HIGHLITE – $220 – WEIGHT: 16 ounces
This was the first one-pound sleeping bag made, and is still one of the best. Sewn-through seams run through it horizontally, and baffled sections run vertically. Despite the seams, the 1.5-inch baffled down walls provide enough loft to make this one warm bag. The half-length zipper is a reasonable compromise between weight savings and ventilation. The .9-ounce Extremelite shell is soft against the skin and enables the Highlight to loft quickly straight out of the stuffsack. The Highlite’s form-fitting mummy cut is warm to just below 40 degrees. Despite its half-length zipper, the bag was comfortable in 50-degree nights at Sedona and Joshua Tree. The Highlite features a raised foot so your toes do not press through the insulation, and its Etremelite nylon shell breathed better than any other.
PROS Packs a lot of warmth in 16 ounces and will easily take most sleepers to the low 40s and, with a few layers, to freezing. Comfortable for warmer nights, too.
CONS Ultralight .9-ounce Extremelite shell is not for climbers who play rough and is not as weatherproof as other shells. Short zipper does not vent effectively.
RECOMMENDED USE Alpine bivies to 30 degrees. On damp nights, use a tent, not a tarp. If you want to use the bag in a snow cave, protect it with a bivy sack. Warm enough for non-winter use on virtually any mountain in the lower 48.