If you’re a backpacker or anyone else that carries camping gear on a regular basis, then you want a sleeping bag that weighs as little as possible. Ultralight sleeping bags can often weigh pounds less than other sleeping bags with a comparable temperature rating. This difference in weight means that your legs and back will feel a lot better at the end of the day. Another advantage of ultralight sleeping bags that isn’t immediately apparent to most people is that they also tend to compress down smaller, which helps to eliminate bulk in your backpack.
Ultralight Sleeping BagsWhat to look for when you want an ultralight sleeping bag.
- Insulating Material – If you’re going for an ultralight sleeping bag then you likely want to choose down over synthetic as your insulating material. But there are several different qualities of down, ranging from something like 600+ fill down, all the way up to the very high quality 900+ fill down.
- Shape – If you want ultralight, you’re best choice for shape is a mummy sleeping bag. Mummy bags eliminate a lot of unnecessary space by being tapered towards the feet, which also helps to eliminate dead air within the sleeping bag that can make the interior colder.
Best Ultralight Sleeping BagsSome of the very best ultralight sleeping bags.
- Western Mountaineering HighLite - If you want an ultralight sleeping bag for summer conditions, it's difficult to do better than the HighLite. It's packed with just enough high quality 850+ fill down to make it warm down to the 35 degree mark. So enough warmth for summer, but not much else in most parts of the world. Features like a half length zipper, stream lined cut and extra large square baffles are all designed to save as much weight as possible. And at just 1 pound, or 453 grams, it's light enough that you wont even notice you're carrying it.
- Mont Bell U.L. Super Spiral Down Hugger #1 - Another very ultralight sleeping bag, this one from Japanese manufacturer Mont Bell. Mont Bell actually uses a unique design feature, where the sleeping bag is cut at a 45 degree angle so that it coils and squeezes as you move around at night, to add warmth without adding weight. The sleeping bag is stuffed with 800+ fill down, and has a DWR finish on the exterior to keep the down dry, and you warm. It's warm down to 15 degrees, and weighs a very respectable 2 pounds 4 ounces, which is 1.02 kilograms.
- Mountain Hardwear Phantom +0 - One more ultralight sleeping bag, this one warm down to 0 degrees. Part of what makes this such a great ultralight choice is that it uses a very narrow alpine mummy cut, which minimizes unused internal space as much as possible, without actually making you feel cramped. That, plus 800+ fill down and a few weight saving features like a 3/4 length zipper make the Phantom one of the lightest 0 degree sleeping bags, at just 2 pounds 10 ounces, or 1.2 kilograms, which is only slightly heavier than the much colder Mont Bell sleeping bag above.