Cold Weather Setup
Updated: Sep 20, 2021
For most people, the seasonal window for overnight camping lays somewhere between May and September. Combatting the deficit year-round isn’t nearly as much a pipe-dream as you might think however, and for many hunters, anglers, or winter enthusiasts, late fall starts off some of the best times to be out there. While it’s true an ill-equipped night in the cold is both miserable and exhausting (at best), the difference between chattering until daylight or enjoying a restful night’s sleep starts with the right system. The outdoor industry is filled with high-quality gear at very reasonable prices, and you could be much closer than you think to hitting the woods in comfort this winter. The biggest factor comes down to these two staple pieces, the right sleeping bag and sleeping pad. You’re looking for a bag with a temperature rating of at least Zero deg F. (-18C). It must fit your body shape, and length. Other considerations include insulation type (synthetic/down/hybrid), packability, and price point. For the pad, look for something that will fold, roll, or compress down to fit your requirements, but most importantly, it must keep you off the ground and contain insulating properties. I recommend an R-value around 4.5 or higher. Outside these requirements, it just comes down to personal preference.
I recently tested Kelty’s Cosmic Zero Down bag, along with Klymit’s Insulated Static V pad. These two worked well together, and I slept through the night. While this system isn’t cheap by any means, it provides a fantastic amount of value. Unless you’re facing extreme cold, or mountaineering conditions, you won’t get much more for your money.
Kelty Cosmic 0 deg.