Quite simply, the most comfortable and packable lightweight down sleeping bag we’ve ever used.
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The Thermarest Hyperion 32F/0C sleeping bag will be a welcome release to fans of the brand. Though they’re best known for their superb sleeping mats, US brand Thermarest also make a wide range of sleeping bags and quilts, specialising in lightweight down for backpacking and thru-hiking. The Hyperion 32 is one of the brand’s flagship bags, and on paper the specs are impressive.
It weighs in at just 460g/1lb in total, of which 250g/9oz is made up of premium 900 fill power hydrophobic goose down – that’s pretty much as good as it gets unless you turn to very niche (and very expensive) ultralight manufacturers.
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Aside from the fill, the bag is made up of a lightweight 10-denier ripstop nylon shell, with internal box-wall baffles that have internal mesh side walls to save weight. Most of the down – 70%, in fact – is placed on the top and sides of the bag, leaving your mat to insulate you from beneath.
It’s an obvious solution given the brand’s expertise when it comes to sleep systems, meaning this bag would pair perfectly with a lightweight insulated air mat like the Thermarest NeoAir Xtherm or the Uberlite.
• RRP: $350 (US)/£310 (UK)
• Weight : 440g/15oz (small), 460g/1lb (regular), 520g/1lb 2oz (large)
• Length: 185cm/73in (small), 203cm/80in (regular), 216cm/85in (large)
• Max user height: 168cm/5ft 6in (small), 183cm/6ft (regular), 198cm/6ft 6in (large)
• Pack size: 15x14cm/6x5.5in
• Fill: Responsible Down Standard Certified 900 Fill Goose Nikwax Hydrophobic Down
• Comfort limit: 5°C/41°F
• Limit: 0°C/32°F
• Compatibility: 2-season
In the field
The first thing to note is that, packed in its stuff sack, this sleeping bag is tiny. It would merit a place in even the most weight-conscious hiker’s pack. We easily stashed it in a 40-litre rucksack ready for a cheeky overnighter in central Snowdonia. That makes it perfect for fast and light adventures, whether you’re running a mountain marathon or fastpacking a long-distance trail.
But unlike many ultralight bags, the Hyperion is positively luxurious. When you shake out the bag, it lofts beautifully, inviting you to climb straight in. The fabrics have an extremely soft handle that also gives superb next-to-skin comfort. As a result, we slept very well indeed and even found the unusual design with its zoned fill to be highly effective – provided you don’t twist the bag around.
To prevent this, the bag has thin (i.e. delicate) elastic straps on the underside that slide beneath your mat. Fortunately, the overall fit isn’t too restrictive, so turning inside the bag to sleep on your side is easy to do. In fact, the only element that is slightly awkward is the lack of a full-length zip, which means you need to do a bit of wriggling to get in and out.
On the other hand, this half-zip design minimises heat loss and saves weight, which are arguably more important considerations. In terms of warmth, our experience with the Hyperion 32 was that met its stated temperature range, and with an insulated three-to-four season mat (i.e. one with an R-value of at least 4.0), it proved comfortable down to freezing point.
An outdoors writer and editor, Matt Jones has been testing kit in the field for nearly a decade. Having worked for both the Ramblers and the Scouts, he knows one or two things about walking and camping, and loves all things adventure, particularly long-distance backpacking, wild camping and climbing mountains – especially in Wales. He’s based in Snowdonia and last year thru-hiked the Cambrian Way, which runs for 298 miles from Cardiff to Conwy, with a total ascent of 73,700 feet – that’s nearly 2½ times the height of Everest. Follow Matt on Instagram and Twitter.