How to choose the best sleeping bag for you

How to choose the best sleeping bag for you

Here at Montbell Australia, we’re all about providing outdoor gear to create unforgettable adventures… and there’s nothing more important than buying the right sleeping bag. With so many sleeping bag options though, how do you make sure you choose the best one for you?

The good news is we’ve made a comprehensive guide to help you narrow down your choices to the perfect sleeping bag that aligns with your needs… 

Step 1: Pick your temperature range

Montbell offers sleeping bags in seven distinct temperature ratings: EXP, 0, 1, 2, 3, 5 & 7. EXP and 0 are for the coldest temperatures right through to 7 for the warmer nights. You need to really consider the climate and temperature you’ll need your sleeping bag to work for.

How to choose the best sleeping bag for you

The ISO standard

To assist you in selecting the optimal warmth level for your upcoming outdoor escape, consider both the ISO "comfort" and "limit" temperature assessments for each of our sleeping bags. These ISO temperature evaluations undergo rigorous independent testing by a third-party laboratory, enabling you to conduct direct comparisons among sleeping bags from different brands and manufacturers that adhere to the ISO standard.

What are "comfort" & "limit" temperatures?

As a general guideline, most people (even those prone to feeling the cold) should find sleeping comfortably feasible while wearing a base layer at the specified "comfort" temperature.

Conversely, the "limit" temperature indicates the threshold at which even individuals who typically feel warm might struggle to maintain comfort throughout the night.

Better safe than sorry!

The great outdoors is unpredictable. We recommend opting for a sleeping bag rated one or two degrees lower than the coldest conditions you’re anticipating.

For instance, if you're someone with a fast metabolism planning for temperatures not exceeding 0˚C, a #3 rated bag might seem appealing. However, we suggest opting for a #2 or #1 to provide a comfort buffer. In Aus & NZ, our most popular sleeping bags are those rated # 3 (4˚C comfort level) and #5 (8˚C comfort level). 

Step 2: Choose your desired weight and packability

Our range of down sleeping bags come in three weight / compressibility tiers featuring synthetic insulation, ensuring suitability for hardened alpinists, weekend campers… and everyone in between.

Seamless Down Hugger WR 900

Montbell Seamless Down Hugger WR 900 #3

Merging superior down with weatherproof technology

Designed for ultralight enthusiasts, our Seamless WR 900 bags are meticulously engineered for U.L. hiking, alpinism, and weight-conscious adventures in the wilderness.

Employing ultra-high-quality 900 Fill Power EX Down and state-of-the-art construction, these sleeping bags offer superb compressibility to minimise bulk in your pack. Their extremely weatherproof GORE-TEX WINDSTOPPER® outer fabric (seam-sealed to shield the down from external moisture while facilitating internal moisture and heat ventilation) ensures uncompromised performance in adverse conditions.

Seamless Down Hugger 800

Montbell Seamless Down Hugger 800 #5

An ideal lightweight option for any adventure

Our Seamless 800 sleeping bags are our top recommendation for all users. Featuring an exceptionally high warmth-to-weight ratio, they offer unparalleled versatility for outdoor adventures.

Crafted with premium 800 Fill Power EX Down, their seamless design allows the down to loft to its fullest potential, rendering them lightweight and compressible, ensuring a comfortable night's rest during backpacking, bikepacking, camping, and beyond.

Down Hugger 650

Montbell Down Hugger 650 #0

Balancing lightweight design with enhanced comfort

If comfort is as crucial to you as weight and packability, the Down Hugger 650 series is your go-to option.

While slightly heavier and less compressible than the Seamless 800 and 900 series, they deliver competitive performance tailored for trail use or camping, all at a more affordable price point.

Seamless Burrow Bags

Montbell Burrow Bag #3

Featuring Durable Synthetic Exceloft Insulation

For those concerned about moisture exposure or seeking a durable, easy-to-maintain sleeping bag, our Burrow Bags with synthetic insulation are an excellent choice.

Offering exceptional value in terms of weight and size, their seamless design effectively reduces weight and bulk, resulting in our lightest and most compact synthetic insulated option to date.

Step 3: Pick your desired features and configuration

The Super Spiral Stretch System - a luxurious comfort enhancement

Wondering why Montbell sleeping bags are dubbed "Down Huggers"?

Our Super Spiral Stretch System incorporates diagonally oriented fabric, stitched with elastic thread to maximise lateral stretch. What this means is that as you move within the sleeping bag, the fabric contracts to gently "hug" you, conforming to your body's movements during sleep, ensuring unrestricted comfort.

While our Seamless Burrow Bags and Seamless Down Hugger 800s and 900s feature this system internally to facilitate maximum lofting of down, the Down Hugger 650s boast both interior and exterior deployment, resulting in a sleeping bag that flexes and adapts to your movements for unparalleled comfort.

Baffleless construction - enhancing down loft without bulky baffles

By eliminating baffles in our Seamless Down Hugger models, we've created a continuous chamber that allows down to loft to its fullest potential. To address the issue of down shifting within the bag, our proprietary Spider Yarn forms a web inside, trapping and securing the down in place, suspending a layer of down throughout the bag. This innovative construction, dubbed the "Spider Baffle System," ensures optimal lofting without compromising on weight or bulk.

Weather resistant and ready for the unpredictable

For those seeking top-of-the-line weather resistance in their sleeping bag for missions in damp, moist, or otherwise unpredictable conditions, the Seamless WR 900 bags are the ultimate solution.

Constructed with premium GORE-TEX WINDSTOPPER® technology identical to that found in our Versalite and Permafrost series jackets, these bags are seam-taped and primed for moist conditions that would compromise lesser alternatives.

Size yourself up

If you are on the tall side and find the regular sleeping bag length just a little short - we have you sorted.

Our unisex sleeping bags come in both regular and long sizes with the longer sizes ideal for those up to 198cm (no more scrunching up, having an uncomfortable sleep).

In the 800 Hugger Series, Montbell offers a dedicated collection of sleeping bags tailored to women. They’re slightly shorter in length compared to our standard unisex models and feature reduced shoulder width, providing a customised fit for women up to 173 cm tall.

Zipper left or zipper right?

Have you always wanted to have a pair of sleeping bags that you could zip together and share a night under the stars with someone special?

We offer our Seamless Down Hugger 800s, Seamless Burrow Bags and Down Hugger 650s in left and right-handed variants for these very reasons. We’ve even ensured that the zippers of regular and long variants are complimentary so they can be combined just as easily as two bags of the same length.

Sleep well!

Hopefully you’ve now got a great understanding of what sleeping bag options are on offer, and can narrow down your choice to pick the perfect one for you.

Our range of sleeping bags are meticulously crafted to cater to every outdoor enthusiast – offering unparalleled comfort, versatility, and performance across a spectrum of conditions and activities. Whether you're embarking on a multi-day backcountry expedition or a weekend camping trip, there's a Montbell sleeping bag perfectly suited to accompany you on your adventures.