Best Ultralight Sleeping Bags Reviewed & Rated
As young and budding outdoorsmen and women, we were programmed to always be prepared. And these lessons have stuck hard and fast. The only problem is, now we may be just a touch over-prepared.
In fact, most backpackers have a hard time when it comes to smart packing and shaving off extra ounces so that the trail is not a constant one-foot-in-front-of-the-other struggle.
But lucky for us, technology has launched us into an era of feather-light camping and backpacking gear that will literally take the load off. And ultralight sleeping bags for backpacking are at the front of the list.
We’ve compiled some of the lightest bags on the market today that still delivers a warm, cozy, comfortable night’s sleep--some weighing less than 1.5 pounds.
So get your marshmallows ready. It’s time for campfire sleeping under the stars.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
800 fill power down
Water resistant shell
Weighs just 1.28 pounds
10 Best Ultralight Sleeping Bags
1. Naturehike Ultralight
800 fill power down
Water resistant shell
Weighs just 1.28 pounds
Runs a little narrow
Taking the first position in our buying guide is the Naturehike Ultralight. This baby weighs in at just 1.28 pounds for the regular and is packed fulled of 800 fill power all white goose down. With a solid outer shell and durable zippers, this product is a great companion for 3 season hiking and backpacking.
Weighs Just 1.28 Pounds
The Naturehike Ultralight weighs in at an incredible 1.28 pounds for the regular-sized bag. This is by far one of the lightest options on our list and it’s thanks to the 800 fill power goose down that delivers nice warmth that weighs next to nothing. We award major points for weight and insulation here.
15D Nylon Shell
This option features a nice middle thickness 15D nylon shell. This shell is water-resistant and will help to keep your down from clumping if it should come into contact with moisture. It also features YKK zippers that are nice and durable so we award points for durability here.
And we like that you can zip and unzip the bag to suit your temperature needs, so we deliver points for comfort here.
Cost and Value
The Naturehike Ultralight rings up in the middle of our price range and we love its value because it is a super inexpensive down option that is great to be used during most seasons of the year. And because it truly delivers on feather lightness.
2. Mountain Equipment Fireflash
800 fill power minimum
Russian goose down
Ground level seams
30 degree comfort rating
The Mountain Equipment Fireflash is the most premium product on our list and it shows. This option features the finest of Russian goose down that has a minimum of 800 fill power. And with a super-slim shell, it weighs in at around 2.5 pounds. So not the lightest on the list, but certainly not lacking in comfort or durability.
Russian Goose Down
The Fireflash is packed with premium Russian goose down--some of the warmest in the world--with a minimum fill power of 800. This bag is temperature approved for 18 degrees, though it sleeps comfortably at around 30 degrees. We award points for insulation and comfort here.
This features side seams that are level with the ground. This serves to keep out drafts and to keep you warmer.
We love the 10D nylon shell that is insanely light and that also remains breathable so that you don’t end up in cold sweats over the night. Points for insulation and comfort here.
Cost and Value
The Mountain Equipment Fireflash rings up at the very top of our price range but we love its value because this is one of the best mixes of comfort and lightness that money can buy. And it will last you a lifetime as well.
3. TETON Sports Outpost
Weighs 1.8 pounds
Easy to take care of
Soft taffeta shell and lining
Mummy shape for warmth
Issues with snagging zipper
The TETON Sports Outpost may be a very inexpensive and synthetic option, but it weighs in at just 1.8 pounds so it had to make our list. This product still comes with a stuff sack and has a mummy design to minimize the amount of heat loss from your bag so that you can get a cozy night sleep in lower temperatures.
This bag features a taffeta shell and lining which is both durable and soft against the skin. And we like that this material is easier to care for, which means you can throw it in the wash when it gets dirty, and that you don’t have to bring a liner to protect your bag. Points for comfort and durability here.
The TETON Sports Outpost may not be made of super warm down (it has synthetic fill), but it is shaped like a mummy bag to minimize the heat that one typically loses from the head and the feet. We give points for insulation here.
