Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Talk Me Into It (or Out of It)


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John Haley
(Quoddy) - F

Locale: New York/Vermont Border
Talk Me Into It (or Out of It) on 12/01/2008 12:47:26 MST Print View

OK, I've gotten my gear well to SUL, but am still using a bag. I was planning on buying a Nunatak Alpinist bag for a high Rockies hike in 2009 (CT plus another portion of CDT which was postponed from 2008 due to physical issue), but now have been considering an Arc Alpinist quilt. Having never used a quilt... what am I missing? Since I'm mainly a side sleeper I thought that I was stuck using a bag.

Robert Murphy
(robmurphy) - F

Locale: Arizona
Talk Me Into It (or Out of It) on 12/01/2008 13:22:17 MST Print View

I switched to this quilt and it works as well as
a much heavier down bag IF you wear enough, like almost what
you normally would wear to stay warm sitting in camp.
I think that's the philosophy of it anyway, if you're going to bother carrying enough to stay warm without the bag why not sleep with that on and use a more minimal bag.

Edited by robmurphy on 12/01/2008 14:33:55 MST.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Talk Me Into It (or Out of It) on 12/01/2008 14:03:17 MST Print View

A quilt should be lighter, but as others have said...unzip your sleeping bag and try that first.

Stuart Burke
(burkest) - F

Locale: Collegiate Peaks Wilderness
Re: Talk Me Into It (or Out of It) on 12/01/2008 14:09:57 MST Print View

I started using a quilt this year and I will not go back to a bag unless it is below 20 F. I am a side/stomach sleeper and love having the freedom of a quilt to move around. The key is getting a quilt that is wide enough. I use golite ultra 20 and I wear a size 38 jacket. The ultra 20 is plenty wide for me. I also use a bivy which helps to keep drafts from sneaking under. An arc alpinist might be over kill for the CT during summer. I hiked the CT from Denver to Buena Vista in late june and early july this year and it probably never got colder than 35 (this is an estimate because I did not have a thermometer). But the great thing about a quilt is that if it is too warm it is easy to vent.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Talk Me Into It on 12/01/2008 14:35:59 MST Print View

so John, what do you use in your hammock?

i totally disagree that theory on "unzip your sleeping bag" to make a quilt. That doesnt make a quilt no more than rolling all of your windows down makes a convertible.

I think i will agree with the post that mentions using a quilt down to 20°, then switching to a bag.
It becomes evident that using some sort of hat (preferred to cover the ears as well) under 45° is almost always necessary. Below 20, you could layer w/ clothing and get by but you'd have to have one hell of a nice hat. Balaclava more like it.
That said, go buy the GoLite Ultra 20 and save $200 over the Nunatak and then buy a nice balaclava too. And a new pack. And some new gaitors. And trail runners.
all of that stuff for the price of a Nunatak.
Then, you can use the Ultra 20 in your hammock, too.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
"Talk Me Into It (or Out of It)" on 12/01/2008 14:51:56 MST Print View

Ask yourself:

1. Do I sleep warm?

2. Do I really care about the weight difference?

3. Are you tarp camping?

4. Do you have (or get) a LW bivy sack?

If you answer YES to all the above four questions, get a QUILT!


I like a quilt in warm summer weather. I truly LOVE a real-deal sleeping bag (mummy style) when it's cold out.

A lot of folks (me included) like a quilt and a bivy combo. Add a tarp and it's perfect!

Also - I sleep on my side, and I do fine, i just move the quilt a little when I roll over. No big deal.

John Haley
(Quoddy) - F

Locale: New York/Vermont Border
Re: "Talk Me Into It (or Out of It)" on 12/01/2008 16:59:35 MST Print View

Mike C ...

Ask yourself:

1. Do I sleep warm? [YES - Comfortable up to 10F below rating.]

2. Do I really care about the weight difference? [YES - I want to stay SUL.]

3. Are you tarp camping? [YES - for most occasions, including this planned trek. MLD Grace Solo (Spectralite)... otherwise TarpTent.]

4. Do you have (or get) a LW bivy sack? [YES - have an MLD Soul Side Zip. I planned on an EPIC bag/quilt which might allow leaving the bivy home, though, and save the 7.5oz.]

If you answer YES to all the above four questions, get a QUILT!
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Mike in FHAZ...

I use a FF Winter Wren in cold conditions (along with PeaPod), and a pad with an appropriate rated Montbell UL SS the rest of the year. Never got around to using a quilt or top blanket, but my hammocking is only an occasional break in my SUL routine.

Thanks for the replys so far. Keep them coming.

Edited by Quoddy on 12/01/2008 17:01:30 MST.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
quilts? on 12/01/2008 17:14:07 MST Print View

ahh, thats right. Turk uses the same thing, and sleeps down below 0
he's kinda crazy that guy!

so you can use the golite most of the year? if you dont like it there are ways to opt out...

ive seen and felt both Arc Alp.
and golite ultra.
the nunatak is nice, but nowhere near $380 nice.

