View Full Version : Tell me about quilts

06-10-2019, 15:34
Hello all, I'm getting back into backpacking after several years off when kids were littler. Went recently to Grayson Highlands with my 15yo, and we took our old Kelty down bags as I figured they'd be lighter and squish better into our packs. They were OK, but I sweated all night, but was too cold out of them, and even with the down, it was a job to shove them into the bottom sections of our packs. Last time I really hiked, quilts weren't a thing, nor were hammocks really for backpacking. I don't have a hammock and not sure I'd like that, but is a quilt still a better option for tent use? Usually only do 3 season trips, so doesn't have to be rated too low - don't think I'd go out below freezing very often. Tell me how they work, what kinds you like, if they're loads lighter than sleeping bags? Do they keep you warm enough? can you wrap them up like a bag if you need/want? I know nothing. What are your favorite brands?

06-10-2019, 15:43
I switched last year from a sleeping bag to a quilt and I have really been pleased. I have an EE Revelation and I find it very easy to adjust for warmer or cooler weather. Plus, I have plenty of room to move my legs however I would like.

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06-10-2019, 16:46
They work just as well as bags and are easier to vent and to get in and out of. Some designs use a draft collar and/or elastic cord on the sides to keep drafts out such as the Warbonnet Diamondback (my top choice) as an optional upgrade. Your shell fabric and down type choices should be in the ball park of:
-duck or goose down 700fp to 850fp
-inner shell 15D or 10D
-outershell 20D or 15D ripstop
-synthetic insulation instead if you donít expect to be able to keep it dry or canít afford down
-permanent sewn footbox for below freezing and possibly a zippered convertible style footbox for warmer weather
-baffle design is a bit of a personal preference after a certain point, most are fine.

06-11-2019, 07:16
A 20 degree quilt is a nice compromise for three season camping/backpacking. I know 20 degrees sounds too warm for summer but, the ability to vent a quilt or, move most of it off your body or, easily stick out one leg, makes a quilt very versatile. If you're using it on the ground, I'd get a bit more width than if using it in a hammock.

06-11-2019, 09:38
They even have quilts for those that like the feel of a bag. Such as the Enlightened Equipment Convertible. Or you could get a extra wide quilt and that will give you a lot of insurance against drafts and a nice cozy feeling without adding too much weight. For example, a 50Ē wide quilt might be fine for most averaged sized folks in a hammock with an adequate underquilt, but I like to use a 55Ē in a hammock.

Most TQ donít have a hood, which is usually not a big deal, but for cold weather, you will need a warm hat and preferably a warm pillow too. However, there are some TQís that have added the hood back to a traditional TQ design. There are a few vendors making them, but I donít know all of them off hand. I believe Sierra Madre Research, and Sierra Designs both have some options like that.

06-11-2019, 14:23
My EE Rev 30 is perhaps the best gear purchase I've ever made.

After one entire summer of bike touring with it, I didn't have to launder it. I never slept on it, and a few minutes of sunshine once in a while kept it sanitized enough to stay fresh. It was challenged by blowing wet snow and a blazing heat wave that season.

11-04-2019, 10:33
I've been using Coleman for a year now. I like its size and ease of transportation. It is convenient for spring and autumn, it is neither cold nor hot to sleep. 4.6 pounds 100% Poilestr

Night Train
11-04-2019, 12:51
They are lightweight and warm and come in several color combinations, the quilt world is your oyster. Have fun.

11-04-2019, 13:21
I like and use quilts but, I am a hammocker. I'm told they start to lose their advantages when it's very cold, like below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. (But Shug does it!)

11-04-2019, 14:25
I have been using quilts for the past 3 years. I like them a lot over sleeping bags because they are not as restrictive and not as heavy. I have an Enlighten Equipment Rev 10 degree and a Hammock Gear Econ Burrow 30 degree. I find that with the EE Rev 10 quilt the fill tends to shift in their baffles and I get cold spots. Kind of annoying. I just used it this past weekend in colder temps (28 degree nights) and I had to shake the down from the foot box into the center where I get cold spots and redistribute it. Other than that annoyance I really enjoy using quilts. It's definitely a personal choice though just like foot wear. Hammock Gear has more affordable quilts and I have never had an issue with cold spots.

11-04-2019, 20:40
It was easy for me to switch to a quilt, since that's how I used my sleeping bag 90% of the time. Saves a lot of weight and space. My 20 degree quilt is 20 ounces, and is comfortable well below freezing if I'm in a tent. It can be tougher to stay as warm if you're in a shelter or in the open on a breezy night.

Time Zone
11-04-2019, 21:04
and we took our old Kelty down bags as I figured they'd be lighter and squish better into our packs.

Quilts aside ... Do you have a compression sack for those bags? I have found that down bags do not stuff small without them. What happens appears to be twofold. First, they expand when you let the pressure off. So when you go to add stuff on top of it, the bag has expanded upward in your pack. Second, even when you shove it down really firmly, what ultimately happens is that just the top part of the item is compressed well; on the underside, it's not nearly as compressed.

The upshot is, although it's true that packing a down bag without a stuff/compression sack cuts down on space-wasting voids in your pack, the bag will take up more space overall, and be hard to compress evenly. I'd rather fill those voids with clothes and other small stuff.

Like others have said, you can sort of "preview" quilts by unzipping your sleeping bag most of the way, leaving a footbox, then draping it over yourself.

Tipi Walter
11-05-2019, 00:16
I use my down sleeping bag as a throw-over quilt 90% of the time summer and winter---and always have the option to zip up and get Mummified when temps plunge to surprising lows.

I like the quilt option because I toss and turn all night---and my winter down bag works great as a quilt down to about 10F whereby below that I zip up and get cocooned.

"Quilt option" means it's used as a blanket with nothing underneath except my pad. "Bag option" means I'm all zipped up when temps go from 20F (quilt temps) to -10F(bag temps).

11-05-2019, 02:55
I like my sleeping bag, it is universal for different temperatures. If I'm cold, I just wear ordinary socks and a T-shirt, I sleep in them.

I agree that fluff and feathers in a sleeping bag are not always good, especially since it is heavy or becomes so over time. I don’t remember what kind of filler I have, but the bag is quite light and warm.