Cost and Value
The TETON Sports Outpost rings up at the bottom of our price range and we love its value because it is a lightweight option that is a bit easier to care for, and it requires less attention during the hike too.
4. Andake Envelope
Weighs less than 2 pounds
Runs a bit small
The Andake Envelope is another incredibly budget-friendly option. This guy weighs in at just under 2 pounds and because it is made of synthetic materials, it is both lightweight and machine washable which means easy caring for you. Plus it has some cool features that allow you to adjust to your comfort for different purposes.
The Andake Envelope features a button flap that secures over the zipper. This ensures that your bag won’t unzip during the night creating drafts and discomfort. We also like that you can adjust the zipper fully so that you can use it as a blanket or air out your feet.
Points for comfort here.
For Warm Trips
The Andake Envelope is not intended to be used for super chilly nights. It is comfort tested for temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees. We like this range for summer and spring. And because it weighs in at less than 2 pounds, we award points for weight here.
Cost and Value
This product rings up at the bottom of our price range and we love its value because it is a versatile option that can serve more than one person on the trip, which allows you to trade off who carries the bag.
5. REI Co-op Igneo 25
700 fill power duck down
Comfort rating of 35 degrees
3 season approved
Not warm enough for some
The REI Co-op Igneo 25 is another of the premium light ones on our list. It weighs in at just 1 pound 12 ounces and is approved for use through 3 seasons. With a comfort rating of 35 degrees and water resistance, this is a great bag for keeping you warm when the weather isn’t always so predictable.
The Igneo 25 uses 700 fill duck down to derive its warmth and lightweight stature. And the down has been treated with water repellent and is also sustainably sourced. So we award points for insulation here.
Comfort Rating of 35
While the REI Co-op Igneo 25 boasts a temperature rating of 25, reviewers find the comfort rating to be closer to 35 and maybe even a touch higher, depending on wind and what kids of layers you have going on.
That being said, the mummy design helps to lock in the heat so we award points for insulation and comfort here.
Cost and Value
The REI Co-op Igneo 25 rings up in the middle of our price range and we like its value because you can truly use it through 3 seasons of the year’s four and because this bag is designed to hold up well to the elements and to the test of time.
6. Big Agnes Pluton UL 40
850 fill power
Can be used as a liner
Not close to the 40 temp rating
The Big Agnes Pluton UL 40 is another that weighs in as one of the very lightest at just around 1 pound 3 ounces. With 850 fill power that is treated to be water-resistant, you will be able to use this bag as a lining inside of another bag for colder nights, or as a summer bag.
Liner or Summer
The Big Agnes Pluton UL 40 has a temperature rating of 40 degrees. Reviewers find this to be quite a bit of a stretch. As such, the bag is well intended to be a liner inside of another bag if temperatures should dip, or this is a great summer and spring companion. Moderate points for comfort here.
Full Hood Drawcord
The Pluton UL 40 features a mummy-style design with a full drawstring hood that you can pull tightly around your head and face to limit the amount of heat escaping. And with 850 fill power down, you will have a nice and insulated sleep that still breaths in moderate temperatures.
Plus, we like that this product is treated to resist water and that ripstop shell also works to fight off stains so that you don’t have to be tempted to overwash your bag which can cause damage.
Cost and Value
This product rings up in the middle of our price range and we like its value because it is guaranteed for life, and because it can be used in warmer weather, or as a liner, which means you can use it throughout more seasons of the year.
7. Ohuhu Backpack
Layer or use in warm months
Easy to wash
Not for cold nights
The Ohuhu Backpack delivers the lightest bag for the cheapest price on our list. This is a totally synthetic bag, but it still weighs in at 1.72 pounds and offers up waterproofing that you won’t find on many other bags on this list. And we also like that it’s easy to mix and match and maintain.
Pair with Another Bag
The Ohuhu Backpack is a versatile option that allows you to pair with another bag, zip together, and make a double sleeping bag. This is great for couples and families. We also like that because you can unzip it all the way, this product can double as a top quilt. We award points for comfort here.
