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Thinking about making a big down blanket
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Steven Inge
(tnis0612) - F
Thinking about making a big down blanket on 10/29/2009 07:25:19 MDT Print View

I have talked my girlfriend into making a big down blanket out of 20oz of 750fill down. She has done a little sewing here and there but I want to keep it as simple as possible. I think we are just going to make a big rectangle.

The idea is to have this be multi functional. I was thinking we could make it out of momentum 90 and then make a soft fleecy zippered cover for it that we can take on and off. This way we can use it around the house as well as a comforter on a twin bed for our future kid. Then when we want to go backpacking we can take the cover off and use it out in the woods. It will obviously be a little heavier than it probably needs to be but even if it was 40oz or so it would still be a little ligher than what we are carrying combined now (golite ultra 20 for me and synthetic cat's meow for her. And I think it would be warmer.

I have checked out thru-hiker a little and read the quilt instructions on that site.

My questions are: what do you think of this idea?

What size would you recommend? I'm thinking 75in long and 60in wide. (I am 6' 165lb and she is 5'2'' 110lb). Since it will just be a rectangle I would like for it to be long and wide enough to tuck the feet under and obviously the sides.

I feel like sewn through baffles would be much easier for her, how much warmth do you lose? %?

Thanks for the help!

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Re: Thinking about making a big down blanket on 10/29/2009 08:09:38 MDT Print View


If you are going to try to match the ultra 20 loft of 2.5" its going to be too hot for indoor use unless you open the windows in winter. I actually used to do that a lot.

If building a quilt for serious use, I would baffle it, IE not sewn through which is s PIA.

If for a summer quilt then sew through would be fine, but 20 oz of down sounds like too much for that.

75x60x2.5 would = 11250 and would take 15 oz of down plus a little extra.

A 1" summer quilt would take 6 oz plus

For you 73" long might be a bit short if you want to make a drawsting or fold a footbox. I also have a golite ultra20 long. I am 6'3 and it is 6-4 long roughly and almost perfect for me lengthwise. I am building a climasheild overquilt with a drwstring foot box, and I figured its going to have to be 8-10" longer to make the drawstring footbox, IE it could be shorter if I made a regular footbox. IE if drawstringed you would want your quilt roughly about 7' long.

For two you really want more of an oval footbox, so not sure how that would work. You might want to shape the end.

If you valcro together the bottom foot section to make a tube, it would be 30" flat or 19" in diameter. If you figure it simply you would want to add on half of that plus a couple of inches for a drawstring foodbox, so maybe add on 12" + to your height. You would also want a baffle for the hole.

You could make it a little bigger like 6'x7-4' and it would be close to perfect for a queen size bed.

6'x7'4 summer 1" quilt would weigh about 16-20 oz depending on overfill and straps etc.

2.5" baffled quilt would weigh 28-30 oz +-.

You could make life a lot simpler for her and just build a climasheild quilt. Heavier though. 3.7 oz combat would weigh about 48oz and would be bulky. Either that or just have TIm make one.

BTW, I would run these number by him before you start.

Its an expensive project.

Steven Inge
(tnis0612) - F
Re: Re: Thinking about making a big down blanket on 10/29/2009 08:46:44 MDT Print View

Yeah I think you're right about being too hot for indoor use. I was actually thinking about using all 20oz of down and making it 2.5'' or even 3'' if there was enough down. My girlfriend is a pretty cold sleeper in the woods and i'd much rather it be way too warm than too cold. Thanks for the sizing input. It does sound like I would want to make it longer than I was thinking. It would definitely be nice if it could fit a queen bed but I'm just not sure I want to make it THAT big. Hm...i'll have to look at the numbers a little more closely to see whether it would be worth it.

I was actually thinking this would be a fairly cheap project!

20oz of 750 down @ $5/oz = $100
10yrds of Momentum .9 @ $14/yrd = $140

So if I did sewn through that would be $240 for a two person 15-20 degree, lighter sleep system! That seems pretty good to me!

If I did real baffles that would add a few yards of noseeum and maybe another $25-30.

Tim makes some great looking stuff and i'm sure would be MUCH higher quality that anything we could make but I think it would be considerably more expensive, and for some reason my girlfriend thinks this would be "fun".

Am I on the right track at all??

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Re: Thinking about making a big down blanket on 10/29/2009 09:17:27 MDT Print View

Where are you sourcing the down? Most of the 800FP stuff available, ie at thru-hiker, would run you ~$8.50/oz. Great stuff, it's what I've been using, but it doesn't quite jive w/your budget...

Steven Inge
(tnis0612) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Thinking about making a big down blanket on 10/29/2009 10:11:39 MDT Print View

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Re: Thinking about making a big down blanket on 10/29/2009 10:13:13 MDT Print View

I would not do a sew through for 15-20dF.

