It seems that sleeping bag manufacturers have been reading out minds, because lately it seems like there are dozens of choices available in the realm of affordable ultralight sleeping bags. Our team has had the innate pleasure of crawling into a number of these bags for an in-depth, up close & personal kind of look at just how well they perform. Next up, the ultralight offering from the folks over at AEGISMAX, a company that is quickly finding its footing in the face of steep competition.
In our Aegismax Ultralight Sleeping Bag review, we are going to examine the product from a number of unique and important angles. With sleeping bags this usually comes down to things like insulation rating and fill material, but there is quite a bit more that goes into determining exactly what sets the best ultralight sleeping bags apart from others.
Stick around after the product review and we are going to go a bit further with our specially prepared section on How to Choose an Ultralight Sleeping Bag.
Aegismax Ultralight Sleeping Bag: Basic Overview
To kick things off, you might appreciate a bit more detail on what exactly we are looking at. When we reference the Aegismax Ultralight Sleeping Bag, what we are really referring to is the M2 model. Although somewhat new to the lineup, the M2 has no doubt become the company’s flagship sleeping bag, offering impressive comfort and insulation properties for a remarkably affordable price.
What we’ve got here is a hybrid style sleeping bag, sometimes known as a hybrid mummy. What this means is that there is a bit more room (and therefore, material) than a straight-up mummy bag, but not as much open space as a rectangular bag (or traditional style sleeping bag). The pros are that you get a bit of the best of both worlds: more comfort and more warmth. The other big daddy benefit is that it is possible to zip two of the M2 sleeping bags together to make a bigger sleeping bag or a very large blanket if you are camping with another person. This is something that rectangular bags can do pretty well, but mummy bags certainly cannot.
20D ripstop nylon is a fairly common material for sleeping bags in this price range, but it is no slouch. The Aegismax bag is tough and durable, and though it won’t by any means stop a direct puncture with a sharp object like a knife, it is unlikely to give out of you quickly due to normal wear and tear.
The biggest drawback of this particular ultralight bag is that there is no hood. Perhaps it’s just because we have gotten so used to sleeping inside mummy style sleeping bags, but we find it somewhat disconcerting to sleep in a bag without one.
The last thing we will mention is that the zipper can be a bit stubborn while the bag is still new … it might take some breaking in.
Aegismax Ultralight Sleeping Bag Review: How it Performs Against the Competitors
Aegismax Ultralight Sleeping Bag vs. Naturehike Ultralight Sleeping Bag
The NATUREHIKE Ultralight sleeping bag is different from the Aegismax in a number of ways, both obvious and subtle. The biggest difference is that Naturehike utilizes a more traditional rectangular shape for their UL bag, while the Aegismax is more of a hybrid-mummy. This shape allows it to be unzipped all the way, however it isn’t going to be as warm as a bag with a more tapered shape.
However in terms of cost, the Naturehike UL Sleeping bag is perhaps the most affordable sleeping bag on the market. Its temperature rating isn’t going to be anywhere near the Aegismax, but for warm summer nights beneath the stars, it is likely to do the trick.
Aegismax Ultralight Sleeping Bag vs. Marmot VOYAGER Mummy Sleeping Bag
The Marmot VOYAGER is really in slightly higher class of sleeping bag than the Aegismax, both in terms of insulation and overall price. The Marmot is a bit warmer, features heavier nylon fabric, and has a manufacturer’s warranty that you won’t be able to find with some of the Chinese brands like Aegismax.
The VOYAGER is one of the most popular bags that Marmot makes, and if you have a few extra coins to shell out, we highly recommend it for backpacking enthusiasts who are looking to get serious about weight vs. warmth.
Aegismax Ultralight Sleeping Bag vs. Arctic Monsoon Lightweight Compression Sleeping Bag
The Arctic Monsoon Lightweight sleeping bag is more of a mummy bag than the Aegismax, and therein lies its greatest strength when compared side by side. Unlike the Aegismax, the Arctic Monsoon bag has a hood, which allows you to have you head nice and tucked into its own warm little chamber, with an opening large enough to breathe through.
While the results of our own insulation tests varied, we can say that Arctic Monsoon advertises a comfort rating of 5 F to 50 F for this bag. That’s a pretty large scale, but a better one than on the Aegismax. We did find it to be warmer than that model, however we would not say that it is capable of living up to the 5 F that is advertised.