Edited by mikeinfhaz on 12/01/2008 17:19:55 MST.

Charles Maguire
(hikelite) - F

Locale: Virginia
Arc-Alpinist and Tarp on 12/01/2008 19:50:53 MST Print View

John, I have been using an Arc-Alpinist with 2 oz overfill for several years under a GoLite tarp. In 3 seasons I add silk bag that's only a few ounces because...it feels good. In winter when there will be a lot of rain or sleet I may bring my 9 oz Bibler Winter Bivy to protect down. For head I use Nunutak's Bacalava which is crazy warm. Nunatak is expensive but well worth it since a quilt can be used over a huge temperature range. I have used my quilt with warm clothes well into teens.

Recently I tried out my sons bag and wife's to see how well they worked and after this I would never give up my Arc-alpinist over 20*. I have grown to appreciate benefits of the quilt over a bag.

As far as tarp, I camped with several people in Catskill's several years ago in November freezen rain. All had tents, as I remember correctly 2 or 3 tents leaked. I stayed perfectly warm AND dry. Key to tarp is knowing how and where to set up.

A quilt under tarp does take attention to what your are doing but it's been a great learning experience.

Chuck

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Quilt and Bivy on 12/01/2008 20:26:28 MST Print View

This has been a great thread - learned a lot.

How do you side sleepers use a quilt in a bivy without breathing into the bivy? For example, I have an all event bivy and will use a mummy bag so that if I do flip to my side I flip both the bag and the bivy to the side. This seems like it might be an issue with a quilt....no?

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Quilt and Bivy on 12/01/2008 20:42:00 MST Print View

David,
Adjust the quilt when you move so it's always on top. You always make sure the pad is underneath, right? It isn't that difficult. It just takes a time or two. Make sure you choose a quilt that will drape/cover you on your side. I've tried a few that didn't. I got one made in a custom size and haven't looked back. This winter will be the test of how cold I can take it.
I'm not a big fan of the bivy. I can adjust to almost anything... except living in a body bag. I will if it's the only way to stay dry, but I'd rather take my chances with mother nature.

Edited by back2basics on 12/01/2008 20:47:06 MST.

Stuart Burke
(burkest) - F

Locale: Collegiate Peaks Wilderness
Re: Talk Me Into It (or Out of It) on 12/02/2008 07:32:49 MST Print View

John said "YES - have an MLD Soul Side Zip. I planned on an EPIC bag/quilt which might allow leaving the bivy home, though, and save the 7.5oz."

Based on my experience on the CT this year I would advise against this. The mosquitos were bad from Tennessee pass to Buena Vista. I am very glad that I had a bivy (MLD superlight) to keep the bugs away at night. That said if you are on the CT in august in a dry year you might get away with no mosquito protection. I was also glad to have a bivy to help with drafts. I started using a bivy/small tarp/quilt system this year and I think having the bivy to block drafts and spray provides a bigger margin of error than just a quilt with a w/b top.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
bivy, tarp and QUILT on 12/02/2008 10:09:41 MST Print View

Jon replied:

========

1. Do I sleep warm? [YES - Comfortable up to 10F below rating.]

2. Do I really care about the weight difference? [YES - I want to stay SUL.]

3. Are you tarp camping? [YES - for most occasions, including this planned trek. MLD Grace Solo (Spectralite)... otherwise TarpTent.]

4. Do you have (or get) a LW bivy sack? [YES - have an MLD Soul Side Zip. I planned on an EPIC bag/quilt which might allow leaving the bivy home, though, and save the 7.5oz.]

If you answer YES to all the above four questions, get a QUILT!
-----------------------------------------------------------------


John,

Okay - the test is 100% (that means) get a quilt!

You say (above): "YES - I want to stay SUL"

MDL tarp (already have) = 5.8 oz
MDL bivy (already have) = 7.9 oz

So, you are totally set up for successful quilt camping. What are you waiting for???

John Haley
(Quoddy) - F

Locale: New York/Vermont Border
Re: bivy, tarp and QUILT on 12/02/2008 10:31:13 MST Print View

Stuart, Mike, et.al....

OK, I just placed the order with Tom, albeit slightly different than my original plan. Since I reverted back to my original idea of using the bivy, the Arc Alpinist was just too warm. I decided on an Arc Specialist, made to my 6'1" height, Epic exterior, 1oz taffeta interior, with a 1oz overfill. Even with the bivy weight this is only 2.5oz more than the Alpinist with no bivy.

This choice will also allow me to have a 3 season hammocking quilt as well, so it will be dual purpose.
(I guess I can count this as my Christmas)

Thanks everyone for your contributions to my final decision.

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Talk Me Into It (or Out of It) --Already Had Mind Made Up on 12/02/2008 10:59:33 MST Print View

Quoddy, I knew you weren't going to settle for less than the best. You had your heart set on it. You wouldn't have been happy otherwise.