Ultralight sleeping bags?


Very Active Member
Jul 9, 2018
Never tried the Slick bag, my budget ran more to the $250 or less range. To that end I've been trying out the Outdoor Vitals bag, it's exactly $250 for the "long" 0degF version and 3lbs 2oz with compression bag. I've only used it one time and can't speak to its longevity but I'm happy with it so far. This one: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BT3C9P0/

I don't know about the rest of you, but I only winter-camp a few times a year, usually for 2-3 hunting trips and one or two spring trips if the weather turns bad. That happened this past weekend, actually. A couple of friends and I were planning to backpack into Shipman Park in the Rahwah Wilderness, but they were predicting snow and cold weather (yes, even at the end of June!) We ended up going to Wheeler Geologic Feature which is near Creede (near the bottom of the state) to try to get below the storm. It didn't help, it was still 20F overnight and we'd have been miserable without good bags.

But my point here is that very shortly I'll be in a lighter weight summer bag that I'll use until probably October. It only gets cold enough for me to need a 0F bag let's say 12-14 "camp nights" a year so I can't justify a $600 bag. If you're on a budget like me and your trip is only a few days long, try combining a Thermolite Liner or fleece blanket with some Mega Warmers. They're like hot-hands but about 5x the size and only a buck apiece if you get them online. They only weigh 2oz each so for a 2-5 day trip you're only adding a half pound. I usually slap on some toe warmers, and throw a mega warmer at my waist and another at my shoulders. I've used my lighter 35F "survival" rated bag down to 20F that way and while it wasn't the Ritz, I did fine.

As for attaching the pad I have two options you may want to try. First is non-slip drawer liner:

This works really well and even adds a bit more insulation to the pad. The length I used was about 4oz if memory serves (I had two 4' lengths, basically from shoulders to ankles, one on top of the pad and one on the bottom because the pad itself would slide on any incline).

Recently I wanted a lighter weight option so I tried sewing some small fabric loops about every foot along the left and right sides of my sleeping bag, then using a lightweight dyneema cord to "lace" the pad to the bag like lacing a shoe. This worked sort of OK. It only added 0.5oz which was the goal, but the pad could still slide around a bit.


Veteran member
Feb 21, 2012
Two Harbors, Minnesota
I guided winter camping trips in the Boundary Waters Wilderness a few years ago, and we did a few things to maximize our comfort. Not all can be replicated on a backpack hunt, such as bring a second oversize bag. We often slept outside with nothing but a snow windbreak, but did use a variety of igloos, shelters, and tents. We never brought a heat source other than a stove to boil water.
On that note, fill a Nalgene bottle with boiled water and stuff it in your bag a half hour before bedtime. Then go for a short walk or move around to warm up before crawling in your bag. The Nalgene won't burn your feet since it has now cooled some, and you still have your wool socks on. Wear your insulation layers in the bag and put your outer layers between the bag and pad. Our final job as guide before we bedded down was to hand out a snack that was to be eaten while in the sack. Calories mean heat, and it isn't the time to go on a diet.