ProView – Sierra Designs Nitro 800 Dridown 0 Deg

Conservatively rated, the Sierra Designs Nitro 800/0 exceeds all expectations as a cold-weather sleeping bag, packing down to a small package at an attainable price. 

In the winter of 2020, I had the opportunity to test out one of Sierra Design’s newest sleeping bags, the Nitro 800 0-degree bag. I am incredibly impressed by the performance of this sleeping bag, an impression that had to overcome some initial biases. To give an objective review of the bag, I want to first speak of those biases as context towards my loving praise of this bag. 

Sierra Designs Nitro 800 Dridown 0 Deg

Product Description: The Sierra Designs Nitro brings back the classic mummy shape at an impressively low weight, yet comfortable price.

Offer price: MSRP: $419.55 - $439.95

  • Quality
  • Features
  • Fit
  • Durability
  • Eco-Friendly


The Nitro 0-Degree sleeping bag boasts a large bang-for-your-buck. Great materials, well-constructed, and at a price point lower than other comparable bags, this is a great buy for most consumers.



  • Treated down will extend the life of this bag
  • Efficient use of materials
  • Use of quality materials
  • Easy to pack away for winter overnights.


  • Large baffles have the potential for shifting the distribution of down insulation. Industry-wide, I would like to see a sleeping bag design that works around this problem. 

The keyword that has stuck throughout the 55 years of Sierra Designs history is “attainable”. This word has led to the release of gear at a reasonable price point that sometimes sacrifices pricier materials for weight and bulk. They carefully trend the moderate line between cost and quality. The word “attainable” persists with Sierra Design’s newest lineup but now with different meanings with the spiritual guidance of endurance athlete Andrew Skurka. 

Skurka’s style of fast yet powerful movement through the mountains in now interwoven into Sierra Design’s gear. From an outsider’s perspective, it seems as if Sierra Designs has adopted a new identity and emphasis through Skurka’s perspective.  Being lightweight is no longer a sign of poor construction or expendability, but a tool used by the consumer to maintain safe and efficient movement in rugged terrain.  “Attainability” is now a word to describe the far and remote places that can be reached at a reasonable price point.

Given my initial biases, I was very surprised to give high praise to this deserving piece of gear. My own stubborn consumer behaviors would have prevented me from buying this product, but I am appreciative of this opportunity to test and review this bag. The first thing that stands out is the use of higher-grade materials. 800 fill Dridown and 15d ripstop nylon fabric is close to the industry standard materials for higher quality. I took this sleeping bag into its intended environment, taking it out for cold winter overnights as a part of longer ski touring missions. With forecasted nightly lows in the single digits, I would be pushing the comfort rating of the bag. 

For any sleeping bag I test, it really comes down to one critical variable, condensation. Condensation that builds on your tent walls or your sleeping bag will start saturating the down, compressing it, and quickly you will lose the insulating power of down rendering the sleeping bag effectively useless. This effect is exaggerated in the wintertime where colder temperatures will better promote the vapor to water transformation.  In the past, I fought condensation by throwing a light synthetic bag over my down bags as a barrier to condensation, letting the synthetic bag take the brunt of the abuse.

On this trip there was condensation, to say the least. In the morning I woke up to a frosty tent interior looking over at my shivering partner’s bag and seeing a wet pile of compressed down and fabric. Well rested, I noted the excellent loft that my Sierra Design’s bag was able to sustain. The outer fabric was certainly wet, the interior down had garnered some moisture, but the loft was still there. The bottom line is that I got a great night’s sleep in challenging winter conditions. Conditions, where in the past, I would just assume that my sleep will be restless and I will spend a chunk of the next morning drying out my gear. 

Another point to note is the general low weight of this sleeping bag. At 2lbs 8oz for a regular-sized bag, the Nitro 800 sleeping bag is more than competitive in the market when compared to other 0-degree bags. In a 45 liter backpack, I was able to pack more than my fair share of gear appropriate for a winter overnight along with the bag. This low weight is made possible by an intelligent distribution of down, prioritizing the torso and foot box.  A ½ length zipper cuts down on the weight of the zipper itself, and the accompanying baffles. The top half of the sleeping bag is smartly designed, keeping the classic mummy shape but minimizing the use of excessive baffles and materials by keeping a small opening for your face when the bag is zipped completely.

Sierra Designs has grown to match the industry standard and I am excited to see how the product line continues to evolve. They have a variety of bright spots that I hope will be streamlined into a more intuitive product line. For now, their Nitro 0-degree sleeping bag is well worth the money for your next low-temp adventure.


