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Will a quilt work for restless side/stomach sleepers?
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Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Will a quilt work for restless side/stomach sleepers? on 03/23/2009 11:28:06 MDT Print View

I'm in an endless search for a down summer bag. I think I've narrowed it down to the WM Summerlite or a Jacks R Better No Sniveler quilt. I've tried and I'm pretty sure I've ruled out the Montbell Spiral Down #3 (only 2/3 zipper, I want full for venting).

My camping will be done this year in the Sierra (often at 8500'+) from mid-May till the snow sticks in fall. Also NorCal coastal camping in the winter. So I'm looking for something that will cover 30* up to 50*. And if it gets down to 20, I'll be fine using a Montbell Down Inner Parka I'll be carrying as extra insulation.

I am intrigued by the idea of a quilt. The price is right for the Jacks R Better (compared to a Summerlite) and they get good reviews here. Price is not the driving concern, though, as I'm looking for something I will be happy with for many years down the road. Value is the operative word.

It seems like a No Sniveler would be warmer for about the same weight than the Summerlite, while providing more venting options. I worry about getting to warm in the summer. I sleep warm. I thought I could make a 15* Marmot bag my all-arounder last summer and suffered for it. Though the Summerlite could be used unzipped as a quilt, while having the option of zipping for sealing in the warmth.

When I sleep I sleep on my side and periodically flip from one side to the other. I'm worried that with a quilt, every time I flip, I'll be letting drafts in. Having not used a quilt before, will it even provide adequate coverage to begin with for someone sleeping on his side? I sleeping in a tent (TT Rainbow) right now, but hope to move to a poncho tarp or something similar by next summer.

Thanks for helping me decide if a quilt is right for me.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Will a quilt work for restless side/stomach sleepers? on 03/23/2009 11:43:17 MDT Print View

In simple terms, yes. I roll around a fair amount and used a quilt for the first time on the WT3 trip in Oct. I think the key factor is how you roll. If you roll inside your bag now, you'll likely be fine with a quilt. If you wake up in the morning all twisted up or with the bag upside down I would stick to the bag.

John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
Quilt on 03/23/2009 11:52:05 MDT Print View

I don't have the bag you mention so I can't compare directly to that, but I have a JRB No Sniveler quilt. I'm a bit of a restless sleeper and I don't care much for the restrictiveness of a bag, so I have found that the quilt works very well for me. I sewed a small loop on the side of the quilt opposite the JRB 'factory' loop and use one of their hammock underquilt fasteners to keep the quilt more secure on (only on cold nights). I just clip it to the loops and run it under my pad. The head slit that makes the quilt wearable on cold mornings is just an added bonus. Good dual use gear. JRB quality is superb too, can't go wrong there.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Quilt on 03/23/2009 12:24:44 MDT Print View

I am a side sleeper, and a little restless. I just ordered an Arc Specialist from Nunatak. I am 5'11" and 150lbs. Tom said the girth would be fine, but suggested that I go with a bigger footbox and an extra 2 oz of fill.

David Neumann
(idahomtman) - M

Locale: Northern Idaho
Quilt use on 03/23/2009 12:55:39 MDT Print View

I have a Nunatak Arc Specialist and I sleep very well. I am a side sleeper and I turn over and around numerous times during the night. I must admit to using the quilt inside a bivy sack and under a tarp so I have not experienced drafts. The Arc Specialist has three straps that go under your pad which tends to keep the quilt in place. I have heard that sleeping in a quilt takes a little practice, but I have not had any problems. The quilt is so much more comfortable than a traditional mummy bag particularly if you are a side sleeper who likes to curl up a little.

While I haven't used the quilt in a tent or out in the open, given the overlap on the sides, I think I would do fine. I'm even considering buying a Nunatak Edge to cut weight even more during the summer. I do own several mummy bags, including a Montbell U.L. SS down hugger which I find quite comfortable for a mummy bag given that it allows one to curl up without feeling so restrictive.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re : Will a quilt work for restless side/stomach sleepers? on 03/23/2009 13:09:57 MDT Print View

I too have an Arc Specialist. As a side-sleeper who moves a lot in his sleep, i had the same concerns.
I'm glad i made the switch as i now sleep better than ever. Drafts have never been a problem for me. I think your brain sub-conciously alters the quilt as you toss and turn, as i have never had a single problem.
I use the quilt inside a bivvy-bag if i'm using a tarp, and without one in a tent. I have used the quilt down to around 20F by adding clothing. The quilt doesn't compress any clothing you wear.
My feeling is that the 55" width of the Arc Specialist is as narrow as i would go. I think the narrower quilts are better suited to back sleepers who don't move at night.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Re : Will a quilt work for restless side/stomach sleepers? on 03/23/2009 13:23:09 MDT Print View

I'm an extremely restless sleeper. I sleep on all 4 sides of myself. I never could figure out how to get a mummy bag to stay put on me, so rolling over to my side or back meant my face would be smothered by the hood and my ears would be exposed to the cold.

