Best Winter Camping Gear for Cold Weather {Buyers Guide}

Winter Is HERE!!! It takes only the brave to sleep outside during the winter. Most people will shy away because they are likely afraid of the extreme cold. They are right to be scared because of the hazards that are likely to come about. Some of the possible health risks of winter camping are hypothermia, dehydration, frostbite, and even disorientation due to the shifting of the snows. However, winter camping can be a memorable experience, and if you have and wear the right gear, you might find yourself unable to stay away from winter camping.

What is The Best Winter Camping Gear?

The right winter camping gear is not only warm clothing or a sleeping bag. It also requires a host of other essential gear such as tent heaters, winter camping safety equipment, and so much more. We will take it from the top. It would be advisable that you keep a checklist of all these equipment before you head out. Here is everything you need if you want to stay warm, safe, and comfortable during your winter trip:

When camping in winter in some places, you’re up against frost, winds, and winter storms. Now, you must have tents that are specially designed to protect you from all of these. Tents for cold weather camping are durable, made of water-repellant fabric, and often have steep sides to keep snow from building up on top of the tent. Here are the best winter camping tents in the market:

#1 – Black Diamond HiLight Winter Tent

black diamond hilight tent

Where would you sleep? Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to an open sky because the storm had swept away your tent! That can never happen if you have installed Black Diamond HiLight Tent.

They said that the reason why the Black Diamond HiLight Tent can withstand the most severe of storms is due to the NanoShield technology. The Black Diamond HiLight Tent is strong and sturdy, and I would recommend it for any trip.

Another cool thing is the ability to withstand heat. We forced Eric to sleep in it outside in the freezing snow! (They almost made me do it) But he came back in the morning happily. He said that it could practically feel no cold at all. He was outstanding. This is because of the proprietary single-wall fabric made out of polyester, which is used in the material.

The only downside of this beautiful tent is its small size. Don’t get me wrong, and it can house two persons if they would be very close in their sleep or if they are cuddling. Do you know? The tent also has mesh windows where you can get a view of the outside and even for ventilation at the back wall and in the front.

Don’t worry, and you won’t carry too heavy a load with this durable camping gear. It is lightweight and super easy to fold and move around.

#2 – Moko Waterproof Family Camping Tent

moko waterproof family camping tent

If you are looking for a well-ventilated family tent that can house three people comfortably, buy the Moko Family Tent. It is super easy to set up, and it is also very well ventilated.

This one camping tent is perfect for a windy, cold, snowy winter because of its three fiberglass poles and 21 metal pegs with six ropes. The construction is solid construction and stable. It even comes with a sturdy rainfly.

Eric eagerly slept in this one the second night, honestly. We set it up for him, and it was easy. The only problem we had was that when we open the entrance, snow followed us in. However, the material is water repellent and sturdy. The Moko Family Tent also comes with a carrier bag for easy carriage only that it is bulkier than our Black Diamond HiLight.

#3 – UniStrength 4-Season Waterproof Bell Tent

UniStrength 4-Season Waterproof Bell Tent

If you’re looking for a comfortable tent with ample room for a stove and all your bulky gear, buy this

There is no compromise on the comfort it offers. There is a 5-inch stove hole that is large enough as an exhaust for stove smoke. The den can easily be covered and sealed with the adjustable flap when you’re not using the exhaust hole.

Now one thing we love is the material. The material used in making this tent is thick and durable. It traps heat no matter how cold it gets outside. The size is also a big plus. Five of us fit in it, and we still had space to roll around. Cool, right? Yeah, I think so too. The center pole is 10 feet tall. See? It gives you enough space to stretch.

Okay, the only thing that might be annoying is that when we tested it under a real windstorm, we thought the tent was going to topple over any time soon. The pole shook, and the tent flapped a lot. However, nothing more happened. Our tent stood its ground, and we were warm inside.

For the best quality and durable tent that you can use all year round, we recommend the large size UniStrength Waterproof Bell Tent.

Best Winter Camping Sleeping Bags

A cozy sleeping bag is crucial if you want a good winter night sleep. You need something with insulation. Your sleeping bag is the key to a memorable winter camping experience. Below are the best sleeping bags for winter camping that we have tested to give you a cozy comfort throughout the night.

#1 – The Marmot Sawtooth 15F Down Sleeping Bag

The Marmot Sawtooth 15F Down Sleeping Bag

If you have a good tent, you need to sleep in a hot sleeping bag. Well, of all the sleeping bags you might get, we are sure that you can rarely find any other better ones than this Marmot Sawtooth Sleeping Bag. We ransacked five whole stores until we choose the top 5 to test.

Very lightweight and easy to carry around, the store owner taught us to roll this sleeping bag like a soccer ball and move it around. A good sleeping bag must not be massive, nor would it be too hot. That’s why this Marmot Sawtooth Sleeping Bag is perfect for outdoor winter camping with just the perfect level of warmth.

