9 three to four-season sleeping bags on test

Daniel Neilson tested out a range of bags all designed for colder months

Illustration photo of 9 three to four-season sleeping bags on test

Here's what to check for when choosing a sleeping bag:

FILL
Fill is either down or synthetic, and both have their advantages. Down fill is loftier, warmer for its weight and comfortable over a wider temperature range, but synthetic fill dries faster and still insulates if wet.

CONSTRUCTION
Narrow sleeping bags are warmer however they are a tighter fit and will restrict movement more. A hood is needed for winter, and a circular or oval cut at the foot won't compress the down (making it warmer). Getting the length right will also minimise spots for cold air. Sometimes a shoulder baffle is useful too.

TEMPERATURE RATING
There are generally four accepted temperature ratings for sleeping bags (Upper Limit, Comfort, Lower Limit and Extreme) although not all companies use them. The Comfort level is a good indicator, but use your experience in a summer sleeping bag to judge how you sleep (hot or cold). These ratings are only a guide.

 

[1] PHD PERSONALISED TECH-LIGHT SLEEPING BAG (4.5 stars)

"It's top-tier pricing, but the level of choice is unique and the quality superb." Find out why Daniel chose this bag as his 'Best Buy' FULL REVIEW HERE


[2] MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT SNOWLINE SL (4.5 stars)

"A great bag if you're going to be seriously attacking the mountains this winter." FULL REVIEW HERE

[3] MARMOT PLASMA 0 (4 stars)

"It has a whopping 875 fill power, giving it a great warmth-to-weight ratio with a comfort rating of -8°C, and it weighs only 1,234g." FULL REVIEW HERE

[4] SALEWA PHANTOM -14 3D FLEX (4 stars)

"Bulkier than some but still a great price for a warm sleeping bag." FULL REVIEW HERE

[5] VAUDE ARCTIC 1200 (4 stars)

"Uses PrimaLoft Black Insulation Hi-loft, which is a packable and water resistant high-loft filling and is warm." FULL REVIEW HERE

[6] SNUGPAK CHRYSALIS 4 (3.5 stars)

"The price makes this a good option if weight isn't essential." FULL REVIEW HERE

[7] KELTY COCOMELL DOWN 0 (3 stars)

One of the cheaper bags reviewed reflected in the low down fill power." FULL REVIEW HERE

[8] THERM-A-REST ALTAIR HD (4 stars)

"Therm-a-rest should be applauded for coming up with a truly interesting solution to cut weight." FULL REVIEW HERE

[9] TERRA NOVA ELITE 550 (3.5 stars)

"For a three-season bag it's a good price and fairly light." FULL REVIEW HERE

These sleeping bags were reviewed by Daniel Neilson in the January edition of The Great Outdoors.