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GoLite Ultra 20 (brief review)
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Tae Kim
(taegello) - F
GoLite Ultra 20 (brief review) on 08/06/2009 11:09:21 MDT Print View

Just got this in the mail. Can't wait to try this for my trip to the Kings Canyon. From my initial observation, these are few things I noticed. I am 5'8 about 165lb. The length for Reg is just about perfect for my height, but if I was any taller, I would def. go with the larger size just because when you try to huddle yourself completely from head to toe, reg. size is a bit tight.

In terms of girth, its kinda narrower than I hoped. Not enough material to be completely free and mobile underneath. I could see lots of potential cold spots and air coming in once I start moving from my original sleeping position. From what i see , I don't see how much more freedom one can have to move around underneath this than say other traditional mummy bag.

With this said, I could see there many be some tricks to using this bag. Anybody interested in chiming in?

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Re: GoLite Ultra 20 (brief review) on 08/06/2009 11:41:17 MDT Print View

The Ultra 20 quilt isn't designed to go over your head, which is why you find the regular length barely adequate for your 5'8" self. You might want to plan alternative head insulation if necessary and use the quilt as intended so that you aren't struggling to keep your full body covered.

I got an Ultra 20 recently and I've only spent 1 night in it so far. I found it plenty spacious and surprisingly easy to keep the cold air out. With that said, the point of a quilt isn't to give you a great deal more freedom than a mummy's to shave weight by eliminating the material underneath you that gets compressed by your body weight so it's largly ineffective. If GoLite made the quilt significantly wider then they'd be losing the weigth advantage over a mummy bag.

Regarding tricks.....I ditched the straps (I think most people do) and just wrap it around myself. It works well.

In the field, one of the nice little things I noticed with a quilt is how easy it is to get in and out of. Instead of worming in and out of a mummy bag (which I hate doing when I wake up toasty and it's cold outside) you can just toss it on and off. Way easy to pee in the night :)

Edited by dandydan on 08/06/2009 11:44:28 MDT.

Tae Kim
(taegello) - F
over head on 08/06/2009 11:52:34 MDT Print View

I am just saying, for those really frigid nights when a layer of blanket might be nice to pull over your face or head, its nice to have that extra space so you can wrap yourself like this

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
GoLite Ultra 20 (brief review) on 08/06/2009 12:13:33 MDT Print View

I agree Tae - always makes sense to size up a quilt. Especially for those times where one cannot fully seal the top or does not want to carry an additional insulated balaclava.

Glad you like the Ultra 20 - it is on my radar screen!

Tae Kim
(taegello) - F
getting long on 08/06/2009 15:15:25 MDT Print View

i decided to return this bag and get a long one instead. its 3 oz more with additional 6 inches and a bit wider girth.

i figure when the quilt is pulled all the way up to my head, i will still have some insulated space around my feet instead of being right up against the wall of the footbox

(HighAltitude) - F
How is the down fill? on 08/06/2009 15:22:07 MDT Print View

Has Golite started to fill them with more down yet.

I bought one when they first came out but it was severely under filled with down.

I ended up returning it.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: GoLite Ultra 20 (brief review) on 08/06/2009 15:32:22 MDT Print View

"In terms of girth, its kinda narrower than I hoped...From what i see , I don't see how much more freedom one can have to move around underneath this than say other traditional mummy bag."

Well, it won't be as wide as a traditional mummy bag used as a quilt, as it is usually narrower. In this case, a regular GoLite ultra has a max width of 54", compared to standard unzipped mummies that are around 59"-64". For me the Ultra is not wide enough to be used comfortably without cinching the straps, which makes it more constrained than using an unzipped mummy. The only advantage is in the weight department as you have less fabric because it's narrower, no zipper and no hood. If I were gonna go back to a quilt, I would have a custom width of ~62" at the shoulder.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Down on 08/06/2009 15:34:13 MDT Print View

GoLite announced at the Outdoor Retailer market about 1-2 weeks ago that they are replacing the Ultra 20 with two new quilts. There is an article on it on this site. They announced a new 20F quilt that has more down and a heavier fabric than the Ultra 20...I think this new 20F quilt is about 6oz heavier.

Then they announced a new 40F quilt that weighs about the same as the Ultra 20. However, this quilt uses heavier fabric, so it actually has less down than the Ultra 20.

