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What is the Best Lightweight Sleeping Bag?

Whether it’s a quick weekend trip in July or a weeks-long thru-hike in November, you want the best lightweight sleeping bag because besides a light pack a good sleep is essential to a successful hike, especially if you are a beginner. Unfortunately, it can be hard to get both of those things at the same time. Your sleeping bag is always going to be one of the heaviest things in your pack, but there are some good options to maximize both your comfort as your haul your pack all day and your comfort as you sleep at night. other camping tips Inflatable Tents For Camping.

Cost

Quality lightweight sleeping bags will run you between $150 up to $500—a bit of an investment, but worth it to have a comfortable hike. However, there are some great products available around the $200 range, and we’ve included a few of them here for the cash-strapped or trigger-shy among you.

Construction

The main design choice for sleeping bags is between mummy bags (bags that fully enclose you) and quilts (bags that can be opened into a normal blanket.). Mummy bags are a snug choice for active sleepers, or if you might have to sleep sitting up. But some people have a hard time sleeping well in tight mummy bags or run hot when they sleep and need more ventilation. Quilts are a little more versatile, and when properly attached to your sleeping pad will keep you just as warm.

All these bags come in different lengths, widths, and warmth ratings. The manufacturers’ websites will tell you what length suits your height, and your ideal width depends on how snug you like to sleep. For warmth, 20F bags will work for most spring-through-fall hiking—on really cold nights you can always wear your jacket in the bag—and 35F are good if you only plan to go out in summer.

Best Lightweight Sleeping Bag – Top 5:

1. Enlightened Equipment Revelation

Enlightened Equipment’s Revelation is warm, light, and most of all adaptable. In the hot summer months, it can be fully opened out into a quilt, giving you plenty of ventilation and room to move. When it’s colder out, you can also cinch it up around your feet and head and fasten it securely to your sleeping pad for warmth. The 20F model will keep you warm well into the early and late season, and it still weighs in at a pretty light 20 oz. Enlightened Equipment also makes it to order and offers a wide variety of lengths, widths, and warmth ratings. Maybe most impressively, this sleeping bag costs only around $250—a great value for a top-quality, lightweight sleeping bag.

2. Katabatic Gear Palisades

Katabatic Gear has a reputation for quality and attention to detail, and their Palisades is no exception. It is on the more expensive side at around $460, but what you get for that money is probably the best lightweight sleeping bag on the market. The Palisades is a quilt, but is closed around the feet for added warmth, securely attaches to your sleeping pad, and weighs only 18 oz. It’s one of the warmest lightweight bags there is and will keep you comfortable well into the early spring and late fall. That versatility makes it popular with long-distance thru-hikers who’ll encounter lots of different temperatures on a single trip.

3. Western Mountaineering Summerlite

Western Mountaineering’s Summerlite mummy bag is another adaptable choice, with a hood you can pull up when it’s cold and a full-length zipper you can open when it’s hot. It weighs only 19oz and gets that low weight by cutting out any and all unnecessary features. It has a slim, tapered fit and simple, no-frills design. It’s a little pricey at $400, but its ultralight construction and versatile function make it another great option for long-distance hikers who prefer a proper mummy bag, but will also have to adapt to different temperatures.

4. Mountain Hardwear Hyperlamia Spark

Mountain Hardwear’s Spark is a great value at $220 but doesn’t sacrifice quality. It’s a little heavier at 29oz, but still weighs less than a pineapple and packs down to 7”x12”. It’s a traditional mummy bag with a hood to keep you warm and closed in but has a half-zip down the front for ventilation. The warmth ratings really will keep you warm to the temperatures they say they will (which is not true for all manufacturers). It’s also one of the more comfortable options, with a little more room to roll around and the added bonus of a few internal seams, giving it a silky smooth feel.

5. Feathered Friends Flicker

The last of our top 5 best lightweight sleeping bag lists is another quilt/mummy hybrid. Feather Friends’ Flicker is an especially good option for hammock campers—you can zip it up around your whole hammock so it works as an under the quilt. Another cool design feature is that the baffles (the sewn pockets that hold the down) go all the way around, letting you distribute the down as you see fit. Shake it out evenly to use as a quilt, or pile it on top when you’re using it as a mummy.

Getting the most from your bag

Whatever bag you choose, you’ll get the best performance and longest life if you take care of it properly. Store your bag flat or folded in a dry place when you aren’t on the trail. When you are out on the trail with it, it’s worth springing for a waterproof stuff sack for your bag. Most bags don’t come with them, but they aren’t expensive and you’ll be glad you have them if you end up needing them.

Even a good waterproof stuff sack won’t help you if your bag gets wet while you’re in it. If you anticipate rough weather or sleeping under the stars, it’s worth treating your bag with a water-repellent product. Some bags can be bought pre-treated, or you can treat it yourself it products like Nikwax. It won’t be exactly waterproof, but it will help with condensation and ground moisture issues.

Having the best lightweight sleeping bag can make or break any backpacking trip, but whatever your needs are—as far as when and where you’ll hike, how you sleep, and how much you can spend—there are great options out there. Sweet dreams, and happy camping.

