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Advice on MYOG two-part modular, two person quilt.
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Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Advice on MYOG two-part modular, two person quilt. on 01/18/2010 13:15:38 MST Print View

Hey guys, planning a backpacking trip out of the country where we'll be sleeping at alot of different elevations/temp ranges. So I figure it's a good time to build the two person quilt I've been promising my gf.

What I'm wanting to do, is make a two layer two person quilt, that can be used comfortably through out those ranges. Ideally, I'd like it to be a quilt/overquilt setup, to allow taking just one quilt for higher temp nights, and also allow us to split the load between two packs.

So something like a 40deg quilt for the bottom, and then whatever else I need to get the rating down to about 15-20deg comfort. I also had the idea to make one of them a down quilt, and the other synthetic. So that I could use one or the other, depending on conditions.

I'm not sure how the combination of quilt ratings works exactly, so that's one point of input I need.

What would two 40deg quilts work out to be temp rating overlayed? What synthetic insulation would work best over a down bag to not compress it overly?

Is this a reasonable idea?

Thanks!

Edited by jdempsey on 01/18/2010 13:17:52 MST.

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
also.. on 01/18/2010 18:38:41 MST Print View

I'd also love some advice on dimensions, especially the footbox.

My gf is pretty small, and I'm just about average size. 5'9-10" and around 150-160.

We sleep close but do toss and turn a bit, side sleepers mostly.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Advice on MYOG two-part modular, two person quilt. on 01/19/2010 12:31:31 MST Print View

I don't know th answer on temp rating of combining two 40 deg quilts, but whatever you end up making, be sure to make it plenty wide enough and long enough, keeping in mind that down quilts are especially prone to 'shrinkage' when you add the down. In other words, as it puffs up, it gets shorter and narrower. The best idea is to cut a sheet (or better yet a blanket) to the size you think will work, then try sleeping in it together for a couple of nights and see how you go. Sleeping on your side also gobbles up width...

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Advice on MYOG two-part modular, two person quilt. on 01/19/2010 13:19:31 MST Print View

Width is important all right, but having a footbox is vital imho. The footbox can be just a layer of light fabric across the bottom. Its function is to keep the bottom end of the quilt from sliding sideways off your legs. You would be surprised maybe just how effective this precaution is at keeping the rest of the quilt on top of you.

Yes, my wife and I use quilts, including a double layer in winter in the snow.

Cheers

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Advice on MYOG two-part modular, two person quilt. on 01/19/2010 13:40:01 MST Print View

No expert, but what I would do is this.

2.5" loft down inner quilt with a normal foot box. I have taken my golite ultra 20 down to 14dF in a hammock with heavy johns on, but its comfortable enough and breaths well enough to sleep under in 70dF weather. Maybe you could just mod 2 of those for a start. They make them in short, regular and long.

Build a 2.5 oz xp climasheild outer quilt with a footbox you can open sized so it will not cause loft problems with the down inner quilt.
2.5 oz XP should be good to 45dF and extend the inner quilt another 15dF just as a guess.

Made with UL material, per person the down quilt should weigh about 20 oz and the top quilt about 14-16 oz depending for a total of around 34-36 oz per person.

Use the climasheild quilt with the open/close footbox in summer, down spring and fall, both in winter or if you expect unknown cold weather.

The cliamsheild outer quilt will move the condensation area into the synthetic insulation rather than down.

Personally if I build another quilt I ma going to put a flap in the head area to tuck my head under. I think it would be better for side sleeping.

Edited by tammons on 01/19/2010 13:44:23 MST.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Advice on MYOG two-part modular, two person quilt on 01/19/2010 15:28:27 MST Print View

You might consider making one or both quilts in two parts that zip together, as in a RayWay 2-person quilt with split-zip option. That way if you take just one quilt you can still split the weight and bulk between two packs.

The split is not side-to-side, but between the head and foot ends. My wife and I have been using a RayWay 2-person quilt with split-zip (and draft-stopper) for a few years and are very happy.

The added weight of zipper and extra fabric is small, assuming you use a #3 zipper.

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: RE: Advice on MYOG two-part modular, two person quilt on 01/19/2010 15:41:55 MST Print View

elliot,

Where can one find a #3 coil separating zipper long enough for this application? I have considered having some made (90" long so i can use them for this, or to make sleeping bags or vertical separating double quilts) as i haven't found them at the usual places.

-Tim

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: RE: Advice on MYOG two-part modular, two person quilt on 01/19/2010 16:18:55 MST Print View

"Where can one find a #3 coil separating zipper long enough for this application? "

Thru-hiker.com??

http://thru-hiker.com/materials/zipper.php

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
great advice on 01/19/2010 16:22:32 MST Print View

Thanks guys, that gives me some ideas where to start.

I recently used an overquilt setup in this recent snow storm on the southern AT, where we got some very low (low single, high negative) temps, and fell in love with the idea.

