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#137113 - 08/02/10 08:01 PM Quilts?
GDeadphans Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
Pretty soon I am going to need a new sleeping bag. But I have been hearing a lot about quilts for UL backpacking. However, I cant find any for sale online. Except Backpacking Light's quilt which I don't think is for sale yet...Can anyone point me to a website? Maybe some brand names or people who hand make them.

Furthermore, perhaps a critique, pros and cons, stories you have of them. Anything shared is appreciated. I have never tried it before, but am intrigued. Thanks!

Steve
_________________________
"To me, hammocking is relaxing, laying, swaying. A steady slow morphine drip without the risk of renal failure." - Dale Gribbel

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#137116 - 08/02/10 08:54 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: GDeadphans]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6400
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I'm not a quilt person, mostly because I'm a cold sleeper and like to zip up tight in a warm sleeping bag. I also toss and turn a lot. It's not a problem when the quilt on my bed ends up on the floor in my 65* bedroom, but it certainly would be in a tent at 18*F. But that's me!

You can get an idea of what quilt sleeping would be like by completely unzipping your sleeping bag (assuming a full-length zipper) and using it as a quilt. The theory is that since the down underneath your body is squashed flat, it is useless. I tend to disagree because it still has some warmth in it, definitely keeps out drafts and I don't like the idea of sleeping directly on my bare insulated air pad. I hope some quilt lovers will challenge my remarks!

Most quilts are made by "cottage manufacturers" who sell on the internet. A number of hammock manufacturers make quilts, because (I'm told) a quilt is more suited for hammock sleeping than a sleeping bag. Nunatak and a new outfit called Katabatic Gear make very high quality down quilts. GoLite is one of the few major manufacturers to make one. I'm sure I've left out dozens of firms; these are those I can remember off the top of my head.


Edited by OregonMouse (08/02/10 08:57 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#137119 - 08/02/10 09:25 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: OregonMouse]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
There should be a lot of posts on quilts. Use the search engine. I have a sticky post on how to search if you don't know how. It's at the top of the General Discussion forum.

I'm not convinced about quilts, but plenty of people are. Look on Ray Jardine's site for his quilt kits. He has a lot of info on them there since he's a big proponent of quilts and sells the kits.

www.rayjardine.com
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#137120 - 08/02/10 09:32 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: GDeadphans]
Pika Online   content
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1736
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Ray Jardine has been an advocate of quilts for at least 15 years. Check out his ideas at http://www.rayjardine.com/. I have made and used several quilts. I prefer them for mild weather but have used them to temperatures in the mid 20's but not comfortably. If I had to choose between a quilt and a sleeping bag, I would choose the sleeping bag for almost all conditions. If you have a sleeping bag with a full length zipper, you have a quilt. But, it doesn't work the other way.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#137123 - 08/02/10 09:57 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: GDeadphans]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
I'm becoming a convert to quilts lately, especially since I find myself in a hammock more and more often these days. I like to spread out and thrash around when I sleep and a quilt gives me the room to do that. Of course that freedom comes with a price......loss of heat. But there are ways to overcome that. This winter I will be experimenting with cold weather quilts and winter hammocking. I bought a Winter Black Mamba on sale. I love the simplicity of a quilt. There is nothing to go wrong and it suits the KISS principle I try to use with all my equipment perfectly.

On the ground, I have successfully used a Jacks"R" Better Hudson River quilt for couple of seasons. It's a very versatile piece of kit. When used inside a bivy (which is my primary shelter, not an extra) the draft problem is kept to a minimum.
_________________________
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

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#137125 - 08/02/10 10:35 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: GDeadphans]
GDeadphans Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
Oh thanks Tom for the search sticky thing. I did not know how, but I realize I should have opened my eyes a bit more! I have been going through the page numbers lol. *doh*

Thanks for the input. I have heard of Ray Jardine's quilts and they look so comfy. Those Jack's R Better look nice as well.

It is tough for me to sleep comfortably in a mummy bag. I dislocated my arm a long time ago and it never healed right. It still bothers me. I need to stretch it sometimes at night and in a mummy bag that is an extremely daunting task. Unless I find the perfect position that works out, which sometimes I get but I have to wake up and wrestle around. I would rather avoid all that and have a full nights rest with no interruptions. Been thinking about getting a rectangular one, or a quilt. Though I really like how mummy bags can wrap around your head and keep you warm, which a quilt seems like it could do better than a rectangular bag...not sure though. Its a tough decision!


