View Full Version : Looking for a light sleeping bag
I am looking to lighten my sleeping bag. I currently have a 3 lb synthetic bag that is rated at 20 degrees. I would like the same degree bag but the lightest I can possibly get. I would like to keep the price near $200. But I am willing to go higher if I have to. Does anyone have any suggestions?
The first bag I purchased for my 2003 thru-hike was a Western mountaineering Ultralite. It is rated to 25* and listed for $295. I got it on sale for $265.00 and it weighs 1 lb 12 oz. It's a beautiful bag but didn't keep me warm and because of the ultralite design ( 3" smaller around the chest and feet than most bags) I couldn't load up on clothes to help keep me comfortable and that wasn't an appealing idea to me anyway. I have on order a Western Mountaineering Puma which is rated at 0* and weighs 3 lb 1 oz. Journey.
The western mountaineering highlite is about $220 in regular size and weighs 16 oz in that size. This is a 40 degree bag, but WM has a reputation of being very conservative with its ratings. It is a tightly cut bag, however, and has a very lightweight shell. I would try one of these on before buying it. Coupled with a silk liner and wearing thermal underwear, I would be confident carrying this with me on the AT. The Marmot Never Winter is a 30 degree down bag that weighs 2 lbs and costs about $175. I have a Marmot Arroyo (also 30 degrees) and find their temp. rating about right, but perhaps a little optimistic. My Arroyo weighs something like a pound more than the claimed weight. It has substantial (perhaps too much) room to thrash around. Something like a 64" shoulder girth. I had the bag a year before all the down left the chest and upper stomach area. I shipped it back to Marmot who restuffed it, which I think accounts for the extra weight. The down is still in place after a full summers use plus a bunch of outings this fall.
Unless you need the bag soon, I would keep an eye on the various close-out sales that occur at places like
I picked up my Arroyo for about $100 off through this process.
We just received our new Marmot Heliums about a week ago. It is a 15 degree down bag that weighs in at 2lb 1oz. They are roomy and fell incredible (800 fill). We haven't gotten to test them out yet, but had bought after suggestions from some 2002 thru-hikers. It's a little pricey ($300), but we got them for $250 during a backcountrystore.com sale. Oh yeah, they compact down to about the size of a loaf of bread.
I too have been looking for a lightweight bag. I have my eye on the Helium, the WM UltraLite and the Golite force. Looks like some of have experience with these.
I'm 6'4 and about 210 lbs. My sign is scorpio...
I got in the Marmot Pinnacle but didn't really fit. Will I have the same prob with the Helium. Ultralite. I hear the Force is a little more conservative. I wish I could try these things before spending 300 bucks and dealing with it once it arrives.
Try the Marmot Arroyo. I am 6'4", 210 lbs, as well and the Arroyo is, if anything, too wide for me. I think the shoulder girth is 63". On the whole (after Marmot restuffed the bag), the Arroyo works well for me. My only complaint is weight. My restuffed long weighs 2 lbs, 9 oz, which is way to much for a 30 degree bag. Though, with the restuffing, it seems to be more like a 20.
I have the REI Sub Kilo and like it pretty well. 2 pounds 3 ounces. 20 degree. $209. It's a down bag--not sure if you have a preference either way, as far as that goes.
I've only used it twice--once on an overnight on the AT near Erwin TN in September--I was actually too warm that night. Used it again at the Gathering in WV (October)--kept warm enough.
I've sewn my own sil-nylon waterproof stuff sack for my thru-hike next year, since keeping down dry is vital.
The REI sub kilo is a great bag.
There are three sizes: small (Up to 5'6", 1lb 15oz); Med. (Up to 6'0", 2lbs 1 oz); Large (Up to 6'6", 2lbs 3oz). Of course those are manufacturers weights, so most likely they will be a little higher. It is a 20* bag. I was comfortable in the bag even 20*, but I did have a silk liner that added 10* warmth for another 5 oz. (The cost of the silk liner was $60)
I used this bag up until June 21st this year. Last few days it was too warm, but I was glad I had it for the days which were cold and rainy.
