The Ultra Lightweight Sleeping Bag: My Review of a Great Backpacking Survivalist Sleeping Bag

Thermodown 15 Degree Sleeping Bag Buying Guide

If you’ve ever spent a night shivering in the woods, unable to sleep because your teeth are chattering too loud, then you’d have understood the importance of a quality sleeping bag. If you haven’t, good! Let’s keep it that way.

Indeed, a sleeping bag is one of the most important pieces of camping gear you bring on a backpacking trip. It’s critical for warmth, comfort, safety and helps your body get the rest it needs. Your sleeping bag will also be one of the four heaviest items in your pack (shelter, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, backpack). So it’s a good place to save weight, which will make hiking more enjoyable.

If you’re looking for a bag with the perfect balance between warmth, weight, comfort and functionality then the Thermodown 15 Degree Sleeping Bag is worth considering. It’s a three-season (spring/summer/fall) down bag designed specifically for outdoor camping with a temperature rating of 15 Degrees Fahrenheit. The shell is made of nylon, while the inner lining is made of breathable polyester.

Our hope is that this guide will help campers avoid long, cold, sleepless nights by taking the right factors into consideration in purchasing the Thermodown 15.

What temperature rating to choose 

Although the Thermodown 15-degree sleeping bag has a temperature rating of 15 degrees, a good “rule of thumb” is to take the bag’s advertised temperature rating and then add 10-15 degrees to it. Thus, even though it’s rated 15° bear in mind that it will keep you warm in temperatures of 25-30° degrees.

Another thing to keep in mind when choosing a temperature rating is that some people are “hot sleepers” and some are “cold sleepers.” Knowing your sleeping style will help decide whether or not the Thermodown will be ideal for you. In addition, men generally sleep warmer than women – often around 10 degrees warmer – so they tend to choose bags with higher temperature ratings. The next step is to think about the weather that you usually backpack in. For example, if you rarely backpack in below-freezing temperatures, then a 15F rated bag like the Thermodown 15 Degree Sleeping Bag will most likely be overkill for the majority of your trips.

Choosing a color 

When considering color choice, keep in mind that darker colors dry quicker in the sun, are less conspicuous at night and do not reveal stains as easily as lighter colors. So for example, it’d be better to buy a blue colored bag than a yellow one.

Bag width

The Thermodown 15 comes in a standard width so if the cut is too slim for you you’ll probably need to choose a different model. Slim cut bags are great for saving weight and efficient warmth, but they are more restrictive and so your body size should be considered before you make your choice.

Warmth vs. Weight 

A lot of backpackers erroneously believe that warmer is always better when it comes to choosing a sleeping bag and admittedly, sometimes it is. But adding warmth also adds weight. So, if you usually like to backpack during warmer months, but you buy a 15F sleeping bag like this one, you’re probably going to be carrying unnecessary weight on the majority of your trips. In addition, you’ll likely be too hot to even zip up your bag most nights.

Synthetic v. Goose Down Insulation 

Synthetic insulation is ideal for most summer camping, as the bags dry fast and don’t lose insulating ability when wet. Goose down insulation such as the one present in the Thermodown 15 provides the most warmth for the lightest weight and is a fine choice if you know, for certain that you can keep the bag dry. However, if you can’t be sure, then it’s advised that you choose a bag with synthetic insulation.

For winter camping 

The Thermodown 15 is most apt for winter camping so if you intend camping in the winter, it’s definitely your best bet.

For summer camping

 Unless you know you’ll always be able to keep your sleeping bag dry, you may want to consider buying a Synthetic bag instead of the Thermodown because Synthetic bags dry faster and don’t lose all insulability when wet.

For bike camping 

Because of its lightweight and compressibility, the Thermodown 15 is ideal but just be sure to buy a waterproof storage bag


Never store the Thermodown 15 compressed. Always take it out of its stuff sack and store in a dry location. Keep it in a large sack with room to spread out or hang it up. Storing the Thermodown 15 while compressed can damage its insulation and greatly compromise its ability to hold heat over time. The Thermodown 15 is the right choice for you if you value getting the most warmth out of the least amount of weight but you need to adopt methods different from those used in storing other kinds of bags, in caring for it. Always make sure you air the bag out after a night of sleep and try to store it uncompressed. Taking these seemingly little but important steps are important in order to increase the durability of the bag.

Buying the Thermodown 15 Degree Sleeping Bag for your camping adventures is a wise choice for any camper but there are a variety of factors that you need to consider before buying it. Factors such as where and when you’re going to use the bag, the time of the year, whether in winter or summer, bag width, size/height of the buyer, the color and other factors should be taken into consideration in order to help you make the best and most rewarding decision.

Good luck!