For the Warm Months
This weighs in at less than 2 pounds and is comfort tested for temperatures around 70 degrees. This means that you’ll really only be using this product during summer on its own, but you will be able to pair it with other warmer items and use it as a layering piece.
We also like that this bag holds up the elements reasonably well and that it actually does work to keep out water and keep you dry. For this reason, you may also consider taking it to layer so that you keep your other bag dry.
Cost and Value
The Ohuhu Backpack rings up at the very bottom of our price range and we like its value because it offers a perfect lightweight option for summertime and a layering option for other seasons around the year.
8. Hyke & Byke Quandary
650 fill power duck down
Hydrophobic and water-resistant
Inaccurate temperature rating
The Hyke & Byke Quandary is a middle of the road option that will keep you warm and dry in a wider range of temperatures that the very inexpensive options on our list. Price is driven down thanks to duck down and we love the water-resistant treatment of this bag to make your damp nights a little bit more comfortable.
Water Repellent Shell
The Hyke & Byke Quandary features a 20D nylon shell that is at the same time lightweight, durable, and water-resistant. The shell is treated to have water bead off before it gets a chance to soak into your bag and your down. For this, we award points in the insulation and comfort categories.
We take some points in the weight category as the bag weighs around 2 and a half pounds.
Hydrophobic Duck Down
The Quandary is comprised of 650 fill power duck down that has also been treated with hydrophobic solutions to resist clumping and to encourage a faster dry time. Duck down saves money while still delivering warmth.
This product has a temperature rating of 15 degrees, though reviewers find this to be extremely low. Somewhere around 45 degrees seems to be more accurate for this bag.
Cost and Value
The Hyke & Byke Quandary rings up in the low middle of our price range and we like its value because it is a nice medium between premium bags and super inexpensive and synthetic bags. And because it can be used comfortably in at least 2 seasons.
9. Marmot NanoWave 45
Easy to care for
Can be used as a liner
Zippers won’t snag
A bit snug fitting
The Marmot NanoWave 45 is an option that won’t break the bank, but that is also a step above the super-budget products on this list. It features synthetic fiberfill and is approved for comfort at temperatures above 50 degrees. Plus, it has some cool zippers that we like and is nice and soft as well.
No Snag Draft Tube
The Marmot NanoWave 45 may not be made of down, but it certainly has some features to make it warmer on those cool nights.
The draft tube on the bag which works to keep the wind from working its way into your bag and making you cold. It is totally snag-free so you don’t have to worry about getting your zipper stuck on it. We award points for comfort and durability here.
This is not a full mummy bag with the standard hood, but it is shaped similarly to hug more closely at the feet and to trap more heat at your head. Depending on your height, you may be able to “mummy” the bag around you with the drawstrings. We like this option.
At approved temps for comfort above 50, you won’t want to use this in the chillier months unless you are bringing it along as a liner which isn’t a bad idea since it only weighs 1 pound 13 ounces. Points for weight and comfort here.
Cost and Value
The Marmot NanoWave 45 rings up at the bottom of our price range and we like its value because it is nice and lightweight and has features to make it warmer, even without the goose or duck down.
10. Outdoor Vitals Summit
800 fill power down
Runs a bit short
The Outdoor Vitals Summit is the perfect way to close out our list. It isn’t the lightest, but it is a great bag that will protect you a bit from the wetter elements. This product weighs in at 2 pounds, 11 ounces and is guaranteed for life so you can feel good about this investment and rest assured that you will be able to enjoy it for many seasons to come.
The Outdoor Vitals Summit is designed and shaped to ensure that your feet stay nice and warm, but that they don’t end up sweating. This is key to maintaining comfort. We award points for comfort here.
It is made using 800 fill power down and a 20D ripstop nylon. That means you don’t have the lightest bag, but you certainly have one that can provide comfort and warmth without weighing you down too much.
This brand works to treat their shells and the down inside of them with hydrophobic solutions to encourage the beading off of water rather than the soaking in. This helps to keep your bag dryer if you do encounter less than ideal weather, though you should still never place your bag directly on the ground.
