A Dream Sleeping Bag for Lightweight Backpackers
The Western Mountaineering HighLite sleeping bag, a mere 16 ounces that is rated for 35 degrees, is my personal choice for a lightweight bag.The HighLite comes with a tiny waterproof stuff sack, making it suitable for the smallest lightweight backpack, and a larger storage bag so the 850+ goose down fill can breathe uncompressed. The half-length zipper is part of the lightweight design.
While rated for 35 degrees, you can extend its temperature rating by 15 to 20 degrees by wearing a jacket, long johns, heavy socks and sleeping in a tent. So, this Spring-Summer weight bag will see you through three seasons. Especially if you have a well insulated ground pad.
My Highlite is four seasons old and still in perfect condition. While I do try to take care of my gear, the manufacturing quality of this made-in-the-USA bag no doubt has much to do with it.
HighLite’s Attractive Cousins
The Highlite is part of the Western Mountaineering ExtremeLite series of bags which all are two pounds or less. In addition to the HighLite, you might consider these bags as well:
At just 1 lb 3 oz., the SummerLite is the lightest bag Western makes in a continuous baffle construction.
The MegaLite, at just 1 pound, 8 ounces, is cut to suit large folks so they too can enjoy the benefits of the ExtremeLite™ bags. No claustrophobia here with 64" of shoulder girth tapering to 39" at the foot. 12 ounces of goose down provides a temperature rating of 30.
The MityLite, 1 pound, 10 ounces, with a 59" shoulder girth, is rated to 20°. The full down collar helps to seal in heat around your neck without adding excess bulk and 14 oz. of high lofting down pumps this bag to 5".
Others in the ExtremeLite line:
- UltraLite Super – 1 pound, 10 ounces; 20 degrees
- Alpinlite Super – 1 pound, 15 ounces; 20 degrees
- Versalite Super – 2 pounds; 10 degrees
The 14-ounce LineLite, a summer bag with a 45-degree rating, can also be used as a liner in a bigger bag, adding 15 degrees of warmth.
If money is no object, consider a second bag–I also own a Sequoia Super MF (5 degrees)—because every trip is different and the longer you extend your season, the more likely it is you’ll need additional gear.
Be light. Be safe. Be one with the pack.
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