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Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 20°
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If you want to survive in the wild, you’re going to need a high-quality sleeping bag. Survival is all about persevering despite the elements, so when it comes to buying your sleeping bag, you want one that isn’t going to let you down. You want a sleeping bag that is going to keep you warm in the cold, dry in the rain, and comfortable on rugged terrain. And while there are nearly endless options to choose from – mummy sleeping bags, traditional zip-up style bags, backpacking quilts, and oodles of accessories, your primary focus should be on what’s right for you.
What is an Ultralight Sleeping Bag?
Simply put, an ultralight sleeping bag is any sleeping bag that is both light in terms of weight and highly compressible (so it doesn’t take up a lot of space). In recent years, there’s been a increasing preference for lightweight, efficient outdoors gear that doesn’t bog you down as much, and ultralight sleeping bags are a part of that. Essentially, an ultralight sleeping bag is any sleeping bag that isn’t a burden to carry with you on an extended trek or excursion into the wilderness. Obviously, the best ultralight sleeping bags will also keep you warm and comfortable despite being lightweight and easy to carry with you.
How to choose the right sleeping bag
There’s no need to go for the warmest bag if you’re going to be staying in balmy Florida. That said, versatility does count for a lot, and most of the ultralight sleeping bags on our list are the most versatile and high-functioning models on the market.
Obviously, you’ll want to plan for the kinds of temperatures and conditions you’ll be facing, and first and foremost choose a bag that fits your plans. The whole point of a sleeping bag is to keep you warm, so if you pick a sleeping bag that doesn’t work for the temperatures you’re likely to encounter, then that’s no good. Many sleepings bags come with temperature ratings that they are suitable for (e.g 15 degrees, 0 degrees) – if unstated, you can assume that these temperatures are measured in Farenheit.
Beyond that, the various styles of sleeping bag are largely up to personal preference – zip ups are easier to get into but zippers can be finnicky. Mummy style sleeping bags are great at keeping you warm and cozy but might be too constricting/claustrophobic for some.
The other thing you’ll want to think about is pricing. Like a lot of outdoor gear, there’s a huge range in both quality and price – bags range anywhere from twenty bucks to around five hundred. Obviously pick something that works with your budget, but when it comes to a sleeping bag, we’d urge you not to skimp. Staying warm in the outdoors is extremely important (particularly in a dangerous or survival situation) – and a sleeping bag one of your first lines of defense against the cold in the wilderness.
Survive the Wild with the 10 Best Ultralight Sleeping Bags in 2020
- 99-fill Nikwax hydrophobic material
- SynergyLink connectors for integrating with a mattress
- Storage sack
- Included with a compression stuff sack
The Hyperion not only has a cool name, but it provides a massive amount of warmth in any condition. The ratio between warmth and weight is exceptional. This bag weighs a mere 1lb. 4oz. and comes temperature rated to 20 degrees. Now, unless you’re going to the north pole, the Hyperion is going to hold up. Not only that, but this bag can be compressed to easily fit in the side pocket of your trekking or survivalist bag. The only drawback is Hyperion’s $409 price tag. That can be a little intimidating for people. Also, the bag only half zips, meaning you need to worm your way out of it in the morning or to take a midnight bathroom break.
Check price of the Therm-a-Rest Hyperion 20° Mummy Sleeping Bag
- Extremely lightweight
- Keeps you constantly warm
- Comes included with pad connectors and a compression sack
- Materials are exceptionally high quality
- Well-constructed overall
- Zipper has been known to snag
- Doesn’t zip all the way
- Can feel narrow and claustrophobic
- No zippers, special self-seal technology
- Designed specially for cold conditions
- 20 denier polyester taffeta material
- 700FP DriDown insulation
- Drawstring closure
- Insulted pockets for the hands and arms
The Backcountry Bed from Sierra Design comes specially built with absolutely no zippers. While this may feel counterintuitive – how could you possible stay warm? – it actually works extremely well. Think of it like an ultra comfortable coffin that you slide into and go to sleep. The foot vents self-seal and give excellent ventilation to deter any overnight sweating or moisture, while the pockets on the side are great at keeping your extremities warm in the night. The stretch cord will close the sleeping bag to keep out any winds, while the entire bag has been contoured for extra comfort. It even comes complete with a sleeping pad sleeve, making long nights under the stars feel happy and cozy.