Cost and Value
The Outdoor Vitals Summit rings up in the low middle of our price range and we like its value because it is guaranteed for life and because it is not a bottom budget brand, but still relatively inexpensive for a down bag.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Obviously, weight was the most important consideration for us when making this list of the best ultralight sleeping bags. When looking for products for our list, we valued ones that weigh in less than three pounds for sure and less than two pounds if at all possible.
We include some heavier options in case you are backpacking in more extreme winter conditions, but we are proud to give you a list with some of the lightest bags out on the market today.
When considering a product’s insulation, we look at the fill power and the temperature rating.
The fill power tells how much warmth one ounce of down can deliver. High fill powers are generally very lightweight.
We also use the temperature rating as a jumping-off point and then consult numerous user reviews to see how chilly the weather can be to still sleep comfortably in a bag.
Here, we also take into account draft spots and designed warmth construction.
When discussing sleep, comfort has to be among our considerations. We chose options that are designed with your body in mind and that you can fit comfortably inside.
We like features that enhance your comforts, like pillow stuff sacks and sleeping pad sleeves. And we also value products that are soft against the skin.
When thinking about durability, we consider how well it will hold up. Because many of these products are pricey, we want to ensure that they can stand up to the trail.
We value options with large, reinforced zippers that are snag-free. We also value shells that are designed to resist down shedding. And we like a bag that keeps the down in place so that it isn’t constantly sliding around, leaving you with cold spots.
In terms of value, we are always looking to deliver to you the most bang for your buck. While the lightest of the light will cost a pretty penny, these are meant to be lifelong companions if you properly care for them. That’s why we find these products worth shelling out a little extra for.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
If you’re new to backpacking, or if you just find it impossible to make cuts on your own (who doesn’t want to bring the comforts of home with them on the trail?), then we’ve got some killer advice that will make your next backpacking trip a little less back-breaking.
We’ve rounded up tips from the experts--super experienced backpackers--so that you can streamline your packing and your pack in order to avoid being bogged down with a bunch of stuff that you don’t actually need.
1. Avoid packing single-purpose items. This means you’ll want to focus instead on packing items that can be used for more than once purpose.
For example, bringing along a bandana is super useful as you can use it for a sweat rag, a bit of shade, or to tie up an injury. You can also use your sleeping bags stuff sack to stuff some of your clothes into in order to make a pillow instead of bringing another pillow along with you.
2. Cut the dead weight. Before putting everything into your bag, lay it all out so that you can take inventory. Do you have multiple similar items? Multiple cups for different purposes? Shampoo and soap? Replace these items with one multi-purpose item.
3. Make a list. Experts find it helpful to keep a running list of the things they take on different trips. This way, you can look at your list when you get back from your trip and see which items you never used. These can be left at home next time.
4. Stick with one set of clothes. That means one base, one mid, and one insulating layer. Sweaty clothes are heavier and multiple sets of sweaty clothes are heaviest. You only need to bring multiples of the essentials: undies and socks.
5. Lose the weight where it counts the most--your backpack, your tent, and your sleeping bag.
A great lightweight tent for 1-2 people should weigh around 2-3 pounds.
A great lightweight sleeping bag will weigh in less than 3 pounds, though you’ll be able to find some for less than 2 pounds.
A great lightweight backpack should weigh around 2-3 pounds (when empty, of course!).
It’s worth mentioning that you will likely have to shell out considerably for the more lightweight items, but these are quality products that are meant to last for years to come. It’s worth the investment--, especially to your back.
6. Be precise. When considering an item’s weight, know that weight down to the ounce. No rounding. No guestimating.
7. Plan your water. Only plan to take as much water as is essential. You should be very informed about the different points upon your route where you can get water. Only bring enough water to get you between these points.
8. Plan your food. We’re hungry--especially when we’re moving. But many experienced hikers are guilty of bringing more food than they need because of the fear of being hungry and not having the energy to persist.
Plan out your meals by day and do your research on backpacking food (yes, there is a thing) as these foods are compact, lightweight, and loaded with protein to power you through your journey.
