Updated April 2014
At Bogong we stock a huge range of quality sleeping bags – over 50 models at last count – and it can be pretty hard to make a decision. I’ve written this guide to a few of the best options for particular purposes. This is not the be all and end all of sleeping bag advice, but hopefully it’s a useful guide to get you started on choosing the best sleeping bag for you.
Scenario 1: General use three season bag. Good for bushwalking, travel, camping.
Our recommendation: Mont Zodiac 500 Sleeping Bag
The Mont Zodiac 500 is one of our most popular bags, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a comfortable, quality down sleeping bag from an Australian company. Full length zips on the side and base mean it can be opened out as a doona, making it versatile enough to deal with crashing on a friend’s couch as well as a bushwalk down the Prom.
This is a quality sleeping bag at a very reasonable price.
Scenario 2: ‘Serious’ bushwalking bag.
Our recommendation: Mont Brindabella Hydronaute Sleeping Bag
The Mont Brindabella is warm and versatile. 700 grams of quality 785+ loft duck down keeps you toasty warm, while the Hydronaute XT outer shell protects your sleeping bag from condensation, snow and wet gear. The down is DWR treated too, for ultimate protection from moisture.
But when you’re heading off at other times of the year, the full length side and foot zippers mean you can vent as required, making the Brindabella a versatile option for serious bushwalkers.
Scenario 3: Snow camping/winter sleeping bag.
Our recommendations: Mont Spindrift, Exped Waterbloc 800
The Exped Waterbloc 800 features fully welded waterproof seams. Check out this outrageous video!
Ideal for snow camping, winter bushwalks and ski tours where everything gets wet in the end! For these kinds of trips, it’s worth taking a bag that’s a bit warmer than you need to allow for the effects of moisture (as I found out the hard way on the Western Arthurs). A boxfoot or mummy style bag is the most thermally efficient in winter conditions. The Mont Spindrift and the Exped WB 800 both feature top quality goosedown with a mummy shape and waterproof shell fabric.
Scenario 4: Mountaineering sleeping bag.
Our recommendations: Exped WB 1200, Mont Main Range
You're making an attempt on some of the great peaks of the world, and you need a sleeping bag that can handle the conditions on 7000+ metre peaks.
Ridiculously warm with a fully waterproof outer shell, the Exped Waterbloc 1200 is designed so that you can sleep in extreme conditions. The hood narrows down to just a tiny hole for your face, so if necessary you can forgo the bivy bag and just put a jacket over your face if the weather gets nasty.
For a more traditional design, look at the Mont Main Range. This goose down in this bag has been treated with Durable Water Repellent (DWR) that stops it clumping up when wet, and helps it to dry quicker. In addition, it has a Hydronaute XT outer shell that reduces water ingress in the first place and helps trap warm air. A warm, comfortable boxfoot sleeping bag for the world's great ranges!
Scenario 5: Lightweight at all costs!
Our recommendations: Exped Ultralite 300, Mont Prolite 150
The Exped Ultralite 300 is an incredibly lightweight down sleeping bag. I have just picked up one of these for my summer cycle tours, hikes and camping when it's not too cold. Exped quotes a weight of just 570 grams, and when I weighed it in store that was pretty spot on. It boasts a minimum comfort temperature of 5 degrees. This is achieved by using top-notch goose down, ultra light fabric, and a tapered mummy shape. So far I'm quite enjoying the mummy shape, and the short zipper is a price I'm willing to pay for the weight saving.
The Mont Prolite 150 is a half-bag, reborn. Designed to be used with sleeping mats such as the Exped Downmat or Exped Synmat UL, it does away with down on the bottom half, utilising the warmth of these mats. The mat is attached by a couple of Velcro straps instead of the older sleeve design, saving more weight. It weighs in at just 428 grams.
Also consider: Mont Prolite 250,
Scenario 6: Ultralight bag that is still comfortable.
Our recommendation: Mont Helium 300
If you want a lightweight sleeping bag without the sacrifices, the Mont Helium 300 is the way to go. It includes many of the features that are missing from other ultralight sleeping bags, such as a full length zip and bottom zip, down-filled baffles along the zip and hood, and a generous hood. All this at only
700 grams 640 grams!
How can it be so light? Two reasons. One is the ultralight
15 denier 10 denier fabric which cuts the weight of the shell dramatically. The other is the 800 loft down. This incredibly high spec down gives you more warmth for the same weight, cutting down on the total weight of the bag!
Update Feb 2016: The Helium 300 is now 60 grams lighter thanks to new 10 denier fabric, and it features DWR down for improved performance in damp conditions!
Also consider: Mont Helium 450
Scenario 7: Budget three season bag that will be used and abused.
Our recommendation: Rock Empire Cyklotour
If you're just looking for a sleeping bag to take camping, cycling or maybe to a festival, the Rock Empire Cyklotour is a good option. As a synthetic sleeping bag, it is a good value option, and much easier to wash than a down sleeping bag. The main drawback is the size and weight, although this is not as bulky as many cheaper synthetic sleeping bags out there.
See our full range of sleeping bags.