It is entirely water-resistant and comfortable to wear. It is suitable for any weather. However, if you sweat a lot, you should not use it. I am a born sweater. Lol. I sweat a lot. I wasn’t comfortable with it at all. Also, if you are a tall person, this model is regular sized and might not be pleased if you are taller than average.

If you need a sleeping bag that keeps you warm, and that would not make you tired or feel fatigued in your sleep, buy the Marmot Sawtooth Sleeping Bag.

#2 – Mountain Hardwear Lamina Z Blaze 15

Mountain Hardwear Lamina Z Blaze 15

Another one sleeping bag we found impressive to make our “Best Winter Camping Gear” list is Mountain HyperLamina Z Blaze 15.

So, let’s talk. If you genuinely care about how comfortable you might be in the middle of the night, if you want to get the deep sleep that will ensure your energy for the next day’s camping excitement, the Lamina Z Blaze is one to consider. With the best insulation possible, Mountain Lamina brand never disappoints. It is wide enough for plus size people, and it holds more space for comfort.

It is effortless to carry around and pack. Although it can be heavy, it is easily compressed. It has a soft polyester lining that doesn’t hold moisture inside. So that even sweaty people can have a good sleep, this bag is a perfect choice if you will be camping in damp climates where down insulation may not perform the best.

Now, what we don’t really like about this Mountain HyperLamina Z Blaze 15 is the placement of the zipper. It is a little challenging to zipping from inside. Also, it might not be comfortable for side sleepers. The draft collar is excellent when you are sleeping on your back, but when you roll onto your side,  you feel the weight, and there is no longer any protection from air movement.

Anyway, if you want a sleeping bag that gives you ample space and real warmth through the coldest nights, but yourself the Mountain HyperLamina Z Blaze 15.

#3 – Nemo Sonic Down Sleeping Bag 15F

Nemo Sonic 0 degree Down Sleeping Bag

Now for side sleepers, we have got the warmest yet comfortable sleeping bag that allows you ample comfort for your neck and knees throughout the night. Let me introduce you to the Nemo Sonic Down Sleeping Bag 15F.

First, start from the superb quality of the fabric used in constructing this avid masterpiece. It is very durable and soft.

As a chronic side sleeper, my knees fit right in as the bag gave me a stretch that followed my knees as I bent them. I felt hugged. Lol. Funny, but that’s the truth.

If you could buy all the warmth and coziness in the world, this is everything in one sleeping bag. The Nemo Sonic Down Sleeping Bag 15F.

Best Winter Camping Sleeping Pads

Alright. For a great winter camping experience, you need a sleeping pad. We went over to this excellent review company and bought two of their best, and also we went over to Amazon to get their best seller. Here are the best sleeping pads you need to get the most out of sleeping in a winter camp.

#1 – Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Minimalist Backpacking Air Mattress

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Minimalist Backpacking

If you are looking for something that you can easily pack around and still offer real-life comfort and warmth through even the coldest nights, consider buying the inflatable Therm-a-Rest Neo Air Sleeping Pad. Especially useful when you are thinking of packing extra light. We got the Therm-a-Rest (that name is just funny) because of what people said about it, and we were proven right.

Yes, the Therm-a-Rest Neo Air Sleeping Pad is warm at 2.0 R-value. However, we don’t recommend this one for single-use if you are going to sleep under subzero temperatures. In cases like these, read the winter camping guide that follows this list. It explains precisely how you can keep warm and cozy even in shallow temperatures.

What everyone loves is how light, compact, quiet, and comfortable the Therm-a-Rest Neo Air Sleeping Pad is. If you don’t often go winter camping, maybe say once or three times a year, then you should not be buying too much or too heavy gears, this is the perfect sleeping pad for you.

The only downside to this Therm-a-Rest Neo Air Sleeping Pad is that as expensive as it is, even though the fabric and other materials used in the design are quality, we doubt that the valve is as good as the price. It deflates very slowly.

However, if you need something you can pack easily and compress to the size of a 1 L bottle, warm, comfortable and with good cushion, buy this sleeping pad now.

#2 – Nemo Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pads

Nemo Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pads

Now again for side sleepers and everyone else, for everyone who wants to feel the comfort and convenience of sleeping on a standard mattress only with extra warmth and coziness, consider buying the Nemo Tensor Sleeping Pad.

The ultralight materials and soft, comfortable design make the Nemo Tensor Sleeping Pad the perfect pick for sleeping on a cold night.

The Nemo Tensor Sleeping Pad is made with an embossed real top quality nylon material, and this makes it super light and durable material. It is also much softer and quieter than some of the other fabrics in sleeping pads that sound like pop-pop when you roll.

Another sweet thing is the design that can only be got from Nemo, which creates an even excellent distribution of comfort and support, it doesn’t take too much space, and it is a low stretch material. Perfect for people who roll. So no matter how many times you turn side-to-side in the night, the Nemo Tensor Sleeping Pad is stable, so you don’t get that uncomfortable kind of rolling raft laying on the pad, so it’s a charming and pretty innovative technology that they’ve built into the inside of this sleeping pad.

