Whether you are hiking, camping, or climbing, one of the crucial factors when buying the best ultralight sleeping bag is choosing a bag that is convenient to carry and pack.
Ultralight sleeping bags are warm sleeping bags that pack small, offering you all the comfort associated with a regular sleeping bag. They offer all the convenience you expect of a regular bag, bag size, performance, durability are exactly the same as your regular bags and don’t weigh you down on the trail.
Ultralight basically means these are the smallest sleeping bags when packed and are designed to keep you warm while significantly reducing the weight of your pack. They efficiently compress right down into a tiny package which takes up barely any space in your pack.
The best ultralight sleeping bag is one that:
1. Is made of light weight material
2. Is easily compressible
3. Does not weigh more than 1 pound for summer bags and should be less than 3.5 pounds for winter bags
4. Is zipped halfway to reduce the zipper weight
5. Has a temperature rating that can protect you from extremely harsh weather
The Immediate Ultralight Weight Advantage
The obvious immediate advantage of a ultralight sleeping bag is it significantly reduces the weight of your pack allowing you to channel more energy into hiking and climbing.
Do Your Research…
However, most ultralight sleeping bags tend to sacrifice important factors such as quality and warmth in order to keep weight at a minimum. It is important you do your research well because you don’t want to buy the lightest cold weather sleeping bag and end up freezing!
You might like our post on How To Choose An Ultralight Sleeping Bag…
Read Reviews…Educate Yourself…And Find The Best Compact Warm Sleeping Bag
Sleeping bag reviews provide a rich source of information for you to assess the basic benefits and features of these sleeping bags. Most of these bags are designed for use under specific conditions and it is important you find an ultralight sleeping bag to meet your specific needs.
These 6 brands are the most popular ultralight sleeping bags you can chose from. Reviews of each of these warm sleeping bags that pack small are after the table. We have just updated our most popular article on the best backpacking sleeping bags under $100 here
1) Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag: Suisse Sport Adventurer Mummy Bag
This Suisse Sport Adventurer Mummy bag is a 29.5″ x 84.5′ standard adult size ultra-light sleeping bag. The Sport Adventurer is specifically designed to reduce the weight and size of your pack load, whether you are camping, hiking or climbing. It also has the reputation of being the warmest sleeping bag.
Lowest Temperature Rating
This ultra light warm sleeping bag has the lowest temperature rate of 30 degrees which makes it suitable for cold and dry weather conditions.
Compresses Right Down
The best thing about the Suisse Sport, it is very thin and easy to compress as you can see by the image. The bag compacts down to the size of a drink bottle.
By tightly rolling this lightest most compact sleeping bag up into a small compression sack, that can compact down to 12″ x 7″ x 7″, this minimal footprint makes it suitable for long distance hikes and camping where traveling light is a primary consideration.
Additional features of the Suisse Sport are:
- drawstring hood and draft tube will give you extra protection against rain, wind, and cold; the elements that most people strive to protect themselves from when camping.
- compressible material that not only reduces weight but also makes packing very easy.
- mummy shape that eliminates “cold pockets” to ensure that you keep warm
- double layer waterproof synthetic material with a temperature range between 40 and 45 Degrees
- contoured and raised top to give your head a comfortable resting position while leaving your nose outside
- resistant to tearing with Ripstop polyester fabric and extreme weather conditions
- compatible and convenient left and right zippers
In essence, the Suisse Sport is the lightest most compact sleeping bag which will be suitable when you are camping in cold weather with the possibility of rain and wind.
Double layer construction is offset to prevent cool spots in the bag and the fill material is MicroTekk Down-Like 0.7 Denier Fill, weighing in at 1.5 lb (680 g).
The best ultra compact sleeping bags with down fill use MicroTekk. MicroTekk Down is a cutting edge bag fill designed to offer maximum warmth with even fill distribution across the bag, at the lightest weight possible, keeping the ultralight weight sleeping bag warm and comfortable in the inside.
Made From Tough Ripstop Polyester
The outer shell is designed from blue ripstop polyester, a tough waterproof material, with touches of black and a yellow inner.