Edited by GDeadphans (08/02/10 10:49 PM)
_________________________
"To me, hammocking is relaxing, laying, swaying. A steady slow morphine drip without the risk of renal failure." - Dale Gribbel

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#137127 - 08/02/10 10:53 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: GDeadphans]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
For whatever it's worth, Thermarest also has one, called the Ventra. I have it, it's quite comfortable, but I haven't had it during a winter season yet, so I haven't been able to test the limits.

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#137141 - 08/03/10 11:48 AM Re: Quilts? [Re: OregonMouse]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
As usual OM is spot on. I can only add three things.

1. A ground quilt needs to be wider than a hammock quilt.

2. A hood or hat is very important for a quilt.

http://katabaticgear.com/shop/category/hoods/

3. The colder is gets the wider the quilt needs to be to limit drafts. For winter camping I use the Katabatic Sawatch under a Jacks'R'Better large quilt.

http://katabaticgear.com/shop/sawatch-sleeping-bag/

http://www.jacksrbetter.com/Large%20Family.htm


_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#137158 - 08/03/10 04:36 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: ringtail]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6400
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Katabatic Gear sells down hoods to go with their quilts. I suspect it would be nice to be able to keep the hood on when having to get up in the middle of a cold night!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#137171 - 08/03/10 06:30 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: OregonMouse]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
Katabatic Gear does NOT have a showroom, but their shop is about a mile from my office. They have combined a lot of good design ideas. Their materials are first rate and the craftsmanship is excellent.

I own both a Nunatak ARC Alpinist and a Katabatic Gear Sawatch. The Sawatch is a better product, in my opinion.

The Katabatic hoods are clones of the BPL Cocoon hoods using down rather than synthetic insulation.






Edited by food (08/03/10 06:30 PM)
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#137210 - 08/04/10 01:54 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: ringtail]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I haven't heard of katabatic. I have been looking at nanatuk for a little while. Now I have another option. I use a quilt for spring/summer/fall. I made it myself, so no good at getting you a source. sorry

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I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#137223 - 08/04/10 05:29 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: finallyME]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
Nice looking quilt. goodjob

Synthetic?
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#137235 - 08/04/10 09:31 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: finallyME]
GDeadphans Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
That does look comfy. Ill buy one off ya wink
_________________________
"To me, hammocking is relaxing, laying, swaying. A steady slow morphine drip without the risk of renal failure." - Dale Gribbel

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#137236 - 08/04/10 09:44 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: GDeadphans]
GDeadphans Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
I really like Ray Way's quilt + the tarp tent. Anyone have any personal experience with either one of these by Ray? I like the idea of cheap, and sew it myself for the savings. What a great idea. I happen to know a professional sewer who makes wedding dresses and such, I am sure she could tackle this with instructions with ease. Just want to make certain on the quality and function.
_________________________
"To me, hammocking is relaxing, laying, swaying. A steady slow morphine drip without the risk of renal failure." - Dale Gribbel

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#137237 - 08/04/10 09:50 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: finallyME]
Roocketman Offline
member

Registered: 03/10/07
Posts: 203
The yarn tufting reminds me of when I made my RayWay Quilt.

I made the one with extra insulation for supposedly 28*F rating. I had the draft edging option as well. I did Springer Mountain April 15 and carried the quilt as far as Gatlinburg. I was never cold. Only a few times did I wish it was just a little wider, but the width in the RayWay plans worked out quite well.

I have intentions of making a down quilt someday. The materials are all purchased from Thru-Hiker.com. I just need the time and motivation.

Nice job. I'd like to hear your comments on the width and warmth after you have some cool weather trips in the fall.

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#137247 - 08/05/10 08:50 AM Re: Quilts? [Re: GDeadphans]
Pika Online   content
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1736
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I have made a couple of Ray Way quilts. They are excellent quality but since they use synthetic insulation are a bit on the heavy side. If you make one, get the draft stopper option. I now use a down quilt of my own design. I put a head hole in it so I can use it as an insulating garment. You can get down quilt kits and materials from Thru-Hiker. http://thru-hiker.com/materials/index.php
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#137248 - 08/05/10 10:01 AM Re: Quilts? [Re: Roocketman]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
To answer food's question, it is synthetic. I did a post on it in the MYOG section. Basically, I bought the insulation from Thru-hiker, and the ripstop from Walmart. I weighed the ripstop at 1.1 oz per yard, so paying $1.50 was a pretty good deal. With the insulation, it came out to be a $70 quilt without counting labor. It weighs a hair over a kilogram. I wanted it to be a 20F quilt. I have had it to freezing a few times, and it has performed extremely well. I am sure it is a 20F quilt, at least with me wearing clothing. I didn't cut the width, it is a full 60". The best thing about synthetic quilts is that you can be the worst seamstress in the world and still get one that works. You can even do it by hand, it will just take longer.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#137289 - 08/06/10 03:17 AM Re: Quilts? [Re: GDeadphans]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Look at Ray's stuff. He's a strange guy, but he's got the experience to back up what he says. His quilts don't have a hood built into them, but he sells a kit to make an insulated bomber hat that would act like a hood.