The best thing about this bag is that you feel at home. The Backcountry Bed rouses a peaceful and safe feeling when you lie down at night. When dealing with survival situations and the outdoors, a feeling of peace is crucial to mental health. The Backcountry Bed is only going to set you back $249. That’s not bad for an ultralight 2lbs. 1oz. sleeping bag.
Check price of the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 20°
- One of the most comfortable sleeping bags on the market
- Great for chilly weather and hiking
- Ultralightweight, fantastic for long treks
- Affordable price
- Powerful ventilation
- Easy to compress and store
- Not ideal for warmer weather
- Lifetime warranty
- Special Clusterloft base more durable under compression and moisture resistance
- Comes in three sizes
- Highly compressible, helps save space
- Designed for long lasting durability
The Hyke and Byke 0 Degree 4 Season Sleeping Bag is one of our favorite ultralight sleeping bags on the market and our pick for the best value ultralight sleeping bag. It’s versatile, warm, comfortable, and suitable for use in all 4 seasons. It’s also very reasonably priced, and probably the best value you’re likely to find in terms of a price quality tradeoff.
This sleeping bag is mummy style, comes with a lifetime warranty, and is 3rd party tested. It’s water repellent, comes in three sizes (short, regular, and long), and most importantly is quite lightweight at only 3.38lbs. Granted, it’s heavier than some of the options on this list, but it’s also significantly more affordable than much of the competition.
Check price of the Hyke and Byke Snowmass 0 Degree 4 Season Mummy Sleeping Bag
- Amazing value
- Great for all four seasons
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Responsibly sourced down
- Water Repellent
- Heavier than many of the other options on this list
- Some customers had issues with the zipper
- Moisture defense technology for quick drying
- 550 fill Dri-Down material
- Dual locking zipper
- Thermal hood for ultimate warmth
- Natural fit foot box
- Fits everyone up to 6.5 inches in height
- Stash pocket for easy access
The Kelty Cosmic Down is the best budget sleeping bag currently on the market, according to us. This baby is going to set you back a mere $180, making it cheaper than the other bags on our list by quite a lot. Still, the smaller price tag doesn’t mean it’s lacking in quality. As a sleeping bag, the Kelty Cosmic Down does the job, especially for beginners who might not need all the normal bells and whistles that the pickier experienced backpackers, survivalists, and hikers require from their sleeping bags.
The Cosmic is extremely lightweight, coming in at only 2lbs. 13oz. (though it’s still a bit heavier than any other bag we’ve listed). It’s going to keep you warm on windy nights with enough padding that you should feel comfortable when camped on soft ground or on a blanket, air mattress, or camping quilt. The Cosmic is great for expeditions where it may not be too cold, or when you need to purchase a lot of sleeping bags for a group. It’s an affordable option to keep in the back of the jeep with a spare tent, “just in case.”
Check price of the Kelty Cosmic Down 20° Mummy Sleeping Bag
- Extremely versatile, great for most seasons
- If you enter the sleeping bag wet, the special material will dry quickly
- Uni-sex, great for men and women
- Comfort rating stands at 30°F
- 2lbs. 13oz.
- Very affordable for any budget
- Heavier than other sleeping bags
- Materials are not super high quality
- Temperature rated to 20°F
- Lightweight 12 denier shell fabric
- Filled with goose down
- #5 YKK zipper, insulated draft tube, full down collar
- Continuous baffles for adjustable insulation
The Alpinlite from Western Mountaineering is definitely the most expensive bag on our list of best sleeping bags for survival. This is a powerhouse in the sleeping bag world. It’s incredibly light, weighing in at approx. 1lb. 15oz. This makes it light enough to strap onto your backpack for those long treks into the wild. It is also crafted from premium materials to give you a warm and cozy night of rest on the highest mountain or rockiest beach. Just keep in mind that this unit is expensive. It’s going to set you back a full 570 hard-earned dollars.
Every aspect of the Alpinlite has been designed to utter perfection. The zipper won’t snag, the footbox is well-shaped, the hood is cozy and just the right size for your head, the draft tube is full length, and the material of the fabric is going to keep you comfortable and warm. And while this baby comes with a hefty price, it is also going to work fantastically for decades. This is a bag you buy and don’t need to replace, great for the constant outdoorsperson or serious survivalist.
