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The North Face Inferno -40F/-40C

rated 5.0 of 5 stars
photo: The North Face Inferno -40F/-40C cold weather down sleeping bag


  • 700 fill power
  • Versatec shell
  • About 12 inches of loft
  • 25 years and still going strong


  • None.

I purchased this bag back in the mid 1980s when it first came out. It still has the old brown label on it and a Versatec shell. Back then the North Face worker who made it used to sign their name on the product label. The label is intact but the name has long since faded and I forgot it long ago.

Over the years I have used it on all my winter expeditions to the Arctic and it has never failed me. It is as good, as warm, and as lofty as any winter bag out there. After more than 20 years of hard use, sometimes sleeping in it for an entire winter, it has served me well and is still just as good as the day I bought it, with the exception of a few minor holes.

Of course, I always use a vapour barrier liner, essential for long trips, but this bag has been a life saver to me, literally. I have slept in temperatures below -40°C, through blizzards and endless winter nights when my tent has blown apart in the wind and lived to talk about it. The Inferno has become my single most important piece of gear.


Recently, for my job, I was issued a Woods 5 Star Sleeping bag, also rated to minus 40, but as you can see there is simply no comparison and my Inferno always travels with me in the winter. 

My heartfelt thanks to the woman who made such a wonderful bag; I have forgotten her name, but her work lives on.

Design: Mummy
Fill: Down
Temperature Rating: -40 C
Weight: 5lbs
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $600

I got this bag for Denali. I wanted to test this out in the So. CA mountains. Let me just say, if it's not below zero, this thing is too hot! It got down to the low 20's F sleeping on snow. I was sweating. I then zip the bag down a bit to cool off, then I was freezing from the sweat. This thing is hard to regulate! It was a constant battle to keep comfortable. I'm confident that it would work perfectly in sub zero temps. I do like the fact that it has plenty of room around the upper body. This made it really nice to move around in the bag. I did notice it takes a bit longer to warm up due to this extra room.

One downside is the bag only comes in long. I guess this is good if you need to sleep with your boots at the bottom. I also notice that feathers tend to come out of the seams quite frequently. So the long-term durability is questionable. I might just have a zero degree bag in a couple of years.

It comes with a huge compression sack. Even with this compression sack (quite large), it would not fit in my sleeping compartment in my pack. I later purchased a granite air-lite compression sack (large) which worked a lot better. It takes more time to stuff, but it now fits in my sleeping bag compartment. The watch pocket is a silly gimmick that just adds weight. All in all this is a superb bag. Just make sure it's very cold were you intend to use it.

Design: Mummy
Fill: 800 fill down
Temperature Rating: -40 F
Weight: 5.0 lbs
Price Paid: $550

Excellent choice for winter camping, very packable for its size and true to its warmth.


  • Lighter than synthetic


  • Adds weight/loses warmth when wet

Have used it in a lean-to with no tent in miserable conditions and was quite comfortable. I have not slept out in -40° temperatures yet, but it was excellent at -20°. Closed up enough around the face to not freeze, actually ended up taking off my hat halfway through the night!

A bit long for me, I'm 5 foot six, but I put extra clothes at the bottom. Easy to get in and out unless you are wearing lots of layers, then it can be a bit tough to pull the zipper.

It takes up a LOT of space in your pack, but less than the synthetic Dark Star.

Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: $330

Holy crap this bag is warm. Spent a week on Mt. Washington, N.H. Slept like a baby. Very warm. No issues with water repellency, I did not use a VBL. No issues.

Only complaint is that I squirm a bunch while I sleep and although each dimension is plenty wide the transition between the lower leg and the upper thigh/waist seemed a little constricting. Get a compression stuff sack - you are gonna need it - about a 1/2 lb heavier than other high end bags with same fill weight - typical TNF with lots of extra stuff you don't need, cords are too long, watch pouch is useless, stuff sack worthless - for a $700 bag - give us a friggin compression sack - would you please. I got on sale at Hudson Trail in MD, happy with my purchase.

Design: mummy
Fill: 800
Temperature Rating: -40F
Weight: 5 lbs
Price Paid: $429

This is a sleeping bag equipped for extreme cold and it is made to keep you warm and comfortable when other products don't.


  • Waterproof
  • Excels in extreme cold


  • Space is tight depending on size of person inside

The North Face Inferno is an excellent sleeping bag. It fits any needs for extreme cold nights. With it being waterproof the morning dew doesn't bother you either.

I use my Inferno bag every time I go out in cold weather. I fully recommend the sleeping bag to anyone who would sleep in that weather.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $498

I had been using a North Face 0 degree bag for winter excursions in combination with a down parka.   That was a pain --  mummy bags are just not designed to house me and a big down parks.

This bag does the trick (-30 so far). Construction is good.  I have had no problems with leaking feathers as one other contributor mentioned. Compression sack that comes with the bag is adequate.

Overall, construction is excellent and I'm very pleased with this bag.

I paid $750 Canadian for mine which seems high now that I see what others have paid.  However, this bag is worth every penny of the $750 I paid.

Price Paid: $750 CDN

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Price MSRP: $699.00
Historic Range: $328.98-$800.00
Reviewers Paid: $330.00-$600.00
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