Looking for the best ultralight sleeping bag but having a hard time knowing what is best for your situation? There are so may options out there, each with different temperature ratings, and often times each sleeping bag has multiple temperature ratings. To make matters worse, some companies give you their “comfort” ratings while others only give you their “lower limit” ratings. This can make finding the best ultralight sleeping bag for your specific needs a challenge.
If you aren’t familiar with what the difference is between the Extreme Lower Limit, Lower Limit, and Comfort ratings is, take a look at our Basics of Selecting a Sleeping Bag article where we discuss the “EN Ratings” and how they are determined. Don’t get caught out there with a bag that you thought was rated for a much lower temperature than it really is.
The Best Ultralight Sleeping Bags We Tested
For this review we set out to find the best ultralight sleeping bags on the market and were able to test the following top-notch, ultralight sleeping bags. While there are a TON of other awesome ultralight sleeping bags on the market today, these are the ones we field tested:
- Outdoor Vitals Summit
- Exped Comfort
- Big Agnes Mystic UL 15
- Feathered Friends Raven UL10 / Lark YF10
- Sea to Summit Spark III
All of these ultralight sleeping bags are excellent quality, but there is no better way to test their performance than out in the field. This meant sleeping many nights outside when I knew the temperatures were going to be pushing the lower limits of these bags, but it was a great way to find their actual performance.
I tested every one of these ultralight sleeping bags personally while wearing the same exact set of base layers (First Lite Wick ultralight long sleeve shirt and some mid-weight merino bottoms) as well as using the same pad (the Exped Downmat Winter UL with an R-Value of 7.1). I wanted to make sure everything was as equal across the board as possible to bring the most reliable results possible.
Outdoor Vitals Summit Sleeping Bag
Not everyone can afford to drop a lot of money for one of the best ultralight sleeping bags out there, and this is where the Outdoor Vitals Summit shines. The Summit is a high quality, well made sleeping bag that offers you features such as high quality 800+ Stormloft goose down, 10D DWR treated ripstop polyester shell and liner, center zip YKK zipper, and unique shoulder baffles. You get a generous amount of down fill in these bags, and they are silky soft to the touch.
While you get a TON of high quality features in the Outdoor Vitals Summit, you don’t pay the typical steep price tag. This bag is similar in quality to some of the others we tested, but around half the price and is still extremely lightweight and compact. It’s tough to go wrong here, and that is why the Outdoor Vitals Summit takes home our “Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag on a Budget” award.
Check out Our Video Review of the Summit!
We go into a lot more detail on this sleeping bag in our FULL REVIEW OF THE OUTDOOR VITALS SUMMIT SLEEPING BAG REVIEW.
Exped Comfort Sleeping Bag
The Exped Comfort sleeping bag is one we tested and it fits the need if you are looking for a lightweight sleeping bag that also gives you extra room to move around. The Exped Comfort sleeping bag is one of the best ultralight sleeping bags (relatively speaking for its size) that we’ve tested. It’s certainly not the lightest, coming in at 45.5 oz, but it is very lightweight for what you get.
The Exped Comfort is a generously cut, mummy-shaped sleeping bag that gives you a ton of room to toss and turn. It also gives you a ton of flexibility with its multiple use options (blanket mode, mummy bag mode, arm zips and more) that make this one of the best ultralight sleeping bags when you need more room, more flexibility, and super high quality.
Check out our FULL REVIEW ON THE EXPED COMFORT SLEEPING BAG here for all the details on this bag and how it performed in our testing. Spoiler alert: It performed at its temperature rating as you’d expect from Exped. They make some great sleeping bags!
Check Out Our Video Review of the Exped Comfort!
For the reasons above, we are calling the Exped Comfort Sleeping Bag the best sleeping bag for those that like extra room to move around, and the best ultralight sleeping bag for larger folks who need the extra room.
