Updated July 2017
This spring, our expert review set out to Nepal, Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming, putting these bags to the ultimate test. A new Editors' Choice emerged, with the Feathered Friends Flicker 40 taking the new coveted spot for the first time, followed by the Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20, which wins our Best Buy award for the fourth year in a row. New Top Picks include Patagonia's 850, alongside the Top Pick for Extreme Packability, the Sea to Summit Spark I.
Best Overall Ultralight Sleeping Bag
Feathered Friends Flicker 40 UL
at Feathered Friends
Can be used as both a quilt and mummy bag
Full-length zipper with baffle gives complete enclosure
Uses the highest fill power down available
Not as feather-light as the lightest bags available
The Feathered Friends Flicker 40 UL
was not only the highest scoring overall contender in our review but also the most versatile. No other bag incorporated a full-length zipper into a fully open quilt design like it did, giving one the most options for ventilating on warm nights or wrapping up entirely on cold ones. This bag used the highest quality materials, such as 950+ fill super lofting down and Pertex Endurance UL shell fabric that is naturally water resistant and breathable. We also loved how well the draw cords at the feet and neck functioned and were happy to carry the mild extra weight of the full-length zipper, which was a vast upgrade over button or buckle enclosures found on competing quilts. While we chose to review the 40F bag for the lightest possible weight, this same model also comes in 20F and 30F versions, allowing one to add some loft for the coldest climates. We can honestly say that we had a nearly impossible time finding anything to complain about with regards to this bag, and feel that it is easily the best compared to the competition.
Read full review:Feathered Friends Flicker 40 UL
Best Bang for the Buck
Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20
Warm for a quilt
Uses high-quality DownTek treated 850 fill power down
Constrictive when fully buckled up
Long, dangly draw cords
While not quite as high scoring as our Editors' Choice winning Feathered Friends Flicker 40 UL, the Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20
comes at a significantly lower price of $270. If the price is your central consideration, it is hard to find an ultralight sleeping bag that offers anywhere near as much versatility or warmth as this bag, without overly burdening the budget. Enlightened Equipment offers perhaps the most highly customizable sleeping bag you could ask for, which is awesome for people with who are extra tall or wide, want more or less insulation, or are very particular about what colors they want. For this review, we chose this non-customized "off the shelf" model, which ships immediately upon order instead of waiting for a custom bag to be constructed. As a highly versatile quilt that is also very warm, this bag easily ranked in the top half of the products we tested, at an entirely reasonable price.
Read full review:Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20
The Best Ultralight Mummy Bag
Patagonia 850 Down 30
A fully enclosed mummy bag with hood
Spacious and non-constricting
Very warm for the rating
Heavier than most
Half zip makes it challenging to ventilate
As the third highest rated ultralight sleeping bag we tested, the Patagonia 850 Down 30
deserves recognition as the best fully enclosed hooded mummy bag. While quilts may offer greater versatility or options for venting, when it comes to hunkering down outside on a cold night, nothing beats the tight wrap and over-the-head protection of a hooded mummy bag. As one of Patagonia's first generation of sleeping bags, we are pleasantly surprised that they managed to create such an awesome product on their first try — hats off! While it is on the heavier side compared to the competition, it was also among the warmest bags we slept in, despite only coming with a 30F rating. Its well designed and functional features, such as a two-way zipper, hidden cord-lock release buckles, and more spacious foot box, easily endeared it to the hearts of all who tried it. If you want light, warm, and love the snuggly cocoon of a mummy bag, this is a great option for you.
Read full review:Patagonia 850 Down Sleeping Bag 30
Top Pick for Extreme Packability
Sea to Summit Spark I
At 12.7 oz, by far the lightest bag in this review
Packs down to the size of a softball (!) in the included compression stuff sack
Only suitable for warm summer use
Minimal down loft
For certain activities like self-supported bike touring, bike packing, fast-packing, or adventure racing, weight and size are simply the most important characteristics of any, and every
, piece of gear. That's why we couldn't help but recognize the Sea to Summit Spark I
as the lightest and smallest down sleeping bag we have ever seen! At a measly 12.7 ounces, this thing weighs less than a jacket, and stuffs into an included compression sack the size of a softball! Of course, a sleeping bag so small and light comes with noticeable drawbacks, such as a comfort rating of 54F, ensuring it can only be used during the warmest summer nights (or by those willing to suffer a little bit for its attributes). Regardless, for late spring backpacking in the canyon country of the Utah desert, it was more than enough to keep us comfortable. If you want a summer bag at a reasonable price that packs so small it's almost a joke, check out this sleeping bag.
Read full review:Sea to Summit Spark I