For a while now I have been looking at options to replace my wife's sleeping bag (a marmot trestle that weighs 4 1/2 lbs or so). We tend to zip our sleeping bags together often, so I started looking into options for couples. I looked at some double bags but many were too expensive, ie feathered friends spoonbill, or too heavy, ie big agnes king solomon. Anyone have experience using backpacking quilts for couples?
In particular I like how the enlightened equipment revelation looks. The XWIDE is 64", which is wider than most I've seen, but it seems like it might be just barely too narrow. We are both pretty small people, I'm 5' 9" and she is 5' 2" but I was still slightly concerned about it. Anyone have experience with similarly sized quilts, or maybe semi-rectangular bags (I think Western Mountaineering's semi-rectangulars are 64"). In particular I was hoping someone would have experience using a quilt for couples down to 20 degrees. Any information or suggestions are much appreciated!
Not a suggestion, just something we've done lately. We used my EMS Mountain Light 15 degree long as a quilt. We made some light lace straps to hold our pads together (1 oz.) and slept with the bag spread over us on a night that was around 20. I did wear a fleece and a very warm bomber hat, my wife wore a jacket and down booties. Worked well, and it will be hard to ever go back to having separate bags. I'm very interested in eventually getting a quilt to work on its own and supplement the bag. Eliminating 2 lbs. plus of weight is nothing to sneeze at. Considering your wife's bag, you should be able to lose even more weight without sacrificing comfort. Glad you brought it up.
I'm glad others have looked into this, it seems to me there is always a surprisingly limited selection of gear for couples.
I've also used some thin elastic straps to hold our pads together and they seem to work well. Did you use anything to secure the bag to the pads or have any issues with drafts? Looking at the EMS Mountain Light 15 it quotes 60" shoulder girth, so I would think we might be okay with the 64" of an XWIDE EE quilt.
I agree about the weight too; if we end up going with this quilt, we'll pretty much lose 4 lbs. If you are already thinking about quilts, I would look at Enlightened Equipment if you haven't already. They offer quite a bit of customization at quite good prices.
Thanks for the input bluefish! Anyone else out there experimenting with similar options?
Tim(EE) will do custom work too, you could possibly get an X wide and have him sew some fabric wings to each side. This would allow you to tuck the fabric under each of you while keeping the down on top.
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.
I had asked him about making an even wider quilt, such as 70" but he said it wasn't possible. Maybe because of the width the fabric comes in, I'm not sure. I hadn't thought about asking for wings added on to the sides though, that might be an idea. I figured I would ask around for any ideas or previous experiences before pestering him with further emails.
Scratch, the extra layers we wore took care of the drafts. We didn't take any measures to hold down the sides of the bag. I think a quilt would be more ideal, but the bag is a very lightweight solution for now. The extra layers are a necessity to bring, so there's nothing we added to bring up our base weight to compensate. The Mountain Light seems roomier than some, as I have wide shoulders and chest and specifically bought it as I can actually fit without feeling strangled. I'm experimenting with using 4 wooden clothes pins that are attached to the pad straps with another small strap and velcro. This would keep it down when you roll over. Something I tend to do. Please keep us informed of any system you end up getting.
Rockchucker, I just sent him an email with a couple of ideas I might try to add assuming he is willing to modify things somewhat, and asked about the wings as well. I'll probably know pretty soon judging by how fast he has gotten back to me in the past.
bluefish, that sounds pretty reasonable. If it's 20 degrees out, we also already have the extra clothing so it makes sense we could just wear it to bed, although I like to keep it in reserve in case it gets colder than expected.
I wanted to ask your all's opinion on one of the modifications I was thinking about. I was thinking the footbox might be kind of cramped, but it seems you could just use a trapezoidal piece of fabric, to match the taper, with zippers on each side to just zip into the existing footbox. It would mean you could have more space for you feet, but still have down on the top and on the sides. Since it would be small, just 20" long to match the zipper on the revelation, I wouldn't imagine it would weigh too much either. Any thoughts?
I'll definitely keep you all informed of whatever I decide upon, although I don't know how soon we will manage to use whatever we end up with. Also if anyone else has any couples sleeping solutions in addition to what has already been discussed, please chime in!
That's a good idea! I bought a long because it was on sale and got some extra material (I'm 5-11) and we had enough room in the foot box, but why not be really comfortable and have plenty of room? I did ask my wife if she thought the drafts were a problem and she said she had tucked the edge of the bag underneath her and felt zero drafts. For now, we're good to go. You could take an old sheet or blanket, cut it into the quilt size, construct a foot box with duct tape and see what works for you and how much you need the extra. We set up our pads and tried the one bag at home before bringing it on the trail.
Well, it seemed like a good idea, but Tim said that it wouldn't allow you to close up the footbox when it was cold. Which makes sense I suppose, since the drawcord woulld only be on the quilt portion, so you would have a large gap between the quilt and the trapezoid piece of fabric. I guess thats why he is the one designing quilts
He also said he is looking into designing a "modular system for couples," which sounds promising, but I'm not sure how patient I am. Especially after hearing about your experience with your sleeping bag I think 64" would work.
Oh well, I guess for now I try the cut up blanket idea and wait patiently. It's not as if I would really get to use it very soon anyway, seeing as the lows at night have been 20 and below here recently. I'll try to remember to come back and update this thread with whatever we decide to do.
Being new here, I hadn't run into discussion of these quilts http://www.rayjardine.com/ray-way/Quilt-Kit/index.htm, but several members here have experience with them, I found after using the search function. The site explains a lot about quilt construction, and the prices are pretty cheap if you want to sew! The double quilt that zips together is a pretty interesting option. Worth a read if you haven't already.
Sadly I have neither the skill or the equipment to sew, otherwise I definitely would have looked into it. I have looked at a couple of the threads over there about myog couple's quilts with envy...
After talking quite a bit with Tim from enlightened equipment I ended up ordering their Xwide size with 6" wings added on to either side. I should get the quilt in a few weeks and will make sure to give everyone an update when we get it.
For the last 12 years my wife and I use a WM Megalite (24oz) --- opened up. I bought a mating zipper from WM and my wife sewed it on a triangular shaped piece of micro-fleece fabric (9oz). This is similar to the discontinued Sweetie Pie Extender.
When itís cold out, we have the down on top. When itís warmer, we flip the bag over.
Just more ideasÖ -Barry -Mountains were made for Tevas
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