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Cross between Quilt and sleep bag?
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Cross between Quilt and sleep bag? on 12/02/2009 19:39:45 MST Print View

Okay, first post, my eyes almost hurt from all the reading. This is a great site! Just found it a little while ago.

I've been making some gear for awhile now, mainly stuff bags, some larger type gear bags, etc.

I'm going to order a thru-hike vest kit to help further my education as well.

What I need is a really light sleeping system for backcountry trips to mid sept here in AK,,so could get by with something in the 20 degree range.

I like the quilt design but don't know if I can totally get away from some type of securing system. I was thinking of something of a cross between a Big Agnes and a quilt.

So use the 21oz insulated BA pad and a quilt thats sewed in on one side? Larger flap on the other side? Maybe a zipper or even velcro??

I'm is the thinking process here still, was wondering is anyone has done some "hybrid" type designs, I'd love to see them if you have, my reason to build, is first just to do it,,,,but think I can save some money too, even with a over stuff kit from thru hiker, I can geterdone for under 2?

And weight is huge, I'm thinking I can get a overstuff to 19oz,,,,so have a sleep system at 40 oz ish? Some of the traditional bags in this class are in the 3-400 dollar range,,,and lets face it, its a long winter up here, need another project!

Joe L
(heyyou) - MLife

Locale: Cutting brush off of the Arizona Tr
Jacks R Better quilt/pad combo on 12/02/2009 20:01:33 MST Print View

Take a look at the Jacks R Better setup that has omnitape on both the foam pad and the perimeter of the quilt making the quilt into a sleeping bag with a foam bottom on it. Omnitape is a type of velcro that has both hooks and loops mixed on the same piece, not two separate pieces. It mates with itself or any other omnitape. At JRB, FLOT means Full Length OmniTape.

One disadvantage is having to either slide into the bag from the top, or noisily tear open the velcro to get into the bag.

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: Cross between Quilt and sleep bag? on 12/03/2009 11:24:15 MST Print View

Sounds like you may be looking for a topbag design. A great example is the nunatak catabatic. It can have a snugger fit and be more thermally efficient than if your bag was attached the edges of your pad. The big agnes bags are pretty heavy compared to what you could do with this style. I have made one with 5oz layer of XP and love it. 24oz even with the use of heavier nylon than normal. It would be 20-21 oz with momentum or 1.1.

thanks on 12/03/2009 21:06:05 MST Print View

Thanks, great links all around,,,,if nothing I'm glad I found this site since its directed me to a bunch of sites selling great gear,,,made in the usa, small shop type stuff,,,,with super prices.

I ordered some down,,,,,now my first step in to sew some baffels in some cheap cotton and see what I'm in for.

Non-differential cut first,,,,but my final bag needs a differential cut,,, hope I can do it

pad on 12/03/2009 21:11:15 MST Print View

I'll do some more reading but what are people doing for lightweight insulated pads.

I like the big agnes for one its thickness (2.5) 2 its insulation, (4.1)

For the air filled, insulated, with the thickness I'm looking for there are just a few options.

Anyone making them?

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: pad on 12/03/2009 22:12:06 MST Print View

For a sleeping bag with no insulation on the bottom, I have found BA's rating to be a tad optimistic. In low temps, you can add a closed cell foam pad atop the big agnes to be warmer, or opt for a down air mattress (DAM). Stephenson Warmlite makes a very light one, Exped makes some that are more available. Kookabay may be developing one even lighter than the Stephenson.

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: pad on 12/03/2009 23:04:29 MST Print View

I have a 20"x48" Kookabay pad (in 30D which he no longer has) that is down filled and weighs just under 8oz, I am happy!


Michael Meiser
(mmeiser) - F

Locale: Michigan
The lightest Down Air Mats (DAM?) on 12/04/2009 00:59:37 MST Print View

Tim, that looks like quite a pad.

I own an Exped Airmat for summer use and I'd been looking at the Big Agnes and Exped down aur mats for winter use.

All in all the idea of an air pad with down is pretty much brilliant, but these bags are nowhere near as light or compact as the Kookabay which weighs as little as 10.2oz.

I was checking out but I see no info on r-value.

I'm curious if anyone has tested or knows the r-value on this pad, and what else is out there in the smaller venders that might be lighter then Exped or the Big Agnes down air mats.

p.s. btw, the Exped Down and sythetic air mats have r-values of 8.1 and 9.5 respectively. The synthetic is the highest r-value I've ever seen, but I wouldn't recommend it for the type of hiking people do hear as it's to bulky and heavy.

Am reading up on te Stephenson Warmlite.

Edited by mmeiser on 12/04/2009 01:02:47 MST.

Michael Meiser
(mmeiser) - F

Locale: Michigan
Integrated Quilt / sleeping pad on 12/04/2009 01:12:55 MST Print View

It occurs to me reading through this post that I have the same ideas or similar ideas on this subject as many others.

My ideal ultralight winter setup would be an integrated down quilt and down air mat.

In order that they be air tight the down quilt obviously has to connect to the air mat.

