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David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Quilt for a kid? on 06/21/2009 15:38:04 MDT Print View

I posted this originally at Backpacker in the Ultralight forum. The responses there were helpful, but I thought I might get a wider response here.

My kids' bags need upgrading, esp. as my 8 year old (4' tall) is now old enough to carry her own (if light enough). I'd like to make a quilt, either Ray-way or one of the other synthetic patterns I've seen, as this seems like the best way to keep the weight under 2# and the cost affordable. I'm thinking ~1.2" Primaloft or Climashield, for 3 season use in PNW and parts of Idaho. I'd like to keep her pack weight around 6#--she's a good hiker, with no problem doing day hikes 10 miles or so, even when she was a couple years younger (has a big sister to compete with), and has taken to spending nights tenting out by herself in the back yard. As yet, she hasn't done BPing overnight, just car-camping, although I'm a reasonably experienced backpacker, lightweight and trying to get lighter.

My question is, should I just make a full size quilt?(it looks like I will need to buy full yards, so a child's size wouldn't save money). I figure an adult sized finished quilt will weigh about 25-28 oz, so trimming 18" might save 6-7 oz. But if I keep it full size, she can use it much longer, my older daughter (15 yo, 5' tall) can use it as well, and so could my wife or other adults (assuming we all aren't on the same trip, of course). And I'd be most comfortable having her use it if I gave it a trial first--(not that I really want to give up my WM Ultralite).

Thing is, I know a bag too big sleeps colder (more volume to warm up, etc). Does the same rule of thumb apply to quilts? Do quilts even work well for kids? I spent most of my younger years (scouts, etc) with really lousy, cold, heavy gear--I dealt with it and kept hiking but I would like her to have a more positive experience.

If anyone has experience with kids and quilts, I'd appreciate your insight. I've read some articles and thoughts about going light with kids, but don't remember seeing this particular topic addressed.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
Quilt for a kid? on 06/21/2009 16:17:31 MDT Print View

David,
A good option to look at is the MLD Spirit Short Quilt. This quilt would provide full coverage for a young hiker with its 54" length. Ron only specs his lightest insulation (2.5) for the Spirit Short Quilt but you may be able to have him custom make one using 5 or 7.5 insulation for added warmth.

I picked up a Wildthings Alpine Half Bag for my daughter which will work great as a full coverage sleeping bag for the next few years. These are 57" long, rated at 30*, have an epic shell and are reasonably light at 1.13. These are not a quilt, they are a slide in bag. They retail for $200.00 + but you can pick them up NWT at around $50.00-$75.00 on ebay. You can see the specs on the WildThings site. The ones I've found on ebay are military surplus and come in desert tan (WildThings is a contracted military supplier for some special forces alpine gear/clothing).

Edited by thomdarrah on 06/21/2009 16:32:10 MDT.