Drool-Worthy Ultralight Sleeping Bags

For ounce-counting fanatics, a range of ultralight sleeping bags are available that tip the scales at barely more than a pound. Here are four of the best.

Before we get there, though, it's worth reviewing a few key points.

First, sleeping bags in this weight range are designed only for mild to moderate overnight temperatures (down to around 40 degrees), though you can push their limits by dressing warmly inside the bag at night.

And second, in order to get maximum warmth per ounce, these sleeping bags all feature high-end, high fill-power down, which is pricey stuff that has gotten even more expensive over the past few years (hence the very high price points for all of these).

That being said, each of these bags should last you many years, if not decades, if properly cared for.

MontBell Down Hugger 900 #5
The unique design of this ultralight option features MontBell's "super spiral stretch system"—the fabric's thread pattern is oriented at 45 degrees to most major seams, plus elasticized threads are added in the stitching. This gives the bag more stretch when you shift around inside it, and also hugs it closer to your body when you're still. Stuffed with 900 fill-power down, it also weighs in at an ultralight 16 to 18 ounces, depending on length ($419 to $439).   

Marmot Plasma 40
This bag's vertical baffle system helps prevent the down from settling to the sides of the bag, a plus when you're dealing with limited and precious amounts of 875 fill-power down. It's a full-featured bag that includes a much better hood than most ultralight bags, a full-length zipper with insulated draft tube, and a much roomier footbox than other styles. 20 to 21 ounces, depending on length ($479 to $499). Marmot also offers drool-worthy (and even pricier) Plasma versions rated to 30 degrees and 15 degrees

Feathered Friends Flicker 40 UL Quilt Bag
This new design from Feathered Friends is a hybrid between a down quilt and sleeping bag. With the full-length zipper open, it functions as a roomy one-person down quilt. Zipped closed, with the footbox sealed by a draw cord, it works as a warmer, cozier sleeping bag (though without a hood). A neat option at a reasonable price point in the ultralight genre. 20 to 21 ounces, depending on length ($329 to $344).

Western Mountaineering HighLite
This 850-plus fill-power down bag is a classic that hovers right at the 1-pound barrier. A half-length zipper and relatively narrow cut keep the weight to a minimum (59 inch to 60 inch shoulder girth, depending on length). Available in short (to 5 feet 6 inches, 15 ounces, $330), regular (6 feet 0 inches, 16 ounces, $340), and long (6 feet 6 inches, 17 ounces, $350). Made in the USA.

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Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid. 

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