheets weighing in at only 3.8 ounces, this bivvy can travel anywhere you do with little to no additional pack weight. Colored in highly visible orange with an included carrying bag.
Vendor’s Comments: “The ultralight, ultra-warm, full-protection shelter! The SOL Emergency Bivvy is made from the same heat-reflective polyethylene as AMK’s world-famous emergency blankets (reflecting 90 percent of your body heat back to you) with the added benefit of being fully sealed so that no wind, rain or snow can get inside. If you’re forced to spend the unexpected night outdoors, hop in the SOL Emergency Bivvy as soon as the temperature drops and instantly improve the odds in your favor.” —AARON CURLEY, MARKETING MANAGER
8. BIG AGNES
Model: Encampment 15
Key Features: Integrated, full-pad sleeve; built-in pillow; roomy rectangular shape
Description: The Big Agnes Encampment sleeping bag offers warmth and comfort using an ingenious construction technique that combines layers of insulation connected by several key anchoring points throughout the bag. This process maximizes heat containment while preventing gapping. A no-draft collar keeps cold
air from sneaking in while the no-draft wedge design insulates between the sleeping pad and the bag. Its tough shell is constructed of ripstop nylon and is treated to repel water, keeping you dry during nature’s unexpected storms. A connectable zipper attaches a second sleeping bag to create a two-person sleeping area. Cotton storage bag and nylon stuff sack are included.
Manufacturer’s Comments: “The Encampment 15 is a quality bag at a competitive price. The synthetic insulation is made with 97-percent recycled material and feels as warm and soft as down. This is a good, all-around sleeping bag that can be used in a variety of different situations in a wide range of climates.” —CARL JOHNSON, PR ACCOUNT MANAGER
Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the April 2014 print issue of American Survival Guide.