A single zipper with two zipper pulls runs down the left side of the bag down to about 19 inches from the bottom of the bag. Two hook and loop closures were the zipper ends at the hood ensures that as it stays up while you are sleeping.
Wide Draft Tube And Collar
A 3.5 inch wide insulated draft tube is stitched into the bag behind the zipper which runs the full length to stop cold air seeping in.
The partially insulated draft collar has a drawcord and cord lock to keep the hood tight in case of inclement weather. There is a utility pocket over the chest area inside the bag, measuring 8.5″ x 5″for storing personal items.
Yes! Machine Washable
You can machine wash this ultralight sleeping bag gentle cold water cycle with mild detergent and air dry.
Compression straps on the stuff bag allow you to pull this bag right in for the smallest size possible.
Suisse Sport makes an Adventurer XL which is longer and wider on the top if you require more room.
2) The Best Compact Warm Sleeping Bag: TETON Sports TrailHead Ultralight Bag
This Teton Sports Trailhead Ultralight Bag weighs just 2.9 lbs, measuring 87″ x 32″ x 22″.
If you are carrying a backpack, weight is an aspect you will be concerned about. Long days spent on the trail can be hard, and even a few extra pounds can add degrees of unnecessary fatigue.This bag at 2.9 lbs, is designed with extra details you’ll not find on many other bags
4 Color Choices
There are 4 color choices, Green and Grey, Orange and Grey as well as Scout Green and Scout Orange .
The Teton Sports is light and thin, and designed to keep you warm in extreme weather conditions, while providing you with ample room for your shoulders and toes for complete comfort while sleeping. It is suited for +20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Larger Design Is Perfect For Bigger Taller People
Loads Of Room For Your Feet
The additional toe room with the vaulted foot-box plus the extra layer of fill helps keep your feet toasty, even in the coldest of weather conditions. You even have room to add a HotHands Body & Hand Super Warmer to keep your hands and toes super warm.
Additional features of Teton Sports are:
- Lightweight 3 season sleeping bag design which is long and wide to fit large body frames
- Available in orange / grey and green / grey color ways
- PolarLite 7-denier interwoven insulation and waterproof material to keep you warm and dry
- temperature rating of +20 degrees Fahrenheit
- full length zipper draft tube to keep the insides warm by eliminating “cold pockets”
- soft insides for additional comfort while sleeping
- mummy hood to allow for comfortable sleeping position
- inside and outside zipper pullers for convenient closure while packing or sleeping
- inner pockets with zippers where you can safely keep your valuables
- The zippers are taped and anti-snag to ensure that you are never disappointed
Teton Sports is the best ultra compact sleeping bag for camping under extremely cold weather conditions where there is an increased likelihood of cold weather. The diamond ripstop shell is water-resistant and won’t tear even if you should happen to accidentally snag or puncture it.
Designed for those who enjoy spending time in the wild, Teton’s mummy style version is filled with PolarLite.
PolarLite is an innovative 7-denier interwoven insulation that provides instant warmth without bulk. Once you slip inside the Teton, you’ll find the design fits you snugly and its pretty svelte.
Double Brushed P5 Poly Hi-Count Inner Liner
For that added degree of comfort, you’ll also enjoy its breathable, soft, double-brushed P5 Poly Hi-Count liner that keeps you warm and cozy. Many lightweight compact sleeping bag reviews noted its warmth and comfort level in the 40 degree range.
75D 2MM Diamond Ripstop Water And Tear Resistant Shell
But when the cold weather comes in, pushing the mercury down you will discover it has a temperature rating of +20 degrees F. The bag is light, thin and offers the 75D 2MM diamond Ripstop water and tear resistant shell that will keep you dry and wear well over many uses.
3) The Lightest Most Compact Sleeping Bag: Stansport Redwood Ultralight Sleeping Bag
The 1.5 lbs Stansport Redwood sleeping bag dimensions are 30″ x 75″ and comes in forest green color to allow you a camouflage blend while you are camping.