Sew though should be more like 1-1.5" loft and 45-50dF max.

If you are going to build a 2.5" loft quilt, and that is too warm to use as a comforter on a bed then I would just build a boxed foot end quilt with a big oblong footbox. It would be lighter and warmer.

That said 5oz climasheild is supposed to be good for 25dF.

Also I am not sure 60" is wide enough at the top for two, depending on how you sleep. IE My golite quilt for one is 54" wide so 60" for two is probably too narrow.

Maybe 6'W at the shoulders x 6'-4 Long might be a good size, if you do a normal foot box.

For a rough estimate weight comparison a retangular 2.5" 750 fill down quilt 6' x 6.3' would weigh about 28 oz compared to a 7.5oz XP quilt would weigh abotu 40 oz plus another 3-4 oz for the footbox.

If you do a down quilt it is going to be so expensive and time consuming, you want to make sure you get the size and design right, so I would highly recommend going to walmart and picking up some cheap nylon and at least make a single sheet test you two can climb into.

Also rather than start with something so hard like a down quilt, why not start with a 2.5oz climasheild summer quilt. Its a lot easier to make as a strarter project.

Either that or you could convert a double down sleeping bag into a double quilt

Also you should definately contact TIm for some feedback. There is a certain method for working with down baffles, that I dont know much about, IE filling up and closing the foot box etc, using a shop vac for filling the tubes.

Its also very messy.

Steven Inge
(tnis0612) - F
Re: Re: Thinking about making a big down blanket on 10/29/2009 15:06:29 MDT Print View

Troy thanks for the advice. The climasheild may be a lot easier but the way I see it, if i'm gonna make something I want it to be able to replace what I already have. If it's not much better than what I already have then i'm really not getting enough benefit out of it to justify making it.

Now i'm debating making a 1'' quilt to use as an over-quilt with my current sleep system for when it gets really cold out. My only concern is, I feel like it's just as much work and would end up being almost as expensive since I would imagine I wouldnt be able to use all that much less fabric. It would cut the down by maybe $60 or so but then I woudlnt be able to sell the golite ultra 20 and the girlfriend's cat's meow.

Decisions decisions, if Tim has some input that would be great, I wont bother him by PMing though..i'm sure he's a busy man!

Thanks again for your help Troy.

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Thinking about making a big down blanket on 10/29/2009 15:36:24 MDT Print View

PM him, he will get back to you.

How about get her a golite 20 and lap the tops together with stick on velcro or something like that. Not sure that would work though.

Or just get zip together sleeping bags. I know thats not UL but its an option. Expensive though and heavier.
Not sure if campmor 20s zip together.

Although climasheild is more bulky its not that bad weight wise. It was just brought to my attention that it is equivilent to about 600 down fill, warmth to weight.

Not sure how true that is, but I am building a 2.5oz XP overquilt for my ultra 20 for winter. Should extend it down to about 10-15 then the rest to 0dF with a bivy and clothes.

Its going to be a bit heavier than I originally wanted because of the extra girth to go over and around the golite without scrunching the down.

It will end up as a summer quilt alone good to about 45-50dF.

The actual area is 3.33 yards for now, so you can figure out how much a XP quilt would weigh, IE 1oz cloth 6.66 oz

(yikes I dont like that number, better resize it)

and 3.33*2.5 so overall about 16 oz. I know you can do a normal size 2.5 xp quilt in about 12-14 oz. One for your girlfriend would probably be about 10-12 oz.

If it really is 600 then the difference in weight between it and 750 down would be about 75-80% for down.

The additional bit of weight does not bother me, but down just last longer with repetitive compression.

I guess if I do the normal drop it in the bottom of my pack and dont overcompress it it would last longer.

Oh and the fabric, I got luckly and found 14 yards of 1 oz ripstop and 8 yards of DWR 1.1 oz ripstop at walmart for $1.50 per linial yard so I am set there.

I would not think it would be a waste of time to build an XP quilt. If a topper, it will put the frozen condensation layer into the synthetic outer quilt rather than down so thats a good thing. Besides that if its a square quilt, you can just open up the bottom flip it inside out, add insul, take the old stuff out etc pretty easily. A square climasheild quilt is just basically 4 edge seams.

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Thinking about making a big down blanket on 10/29/2009 15:40:34 MDT Print View

I think a quilt design something like this would be ideal for a 2 person quilt, although this is a heavy beast of a sleeping bag.

There was a post here recently that had some photos of a nice double quilt setup with a wide inflatable pad.

I cant find it though.

Eric Fitz
(pounce) - F
Feathered Friends on 10/30/2009 07:34:05 MDT Print View

Take a look at these bags from Feathered Friends for some ideas.

Edited by pounce on 10/30/2009 07:34:45 MDT.