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ProView – EXPED Lite Sleeping Bag +23F/-5C

William O. Douglas recalled fondly of his friend Roy Schaffer in his book “Of Men and Mountains,” “He slept in a bed with white, clean sheets and commented, ‘Never slept inside but what I caught a cold. Wish I had brought my sleeping bag. Then I’d sleep on the back porch. It’s much healthier outdoors.’” No truer words have been spoken. There is little that can compare to a good night in the mountains for feeling refreshed and reset. Conversely, a bad night’s sleep due to an overtaxed sleeping bag can cause serious issues for the next day’s activities.

EXPED Lite Sleeping Bag

Product Description: The Lite -5C/23F is the perfect all-rounder. A full-featured 3-season bag with countless details and a comfortable fit. The snug fitting draft collar is great on cool nights. Low weight and compact size when packed are a bonus.

Price: MSRP: $349.00 - $369.00

  • Durability
    (4)
  • Comfort
    (5)
  • Features
    (4.8)
  • Style
    (4)

Summary

The EXPED Lite is a well-designed sleeping bag, intended to be a “sophisticated all-rounder” as the company says. Light enough to backpack, warm enough to do high elevation adventuring, and packable enough to take with you anywhere, it definitely fits that bill.

Overall
4.4

Pros

  • Temperature management
  • Durable
  • Thoughtful features

Cons

  • Stuff sack is large for backpacking

The sun was just starting to chase the darkness from my tent, but it was still too early to bring any warmth with it. I blinked my eyes and exhaled slowly, watching the condensation from my breath cloud in front of my face. I bravely reached an arm out of my sleeping bag and grabbed my watch. The thermometer said 28°F inside the tent. As I unzipped the door, frost fell from the ceiling onto my bag. Thanks be to the mountain gods for a down bag that was able to keep me warm on a night this cool.

exped-lite-sleeping-bag-review-dirtbagdreams.com

One of my buddies recently contacted me with no small amount of excitement to tell me that he had drawn a coveted permit for the Enchantments Core Zone in central Washington State. Fortunately for me, his invite immediately followed. I was not going to miss an opportunity like this, so even though the permit started October 15th and we knew the weather could be pretty cold, I committed to the trip. It was also my good fortune that I had just received the EXPED Lite -5°C/+23°F sleeping bag to test and review.

The EXPED Lite is a well-designed sleeping bag, intended to be a “sophisticated all-rounder” as the company says. Light enough to backpack, warm enough to do high elevation adventuring, and packable enough to take with you anywhere, it definitely fits that bill.

exped-lite-sleeping-bag-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Features

The features are thoughtful. I first noticed the mesh storage bag that came with it (don’t store your good sleeping bags stuffed). Secondly, I was pleased to find that the stuff sack was a fully waterproof dry bag – an excellent feature when backpacking in the notoriously rainy Pacific Northwest.

The sleeping bag itself was well-designed, with features that were subtle, but noticeably helpful. I didn’t notice that the zipper pull glowed in the dark until I was searching for it in the middle of the night. Once I figured out where the drawstrings for the chin and hood portion were, I was able to snugly cinch them down, keeping significantly more heat in the bag with me. The drawstrings and spring toggles that held them were also completely unobtrusive, and I never noticed them while in the bag, even when rolling around. There is a small zippered pocket inside the bag which serves as a good storage place for earplugs, a midnight snack, or anything else you might need close by. A full-length baffle protects against zipper draft and another baffle circumnavigates the bag at the neckline. This neck baffle has a drawstring and a snap to allow you to really trap heat inside and keep the cold out. When unstuffed, the bag noticeably lofts and it does not seem to have any dead spots or a lack of down.

exped-lite-sleeping-bag-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Performance

Although we expected cold weather on our trip to the Enchantments, we were extremely fortunate to have near perfect fall conditions. That said, the nights were still pretty chilly. On at least three nights, the temperatures were cold enough to freeze water inside our 4-season tent. Still, when paired with a good pad and cinched down properly, I was cozy-warm inside the EXPED Lite. Although other members of the group were using 0°F bags, I didn’t feel ill-prepared with what I had. I also carried it over 20 miles and was happy to have it be as light as it is. Fortunately, the waterproof aspect of the stuff sack was never needed, but anyone with a down bag in an area where it can rain knows how great of a feature that is.

Room for Improvement

Overall, this is an excellent sleeping bag. The only feature it lacked was the ability to compress it more in the stuff sack. While I loved that the stuff sack was fully waterproof, when stuffed it still took up a fairly significant amount of space in my pack. If some type of compression strap were added to the stuff sack it would help this issue. With that being my only grumble, I can easily recommend this sleeping bag as an excellent three-season cocoon for whatever adventures you can throw its way. I’m pretty excited to take it on my next one.   

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Adam is a firefighter/EMT living in Seattle, Washington. He has worked in the outdoor industry in both Colorado and Washington since 2013. While he loves summertime rock climbing, mountain biking, and backpacking as much as the next dirtbag, his true passion is winter adventure. When ice starts forming, he gets a distant look in his eyes and obsessively sharpens his tools. When powder falls, he gets as giddy as a schoolkid at Disney Land. He is currently making snow angels and hoping La Niña will be back with a vengeance next October. He can be found on Instagram at @adambracchi_outside.

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