For its temperature range, the Cumulus Lite Line 300 is one of the lightest sleeping bags out on the market. It is warm, comfortable and durable, and it has been a valuable companion in New Zealand’s changeable climate. We’ve been very happy with this sleeping bag. It is one of the few gear items we will not replace for the next thru-hike.
Sleeping bag specifications
- Weight: 640g
- Down fill weight: 300g
- Down quality: Polish goose down, 850 cuin
- Comfort temperature: 4 ˚C, Limit temperature: 0 ˚C, Extreme temperature: -15 ˚C
- Length: 202 cm (Maximum user height: 185 cm)
- Width (top/bottom): 77/51 cm
- Stuffsack’s dimensions (height/diameter): 22/16 cm
- Stuffsack’s volume: 4,4 l
- Number of down chambers: 34
- Independently filled top and bottom of the sleeping bag
- Three-dimensional, elastic adjustable hood fitted with stopper
- Internal pocket
Cumulus does not use the EN 13537 standard to establish the temperature rating of their sleeping bags. Their own rating is based on experience, testing and customer feedback. For the ‘average male’, the Lite Line 300 rating is great. For PJ the sleeping bag kept him nice and warm until about 4°C , and then he would need thermals to be comfortable. For Eef the comfort limit was about 7°C, it worked well to about 2°C with a pair of thermals, and under that it still works out with a liner. Women lose body heat more rapidly, and will more easily get cold hands and feet as their bodies work less towards warming the extremities.
Eef knew this and since she’s generally colder than PJ in the night, she came prepared with the thermals. But it is important for women to take this into account when thinking about the Lite Line 300. Generally however we’ve really been warm and comfortable with this sleeping bag, from spring to autumn on, even in the dampest of conditions. We both experienced that combined with a decent liner, the sleeping bag can keep you warm well below the freezing point.
Down, weight and durability
Cumulus only uses down from Polish goose farms who deliver it as a by-product of food production. Down is not taken from living animals. One of our main reasons for choosing Cumulus was exactly because they work with local farms who do not pluck the geese alive.
The Lite Line 300’s down chambers are constructed as trapezoids, which as explained on the website reduces the chance of creating cold spots. We found that the insulation kept in place well and evenly spread, even towards the end of the journey when the sleeping bag had been compressed in our backpacks and used over a long period of time.The Pertex Quantum outer fabric protects the down from dampness and humidity. New Zealand has challenging conditions for down sleeping bags: it is often damp, humid, or plainly wet. Yet we were warm and comfortable to the end. This is also thanks to the mummy strap, working out well to keep heat inside the sleeping bag.
It is worth noting that the sleeping bags are constructed so that there is less down in the back than in the front. This is done by Cumulus both to preserve down which will be compressed on that side anyway, and to keep the weight of their bags low. This is also the case in the hood. When sleeping on an air matress this is no problem, but it is good to know when using the sleeping bag on cold or not insulated surfaces. The same is true for the hood, and this is the only part of the sleeping bag that wore out: the down has clotted together on the sides, and there is almost no down left in the middle of it. Here we actually found that some extra filling would have been useful, since you lose 70% of you body heat through your head.
So the sleeping bag is very comfortable and durable, but its biggest advantage is arguably its weight. The only disadvantage for their weight is that they are narrow, which takes a bit of time to adjust to. But with a mere 630g, or 670g for PJ’s customized longer version, they are not bothersome to carry, even for months on end. They pack together very compact and compress as small as 4.4l. This enables down-sizing packs, making walking for long hours less strenuous, and makes them ideal for thru-hiking trips under the general motto “everything has weight”. The only sleeping bags we encountered on the road being lighter were produced by Z-packs, yet they did not come with a hood nor the same temperature rating. And so when it comes to the absolute choice between comfort and weight, we still preferred Cumulus.
The Cumulus Lite Line 300 is a very suitable sleeping bag for thru-hiking, or for any weight-conscious hiker. Even though the temperature rating could be improved for women and they have a narrow design, they are very comfortable and durable sleeping bags. The compression, weight and temperature dimensions of Cumulus sleeping bags places them amongst the top of the current range on the market. We were very happy with them and will definitely use these sleeping bags again on future hikes.