Sea to Summit Spark III – Best Ultralight Sleeping bag
If you are looking for one of the all-around best ultralight sleeping bags that will hold true to its temperature rating, pack down to almost nothing, and keep the weight down to almost nothing as well, the Sea to Summit Spark III Sleeping Bag is definitely one to look at. I had the chance to test this Sea to Summit Spark over the course of a hunting season and fell in love with it.
Coming in at an amazing 23.5 oz for the 18 degree model (Spark III), this sleeping bag is awesome. Sea to Summit uses top-notch materials and has really thought out the design of this sleeping bag to bring you maximum warmth, while keeping the weight to an absolute minimum.
At the end of the day (or more accurately, our months of testing), the Sea to Summit Spark III sleeping bag kept me warm well below its 29 degree “comfort.” In fact, I stayed warm down into the mid-to-low 20s before I found myself wanting to add layers. Super impressive, especially given its incredibly light weight. For the reasons above, we think the Sea to Summit Spark is the Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag of the bunch when every ounce matters.
Check out more details by READING OUR FULL REVIEW ON THE SPARK SLEEPING BAG
Feathered Friends Raven/Lark – Backwoods Best Sleeping Bag
If you are looking for a flat out amazing performing sleeping bag that is absolutely top notch quality, will keep you toasty warm well below its temperature rating, and is still incredibly lightweight at 34 oz, the Feathered Friends Raven UL10 has it all. In fact, it was so impressive it took home our “Backwoods Best Sleeping Bag” award. There is no compromise in quality and design on this thing. You just won’t want to get out of bed in the morning.
You get an incredible 950+ goose down bag that is absolutely stuffed with down. You also get top notch Pertex Endurance shell fabric and Flight 15D liner fabric for a silky soft feel, a massive draft collar, a no-snag zipper, a drawstring for both the draft collar and hood, and even a button for the draft collar to ensure drafts don’t get in. Check out the rest of the details in our FULL REVIEW ON THE RAVEN UL10
Check out Our Video Review of the FF Raven & Lark!
Big Agnes Mystic UL 15
Big Agnes Pad Attachment System
The Big Agnes Mystic UL 15 is another one of the best ultralight sleeping bags if you are looking for the kind of sleeping bag that allows you to attach your bag to the pad to prevent you from sliding or rolling off your pad. The Big Agnes Mystic UL 15 is just over 2 lbs, offers a nice generous cut that isn’t too big, gives you a silky soft material and a 850+ fill DownTech RDS certified down. You also get a #5 YKK no-snag locking zipper, which makes this bag super comfortable.
Big Agnes Mystic UL 15: Back-less Design
Another interesting feature of the Mystic UL 15 is that you don’t have any down on the underside of the bag where you lay. It’s one of the ways that Big Agnes cuts weight on the Mystic UL 15. With this in mind, you’ll want to make sure you have a good high R-Value pad with this bag. Check out our article on ultralight sleeping pads where we discuss the R-Value ratings.
Big Agnes Mystic UL 15 Field Performance
The one downside I found to the Big Agnes Mystic UL 15 is that it didn’t come close to performing at its 15 degree temperature rating. For me, I started getting a bit chilled when temps dropped under 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Given the design, a high R-Value pad is critical with this bag. I got a bit more performance out of the Mystic UL 15 with the warmer Exped Downmat UL pad. I believe this bag’s “lower limit” rating is 15 degrees (even though that isn’t what it says), so don’t expect to stay warm down to that temperature.
Big Agnes doesn’t put this bag’s “comfort” rating on their website, but for me the mid 20s would be as cold as I’d want to take out the Mystic UL 15 with a good, high R-Value pad.
Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag Review: My Rankings
Best Overall Sleeping Bag: Feathered Friends Raven UL10
Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag: Sea to Summit Spark III
Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag With Pad Attachment: Big Agnes Mystic UL 15
Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag Value: Outdoor Vitals Summit
Best oversized Lightweight Sleeping Bag: Exped Comfort
Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag Options: Conclusion
So how do you decide which sleeping bag will work best for you? Well that all depends on your budget, how roomy you like your bag, how ultralight you want it, or if comfort is the most important thing. No matter which of these bags you choose, you can’t go wrong!
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