Perfect Bag For Summer & Warmer Weather Camping
The lightest most compact sleeping bag is suitable for summer and mild weather camping. Furthermore, the bag is rectangular shaped to give more room for comfortable sleeping conditions while camping which is good, especially if you are a restless sleeper…
The Stansport Is A Rectangular Shape
This is a unique attribute as most ultralight weight sleeping bags tend to be the mummy shape design for people who are keen on keeping warm. A mummy shape bag is generally warmer than a rectangular bag.
The ultra light warm sleeping bag can even be shared by two people if they are small sized…..
Additional features of the Stansport Redwood are:
- 100 % waterproof polyester shell and lining to keep you dry in wet weather
- The lightest most compact sleeping bag incorporates Poly-Therm synthetic insulation to keep your body warm during cold nights
- temperature rating of 55 degrees
- the soft poly-cotton lining is designed to give you extra comfort
- rectangular shape makes it suitable for people of different sizes and body frames
- compresses easily, making it easy to pack and carry around
- durable and easy to clean lining
Weighs Only A Minimal 1.5 Pounds
When you are camping out during summer, there isn’t much need to worry about keeping warm as the nights are probably be warm. The Stansport Redwood provides the best ultralight weight summer sleeping bag as the bulk of the material has been reduced significantly, dropping the weight to a light 1.5 pounds.
Opting for bags meant for cold weather during summer can be an inconvenience as you simply get too hot and sweaty. The priority in summer is to keep your pack as light as possible. The basic design and look of the forest green color and design leaves little to be desired in terms of aesthetics.
However with a comfort rating of 55, this is more than made up for by the benefits of the material durability, lightness and comfort due to the tough outer polyester shell, Poly-Therm synthetic insulation fill and rectangular shape.
4) Compact Sleeping Bag For Travel: Ledge Sports FeatherLite Compact Ultralight Sleeping Bag
Ledge Sports Featherlite is designed for experienced users who have used an ultralight sleeping bag and understand that in some instances, you might need to sacrifice some comfort, especially when traveling long distances under extreme weather conditions.
The Featherlite is one of the most popular small sleeping bags for backpacking because it packs right down, mummy shaped and extremely durable.
Could This Be The Best Bag For Extreme Weather Conditions?
This 84″ x 32″ x 20″ compact sleeping bag for travel, camping and hiking is designed to keep size and weight to an absolute minimum. As well as guaranteeing to keep you warm and dry under pretty much any extreme weather conditions.
Although the bag is not the most comfortable and convenient with its snug body contoured fit, experienced users appreciate the combination of durability, innovation, warmth, and convenience. The Ledge Sport has been designed for those who want to go for extended outdoor trips.
In essence, Ledge Sports is the best backpacking sleeping bag under 100 which is tough and durable. It’s materials and design is suited for people who like hiking and camping under extreme weather.
Additional features of the Ledge Sports Featherlite:
- Compact sleeping bag for travel is made from super compressible material for easy packing and carrying
- Available in orange, blue and red colors
- The shell is made of tough, all weather proof Dobby Diamond, 250T ripstop material
- soft, comfortable inner made of Softech II 210T liner
- tough anti-rip/anti-tear micro denier, hibernate extreme continuous filament fiber for durability
- T-compressible pack
The Ledge Sports FeatherLite +20 F Ultra Compact Sleeping Bag is designed with a strong and durable shell. Ripstop is one of the most popular and tough materials for the outer shell and the Ledge Sports is constructed out of Dobby Diamond 250T Ripstop material.
This material lasts the distance, giving you a finish that is weather proof, wind proof, and tear proof, meaning it will stand up to a great deal or wear and tear thrown at it.
Soft Inner Liner
When you are in the process of choosing the best warm lightweight sleeping bag, always take a look at the liner. A good liner adds a significant amount of extra heat depending on the liner material. The Softech II 210T inner liner of the Ledge Sports bag adds an additional level of comfort as the wind and rain whistles around you with the soft and snug feel, ensuring you have a comfortable night.
Continuous Microfiber Filament Fill
One of the standout features of the Ledge Sports FeatherLite is its continuous filament microfiber fill. This fill works efficiently to equally distribute body heat evenly throughout the bag, making sure that no corner is cold.
