This is a gear review about the Macpac Dragonfly Sleeping Bag Range in 2023.
In late 2021 Macpac introduced the Dragonfly range as their new top-of-the-range sleeping bags. They have cut a large amount of weight from these sleeping bags. The Dragonfly Sleeping Bags come in two versions, the Dragonfly 400 and the Dragonfly 600.
I recently tested the full range of Drangonfly Sleeping Bags to see how well they stack up again all the best Ultralight Sleeping Bags for 2023.
Keep reading to find out more.
Macpac Dragonfly Sleeping Bag Specifications
Macpac Dragonfly 400
Weight: 25.8 oz / 731 grams
Down Fill: 14.1 oz / 400 grams
Sleeping Bag Fabric Weight (without down): 11.7 oz / 331 grams
Down fill power: 800+
Hyperdry Down: Yes
Total down loft in cubic inches: 11280 cubic inches of down loft
Zip: Yes, 1/3 length zips
Draft Tube on Zip: Yes
Stuff Sack: Yes – Compression Stuff Sack
Stuff Sack Compressed Volume: Unknown
Macpac Dragonfly 600
Weight: 34.6 oz / 981 grams
Down Fill: 21.2 oz / 600 grams
Sleeping Bag Fabric Weight (without down): 13.4 oz / 381 grams
Down fill power: 800+
Hyperdry Down: Yes
Total down loft in cubic inches: 16960 cubic inches of down loft
Zip: Yes, 1/3 length
Draft Tube on Zip: Yes
Hood: Yes, with draft collar
Stuff Sack: Yes – Compression Stuff Sack
Stuff Sack Compressed Volume: Unknown
Macpac Dragonfly Sleeping Bags
The Macpac Dragonfly is a new sleeping bag range that replaced the aging Epic sleeping bag range. It is filled with high-quality 800 loft down, the 15D outer fabric is much improved, and the zips are lighter and smaller. They might just have a winner with the new Dragonfly sleeping bags.
As far as Australian and New Zealand Brands go, the Dragonfly is up against the already established and improved Sea to Summit Spark range of sleeping bags. So there is some healthy competition in the sleeping bag space.
The Dragonfly sleeping bags are one of the only ones on the market that have been independently ISO 23537 tested. This new standard was upgraded in March 2022. So the temperature ratings are quite spot on. Add to that the price which is reasonable considering the quality of the bags.
Down type / fill power
The Macpac Dragonfly uses 800+ loft Hyperdry Goose Down in 2023. This is a bit below average for the top-of-the-range lightweight sleeping bags available around the world at the moment. 800 loft will be a little more durable than 900 or 950+ loft down as is the nature of the product.
As it is HyperDry down it will be able to withstand wet conditions and still keep its loft. Good to know if you are unfortunate enough to find yourself getting wet.
Let’s take a look at how the Dragonfly sleeping bags are made with the features such as the Inner and Outer Shell fabrics, zippers, baffles, draft tubes, hood, and weather resistance.
Outer Shell fabric
The outer fabric on the Macpac Dragonfly sleeping bags is the Pertex Quantum 15D with a C6 DWR coating. While some competitors have opted for 10D or even 7D outer fabrics Macpac has used a stronger, thicker, and heavier 15D Pertex fabric. The fabric uses the new Y Fuse technology that locks the fabric into itself to create a tighter weave. It is coated with a DWR finish which does a good job of beading water and allowing it to run off the fabric without it penetrating the internal down.
Both the Dragonfly 400 and 600 use 10D ripstop nylon on the inner fabric. It is light and soft to the touch. It is not weather resistant nor is it coated with a DWR but does a good job. Some of the ultralight sleeping bag companies are now moving even lighter to 7D inner fabrics but the Dragonfly range has stayed with the lightweight 10D.
Overall, it is lightweight, feels soft, is strong, and works well.
The outer fabric is treated with a DWR to help any water run off the fabric rather than soak in. When I tested the water resistance it worked well and as expected. The DWR finish caused the water to bead and run off the Pertex fabric.
If you were caught out in a rainstorm while sleeping outside without a shelter, most of the water will not penetrate the sleeping bag and get into the down. Any water that does get in would enter via the stitching. The Hyperdry down will reduce the ability of the down to absorb water. So, overall it is good to know that if you get caught in damp conditions the sleeping bag will do its best to keep you safe.
Important to note that the DWR coating and HyperDry Down treatment will not last forever and you will need to reapply it over a period of time.
Both the Dragonfly 400 and Dragonfly 600 are fully baffled with no sewn-through sections which keep the down nicely packed without much chance of getting cold spots. All the baffles are horizontal baffles that can move throughout the night and get compressed which can, in turn, create cold spots. In recent years there has been a move towards vertical baffles, at least in the shoulder and chest area to reduce this from happening.
