Ultralight sleeping bag: models, buying and care tips
Ultralight sleeping bag: what really matters when buying one – and how to look after it
It’s the big crux of trekking and camping: The luggage should be as light as possible, but you don’t want to freeze at night either. The solution: an ultralight sleeping bag. What the high-tech bed has to be able to do on the go and how to look after it properly.
Did you know that a 75-year-old sleeps almost a third of their life? Our body uses a proud 24 years to rest, to recharge our batteries and to regenerate for everyday life. As a rule, we sleep in cozy beds on more or less good mattresses. But what would camps, camping holidays or trekking tours be without a good old sleeping bag? They used to be made of cotton, they hit the office and ruined your back in the long run. In the meantime, the blanket for on the go has developed into a real functional gadget. Some models weigh no more than a stick of butter.
Is that at the expense of sleeping comfort? What must a Ultralight sleeping bag be able? What should you look out for when buying and what does the printed temperature information mean? Practical tips for anyone planning an outdoor adventure in 2022. In addition: Alternatives to the ultra-light sleeping bag and important care tips.
Ultralight sleeping bag: This is important when buying
Ultralight sleeping bags are not an option in the winter months and for mountain tours. Here one should resort to more robust models, which are usually significantly heavier, but also protect against the cooler weather conditions. In spring and summer in particular, however, the hour of the lightweight sleeping bags comes. In addition to a tent, sleeping pad and other equipment, the ultra-light sleeping bag is the most important gadget for multi-day tours. Above all, so-called ultra-light trekkers, who travel through nature with less than 5 kilograms of luggage, cannot avoid the small miracle beds to go.
2. Temperature range
In addition to the weight, the temperature range specified by the manufacturer should be observed. This is usually specified with three values.
- Comfort zone (TCom)
- Lower Limit (TLim)
- Survival or extreme range (TExt)
The following applies: Area 1 indicates the (outside) temperature up to which the sleeping bag keeps the entire body pleasantly warm. The lower limit range stands for just about adequate protection. The specification for TExt indicates the limit to the risk of hypothermia. So it is best to check in advance what weather conditions and temperatures will prevail in the region of your holiday at the time of travel and then select the sleeping bag with the appropriate information on the temperature range.
3. Material and filling
The same applies to sleeping bags as to many other outdoor products: the lighter, the more expensive. In the case of ultra-light sleeping bags, the inner values make the subtle difference. Because the sleeping bags are filled with either synthetic fibers or down. The latter are significantly lighter and more powerful. The cover is usually made of nylon, a microfiber fabric or polyester. The same applies here: the more functional the material, the more expensive it becomes. If you already know that you will be spending the night outdoors, the waterproof and windproof outer material should be worth it. Saving is a bad idea at this point.
When buying a down sleeping bag, keep that in mind as well RDS seal. The so-called Responsible Down Standard is independent, voluntary and global. It is designed to guarantee that the animals from which the down comes have been protected and treated ethically. Just like with this 700 gram light Forclaz model.
Ultralight backpack: care tips
No matter how you twist and turn it: everyone sweats while sleeping. Especially in sleeping bags where little or no air can circulate. Therefore, even ultra-light sleeping bags should not only be aired after each night, but also washed every now and then. rule of thumb: If you sleep without a liner, you should wash your sleeping bag after about 60 nights. If you use an inlet, you can snuggle up in the sleeping bag for 120 nights before it needs to be washed. Basically, sleeping bags should be washed as rarely as possible. The more often they end up in the washing machine, the quicker the insulating ability decreases. In the case of down sleeping bags in particular, the bulkiness is severely impaired when washing.
This is important when caring for ultralight sleeping bags:
- Repair damage and tears before washing
- close all velcro and zippers
- Pre-treat small stains with detergent before washing
- Follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions
- for down sleeping bags only special down detergent use
- Never use fabric softener
- Select a delicates/wool wash program and the lowest spin speed
- Tip: Only one sleeping bag per wash in the drum (down takes up a lot of space)
a current one Comparison of 11 sleeping bags read here.
Sleeping bag care: Less is more
Ultralight sleeping bags filled with synthetic fibers such as the are significantly less sensitive Exosphere by Deuter. In principle, however, the same rules apply as for down sleeping bags. Instead of down detergent, a synthetic fiber sleeping bag should be equipped with a Detergent for synthetic fiber fillings getting cleaned. Alternatively, washing by hand with plenty of lukewarm water in the bathtub also helps. Stubborn stains should also be treated with detergent beforehand.
Important: Especially with down sleeping bags, you should make sure that they are 100 percent dry before storing them for a long time. This works best in a large drum dryer (max. 40 degrees Celsius) and works even better if you add three clean tennis balls.