Fjall Raven Funas Lite Sleeping Bag In Summer
When it comes to “summer sleeping bags, we’re unabashed devotees of bags with hoods; that extra few ounces dramatically increase the versatility of the bag. And every once in a while, we run across a “summer” bag that stretches a category in unusual ways. The Fjall Raven Funas Light ($139) is one of those. Tipping the scales at a featherweight 15.5 ounces (17 ounces WITH the stuff sack), and with an EN13537 rating of 55 degrees, it almost sounds more like a bag for use at your summer cabin. But, as we found out, it’s much more than that.
Let’s start with the “normal” use, out in summer weather. Our testers are unanimous in praising the comfortable liner that feels great against bare skin. And, in warm temps the thinness, the light weight and the relatively large top opening allows for good air flow, reducing clamminess (a problem in many synthetic “summer weight” bags).
Our testers are also unanimous that the temperature rating is ridiculous; the bag is easily comfortable well below the 55 degree rating. One tester somewhat accidentally pushed the rating more than he wanted to; it was 41 degrees when he crawled into bed. But, he had on lightweight longies, wool socks, and a hat, and was comfortable until about 3 a.m., when he started to feel a bit chilly. He checked the thermometer; 30 degrees. That’s well below the EN13537 “Extreme” rating of 36 degrees. He grabbed a pair of disposable handwarmers, threw one in by his feet and one in his kidney area, and went back to sleep, comfortable until the sun came up. Another tester added an Insect Shield Bunk Sack for a hyper-lite bug free sleeping system on a night when he KNEW it wouldn’t rain (he was high on a mountain; we don’t want to guarantee this would work in a swamp, although we’ve been very happy with Insect Shield products), and had a ball.
Clearly, the Microloft insulation and liner/shell fabrics do a good job of venting moisture and moving it away from the body; we’ve found that’s the biggest factor in beating the EN rating. We probably wouldn’t rate it as a 40 degree bag, but we wouldn’t be offended in the slightest if we heard they’d re-rated it to 45. At a pound of weight and a packed size a little larger than a softball, that’s solid performance!
Fjall Raven Funas Lite Sleeping Bag In Winter
But, it was actually in the winter that the Funas Lite was most appreciated by our people. Here’s the situation; you’re headed off into the backcountry for a long day of XC skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, alpine touring. And, being the smart, safe outdoors person you are, you take along a good sized pack with emergency gear; extra clothing, food, heat source, etc. Among the most important things you can bring is a lightweight sleeping bag; if someone breaks an ankle, a leg, hurts their back, whatever, being able to get them covered and keep them warm may be the single most important thing you can do while someone goes for help.
But at the same time, sleeping bags are usually either inexpensive and bulky and heavy, or expensive and small and light. Almost as bad, a high percentage of those $$$ bags are filled with down; when someone has just fallen through the ice and is wet and needs to be warmed up, we’d rather have synthetic. You typically aren’t looking for a bag that will make for a comfortable night; you’re looking to keep someone out of trouble for a few hours while you hoof it back for help (these are day trips, remember, not backcountry overnights!).
For those conditions, the Funas Lite was a favorite companion. It didn’t hog pack space, it didn’t weigh a ton, and it was a huge step up from a relatively similar sized Adventure Medical Kits Bivvy. It perfectly straddled the line between “ultralight and better than nothing” and “too heavy and big to be practical.” It gave us a measure of confidence that reduced stress on the trips, period.
So, from our perspective, that’s it’s real highest and best use; a pint-sized potential lifesaver in winter. Being able to enjoy it in the summer is a bonus; we could certainly use other bags, but for a lot of trips it’s just right. And yes, it’s perfect for that random extra person that shows up at your camp, too! Would we buy it JUST for summer trips? Probably not; the price is a touch high for that limited use, especially when we can easily carry a couple of pounds more. But as icing on the cake, it’s a pretty nice companion on an ultralight trip!