During testing, I didn’t get any cold spots or have any issues with cold spots but I would have loved just a little more down in each of the baffles to keep them nicely stuffed. And the foot box was generous in size and the amount of down stuffed in there. People that suffer from cold feet at night should be OK with either of these sleeping bags.
Zips and Draft Tube
Both the Dragonfly 400 and Dragonfly 600 feature a 1/3 length lightweight zip. I am a big fan of 1/3 and 1/2 length zips on ultralight sleeping bags. They reduce the overall weight without reducing the functionality too much. It takes away the ability to open up the bag into a quilt when needed on warm nights. However, I would suggest if you find yourself needing to do that then you should consider a lightweight hiking quilt instead.
I found the small zips worked well and I was not able to snag them as the design does a good job at preventing zip snags.
Both bags have a draft tube along the zips to prevent heat from escaping and they function well.
The Macpac Dragonfly 600 features a full draft collar which is nice and well lofted to keep a nice seal around the neck. There is a drawcord that can close the draft collar and prevent the heat from escaping and the cold drafts from entering. Great for those cold nights. During testing I found the draft tube to be very effective and worked well.
The Macpac Dragonfly 400 doesn’t have a draft tube or drawcord around the neck area. Despite the lack of a draft collar, it does have overstuffed baffles around the neck to keep the weight to a minimum and still keep the cold out. During testing, I found the baffles around the neck area to do a good job. While a full draft collar would be good on the Dragonfly 400, that would increase the weight of the bag without any real side benefit of significantly adding to the warmth. I guess that is where the greater warmth of the Dragonfly 600 comes in.
Overall, the zips, draft collar, and neck baffles do a good job and there is not much that I can fault.
The hood on the Dragonfly sleeping bag is good and features a nice amount of down stuffed into the baffles. The hoods are generously sized so you could wear a large expedition weight down jacket or down balaclava inside the sleeping bag without any issue.
The toggles for the hood are hidden in a small recess which takes a little to get used to. They are a little more difficult to operate than most toggles on other sleeping bags. Some may find them annoying, at least initially.
I tested both the Macpac Dragonfly 400 and Macpac Dragonfly 600. I found the hood worked well when I was sleeping on my back and sleeping on my side. When the temperatures are very cold the hood can be closed tight with only a minimal amount of your nose and face exposed.
With the good draft collar on the Dragonfly 600 and good hood, you will be nice and warm when needed.
Both the access and function of the hood are good, maybe the drawcords could be a little easier to use. Having said that, the hood toggles and drawcord appear to be a newer design as I haven’t seen that style in other sleeping bags.
Stuff Sack: Packability And Compression
It might not seem overly important but the stuff sack for the Macpac Dragonfly Sleeping bag is one of the best compression sleeping bag stuff sacks on the market. What makes it so good?
It is a seam-sealed vacuum sack that has great lightweight compression straps to make the already compact bag even more compact. It is generous enough in size to stuffing the sleeping bag inside is not too difficult. This is one of the best in class in 2023 making it a great stuff sack to use with your ultralight backpack.
Comfort and Size
The Macpac Dragonfly sleeping bag is a mummy-style sleeping bag with generous sizing around the feet and chest. There is enough room to twist and turn as you would during the night. When I tested both the Dragonfly 400 and Dragonfly 600 I found they worked well when I was side sleeping, sleeping on my back, or sleeping on my stomach.
The sleeping bags had plenty of room for me to wear my expedition grade down jacket inside the sleeping bag and still have room to toss and turn.
When testing the Dragonfly Sleeping Bags I found the temperature rating to be true to those stated by Macpac. Both have been independently tested to ISO standards and I found them to be very accurate.
I am normally a cold sleeper unless I happened to eat a very large and heavy meal before going to sleep (which can assist in keeping you warmer at night). I am also a side sleeper in general and I found the Macpac sleeping bags to work well when sleeping on my side or back.
It is super important to note the independent ISO-Rated temperatures that are listed on each Dragonfly Sleeping Bag.
The Comfort Rating is the most important rating as this is the temperature at which you will be warm and should sleep well. Unfortunately, the sleeping bag industry as a whole fails to use this rating for marketing reasons in preference to using the Limit Rating.
Please use the Comfort Rating as your base for what bag will keep you warm at what temperature.
This is usually the temperature at which a woman will sleep well without being cold.
Dragonfly 400 Comfort Rating: 1C
Dragonfly 600 Comfort Rating: -3C
The Limit Rating is used by almost all sleeping bag manufacturers as the temperature rating for the sleeping bag. Few people will get a good night’s sleep at the limit rating unless you know your body well enough to know you are a warm sleeper. I know myself well enough to know I am usually halfway between the Comfort and Limit Rating for my own personal rating on how warm I will be at night inside a bag.
This is usually the temperature rating that a male, curled up on his side, will sleep OK. Most people will feel cold and not sleep well when sleeping at limit rating temperatures. At least I know I don’t sleep well at the limit temps.
