MontBell Ultralight Apine Downhugger #5
Ultralight summer bags can get you into trouble on alpine trips, when nighttime lows often dip below the forecast. One tester flirted with just such a scenario when he packed this 40°F sack for a trek in Colorado’s Flat Tops Wilderness–and lows hit the mid 30s. Fortunately, this conservatively rated one-pound bag kept him toasty warm. The secret: a “gathered quilt” seam system. Elastic seams on the interior of the bag snug the insulation around your body–eliminating dead space inside without compressing the 800-fill down. A drawstring at the ankle provides a way to fine-tune fit and cozy the bag to your feet on cold nights, and a minimalist hood–which lies flat when you don’t need it–cinches tight around your cheeks. A stiffened, laminated edge keeps the zipper from snagging without adding extra ounces. Caveats: The 15-denier nylon shell snagged easily on twigs or pinecones when testers were tarp-camping. Reader Service #109
> Sizes 70″/75″
> Rating 40°F
> Weight 1 lb.
> Price $205
> Info montbell.us
Warmer: Western Mountaineering’s SummerLite delivers near three-season warmth at summer-season weight, thanks to premium 850-fill down and an ultralight 20-denier nylon shell. $300; 32°F; 1 lb. 3 oz.; westernmountaineering.com. Reader Service #110