There are numerous different options worth considering for ultralight sleeping bags or lightweight sleeping bags. When attempting to reduce weight, some makers of sleeping bags make the the bag smaller, and use less insulation. Often times this results in a sleeping bag that is uncomfortable to sleep in because it is overly restrictive – not allowing for free movement in the bag. Because these sleeping bags are tight fitting, they don’t allow you to wear additional insulating clothing to bed if nighttime temperatures drop below the comfortable temperature rating of the bag.
Some lightweight backpackers prefer quilts, while others prefer top bags. Top Bags are sleeping bags that only have insulation on the top of the bag. The bottom of the bag is either open, or only has fabric with no insulation under it. The theory is that when you lay on insulation, you compress it, and it loses its ability insulate. We have tried numerous different sleeping systems, and for the beginner we suggest they don’t go with a quilt or a top bag. However, that is a generalization, and once could easily argue that quilts and top bags are great for beginners given the right trip and conditions.
We suggest that a better option is to use a sleeping bag that is designed to accommodate the wearing of additional insulating clothing to sleep at night. This allows your insulated clothing to become an important part of your sleep system. It allows you to carry a sleeping bag that may not be comfortable at the minimum temperature you experience on the trail, but because it accommodates the use of additional insulated clothing the comfortable range of the sleeping bag can be extended into lower temperatures.
Montbell Ultralight Super Stretch Down Hugger
Our Favorite sleeping bags are the Montbell Ultralight Super Stretch down sleeping bags because they utilize elastic bands that allow the sleeping bag to stretch. This makes the sleeping bag very “roomy” and comfortable, but the elastic allows it to “shrink” up next to your body which reduces the dead air space your body needs to warm, and helps keep the warm air from escaping out of the sleeping bag.
Super Stretch System
Montbell Super Stretch SystemMontBell’s patented Super Stretch System uses horizontal elastic stitching to draw the insulation closer fit to your body and keep heat in the bag – where it belongs. This stops drafts, eliminates cold spots and improves the bag’s thermal efficiency by reducing the volume of air your body needs to heat.
With the Super Stretch System, you’ll experience a freedom of movement like never before. The durable, elastic stitching gently stretches with you as you move. The result is a bag that keeps you toasty warm while accommodating changes in position. We have worked to create the ideal balance close fit and exceptional expandability – now you can kick back, read a book, do your yoga or simply get a good night’s sleep.
800 Fill Power Goose Down
Montbell 800 Fill Power
MontBell uses only the highest quality 800 Fill Power* Goose Down in our sleeping bag. After years of searching for the best down in the world, we found the Gray Goose. Unlike duck down, goose down has a comparatively large surface area and an exceptional down-to-feather ratio. This means that less down is needed to trap air, resulting in lighter, warmer bags.
MontBell chooses all gray goose down for its superior down-to-feather ratio. Then we gently rinse the feathers to rid them of allergy-causing dirt and dust. As a result, all MontBell down products are hypoallergenic, and since feathers are taken from the goose at the end of winter, that are laden with oils that improve water repellency. *Fill Power is a universally accepted standard that shows how many cubic inches one ounce of down will loft to.
15-denier Ballistic Airlight™ Nylon
Montbell Ballistic Airlight™ 15-denier Ballistic Airlight™ hollow fiber calendared nylon: All MontBell sleeping bags feature 15-denier Ballistic Airlight™ in both the shell and the lining. This new nylon replaces the 15-denier solid fiber nylon used previously. The calendaring process makes this fabric far more down proof than the previous nylon; imagine removing the ends from a tin soup can and then stepping on it, the can flattens and widens. When the nylon is woven and calendared, the result is fibers that are shingled on top of each other, and a fabric that is far more resistant to down leakage. This fabric weighs only 1.1oz per square meter. Despite its light weight, Ballistic Airlight™ is stronger than many fabrics that are twice as heavy.
- Multi-Box Construction
- In a standard bag, large pockets of down tend to flatten out and lose their loft and warmth. To combat this problem, MontBell uses Multi-Box Construction to partition each down fill compartment into six vertical sections and six horizontal sections. Each of the resulting cells is separated from the next by an elasticized polyester mesh that is very lightweight and breathable. Because each cell is small, the down maintains its loft. And, with greater loft and a closer fit, less fill is needed to keep you warm.
- Neck Baffle
- A shoulder collar prevents air circulation through top of the bag. EXP., #0, #1, #2 features this system.
- Neck Adjuster
- A drawstring adjusts fit around neck.
- Tunnel Hood
- A small face hole to improve warmth around your head and face. EXP., #0, #1 features this system.
- Draft Tube
- A draft tube prevents air from circulating through the zipper. #EXP., #0, #2 feature a double draft tube for increased zipper draft protection. #3, #4 feature a single draft tube.
- Foot Adjuster
- All MontBell bags feature a unique foot adjustment system. A drawstring has been added to the last baffle, allowing the user increased adjustability. For shorter users, the last baffle can be simply closed off completely, reducing the amount of empty space to heat.