9. No last minute add ons! We’re talking to you! Don’t shove anything extra into your pack on the way out the door. Go with your scrutinized list and hit the trail.
We’ve told you how to pack light in general, but now we’ll get down to the nitty-gritty of how to pack the lightest sleeping set up that still provides the right amount of warmth and comfort that you need in order to get the rest you require to power you through your adventure.
What You Need:
1. An ultralight sleeping bag or quilt.
When you’re looking for the lightest of the light, you are going to want to go with goose down. This is the lightest fill that will bring you the most warmth on the market.
Getting a mummy-style bag will also help to ramp up the warmth while cutting away dead space that you don’t need. More warmth and less volume mean less weight.
You also want to make sure that the shell of your bag does not exceed 20D as this will weigh your bag down.
Ideally, you’re looking for a product that weighs in under 1.5 pounds or around 22 ounces.
2. An ultralight sleeping pad.
You can choose to go with an inflatable option or with a foam option.
Getting an inflatable pad means a more compact design when not in use. Plus, a little bit more comfort at night as well. However, the obvious drawback is that these can puncture or deflate throughout the night--, especially in fluctuating temperatures.
A foam pad is a little bulkier but more resilient. The two weigh in at pretty much the same weight so this choice is up to you.
3. An ultralight bag liner
Using a bag liner works to extend the life of your bag.
As you’ll be aware by now, getting a true ultralight bag is not a cheap investment. So you’ll want to be sure that you take good care of your bag so that you can enjoy it for years and years to come.
Getting into your bag in soiled clothes or when you yourself are dirty allows for dirt to transfer to your bag. Over time, this will wear away at your bag and encourage more frequent washes than is necessary.
So bringing an ultralight cotton sheet or liner with you will help to put a layer of protection between your bag and your grime. And you’ll likely get some bonus warmth out of it as well. Plus, you can use the sheet to double as shade, so long as you keep it clean.
The final piece to this puzzle is to consider the weather that you’ll likely be encountering. Getting a “Three Season” bag means that you can use the bag throughout most of the year (barring super cold winter months). Don’t buy more bag than you need. You’ll just be throwing away ounces.
Other Factors to Consider
Because down provides absolutely zero insulation when it is wet, and because it takes about 2-3 days to dry when fully soaked, getting ultralight sleeping bags that can stand up to the elements is key.
Often, you’ll find one with a shell that is water-resistant. Sometimes you’ll find that the plumes of down have been treated with water phobic chemicals to encourage them to resist water and to dry faster.
That being said, it’s important to remember that even treated down should not get wet if you can help it.
The style was an important consideration when making this Ten Best List because it helps to guide your decision making. We like the mummy-style as this delivers the most warmth and eliminates unnecessary space, though the quilt style has its advantages in an array of seasons.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What is a temperature rating?
The temperature rating on a bag tells you at what temperature the bag is approved for use in terms of safety--as in, you won’t freeze to death. This is largely a liability standard.
You should keep in mind that you likely will not be sleeping comfortably at the given temperature rating, and that you will also need to add on some extra bulk in terms of puffy jacket or a quilt in order to achieve the level of comfort that you’ll need at the temperature rating.
q: What is the difference between a mummy bag and a sleeping quilt?
A mummy bag is tapered to the body and comes with a hood. This works to eliminate dead space and to ensure that there are no draft zones where chilly air can find its way in. Plus, the shape allows for more warmth at the feet and it locks the heat in at the hood as well.
A quilt is more like a standard sleeping bag that zips into a rectangle. You can unzip fully to make a blanket. These are typically a bit lighter, though they offer less in the way of warmth.
q: How do I understand fill power?
The fill power refers to the loft of the down inside of the bag. Down loft refers to how much space a single ounce of down can fill. The more space that a single ounce can fill, the higher the fill power. The higher the fill power, the more warmth you get with less weight.
So this is an important detail to pay attention to when shopping for an ultralight bag.
- Ultralight Backpacking: 10 Tips, Article ,
- Fill power, Encyclopedia Article ,
- Packing Like a Pro and Traveling Light—My Ultimate Guide, Article ,