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Thread: quilt ??s

  1. #1
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    quilt ??s

    I'm kinda a cold sleeper and am wanting to keep my gear weight down. So I've been looking at quilts instead of a sleeping bag.

    I've found quilts rated 20 degrees that are less than 1.5 lbs. I'll be in temps right down to freezing, and usually I need 15-20 degree rated bags to keep me warm. I really want to be able to recover at night and not shiver the whole time.

    So are quilts really all that?-- low weight and warmth?

  2. #2
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    I doubt it, but what quilts are you looking at specifically?
    Last edited by JanBoothius; 02-17-2013 at 01:53 PM.

  3. #3
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    Burrow 20° - Hammock Gear

    That's one I'm looking at, hard to beat for the price at $229 and only 21 ounces for a 20 degree rating. Also, it's made in the USA and they can add extra down for a few bucks more.

  4. #4
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    That looks a lot better than I imagined. I was picturing something more traditional and quilt like.

    Anyone with quilt experience care to chime in?
    Last edited by JanBoothius; 02-17-2013 at 01:53 PM.

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    any sleeping bag is worthless when wet, if you have any actual experience in the matter. the only difference is that a synthetic bag will dry more quickly than a down bag, when draped in the sun, or near the fire.

    as for quilts more specifically, they can absolutely be warmer for the weight than a sleeping bag. but you have to keep a couple things in mind. you absolutely MUST have sufficient insulation underneath you. at 20F, you can't rely on a cheap foam pad alone. you need to look at the R values of pads and choose one with a high R value. you will otherwise lose a lot of heat to the ground and the insulation of the bag will be moot. some folks will double an inflatable (like a big agnes insulated air core) with a foam pad for improved insulation in the winter. lots of variables and options here.

    also, you absolutely have to wear a warm hat to bed. a defining feature of quilts is that they don't have hoods. I have a Mtn Hardwear Dome Perignon hat that I wear. it's seriously warm. you can also find separate down hoods from some cottage makers that made them specifically for use with quilts.

    also, if you move a lot in a quilt, you will vent warmth. the quilt gives you more freedom to toss and turn, but unless you have some kind of engineered method to keep the quilt cinched around you (some come with straps to wrap around your sleeping pad, for example, and the ones I made myself cinch at the collar, have two-sided velcro going from the foot to above the waist, and have a little extra fabric on the edges to tuck under my body), you will vent warmth if you move.

    as for that quilt, 900 fill power down is about the best you can buy. very high lofting stuff. my quilts use 800 or 850, I can't remember, and weigh about 22-23oz for an estimated 20deg rating. I have gone into the upper 20's and have kept warm in a hammock, which tends to be colder than ground sleeping.

    you also have to pay attention to how you sleep. I sleep hot, so I don't need as much insulation as many. I am actually most comfortable sleeping when it's a little chilly outside and I can be warm under the covers. if you tend to sleep cold, you need to take that into account when buying any sleep kit, and err on the side of caution. a lot of people I know who sleep cold will buy a bag rated for 5-10deg colder than they anticipate experiencing. another way you could handle that would be to wear warmer clothes to bed.

  6. #6
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    Go for it!

    I have met the hammockgear folks. They make serious quality gear. Nice people, too. People I know have their quilts and love them.
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  7. #7
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    quilt ??s

    This is cool, if you have any desire to make your own quilt:

    http://bikepacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=5249

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    Unfortunately, I don't have the skills or equipment to make my own, that does look like a cool option, though.

    I was planning on wearing a down hoodie with the quilt to keep my noggin toasty, maybe with a beanie underneath if its really cold. I figure in the rockies, I'll want my down puffy to hang out in at night anyhow, might as well use it as part of the sleep system.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whambat View Post
    Unfortunately, I don't have the skills or equipment to make my own, that does look like a cool option, though.

    I was planning on wearing a down hoodie with the quilt to keep my noggin toasty, maybe with a beanie underneath if its really cold. I figure in the rockies, I'll want my down puffy to hang out in at night anyhow, might as well use it as part of the sleep system.
    That sounds like a good setup. I am planning on a similar configuration
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    i have moved away from the "extreme" gear and just wear layers with my normal lightweight 30degree quilt. some kind of hat/cap of course and down booties.

    the advantage is that i can wear my riding extra's(down sweater, raingear, arm/leg warmers, baselayer...etc and not have to bring any extra clothes. the down side is that i can't wear them to sleep if they are sweaty from riding.
    wearing the right clothes for the conditions have helped me with that problem. of course never sleep in your riding shorts or jersey. i usually wash them and hang to dry if the night temp will permit them to be dry in the morning. or you can put them under the covers and let your heat dry them.



    a tarp or a small tent covers me in rain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ascarlarkinyar View Post
    or you can put them under the covers and let your heat dry them.
    you mean let your body heat warm them up and your down bag/quilt absorb the moisture so it insulates you less? sorry, no thanks.

    I'd hardly call a 20 deg bag/quilt "extreme" gear. where I live, at minimum, it's average "shoulder season" gear that's recommended for everyone to have if they can only afford one sleeping bag. and I find my 20deg quilt to also be useable in the summer because quilts can be vented so easily. With that said, if I can I'd rather save space when possible so I have a synthetic Coccoon travel sheet that I use in the summer during warm spells. It wicks so I stay dry on those 70deg humid nights.

