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Side sleeping and quilts
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Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
Side sleeping and quilts on 10/30/2008 08:49:56 MDT Print View

I am wondering if I am missing anything by not having a quilt? I am a side sleeper and have tried out a few of the wider quilts but really don't see the gain. I guess for me I like the 6 oz weight that allows me to zip it up and pull over the hood if I need it or unzip it all the way and splay it out like a quilt. Is that really the difference? Am I as a side sleeper missing something?

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Side sleeping and quilts on 10/30/2008 08:57:22 MDT Print View

youre a side sleeper using a quilt, the only thing missing is a hammock.
even though i strictly use quilts i dont see how they are effecient on the ground. it makes far more sense to use a quilt in a hammock just as it makes sense that a sleeping bag doesnt work well in one.
on the ground, id rather use a bag so i dont have to fiddle with flaps and drafts and uncomfort! these are distractions, and i need none of that while catching ZZzz's

Edited by mikeinfhaz on 10/30/2008 08:58:45 MDT.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Side sleeping and quilts on 10/30/2008 09:09:31 MDT Print View

As you note, many sleeping bags can be used like a quilt so there is little functional advantage of a quilt. 5 years ago there was a significant weight advantage with quilts. These days the weight advantage has eroded a fair bit. I am happy using my quilt, but if I was purchasing something today I don't honestly know if I would go for a quilt or a bag.

Edited by verber on 10/30/2008 09:11:09 MDT.

Blue _
(lrmblue) - MLife

Locale: Northeast (New England)
Re Re: Side sleeping and quilts on 10/30/2008 09:53:32 MDT Print View

I’ve used a quilt for years (in all seasons except the dead of winter), and I’m a multi-positional sleeper. I do know that some people, as Michael points out, are uncomfortable with the “fiddle” factor’—but I find that quilts offer far more options for comfort than sleeping bags—and at night I seem to make the adjustments without even thinking about them (or even waking up). Perhaps after a while the process becomes conditioned second nature—like driving a car with a standard transmission. On the other hand, however, one of my hiking friends tried real hard but never was able to adapt himself to the quilt—and has sold both of his quilts and gone back to sleeping bags. If you’ve tried using a quilt and aren’t sleeping well, then switch to something that works better for you Even if the weight differential between bags and quilts were greater than it is today—a badly spent night can degrade the best parts of the next day.

I have considered a hammock, but nowadays my wife and I travel the backcountry together and share our bedding—if there are any two-person hammock systems I’ve not come across one (and admittedly never even thought to look until just now).


te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
quilts for side sleeping on 10/30/2008 09:59:36 MDT Print View

youll have to visit the hammock forums online (same folk operate WB) for those answers. I do know that it is possible to hang 2 hammocks from 3 trees, while sharing the same tarp. But, I think the quickest way to a divorce is sharing the same hammock, second quickest way is paddling the same canoe. :)

I understand the benefits of each sleeping system, so I ask this: why not have both?

Edited by mikeinfhaz on 10/30/2008 10:47:32 MDT.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: quilts for side sleeping on 10/30/2008 10:20:05 MDT Print View

I made a very lightweight (summer only) doulbe quilt with one layer of 2.6 oz climashield because I feel that down at that small thickness is too difficult to manage. Otherwise, I use my Western Mountaineering, full zip bags as quilts if I get overheated in "bag mode."

As a side note: I do paddle with my wife. Here is the secret to success: give her a paddle but tell her, "Don't get this wet, Honey." :-)

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Quilts - What is the main objective? on 10/30/2008 11:07:25 MDT Print View

It should not be forgotten that native northern populations, e.g., the Eskimos and the Lapps, have developed clothing systems comparable to what modern technology and materials can produce, but never "invented" a sleeping bag; they used furs or blankets. The sleeping bag was invented by the early polar explorers to serve a special need; optimal thermal protection with a minimum of weight. This is still the main objective of all military sleeping systems. What is the main objective of UL backpacker's quilt sleeping systems?

Edited by richard295 on 10/30/2008 11:08:00 MDT.

Derek Cox
(derekcox) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Quilts - What is the main objective? on 10/30/2008 12:29:05 MDT Print View

Flexibility and weight reduction.

Blue _
(lrmblue) - MLife

Locale: Northeast (New England)
Re Re: quilts for side sleeping on 10/30/2008 14:36:39 MDT Print View

One way of meeting a “main objective”:
By sharing one two-person sized sleeping quilt system my wife and I can sleep comfortably at temperatures about 10 or more degrees Fahrenheit lower than we could with the same insulation in two separate quilts, but then, we also get along well in canoes, 2-person kayaks, and for six straight days of cold October drizzle punctuated by heavy rain in the NH White Mountains (our honeymoon a decade ago) —lightweight egos and psychological flexibility seem to help.