This warmth is further increased by the lightweight polyester fill, which keeps you warm and cozy through the night. And if you don’t feel warm enough, you can easily add a mummy liner for extra warmth.
Synthetic Bags Dry Faster
Synthetic bags are easy to dry out in the off chance you accidentally tip water or any other liquid onto it. This is in direct contrast to down fill bags that take ages to dry. Plus the down can clump and lose it’s loft.
Some people buying small sleeping bags for backpacking end up disappointed because they forget to consider the weight capacity and size of the bag. However, if you have some experience and know the value a good ultralight sleeping bag can bring, the Ledge Sports Featherlite is a good choice for camping, hiking, or climbing under extreme weather conditions.
5) Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag Under 100: TETON Sports Journey Ultralight Sleeping Bag
Teton Sports has an amazing selection of different outdoor sleeping bags that should fit the needs of the majority of outdoor enthusiasts. The TETON Sports Journey red and grey sleeping bag might be slightly thicker than other ultralight sleeping bags mentioned here, but is considered one of the best backpacking sleeping bags under 100 because of its sheer light weight. It weighs a minimal 2.8 lbs, and measures out at 9.8″ x 33″
Rectangular Shape Offers Ample Room
The rectangular shaped bag provides ample room while guaranteeing you complete comfort and protection from the elements. The sleeping bag is suitable for light weight traveling under mild weather conditions.
Some of the highlights of the Teton Sports Journey are:
- 150 gram per square high – tech Polarlite Fleece gives you insulation from the elements without additional weight
- TETON heavy duty, anti snag zippers open from both top and bottom and can be adjusted for effective ventilation
- If you are sleeping on an inflatable camping mattress you can conveniently unzip the Teton Sports Journey and you will have a warm blanket
- large inside roomy pockets to safely store valuable electronics such as smartphones and tablets
- drawstring hood and zipper for protection against the elements
- soft fleece inner lining for ultimate comfort
- temperature rating of +40 degrees Fahrenheit
- long and spacious bag suitable for people with tall, wide frames
- Easy to compress for easy packing and carrying
High Tech Construction For A Range Of Environments
If you are camping under mild weather conditions but worried about cold nights or you are sensitive to cold, then the Teton Sports Journey should be suitable for you. Although the ultralight sleeping bag is meant for mild weather conditions, its high-tech construction and materials will be quite adequate.
This just means it is recommended for temperatures 40 degrees and above, which is why it’s more suited to warmer camping conditions and isn’t so good for winter camping or autumn camping.
You can always add a liner or a few more ground blankets to increase extra body heat
Diamond Ripstop Shell Is Water and Tear Resistant
The Diamond ripstop shell is water-resistant and will tear if you accidentally snag or puncture it. The half circle mummy style hood with its drawstring closure can keep a pillow snugly in place or pull the hood in firmly around your head if the weather turns.
6) The Best Lightweight Sleeping Bag For Backpacking: TETON Sports Tracker Ultralight Bag
This TETON Sports Tracker Ultralight Sleeping Bag weighs in at 4.1 pound and measures 87″ x 34″. This is a bag suitable for extremely cold weather. Although it is a bit heavier as compared to the other ultralight weight sleeping bags reviewed here, perhaps this is because the manufacturer wanted to make sure that you stay warm. So, not only is it lightweight, it’s also one of the best warm lightweight sleeping bags available at a reasonable cost.
The Teton Sports Tracker is available in Red and Grey, Green and Grey, Scout Red and Scout Green
Loads Of Foot Space
The bag has plenty of room with extra fill at the vaulted foot box to ensure that to your feet do not freeze under very cold weather. If you do suffer cold feet, you can consider using a HotHands Body & Hand Super Warmer
Additional features of Teton Sports Tracker are:
- PolarLite insulation design to keep you warm in extreme weather
- Available in green / grey and red / grey colors
- thin and light design for easy travel
- compressible material for easy packing
- mummy shape that hugs your body to keep you warm by eliminating “cold pockets”
- zippers both on the inside and outside to for convenient closure
- mummy style hood with contours to keep your head comfortable and your nose outside for breathing
- diamond ripstop outer lining that will ensure that the fabric does not tear even if you puncture
- 7-denier interwoven fabric maximizes warmth without increasing weight
- soft inner lining for additional comfort.
