Are you looking for a new, light 3-season sleeping? Maybe the Cumulus Lite Line 300 is something for you. Learn more about this Ultralight sleeping bag in our longterm review.
Cumulus Lite Line 300
After camping in Europe with our old sleeping bags the whole summer in 2014, we decided to buy new, lighter ones for our trip in Australia. We already had our long distance hike – the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand (starting end of October 2015) – in mind. Therefore, weight was the most important factor for us.
Christian, our friend from feel4nature.com, was preparing for the Appalachian Trail in the US at the time of our search for a new sleeping bag and introduced us to the Polish brand Cumulus (http://sleepingbags-cumulus.eu/) and their magnificent range of down products.
Pack volume: 4,4 l
Down: 300g of 850 cuin down
Price: 199 EUR
Temperature rating: comfort 4° C, limit 0° C, extreme -15° C
To be honest, we weren’t quite sure about the amount of down filling. There would also have been the Cumulus Lite Line 400 with 100g more down and of course many other even warmer (and heavier) models. Despite the fact that Philippe is a cold sleeper and Nadine is blessed with the disadvantages of women’s physic concerning the loss of body temperature, we went for the second lightest version of the Lite Line series, putting weight over warmth.
Cumulus Lite Line 300 – Test phase
We received the sleeping bags in March 2015 in Tasmania (very fast delivery) and were really impressed by the packing volume. 4,4 l is nothing! Since then we used the Cumulus Lite Line 300 until the end of August (5 months) almost every night. We mostly slept in our campervan and 2-3 weeks in our tent or huts.
During this test phase we travelled through lots of different regions and climates in Australia. The humid and cold East coast, the icy Snowy Mountains, the hot and humid jungles and islands of Northern Queensland, the Outback in central Australia and many more. We experienced nightly temperatures from -4° to +20° degrees Celsius and had to adapt to these changing conditions within short periods of time.
From the beginning we slept with thermals. When it got colder we used a synthetic inlet (Sea to Summit, Thermolite Reactor +8° C) and upgraded to warmer thermals. In the coldest nights we slept with our down jackets and an additional fleece blanket on top. In tropical nights we used the sleeping bags as blankets.
You see, we had quite some time to figure out, how the Cumulus Lite 300 fits our needs.
Cumulus Lite Line 300 – Pros & Cons & Neutral
+ weight: With 640g the Cumulus Lite Line 300 is extremely light compared to its temperature rating and down filling. There are no unnecessary bits and parts. It is definitely one of the lightest sleeping bags on the market.
+ pack volume: 4.4 litres. It’s so tiny. With a compression bag you even could make it smaller.
+ down: Cumulus uses very high quality goose down (850 cuin) from Poland. The down filling spreads evenly within the chambers of the sleeping bag. You’ll find most of the down on the front and the foot box. There is less filling in the back, where it would be of no use anyway.
+ combined: We love the option to combine two sleeping bags. If you feel the lack of romance on the trail, just transform the bags to a big one 😉
+ durability: 5 months of heavy use is quite a long testing phase and we weren’t disappointed with the durability of the Cumulus Lite Line 300 sleeping bags. Philippe managed to pull out the threads of two seams. We could fix it though, by pulling them back in, as the threads were not torn. We also love the material, Pertex Quantum, which Cumulus uses for its sleeping bags. It prevents from dampness and is soft and smooth to touch.
– temperature rating: Cumulus doesn’t use the European standard EN 13537 to mark their sleeping bags with a temperature rating. Their rating is based on their own experience and testing. So you can’t compare their products with other sleeping bags in Europe (there are points for and against the European standard rating). In our experience the temperature rating of Cumulus doesn’t hold the promises. If you are an athletic, muscular guy, you may be able to agree with the ratings. However, if you are long and skinny, a cold sleeper or a woman you should consider that and treat the temperature ratings with caution. Our comfortable limit with the Cumulus Lite Line 300 was +7° degrees Celsius (Cumulus states it at +4° ). But note, that we were already wearing thick merino wool socks, warm merino leggings (260g) and long merino shirts (150g or 260g). If it got even colder, we added an inlet, either a fleece or a down jacket and a hat.
– hood filling: The filling in the hood clumped after a while. Now there are big empty spaces between clumps of down. We think, that this problem could be solved with a better design (maybe dividing the down chambers). Concerning the performance of the hood, we couldn’t make out much difference, though. In very cold temperatures we wore a hat.
– zippers: Because there is no collar the cold metal zipper comes directly into contact with your skin. And due to the silky Pertex Quantum and the lack of a fringe around the zipper (it’s all about saving weight…) the Pertex gets caught in the zipper, if you’re not careful. Luckily, we didn’t damage the Pertex so far (it is indeed very durable and resistant). It’s just annoying.
= space: The size and design of the Cumulus Lite Line 300 fits us perfectly, even when wearing a down jacket. But if you are a bigger person you might feel a bit cramped.
= side sleeper: If you are a side sleeper, the Cumulus Lite Line 300 is not the best option for you. There is less filling in the back, because you don’t need it as a back sleeper. You would just compress the down with your weight and the warming effect dissolves.
Cumulus Lite Line 300 – Specs & Features
- Total weight: 640 g
- Down weight: 300 g
- Weight of unfilled sleeping bag: 340 g
- Comfort temperature: 4 ˚C
- Limit temperature: 0 ˚C
- Extreme temperature: -15 ˚C
- Maximum user height: 185 cm
- Length: 202 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
- Fabric: Pertex Quantum, 35 g/m²
- Filling: Polish goose down, 850 cuin
- Construction: Trapezoid chambers
- Independently filled top and bottom of the sleeping bag
- 175 cm YKK separating zip with two self-locking sliders
- Can be opened and ventilated at the bottom of the sleeping bag
- Can be combined with other sleeping bags
- Full length, down-filled, zip insulating baffle
- Three-dimensional, elastic adjustable hood fitted with stopper
- Internal pocket
- Additional, large mesh bag to store your sleeping bag at home
(Information from the Cumulus website)
Cumulus Lite Line 300 – Conclusion
We like the Cumulus Lite Line 300 sleeping bag very much. We would use it for hiking and other outdoor activities again BUT within the temperature range we are comfortable with. The temperature rating is the only real downer. But if you know your body well and know how much down you need in a sleeping bag to stay warm in the anticipated temperatures you’ll use it, you definitely should consider the Cumulus Lite Line 300.
Cumulus Lite Line 300 on the Te Araroa Trail
We take the Cumulus Lite Line 300 sleeping bags with us on our long distance hike on the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand (more info). Despite the fact, that we experienced a higher comfort temperature than originally declared by Cumulus. The weather conditions in New Zealand are challenging and snow is f.e. at higher elevations on the South Island even in summer not uncommon. But we should withstand the harsher conditions with enough warm clothing and a proper layer system.
Disclosure: We got a 25% discount from Cumulus for the Cumulus Lite Line 300 sleeping bags. Thank you, Cumulus!