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Summer sleeping bags: 10 best lightweight and comfortable

Are you looking for one of the best summer sleeping bags? The offer of lightweight, compact and comfortable sleeping bags is getting wider and wider, also because this is one of the most important accessories to hike, camp, backpack or go bikepacking, or simply travel by bike. With some patience, you'll be able to find the right product for your needs, and if you'll trust me, I'll guide you through this process with some advice.

Summer sleeping bags: features to consider

With this article, I'd like to list all the main features to consider before purchasing one of the many summer sleeping bags on the market, in order to choose the right one for your next adventure. As you noticed, I'm talking about summer sleeping bags, because the purchase of this accessory depends on the very first distinction you want to make: when and where are you going to camp

Unfortunately, the perfect product for all the seasons and occasions doesn't exist, so depending on the answer you'll give to this preliminary question, you'll be able to choose between a lightweight sleeping bag or a winter one. We leave for the future an article about this second kind, focusing instead on the warmer season, taking into consideration some products specific for summer but which could save you even during spring or autumn climates.

If you're planning a summer trip, or towards a warm destination, I suggest choosing a lightweight and compact sleeping bag, in order to occupy less space in your bicycle touring panniers, or in your hiking backpack, and travel light. Alternatively, if you're going to travel in spring or autumn and you don't want to buy a specific winter sleeping bag, you can consider buying a medium product, protecting you from spring's and autumn's "temperate" cold, but still could allow you to survive the summer's warm.

Anyway, to perform the best choice in terms of summer sleeping bag, you'll have to consider these (fundamental, in my opinion) features:

  • warmth;
  • temperature range;
  • weight;
  • size;
  • comfort;
  • price.

Warmth

It's not a difficult concept to understand, even if sometimes it's totally underestimated: a sleeping bag does not create warmth. Our body does! The purpose of a sleeping bag is to keep it or disperse it, depending on the season. Considering summer sleeping bags, the second option is what we're looking for. The narrower a sleeping bag is, higher will be its ability to keep the body warmth, because lesser is its dispersing surface.

It's pretty easy to understand that for a winter sleeping bag you are aiming for ergonomy, while for a summer sleeping bag you're looking for transpirability. Following this rule, we can understand that the shape of a sleeping bag is very important. On the market, you can find two main shapes: mummy sleeping bags and quilt (rectangular) sleeping bags. You can easily understand that the mummy family is more suitable for winter (having a better insulating power) and the quilt one is suitable for summer.

Temperature range

One of the easiest parameters to consider, but also one of the most delicate! If you're buying one of the best summer sleeping bags, you'll notice a tag with some temperature ratings on it. The European regulation ISO 23537-1:2016 allows identifying comfort and extreme temperatures of a sleeping bag. In particular, these temperatures are:

  • Upper Limit Temperature: it's the maximum temperature a male can sleep at without sweating, with hood and zippers open and his arms outside of the bag.
  • Comfort Temperature: this is when a female can comfortably sleep in a relaxed position.
  • Lower Limit Temperature: - the temperature a male can sleep uninterrupted for 8 hours in a curled position.
  • Extreme Temperature: this is the minimum temperature for a female for 6 hours without the risk of death from hypothermia - albeit a touch of frostbite is still a possibility.

As it's easy to understand, these values represent esteem, and obviously vary from person to person. In general, I suggest considering the Comfort Temperature as ideal. Unfortunately, you'll have to be very careful, because sometimes summer sleeping bags companies may display only one value, the Lower Limit Temperature, so you'll have to add 5-6 degrees in order to understand which is the perfect temperature. 

In the table down below listing all the best summer sleeping bags you'll find the Comfort Temperature as shown by the product tag, so take into consideration this aspect before purchasing, in order to verify whether this data is the Lower Limit or the actual Comfort Temperature.

Weight

This is one of the most important parameters to take into account, together with the size, when choosing your summer sleeping bag, especially when you'll use it to travel by bike or to mountain or trail hike. The weight of a summer sleeping bag is influenced by its material. In synthesis, there are two insulating materials for sleeping bags: down or synthetic insulation

Down is more expensive but has a great advantage: it offers a better warmth/weight ratio, other than a higher compression ability. Its main disadvantage is that it loses loft and insulation ability when it gets wet. Finally, if you're aiming to ultralight summer sleeping bags, down sleeping bags can perform better, but nowadays the synthetic materials reached high-level standards (think about synthetic fibres allowing compression and insulation similar to down).

Let's come back to the weight, the psychological limit which I took into my consideration while choosing the best summer sleeping bags is 1 kg. There are some sleeping bags valid also above this threshold... but I had to make a choice, don't you think?!?

