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.