sleeping bag and gear

The Top 5 Most Expensive Sleeping Bags – 2020

In Buyers Guide, Sleeping Bags by Joshua C.Leave a Comment

Without a doubt, the sleeping bag is the most important piece of kit campers need for their camp. A tarp or emergency survival shelter could get you out of the weather in an emergency. Staying overnight anywhere really cold requires a great bag.

In the sleeping bag market, you often get what you pay for. These cozy bags have premium features, but they come with a premium price tag, too. But don’t forget, we have more sleeping bag articles that are at more affordable prices.

What makes a premium sleeping bag so expensive?

The simple answer is these expensive sleeping bags include features, products and designs not found in lesser products. They stand out for their clever engineering, quality of insulation, and attention to detail. Much the same as a luxury car, premium sleeping bags have real differences you will see and feel when you use them.

See our quick list:

Expensive Sleeping BagsSee ReviewLatest Price Check

Western Mountaineering
Bison -40 Sleeping Bag
Jump To ReviewSee Latest Price

Eddie Bauer Airbender
20° Sleeping Bag
Jump To ReviewSee Latest Price

Therm-a-Rest Altair
Sleeping Bag
Jump To ReviewSee Latest Price

Nemo Canon Down Sleeping Bag
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Sea to Summit Alpine
Sleeping Bag
Jump To ReviewSee Latest Price

Clever Engineering

When staying warm matters more than saving money, clever engineers get smart about how they protect our precious body warmth.

Baffles are used to keep insulation where it is needed most. Zips and openings are placed carefully and insulated specifically to prevent heat loss. Foot boxes are designed to help keep your toes cozy and warm.

As you peruse the products on offer, try to think about how these design additions will work to keep you safe from the chill.

Insulation Quality

Almost all the best sleeping bags designed for extremely low temperatures use down from geese or ducks as their primary insulating material. Synthetic materials can be included in parts of some bags, but the bulk of the insulation is going to be natural down.

Down is a brilliant material. Its warmth to weight ratio is superb. Without weighing tons, down can puff up and keep you very warm. If you’ve ever looked up and wondered how those geese flying high in the sky stay warm, then goose down is your answer. Duck down works as well.

Another benefit of down is how small it becomes. Compression sacks help you crush your super warm bag down to a tiny size to fit it into your expedition pack. When you set up camp, unroll the bag and let it fluff up. Down works by maintaining pockets of warm air throughout the insulation space.

Details, Details, Details

In harsh, cold environments, details can make the difference between comfort and cold. Little things can keep your gear safe, your expedition going, and your extremities free from frostbite. These bags show incredible attention to detail.

For example, most people camp with battery-powered tools. Premium sleeping bags put their small gear pockets on the inside. Cold batteries lose their charge and are not efficient.

A little detail like the zip placement can make a big difference t your comfort and ease of use. You can choose left zips, right zips or even center zips.

While these bags are clearly for people with money, they include some details to make them more useful during the slightly warmer seasons. Baffles and vents can be used to keep you cool if you happen to camp during a winter heat wave.

List of the Five most Expensive Sleeping Bags

We’ve looked through the market and collected five of the best – and most expensive – sleeping bags for you to review. Weigh up the features and purpose, forget about your bank balance, and buy your best sleeping bag ever!

1. Western Mountaineering Bison GWS -40 Degree Sleeping Bag

 This superb Bison GWS Bag from Western Mountaineering is one of the most expensive sleeping bags on the market for good reason. The design, insulation and attention to detail put it head and shoulders above cheaper winter bags.

Western Mountaineering really does design great sleeping bags. The clever engineering in this bag starts at the zippers. Two double interlocking draft tubes fit around the zipper so your body warmth doesn’t seep out through this traditional weak spot. Your head will be cocooned within the fully insulated down hood. Gore Windstopper fabric forms a collar to trap warm air around your body and keep you toasty right down to -40 Fahrenheit.

What does 42 ounces of 850+ down mean to you? Warmth. Heat. Comfort. When this bag is fully deployed and fluffed up, fortunate campers will be surrounded by 10 inches of heat saving insulation. The hood is stuffed with the same high quality down and is fitted with a ruff to keep warm air around your face. Say goodbye to cold doggy nose! All this insulation packs down to about 11” x 22” and weighs about 4 lbs and 13 oz.

Details are important when the coldest weather sets in and your expedition relies on your sleeping well. Western Mountaineering uses a reverse differential hood design. This means the inside of the hood is roomier than the outside. The result is a hood that fits snugly without requiring the drawstring to be cinched tightly. The main body of the bag is the opposite. The inner bag is smaller than the outer fabric. This eliminates pesky cold spots created by loose fabric inside the bag.

If you’re headed for somewhere super cold and want the best bag you can buy, choose this one.

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2. Eddie Bauer Airbender 20° Sleeping Bag

 Stylish and comfortable, this Eddie Bauer Airbender Sleeping Bag is also superb at keeping you warm during chilly winter nights. If the name on the label doesn’t sway you, then check out some of the cool features included in this sleeping sack.

To begin with, the design is standard but done well. The mummy shape provides ample room across even the broadest shoulders. The narrow waist and shaped footbox eliminate extra air in your sleeping bag. Less air to warm means more heat saved for keeping you cozy.

