This is a review of the Best Ultralight Sleeping Bags for backpacking in 2022. There are so many choices of great lightweight sleeping bags on the market so I’ve narrowed the field down to only the Best Lightest Sleeping Bags. Some companied have made some amazing updates to their range and 2022 is looking good high quality lightweight sleeping bags
All the ultra light sleeping bags were chosen for their quality, lightweight and small pack size. All the backpacking sleeping bags in this review will last you many years and make a good investment.
If you are looking for an even lighter option than take a look at the Best Ultralight Backpacking Quilts.
Best Ultra Light Sleeping Bags for Backpacking 2022
The Best Ultra Light Sleeping Bags for Backpacking in 2022 are:
Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag
Weight – 21.4 oz / 606 grams
Down Fill Power – 900+ Hydrophobic Down
Fill Weight 12.7 oz / 360 grams
EN / ISO Rated – Yes
Packsize – Unknown
> Ultra Lightweight
> EN rated
> High quality
> Very Expensive
> Half zip is considered a negative by some people but I like it, thought you should know
At 21.4 oz / 606 g the Rab Mythic Ultra 360 is a brand new model for 2022. It is an even lighter version of the Mythic 400 which I love as an ultra light sleeping bag. Like the Marmot Phase 20 and the Sea to Summit Spark this bag is EN / ISO rated so rest assured that it will definitely keep you warm when the temperatures get cold.
This bag is rated to 20F / -7C and is stuffed with high quality 900+ down for great warmth to weight ratio. It also uses a brand new fabric that increases the insulation ability of the sleeping bag by trapping heat the same way an emergency space blanket will trap heat.
The zip size is only half length so it cannot be completely unzipped. This option makes it unsuitable for warm summer nights but does a perfect job of weight saving.
This would be one of the best ultra light sleeping bags for thru hiking a trail such as the Continental Divide Trail. It would also be perfectly suited for lower altitudes in the Himalaya and Andes or any non summer hiking where temperatures regularly hover near or below freezing.
Best Quality Down Sleeping Bag
Weight – 24oz / 680grams
Down Fill Power – 950+ down
Fill Weight – 14oz / 397g
EN Rated – No
Packsize – 9L
> Ultra Lightweight
> 950+ down
> High quality
> Clumping issues after extended use
The Feathered Friends Hummingbird is one of the lightest down bags rated at 20F (-7C). It weighs 24oz (680g) and is stuffed with the highest quality 950+ down which helps save weight and gives you the best warmth to weight ratio of any of the bags in the review.
This is a mummy bag which is suited to someone who wants the lightest bag possible and is not prepared to compromise on quality. The Hummingbird is roomy enough for most people but Feathered Friends have larger models for those wanting more internal room.
Triple Crown Hiker Rob “Stone” Sweeney has used the Feathered Friends Hummingbird on the Continental Divide Trail, Arizona Trail, Hayduke Trail, Finger Lakes Trail, Long Trail, Colorado Trail, John Muir Trail and The Grand Enchantment Trail. He likes the lightweight, small pack size, high build quality and has had no issues with the zippers or cords.
Despite washing the bag at the end of every hiking season it is starting to develop some clumping issues. After an amazing 5000+ miles / 8000km of use it is starting to develop cold spots. The down is getting pushed to the sides when he turn in it, leading to cold spots overnight. Follow his journey on Instagram: @HikingStone
Although this back is not EN Rated it has similar specs to the Marmot Lithium 20 and RAB Mythic Ultra 380 which are both EN Rated. A great high quality lightweight sleeping bag.
Best Lightweight Sleeping Bag
Weight – 29 oz / 820 grams
Down Fill Power – 850+ down
Fill Weight – 16oz / 450g
EN Rated – No
Packsize – 9L
> High Quality
Western Mountaineering make some of the best quality bags but that comes at a high cost. The 29 oz / 820 grams sleeping bag is one of the most expensive bag in this review. The reward for spending this much money is a sleeping bag that will last a very long time.
It is a mummy bag with enough room for all but the widest of people. It uses 850+ down unlike some of the other manufacturers that use the highest rated 950+ down. The bag is rated to 20F (-7C) and Western Mountaineering has a large selection of bags rated at different temperatures.
This is one of the best quality sleeping bags money can buy right now and one of the best lightweight sleeping bags for backpacking.
Best Budget Ultralight Sleeping Bag
Weight – 23 oz / 660 grams
Down Fill Power – 850+ down
Fill Weight – Unknown
EN Rated – Yes
Packsize – 6.5L
> Ultra Lightweight
> Small pack size
> EN tested
> Great price at the moment, but not for long
> Zipper Issues
At 23oz / 660g this is one of the lightest of all the sleeping bags reviewed but one of the best budget ultralight sleeping bags.