I think the best way to do this would be fore the quilt to have a single layer bottom that wraps all the way around the down air mat. The bottom of the quilt would have no insulate value it's purpose would simply be to keep the edges of the quilt snugged nicely around the edges of the down air mat. Obviously some overlap between the down air matt and the down quilt would be required.

This idea is an alternative to (as Dave D. suggested) using velcro or a zipper to connect or couple the mat and the quilt.

Of course the quilt must have some sort of zipper or some opening along the side for you to get out of if it's going to wrap all the way around the down air mat but by not specifically couping the two together with a zipper you gain a lot of flexibility and might even shed a little weight and complexity. I.E. only one zipper instead of two.

This design would hopefully give the end user (me) the ability to use the setup more versatility. I.E. I could turn the quilt upside down and use it in warm weather or unzip it and use it as a true quilt. Or use it with a wide variety of different mats since the two aren't specifically bound or coupled together in a proprietary fashion.

p.s. I do know that Mountain Hardware and some other companies make flip flop bags with some less down on one side then the other, but I haven't seen anything with no insulation like I've described on the market.

I have especially not seen a mat / quilt or mat / bag combination of this sort.

That said I'm quickly learning here on the forums that if I can dream it then there is probably at least one cottage company if not a dozen that have already made this idealized product that I'm describing.

Please share if you've discovered something.

Edited by mmeiser on 12/04/2009 01:26:19 MST.

>> Bender <<
(Bender) - MLife

Locale: NEO
Re: The lightest Down Air Mats (DAM?) on 12/04/2009 08:46:23 MST Print View

m m The sleeping pads I have listed at KookaBay are currently all R1 but I have been working on several versions of an insulated pad.

Here are the R values and approximate weights for a 60" mummy using Climashiled XP.

R2 12.2 ounces
R4 14.2 ounces
R6 16.2 ounces

Down versions are slightly lighter for the same R value however you also need a pump like the BA pumphouse +1.5oz. The XP insulation actually gives a self inflating affect which I will need to experiment a bit more with! I still cant get over how light Tim's down pad turned out!

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Re: Re: The lightest Down Air Mats (DAM?) on 12/04/2009 09:01:32 MST Print View


Take a look at what I was doing several years ago. It wasn't as light as I was trying for but it sure was warm.

Poly Tube Down Air Mattress (DAM) First Generation

MYOG - Down Air Mattress

Edited by bfornshell on 12/04/2009 09:03:45 MST.

Michael Meiser
(mmeiser) - F

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: The lightest Down Air Mats (DAM?) on 12/04/2009 14:58:09 MST Print View

Thanks bender. BTW, you're a biker?

If you're interested we have an ultralight touring yahoo group. It's mostly made up of GDR people. Not a whole lot of conversation, but it is interesting.

>> Bender <<
(Bender) - MLife

Locale: NEO
Re: Re: Re: The lightest Down Air Mats (DAM?) on 12/04/2009 15:46:36 MST Print View

m m I'm not into touring but I would love to check out the group. My bikes caught the light weight bug years ago!

Here is a nice "Cross between Quilt and sleep bag"

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: lightest DAM on 12/04/2009 16:28:44 MST Print View

Does anyone know how much down Stephensons puts in their DAM? I know the Exped Downmat 7 (regular) has 6oz of down. It is a bit heavy, but wicked warm. I have been looking at the Stephensons Warmlite mats but also following this thread closely.

Paul Elliott
(PaulElliott) - F
Re: Cross between Quilt and sleep bag? on 12/09/2009 12:49:07 MST Print View

I integrated a quilt and BA insulated mummy pad in the Brooks Range in August this year.

I built my quilt with 5oz XP, momentum, silk, and a drawstring around the edge. It also used two straps to stabilize the quilt on top of me a bit more. It was specifically built to my pad and my typical sleep positions. The quilt has a border or plain momentum that is used to wrap under the pad and keep the insulation where it belongs.

The upshot is I would tighten up the drawstring, hook up the straps, and everything was cinched down to the pad, while allowing me to still move around. While in the field, I never uncinched the cord or the straps and just slipped it on and off the pad.

Overall, it worked great. We had temps down to roughly 25 degrees, and I typically used a hooded compressor jacket and fleece pants. I kept plenty warm.

Back at home, my quilt opens up flat and I use it as a very warm quilt on my bed. I'll probably use it next spring in the Adirondaks without cinching it up (or using the clothing)

Michael Meiser
(mmeiser) - F

Locale: Michigan
Integrated quilt / down air mattress (DAM) on 12/09/2009 23:04:38 MST Print View

Paul E, That's awesome. That's pretty much exactly what I'm planning on doing. The idea being the sindle layer and drawstring would ensure that the quilt is drawn well under the air mat to make it air tight.

I figure the drawstring might even hold on the hood and would make the quilt zipperless and seamless since a cord lock could just be undone to allow me enter and exit the bag.

The hood would need some extra material though I'm thinking to allow for twisting and turning from side to side 35-45 degrees since the bag doesn't turn.

Even your temp rang sounds good. But I'm planning on using a vapor barrier and bivy as well in the extreme cold, which will hopefully take me down to zero if need be.

I may even use it inside (if I can fit it) my 40 degree summer bag if it'll let me travel with it in the winter.

