Which also tells me you may have leverage, as in, "OK, I'll go ice fishing/snowmobile camping/Northern Lights-watching, but only if you buy me a really good sleeping bag." And he, of course, thinking you are about to become an enthusiastic devotee of whatever bizarre winter pastimes he enjoys, claps his hands together and says, "You bet!"
Anyway, a winter sleeping bag is not something you can take lightly. And face it, most women sleep a little "cold," so need more insulation than men. So I'd start with a zero-degree bag as your baseline minimum. (The one problem with this approach is you'll roast just about any other time of the year.) Still, one good choice might be Sierra Designs' 7th Heaven, a zero-degree bag designed specifically for women (wider at the hips, more insulation around torso and feet). It's a down-filled bag that uses good-quality but economical 600-fill down, keeping the price to a not-unreasonable $280 (www.sierradesigns.com). And, it uses Sierra Designs' "flex" construction for stretchy straps that hug you lightly, allowing you to move around in the bag without sucking in cold air. Marmot's Never Summer ($249; www.marmot.com), also has a zero-degree rating and 600-fill down, but boasts slightly simpler construction so costs a little less. This is an excellent buy in a cold-weather bag.
If you really want to go top-drawer, Western Mountaineering's Dakota Super MF is the ticket. It's rated to minus five, uses absolutely top-quality down and materials, and weighs less than three pounds (the Sierra Designs and Marmot bags come in at around four). All that adds up, of coursein this case $445 for a bag that fits a person up to five-foot-six in height (www.westernmountaineering.com).
Don't forget a good pad, toothat can be as important as a bag in terms of keeping you warm. Insul Mat's Max-Mtn 1.5 sleeping pad ($69; www.pacoutdoor.com) will do nicely, and is shaped and cushioned for a femme sleeper.
So there you go. Stay warm out there in the Michigan winter wilds!
For more chill-bustin' bags, check out Outside Online's all-new Sleeping-Bag Buying Guide.
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.