The Marmot Phase is EN tested 20F / -7C rated sleeping bag, so rest assured it will keep you warm.
The mummy style of most ultra lightweight bags can be constrictive for some people. It has similar internal specs to the Feathered Friends, Western Mountaineering and RAB sleeping bags.
This bag comes in at a bit cheaper than the other ultralight bags without compromising quality or materials but be warned, there are not many of these bags available as they have been discontinued. So for those wanting the best quality at a reasonable price, this is the best option, if there are any left!
Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag
Weight – 23.5 oz (665 grams)
Down Fill Power – Hyperdry 850+ down
Fill Weight 15.2 oz / 430g
Packsize – 4.6L
EN Rated – Yes
> Small pack size
> EN rated
> Large amount of down fill
> Not much
The Sea to Summit Spark 4 was updated in 2019 with a change to vertical baffles in the torso region to prevent down shift when moving around in the bag. And in 2022 they upgraded the DWR coating to to a PFC free DWR on the freaky lightweight and almost transparent 10 Denier outer shell.
These upgrades, combined with a light weight of only 23.5 oz / 665 g this bag is super lightweight and very high quality. With 15.2 oz / 430 g of hyperdry 850+ loft down fill it has some of the highest amount of down fill in this Sleeping Bag review. Which makes for a great warmth to weight ratio. And if you want more warmth they even have the Spark 5F / -15C.
Another bonus is the sleeping bag has been independently tested to the EN / ISO standards and rated to 18F / -9C. So sleep easy in the knowledge that it will keep you warm in cold weather.
The Sea to Summit Spark is also one of the roomiest of ultralight bag in this review and has a full length zip, which adds a little to the overall weight of the bag in comparison to others in this review. That small amount of extra weight allows you to open the bag into a quilt when the nights are warmer.
Overall, the Sea to Summit Spark has a very small pack size and top quality everything. With all the upgrades over the years the Spark is one of the best backpacking sleeping bag on the market in 2022. And it comes in different temperature ratings so if you want something slightly warmer or something a little less warm, they have you covered. Did I mention, it is reasonably priced in comparison to the other lightweight backpacking sleeping bags in this review.
Here is all the information you will need to make an informed decision about Quality down Sleeping Bags
Why Upgrade your Sleeping Bag
Recent years have seen the weight and pack size of bags reduce and the quality rise. For anyone who still has a bulky, heavy or poor quality bag it is time to consider throwing down some money on an upgrade.
The sleeping bags listed in this sleeping bag review represent the best on the market at the moment. All the Best Sleeping Bags for thru hiking are under 2lb (900g). If you are planning to lighten your for a long distance thru hike such as the Pacific Crest Trail – Continental Divide Trail – Appalachian Trail – Te Araroa Trail or any of the other great Best Hiking Trails in the World, then a lightweight backpacking sleeping bag is one of your first choices.
Down vs Synthetic Sleeping Bags
This review is only dealing with the best Lightweight down Sleeping Bags that are filled with down. It would be unfair not to mention the other option which is synthetic filled bags.
They are heavier and don’t pack to the same compact size as down bags. But they still insulate when wet and are cheaper, therefore many people see their value. A wet sleeping bag that uses down will not keep you warm, but if it uses synthetic you will still stay warm, even if it is not very comfortable.
As materials continue to develop their may come a time when synthetic bags are better than down. That point has not been reached yet.
That being said, if you want to save money or are heading to areas where getting your sleeping bag wet would be life threatening, consider a synthetic bag. Overall, when you want the best warmth to weight most sleeping bags, most bags will be using down fill.
Sleeping Bag Temperature Rating
Most of these sleeping bags manufacturers have self determined the temperature ratings of their bags. As a result they are not always the best guide of what is a comfortable rating. The industry recognised EN 13573 ratings standard is a European quality standard for the sleeping bag industry.
It can be expensive for companies to obtain this rating, few lightweight Sleeping Bag companies seem to bother. I’ve used EN rated bags in the past and find them to be very accurate measure of temperature rating.
The fill weight, or amount of down fill inside the sleeping bag or quilt varies quite a bit between all the manufacturers.
This might not seem like much but it can make a difference to the insulation of the bag. It would be easy to claim that the width or style of the internal baffling could lead one manufacturer to have a competitive advantage over another, and that may be the case.
The way internal baffles are constructed also affect the temperature rating. In some bags the down can be moved within the internal baffles to where it is needed most. I find this feature very annoying.
