Review: Stay Warm with Eberlestock’s -22 Degree Euro Down Sleeping Bag

November 20, 2019Garland Kennedy
Photo courtesy of Eberlestock.

Photo courtesy of Eberlestock.

Looking up through the spruce trees, I could see the stars, bright and sharp overhead. A cold breeze blew all night, and the day had been cold enough to half-freeze my water bottle while I hiked. But tucked into my sleeping bag in a bivouac camp, I was warm.

A pivotal part of any backpacking setup is the sleeping bag. But staying warm at night can be difficult when you insist on venturing into the Alaskan backcountry during the winter. Enter Eberlestock’s Euro Down Sleeping Bag, rated to minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit. The company claims a “push” rating of 36 degrees below zero.

Many hikers treat winter as an off season, especially up north where weather can turn nasty by October. But proper gear can keep outdoor enthusiasts going in almost any conditions. This sleeping bag shows that good equipment can make up for harsh weather.

The Eberlestock Euro Down Bag set up in a bivouac campsite on the south end of Eklutna Lake, Alaska. The night was rather cold, especially with the Eklutna Glacier so nearby. Despite this, the bag performed as needed. While camping bivouac in a down bag is not generally recommended for fear of getting it wet, there was no liquid water in the extreme cold. Photo by Garland Kennedy/Coffee or Die.

The Euro Down Bag has 90/10 goose down fill — 90/10 is the down to feather ratio. This rating is exceptional, as a typical down coat has a ratio of 80/20 or 70/30.The fill power of the bag is 600 c.i., meaning that one ounce of down will expand to fill 600 cubic inches. This fill rating is very efficient, with 550 c.i. being the standard fill power for a down jacket.

What all that means for an end user is that the fill provides plenty of loft — and therefore warmth — for very little weight or bulk. The result is an astounding weight of only 3.75 pounds, which is lighter than many synthetic-fill sleeping bags with zero-degree ratings. The portability of this bag makes it truly special.

As a rule, down is a very lightweight and compressible fill material. This makes it an ideal sleeping bag fill for a backpacker, or backcountry hunter, as the bag will be light and pack small. However, down suffers when it gets wet, as water causes the feathers to clump and lose their loft.

The author’s cousin, Esther, facing south as they prepare to snowshoe out of the mountains. Both winter campers carried lightweight down sleeping bags, which make the otherwise hefty winter packs a bit lighter. Photo courtesy of Garland Kennedy.

The age-old debate of down versus synthetic sleeping bags still rages online, but when it comes to extreme cold, the answer is a bit more simple. When the temperature dips below zero, down is king. When it’s that cold, there is no liquid water. With all the water either in snow or ice form, the down cannot get wet — with one exception. 

While it can be tempting in the extreme cold to tuck your entire face into the bag at night, don’t do it. The water vapor in your breath will freeze on the zipper. I know this because I did it.

The night was clear and cold. I was solo backpacking at the south end of Eklutna Lake last winter, not far from the snout of the Eklutna Glacier. It was cold. Very cold. I also did not have a tent. Despite all this, the Euro Down Bag kept me warm in my bivouac site beneath a spruce tree. No wind found its way through the baffled down, and there was no liquid water around to soak the bag. But my nose got cold, so I put my face into the bag. When I woke, the zipper was nearly frozen shut because of the condensation from my breath. 

The Eberlestock Euro Down Sleeping Bag is comfort rated to minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit and “push” rated to minus 36. Photo courtesy of Eberlestock.

I used the bag again in the Talkeetna Mountains during the high alpine winter. It kept me so warm that I had to unzip the bag to release some heat. It also helped that we brought a tent on that trip.

The Euro Down Sleeping Bag comes with a cotton storage bag and a compression sack, both of which are simple and effective. It’s important to note that while down is a very compressible material, it should not be left compressed for storage, as that will damage the fill.

In my time with the bag, everything worked as expected; it was easy to use and reliable. Retailing for $449, this bag is not inexpensive, but the price point falls in line with other sleeping bags of this quality.

Garland Kennedy
Garland Kennedy

Garland Kennedy is a contributing writer for Coffee or Die. As an avid backpacker and outdoorsman, he has explored wide-open spaces all over North America — from the forests of North Carolina (he’s a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in medieval history) to the mountains of Alaska. His previous bylines include gear reviews on

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
US: War Crimes on All Sides in Ethiopia's Tigray Conflict

The Biden administration announced Monday that it has determined all sides in the brutal conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

March 20, 2023Associated Press
military pilots cancer rates
Higher Cancer Rates Found in Military Pilots, Ground Crews

In its yearlong study of almost 900,000 service members who flew on or worked on military aircraft b...

March 20, 2023Associated Press
whiskey pour
Veterans Lead the Way Among America’s Growing Craft Distilleries

American veterans are taking the lessons they learned in the military and changing the craft distilling industry.

March 20, 2023Mac Caltrider
military suicide veteran suicide
Military Moves To Cut Suicides, But Defers Action on Guns

In a memo released Thursday, Austin called for the establishment of a suicide prevention working gro...

March 17, 2023Associated Press
us military drills japan-south korea
US, Partners Stage Military Drills Amid Japan-South Korea Talks

The Sea Dragon 23 exercises that started on Wednesday will culminate in more than 270 hours of in-fl...

March 17, 2023Associated Press
leo jenkins a word like god
‘A Word Like God’: New Book From Army Ranger Leo Jenkins

In his latest poetry collection, Ranger-turned-writer Leo Jenkins turns away from war to explore cosmic themes of faith, fatherhood, and art.

March 16, 2023Mac Caltrider
us drone
Pentagon Video Shows Russian Jet Dumping Fuel on US Drone

The Pentagon on Thursday released video of what it said was a Russian fighter jet dumping fuel on a ...

March 16, 2023Associated Press
10th Mountain Division
‘Climb to Glory’ — A History of the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division

From the mountains of Italy to the mountains of Afghanistan, the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division built its legendary reputation by fighting in some of the most inhospitable places in the world.

March 16, 2023Matt Fratus
  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved