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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 Lightweight Sleeping Bags for Backpacking 2022

The Best Ultra Lightweight Sleeping Bags for Backpacking in 2022 are:


Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag

Rab Mythic Ultra 360 Review

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
Pros:

> Ultra Lightweight
> EN rated
> High quality
Cons:
> 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 Lightweight Sleeping Bag

Sea To Summit Spark 18F Review

Weight: 23.5 oz / 665 grams
Down Fill Power: Hyperdry 850+ down
Fill Weight: 15.2 oz / 430 grams
EN / ISO Rated: Yes

Packsize: 4.6L
Pros:

> Price
> Small pack size
> EN rated
> Large amount of down fill
Cons:
> Not much

The Sea to Summit Spark 3 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 III or 18F as it is also referred, 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.

Read the complete detailed Sea to Summit Spark Review


Best Ultralight Hoodless Sleeping Bag

ZPacks 20F Classic Sleeping Bag

Weight: 18.8 oz / 533 grams
Down Fill Power: Drytech 900+ down
Fill Weight: 13.7 oz / 387 grams
Packsize: 5.6L
EN Rated: No

Pros:

> Ultralight
> Good warmth to weight ratio
> Good choice of sizes and colors
Cons:
> No Hood
> Needs a down hood or similar in colder weather

Zpacks is well known for only producing ultralight gear and the Zpacks 20F Hoodless Sleeping Bag keeps with the ultralight ethos of the company. The bag features ultralight 7D fabric on both the inner and outer shell. It is also coated with a DWR inside and out in case you find yourself in damp conditions. It also has a zip that is 3/4 length so it can be opened and used as a quilt in the warmer summer months.

The Zpacks 20F Hoodless Sleeping Bag is filled with water resistant Downtek 900+ Goose Down which is treated to be resistant to water. As a result the bag has a great warmth to weight ratio.

The bag comes with many size options and a good choice of colors which few other companies can match. If you are slightly larger or smaller than your average hiker then you will appreciate the size choices. I like the color options too.

The bag comes without a hood so you will need a down hood or fleece balaclava or similar to keep your head warm when it gets cold. And the hoodless sleeping bag is not ISO rated. The temperature rating has been self assessed.

Overall, the Zpacks sleeping bag is the best hoodless sleeping bag for ultralight thru hikers and backpackers who want the best and lightest bag on the market in 2022.


Best Quality Down Sleeping Bag

Feathered Friends Hummingbird UL 20 Review

Weight: 24oz / 680grams
Down Fill Power: 950+ down
Fill Weight: 14oz / 397g
EN Rated: No
Packsize: 9L
Pros:

> Ultra Lightweight
> 950+ down
> High quality
Cons:
> Expensive
> 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

If you want more room inside the bag, look at the wider Swallow or Swift down bags. They have the same high quality materials with slightly larger internal dimension and weight.

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 Sleeping Bag for Australia and New Zealand

Macpac Dragonfly 400

Macpac Dragonfly 400 Review

Weight: 25.8 oz / 731 grams
Down fill power: 800+
Down Fill: 14.1 oz / 400 grams
EN / ISO Rated: Yes
Packsize: Unknown

> Lightweight
> 800+ HyperDry Down
> Good stuff sack and compressibility
Cons:
> Expensive
> Only available in Australia and New Zealand

The Macpac Dragonfly 400 is a brand new, fully updated sleeping bag from Macpac. The sleeping bag has 14.1 oz / 400 grams of 800 loft hyperdry down stuffed inside a 15D pertex outer fabric with a DWR finish. It also uses a 1/3 length zip to help reduce the weight of this lightweight sleeping bag built for the moist conditions of New Zealand.

I tested this bag and found it had generous internal dimensions that worked well when side sleeping, sleeping on my back or sleeping on my stomach. It also had a good hood which combined to keep me warm inside the bag. I also tested the outer fabric for water resistance and it was able to keep water from entering the bag. Any water that may have got into the bag made little difference to the HyperDry down which kept its loft.

The sleeping bag comes with a very good compression sack which is able to compress the sleeping bag into a very small size. When not using the bag there is also a larger lofting bag to keep the down well lofted when not on the trails.

Overall, if you are living in Australia or New Zealand and looking for a lightweight sleeping bag for bushwalking or tramping then this is one of the best.

