Minim 400 Down Sleeping Bag

Minimalist design cuts weight, but not warmth. For lightweight camping, mountain marathons, trekking, or as a backup.
Typical Operating Temperature
Guideline minimum temperature. Sleeping Bag TOT: you should get a night’s sleep, under normal circumstances. Clothing TOT: you should feel warm enough, assuming low/moderate activity. Sleep System TOT: relates to full system. For more details, see our Technical Briefing.
-5°C / 23°F
For clothing, weight is for size: M. For sleeping bags, weight changes with selected length/width. N.B. there may be some variation in the weights of finished products.
670g / 24oz
Minim 400 Down Sleeping Bag

The Minim 400 matches Backpacking Light's ultralight principles and earns our Recommended rating.
Janet Reichl, Backpacking Light review.



  • Exceptional 900 fillpower European Goose Down
  • Lightweight M1 outer fabric
  • Superlight MX inner fabric
  • Box-wall construction for max loft
  • Hood draws up close around head
  • Packed size*: 17 cm x 28cm
  • Footpiece: Ovoid shape to fit naturally to feet & avoid pressure; multibox section covers whole foot area
  • Straight-wall baffles for lightness
  • Stuff-sac & mesh storage bag supplied
  • Colour: Red
  • Set options:
    • Water-resistant Ultrashell or Superlight MX outer fabrics
    • Waterproof Dri-LX outer fabric shell (+220g)‡
    • Long or Short zip (protected by single draft tube)
    • Slim, Wide and Extra Wide widths†
    • Short, Long, and Extra Long lengths†

*Please note: we make our stuff sacs big enough to allow fairly easy stuffing rather than reducing the bag to the tightest minimum.

‡Please note: The optional waterproof Dri-LX outer provides an extra seam-sealed outer shell to the bag. While a shelled sleeping bag is not designed to be used alone in heavy rain (the hood area is open to the elements) the shell does protect the bag when it is used outdoors without a tent.

†Please note: For all length and width options we change the amount of downfill to keep the warmth (TOT) the same.


Backpacking Light - Recommended

The Minim 400 down sleeping bag has a simple hood and a wider differential cut. Apart from that it is like all the Minim range, no zip, no side-block baffles, no compromise – the nearest thing you can get to carrying just the down.

The optional waterproof Dri-LX outer provides an extra seam-sealed outer shell to the bag. While a shelled sleeping bag is not designed to be used alone in heavy rain (the hood area is open to the elements) the shell does protect the bag when it is used outdoors without a tent, for example in a snow-hole or under a tarp.

This bag was described by TGO Magazine in a test of Down bags as being "Ideal for lightweight backpacking and mountain marathons".

Trek & Mountain - Gear of the Year

Dri-LX (weight: 64 gsm)

At just 64gsm, Dri-LX is our lightest 2-layer breathable waterproof rip-stop nylon fabric. Its remarkably low weight not only makes for a lighter load, but also reduces pack size. Its excellent waterproofing qualities are in part due to how it can be taped at the seams to create a waterproof shell for sleeping bags and clothing.

Ultrashell (weight: 40 gsm)

One of the lightest of PHD's coated materials. This ripstop nylon provides complete wind block and good water resistance at minimal weight. Ultrashell gives an excellent upgrade to performance with very little weight penalty.

Lightweight M1 fabric (weight: 39 gsm)

Lightweight silky microfibre. This close-weave 20 denier fabric is fully downproof, but also light and flexible enough to allow the down full loft. A reliable performer that has been the basis for much of our lightweight gear for some time.

Superlight MX fabric (weight: 32 gsm)

A mini-ripstop nylon with excellent tear strength, MX is the pick of the superfine 15 denier downproof materials. We have tested lighter fabrics, but most have had significant drawbacks, while our confidence in MX is based on several years of extensive use in both our ultralight and our high mountain gear.

Sleeping bag zips

  • No zip: The standard design on our lightest bags with open hoods. The simplest/lightest system which is a must for adventure racers. Up to 140gm (5oz) lighter than a full zip with draft tube.
  • Full zips: Full zip bags ventilate well, so they can be used over a wider range of temperatures.
  • Short zips: Short zips are lighter and pack smaller than full zips. A short zip & draft tube is up to 85gm (3oz) lighter than the full version.
  • Our full briefing on sleeping bag zips.

900 Fillpower Down

European goose down of very high quality. A truly excellent down with large clusters, consistent quality and lively long-term performance. More on our down insulation.


This bag has an insulating straight wall baffle system throughout (no straight-through stitching). Straight wall is the lightest of all baffle sytems. In cross section it looks like this:

More on sleeping bag construction.

Trek & Mountain - Gear of the Year

"After using a whole spectrum of sleeping bags during testing this year, I am convinced that if you want a lightweight option for backpacking trips then the Minim is hard to beat."
Trek & Mountain magazine gear tester, Paul Smith, selects the Minim 400 in his 'Gear of the Year'.