Whether it’s a quick weekend trip in July or a weeks-long thru-hike in November, you want the best lightweight sleeping bag because besides a light pack a good sleep is essential to a successful hike, especially if you are a beginner. Unfortunately, it can be hard to get both of those things at the same time. Your sleeping bag is always going to be one of the heaviest things in your pack, but there are some good options to maximize both your comfort as your haul your pack all day and your comfort as you sleep at night.

Cost

Quality lightweight sleeping bags will run you between $150 up to $500—a bit of an investment, but worth it to have a comfortable hike. However, there are some great products available around the $200 range, and we’ve included a few of them here for the cash-strapped or trigger-shy among you.

Construction

The main design choice for sleeping bags is between mummy bags (bags that fully enclose you) and quilts (bags that can be opened into a normal blanket.). Mummy bags are a snug choice for active sleepers, or if you might have to sleep sitting up. But some people have a hard time sleeping well in tight mummy bags or run hot when they sleep and need more ventilation. Quilts are a little more versatile, and when properly attached to your sleeping pad will keep you just as warm.

All these bags come in different lengths, widths, and warmth ratings. The manufacturers’ websites will tell you what length suits your height, and your ideal width depends on how snug you like to sleep. For warmth, 20F bags will work for most spring-through-fall hiking—on really cold nights you can always wear your jacket in the bag—and 35F are good if you only plan to go out in summer.

Best Lightweight Sleeping Bag – Top 5:

1. Enlightened Equipment Revelation

Enlightened Equipment’s Revelation is warm, light, and most of all adaptable. In the hot summer months, it can be fully opened out into a quilt, giving you plenty of ventilation and room to move. When it’s colder out, you can also cinch it up around your feet and head and fasten it securely to your sleeping pad for warmth. The 20F model will keep you warm well into the early and late season, and it still weighs in at a pretty light 20 oz. Enlightened Equipment also makes it to order and offers a wide variety of lengths, widths, and warmth ratings. Maybe most impressively, this sleeping bag costs only around $250—a great value for a top-quality, lightweight sleeping bag.

2. Katabatic Gear Palisades

Katabatic Gear has a reputation for quality and attention to detail, and their Palisades is no exception. It is on the more expensive side at around $460, but what you get for that money is probably the best lightweight sleeping bag on the market. The Palisades is a quilt, but is closed around the feet for added warmth, securely attaches to your sleeping pad, and weighs only 18 oz. It’s one of the warmest lightweight bags there is and will keep you comfortable well into the early spring and late fall. That versatility makes it popular with long-distance thru-hikers who’ll encounter lots of different temperatures on a single trip.

3. Western Mountaineering Summerlite

Western Mountaineering’s Summerlite mummy bag is another adaptable choice, with a hood you can pull up when it’s cold and a full-length zipper you can open when it’s hot. It weighs only 19oz and gets that low weight by cutting out any and all unnecessary features. It has a slim, tapered fit and simple, no-frills design. It’s a little pricey at $400, but its ultralight construction and versatile function make it another great option for long-distance hikers who prefer a proper mummy bag, but will also have to adapt to different temperatures.

4. Mountain Hardwear Hyperlamia Spark

Mountain Hardwear’s Spark is a great value at $220 but doesn’t sacrifice quality. It’s a little heavier at 29oz, but still weighs less than a pineapple and packs down to 7”x12”. It’s a traditional mummy bag with a hood to keep you warm and closed in, but has a half-zip down the front for ventilation. The warmth ratings really will keep you warm to the temperatures they say they will (which is not true for all manufacturers). It’s also one of the more comfortable options, with a little more room to roll around and the added bonus of a few internal seams, giving it a silky smooth feel.

5. Feathered Friends Flicker

The last of our top 5 best lightweight sleeping bag lists is another quilt/mummy hybrid. Feather Friends’ Flicker is an especially good option for hammock campers—you can zip it up around your whole hammock so it works as an under the quilt. Another cool design feature is that the baffles (the sewn pockets that hold the down) go all the way around, letting you distribute the down as you see fit. Shake it out evenly to use as a quilt, or pile it on top when you’re using it as a mummy.

Getting the most from your bag

Whatever bag you choose, you’ll get the best performance and longest life if you take care of it properly. Store your bag flat or folded in a dry place when you aren’t on the trail. When you are out on the trail with it, it’s worth springing for a waterproof stuff sack for your bag. Most bags don’t come with them, but they aren’t expensive and you’ll be glad you have them if you end up needing them.

Even a good waterproof stuff sack won’t help you if your bag gets wet while you’re in it. If you anticipate rough weather or sleeping under the stars, it’s worth treating your bag with a water-repellent product. Some bags can be bought pre-treated, or you can treat it yourself it products like Nikwax. It won’t be exactly waterproof, but it will help with condensation and ground moisture issues.

Having the best lightweight sleeping bag can make or break any backpacking trip, but whatever your needs are—as far as when and where you’ll hike, how you sleep, and how much you can spend—there are great options out there. Sweet dreams, and happy camping.

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