What to Look For in a New Ultralight (UL) Sleeping Bag for Backpacking
With all the new companies in the game slinging ultralight sleeping bags, it might be a touch difficult to find the one that is best for you. Here are just a couple of things to look for when shopping for your next sleeping bag.
Insulation Rating: Comfort vs. Extreme
Generally speaking, when you see a sleeping bag being sold online or at the store, it will have two different temperature ratings listed. The first is usually called “Comfort”, and the second is either “Extreme” or “Survival”. So why bother having two different temperature ratings?
Comfort Rating, expressed in degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius, refers to the exterior temperature at which the bag will provide total comfort, that is to say, warmth, throughout the night. For instance, a bag with a comfort rating of 32F will keep you nice and toasty when the outside temperature is close to freezing.
A Extreme Rating, on the other hand, refers to the exterior temperature at which the bag will protect you from extreme temperatures. For instance, an extreme rating of -15F means that the bag will do a pretty good job of staving off hypothermia at really low temperatures, however, it isn’t going to be very toasty, and you will likely feel quite cold in spite of the added insulation from the bag.
Compression Sacks: Make Your Sleeping Bag Even Smaller
While not all of the sleeping bags we review include their own compression sack, most sleeping bags on the market are totally compatible with them. Compression sacks utilize a system of nylon straps sewn into the carrying bag that allow the user to compress the bag to an even more compact size. This is particularly helpful for backpacking and long distance hiking, when there is only so much room inside the backpack.
There are lots of great compression sacks out there that are sold individually, so you don’t need to fret if the sleeping bag you are interested in buying does not come with one of its own.
Mummy Bags vs. Traditional Bags … What’s the Difference?
To put it simply….
- “Mummy” style sleeping bags are the most popular kind, and utilize a tapered shape to cut down on fabric, weight, and air space inside the bag. This makes for a warmer, lighter, & smaller sleeping bag, three things that are incredibly important to any good lightweight adventurer.
- “Traditional” or “Rectangular” style sleeping bags are simpler, wider, and usually a bit thinner. They have the benefit of having more leg space and generally more space to roll around, however that added space can also lead to a colder night’s sleep. Usually, these types of sleeping bags are a bit cheaper as well.
About the Company: AEGISMAX
While there isn’t a great wealth of information available online regarding the AEGISMAX brand, there sure are a lot of products out there with this name on them. One of the reasons that you might not have heard so much about AEGISMAX is that it is a Chinese owned and operated brand and has not had a ton of presence in the US or UK until recent years.
While some people might be a little hesitant about ordering a lightweight sleeping bag from China, the truth is that these bags are made of the same materials as US-made bags and often achieve the same level of construction quality. The immediate downside is that it is usually not possible to get any kind of warrant on the product, as the company doesn’t have any US locations to speak of.
However the fact that the bag is made in China is perhaps the reason that it is also so affordable, and that’s not really something we can turn are noses at when shopping for a new sleeping bag online.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although availability may vary from time to time, the M2 Aegismax Ultralight Sleeping Bag is available in both regular and large sizes, which feature different lengths and widths for different sized people. • REGULAR: Length: 185CM Width: 80CM • LARGE: Length: 200CM Width: 86CM
The best thing to wear inside your sleeping bag is dry, comfortable clothes. The added insulation can make a huge difference in really cold temperatures. You might also want to make sure that the stuff you wear is breathable so that you won’t experience an uncomfortable buildup of moisture over the course of the night.
This might ultimately come down to a personal preference. While a layer or two of clothing is certainly going to increase your overall warmth and insulation, sleeping bags to make it possible to sleep with a little less on if that’s what you’re into. We can say this with certainty: it really is the best way to exchange body heat between you and your favorite hiking buddy. Just keep in mind that if a bear wanders into your camp you just might find yourself running through the dark woods as naked as a jaybird.
Whether your sleeping bag is down or synthetic, keeping your bag dry is the single most effective way to make sure that you sleeping bag will keep you warm throughout the night. However, there are a few other things you can do to increase its insulation capabilities. For down sleeping bags, do not store the sleeping bag inside a compression sack when not in use. This means that after you get home from your adventure, pull the bag out and hang it. This gives the down fill a chance to return to its original loft size, which has a lot to do with how much heat it can retain. It is also quite common for people to by sleeping bag liners to help make their sleeping bags warmer. These are soft inserts that act as an additional layer, often made of nylon fleece. While they are certainly warm, these liners are not always very breathable.