Backpacking Light - Recommended

"The Minim 400 matches Backpacking Light's ultralight principles and earns our Recommended rating based on its simplicity, minimal weight, and high warmth-to-weight ratio. It's especially suited for ultralight backpacking situations when getting the most warmth with the least weight is the most important consideration and when too-warm night time temperatures are not an issue, i.e. when no ventilation features are needed."
Janet Reichl, Backpacking Light review.

"My minim 400 sleeping bag did an excellent job of keeping me warm in sub-zero temperatures in Scotland this March, even though I was just sleeping under a basha. Peter Hutchinson Designs is certainly my manufacturer of choice for down-filled sleeping bags and clothing."
Dr. Richard Tofts.

"This is one of the items I use the most outdoors and if you are after a high-end, well made sleeping bag for 3 seasons, the Minim 400 is for you."
Gilad Nachmani.

"I have recently returned from successful completion of Marathon des Sables. Have to say I loved my Minim 400 sleeping bag, great design, incredibly lightweight. I hate being cold and was worried about getting a good nights sleep in the desert - my PHD was like a comfort blanket, slept well at just the right temperature (used a silk liner also but then I really don't like the cold!). Can thoroughly recommend."
Michaela McCallum.

"I have had a minim 400 and love it, probably one of the best investments I have made in gear."
Jason Pryke.

"[The Minim 400] is an absolute delight. It's extremely light and has no zip, so it's fail-safe. Most importantly, it packs down to a tiny size. This is the nearest you can get to carrying just the 800-fill power-down filling."
Geographical Magazine.

"I would like to thank you for my Minim 400's performance, used it twice so far at -4C, no base layers etc, fabulous backpacking bag for winter."

"The Minim 400 sleeping bag is the dog's *******s!"

"I have just returned from working as an International Mountain Leader in Patagonia with a group from Chelmsford Girls School for Bull Expeditions. This is possibly a first in winter for this type of trip in the Torres del Paine massif. We had night time temperatures of -18C. I took a Minim 400 and was toasty warm in it; I did keep my hat on and a pair of down bootees. I would like to thank you for a great lightweight product that does the job I ask of it."
Stuart Smith.

[Editor's note: Stuart is obviously a hardy sleeper! We don't normally recommend the Minim 400 for these conditions]


"I used the Minim 400 for the last three weeks in the Alps while climbing and I am very satisfied. Awesome quality even when using it for a bivy in bad conditions and snowed under."
Stefan Pinckney.

"My main backpacking bag for 2 years on long distance trips--sleeping in a bivi bag in the UK (a tough test). It is unbeatable for warmth to weight, packs tiny, keeps me very warm (I feel the cold) and dries easily from slightly damp bivi nights. Unbeatable!"

"I'm very impressed . . . down leakage . . . has been substantially lower than . . . products . . . by other manufacturers . . . I took the bag out for a test in the hills recently. I'm certainly glad I specced a zip on the bag, as it's so warm I needed it! Nice and lightweight, and wonderfully warm. I've recommended you to friends and colleagues, and will continue to do so."

"Many thanks for sending the Minim 400 in time for the Original Mountain Marathon. My wife was full of admiration for the bag―she said it was perfect for the conditions."

"As a veteran of 14 Karrimor mountain marathons I have found nothing to beat the Minim 400 Down sleeping bag."
John D.

"I . . . have a minim 400 which is superb."

"I've got one of your minim 400 bags and like it very much having used it several times on Scottish 3-season trips."

"Thanks again for . . . the sleeping bag and [the] help I received from your staff in picking the right bag. The Minim 400 was both light and very warm - just the thing for a multi-day event with desert nights [the Marathon des Sables - ed]."
Dr Ben Edwards, Senior lecturer, Research Institute for Sport, Liverpool John Moores University.

"I have been very impressed with the Minim 400 bag you made for me (although your -5 deg C rating for the bag is far too conservative!)"

"A compliment rather than an enquiry. I took part in the KIMM at the weekend using a Minim 400 bag. Sub-zero temperatures at the overnight camp with icicles on the tents and many competitors complaining of the cold. I was too hot! So warm, so light. Thank you."

"My Minim 400 bag arrived perfectly. I tested it last week and am very happy. The bag performed very well over a large range of temperatures. For example I used the bag during a 12 deg C night, had a good night's sleep and found the bag very breathable. Subsequently, in the field, at 0 deg C, with a strong wind and under just a tarp (no tent) the bag was warm, and I had great night of sleep. Fantastic! Your PHD Minim 400 is now my number one bag, and I have some good bags, including SW Ultralight and Marmot Hydrogen. Congratulations you make a fantastic piece of gear."
Eduardo Lartigau, Brazil.

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