Although this is not an insulated sleeping pad, it does come with a film inside. A kind of aluminized metal film that reflects some of your body’s radiant heat, so it does have a little bit of an insulation factor, it’s meant for temperatures around the 30 to 40-degree Fahrenheit range so consider that when picking up the Nemo tensor sleeping pad.

The Nemo Tensor Sleeping Pad comes in different sizes here we tested the 20 R which is the regular size and so it’s 20 inches wide and 72 inches long. You should make sure to specify the size you want when buying. I almost forgot to talk about the simple valve at the top corner of the sleeping pad that makes it very easy to inflate and deflate.

If you want a sleeping pad that is lightweight, really useful, and warm, buy the Nemo Tensor Sleeping Pad.

Other Winter Camping Gear

Aside from these significant ones, there are obvious ones. You would surely not forget to pack suitable winter Clothing.

You should know that a suitable winter clothing must have a warm Base Layer, and an insulation layer that may or may not be removable, and a middle layer. Additionally, the outer layer of suitable winter clothing should be waterproof. Otherwise, you would get shattering teeth in the middle of an expenditure.

Don’t forget to pack winter hats, gloves, warm socks (best woven) and waterproof or insulated hiking boots. As additional Winter Camping gear, you might consider going with a tent heater, winter goggles, and shovels.

How Can I Keep Warm During The Night In Winter Camp?

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night shivering. That is a nightmare for most campers.

After a whole day of fun going around the cold white snow filled area, the night should be your time to get rest and regain sufficient strength for the adventures of the next day. If you get too cold, it is impossible to sleep profoundly and gain that energy. If you want to sleep warm and cozy while out winter camping in your tent with the winter winds howling and whistling cold terror outside, these quick camping tips will help you to get that warmth you dearly need to stay cozy through the night:

1. Pack your sleeping bag with a hot water bottle.

If you keep a bottle in your sleeping, it can stay warm for some hours. If you put a bottle of hot water in your sleeping bag, it will help you get a special kind of warmth and help you sleep soundly, especially when it’s well below freezing in your tent. Hard plastic bottles will give off heat better, so make sure to use a hard plastic bottle. Fill it with hot water and put it between your legs. Sometimes, the bottle might feel too hot for your sensitive skin, and you can wrap a towel around the bottle before you place it between your legs.

2. Eat.

Eating can generate internal heat. If you ever wake up cold, eat a snack. It could be a candy bar or anything. The sensation that the chewing generates will provide you enough body temperature to regulate inside your sleeping bag or sleeping pad. However, it is not advisable to keep snacks in your tent if they might attract some wild animals. You don’t want to become a snack.

3. Urinate in the middle of the night.

When our bladder gets full, it requires more energy from our body to make the urine in it warm since it is liquid and it is highly concentrated. So, it only makes sense that if the bladder is emptied, our body would not have to expend that much energy to keep it warm and that warmth will be dispersed throughout the body. This will be enough to help you go back to sleep because even the thought of having a full bladder can distract you from sleeping.

4. Invest in good efficient sleeping bags

Cold has a different effect on people. If you are the kind of person that runs cold, for your good, don’t go low when it comes to spending money on quality warm sleeping bags. The temperature of sleeping bags is different, as well as the comfort they offer. There are sleeping bags that are specially made for women because they have extra insulation to the feet and upper body so that they are fitted to the bosom. Women sleeping bags  have fewer air pockets to heat up, and they usually come long

5. Add extra gear to your sleeping pad

If you have a problem with cold, you should make sure that you get away from the ground as far as you possibly can. One thing most people do is to put their inflatable sleeping pads inside their sleeping bags and then inflate. This keeps all the heat in. But this is not to be traded for the comfort of having enough room in your sleeping bag. If you like to have enough room to move in your sleeping bag, try using two sleeping pads. Buy one foam and one inflatable sleeping pad. You can buy anyone you like though—and put the foam one on the bottom and the inflatable between the foam and your sleeping bag (this is my go-to system when I guide trips on Denali’s West Buttress). You can also place other flattish pieces of gear between your sleeping pad and the ground. I’ll often renege my climbing rope, then put the line under one half of my sleeping pad and my backpack under the other half.

5. Add extra gear to your sleeping pad

If you have a problem with cold, you should make sure that you get away from the ground as far as you possibly can. One thing most people do is to put their inflatable sleeping pads inside their sleeping bags and then inflate. This keeps all the heat in. But this is not to be traded for the comfort of having enough room in your sleeping bag. If you like to have enough room to move in your sleeping bag, try using two sleeping pads. Buy one foam and one inflatable sleeping pad. You can buy anyone you like though.

When you are ready to sleep, place them on top of each other. The one with more cushion should stay on top. You can also spread any other flat and hard stuff (nonmetal) between your sleeping pad and the ground. This will help you remain warm and cozy.

Enjoy your next winter camping. Make sure to get all these necessary gear before Wintertime since they can get scarce and even costlier by then.