Michael S: I did a quick check on two-person hammocks on WB, thanks. Applying the concept in the wild seems impractical to me, but who knows, a couple of decades ago so did UL backpacking to most people.

Edited by lrmblue on 10/30/2008 14:37:14 MDT.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
quilt advantages on 10/30/2008 15:12:54 MDT Print View

"Michael S: I did a quick check on two-person hammocks on WB, thanks."

I was offering you to visit the without re-directing the discussion. Sorry for being vague. Those guys over there walk the walk about hammocks and systems (well it is a hammock forum after all :)

OP: i think if you side sleep on the ground you wont gain much by using a quilt over a full zip bag. What I mean is that by the time you use a quilt large enough to cover your body without un-tucking itself, the weight savings just isnt there. Just my 2 cents. You could however, totally contradict my opinion with fact by using something like the JacksR Better "no sniveller" and find that it works much better than your current bag. Like I say, use both. Nothing (at least i havent found it) works for all conditions.

David Stenberg
(dstenberg1) - F

Locale: South
quilts on 10/31/2008 09:19:46 MDT Print View


Edited by dstenberg1 on 10/31/2008 09:21:00 MDT.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Side sleeping and quilts on 10/31/2008 10:42:48 MDT Print View

I made the switch to a quilt this year and i wished i had done it years ago. I am a side and stomach sleeper and hated being confined in a sleeping bag. Now i can toss and turn to my hearts content!:)
The quilt (Nunatak Arc Specialist) is wide enough so that drafts aren't a problem. I'm trying to take it as low as i can go this winter using down clothing. If i get too cold, then i will order a warmer quilt. I can't see myself going back to a 'normal' sleeping bag.
Quilts are quite a bit lower in weight, but the main issue for me, is that i now sleep better with the freedom to move under my quilt.:)

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Quilt vertical Baffling on 11/20/2008 21:51:14 MST Print View

In a sense, a quilt, when it's closed tight beneath one, is like a bag which has only one vertical baffle, centered on the underside. I'm not sure how this works in practice, but it seems like the down under body weight, and movement, can squirt sideways, self-optimizing and avoiding compression. I do know that I sleep warmer in a quilt per ounce of carried weight than I do in a bag, and that the quilt seems to collapse around me better, leaving less air volume to heat, than with a bag.

One thing to think about is that bag companies have to design products that look good in a store--plump, with a pleasing shape. I think this moves the design of most bags in the direction of being a semi-rigid bottle, which makes it hard to get the bag as close to ones body as possible and eliminate intervening air. A good quilt just seems "floppier", and fits itself to ones body better.

Edited by swimjay on 11/20/2008 21:59:19 MST.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Side sleeping and quilts on 11/20/2008 22:08:32 MST Print View


Edited by FamilyGuy on 02/19/2015 10:46:49 MST.

P. P.
(toesnorth) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: "Side sleeping and quilts" on 11/20/2008 22:13:31 MST Print View

I'm a side sleeper who uses Jacksrbetter quilts. I still use bags occasionally but use them open as quilts also. It just plain works better for me for a variety of reasons.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Side sleeping and quilts on 11/20/2008 22:30:26 MST Print View

I can fit my wife under my quilt.
Irrelevant? Sexist?
Nope - a warm body right next to you beats a 1 kg down bag for warmth any day!


P. P.
(toesnorth) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: "Side sleeping and quilts" on 11/20/2008 22:34:23 MST Print View

"Nope - a warm body right next to you beats a 1 kg down bag for warmth any day!"
My husband can attest to that! One of my "variety of reasons" was hot flashes. I can warm up a tent from 0 to 80 degrees in 3.8 seconds!

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Side sleeping and quilts on 11/20/2008 22:34:39 MST Print View


Edited by FamilyGuy on 02/19/2015 10:45:40 MST.

P. P.
(toesnorth) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: "Side sleeping and quilts" on 11/20/2008 22:40:43 MST Print View

Only if you're old enough to 'get' it. ;-)

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
re: side sleeper/quilts on 11/21/2008 07:33:13 MST Print View

I just got my Back Country Blanket quilt and I am really happy with it. I'm yet another side sleeper who tosses and turns and occasionally winds up on my stomach. This gives me so much more room/versatility - and because I decided to ignore weight with this item (blasphemy, I know!) I got the medium and can completely wrap and cover myself up in it - SO cozy.