    IMO, there are certain popular trends among ultralighters that are dangerous. one being to sleep in the clothes you wore that day so you can carry a lighter, less warm sleeping bag. you are absolutely screwed if you find yourself in a situation where your clothes of the day get soaked and it gets a little colder than you planned overnight. $hit happens. I've been there and I've been miserable. thankfully, my extra clothes were dry to mostly make up for the temp difference between my bag and what it actually was. it was an uncomfortable night without much actual sleeping. and I'm lucky that's all it was.

    one aspect of safety that's not addressed enough by a lot of ultralighters is that you should have more insulation than you THINK you minimally need so you can adapt to changing situations/conditions. I also carry a 1oz emergency poncho in case my primary rain gear is compromised.

    in the case of bikepacking, IMO, that means you shouldn't wear ANYTHING you sweat in to bed. if you are going to rely on clothing to supplement your sleeping bag/quilt, then it should be clothing you never touch until it's time for bed. if you carry it in case you get cold when riding, then it should not be part of the sleeping equation.

    yeah, that means you're carrying more weight. but in conditions that would necessitate even considering a 20deg sleeping bag as a possibility, screwing up here can mean you die overnight.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    you mean let your body heat warm them up and your down bag/quilt absorb the moisture so it insulates you less? sorry, no thanks.

    I'd hardly call a 20 deg bag/quilt "extreme" gear. where I live, at minimum, it's average "shoulder season" gear that's recommended for everyone to have if they can only afford one sleeping bag. and I find my 20deg quilt to also be useable in the summer because quilts can be vented so easily. With that said, if I can I'd rather save space when possible so I have a synthetic Coccoon travel sheet that I use in the summer during warm spells. It wicks so I stay dry on those 70deg humid nights.

    IMO, there are certain popular trends among ultralighters that are dangerous. one being to sleep in the clothes you wore that day so you can carry a lighter, less warm sleeping bag. you are absolutely screwed if you find yourself in a situation where your clothes of the day get soaked and it gets a little colder than you planned overnight. $hit happens. I've been there and I've been miserable. thankfully, my extra clothes were dry to mostly make up for the temp difference between my bag and what it actually was. it was an uncomfortable night without much actual sleeping. and I'm lucky that's all it was.

    one aspect of safety that's not addressed enough by a lot of ultralighters is that you should have more insulation than you THINK you minimally need so you can adapt to changing situations/conditions. I also carry a 1oz emergency poncho in case my primary rain gear is compromised.

    in the case of bikepacking, IMO, that means you shouldn't wear ANYTHING you sweat in to bed. if you are going to rely on clothing to supplement your sleeping bag/quilt, then it should be clothing you never touch until it's time for bed. if you carry it in case you get cold when riding, then it should not be part of the sleeping equation.

    yeah, that means you're carrying more weight. but in conditions that would necessitate even considering a 20deg sleeping bag as a possibility, screwing up here can mean you die overnight.



    different strokes for different folks........

    for me with a dry base layer and wearing my extra bike clothes on top(minus shorts/jersey) i will roast in my 30 degree bag down to 5-10 degrees with out any condensation. even if i am drying some riding clothes under the quilt while i sleep. never had the quilt get wet or absorb any moisture doing it this way.
    i am very ventilated using a tarp or my small tent.

    not freezing to death(literally) worst case scenario has to do with the right equipment and knowledge(from experience or pasted on). if i got hyperthemic, a fire, more insulation, weather protection, exercise or just pack up camp and get to a warmer place.

    out of the 20-40 times a year i bike camp only once i was caught in a "too cold" at night situation. remedied by heating many rocks and all my water bottles and surround my body with them under my quilt.

    another time ants found me and i had to break camp and set back up down the way. "that" was worse then being cold. those suckers could really bite!!!


    another method of layering i use is to use a bivy or inner bag(like emergence bivy or cotton bag) under the quilt. but that can cause condensation depending on material. bring more than you need is my way as well. i have the lightest bike/bags/equipment that works just so i can bring more.

  13. #13
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    NateHawk, you bring up an important point. Having the lightest setup is a nice to have. In the backcountry if you are carrying a little extra weight as insurance it is always a good idea.

    A buddy and I backpacking on Isle Royale late in the season were very thankful for a few days added food we had along with extra down jackets. We were delayed by a cedar bog and weather getting back across the lake.

  14. #14
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    Layers and redundancy are where its at. I take the lightest sleeping bag I can get away with in the conditions and then add clothes to get the comfort rating higher. A 700g sleeping bag and a 300g down jacket, 250g of thermal longs is much more useful than a 1.25kg sleeping bag. Also make sure your sleeping bag is of a type that you can rearrange the down so its mostly on top. A thin (1/8") foam mat with a thermarest neoair over the top makes for a warm sleeping base so in cold conditions I can shake almost all of the down in my bag to the topside which gives you quilt like top warmth.

  15. #15
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    Golite has redesigned their quilts for this year. Check out the z30, that is what I am going to be using. 1+ Season
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  16. #16
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    Mountain Laurel Designs makes some nice quilts also. They have different temp ratings and sizes so you only carry what you need.


    Mountain Laurel Designs

  17. #17
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    I'll add in a couple of other options for quilts:

    Enlightened Equipment - top & under quilts. If you go with one of the "X" options (e.g. the RevelationX) and are willing to accept 2nds on the material, you can save some bucks.
    enLIGHTened Equipment

    Jacks 'R' Better - top & under quilts. Lots of options for length, width, temp rating, fill type, etc.
    Ultra light quilts and sleeping bags for outdoor camping | Jacksrbetter
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  18. #18
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    Thanks for all the replies, I ended up ordering a mummy bag from Sea To Summit, the MCIII. It really came down to getting a really good deal as cost is almost as important as function. Although rated at 28 degrees and 1.5 lbs, it should perform well. I'm thinking my down hoodie and an insulated mat should keep me warm enough.

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