The Trestles
The Trestles (courtesy, Marmot)

What zero-degree sleeping bag should I get?

I was thinking about buying a zero-degree bag. I winter cp once or twice each year and won't go if the temps will be too low (So far the coldest may have been 10 degrees). I have a buddy who is dead set against inexpensive brands. Is there really a warmth difference between an inexpensive zero-degree bag and an expensive one? I not a warm sleeper but a "cheap son-of-a-gun." Are there any recommendations that you can make? Marty Morgantown, WV

The Trestles

Well, I dunno. I hate to say X or Y is no good because it’s a $100 sleeping bag versus a $400 sleeping bag. Often, the penalty you pay is in weight (cheaper bags weigh more for same insulation), and in some cases that is no real penalty at all.

The Trestles The Trestles

Moreover, there are good-quality makers who have excellent quality control, an interest in happy customers, and a willingness to cut costs. Besides, 10 F isn’t THAT cold!

So here are three I’d suggest:
• The North Face’s Snowshoe +0 isn’t a budget bag, but at $189 it’s a good buy for a serious cold-weather bag. Its shell is a blend of polyester and nylon, its filling is polyester long-filament, the weight is decent at three pounds, eight ounces.
• L.L. Bean’s Katahdin Climashield bag ($149) also is rated to 0 F. It’s similar to The North Face bag—good-quality insulation, good shell, nice design. Same weight.
• Most amazingly, Marmot—a high-end gear maker—offers a good zero-degree bag for a mere $109. It’s called The Trestles, and although it weighs nearly five pounds it’s an excellent, warm bag.

Spend less than $109? I wouldn’t. C’mon—you want to sleep, don’t you? Just be sure to wear a warm hat as well. And eat a Snickers bar. It’s a great way to generate some extra heat at bedtime. Plus they taste good.

Want to see more on sleeping bags—and other winter gear? Check out our annual Winter Buyer Guide.

From Outside Magazine, April/May 2021
Filed to:
Lead Photo: courtesy, Marmot