I'm looking for maximum versatility. So I'm going with a holistic / sleep system approach.

Being able to opening it up flat in the summer is another good option.

Will probably design it around my Exped Air mat and hope to make it so it'll handle a wide variety of matts so I can use it with a DAM (down air mat) in the winter.

I.E. one option might be to use a thin thermarest with the quilt, inside a vapor barrier... this whole thing surrounded by another light outer 40 degree bag, on top of a z-fold, and in a bivy on the snow. Not sure what that'll get me down to, but it should be quite cozy and light.

BTW, You're not this guy are you:

I guess he used Cuben, pretty unconventional for a sleeping bag. But heh, for fall and winter use it could make a LOT of sense. It is in it's own way it's like having a vapor barrier built in and it provides a lot of protection from moisture.

BTW, I would absolutely love to see pictures of your quilt, especially, especially if you had patterns or sketches.

I'd love to see what the single layer bottom looks like and how the drawstring and straps draw it in.

p.s. much thanks to that blogger, before seeing how simple it could be it never occured to me I could make a decent sleeping bag with my sewing skills. I had always figured it'd have to be down and hence would need all sorts of complex baffles. Using Climashield XP came as a revelation to me. Not even so much as a zipper or single baddle or seam is required across the whole top. This should gain back some tremendous advantage over the conventional down sleeping bag design.

The only... only complexity is the hood. Indeed I could use a down parka hood, i've seen it done, but I'd like to ave it integrated. I was thinking of trying what I call the "soap on a rope" aproach and have the quilt drawstring underneath be the sole connector for the hood, thus pulling it down under the pad and yet with the release of a single cord lock being able to push it up and pull the quilt out from under the pad.

Curious about whom else has done this. As I've realized with any good idea... if it is good then someone has to have tried it before and probably more then one.

So far you're the only person I've found mentioning this integrated quilt / DAM approach. At least that's what I'm calling it for the purpose of starting a bit of a meme and trying to find others who've been thinking about the issue.

Right, so, the key is finding out what wing or butterfly pattern is going to be best for pulling the quilt under the pad. It may even be asymetrical, i.e. only pull out on one side.

Secondarily there's the pattern for a hood, I may have to invent that from scratch.

Bag and pad on 12/09/2009 23:44:54 MST Print View

Paul E. Do you mind sharing the weight of your setup? Initially was thinking of a similar setup

I was thinking of the bag design similar to BA without the zipper. I have never used a quilt. On a 9 day trip in the chugachs we got rain 7 days. With 2 guys in a 40 sf tent things started to get pretty damp. Bags stayed plenty dry (both down) but my biggest concern with the typical quilt is it drapping on the floor of the tent picking up additional condensation. That's why I was thinking a quilt that's sewed on one side and open on the other would be good. Who knows maybe overthinking it

I am going to research the xp too. So far have not researched that route. Thanks for the link.

Paul Elliott
(PaulElliott) - F
quilt on 12/10/2009 09:28:45 MST Print View

Nope, I'm not the skunkworks guy. I haven't posted on any of the forums before.

I'll post the complete design, photos, and build process on my web site and post a link here when I put it up.

The quilt was designed for 21-22 ounces, but it weighs in at 23 due to some last minute substitutions on the strap and buckles (finished a couple nights before my flight).

I put in a drawstring around the entire perimeter, which turned out to be unnecessary. It is useful around the bottom to keep the quilt around the foot area, but between the two straps on each side it didn't do anything. From the shoulder and up around the head it was nice to cinch it just a little, which created a pocket for me to put my makeshift pillow into, then the other corner I tucked under the opposite shoulder.

I went through a lot of different ideas trying to find a good shape for the top of the quilt, and in the end, extending the sides straight up and having a square top that is quite long worked out the best, and was by far the simplest to build.

If I were to use it with a bag, I would have it on top since it's designed to go around something else, and I think that would help keep its loft better.

I suppose I could use it with another mummy pad, but it was very specifically designed for that pad, and it would not work on a square pad. If I had designed it for a square pad, I think the same would be true of trying to use it with a mummy pad.

The momentum top shell is completely seamless, and the sewing couldn't be easier. There's no quilting yarn as it's not needed with the XP.

My tent (Lunar Duo) had internal condensation, but my quilt was always completely dry, other than occasional moisture from my breath if the quilt got too close to my mouth, but it was never enough to be a problem. I don't have any concerns about picking up any other moisture; that didn't seem to be an issue.

Like I said, I'll put up everything I have in relation to this quilt, but it'll likely be a couple days before I have time to get it all on the website. I christened it the TQ30, short for ToastQuilt 30, with 30 being the designed comfortable temperature for it. I'd push it to 20 before changing the sleep system.

Paul Elliott
(PaulElliott) - F
TQ-30 on 12/15/2009 23:48:15 MST Print View

As promised, here's everything on the quilt I made. Diagrams, drawings, explanations, and eight-by-ten color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one.

Josh Leavitt
(Joshleavitt) - F

Locale: Ruta Locura
Pictures on 12/16/2009 07:42:12 MST Print View

Lets hope theres no blind judges ;-)