One of the main advantages that down sleeping bags have over synthetic sleeping bags is that they’re significantly lighter, relative to the amount of warmth provided. But there are plenty of other things that will determine how lightweight a sleeping bag is, regardless of whether it is down or not. But you really do owe it to yourself to look at lightweight down sleeping bags, and you will be happy you did on the second or third day of a camping or backpacking trip.
Lightweight Down Sleeping BagsSome of what to look for when reviewing lightweight down sleeping bags.
- Down Quality – Not all down is created equal. If you compare a 700 fill down sleeping bag and a 900 fill sleeping bag, both of which provided the same amount of warmth, you would find that the 900 fill down sleeping bag weighed less, because the down is better at puffing up, or lofting, and so provides more warmth, relative to weight.
- Shape – Another important variable that determines how much a sleeping bag weighs is the shape. By eliminating all the corners of a rectangular sleeping bag and tapering it some you end up with a mummy shaped sleeping bag, and a lot less material used overall, which of course lowers the weight of the sleeping bag.
Best Lightweight Down Sleeping BagsSome of the very best lightweight down sleeping bags for your next adventure.
- Western Mountaineering HighLite - The HighLite is an ideal summer sleeping bag, or even three season sleeping in warmer parts of the world, with a minimum temperature rating of 35 degrees. But what really makes it impressive is the 1 pound weight, or 453 grams, which is fantastically lightweight. It's features like 850 fill down, large, square baffles and a half length zipper that help it get that low. So an extremely lightweight summer down sleeping bag.
- Mont Bell U.L. Spiral Down Hugger #3 - The Hugger #3 is a solid three season sleeping bag from Japanese manufacturer Mont Bell, with a minimum temperature of 30 degrees. It won the Gear of the Year award in 2009 from Outside magazine, and at just 1 pound 3 ounces, or 538 grams it's another impressively lightweight mummy down sleeping bag. In part, Mont Bell achieves impressive weights for all it's sleeping bags by using a spiral cut for the baffling, which coils around you as you sleep, increasing warmth. So a very innovative and lightweight three season sleeping bag.
- Mountain Hardwear Phantom +15 - If you need something for colder weather, the Phantom will keep you warm down to 15 degrees, as the name suggests. It has a narrow mummy cut, which definitely helps to save on weight, as well as 800 fill down. It has the features needed to keep you warm in winter, like a durable water repellent finish for the exterior, a draft collar and the ability to cinch the hood down. But at just 1 pound 15 ounces, or 870 grams it's no ones idea of a heavy sleeping bag.