The Best Lightweight Summer Sleeping Bags On The Market

Summer Night CampingWhen it comes to finding a summer sleeping bag for your next backpacking trip, many trekkers look for the lightest option available. Summer is the best time to experience ultralight or minimalist backpacking at its finest. Summer sleeping bags are usually rated at 40 degrees or higher, and because of this, they have less insulation, which means the bags are lighter, smaller, and more compact. It is not uncommon to find a summer bag that is close to a pound in total weight, which means you are well on your way to packing less than 10 pounds of gear (usually the cutoff for ultralight backpacking). If you are looking for a summer sleeping bag to add to your equipment arsenal, this is the place for you to be. Below, we will highlight our favorite lightweight summer sleeping bags out there on the market today.

Mountain Hardwear Phantom 45 – $170

[amazon_link id=”B00314H5EQ” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Mountain Hardwear Phantom 45 Degree Sleeping Bag - Jungle LH[/amazon_link]The Mountain Hardwear Phantom 45 is very high on our list of best summer sleeping bags. It is a lightweight 800-fill down sleeping bag that weighs only 1 pound 3 ounces. It is cut to snuggly fit your body to maximize warmth and minimize weight. Mountain Hardwear sleeping bags are known for their comfort, and the Phantom is no exception. The price is right, especially if you can find it on sale at Amazon (which at the time of this writing it currently is). Click the following link to purchase yours today!

[amazon_link id=”B00314H5EQ” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Mountain Hardwear Phantom 45[/amazon_link]

Marmot Atom 40 – $290

[amazon_link id=”B003C17HWS” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Marmot Atom Down Sleeping Bag, Regular Left, Red[/amazon_link]Marmot is another name in the industry that has a devout following. The Marmot Atom 40 is one of their ultralight sleeping bag offerings for summer month backpacking, and is a 2008 Backpacker Magazine Editors’ Choice award winner. Coming in at 1 pound 5 ounces, this bag is super light, compacts down to the size of a Nalgene bottle, and will keep you warm below 40 degrees with a simple base layer. The Atom features 850+ fill power goose down, which is the best weight to warmth down on the market today. Click this link to order your Marmot Atom 40 today!

[amazon_link id=”B003C17HWS” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Marmot Atom 40[/amazon_link]

Marmot Always Summer – $200

[amazon_link id=”B00AO5NBKW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Marmot Always Summer Down Sleeping Bag, Regular-Left, Red[/amazon_link]Appropriately named, the Marmot Always Summer is a perfect summer sleeping bag for backpackers of all types. While not as light as the Marmot Atom or some of the other bags on this list (coming in at 2 pounds 3 ounces), the Always Summer makes up with its attractive price point of under $200. It features a slightly heavier 650-fill down, so it won’t be as compactable as higher-fill down sleeping bags, but the bag is rated down to 40 degrees. This is an all-around great summer sleeping bag, and offers great value at its price point. Get yours today by clicking on the following link!

[amazon_link id=”B00AO5NBKW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Marmot Always Summer[/amazon_link]

MontBell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger – $320

[amazon_link id=”B007LL3RG0″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]MontBell U.L. Super Spiral Down Hugger 40 Degree Sleeping Bag Blue Ridge Regular / Left Zip[/amazon_link]This is a sleeping bag that I was personally excited to test myself. First of all, it comes in multiple temperature ranges, but the 40 degree bag is by far the lightest and most economical of them all. The Spiral Down Hugger features 800-fill power goose down that weighs an amazing 1 pound 2 ounces. That is truly ultralight. This sleeping bag also features a stretch woven fabric that allows the bag to conform to your body as you sleep. This stretch keeps the bag snug to your body but does not constrict your nightly movements. I loved this bag, for all of the reasons discussed above, and would recommend it to anyone seeking a truly ultralight summer sleeping bag for backpacking. To get your MontBell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger today, click the following link!

[amazon_link id=”B007LL3RG0″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]MontBell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #4[/amazon_link]

Big Agnes Pitchpine SL – $330

[amazon_link id=”B004MQSM58″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Big Agnes Pitchpine SL 45-Degree Sleeping Bags(800 Down fill), Reg Left Zipper[/amazon_link]Another summer sleeping bag that gets really close to the one pound threshold is the Pitchpine SL by Big Agnes. Rated to 45 degrees and insulated with 800-fill power goose down, the Pitchpine SL offers a 1 pound 2 ounce package that compacts to a very small overall size (5”x6”).  This is a comfortable bag that has a lot of comfort add-ons, like a pillow pocket, sleeping pad loops that allow flexibility in the legs, and a water repellant surface treatment to keep you dry and warm.  The Pitchpine SL is a true ultralight summer sleeping bag that offers a lot of bang for your buck. Click on the following link to get yours today!

