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quilt+clothing in winter - bivy too??
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Jeremy Cleaveland
(jeremy11) - F

Locale: Exploring San Juan talus
quilt+clothing in winter - bivy too?? on 02/29/2008 23:49:19 MST Print View

I just got back from a winter overnighter in the San Juans, and used my DIY down quilt, which has a whopping 15oz of 800 fill down. I wore everything to bed, including Paramo jacket and pants, DIY primaloft pants, DIY Minima vest, a Golite Coal polarguard jacket, a DIY primaloft hood, and DIY polarguard booties (that aren't very good.....) the temp I'll estimate near zero F, at least a couple thousand feet lower in the valley it was 0. I was mostly warm, but felt some chills, possibly from drafts, possibly from conduction (I was on two closed cell foam pads). So, maybe another pad under the torso, how about a Momentum/silnylon bivy? How much would it help?

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Re: quilt+clothing in winter - bivy too?? on 03/01/2008 01:08:45 MST Print View

At those temperatures I think you would be better off if you turned your quilt into a sleeping bag with a non-insulated bottom. Then make a bivy large enough to get your sleeping pad in it with you. Use Mometum for the bivy.

What is the quilt shell made out of?

john Tier
(Peter_pan) - M

Locale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA
over dresssed? on 03/01/2008 05:14:35 MST Print View


That seems like a lot of clothing and quilt....You did not state the loft of the quilt but 15 oz of 800 pf in a quilt should be 3-4 inches of loft....that alone is a single digits to zero item.... I'd be willing to bet that early on you were warm.... then later cold... the coolness probably began from over heating early followed by non sensible sweat which dampened your clothing which led to the cooling... personally I'd give serious reflection to reducing layers

Pad size and thickness is a big issue at those temps.... If they were 1/4 to 3/8 or less thick you were probably under protected from the bottom.... especially if they were trimmed to a narrower width...Same comment applies to your ground cloth... little extra helps keep the damp from rolling around the edge and getting at you.


(jhaura) - F

Locale: Trail
Re: quilt+clothing in winter - bivy too?? on 03/01/2008 09:47:02 MST Print View


Are you a side or back/stomach sleeper? At temps below 45* I cannot use a quilt at all as I am a side sleeper and skinny. Even with a quilt that has straps, I fully cinch them up and that does not help as there are too many gaps where there are no straps. Back/stomach sleepers have an advantage here since they have more body area covering the quilt gaps.

I have found like Bill that closing the quilt or using a top bag solves the issue. Instead of making an non-insulated bottom, maybe try instead just piecing in a 1/4" foam wedge about 17 to 12 in. wide. (17 if you are a back sleeper, 12 for side). For a recent implementation of this common technique, see the JRB Down to Earth Pad Converter for ideas. Of course, this wedge would not be your main ground pad/insulation, but will allow you to reduce that proportionately.

As for the bivy, I don't think it is necessary if you close the quilt, unless you are using it for shelter purposes. For the weight with a closed bag I would add more down instead, again only if the bivy is not doing shelter duty as well.

Finally, you probably know this already, but with a quilt if you don't fluff and position all the down correctly before bedding down, you will get cold spots. I hold both edges together and fluff all the down into the center of the quilt, then even it out a bit only, since the down will migrate from the center from body movement at night.

Hope that helps.

Edited by jhaura on 03/01/2008 09:49:39 MST.

Jeremy Cleaveland
(jeremy11) - F

Locale: Exploring San Juan talus
"quilt+clothing in winter - bivy too??" on 03/01/2008 13:36:10 MST Print View

I'm a side sleeper and have slept over 6 months of nights in the bag - several trail weeks, and the rest in a platform tent with a real mattress and sheets. With sheets, a fleece blanket and some clothing I've been warm down to 0 degrees. the bag shell is 1.1oz teflon dwr, the liner is 1.1 oz dwr. the loft is inconsistent due to DIY syndrome, so the torso area is 2.5-3" loft and the leg/foot area is 3-4" loft. I have a drawcord around the waist and around the neck for variable girth like the Arc Alpinist. I was sleeping on a 6x8 groundcloth with 3 others in a snow hole/tarp combo shelter. pads were an old 60"x20"x3/8" plus my 3/4 length Ridge Rest. I don't want to permanently modify it into a top bag. I unstuffed the bag a while before bed to let it loft up. I'm thinking I'll just not make the bivy since I'm cheap.... but other improv ideas could be nice too.