This sleeping bag is intelligently designed for overnight comfort. There are a lot of options in sleeping bag design, designers have many choices on how to best distribute down throughout the sleeping bag. This particular sleeping bag seems to prioritize 800-fill treated down in the torso and foot box, two critical areas to stay warm in cold temps. The overall mummy cut is also well designed. I am a side sleeper and there was plenty of room for me to bend my knees without compressing the down, losing critical insulation. This is also true when looking at the smart, minimalist design in the head area that will snugly keep you warm when the bag is fully zipped.


This is Sierra Designs’ entry into the modern gear market. This is an elegantly designed sleeping bag with progressive features and aesthetic design.


The half-length zipper of this bag is a welcome feature for me. The full-length zipper that most bags have, needs to be baffled in order to effectively insulate the user. Only needing to baffle a zipper that runs halfway down the bag is an intelligent design that will cut down on weight and use materials more efficiently. This bag also has a small sleeve at the bottom of the bag that can be used to deal with foot-related issues (changing socks, putting on camp shoes, etc). I personally did not find this feature totally necessary, but can see the practicality in a winter camping situation when putting on a warm pair of socks in the middle of the night will be a lifesaver.  


At 2 lbs 8oz for the regular length bag, this sleeping bag is more than competitive with other 0-degree sleeping bags on the market. This bag packs down into a small package, comparable to 20-degree down bags in my gear closet. I was able to fit this bag, along with other ski touring and winter backpacking gear into a 45-liter bag without issue. 


This sleeping bag is conservative in its rating. The 0-degree rating is a “survival rating” and has a comfort rating of 15 degrees Fahrenheit. In reality, I found this bag to be comfortable beyond the claimed comfort rating and into the single digits. So in terms of performance, this sleeping bag exceeds my expectations. I do still have some concerns about the baffling of this bag, however. The large horizontal baffles have the potential to redistribute down insulation throughout the lifetime of the bag. Especially around the torso.  What this may look like is down collecting on one side of the baffle, effectively reducing the insulation value of the overall bag. This was evident on a couple of “shake tests” that I performed where I would shake from one side of the bag and see how the down moved. Unlofted, as you would find a sleeping bag out of a compression sack, down will move pretty easily, exacerbating this problem. Ultimately, this is a problem that will be avoided by properly storing and using the bag, but a problem that a user should be aware of. 


Generally, you can effectively judge the durability of a sleeping bag by the type of down used. Considering how well this sleeping bag held up against condensation, the use of Sierra Design’s 800-fill DriDown technology will enhance the longevity of this bag. This hydrophobic treatment on down will lead to a durable sleeping bag that will retain a good loft for seasons to come. On top of this, the bag uses durable 15d silnylon fabric and is well constructed without any glaring issues surrounding stitching or sewing work.

Friendliness to the Earth

This sleeping bag is mostly down so this rating is on the whole dependent on the type of down used in the construction. Using an animal product like goose down is ultimately an ethical issue and tracing back where a company sources their insulating materials is important. Sierra Designs does not disclose where they source their down from nor do they claim any accredited ethical down standards. This would be a big step for me to give this product a better rating in this category. 

Another element of assessing the down’s “friendliness to the earth” is longevity. Treated down will increase the lifespan of a down sleeping bag, ultimately decreasing the amount of down that a single user will purchase over their lifetime. Additionally, the components of the polymer used in DriDown (including chemical manufacturing, finished chemical, and down processing) have been evaluated and rated as non-hazardous to both humans and the environment.

A third element affecting this rating is Sierra Design’s partnership with non-profit organizations (Big City Mountaineers, SheJumps, Black Girls Trekkin’, and NatureBridge) that all have missions towards improving equity in the outdoors and environmental stewardship. These sorts of initiatives supporting a culture of environmental stewardship are also important in assessing the environmental impacts that a company contributes. 

The Final Word

The Nitro 0-Degree sleeping bag boasts a large bang-for-your-buck. Great materials, well-constructed, and at a price point lower than other comparable bags, this is a great buy for most consumers.  

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About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro
Aidan Goldie
Outdoor Educator

Aidan Goldie is a ski mountaineer based out of Colorado. When he is not climbing and descending peaks in the American West, he is an outdoor educator, working with schools and nonprofits guiding groups through the Colorado wilderness. Connect with him on instagram @agoldie94.

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