Whether you do a lot of backpacking or you simply like to keep things light for car camping or other adventures, ultralight sleeping bags are a great way to go. The best ultralight sleeping bags maximize warmth while minimizing size and bulk. Before you make a purchase, it's helpful to consider some key factors:
- Fill type: Ultralight sleeping bags can have either down or synthetic filling. Generally speaking, down is warmer and more lightweight, but it's also more expensive and water-absorbent (meaning you won't be glad to have it if you get caught in an unexpected downpour). In contrast, synthetic fills are cheaper and more moisture-resistant but also heavier and bulkier. Your choice will be a matter of budget and personal preference — just make sure that if you opt for real down, it's been treated with a water-repelling coating.
- Temperature rating: Most high-quality sleeping bags have a temperature rating that tells you the lowest temperature at which you'll be comfortable. Keep in mind, however, that the colder the rating, the heavier they typically are, so there's often a warmth-to-weight tradeoff. Most brands offer several versions for each model in a range of temperature ratings, so think about which one fits your needs best.
- Exterior material: Polyester ripstop or similar materials are usually preferable for the exterior because they'e extremely lightweight yet also durable enough to not snag easily. On top of that, they're soft and feel good against your skin.
- Shape and design: Larger people or folks who move around a lot will want the toebox area to have plenty of room so they don't feel too constricting. People who are especially prone to tossing and turning may even want to consider a zipperless sleeping bag, which fits more like a quilt.
With these considerations in mind, check out the best ultralight sleeping bags below.
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