I know what you mean about your arm. I dislocated my shoulder years ago and it still bothers me once in a while. I like Pika's take on bags-a full zip turns one into a quilt with a hood and foot pocket, never thought of it that way.

I like a mummy bag, but probably would sleep better under a quilt because of the way I sleep.

A good balaclava or fleece hat can substitute for a hood. I'd choose a quilt over a rectangular bag.


Edited by TomD (08/06/10 03:22 AM)
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#137349 - 08/07/10 12:48 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: TomD]
GDeadphans Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
Thanks for the advice. I am almost certain I made up my mind. Its a price I can not argue with, Ray way may be the way. My current sleeping bag is 2.1 pounds, and fairly uncomfortable for my arm like I had mentioned. The Ray Way quilt weights 1.5 pounds....reductions of 6 ounces. Anyone know if I could do better weight reduction with around a 100 - 200 bucks? I have looked at a lot of the bags/quilts you guys mentioned, such as the Katabatic, but wow the price tags on these babies are way out of a broke college students league. laugh

finallyME what was the total weight of that quilt ya made? Sorry, I tried searching for your older thread but could not find it.
_________________________
"To me, hammocking is relaxing, laying, swaying. A steady slow morphine drip without the risk of renal failure." - Dale Gribbel

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#137353 - 08/07/10 02:55 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: GDeadphans]
Lucky489 Offline
newbie

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 4
Loc: Arizona
Go Lite makes 2 different quilts they have a 3 season rated at 20 and a 1 season rated at 40. I have the 1 season in down.

Back Country Gear

Had the best price I could find.

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#137367 - 08/07/10 11:24 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: Lucky489]
MikeTheDigital Offline
member

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 164
+1 on the Ray Way DIY quilts. I sewed mine years ago with a double insulation layer of polarguard 3D. Like others have stated, it is good down to 20 degrees. Mine is not drafty at all. And the polargaurd 3D shipped with it seems to loft better than many commercial offerings. Perhaps because it may be stored in a less compressed state? Anyway my quilt and thermarest prolite 4 are my go to 3 season sleeping setup most of the time!

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#137383 - 08/08/10 04:19 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: MikeTheDigital]
gorge_medic Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 131
Loc: Kentucky
I have both a bag and a quilt (Arc Ghost by Nunatak). I bought the quilt because for most of my trips I would thrash around in my bag all night, am a side sleeper, and for weight savings. So far, I've not been disappointed with the Nunatak. It's become my go-to for three-season use, as well as packing for my teaching trips where accomodations can range from hotel to open-air shelter. As others have said, a hat/hood/balaclava is needed once you get to the colder temps, but I like the fact that the quilt can be adjusted to accomodate the layers I'm wearing underneath. With a bag, it seems like buying one overlarge to accomodate insulating layers would result in a larger space to heat when you're not wearing them.

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#137385 - 08/08/10 05:12 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: gorge_medic]
prone2wander Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/08/10
Posts: 9
This is what I don't understand about quilts, where is the weight savings? I only ask because from what few quilts I have found they all weigh more than my Western Mountaineering sleeping bags and my sleeping bag has a hood and the quilts don't. I understand wanting more room than a sleeping bag but other than that is there any advantage? Are there actual quilts lighter than what I list below?

All 6' models and weighed in ounces. The Highlite only has a 1/2 zip.

Caribou 35 20.5 Megalite 30 24.5 Alpenlite 20 31.1 Highlite 40 17.0

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#137389 - 08/08/10 05:46 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: prone2wander]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 656
Loc: Upstate NY
For a point of reference for you, I own and use a JRB Hudson River quilt (2.5in loft, 20oz), I use it in temps in the high teens. For a 6' person the long at 22oz would be a similar comparison. The Old Rag Mt quilt at 27oz (3.5in of loft) is good for single digit temps.

http://www.jacksrbetter.com/Rectangular%20Quilts.htm
_________________________
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#137399 - 08/08/10 09:26 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: GDeadphans]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I listed the weight in my last comment as a hair over a kilogram. It is about 2.25 lbs. I used a layer of 5 oz climashield XP and a layer of 2.5 oz XP from Thru-hiker.com . The outside fabric was 1.1 oz ripstop nylon I got at Walmart for $1.50 a yard.
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I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#137401 - 08/08/10 09:33 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: prone2wander]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By prone2wander
This is what I don't understand about quilts, where is the weight savings? I only ask because from what few quilts I have found they all weigh more than my Western Mountaineering sleeping bags and my sleeping bag has a hood and the quilts don't. I understand wanting more room than a sleeping bag but other than that is there any advantage? Are there actual quilts lighter than what I list below?