Best Lightweight Sleeping Bag For Backpacking, Ideal For Cold Weather Conditions
The Teton Sports Tracker is ideal for cold weather conditions when you want to have some additional loft and weight to your ultralight sleeping bag, rather than end up freezing cold with chattering teeth. However, a weight of 4.5 is still considered ultralight when compared to standard sleeping bags.
PolarLite Insulation For The Best Sleep
PolarLite™ Insulation is a +5F degree, non-allergenic polyester synthetic fill designed to be super compact. The insulation is made from thermally efficient fibers which trap more air to provide maximum warmth on even the coldest nights.
The double layer offset stitch construction really does work to eliminates all those possible cold spots that you often find in most sleeping bags. Now, the Tracker +5F Sleeping Bag is a “cold weather” bag predominantly but it is also suitable for using in temperatures up to 65 degrees. Many people have found it to be very comfortable and breathable even at 65 degrees thanks to the PolarLite™ Insulation.
Full Length Zipper & Baffle
The bag features a full-length zipper baffle which helps reduce drafts coming through the zip and the red and grey diamond ripstop shell is water and tear resistant which is handy when this bag is rated for cold temperatures.
The great feature of the 3–piece mummy hood is it not only keeps out cold air and rain on those super cold or snowy nights but it also keeps your head and/or pillow off the ground.
The hood works well to hold the pillow in place while you sleep and snugly contours the face, for added comfort without adding extra unwanted material or added weight. The interior pocket zips to safely holds your important electronics or wallet as well.
Points To Keep In Mind When Choosing the Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag….
Traditional sleeping bags with attached hoods and zippers are perfect for sleeping in temperatures that are near or below freezing. They are not useful for weight conscious users, where the temperatures are above freezing, or if someone wants to go ultralight during the winter.
Buying one of the lightest cold weather sleeping bags is one of the best ways of reducing pack weight to become an ultralight backpacker. There are so many lightweight models available these days. Choosing one that meets your needs is worth the research, time and effort. Here are a few pointers on how to choose the right bag for your needs.
What qualities should you look for?
When buying the best lightweight sleeping bag for backpacking, these are the following qualities to keep in mind. After all, a well researched bag will last you for years.
- The weight – If you are looking for a summer sleeping bag, go for a bag that weighs about one pound. If you are cold weather hiking and having the best lightweight winter sleeping bag is crucial, go for one that weighs around 3.50 pounds. To further cut down on excess weight, leave the sleeping bag stuff sack at home.
- The material – In general, synthetic bags are normally heavier than down sleeping bags. In addition they are less compressible than down sleeping sleeping bags.
- Half zipper – Half zipper bags are generally lighter because they shed zipper weight.
These qualities make the best lightweight sleeping bag for backpacking appropriate for a lighter pack weight.
How do you choose the right lightest cold weather sleeping bag for your needs?
The main benefit of using an ultralight sleeping bag is to reduce the weight of your pack. However, when products are designed to satisfy this requirement, other important areas may be sacrificed. It is vital you do your research before buying your ultralight sleeping bag. It would be pointless to lower your pack weight and freeze during the night. When choosing the the most compact sleeping bag, ensure you check out the following:
The kind of insulation used
The two main types of ultralight sleeping bags are down fill and synthetic. These compact sleeping bag for backpacking have very different qualities, each suited to different camper’s requirements.
As you have seen above, synthetic bags are heavier than down fill, but they are ideal for rainy weather. Their insulation loft properties are not affected in wet conditions, keeping you warm in case of a storm. Because synthetic bags are generally heavier, it is very important you look for the lightest insulation fills, for instance Polarguard, Primaloft and Climashield.
Down fills are warmer and lighter than synthetic bags, and are perfect for drier climates. However, they lose a lot of loft during wet conditions and can become very soggy, reducing their insulation quality.