If it was too warm to use when I went to sleep, I used my silk liner and used the bag later to cover up in the early mornings when it was a little chilly.
We used the WM Ultralite (1lb, 12oz) to start off with, Starting in March and I was only cold one night, when it got down to 10 degrees in the SMokies. Also used a SIlk "coccoon" bag liner with it. Was VERY happy with that bag and it was light and comfortable. We switched to the WM Highlite (16 oz) for our summer bags in Pearisburg VA, and were equally happy with those. I am a cold sleeper in general and woudln't have been comfortable the entire way with just the Highlite, but I was very pleased with the performance of both bags and surprised at how warm I satyed. Sleeping in a tent also helped to keep some of the heat in in the winter months.
Originally posted by sassy03
We just received our new Marmot Heliums about a week ago. It is a 15 degree down bag that weighs in at 2lb 1oz. They are roomy and fell incredible (800 fill). We haven't gotten to test them out yet, but had bought after suggestions from some 2002 thru-hikers.
Although you have already bought it, just wanted to give you some opinions on the Marmot Helium. I bought the bag before my hike this year because I was looking for something lighter and well made. The Helium is a quality product and stuffs down well. However, it is not a 15 degree bag! I know plenty of mornings waking up to 30 degree temps and feeling cold. I know the rating thing is subjective but I am a warm sleeper. Marmot obviously put that rating on there to sell more units. You figure for $300 you will get what you paid for. Although Marmot makes some great equipment, you can find a better value out there than this.
One more comment on the REI Sub-Kilo--the 2 lb 3 oz is not the manufacturer listing--it is the weight listed in a Backpacker Magazine issue from a few months ago. I have not yet weighed it myself.
I have used this sleeping bag for over 8,000 miles now and love it. Mainly because it fits me like a glove and i believe THAT is very important. It weighs in at 1 lb 10 oz and is rated at 20 degrees F. It costs around $300 though but you get what you pay for. It compresses down to about the size of a loaf of bread. Get the best down they'll put in it. (they only make custom bags) i'm sure you can find their website. they are in Seattle. Good luck, fh
I have a new never used WM iriqouis for sale...$175.00 rated to 38f 1.5 lbs
Im In The Planning Stage Currently For A 2007 Sobo. Seeing As How I Live About 5 Hrs As The Crow Flies From The Northern Terminus, This Is The Best Option For Me.
Anyway Just Wanted To Say Much Thanks For The Good Tips On Sleeping Bags. Everytime I Log On To This Site(which Is Just About Daily) I Learn Something New!
Personally, I would go with a Marmot Helium, weight 1lb 13oz, rating 15 degree, 900 Goose Down, retail at about $359. But look around there are a lot of good out there if you shop around.
I have a marmot bag, and until they do something really stupid to screw-up there gear, which I hope they don't do. I will continue use their gear, it cost a little more than but in book my warmth is worth every penny. I highly recommend their bags, My Marmot pinnacle 15 degree 675 down , purchased in 1999 has kept me warm well below 15 degrees and lasted the whole A.T. and is still like new.
I have a Mountainsmith Wisp 30 that weighs 24 ounces for a long. It's extremely comfortable.
Mine leaks a little down, but not much. The Solemates have one too. If their's doesn't spit down, then mine's probably just from a bad lot of Pertex (the DWM covering). It doesn't leak much anyway. One or two little strands per day. No big deal.
Western Mountaineering has a few bags that seem to fit your criterion. Check them out.
I currently have an EMS mountain light 20 that works pretty well. It weighs in at two pounds even and costs 200 but EMS has 50 dollars off when you spend 200 bucks. My only qualm is that it seems to be more of a 25-30 bag than a 20.
I bought a WM Alpinlite. It's basically a wider-cut version of the Ultralite with a full-length zipper. 20° and 1 pound, 15 ounces. I love it.