All 6' models and weighed in ounces. The Highlite only has a 1/2 zip.

Caribou 35 20.5 Megalite 30 24.5 Alpenlite 20 31.1 Highlite 40 17.0


When you compare, you have to compare apples to apples. If you use western mountaineering as one example, then you have to use a quilt that is of the same quality and materials.
Nanatuk

arc alpinist 20F 22oz
arc edge 40F 12oz
arc ghost 32F 16oz
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#137407 - 08/08/10 10:30 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: prone2wander]
gorge_medic Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 131
Loc: Kentucky
Maybe a better way to say it is a lighter option that better suited my needs; the quilt is definitely lighter than the bag I was using!

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#137410 - 08/08/10 11:29 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: GDeadphans]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
a quilt is another name for a blanket. It happens that BPing "quilts" are not quilts at all, they are half sleeping bags. Often I cover myself with an open sleeping bag rather than zipping it up, but I have the option of getting into it if its cold. Hammockers of course cut their sleeping bag in half and put half under the hammock and half over and call it a quilt and think its a new idea. Why not buy a used bag and cut it in half yourself?
Jim
BTW I live in Sisters Oregon and we have the worlds largest outdoor quilt show. I was told "Quilts are not insulated because quilts are not blankets, they are art that goes over the blanket" - read bed spread.
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#137428 - 08/09/10 10:43 AM Re: Quilts? [Re: prone2wander]
Roocketman Offline
member

Registered: 03/10/07
Posts: 203
Originally Posted By prone2wander
This is what I don't understand about quilts, where is the weight savings? I only ask because from what few quilts I have found they all weigh more than my Western Mountaineering sleeping bags and my sleeping bag has a hood and the quilts don't. I understand wanting more room than a sleeping bag but other than that is there any advantage? Are there actual quilts lighter than what I list below?

All 6' models and weighed in ounces. The Highlite only has a 1/2 zip.

Caribou 35 20.5 Megalite 30 24.5 Alpenlite 20 31.1 Highlite 40 17.0


Caribou $275 to $295
Megalite $340 to $370
Alpenlite $410 to $445
Highlite $260 to $280

Many of the quilts use synthetic insulation, and it isn't exactly kosher to compare a premium quality down bag to a synthetic article on the basis of weight.

In other words, your selection of WM bags as a comparison for ALL quilts is a loaded magnum gun in your favor.

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#137429 - 08/09/10 10:47 AM Re: Quilts? [Re: Roocketman]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
So, are you inviting him to "make your day"? grin

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#137457 - 08/09/10 04:51 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: DTape]
prone2wander Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/08/10
Posts: 9
Originally Posted By DTape
For a point of reference for you, I own and use a JRB Hudson River quilt (2.5in loft, 20oz), I use it in temps in the high teens. For a 6' person the long at 22oz would be a similar comparison. The Old Rag Mt quilt at 27oz (3.5in of loft) is good for single digit temps.

http://www.jacksrbetter.com/Rectangular%20Quilts.htm


Thanks, that's what I wanted to know. The weights are better than what I have seen.

When you took the bag down to the high teens can you share some additional info as to what your were wearing, head wear etc. I am trying to get a feel for quilts and see if I can drop additional weight.

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#137523 - 08/11/10 06:31 AM Re: Quilts? [Re: prone2wander]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 656
Loc: Upstate NY
from bottom up: clean dry wool socks, midweight longjohns, midweight LS merino wool baselayer, fleece balaclava, synthetic knit hat.

FYI I use these in a hammock so I have to deal with insulation below me in a slightly different way than a ground setup. I am also a warm sleeper in general.
_________________________
http://ducttapeadk.blogspot.com

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#137531 - 08/11/10 01:56 PM Re: Quilts? [Re: DTape]
prone2wander Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/08/10
Posts: 9
Thanks D-Tape!


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#137663 - 08/15/10 10:48 AM Re: Quilts? [Re: DTape]
GDeadphans Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
goodjob

_________________________
"To me, hammocking is relaxing, laying, swaying. A steady slow morphine drip without the risk of renal failure." - Dale Gribbel

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