The Lightrider has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best warm weather down sleeping bags for 2021.
Reviewers Paid: $100.00
550 down fill
Durable, warm, relatively lightweight, very comfortable mummy, small pack size, all-around good summer bag.
- Packs small
- Light enough
- Warm to rated temperature
- Very well made
- Inconspicuous "Basic Black" color
- Only 550 fill power down
- A little heavy by today's standards
I have and regularly use four mid '80s era (red label) The North Face Light Rider down sleeping bags. I've had them for about 25 years. They are still going strong. They're warm to just slightly below their rated 35°F, and pack down to a respectable 6" x 15". They weigh in at 1 Lb. 12 ozs. While not "ultra light" they're still light enough to be useful.
While 550 down is considered low end today, the quality of down used by TNF has maintained its rated loft even today. The two-way YKK zippers still function fine. They are not an extreme mummy shape so they are comfortable and easy to enter and exit. The nylon shells are highly breathable taffeta, but the downside is there's little moisture resistance. I've used Rustoleum's RainX spray on them to good effect.
Mine are "Basic Black" (which I like), later iterations are blue with violet accents (not my favorite). All in all they are still good all around camping and backpacking bags for my family and me, despite being 35 years old. They prove the adage "Price is what you pay. Value is what you get." They have been exceptionally good values!
I've had these for about 25 years. I own or have owned bags by: Kelty, Marmot, Sierra Designs, Montbell, Trailwise, Chinook. TNF bags are well made and durable in my opinion. These bags have been used in moderate conditions down to their temperature rating in tents or in bivy sacks under tarps and in hostels.
These bags have traveled with us throughout the USA from the Adirondacks, Green and White mountains, Great Lakes and East Coast in late spring, summer, and early fall, to the South's Gulf Coast and Florida during winter tent or tarp camping, and Europe, Japan, Taiwan (hostels), and Philippines (hostels/camping).
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: about $80-$100 each
I've used this bag for summer mountaineering bivvis (with a G-tex bivvi sack) both times to around -5°C so had to wear my thermals and a thin fleece top to stay warm enough. The bag is made of 1.1oz taffeta, packs down to the size of a small coconut.
Overall a good bag and the lack of a cross block baffle allows you to shift the down from the top to the bottom depending on the situation.
It is a snug fit but the draft collar is not existent. With a warm hat and neck warmer, this bag is great for alpine summit pushes/bivvis.
Fill: 550 fill down
Temperature Rating: 30F/0C
Price Paid: US $100 (sale)