For outdoor fanatics and enthusiasts, sleeping bags are a big deal. How to choose an ultralight sleeping bag? How does one decide on the perfect lightweight sleeping bag that’ll offer performance and durability on your hike? We’ve put together handy tips to help you make the best decision that will be worth your money and time.
In this article on choosing the best ultralight sleeping bag, we’ll focus on warmth, sleeping position and integrating your sleeping bag with your other outdoor equipment. We hope you enjoy it. Also, we have added a ton of useful links at the bottom for you
Backpacking Sleeping Bags or Ultralight Sleeping Bags?
In the early days of backpacking and enjoying the great outdoors, a lot of the equipment was heavy. They were heavy because of the available materials used, cotton, canvas, feathers, wool, linen. And that was the only way to make them sturdy enough to withstand adverse weather and give a relatively comfortable degree of warmth. Fast forward to today’s cutting edge technology, the materials used are a far cry from those old examples!
Thanks to science and technology, outdoor equipment has become so lighter, easier to use and will still withstand the weather. You no longer have to carry a 50 pound heavy backpack all around.
Reduce Your Pack Weight By As Much As 15 Pounds
If you plan to do a lot of hiking on your trip, or just want to pack light, an ultralight sleeping bag can reduce your total weight to about 15 pounds. The lighter you are, the faster you’ll be able to hike and the longer your strength lasts.
Also, the lightest cold weather sleeping bags weigh about half that weight of regular backpacking sleeping bags and will still be as warm in the night time. How great is that?
How Ultralight Sleeping Bags Stay Warm
Most ultra light warm sleeping bags on the market are manufactured with very modern technology and materials. This ensures they have the best insulation ever, even though they are light. Aside from the warmth the bags give, some hikers wear warm clothes when the weather turns cold, or pick sites that have barriers against the wind. Ultralight sleeping bags are one cool trick to keep warm, while thick clothes and a warm location are two cooler tricks.
Let Your Ultra Light Warm Sleeping Bags Be Integrated
You should keep in mind that your goal is to keep your entire outdoor system lightweight. You want to integrate your sleeping bag with other lightweight gear. So when you purchase the lightest, most compact sleeping bag, you should also buy a light and sturdy backpack as well as a camping tent.
Your Safety is Most Important
Your entire outdoor system should be wrapped around the goal of safety. Hiking and camping could be fun yes but safety is the most important thing of all. You want to plan your ultralight sleep bag to keep you warm and safe at night. As much as you want to keep light, you should always ask yourself “In an extreme weather condition, does this sleeping bag keep me safe?”.
Test Those Bags For Comfort, Fit And Warmth
Test the best warm lightweight sleeping bag you can find in a store or at home to see how fast you can pack it up. This could help you avoid extreme weather – if you can see it coming. You should also learn how to use your ultralight sleeping bag with the rest of your outdoor kit when there’s a storm. They must keep you safe, dry and warm at all times.
If the weather becomes really tough and you can’t even see anything, can your sleeping gear really keep you protected against the elements through the night? These are all questions you need to ask before you set out with any ultralight sleeping bag.
Road test the best warm lightweight sleeping bags you can find instore, (make sure you test at least 3-4) and ensure they can withstand tough times. Read the specifications and the lightweight compact sleeping bag reviews of the brands you have earmarked….
How To Choose An Ultralight Sleeping Bag: Temperature Ratings
When you’re not sure which is the lightest most compact sleeping bag to pick, a temperature rating is a good guide. If you’re going to an outdoor store, ask an attendant for the temperature rating of the sleeping bag, or look for it in the description online. It’s important you choose a sleeping bag which is warmer than you actually need for obvious reasons. Again, read as many lightweight compact sleeping bag reviews as you can.
This is an indepth article on your guide to temperature ratings in bags
You can read about the qualities of down and synthetic bags here
Types of Ultralight Sleeping Bags
1) Back Sleepers. Back Sleepers should go for the hooded mummy bags. You’re used to sleeping still all night and these are just comfy.
2) Hammock Sleepers. Hammocks can be tricky so get a fully opened quilt for versatility.
3) Side Sleepers. For side sleepers, select a sleeping bag that is a quilt. They’re adjustable and you can add more clothes.
4) Sitting Sleepers. In rough regions, you might have to sit up and sleep. Get either a hooded mummy or hoodless mummy sleeping bag to wrap you up
5) Belly Sleepers. Belly Sleepers should buy quilts. Especially the fully-opening ultralight sleeping bags. They’re perfect for you.
Conclusion On How to Choose An Ultralight Sleeping Bag…
The most important thing about going outdoors is staying safe. As much as ultralight sleeping bags are appealing due to less weight, do not ignore the points to look out for and those safety precautions we’ve mentioned. As long as you don’t rush into buying the first bag you see because it looks good, or it was a bargain, you’ll end up being happy with your bag. After all, this is a major part of your camping equipment you want to last for years and keep you comfortable. As part of your research into how to choose an ultralight sleeping bag for your trip/s read industry reviews from other users, watch youtube videos, read camping magazines so you can make an educated decision. We want you to be warm, comfortable and happy! Cheers!