Size

Together with weight and price is, in my opinion, the most important parameter to take into account when choosing the infinite list of summer sleeping bags. As I already told, down has a better compression ability compared to synthetic, but the price goes up too, so you'll find products from each category, looking for a kind of balance between the two categories. Once again, each one of us can make his/her own choice, based on the budget and the space dedicated to your "bed" in your luggage.

Price

In this evaluation of the best summer sleeping bags, we couldn't avoid taking into consideration this parameter: the price. Yes, unfortunately sleeping bags aren't cheap like many outdoor activity technical products. Anyway, since the Comfort Temperature requested during summer, we could consider also many products which are not highly technical, and consequently, you'll find affordable summer sleeping bags, which are usually cheaper than winter sleeping bags.

My advice is to consider two options: save money on your summer sleeping bag, maybe choosing a cheaper one (even Decathlon summer sleeping bags are ok) and spend a little bit more money on a good winter sleeping bag, or a product which could be used all year long, sleeping with zippers open during summer and sleeping dressed appropriately. This will depend on the use you're going to do with your summer sleeping bag.

The best summer sleeping bags

Finally, you are thinking. We finally came to the list of the best 2020 summer sleeping bags. Here you can find our choice, based on the features listed above: temperature, weight, size, comfort and price.

Summer sleeping bag

Weight

Size

Temperature

Price

Active Era E-200 
950 g 
190x75 cm 
15°C 
Milestone 150 Envelope 
150 g 
170x75 cm 
From 0°C to 27°C 
CNOC
600 g
185x72 cm
From 9°C to 20°C
Queedo Light Hitazo
745 g
185x80 cm
18°C
Ferrino Levity 01 
950 g 
220x78 cm 
11°C 
Mivall Patrol 
898 g 
220x80 cm 
11°C 
Marmot Nanowave 45 
822 g
183x75 cm 
13°C 
Queedo Asaka L
998 g 
215x80 cm
6°C 
Marmot Micron 40
620 g  
183x75 cm
8°C 
Salewa Micro 850 Quattro
1100 g
185x75 cm
11°C

Active Era E-200

I start this list of some summer sleeping bags with the cheapest I've found. Surely, this young company, Active Era, can fight the market war with its competitive prices. We personally used their auto-inflating sleeping mat during our one-year-long European trip and I must admit I have no regrets (it actually got a puncture after 150 nights of usage).

This rectangular sleeping bag Active Era E-200 is very cheap, but it's suitable only for summer and mid-seasons (there's also a lighter E-100 version). The declared Comfort Temperature is 15°C, while the Limit is 10°C (in these evaluations I don't consider the Extreme Temperature). It's made in Polyester with 200 GSM fibre fill, and its size isn't huge (186x75cm), but sufficient for most people, while it weighs around 1 kg, even if it's pretty high for this kind of product, making it suitable for bicycle touring, bikepacking or for hiking.

Advantages
Price
Can be used as quilt
Disadvantages
Encumbrance
Pretty fragile zipper
Active era e 200

Milestone 150 Envelope

This summer sleeping bag is pretty cheap and very lightweight. In this case, when opened the size it's smaller (170x70cm) and the Polyester fill is 150 GSM. It's suitable for summer, it can be used during the mid-seasons only if you're willing to sleep with some more clothes on. The declared weight is pretty tempting (200g), while the finishing is in line with the price. You can open it on both sides, to be used as a summer quill even at home or in a shelter.

Advantages
Price
Weigth
Disadvantages
Encumbrance when closed
Small when opened
Milestone 150 envelope

CNOC

Another very competitive product on the quality/price ratio aspect: once again, this is a rectangular summer sleeping bag, which can be opened on both sides and be used as a quill. It weighs less than 600g and its Comfort Temperature of 15°C makes it suitable as a summer product. The bag presents some compression straps, which allow obtaining a pretty compact cylinder. The double-sided zipper guarantee to couples to put together two of these lightweight sleeping bags. It's made of Polyester and its size is 185x72 cm.
Advantages
Compression straps
Price
Disadvantages
Nothing in particular
Cnoc

Queedo Light Hitazo

The first summer sleeping bag of this list with a hood. This too is a rectangular sleeping bag, but at the top, it offers an appendix to cover your head. Its good price, its generous size when opened (195x80 cm) and compact when closed (19x17 cm) make it perfect for bicycle touring, bikepacking, trekking, and outdoor activities in general. Its Comfort Temperature is around 15°C, while it weighs 745g. It's made of Polyester, with single fill, and it has an internal pocket to keep your phone or valuable items in. 
Advantages
Presence of a hood
Size 
Disadvantages
Nothing in particular
Summer sleeping bags - Qeedo light hitazo