I love my quilt. It's a little longer than I am so I can pull it up over my head. Drafts do get in when I roll around, but it's not a huge problem. Drafts get in with a bag, too. They come in from the top.

It pretty much works like my blankets at home, and since I sleep with a blanket hog, I've become a warmer sleeper overall and more tolerant of drafts.

My only complaint is there is no option to unzip the bottom to let my feet out. Usually if it's that hot, I'll just drape the quilt over me loosely rather than strap it to the pad. This doesn't work all that well because then I get tangled in the straps. But it's ok. Everything is a trade-off.

I wish I had the Jack R Better quilt. I like the idea of it serving as a sarape. What a clever idea.

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
width on 03/23/2009 13:52:59 MDT Print View

Width is important to keep the quilt from rolling off and letting in drafts. 48" is the minimum width for me. I like having the width in order to "tuck in " the edges when it's cold. Having a closed foot box helps. I would recommend adding "Quilt Wings" to the No Sniveller.

Edited by rambler on 03/23/2009 13:56:51 MDT.

john Tier
(Peter_pan) - M

Locale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA
JRB 2009 quilt mod on 03/23/2009 14:31:41 MDT Print View


FWIW, JRB has made all of its standard 48" wide quilts reversible on all hammock models.....In doing so it has added side ladder loops opposite the existing side ladder loops... Thus there are now four usable loops for the ground sleeper to connect the pairs with shock cord or X lace around a pad...

No Snivellers and most all the three season quilts are now shipping in the new olive vs old kelly green...


Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Great Feedback on 03/23/2009 15:23:02 MDT Print View

ed. for clarity.

I'm started to get swayed toward a quilt. From what I gather, a No Sniveler quilt would be more of a true 3-season tool than the 32* Summerlite, for just 1 oz more and a lot less money. As attractive as the Nunatak quilts are, I don't know that I'd have the patience for the wait.

My main concern with the No Sniveler is the 48" width. I'll have to safety pin a sheet at home to 48" and test it out. The wings would solve the width problem, but I'd like to keep the weight as low as possible, and not add the 2.5 oz for the mod. wings if possible. I guess if you leave the wings at home for warmer trips, it's only a 1 oz penalty.

When sleeping at home, I like to 'cocoon' i.e. I'll pull the comforter tight around me, also pulling it over my head like Diane mentioned. At 78" the regular should be long enough for that, eliminating the need for the hood.

A question for the No Sniveler users - how often do you find yourself using it as a vest/serape? At 1st glance, that's an appealing option, but when I think about it, I'd rather just bring along my Montbell Down Inner parka. Adding the down hood + sleeves would come out to the same weight and cost as the MB parka, and I think I'd be a bit wary of wearing my sleeping bag around camp for fear of damage. let alone digging it out of my bag to wear at rest stops, or carrying as a warmth layer while day hiking. In that regard, I was looking at the Hudson River quilt, which appears to be the same as the No Sniveler minus the head hole, for 1 oz lighter. Is the head hole a good option to have?

thanks again for all the feedback.

Edited by jrmacd on 03/23/2009 15:24:44 MDT.

John G
(JohnG10) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic via Upstate NY
Quilt as Serape on 03/23/2009 16:51:23 MDT Print View

I'd bring a puffy jacket in addition to a quilt - for rest stops, around camp chores, and in case the weather is colder than anticipated. Also, any quilt (or an unzipped sleeping bag) can be wrapped around you while sitting cross-legged in camp cooking, reading, etc. I think the nice thing about the head-hole is that you now only have to bring a medium weight puffy jacket, rather than a cold-weather version in 3 season weather.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Quilt as Serape on 03/23/2009 19:22:29 MDT Print View

I agree with John that a puffy jacket is great to add to your temp limit with any sleep system.

That said, sometimes I do use the NS other than for sleeping. With a Frogg Toggs jacket you have super warmth, and the hood is warmer than my Montbell parka for cold temps. But you do look like the Michelin Man!!

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Extra 7" of width really cuts drafts on 03/23/2009 19:29:52 MDT Print View

I like the 55" width of my Nunatak quilts. This really helps to lock in more body heat, and stop side drafts/leaks. Also, they are less likely to open up along the sides when you turn or roll over.

David Loome
(DavidLoome) - F

Locale: American Southwest
Quilt = Great on 03/23/2009 21:21:51 MDT Print View

I've had the JRB winter version quilt ("Old Rag Mountain"?) for some time an absolutely LOVE IT. Fantastic piece of gear, at an excellent price. I'm usually a side sleeper and toss and turn at times and have been more than happy using a quilt. The JRB quilts seem to be sized generously when compared to other ultralight quilts, and even lying on my side with my legs slightly bent, I can easily tuck it around me snug.

I usually use a light DWR nylon top / Silnylon bottom bivy, which goes a long way in keeping the quilt material snug around you and helps to eliminate convective heat loss and drafts. I can't say much for the peformance of the quilt without a bivy since the few times I've used it without, it was quite mild. At any rate, if you end up using a quilt, I would highly suggest paring it with some sort of bivy.