So really, since GoLite added more down to their 20F bag they are acknowleging that this bag isn't quite good to 20F. However, it is good to about 25-30F which is pretty much ideal for 3 season use.

Edited by dandydan on 08/06/2009 15:35:34 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Details on 08/06/2009 15:43:55 MDT Print View

Here's some more details:

New quilts:

Golite Ultralite 1+ Season: 40F rating, 20oz, 3 lengths, $200-$240

GoLite Ultralite 3 Season: 20F rating, 25oz, 3 lengths, $255-$295

Existing Quilts:

Golite Ultra 20: 20F rating (really 25-30F), 19oz, 3 lengths, $225

I would like to see GoLite keep the Ultra 20 and just rename it as the Ultra 30, but I believe it is being dropped as the new Ultralite 3 Season is considered a replacement.

Tae Kim
(taegello) - F
down on 08/06/2009 15:46:02 MDT Print View

I just compared it with my REI Sub Kilo 20 and the down-ness of the quilt seems almost identical with the down-ness of the Sub Kilo 20.

Christopher Kayler
(ChrisKayler) - F

Locale: Outside
Re: down on 08/06/2009 16:34:05 MDT Print View

Of course it's all subjective whether a particular bag works for you at a given temperature range, but the Sub Kilo is probably a bit optimistic in my opinion. Which would make sense given that a lot of people think the Ultra 20 is a bit optimistic. As an example, the REI Kilo Plus (0 degree bag) of last year was essentially renamed the REI Halo +10 (10 degree bag). The only real difference was that this year REI started using the european testing standards. Much more accurate / less optimistic.

As far as the new quilts ... that's dissapointing that the new 40 degree quilt is going to be heavier than the previous Ultra 20s ... even if they were closer to 30 degrees in reality.

Edited by ChrisKayler on 08/06/2009 16:35:25 MDT.

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
GoLite Ultra 20 on 08/06/2009 19:20:26 MDT Print View

I have been using the GoLite Ultra 20 (old model) most of the summer. It is my first venture into quilt territory and I have to say I like it. Quilts that is. I am still wavering about the Ultra 20.

For one thing it is not a 20 F bag (replacement) in my opinion. I spent a night at 30 F last month and was very cold most the night. I did have a light beanie thank goodness.
The nights above 30 F have all been good. It is perfect between 35 and 40 F for me.

Ultra 20 in Rainbow in Sierra
I really like the comfort of it and how small it packs down. I like the waterproof shell at the bottom as I had some big time condensation on a few trips with it so far.

At some point I will probably spring to have Tom make me a quilt. Until then the Ultra 20 will suffice.

Here is a shot the afternoon after the cold drop. It was much nicer this night.

Edited by rayestrella on 08/06/2009 19:27:21 MDT.

Tae Kim
(taegello) - F
who is tom? on 08/06/2009 19:36:23 MDT Print View

who is tom?

when you guys say this quilt isn't warm enough for 20, do you mean with all your backpacking clothe on or just a shirt and a boxer?

Edited by taegello on 08/06/2009 20:02:28 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

New 20F Golite Quilt on 08/06/2009 19:42:36 MDT Print View

It's too bad the new 20F quilt doesn't just gain a few ounces of down. Then I would be jealous.

I'm not sure if it still has the waterproof fabric at the foot and neck area, and the whole shell is made from heavier fabric which seems unnecessary. With the Ultra 20 it seems a bit easy to tear the straps off but I don't use those so it's not a concern for me. Otherwise, the fabric seems plenty durable and you could just reinforce the areas where the straps attach. No need for a heavier shell.

Still, 25oz is pretty nice if it's toasty all the way down to 20F. This will probably be a nice quilt option.

I can't think of a sane reason to buy the new 40F quilt over the Ultra 20 though. The Ultra 20 is warmer and 1oz lighter. I guess if you have durability concerns then maybe the 40F bag is better....but I think the Ultra 20 will stand up to years of use if well treated though.

The real problem with the new 20F quilt is that it weighs 25oz and GoLite's Adrenline 20F sleeping bag only weighs 30oz. That's getting pretty comparable especially when you consider that the Adrenaline 20 has a hood so there's no need for additional head insulation which a quilt user would want in colder conditions.