Ferrino Levity 01

This Italian company doesn't need any introduction. This cheap summer sleeping bag is a mummy type sleeping bag suitable for three seasons, with a Comfort Temperature of 9°C. It's not suitable for warm summer nights of our Italian South, but it's perfect during the mid-seasons and in the Northern area of Europe during summer. It weighs circa 950g, it's 220x78cm, made of Polyester and 60 g/mfill, it offers a hoodie and a zipper cover. The zippers allow opening the bottom in order to regulate the temperature, when too warm. The external bag offers compression straps.
Advantages
Size when opened
Compact when closed
Disadvantages
Not suitable when it's too warm
Ferrino levity 01

Mivall Patrol

Another rectangular and hooded summer sleeping bag. Red Mivall Patrol is very similar to the previous one by Ferrino, with a size of 195x80cm, a weight of 900g and a Comfort Temperature of 11°C. It's made of Polyester with a 70g/m2 fill. Like the previous case, it's better to use it in colder climates or during the mid-seasons better than the warmer ones: it might result a bit too warm. The external bag allows compressing the sleeping bag.
Advantages
Price
Can be used as quilt
Disadvantages
Not suitable when it's too warm
Summer sleeping bags - Mivall patrol

Marmot Nanowave 45

Another mummy-type summer sleeping bag, to be used especially during the mid-season or during fresh climates. This Marmot Nanowave 45 has a hood, a Comfort Temperature of 11°C and it's made of Polyester. The zippers have double pulls, allowing opening it completely. The standard size is 183cm, but there is a second size of 198cm, a bit more expensive. It weighs around 820g and, like the previous cases, has a compression bag with compression stripes.

Advantages
Double pulls zippers
Two sizes available
Disadvantages
Not suitable when it's too warm
Summer sleeping bags - Marmot nanowave 45

Queedo Asaka L

I decided to include this sleeping bag in this list of summer and lightweight sleeping bags although it's really warm: mummy, Comfort Temperature of 6°C, two sizes (M up to 170cm and L up to 195cm) and weighing around 850g (M size, while the L weighs 1kg). You can hang it with some hooks and dry it, and use its internal tensioned hood.
The most distinctive feature of this sleeping bag is the direction of the zippers, not on the side but on the diagonal, in order to facilitate opening and closing it... on the negative side, it's not possible to open it at the bottom.
Advantages
Two sizes available
Great temperature/weight ratio
Disadvantages
Price
Not suitable when it's too warm
Queedo asaka l

Marmot Micron 40

Another summer sleeping bag from this American company. This lightweight sleeping bag has a down fill, allowing to decrease the weight to 620g. Once again, this is suitable for three seasons, with a Comfort Temperature of 8°C and a length of 183cm. It's made of Polyester and has got an internal pocket, a compression bag, hooks to hang it and double-sided zippers which allow opening it completely and using it as a quill. The price isn't as competitive as others, but it's made of down and it allows the use with low temperatures, so it's a valid product for bicycle touring and excursions even out of season. 

Advantages
Great compression
Weight
Disadvantages
Price
Not suitable when it's too warm
Summer sleeping bags - Marmot micron 40

Salewa Micro 850 Quattro

Let's close this list of the 10 best summer sleeping bags with another Italian product. Salewa Micro 850 Quattro is very similar to the last product presented above, but with a very interesting and competitive price. Suitable for the mid-seasons it's actually the only one weighing more than 1 kg in this list (1100g). I think it's important to include this to the list, because of its Comfort Temperature of 11°C and its price (no more than 60€, on sale on Amazon, you find the link in the table above or down below), making it a good deal. In this case, too, it's made of Polyester, it's a mummy-type and the zippers are draft-tube, preventing the air from circulating through it. 
Advantages
Price
Quality zippers
Disadvantages
Weight
Not suitable when it's too warm
Summer sleeping bags - Salewa micro 850 quattro
What about you? Did you already choose your favourite one among these summer sleeping bags? Let us know in the comment section down below!
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Francesco

ENG - I'm from Piedmont and I'm 31 years old, I have been living and working in Lombardy for a few years. After a start without any competence in this field, I then approached the bicycle world more and more. Today I can call myself a bicycle traveller and videomaker who would never ever stop. Cyclo ergo sum, I cycle therefore I am. I ride my bike trying to understand why it is so beautiful, rich, therapeutic. And every time I try, I do not understand it. So I must leave again...
ITA - Ho 31 anni e sono piemontese, anche se da qualche anno vivo e lavoro in Lombardia. Dopo un inizio da totale inesperto in questo campo, mi sono avvicinato al mondo dei cicloviaggi e della bicicletta sempre più. Oggi posso definirmi "cicloviaggiatore", e assieme all'altra mia passione - il videomaking - non mi fermerei mai! Cyclo ergo sum, pedalo quindi sono, per cercare di capire perché andare in bici sia così bello, terapeutico, ricco... E ogni volta che provo a capirlo, non ce la faccio, e sono costretto a ripartire sui pedali!

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