If going to places where you might reach the Limit rating, you could purchase a Thermal Sleeping Bag Liner which may give you enough extra warmth.
Dragonfly 400 Limit Rating: -5C
Dragonfly 600 Limit Rating: -10C
The Extreme Limit is the limit within which people will not die from hypothermia or extreme cold. You can be guaranteed that if you use the bag at the Extreme Limit you will not sleep at all. If going into the Extreme Limit you should upgrade to a 4 Season Winter Sleeping Bag.
Dragonfly 400 Extreme Limit: -22C
Dragonfly 600 Extreme Limit: -29C
Caring for your Macpac Dragonfly Sleeping Bag
When you have a high-quality sleeping bag like the Dragonfly range it is worth taking care to look after it. One of the best things you can do is wear clean hiking base layers to bed to prevent sweat, dirt, and body oil from penetrating the inner liner. You can also use a sleeping bag liner to keep it clean.
How to store your Dragonfly sleeping bag
The Macpac Dragonfly Sleeping Bags come with a lofting bag that can be used to store the sleeping bags when they are not in use. This will assist in keeping the down lofted.
The lofting bags are a decent size but I’m a fan of large lofting bags, larger and roomier than the ones supplied by Macpac. Not really a criticism just something I think could be better. Having said that, the lofting bag is bigger than most other lofting bags in its class.
How to wash your Macpac Dragonfly Sleeping Bag
Over time the Mapac sleeping bag will lose a bit of its loft and you may start to complain that the bag is not as good as it used to be. If this occurs it is time to give the sleeping bag a wash. I wrote an article on how to do this so take a look at How to Wash a Down Sleeping Bag, for further details on how to wash your bag.
The Macpac Dragonfly is a premium Sleeping Bag at a premium price. But you should note that Macpac always have these sleeping bags discounted from the recommended retail price. So click the link below to check out just how cheap they are today.
With supply issues, some sleeping bag companies are struggling to get stock. It appears Macpac has plenty in stock at the time of writing. But unfortunately, they are only available in Australia and New Zealand.
They are also one of the companies that have their sleeping bags tested to the new ISO standards, unlike some companies that take an educated guess.
Macpac Dragonfly Vs The Rest
How does the Macpac Dragonfly Range compare to other all the Best Sleeping Bags in the ultralight class in 2023. It is not as ultralight as some of the others in its class but still one of the best. Check out my full comparison review of the Macpac Dragonfly Sleeping Bag up against all the Best Ultralight Sleeping Bags 2023.
Best Suited Use
As the Macpac Dragonfly is only available in Australia and New Zealand it is best suited to anyone looking for Australian or New Sleeping Bags that fit the temperature range they will be using them in. Here are some great trails that would work well with the Dragonfly Range:
- The Dragonfly 400 or Dragonfly 600 would be perfect to add to your Te Araroa Thru Hike Gear List in New Zealand or your Pacific Crest Trail Gear List for thru-hiking in the USA.
- The Dragonfly 400 or Dragonfly 600 would be perfect for thru-hiking the Overland Track, South Coast Track, or any 3 season bushwalking trip in Tasmania.
- Perfect for thru-hiking the Bibbulman Track in Western Australia or the Australian Alps
- Summer trips in South America including Patagonia as long as the nighttime temperatures weren’t too much below freezing.
Overall, the Macpac Dragonfly range is a very good effort and upgrade to the Macpac Sleeping Bag Range. The Dragonfly 400 and Dragonfly 600 just work well with almost nothing that I can fault. They use the best-in-class stuff sack, lightweight 800+ loft Hyperdry down and a lightweight inner and outer fabric. These sleeping bags will surely be popular on the trails in Australia and New Zealand.
There is not much to fault, and not too many things that could be improved without increasing the weight. I wonder if they would consider an 850+ or 900+ loft Hyperdry down in the future!
The New Zealand Brand Macpac makes some of the best sleeping bags for Australian and New Zealand conditions. The Dragonfly and Serac range are some of the best lightweight sleeping bags in the world.
Yes, All the Macpac down sleeping bags use ethically sourced down that can be traced and are responsibly sourced.
BikeHikeSafari Gear Review Process
The author, Brad McCartney from BikeHikeSafari is a small independent adventurer and outdoor gear tester who owns and runs BikeHikeSafari.com.
BikeHikeSafari is not part of a large blog network and is proudly independent. All reviews on this site are independent and honest gear reviews of outdoor products by the author.
The author, Brad McCartney is a very experienced triple crown thru-hiker, adventurer, and bike tourer having spent 1000s of nights sleeping in a tent and sleeping bag (Read more). He was a manager of an outdoor retail store and is very experienced in what is important when using and testing gear for reviews like this.
BikeHikeSafari will never receive any money for reviews and they do not accept sponsored reviews on this website. All the comments about the gear reviews are from the author based on his years of experience. Hope this independent review was helpful for you.