Coleman Big Basin
Extreme Weather Sleeping Bag
In reviewing all of the possible winter sleeping bags which could have snagged this title, I felt that I truly had no choice but to select this particular bag on account of its very positive consumer reviews. Trust me, people are generally pretty tough on winter sleeping bags when it comes to reviews, and rightfully so, if you ask me. A winter sleeping bag has a heavy burden since, unlike other types of sleeping bags which typically offer comfort, your life may rely on your winter sleeping bag.
This review is going to differ slightly from the other in-depth reviews you may have read about other sleeping bags or camp products reviewed on this website. In this one, I don’t just want to tell you about this bag’s impressive features; I want to walk you through the mechanics of why it is one of very few “winter” sleeping bags to receive such good reviews from consumers.
The Right Ratings
If I teach you only one thing while you are reading your way through this website, I want it to be that you cannot rely on the words written on your sleeping bag. Simply because it says it is for summer, winter, or any other season does not mean that it will actually suit your needs for the temperature and environment you will be facing. I say this mostly because I have seen many sleeping bags which claim to be for “winter” but are only rated for temperatures as cold as 0 to -5 degrees Celsius or 23 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
This particular sleeping bag is suitable for temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius or zero degrees Fahrenheit. As someone who has camped in the northern regions of Canada in the depth of winter, I can appreciate a temperature rating such as this one. To me, this really means that this sleeping bag is winter ready.
The Right Materials
The temperature rating focuses mostly on the insulation inside the sleeping bag, but what about the materials protecting that insulation? The insulation in this sleeping bag has been fully encased in a silky polyester material, known for its water-resistant properties. You will stay dry and warm all night long as rain, snow, and general dampness have a difficult time penetrating their way through this fabric.
Though many people prefer a soft, flannel interior in their winter sleeping bags, I prefer a slippery interior in mine. This is because I prefer a mummy style bag and I also move around a lot at night. Moving around on top of flannel is hard enough without the restriction of a mummy-shaped bag. Moving around in a restrictive mummy-shaped bag is hard enough without the friction of flannel materials.
The Right Shape
Everything above being said, I want to focus on the shape of this particular sleeping bag. Generally speaking, the temperature rating of a bag depends on the types of materials used to create it and the thickness of the insulation inside of it. The materials can increase the wonderfulness and usability of a sleeping bag by lending waterproofing qualities or, on the other hand, can do the opposite, making it less useful. However, even with the exact right combination of tightly-woven, water-resistant materials and thick insulation, a “winter” sleeping bag may be rated for cold weather and still completely fail to live up to the standards of this particular type of bag.
Why is that? What many companies fail to take into consideration when building a winter sleeping bag is that, in order to properly protect a person from the cold, a sleeping bag must harness the body’s natural heating mechanisms.
Typical rectangular sleeping bags, while perfectly suited to spring, summer, and autumn months, are not able to contain as much body heat as a mummy-style sleeping bag such as this one. Unlike a rectangular sleeping bag, this one will not leave your neck exposed. It will not leave your head exposed. It will not have large openings around your shoulders where warm air can escape and cold air can make its way in. It doesn’t have a great expanse of space around your feet allowing warmth to creep away into the corners and eventually dissipate altogether.
Simply put, this sleeping bag has been built for ultimate warmth.