In A Nutshell
- The lightest winter sleeping bag of 2016 is the Western Mountaineering Antelope MF. The largest-sized bag (78-inches or 200 cm long) weighs just 39 ounces (1,105 grams) — about as heavy as a bottle of wine.
- Other top lightweight winter sleeping bags range from 42 ounces to 46 ounces. The second-lightest winter sleeping bag is the Mountain Hardwear Phantom. It weighs 42 ounces (1,190 grams) and costs $410 for the largest size.
- The lightest winter sleeping bags are all down-filled. Synthetic-filled bags tend to be heavier and not nearly as warm as those with down.
When it comes to sleeping bags for backcountry camping, particularly when it involves cold temperatures and snow (see tips for winter camping here), weight and warmth are key factors. When you curl up in your snow cave or four-season tent at the end of a long day of skiing, you want to be warm and toasty while you sleep.
The 5-degree-Fahrenheit-rated (minus 15 degrees Celsius) 850-fill down Western Mountaineering Antelope MF offers a combination of warmth from 26-ounces worth of down loft and a weight savings of three ounces compared to its closest competitor. It costs $575 for the short size and $615 for the long size, with a regular size available for $595.
This downy warmth is sealed inside a weather-resistant, breathable shell made from Western Mountaineering’s patented 20-denier MicroLite XP shell fabric that keeps you dry, and includes a full three-dimensional down-filled collar and draft tube to help keep the warm air where it needs to be – inside. And, as temperatures are inclined to change, the bag’s 5.25-inch continuous baffles let you shift the down fill beneath you to help keep you cool – or to the top to keep you warmer.
While it is rated as a three-season bag, suitable for use in spring through fall, if winter temperatures don’t dip below 5 degrees in the area you plan to travel, or you plan to sleep in a snow cave, this is the lightest winter sleeping bag option available.
Backed by 45 years of manufacturing out of their San Jose, California factory, the Antelope MF comes with Western Mountaineering’s unlimited time guarantee against manufacturer’s defects.
This bag is available in three sizes (short, regular and large), with a left or right option for the dual-direction number 7 YKK zipper.
The Western Mountaineering Antelope MF sleeping bag is available from Amazon for around $575
Other Alternatives: Lightweight winter sleeping bags
The next-lightest competitor to the Antelope is no slouch. Weighing just 42 ounces and boasting an 800-fill down insulation, the Mountain Hardwear Phantom is also a lightweight and plenty-warm option for winter campers.
At a regular price of $580, it’s also priced comparatively to the Antelope and backed by Mountain Hardwear’s limited lifetime warranty.