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Unlike the mass market for sleeping bags, in which most mummy designs are distinguished by marketing professionals trying to communicate incrementally beneficial technology-related features rather than core designs, the cottage market for unconventional sleep systems is characterized by a wide variety of designs, where - once the best design is selected for the intended use - fabric and fill choices still dominate user choice.

In this Review Summary, we discuss some of the core technologies, fabrics, fills, and designs, and provide an assessment of the market options available to the hiking community. Finally, we present comprehensive reviews of some of the key top bags (sleep system with no bottom insulation), quilts (sleep system with no bottom), and wearable bags and how they rate in the context of their application and performance for lightweight backpacking.


  • State of the Market Review
    • Technologies
    • Fills
    • Fabrics
    • Designs
      • Top Bags
      • Quilts
      • Wearable Bags
        • Sleeping Bags that Can Serve as Insulating Wear
        • Sleep Systems Specifically Designed to Accommodate Insulating Clothing
        • Insulating Clothing Specifically Designed to be Part of a Sleep System
  • The Future of Lightweight Sleep Systems
  • Gear Guide: Unconventional Sleep Systems
    • Gear Guide Selection Criteria
  • Review Summary
    • Review Criteria
      • Loft:Weight Ratio
      • Features
      • Draft Control
      • Value
    • Overall Ratings
      • In Brief Specifications for a Sampling of Unconventional Sleep Systems
      • Weighted Ratings for Unconventional Sleep Systems Reviewed by Backpacking Light
    • Index of Reviews
      • Big Agnes Horse Thief
      • Big Agnes Lost Dog 50
      • Big Agnes Zirkel
      • Exped Wallcreeper Classic
      • Fanatic Fringe PG Delta Quilt
      • Feathered Friends Rock Wren
      • Feathered Friends Vireo
      • Gossamer Gear SleepLight
      • Jacks 'R Better No Sniveller
      • Jacks 'R Better Shenandoah Summer Quilt
      • Mountain Laurel Designs Devotion 40
      • Nunatak Arc Alpinist*
      • Nunatak Arc Ghost
      • Rab Elite Top Bag
      • Rab Quantum Top Bag
      • Speer Hammock Frog Sac
      • Speer Hammocks PeaPod and Top Blanket
      • Western Mountaineering Pod 30

# WORDS: 6900



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