[amazon_link id=”B004MQSM58″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Big Agnes Pitchpine SL[/amazon_link]

Lafuma Lightway 45 – $125

[amazon_link id=”B00B6QLSDU” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Lafuma Lightway 45-Degree Down Right Zip Sleeping Bag, Olympic Blue[/amazon_link]A more economical choice (around $125), the Lafuma Lightway 45 will still allow you to approach that ultralight backpacking concept. Weighing in at 1 pound 9 ounces, the Lightway features 600-fill power duck down which is more affordable than higher power goose down. This is a perfect summer sleeping bag option that has an attractive weight and price tag. To get your Lafuma Lightway 45 today, click the following link.

[amazon_link id=”B00B6QLSDU” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Lafuma Lightway 45[/amazon_link]

Kelty Cosmic Down 40 – $100

[amazon_link id=”B009PRN4QG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Cosmic Down 40-Degree Sleeping Bag, Yellow, 6-Feet[/amazon_link]The most affordable sleeping bag on our list, the Kelty Cosmic down 40 sleeping bag comes in right around $100. It features 550-fill power down, which adds a little to the overall weight of 1 pound 13 ounces. It also includes hang loops for storage, sleeping pad security loops, internal liner loops for those cooler summer nights, and a form fitting and snug shape. If you are looking for the best bang for your buck, the Kelty Cosmic down 40 sleeping bag is for you. Click the following link to order yours today!

[amazon_link id=”B009PRN4QG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Cosmic Down 40[/amazon_link]

Exped Ultralight 300 45 – $350

[amazon_link id=”B0087XXFEK” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Exped Ultralite 300[/amazon_link]The 1 pound 4 ounce Exped Ultralight 300 lives up to its name as one of the best summer lightweight sleeping bags on the market today.  Featuring a high loft 840-fill goose down insulation and a waterproof packsack and net storage bag, the Exped Ultralight 300 is a great choice for ultralight backpackers. To order your Ultralight today, click on the following link.

[amazon_link id=”B0087XXFEK” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Exped Ultralight 300 45[/amazon_link]

Backpacking Samurai Thoughts

You probably noticed that every single sleeping bag on this list is a down bag. It is just a fact that natural down has a better warmth to weight ratio than synthetic insulation does. Technologies change, and this might flip in the future, but right now, if you are looking for the lightest sleeping bags, especially for summer ultralight backpacking, down is the way to go.

The list of sleeping bags above has a wide range of prices. The cool thing is that the more affordable sleeping bags actually stack up quite well against the higher priced bags. My favorite summer bag is the MontBell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger with its 1 pound 2 ounce weight and excellent comfort, but a close second is the Mountain Hardwear Phantom 45 (one ounce heavier than the Super Spiral). Any one of these sleeping bags would provide excellent summer sleeping comfort, and exceptional warmth to weight. Hopefully, this guide will get you started on your search for a summer sleeping bag to fit your needs.

What do you think of the list of summer sleeping bags above? What is your favorite summer sleeping bag? What sleeping bag do you use for ultralight backpacking? Let us know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!

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Best Ultralight Backpacking Tent Options

Weight is the enemy of every ultralight backpacker. Ounces can quickly add up to pounds, and more and more pounds can equal an uncomfortable backpacking trip. It is easy enough to leave non-essential gear items at home, but if you are expecting wet weather conditions on you trek, you will need a tent to add needed protection from the elements.

Tents come in all shapes and sizes. Solo tents and bivys are perfect for ultralight backpackers. But they are tight for space and many backpackers like the flexibility and extra space offered by a two man tent. Below, we will go over the best tent/bivy/tarp options for ultralight backpacking, starting with the most minimalist and moving towards the two man tent options.

Minimalist Options (Tarps/Bivy Sacks)

Black Diamond Beta Light Ultralight Tent – $199

[amazon_link id=”B000RVX27K” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Black Diamond Beta Light Shelter Blue/Silver, One Size[/amazon_link]The Black Diamond Beta Light is designed to be used with your trekking poles to provide you with a lightweight outdoor shelter. If you don’t hike with trekking poles, this won’t work for you. This is a fantastic minimalist option that provides great protection from rain without adding more than 19 ounces to your pack. It is lighter than a bivy but has more space than one, since two people could sleep dry underneath one. For those of you who want rain protection without having to haul around a tent, this is the option for you. [amazon_link id=”B000RVX27K” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Click here[/amazon_link] to purchase yours today.

