Deuter Dreamlite 500 Review
Finding a sleeping bag appropriate for warm-weather camping can be tough for me. Choosing the right gear to keep warm seems easier when temperatures are expected to be near or just above freezing. But when conditions can include anything from rain to howling wind and the temps can range from 40-60 degrees, I find it much more challenging. Enter the Deuter Dreamlite 500 and a perfect opportunity to test it on a biking/camping trip in mid-May. With an EN comfort rating of 55 degrees (lowest temperature at which the average female will be warm), an EN limit rating of 50 degrees (lowest temperature at which the average male will be warm) it appeared to be just the ticket.
Size and Packability
The Dreamlite 500 is, in a word, small. The bag and stuff sack weighed in at a skimpy 1 lb. 5.4 oz. on my postal scale, good for when you need to conserve weight. The 6 oz. Polydown Soft Polyester fibre fill allows the bag to stuff down to about the size of a 1-liter water bottle, even without the use of a compression bag. Although it packs down to a miniscule size, out of the sack the Dreamlite 500 is just long enough for my 6′ 2″ frame with the hood drawstring cinched. Both my girlfriend (who is 5’2″ or thereabouts) and I felt the mummy shape of the bag, while big enough, would benefit from a little more girth. The Soft-Nylon Taffeta inner lining felt fine, and coupled with the Dura-Hexlite RS outer shell it seems durable enough, though longer term testing would be needed to truly determine this.
How Warm Will the Deuter Dreamlite 500 Keep Me?
Testing was conducted in the high desert and canyonlands of Colorado and Utah. Low overnight temperatures were predicted to be near 50 degrees, which is within the EN comfort zone rating of the Dreamlite 500. The Dreamlite was put to the ultimate test of “How warm is this sleeping bag?” when rain, strong winds, and camping in a canyon with a possible inversion meant temperatures could have easily dipped down into the 40s. I sleep fairly cold, but was able to sleep through most of the night. I woke up near dawn chilled and in need of extra clothing to get warm. The next night my girlfriend, a warmer sleeper, stayed mostly comfortable but felt there was too much space near the feet, making it challenging to keep that area warm. An appropriately sized sleeping bag would remedy this, unfortunately the Deuter Dreamlite 500 only comes in one size. Considering the test temperatures and conditions, I’d expect the Dreamlite to perform adequately in it’s stated temperature rating. Western Colorado and Utah are quite arid, so we weren’t able to truly test how quickly the bag would dry. But the Dreamlite seemed to handle a bit of moisture from a rain squall adequately by not retaining any.
Additional Features of the Deuter Dreamlite 500
Deuter has also managed to pack some nice additional features into a welter-weight package. There’s an inside pocket large enough to hold a few small items you might need easy access to during the night, and a velcro enclosure keeps the zipper put when fully zipped up. A full length zipper will allow for lots of ventilation in warmer conditions. Although not officially a product feature, I also appreciated the straight-forwardness of the product descriptions on the Deuter website. The Dreamlite 500 is described as being for campers “who need to keep weight down and are prepared to compromise a little on comfort” and it is noted that the single-layer construction “can lead to cold spots” and therefore “we only use it in summer sleeping bags.” Refreshing to see such marketing transparency from Deuter.
In summary, the Deuter Dreamlite 500 sleeping bag is perfect for generally warm weather climates, you could probably sleep without a sleeping bag, for summer/warm weather backpacking when weight is a concern, and when temperatures are within or above the stated rating of the bag. This bag would be also be perfect for hut, cabin, and yurt trips, or as a sleeping bag liner. The Deuter Dreamlite 500 retails for $95.00 and is available in one size only. Please visit www.deuter.com for more information on this and other sleeping bags in the Deuter line.