Read the complete detailed Macpac Dragonfly Review


Best Budget Sleeping Bag

REI Magma 15F

REI Magma 15F Review

Weight: 28 oz / 795 grams
Down fill power: 850+
Down Fill: 15.9 oz / 450 grams
EN / ISO Rated: Yes
Packsize: 5.2L
>
Lightweight
> 850+ HyperDry Down
> Good price
Cons:
> A little heavier than other ultralight bags
> Only available at REI

The REI Magma 15F is a good lightweight sleeping bag for backpacking at a reasonable price.

The REI Magma 15F uses a good quality 15D pertex shell with high quality 850+ loft goose down that has been treated to resist water. Add to that the small pack size and good warmth to weight ratio and this makes a good choice of sleeping bag for someone wanting good quality but not top dollar.

This is the heaviest sleeping bag in this sleeping bag review. This helps justify the slightly lower price in comparison to higher priced bags. It will be well suited to someone on 3 season backpacking trips wanting a good quality sleeping bag.

Overall, the REI Magma is a good budget sleeping bag that still is lightweight, has a small pack size and good warmth to weight ratio.


More Lightweight Sleeping Bags

Western Mountaineering Ultralite 20F Review

Weight: 29 oz / 820 grams
Down Fill Power: 850+ down
Fill Weight: 16oz / 450g
EN Rated: No
Packsize: 9L
Pros:

> Lightweight
> High Quality
Cons:
> Expensive

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.


Marmot Phase 20 Review

Weight – 23 oz / 660 grams
Down Fill Power – 850+ down
Fill Weight – Unknown
EN Rated – Yes
Packsize – 6.5L
Pros:

> Ultra Lightweight
> Small pack size
> EN tested
> Great price at the moment, but not for long
Cons:
> 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!


Sea to Summit Spark Sleeping Bag

Buyers Guide

Here is all the information you will need to make an informed decision about Quality down Sleeping Bags.

Other Sleeping Bags to be tested soon

  • Thermarest Hyperion 20F – One of the lightest sleeping bags in the world right now with some of the best warmth to weight ratio available. I’m currently testing this bag now and a full review is coming soon.

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 TrailContinental Divide TrailAppalachian TrailTe 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.

Macpac Dragonfly review and testing on a hiking trip
Testing the Macpac Dragonfly while side sleeping

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

A word of warning about temperature ratings. Not all bags are rated the same. Some are self assessed and some use EN / ISO independent standards. Keep in mind that the bags in this review that are rated at 20F will not necessarily give a good nights sleep at that temperature. They usually keep you warm and give you a good nights sleep at temperatures around or just below freezing.

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 used to recognise EN 13573 ratings standard as the gold standard 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.

In the last couple of years the sleeping bag standards have been replaced by the improved ISO 23537 standard.

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.

For many years I have used a Thermarest fleece stuff sac. Since then I’ve taken a look at the Best Backpacking Pillows and prefer to use a Sea to Summit dry bag for my sleeping bag stuff sack.

Recent years have seen many ultralight hikers make the switch to Dyneema stuff sacks such as those from Hyperlite Mountain Gear and Zpacks. 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.

Sea to Summit Spark compression Sack

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.

The first step is to purchase a detergent that is specific for washing down, such as Nikwax or Grangers. Be sure to take a my full information guide on how to wash down sleeping bags.


Conclusion

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 Ultralight Backpacking 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, from the Sea to Summit Spark as the best sleeping bag in 2022.

For those living in the Europe RAB might be the cheapest and most available.

For those in Australia and New Zealand you should buy through Snowys.com or Macpac. With either the Macpac Dragonfly or Sea to Summit Spark being the best options.

The ultralight sleeping bags should always be used in conjunction with a high quality, lightweight sleeping mat and backpacking pillow.

Another one of the Best Hiking Gear Reviews from BikeHikeSafari.


Frequently Asked Questions

How Should I Store My Sleeping Bag?

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.

Can My Partner And I Share A Sleeping Bag?

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.

What’s The Ideal Weight For A Sleeping Bag?

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.

Should I Buy A Mummy Or Rectangular-Shaped Sleeping Bag?

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.

What’s The Best Degree For A 3 Season Sleeping Bag?

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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