I want to unzip my sleeping bag to regulate the temperature, not wake up in the middle of the night and try to shuffle down within the baffles.
The Mummy Bags in the review are rated at around 20F (-7C) which is a good functional 3 season temperature range that can be used in all but the coldest and warmest of weather. Down mummy bags also offer the best warmth to weight.
Also keep in mind the temperature rating and quality of your Ultralight Sleeping Pad. A sleeping pad with little or no insulation will allow the cold to suck through the sleeping bag making you very cold. So make sure you have a good sleeping pad.
If you need to be a little warmer you could use an insulated sleeping bag liner to increase the warmth of the sleeping bag. If a sleeping bag liner is not enough you may need to take a look at upgrading to a 4 season winter sleeping bag.
Lightweight Sleeping Bag Pac Size and Stuff Sacks
Keeping a sleeping bag dry while hiking is critically important. Heavy rain, a leaking backpack or a fall when crossing a river can make for an uncomfortable nights sleep at best and a life threatening situation at worst.
Recent years have seen many ultralight hikers make the switch to Dyneema stuff sacks such as those from Hyperlite Mountain Gear. These super lightweight, strong and waterproof stuff sacks come in multiple sizes and shapes to fit any sleeping bag and a good investment to keep your down bag dry.
Ultra Light Sleeping Bag Price
Most Ultra Light Sleeping Bags can cost a lot of money but it is money well spent. It is not unusual to keep a quality sleeping bag for 10 year. I kept a quality winter sleeping bag for 20 years before I decided to sell it.
In most cases it is not only money well spent, but one of the best investments you can make. All of the bags listed will last 10 years or more and range in price from US$280-$680.
Warranty and Return Policy
Before purchasing a Sleeping Bags be sure to check the return policy. Make sure you can return it if you ordered the wrong size.
If it is returned after being used it may incur a ‘Cleaning Fee’.
Anything purchased from REI offers the best consumer protection, closely followed by Amazon with a 30 return policy. In all cases buyer beware, make your choice wisely.
How to wash a Sleeping Bag
Once you have purchased an Ultralight Sleeping Bag listed above it is time to look after it.
There are several ways to wash a down bag. The best methods are to hand wash them in a bathtub or on a gentle wash cycle in a front loading washing machine. It is my preference to wash my bag in a front loading washing machine.
Which is the best ultralight Sleeping Bag for thru hiking and Backpacking? Any of the backpacking sleeping bags listed in this review would make a great option for anyone wanting to lighten up the weight they carry.
The choice for the Best Ultralight Sleeping bag is much harder than years ago.
The following Sleeping Bags are highly recommended:
Most of the Sleeping Bags are almost identical in quality, weight and pack size. They are all a great choice and I would be happy to buy any of them. The only thing separating them is price and the buyers location.
Overall, I would choose the Rab Mystic Ultra 380, by the smallest of margins, as the best sleeping bag in 2022.
The sleeping bags must be used in conjunction with a high quality, lightweight sleeping mat. Read the complete review of the Best Lightweight Sleeping Mats for more information.
For those living in the Europe RAB might be the cheapest and most available.
Frequently Asked Questions
To maintain the quality, comfort, and structural integrity of your sleeping bag, you should store it in a dry location. You should remove it from its compression sack and allow it to breathe. This will keep it fresh and allow any residue built up on a trip to dry off easily.
Many sleeping bags are designed to unzip along the length and across the bottom of the bag. If you are your partner are seeking extra warmth on a cold winter’s night, then, using two such sleeping bags, you can zip them together to make one big one.
Alternatively, you could buy a specific two-man bag to ensure that you will both have optimum comfort and extra warmth.
This depends on the nature of your trip and your physical fitness. If you are driving to a campsite or taking a day’s walk to a nice spot, then you can feel comfortable taking a heavier bag, as this will often be comfortable and warm.
However, if you are taking a trip in which you will cover a vast distance on foot, then you might consider opting for a lighter bag of 3lbs or below to make your trek more comfortable.
Mummy bags are lightweight and designed for optimum warmth, easy to carry, and cozy when inside. They can be somewhat restrictive when it comes to movement, as they are designed to follow the contours of the body for a snug fit.
This can be inconvenient to larger users or those that are restless sleepers. Rectangular bags provide more wiggle room, though they are often bulkier, which may not convenient when on a long trek into the mountains.
This is dependent on when and where you intend to use the sleeping bag. If you are seeking adventure in the cold mountains or forest, ensure that you buy a suitable sleeping bag. Be conscious of both the temperature and the weather when considering your purchase. Generally a bag rated to 20F / -6C is a good guide.
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