One of the methods used by different manufacturers to overcome this problem is to use waterproofing on the down bag’s shell.
The downside, this lowers the breathability of the sleeping bag. Reading up on lightweight compact sleeping bag reviews is a good way to learn what the different types of insulation are and their particular benefits.
The shell material used in the most compact sleeping bags….
An ultralight sleeping bag is normally made with different shell fabrics (most of them fall under the polyester microfiber category). When selecting your model, ensure that it is tear proof, weather proof, wind proof and has good resistance to moisture. Additionally, ensure that your bag is breathable under its waterproof shell. Pertex is the most common armor material for high end ultralight bags – you should try it.
The temperature rating
This is the most vital aspect to look out for when considering your new ultralight sleeping bag. The specifications should clearly show its temperature rating. Sleeping bags are normally rated according to the temperature range they are best suited for. The simple rule when choosing your bag is to go for one with a rating suitable for the absolute coldest conditions you expect to sleep in.
How well should an ultralight sleeping bag fit?
How well should your ultralight sleeping bag fit you? You might be surprised to know how many people pick their sleeping bag based on their weight and design…. However, fit is a major factor to be aware of.
When you get in your bag, the fit should be as snug as possible so there is the least amount of space which requires warming. Because ultralight bags are designed to be the smallest sleeping bags when packed, it’s important the fit be as close as possible with minimal air pockets.
Most manufacturers use elastic to match the bag’s fit to the user. If you come across a bag without elastic, ensure that you give it a test run on the show room floor before you buy it. A little space by the feet is perfect for comfort, but don’t buy a bag with huge foot space unless you plan to store your clothes and other items there.
How do you care for your compact sleeping bag for backpacking?
If you take good care of your sleeping bag with the following storage and caring tips and techniques, your ultralight sleeping bag will last for years.
- Keep debris and dirt out of your tent – this will lower the chances of ending up in your bag.
- Crush it, rather than rolling when you are compressing it.
- Sleep with a liner to lower the number of times you need to clean it. The liner soaks up sweat, body oils and dirt.
- Remove it from its stuff sack when you arrive home from your trip so it can air out and dry.
- Store it in a huge bag so that the synthetic or down fibers can spread out – the sleeping bag may lose its loft over time if it is tightly stored in its stuff sack,reducing its ability to hold in heat.
Other important accessories
The best lightweight sleeping bag for backpacking must have a waterproof stuff sack for keeping it dry. Very few bags come with quality sacks and most of them come with pretty ugly stuff sacks. It is highly recommended you buy one separately.
Sleeping bags are essential for those out in the wilds, both for safety and comfort. If you don’t camp in below freezing temperatures, a 30 degree bag should offer plenty of warmth for your trips. Selecting a 20 to 10 degree bag will add weight and you may even feel too hot during the night.
Finding The Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag Bottom Line
The bottom line in finding the best rated ultra lightweight sleeping bag is to make a list of your specific needs and the weather patterns of the area where you’ll be hiking. The next step is to read ultralight backpacking sleeping bag reviews, watch you tube videos and visit camping shops as you may well find an even better bag during your research.
A compact sleeping bag for backpacking is an important part of your camping or hiking experience and you definitely want to consider points such as the size of the bag and its ability to keep you comfortable.
It would be pointless to buy an extremely light bag of less than 1.5 pounds, only to end up freezing your butt off, or to buy a relatively heavy bag of more than 3.5 pounds, only to wake up at night due to overheating.
If you are into aesthetics and extra comfort, then the mummy shaped sports sleeping bags with fleece inner linings, contours for resting your head, and spacious room will suit you.
For those people willing to overlook comfort and aesthetics for other aspects such as durability, research is vital. In essence, thorough research on the best bag to meet your specific needs will give you maximum comfort on the trail.
These ultralight backpacking sleeping bag reviews and tips are designed to give you an idea of the most important things to look for in the best ultralight sleeping bag for your trip. However much you may value traveling light, you might very much like to factor in durability, comfort, and the bags ability to protect you from elements.