The nylon shell is made of incredibly tough 15-denier Pertex. The top of the bag and the hood are filled with DWR down to keep your upper body and head warm even if it gets a bit wet. The insulation is high specification, 850 fill duck down. This ranks at the top of the class for insulating properties. Properly fluffed up, this will keep you comfortable at temperatures as low as 20° Fahrenheit.

One innovation stands out, or rather lies down, in this bag. Eddie Bauer has included an integrated sleeping pad and pump system. Once you lay your bag out, you use the pump to inflate the sleeping mat sewn into the bag. This saves precious space in your bag and means you won’t wake up on the cold, hard ground after rolling off your narrow sleeping mat.

Attention to details make bags better. A 3D engineered footbox provides structure to keep your toes warm at night. The pump for the air bag is built into the stuff sack so you won’t lose or forget it. The seams are reinforced, and the hood has a small ruff for full facial warmth.

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3. Therm-a-Rest Altair HD Sleeping Bag: 23 Degree Down

 Imagine lying on your back listening to the gentle sound of snow falling on your tent. Your toes are still cozy and warm. You can relax in the winter. You will be lying in the Therm-a-Rest Altair HD sleeping bag.

The Altair is designed simply but properly. The materials are top notch and will not disappoint. The 20D nylon is engineered to be super tough. It’s not going to get ripped or torn easily. In addition to this, Therm-A-Rest has included an innovative heat reflective material in the shell for added warmth without added weight or bulk. There is a little more width through the body of the bag compared to others. Bigger campers will sleep better in this bag.

750 Fill hydrophobic down insulation will keep you plenty warm. The hydrophobic coating helps the down retain its insulating ability even when it gets damp to water ingress or condensation. As mentioned already, part of this bag’s design includes The ThermaCapture lining reflects warmth back into the bag. The insulation is also arranged so roughly 85% is on the top of the bag where it is most effective.

Little things mean a lot. This bag has a few little features to help you. First, are the connectors built into the bag to connect your mattress. With the insulation positioned above you, a solid connection to a mattress will keep the bottom of the bag as warm as the top. The hood can be cinched down and has a draft collar for when the temperature really drops.

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4. Nemo Canon Down Sleeping Bag

The Nemo Canon…Visually, this is the most striking bag on the list. There are two ‘gills’ on the top of the bag for comfort and temperature adjustment. The color contrast just looks nice! All of the features on this bag have been carefully engineered and designed to give you a safe place to sleep in the coldest weather you’ll encounter on your way to the summit.

Gills for a sleeping bag? This clever design feature adds two draftless vents. This improves the breathability of the bag as well. The gills also allow you to use the bag when the temperature isn’t quite so low. The stove pipe hood maintains a warm pocket of air near your face while also letting fresh air into the bag. A center zipper ensures ease of access and allows for even more adjustable ventilation.

Eastern European Duck Down has been used to create a superbly insulated sleeping bag. If the thermometer ever gets down to -30° or -40° Fahrenheit, this is the bag you’re going to want. DownTek has been added. This nanotechnology treatment repels water. Even in damp conditions, the insulation will retain its loft and efficiency.

Two details on the Nemo Canon bag make life better. The first is an engineered footbox with OSMO DT, an ultralight fabric coating. Your feet will stay warm and dry. The second detail are the zippered arm openings. You can unzip the arms and the center zip, pop your arms out, and enjoy a meal will sitting cocooned in your bag. Hot soup on the way to the summit!

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5. Sea to Summit Alpine AP III Sleeping Bag

 Sea to Summit makes some of the most innovative camping and hiking gear on the planet. This Alpine AP III Sleeping Bag is thoroughly practical and elegantly stylish. Its striking red shell will draw attention. Its performance will bring envy. For you, its design and features will bring nothing but comfort.

Mummy sleeping bags are standard for really cold weather. The contours on this sleeping bag are a tighter fit than some but this ensures even greater heat retention. Side blocks and baffles prevent insulation from making its way to the back of the bag where it is less efficient.

Insulation is the most important feature in the cold. This sack is stuffed with 850 loft down for the highest level of insulation on the market. The down is also treated with Sea to Summit’s Ultra-Dry Down process to make it work better. It retains 60% more loft when damp, holds in 30% less moisture and will dry out 60% faster than untreated down.

Added details improve this bag’s level of comfort. An interior security pocket has been included for some of your gear. 3D Nanoshell technology has been applied to the inside of the outer shell. This coating is almost like science fiction! It lets condensation out of the insulated area. The flow is only one way, though. Once the moisture passes through the barrier, the hydrophobic coating will not allow it back into the down. The result is more efficient insulation and an easier drying process during long expeditions.

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Which Bag Wins?

Each of these bags is exceptionally good. You will have to decide your priorities and choose accordingly. Your planned expeditions will determine just how low the temperature may be. You can choose a super serious bag if you’re going up Everest. If you just need extra warmth for winter camping, then you might be able to save a few hundred dollars and still be comfortable at night. Plan for the worst and buy the best!


We offer different sleeping bag articles that are more budget-friendly:

  1. Top 10 Best Sleeping Bags Under $200
  2. Best Sleeping Bags Under $50

Check them out if you are in need of a sleeping bag!

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