Quilt sizing

Posted by: PaHiker

Quilt sizing - 01/04/18 01:35 PM

I found a number of sites that talk about the size of a quilt, and I have a pretty good idea how long to make it based on my height, but width is still an issue. I have the materials, since there doesn't seem to be any real choice on the width of the material, before I commit scissors to material I thought I would post the question here, hitting some people who have made them.

How wide should a quilt be? I've seen some sites suggesting as wide as a sleeping bag, but that seems counter-intuitive. If I go with that width then why not just buy a good bag? Others have suggested half the width of a bag, half width + x inches, others have formulas using shoulder width that would confound Sheldon from Big Bang. One was so convoluted that, if I did it right, was 18" longer than my material!

Any good suggestions?
Posted by: Glenn Roberts

Re: Quilt sizing - 01/04/18 05:48 PM

I just measured my own quilt (a Thermarest Regulus - synthetic fill), which is 70” long. It is 44” wide at the shoulder (fully stretched open; with elastic not stretched, it’s 40”), tapering down to 24” at the foot. I’ve found it to be sufficiently wide to tuck around me (6’ tall, 180 pounds, size 36 waist, size 44 jacket), with no gaps where cold can sneak in. I’m also a side sleeper.

Hope that helps.
Posted by: PaHiker

Re: Quilt sizing - 01/04/18 06:30 PM

Ah, man, that's perfect! Except for the height we're close enough to the same. Thanks! awesome
Posted by: PaHiker

Re: Quilt sizing - 01/04/18 06:31 PM

One question, you just wrap around, but not underneath? Or does it go under you (on top of your pad)?
Posted by: Glenn Roberts

Re: Quilt sizing - 01/04/18 07:06 PM

A quilt is intended to just lay over the top of you, like a blanket on your bed. It should have enough room that it reaches the ground, so cold air can’t seep in (or, if you prefer, so warm air can’t escape.) Mine does have a snap on each corner, so I can snap it around my neck as I reach the lower limit of its rating; I’ve never had to use it. Mine also has attachment points for snapping it to my sleeping pad - I’ve never put the included points on my pad. (It’s a system where there are adhesive backed snaps that you can attach to the edge of your pad; those snaps match up to snaps on the quilt. In theory, this keeps the quilt snugly attached to your pad, so you don’t end up rolling around with a leg sticking out. In practice, that’s never been an issue.)

Mine also has a “foot box” at the foot end: a piece of nylon about 8 inches long that is attached around 3 edges to the bottom of the quilt. You can either slip the pocket over the end of the pad, to hold the quilt in place, or you can stick your feet into it (same result.) I usually end up with my feet in it; if they get too warm, then I find that I don’t need to worry about whether the quilt fully covers me.

What this means is that your sleeping pad’s R-value is as important as the fill in your quilt. A thick, overinsulated quilt on top of you won’t keep you warm on a cold night if your pad is only r-1.5. My quilt is rated to 40 degrees (below 50, I usually take my sleeping bag.) My pad is an r-5 Neoair All-Season; I once was toasty using that pad with a 20-degree down bag in January (ground frozen) with an inch of snow and an overnight low of 5 below. (Of course, I was wearing long johns, down jacket, down pants, down booties and down mittens inside that sleeping bag.)

My sleeping bag doesn’t have any insulation on the bottom, either. (Thermarest Saros, also synthetic fill.) It’s built similarly to the quilt, except that it does have a hood and top and bottom draft collars, and there’s a nylon bottom (uninsulated). Under that bottom, there are a couple of stretchy bands of fabric that allow me to attach my pad, so the bag and pad become a single unit. It’s a 30-degree bag (it claims 20, but that’s the EN “survival” rating.) I’ve only recently got it, but it kept me warm on a 25-degree night a month of so; I was wearing long johns and a light fleece top inside the bag, and stayed comfy all night. A bag like that might be a good next project?
Posted by: JustWalking

Re: Quilt sizing - 01/05/18 02:42 AM

Enlightened Equipment has a page where they help you determine the size of a quilt by your height/girth, and depending on what kind of sleeper you are (stomach, side, back, active). You might find it useful.

Posted by: PaHiker

Re: Quilt sizing - 01/09/18 01:02 PM

Thanks, that's a great help, esp. if I make them for others.