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Custom Nunatak Quilt or Bag? Need Advice
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Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Down quality? on 08/06/2009 17:06:28 MDT Print View

"Perhaps the 'shedding feathers' issue is due to inferior down quality that actually contains some feathers?"

Unlikely. The WM bags all use the same down, as do the Nunatak bag and Skaha. It would be an unusual coincidence that all the *bad* feathers happened to just end up in the Quantum bags/jacket...

Adrian B
(adrianb) - MLife

Locale: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: Custom Nunatak Quilt or Bag? Need Advice on 08/06/2009 20:35:06 MDT Print View

I have the Alpinist and the Ghost, and am 1 inch shorter than you. Alpinist has plenty of room fully cinched down, I find too much below the shoulders, even with a down jacket on. Definitely not narrow.

The Ghost is much trimmer on the other hand, the Edge apparantly more so. I personally wouldn't go any narrower than the Ghost around the shoulders, the rest is fine. The Ghost is also shorter than the Alpinist.

If I had to have a single quilt it would be a Ghost with a slightly bigger than stock shoulder measurement.

Also I find the stock fill for both is too low - if you move about alot down tends to fall away from above your body.

Also if you are not sure about the quilt idea, you can get a hybrid by getting the Catabatic, but with straps. That would basically make it an adjustable quilt but with a bottom layer of fabric to keep out drafts. Handy for the narrower quilts (like the Ghost) which are more prone to drafts, which are also more of an issue if you wriggle around a lot at night. In a bivy not such a problem though.

Let me know if you have any more questions... I should echo what others have said though, Nunatak is expensive gear, and you already have a top-notch sleeping bag which works fine for you, any weight savings will be minimal.

If weight is your focus, softshell pants are heavy - probably heavier than your sleeping bag!

Similarly a down jacket is lighter for warmth than synthetic fill... if you mainly use it for camp/sleeping then you could use a down vest instead. In the wet/cold/damp I find my down quilt suffers from the moisture before down clothes, because the clothes are closer to my body heat. So if a down bag is working ok for you, down clothing might too.

Barnett Childress
(Barnett_Childress) - F

Locale: New England
Custom Catabatic on Order! on 08/27/2009 14:39:13 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the replies. So...after much thought, talking with Tom at Nunatak & an offer of a nice B-day gift from my wife :> I pulled the trigger & placed an order for a custom Catabatic hoodless top bag. Specs are 6', custom trimmer size 59"/51"/38" (same as current WM HiLite), .8 Pertex Quantum with a short center zip (like Sub-Alpinist) to aid entry/exit & ventilation. With the trimmer size & .8 fabric weight the bag should come in around 12+oz.

Reasoning (for me)
I am not up to fiddling with straps (no quilt). However I do believe compressed down is wasted down. I turn inside the bag so fabric bottom stays put. I toss & turn all night.

More loft & warmth from the same 8oz down. Baffle design not sewn thru.

Not using hood now (clothes take care of head warmth)

I need something that seals up (no critters/drafts). I'm a tarp user.

I vent fine with my arms & chest exposed. Short Top zip will vent well plus make for easier entry/exit with trimmer bag.

Sold enough stuff to more than pay for the bag (wife said use the $$ for the new bag). This is a GOOD reason :>!

Around 4oz lighter & more compact for my small SUL Pack. 4oz (to me) is significant, especially if I can pair it up with better overall performance

The softshell pants I'm wearing are 14oz :>. But I don't carry rain or wind pants for my 3 season kit, so they save me weight. They dry quickly & there much more comfortable dry or wet than lighter nylon pants.

If you can't tell I'm excited!

Edited by Barnett_Childress on 08/27/2009 16:08:29 MDT.

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Custom Nunatak Quilt on 08/28/2009 07:21:36 MDT Print View

I just ordered an Arc Alpinist from Tom. I went with the Quantum but had him use Epic on the bottom section as I often get my bags wet there from hitting the tent.