Check price of the Western Mountaineering Alpinlite 20° Mummy Sleeping Bag
- Seriously lightweight
- Incredibly warm on the coldest night
- Zippers are high quality and won’t snag
- The down collar is 360 degrees
- Weighs only 1 lb. 15oz.
- Premium materials
- 72 inches of shoulder room w/ 52” footbox
- Comes featured with the Flex Pad Sleeve, which works like a bed sheet
- Two-way zippers, full length and anti-snag
- System for keeping your pillow tucked in place
- 650-fill DownTek material
Big Agnes is a really well-known manufacturer of high-quality survivalist materials, tents and bags and accessories, and the Anvil Horn 15° is no exception. This sleeping bag is the real deal. It has an incredible temperature rating of 15 degrees, which is 5 degrees higher than most common sleeping bags. Plus, it comes with a modest price tag of only $270. The bag does weigh a bit more than your average lightweight sleeper at 2lbs. 5oz., but it makes up for the bulk with its ample room and coziness. The Anvil Horn even has an integrated sleeping pad sleeve, though not everyone will enjoy their thoughtfulness. While the sleeping pad will keep you in place while you rest, some people may find it annoying.
All in all, the Anvil Horn 15° is a great medium-range bag. The price is medium, the comfort level is medium, and the quality is medium. That being said, this sleeping bag is miles above the best budget option. It is a solid piece of survival equipment.
Check price of the Big Agnes Anvil Horn 15° Mummy Sleeping Bag
- Roomy and comfortable
- Can accommodate different pad widths
- Zippers open and close fully
- Very warm
- Jacket style hood keeps your face warm and shielded from possible wind
- Water resistant, lightweight, durable
- Above average temperature rating
- Some people find the pad sleeve annoying
- Emergency sleeping bag that can save your life
- Included with storage pouch
- High-visibility orange
This type of “emergency” sleeping bag is an absolute must on camping trips, hunting trips, and even to keep handy underneath the seat in your vehicle. While it’s not a traditional sleeping bag, this piece of equipment could save your life. Most experienced hikers won’t go on an expedition without it. Thin enough to use underneath your normal sleeping bag, and strong enough to keep you warm on a frigid night without one, the emergency sleeping bag is every survivalist’s lifesaver. It allows you to retain a massive 95% of your body heat. The best part? It weighs only 5.8 ounces. You can easily store this in your bug-out bag or in the side pocket of your hiking bag.
Costing you less than $20, we highly recommend adding this emergency sleeping bag to your list of essentials. It’s a high-vis orange, has an easy-to-store pouch with a drawstring, and is crafted from a strong material resistant to tears. Did we mention it only weighs 5.8 ounces?
Check price of the SE Survivor Series Emergency Sleeping Bag
- Can use alongside your normal sleeping bag in extra cold conditions
- Weighs practically nothing
- Very very affordable
- Retains 95% body heat
- An emergency only item
- Doesn’t replace the need for a sleeping bag for planned trips
- Thermo gills for venting heat
- Extra space inside the bag
- A better night of sleep thanks to maximum comfort
- Unique spoon shape
- Nylon ripstop
- Extra padding around the face
The Nemo Disc 15 is a mummy style sleeping bag with a unique shape that lets you wiggle a bit more in the night. You may even fit two people inside this super spacious sleeping bag. It’s ideal for those who sleep on their side, roll around a lot, or just like to have that extra bit of space when out in the bush. The only possible issue with this is that more space means more room that your body needs to heat. However, the flip side is that Nemo has designed this sleeping bag with special thermo gills that will vent the heat when you’re out on balmier nights. It’s a pretty solid trade of you’re a year-round camper or a survivalist preparing for all eventualities.
One of the downsides to the Disco is that it weighs 2lbs. 11oz., which is significantly more than the other ultralightweight bags. If you don’t mind the extra pound in exchange for the extra room, this is the bag for you. It has a reasonable price tag too, sitting at only $299.
Check price of the Nemo Disco 15° Mummy Sleeping Bag
- Super comfortable, there’s no beating it for comfort
- Reasonably priced
- Great for lighter weather
- The footbox is waterproof and breathable to reduce the discomfort of sweaty or wet feet
- Able to move around more during rest, could even fit another person in the bag with you
- Harder to warm the entire blanket
- A little heavier than other ultralight mummy bags
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