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Top Bag to Quilt Conversion (!!!)
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Jed Augustine
(jaugusti) - F

Locale: Appalachians/Rockies
Top Bag to Quilt Conversion (!!!) on 02/10/2008 11:13:59 MST Print View

Hey everybody-

I have been lurking in the shadow of the forums learning and reading the BPL Bible and trying to figure out how to make the switch to ultralight backpacking without eating saltines and peanut butter for the rest of the year.

I am kind of excited because I think I may have come up with a solution for one of the "big 3". I bought a Big Agnes Pomer Hoit 0* top bag at an REI Stratch and Dent sale last year, and after read up on Top bags and quilts, it seems like I could drop a lot of oz from the Pomer Hoit by converting it to a quilt.

The problem is this: I am a total newbie to MYOG, without any semblance of sewing knowledge or anything like that. I have BIG ideas (or at least ideas that excite me very much) for this project (removing zips, draft collar, bottom fabric, making the mummy hood detachable...) but I have no idea how to execute. If anyone could offer their advice, ideas, or links to info on technique, that would be just lovely.

My thanks to everyone for this community, and for whatever comments y'all have.

Jed Augustine

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Top Bag to Quilt Conversion (!!!) on 02/10/2008 11:29:27 MST Print View

There is an article on this very site about making a quilt from a sleeping bag. Membership required to read it I think.

Make Your Own Gear: Transforming a Mummy Sleeping Bag into an Arc Top Bag

Edited by jshann on 02/10/2008 11:49:15 MST.

Jed Augustine
(jaugusti) - F

Locale: Appalachians/Rockies
BPL M Article on 02/10/2008 11:32:49 MST Print View

Hrmm... well, what's the name of the article for future reference?

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: Top Bag to Quilt Conversion (!!!) on 02/10/2008 11:39:41 MST Print View

Honestly, it would be easier to make a quilt out of materials than to convert the BA bag to a quilt effectively. I just did the opposite a few days ago and made a quilt into a topbag and added a small zipper which took about 5 hours.

If you have a sewing machine, try to find a basics lesson at a local quilting store if you can. I learned by reading the manual (my man-ometer dropped down because of the 'reading directions' thing). Before you touch a nice piece of equipment like a 0* down bag, you will want to make several stuff sacks, a few fleece hats, a tarp and probably a pack. Ray Jardines website is a great starting point for MYOG stuff and his products are top notch with great instructions. has great MYOG stuff too, although a bit more complicated instructions.

I would actually recommend not touching the BA bag. Because it is designed to go down to 0*, stuff like a draft collar and permanent hood are appropriate. I feel a quilt anywhere below 20* is inefficient. Consider making a rayway basic quilt and bomber hat instead for 3 season use and save serious oz. Your bag is one of the most weight efficient for the temp as it is.

Jed Augustine
(jaugusti) - F

Locale: Appalachians/Rockies
Re: Re: Top Bag to Quilt Conversion (!!!) on 02/10/2008 13:13:23 MST Print View

Would anyone second that opinion? My (probably misinformed) idea was that by converting the Pomer Hoit to a quilt I would have the versatility to extend the range massively. Is that just wrong?

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
agree on 02/10/2008 14:42:04 MST Print View

i agree that this is more than needed for a quilt.

If your heart is set on tearing this apart then all you need to do is decide what dimensions you want and sew the entire perimeter 1/2 wider than that. Cut everything on the wrong side of the stitching off leaving about 1/4 inch and then tuck the raw edge in and sew it shut.

If you are really ambitious you could pull some of the down out and go for a 20* quilt. It would be tough getting it all even, but not impossible. To do this you would sew one side like i said above but on the other side you would cut first, pull out as much down as you want then sew it up. Look out, it will be messy.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: Top Bag to Quilt Conversion (!!!) on 02/10/2008 15:36:32 MST Print View

I wouldn't call it 'extending the range' so much as decreasing the range. The only thing you will gain from the conversion is some weight savings, at the loss of warmth at the lower temps. As is, you can use the bag as a quilt (just leave it unzipped) OR a 0 degree bag. If you cut into it you can only use it as a quilt.