If you are looking for an awesome winter sleeping bag to keep you warm in some of the coldest temperatures, the Hotcore R-300 sleeping bag is great. It served me well through temperatures that were colder than the –20C rating, and kept my backpack nice and light.
Although the Hotcore R-300 winter sleeping bag is rated for –20C, I slept under a tarp in –24C (-29C with wind chill) weather and was comfortable for most of the night. My toes did get cold at 4:00am, but I just added an extra layer.
For cozier nights, this sleeping bag also has two zippers so that you can open the foot box if you are hot, making it suitable for a range of temperatures. For winter hammock campers, the bag can also zip around your hammock—sleep inside your cocoon with a second sleeping bag, adding extra warmth and air space for more insulation.
The Hotcore R-300 is a rectangular shaped bag with a hood. The hood has an elastic drawstring so that on colder days, you can tighten it around your head and neck to keep warm. Other advantages of having a full zip rectangular bag are that 1) If you need to, you can fully unzip it and use the sleeping bag as an insulated blanket (if you’re in a cabin or trailer for example), and 2) You can zip two rectangular bags together to make a double sleeping bag.
The Hotcore R- 300 is roomy sleeping bag measuring 7.5 feet long (228.6cm) by almost 3 feet wide (86.4cm). It is one foot (30cm) longer than the Hotcore R-200. From small to tall, this bag fits all. When the bag is rolled up, it is reasonably compact and measures 18 x 9 inches (45x24cm), which is small enough to strap on the outside of your hiking bag.
Additionally, the stuff sack comes with compression straps to keep your sleeping bag compact.
Scout Tip: Never store your sleeping bag in its stuff sack. To better care for the fibers, store it in a bigger breathable (mesh) bag when not adventuring.
Hotcore R-300 Technology
Returning from my 2019 winter camp and successful outdoor sleep in the Hotcore R-300, I did further research on the sleeping bag.
It is designed with special technology called “critical layer construction”. This technology functions by adding extra layers to the core area (covering the average person’s neck, down below their waist). Critical layer construction helps this sleeping bag live up to its temperature rating and exceed it, like it did for me.
This sleeping bag also includes an added feature called Trueloft insulation. Trueloft is “a microfiber synthetic insulation”. Trueloft gives you a warmer sleep compared to traditional insulation, for the same amount of space and weight. Trueloft technology is quick-drying, maintains warmth while being compressed, is lightweight, and it is breathable.
All in all, the Hotcore R-300 sleeping bag is terrific. I really appreciated that I had the opportunity to sleep outside in the winter with the proper gear. As a result of the experience, I’m getting more and more confident in my winter camping capabilities.