The Sleep System

This is another one of the 'big three heavies' and by changing the fabric you use for your sleeping system you can shave off a few extra kg's in your pack.

The tendency we have is to assume that to be as ‘snug as a bug’ we need a nice thick warm sleeping bag, a thick full length sleeping mat and a big a fluffy pillow (4kg+). This is certainly ideal for a warm comfortable nights sleep, however during the day you are of course carrying all these items and not using them for anything else. Does that make sense? When you lie down, do you actually fill a 6 foot mat?

How about considering a ‘short’ (torso length) inflatable mat, or cutting down a foam one with a pair of scissors cut from your shoulders to just below your bum (170g)? Then use your roll top waterproof sack, which the sleeping bag was transported in, as your pillow, placing your day clothes inside. To prevent your feet chilling against the ground, slide the rucksack under your feet. A lighter down sleeping bag (800g), can be supplemented with a layer or two of fleece or a down jacket (250g). Wear your dry tent socks and fleece hat in bed (all of them if you are cold), and you will be very warm. Of course all the other items are also worn during the day, and it is only the sleeping bag which provides extra when needed. (Saving 2kg+)

Can you give me some ideas?

  • A favourite 3 season bag of ours is the Rab Quantum 400 (900g) which is kept in a lightweight silicon sack. However the new series of Quilts are interesting (700g) offering another solution. Again these can be lighter if camping during the warmer months.
  • We generally ensure we have a Primaloft or Down jacket for camp wear all year round as this tops up the rating of the bag, should we need it early Spring or late Autumn.


Part 1 - What is classed as lightweight

Part 2 - Safety

Part 3 - The Shelter System

Part 4 - The Cooking System

Part 5

Part 6 - The Clothing System

Part 7 - The Pack System


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