Outdoor Research Advanced Bivy – $300

[amazon_image id=”B000VVHYE8″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”large” ]Outdoor Research Advanced Bivy (Mojo Blue, One Size)[/amazon_image]

When it comes to bivy sacks, especially options that are 3 season capable, the Outdoor Research Advanced Bivy is our favorite model on the market. It features 3 layers of Gore-Tex Respiration Positive fabric, a durable hydroseal coated waterproof nylon floor, and completely fully taped seams to keep ground water out. Two shock corded poles allow for sturdy head space, but can be left behind for extra weight savings. What really sets this bivy apart from others is the internal volume. There is  a ton of room for a high-loft down sleeping bag and sleeping pad, and there are integral loops for attaching the pad to the bottom of the bivy. This bivy sack comes in at 37 ounces, so it is a nice ultralight option for solo backpacking. [amazon_link id=”B000VVHYE8″ target=”_blank” ]Click here[/amazon_link] to order your Outdoor Research Advanced bivy today.

One Man Tents

Eureka! Solitaire – $69

[amazon_image id=”B000EQCVNY” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”large” ]Eureka! Solitaire – Tent (sleeps 1)[/amazon_image]

The Eureka! Solitaire solo tent has taken the good points of a bivy sack and expanded it out to a tent. Instead of feeling couped up in a constrictive bivy sack, the walls are 2 feet high the length of the tent. Without the rain fly on, the entire tent is made of mesh for excellent ventilation on warmer days and for stargazing at night. The weight is very manageable for one person, at only 41 ounces. For all the extra space in this tent compared to a bivy, the extra few ounces are worth it for me. And the price (always subject to change) of under $70 is a steal! To get your Eureka! Solitaire solo tent today, [amazon_link id=”B000EQCVNY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]click here[/amazon_link].

ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 1 Tent – $119

[amazon_link id=”B00B9GCRL4″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 1-Person Tent[/amazon_link]Another great option for a solo tent is the Alps Mountaineering Zephyr. This tent comes in heavier than the Eureka! Solitaire, but boasts a lot more interior space and comfort. Weighing 62 ounces (3 pounds 14 ounces), it is by no means a light weight tent (and some two man tents weigh the same or less), but the tall walls add an amount of comfort that a lot of backpackers seek from their tents. Maybe this doesn’t fit in our ultralight discussion here, but if you are alright with sacrificing a little bit of weight for a lot of comfort, the Alps Mountaineering Zephyr is the solo tent for you. [amazon_link id=”B00B9GCRL4″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Click here[/amazon_link] to get yours today.

Two Man Tents

Nemo Equipment Meta 2-Person Ultralight Trekking Tent – $319

[amazon_link id=”B0035EJMTI” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Nemo Equipment Meta 2-Person Ultralight Trekking Tent[/amazon_link]The Nemo Meta two person tent is our favorite ultralight option out there right now for a few reasons. First of all its weight – an astonishing 47 ounces (2 pounds 15 ounces) – is outstanding for a two person backpacking tent. This weight is achieved by utilizing your trekking poles for the construction of the tent body, so if you don’t use trekking poles again, this tent isn’t for you. There are also well placed vents on this tent that allow for exceptional air flow. The internal floor space is 37 square feet, with an additional 22 square feet of vestibule space for gear. That is a lot of floor space for two people. There are other 2 person tents out there with weights close to that of the Nemo Meta, but they are cramped (often with less than 30 square feet and a tiny vestibule area). This is a very comfortable and ultralight tent option, usually two characteristics you have to choose between. To get your Nemo Meta two person trekking tent today, [amazon_link id=”B0035EJMTI” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]click here[/amazon_link].

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 Person Tent – $369

[amazon_image id=”B00GSYH5IC” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”large” ]Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2-Person Tent – Silver/Gold[/amazon_image]

The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 is another exceptional two person tent. Another ultralight tent option, coming in at 42 ounces (2 pounds 10 ounces), the Fly Creek could easily be divided between two backpackers or carried solo. The internal space is cramped when compared with the Nemo Meta above (only 28 square feet of internal space, with only an additional 7 square feet of vestibule space), so it is not as comfortable. But it does shave 5 extra ounces off the overall weight, and you don’t need your own trekking poles to set up the tent. This award winning tent (winner of Backpacker Magazine’s Editors’ Choice award in 2010) is one of the lightest two person tents on the market. For ultralight backpackers, that is the most important factor. To get your Fly Creek UL2 from Big Agnes, [amazon_link id=”B00GSYH5IC” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]click this link[/amazon_link] today.

Summary And Backpacking Samurai Thoughts

There are several things to think about when investing in an ultralight backpacking tent, starting with the overall weight. Do you plan on sleeping in your tent alone? With another person? Your dog? Do you like having extra space for gear storage? Can you handle cramped quarters? Do you like to sleep under the stars? What will the weather be like? Think about these questions as you browse our favorite ultralight backpacking tent options on the market today. Hopefully this article will help you to choose a tent that fits your needs.

What is your favorite ultralight backpacking tent? Do you prefer the bivy sack to the tent? Are you a true minimalist that sleeps under the stars/tarp? Let us know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!

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