If you’re going to trek to Everest base camp then I’m sure you’ve got a lot of questions on your mind.
Especially the kind of equipment you need to take. And sleeping bags is something you need to make sure you get right otherwise you could be sleeping a few cold restless nights.
So what is the best type of sleeping bag to get for the Everest base camp trek?
Getting a cold weather sleeping bag which will keep you warm in temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C) is recommended for the Everest base camp trek. In the winter months at base camp using an extreme cold weather sleeping bag that can withstand -4°F (-20°C) might be more suitable.
I’ve been, and I know it can get cold at night, there’s nothing worse than trying to sleep when you’re freezing cold.
In this post and I’m going to give you tips based on my experience so you can make an informed decision on what sleeping bag is best for your Everest base camp trek.
My Sleeping Bag For The Everest Base Camp Didn’t Feel Warm Enough.
First thing I want to let you know about is my experience with my sleeping bag.
So if I’m straight up honest my sleeping bag wasn’t good enough because I never really had a nice warm sleep.
Next time I would definitely get a higher quality sleeping bag to take to the Himalayas.
I used this sleeping called the Viking Trek.
It’s only sold in the UK Amazon.
It’s got plenty of great reviews but I don’t think any of the people had taken it on a high altitude trek on Everest.
It is a good quality sleeping bag but it just wasn’t warm enough, I slept with my clothes on in my sleeping bag and I still wasn’t warm enough.
At the time it was only £24.99 ($31.75), when I think about it, it is still a cheap sleeping bag so I shouldn’t have expected too much.
With that being said I think you can still get a warmer sleeping bag for only a little bit more.
What To look for In A Sleeping Bag When Doing The Everest Base Camp Trek?
These are the 3 things that I think are important when choosing a sleeping bag for your trek:
- Weather Rating
So let’s look into the weather Rating.
What Weather Rating Do You Need For Base Camp?
This depends on which months you go but you want to get a sleeping back that can withstand temperatures as low 14°F (-10°C) in the better months.
In the colder months then you should really get a sleeping bag which can go as low as 0°F (-17.78°C).
I would say it’s best to get a sleeping bag which covers temps as lows as 0°F (-17.78°C) whatever time of year you go then you can always sleep with fewer clothes on if it’s too warm.
Like I said before, I slept with all my clothes on and it still didn’t feel warm enough.
I’d rather be too hot and take off some layers to sleep than be too cold with all my clothes on.
What Seasons Are The Coldest When Doing The Base Camp Trek?
Nov-Feb is extremely cold, at around 5°F (-15°C) by day and much colder at night.
The warmer months which most people do the trek is late Sep-Nov and then Feb-May.
These months have fairly stable conditions, good visibility, and temps at Base Camp at about -6°C.
I went in October which is one of the best times to go and like I said it can still get quite cold at night.
I remember when we stayed in Lobuche which is the final stop before you head to base camp and my water which was next to me on the table had iced formed in it overnight.
That’s how cold it can still get inside your room at night.
Sleeping Bag Quality.
So obviously you know you want something that’s good quality.
The thing that I would look out for is the Zipper quality. You don’t want to have issues zipping up your sleeping bag at night.
All it takes is a poor zipper that gets jammed and won’t go up and then you won’t be able to keep the warmth in your sleeping bag at night when you’re trying to sleep.
If it was regular camping where it isn’t so cold then it wouldn’t matter as much but as your on the side of a mountain, you don’t want to have any problems.
So make sure you check the reviews (if buying on Amazon) to make sure there are not loads of people complaining about the zippers.
Then obviously you want to make sure there are no other quality issues like the stitching coming apart easily that people are saying about in the reviews.
Do your due diligence and you’ll be fine.
Get Something Compact And Easy To Pack.
The last thing to look for in a good sleeping bag is something that will pack away easily.
It needs to have a carry case as a minimum. And then it should be reasonably easy to pack away.
My one was a little difficult to get back in the carry bag once I took it out, but with a bit of elbow grease, I managed to put it back in each morning before we set off to the next stop on the trek.
So just be mindful about having a carry bag that’s compact and reasonably easy to put back in once you take it out.
Checking the reviews is the best way to see if there are issues in regards to the carry case and being able to get it back in once it’s out.
One last thing worth mentioning is bag shape.
Mummy Sleeping Bags vs. Rectangular Sleeping Bags.
These are two main kinds of sleeping bag you can choose for your trek.
A mummy style sleeping bag and a rectangle shaped sleeping bag.
So which ones better for Everest base camp trek?
I would say a mummy style sleeping bag is better for this type of trip for a couple of reasons.
- Mummy bags are usually more compact and easier to carry.
- They hold warmth better.
Rectangular bags are better if you want some more space to move around in. Perfect for regular camping.
The problem with cold weather rectangular sleeping bags is that they will be bulky and hard to put in your bag.
Mummy bags are more practical for hiking and backpacking. More compact and hold the warmth in better.
So the last thing you might want to know is about getting sleeping bags in Nepal.
Can You Rent Sleeping Bags In Nepal?
Yes, you can you rent or buy sleeping bags in Kathmandu before you head on your trek at very reasonable prices.
It’s recommended if you rent a sleeping bag there then you should use an inner sleep sheet which will add some more warmth if needed.
In winter a thermal inner sleep sheet will be better.
I would suggest asking your tour guide to help you choose a good sleeping bag to rent or buy if you are getting yours in Kathmandu.
At least you’ll know you’ll be getting the right one for your trip.
Personally, I felt it was better to buy mine before I went so I didn’t need to worry about it when I got to Nepal.
What’s the difference between 1,2,3,4 and 5 season sleeping bags?
I’ve put the temperatures in Celsius as sleeping bag season ratings are an EU classification.
Season one – This is best for camping in the summer. Nice and light and good for typically 5°C or above.
Season two – This good for springtime and the cooler summer temps from around 0°C to 5°C
Season three – Good for a cold night but not so cold that there’s frost. 0 to -5°C
Season four – This is best for cold winter months, the kind of weather expected on the Everest base camp trek. Suitable for temperatures as low as -10°C.
Season five –This is best suited for extremely cold temps as low as -40°C. Typically for very high altitude mountain expeditions. Can sometimes also be used in the winter months on the base camp trek.
What is the difference between a down and synthetic insulation sleeping bag?
This best for when you need more warmth such as winters and high altitude hiking. Down is made of feathers from duck or goose.
This is without a doubt the best kind of insulation for keeping you warm but the downside is it’s not the best in moist conditions. These sleeping bags come with a bigger price tag.
This is better for moist conditions where you don’t mind losing some of the warmth you’d get with a down sleeping bag. As the name suggest it’s made of synthetic material.
The benefits of these types of sleeping bags are they’re hypoallergenic and better in moist conditions and they dry more quickly than down insulation. These sleeping bags are more affordable than down sleeping bags.