At 19oz vs 30oz the quilt is an appealing choice, but at 25oz vs. 30oz you start to wonder weather it's worth it. I actually really like using a quilt because of ease of entry and exit, but had I not tried one, I likely would never realized this and thus stuck with the bag for just 5oz more.

Edited by dandydan on 08/06/2009 19:54:36 MDT.

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
GoLite Ultra 2 on 08/06/2009 20:43:40 MDT Print View

I am sorry, Tom is the owner of Nunantak. He is a great guy, much like Henry... (Who's Henry? ;-)

No I don't count wearing all my clothes and as this was supposed to be a very warm weather trip I did not have anything warmer than a Smartwool long sleeve shirt to add. I did put my REI Sahara pants back on, the first time I have worn them to bed.

I did have a huge Packa coat/cover from Cedar Tree but I had to let Dave use it as a layer as Mr UL just brought a glorified space blanket (V 2.0) along.

Mike Philip
(mphilip) - F
Quilt on 08/07/2009 14:03:36 MDT Print View

I just got mine in the mail this week and have not had a chance to try it yet...I am headed out for a 10 day trip in Northern BC next week so hopefully it will do the trick.

I cannot believe how small it is when packed!!! Though i am used to my 3 1/2 pound synthetic bag i have been using for the past 10 years...LOL

(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Re: Quilt on 08/07/2009 15:02:52 MDT Print View

Mike I was just in the Northern Selkirks for 6 nights with a way too warm WM Versalite. BC is having a very warm summer apparently so you should be fine with your Go Lite 20 Quilt. Wish I had brought mine instead of waking up sweating every night with the heavier bag just draped over me. Totally overkill.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
re: GoLite Ultra 20 (brief review) on 08/07/2009 16:30:45 MDT Print View

Who's Tom and Henry? about these Jack characters or Joe, but he's decided to go hiking. What I really want to know who this Ron guy is that I keep sending my money to... and a new package arrived today!

I do think it is pretty cool that we refer to the people that build our gear by their first names...great community.

As far as the golite ultra 20...I'll repeat one more time I have taken it to 20 degree using a bivy/tarp and extremely thin/short pad. I did suppliment it with a montbell UL inner and fleece cap. It was a stretch, but I slept fine. I'm amazed at what this quilt does considering the price and the true 19 oz weight.


Edited by jshortt on 08/07/2009 19:35:16 MDT.

Mike Philip
(mphilip) - F
BC on 08/07/2009 21:39:05 MDT Print View

Thanks for the heads up Martin.

I have been watching the forecast and it has been warm around the area we are headed (Dease Lake) but the long term looks wet...LOL, but the temps look ok.

Was going to take my bivy and tarp with hiking poles but I am going to take the Hubba instead I think. We will mostly be on top of the mountains and not down in the trees so if the weather is nasty i think the tent will be a better option.


Justin Young
GoLite Ultra 20 on 08/09/2009 22:47:50 MDT Print View

I really like this quilt.. I have the first edition and have used it on every trip since I got it. It is absolutely perfect for Spring and Fall.

The coldest night I've slept in it was in the Smokies in mid- to late-March. It had been raining all day, cleared up to be beautiful in the early evening, was nice and warm, and then I woke up to snow on the ground the next morning. I was in a drafty AT shelter that night and woke up several times quite cold but fell back asleep quickly each time.. I'm not sure just how cold it got that night or for how long.

If I remember, the only thing I had on underneath was Patagonia Capilene 2. Apparently I was too lazy to put anything else on. I was sleeping atop a Pacific Outdoor Ether Thermo 6 mattress. Was I uncomfortable several times over the night, sure, but not as cold or uncomfortable as I have been in far-heavier full sleeping bags that weighed a LOT more and had even colder ratings... If I had packed 5 more oz for my down jacket I would have been toasty warm.

I'm sure this applies to all quilts, and bags in general, but even more so for a quilt.. sleeping with it over your head is a bad idea... you can quite literally feel the warmth come and go with each breath as you move air in and out and I specifically remember this from the night I mentioned. I was far warmer when I just left my head out of the bag. If you think it's going to be really cold, just bring a balaclava.

Otherwise, I love having a quilt I can throw on and off as I get warmer/colder. As far as weight and size goes I wouldn't take anything else with me.