It may seem hard to believe, but winter is a lot closer than any of us would like to admit. When it arrives, it will inevitably bring cold temperatures and plenty of snow and ice. But the shift in weather doesn’t mean we have to put an end to our outdoor adventures for the season. With the proper gear, we can still enjoy all of our favorite activities including camping. In fact, winter camping can be incredibly rewarding and fun, provided you go well equipped with a good four-season tent and a sleeping bag specifically designed for the cold conditions.
High Peak, a company that specializes in excellent, yet affordable, outdoor equipment offers a line of sleeping bags that are specifically designed for cool and cold weather camping. Their new Latitude line of bags come in 20°F, 0°F and -5°F versions, which make them perfect for a variety of conditions. These mummy-style bags are comfortable, warm and lightweight, which makes them perfect options for not only camping, but backpacking and general travel as well.
Using a proprietary fill that they call CozyTherm, High Peak has managed to create a bag that rivals traditional down in terms of warmth, while still keeping weight to a minimum. CozyTherm is designed to reflect body heat back into the interior of the bag, keeping the person inside comfortably warm. It also has the ability to wick moisture away as well, keeping the interior nicely dry. This comes in especially handy during the winter when cold, wet conditions can be a recipe for disaster.In addition to providing a warm and dry place to sleep, the Latitude bag has plenty of other nice touches as well. Its exterior is wrapped in durable rip-stop nylon that can take plenty of punishment on the trail without scuffing or tearing. The bag also has a comfortable hood that seals up around the head to provide extra warmth on cold nights. An interior pocket keeps small items, such as an iPod or headlamp close at hand, while high quality zippers keep the interior cozy, without hindering the ability to get in and out of the bag.
While I haven’t had the opportunity to test my Latitude 0° bag in severely cold temperatures as of yet, I can tell you that it definitely provides a warm and comfortable nights sleep. I believe that High Peak’s estimated temperature ratings on each of these bags is spot on, meaning that whichever version you select, it will perform well at the temperature it is designed for.
Having spent plenty of time in mummy bags over the years, I personally find them quite comfortable. Not everyone shares that feeling however, as these types of bags can feel a bit claustrophobic and restrictive for the uninitiated. Mummy style sleeping bags are the most efficient for use in cold weather however, as they help prevent excess heat loss and keep your head much warmer too.
Overall, the Latitude 0° sleeping bag has exceeded my expectations in terms of features and performance, but it stands out from the crowd for other reasons as well. For instance, this bag tips the scales at just 3 pounds, 2 ounces, which should make it a good option for backpackers concerned with the weight of their packs. High Peak has also priced the bag quite nicely too, as it isn’t often that you’ll find a good winter sleeping bag that costs just $115.
Unfortunately, High Peak doesn’t currently offer a “long” version of their Latitude bags, and at 6’2″ in height, I felt a bit cramped at times. If you’re shorter than I am you should have no real issues, but if you’re any taller, you’ll probably want to look for other options.
Those searching for a good sleeping bag for winter camping, that won’t put too much of a hurt on their wallet, will find the High Peak Latitude an excellent option.
[Photo credit: High Peak]