I am supposed to get it next month. I know what you mean about being excited. I can’t wait.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Custom Nunatak Quilt on 08/28/2009 09:36:19 MDT Print View

Stop. You're killing me. I'm in the process of multiple emails with Tom for a zero quilt. It's all everyone's fault now. I have bad G.A.S.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Custom Nunatak Quilt on 08/28/2009 10:09:52 MDT Print View

I'm just glad I got my order in for my Raku (last night) before you and Raymond got your orders in! :-)

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Custom Nunatak Quilt or Bag? Need Advice on 08/28/2009 10:27:04 MDT Print View

@Lynn: "I know this is BPL, spend that much money to save maybe 4oz on your total pack weight is not really the best idea. ..."

I don't know. Depends on how much money you have and where you find your happiness! I just replaced pretty much my entire kit from last year with new stuff from BPL, Nunatak, MLD, ULA, Trail Designs, Gossamer Gear, Tarptent and Hilleberg (well, I will have when it all actually arrives!). The stuff I have is quite functional (though I am saving quite a bit more than 4 oz overall, but spending more than a few hundred doing so!), but I get much joy in getting new gear. I'm like a kid in a candy store who just bought pockets full of candy, and I'm on a sugar high that can't be beat! Backpacking and cycling are my vices -- don't need big TVs or big new cars or big oversized houses, and I have no kids to send to college, so I happily support my vices with a big smile. And since the gear lasts much, much longer than a few dozen candy bars, that sugar high never really goes away! It comes back full force every time I hit the trail. And my used gear goes to someone else who will smile and continue to use it as intended. And I support (and in my very small way) help sustain the wonderful folks (Henry, Tom, Ron, Grant, Rand, Brian et. al) and their small homegrown businesses who continue to make high quality, lightweight gear (and they do it, I like to believe [since I don't know them personally], primarily out of a love for it, not simply out of a desire for profit). Smiles all around. :-)

Edited by idester on 08/28/2009 10:31:28 MDT.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re : Custom Nunatak Quilt or Bag? Need Advice on 08/28/2009 10:31:01 MDT Print View

Great post Douglas!
I don't feel so bad about my gear buying addiction now! :)

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: Re: Custom Nunatak Quilt or Bag? Need Advice on 08/28/2009 11:48:56 MDT Print View

I plan on this quilt to last me until I die and long after that. Not to mention the fact that I want to support USA made goods, help small businesses, and all that stuff. OK, so the feathers probably aren't from here but still....

: )

(Wonderland Trail in 2011)

David Neumann
(idahomtman) - M

Locale: Northern Idaho
Nunatak Quilt on 08/28/2009 12:48:45 MDT Print View

For what it's worth, I have the Nunatak Arc Specialist which I use with a BPL bivy and I have found it to be the most comfortable backcountry sleep I've experienced in 49 years of backpacking. It is pricey but the quality is outstanding. I've considered buying an Edge also but I have too much stuff already. The lack of confinement was a big plus for me. However, I also have a Montbell SuperStretch #5 which also is very comfortable for a "traditional" mummy bag.

Barnett Childress
(Barnett_Childress) - F

Locale: New England
Recoup $$ & Support your Small Shops on 08/28/2009 16:55:52 MDT Print View

Great post Douglas. Same for me, no kids in school, no other vices...well maybe a few :>

Now that I've got my kit down for the most part I've sold off a LOT of unused gear over the past month or so. All gear was in excellent condition and went to others that will put it to good use. I've recouped way more $$ overall now that I've trimmed the gear down than on a new bag.

Update after talking to Tom again today. I've ditched the top zip idea & decided to go with the stock slightly wider & simpler bag. Weight will still be about the same. I have to get into my MLD LiteSoul bivy the same way anyhow & sliding in has not been a problem.

I sleep well in warm weather with just my arms, shoulders and upper chest exposed so the extra venting for me isn't an issue, neither is bellowing the bag once in a while.

Patrick Young
(lightingboy) - F

Locale: Southwest
Please share your Catabatic Bag Info on 12/21/2009 09:05:14 MST Print View

I'm looking at a Catabatic bag from Nunatak and was wndering how your's is working for you.
Did you stick with the stock fill and baffel heights?
Any info would be good. There are no reviews out there about this bag and it looks like a great bag.