How To Choose A Light Weight Sleeping Bag


When looking for a light weight sleeping bag for camping, beware of all the marketing hype.  When you read some of the ads and descriptions, you almost believe that you would never need to purchase a tent or any shelter because the bag will do everything for you.  Stand in front of a mirror and take a look at yourself.  Does anyone have the same shape or size as you?  No!  Forget what the shiny ads say and ask the guy or girl at REI or other reputable outdoor stores and ask what they use.  Personal testimonies go  a long  way.

Learn To Us Online Reviews And Forums When Shopping For A Light Weight Sleeping Bag

People online are generally more blunt and  honest than they are in person.  They have nothing to risk.  Take an online trip to Amazon or REI in the outdoor gear category and you will see brutal reviews that these stores publish.  Why do retailers do this?  It makes business sense.  It forces the manufactures to put out better products.  Gear companies like The North Face or Big Agnes don't want negative social buzz. When something negative is written, they know.  Search Twitter for light weight sleeping bags and you will see a plethora of comments both good and bad.

I have been using lightweight sleeping bags for over 30 years and I can tell you that buying an expensive bag is not going to guarantee you a good night sleep.  A comfortable  bag on the other hand will.  You need to be willing to spend whatever you can afford to  get a good  bag.  Whether that is $50 or $500.  You decide.  I can guide you through what to look for and tell you what I use.

My favorite sleeping bags have always been goose down.  It's so  light and fluffy.   I never get cold.  I even have down jackets.   This does not mean that synthetic bags are bad.  I have owned many synthetic bags.  My  2 boys sleeping in synthetic light weight sleeping bags.  I purchase  down sleeping bags for the long haul.  My kids are growing and will be out of the bags in  a few years.  It did not make sense to spend the money on a high quality  sleeping bag with them growing and one still having night time potty accidents.

Two Types Of Light Weight Sleeping Bags That You Should Look At If You Plan On Staying Warm And Sleeping Comfortable

Light Weight Goose Down Sleeping Bags

You have to be careful when purchasing a goose down sleeping bags because not all goose down is the same.  It has an rating system of how much a certain amount of goose down feather will fill a certain volume volume.  Without getting too technical, the higher the number of feather count, the better the bag.

Goose down is one of the lightest natural fibers on that planet that will keep you warm and comfortable.  It's light and fluffy and has a unique ability to hold retain body heat. One ounce of standard quality down contains approximately 2,000,000 filaments that interlock to trap warm air next to your body and to keep the cold frigid air out. When down is contained inside a vestibule like a sleeping bag or jacket, it's very springy and compressible.  Try grabbing a portion of a down jacket or sleeping bag and letting go quickly.  You will notice that it instantly returns back to normal.

Fill power is the rating used to gauge the ability of goose down to trap air. It is calculated by taking measurements of a one ounce sample of down in a plexiglas cylinder with a weighted piston compressing the down.  Basically, a higher fill power rating is more resilient to compression, has more loft, and will trap warm air next your body better. The greatest benefit is that sleeping bags with higher fill ratings require less insulation by weight to provide the equal level of warmth than a sleeping bag made with lower fill weight down.

For example, goose down sleeping bags with a fill rating of 800-900 are considered excellent and will provide the lowest temperature rating with the lowest weight. Sleeping bags with fill ratings of 600-700 are considered very good, 500-550 is rated as good, and 400-450 is considered medium quality.

My wife has been sleeping in an L.L. Bean 0 degree rectangular goose down bag for years.  It's weighs less than 4 lbs and is made from 650 fill weight down.  It's beautiful and comfortable.  I like it so much that I will be getting one for myself and will pass my Western Mountaineering bag to my oldest son.

Western Mountaineering Ultra Light Sleeping Bab -20 Degree Comfort Rating

I have used my Western Mountaineering rectangular 25 degree bag for close to 25 years and I am still amazed at the warmth and the quality.  When I came across the Western Mountaineering Ultra Light Sleeping bag, I have to say that I am really astonished that it weighs a trite 1 lb 10 oz!  It has the 950 fill weight which is the  highest quality that you can buy.


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