I had a WM Highlite, and covered it with a quilt I made from a $20 synthetic mummy that I ripped the footbox and hood off of to shave about half a pound off it's horrendous weight. Velcro'd the bottom onto my sleeping pad, but I should of just left the footbox on it. This added probably close to 3lbs to my pack but, saved my ass, and allowed me an awesome winter experience I otherwise would have missed.

I still can't justify the cost and lack of versatility of a dedicated cold-cold weather bag.

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Split end to end? on 01/19/2010 16:28:23 MST Print View

What's the thinking behind splitting it end to end vs. side to side?

Is this just for weight sharing then vs. the potentiality for single use?

Theoretically a side split with some imaginative omni-tape layouts in the foot box area could make two fully functional quilts combine to one with functional footboxes in either split or combined mode no?

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Advice on MYOG two-part modular, two person quilt on 01/19/2010 18:14:06 MST Print View

For versatility, wouldn't you be better off having 2 bags that would connect down the sides, IE like hooking 2 ultra 20's together ??

If you did it right you could make it very versitile. Use as singles, connect them for doubles, or flip the toppers around to the bottom and use it like a huge double bag with a bottom, IE synthetic on bottom, down on top or something like that ??

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Advice on MYOG two-part modular, two person quilt on 01/19/2010 18:29:14 MST Print View

RE: splitting the weight

Adding a zipper or coupler just adds weight. Instead, we divide up the weight of 'couples' gear. For instance, I carry the double quilt (900 grams), my partner carries the tent (1.3kg). One of us carries the stove, the other pot and fuel, etc...we work it out so we essentially carry the same weight of couples stuff, although tents will get heavier when wet, fuel will get lighter, but it all balances out in the long run.

Versatility aside, a single wide quilt will always be lighter and less bulky than two solo quilts joined together.

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Re: Advice on MYOG two-part modular, two person quilt on 01/19/2010 20:18:49 MST Print View

We divide that way also, but we don't hike together exclusively. So the versatility to split these up in a few different ways might make up for a few ounces in my book.

That said, I'm leaning away from a 4-way split, and think a two (unbreakable) quilt system will be perfect. However, I'm obsessed with modularity, and the idea of having a 2, splittable quilts, is extremely interesting from that standpoint.

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Advice on MYOG two-part modular, two person quilt. on 01/19/2010 20:28:51 MST Print View

I do think you have a good idea and I will build an XP overquilt for my ultra 20 one day. I guess it will be more to use when in doubt about actually how cold it will be and to use in the summer down south when it is really just to hot and humid for a down bag.

That said I was going to build one asap as I was concerned about the ultra 20 rating, but after sleeping at 14dF with no insulating layers, I think with a hooded parka and some insulated pants and extra socks I could have gone down to 0-5dF easily.

After that I think a single ultra 20 quilt is good enough for me for most everything.

I do carry a modded 7 oz emer bivy sometimes just in case I get into trouble or want to use it inside as a VBL/extender.

Tim should be able to build something for you or mod 2 quilts to fasten together.

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Advice on MYOG two-part modular, two person quilt. on 01/19/2010 20:37:37 MST Print View

I'm planning on making this myself, but I'm hoping Tim can chime in with some advice on footbox design, and recommended width. I'm guessing just combining the width of two quilts isn't the answer..

I figured the width of two sleeping pads, plus an allowance of, how many inches?

How much size should I add for the overquilt?

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Advice on MYOG two-part modular, two person quilt on 01/19/2010 21:34:16 MST Print View

Yeah,

I dont think it would need to be as wide. Sounds like way too much work for me to tackle if made from down. Too many baffles and whatnot.

There was a thread here, with a photo that was a neat double setup. Had a twin mat and a single double quilt.

Looked like a nice setup.

Jeremy Greene
(tippymcstagger) - F

Locale: North Texas
Double quilt width on 01/19/2010 21:54:35 MST Print View

Javan,

"I'm guessing just combining the width of two quilts isn't the answer..I figured the width of two sleeping pads, plus an allowance of, how many inches?"

In my mind you want the width of a single quilt plus the width of one additional sleeping pad. When the quilt is in 3d use only 1 dimension is different between single and double quilts. Perhaps the character diagram helps:

single quilt(_) double quilt(__)

Clearly Tim will be more helpful...And there are other complexities to deal with...

Edited by tippymcstagger on 01/19/2010 21:59:17 MST.

Andrew Wilson
(andreww) - MLife

Locale: Vosges
Great idea, keep it simple on 01/19/2010 23:42:20 MST Print View

I like your idea, especially for something like a long, international trip where you'll have to deal with a lot of elevations. If you're not only backpacking, but staying in pensions and hostels, consider the "backpacker's" sheet as well.

However, it doesn't seem worth it if you don't have a place to stash the extra 'half' you're not using. Too much insulation can be dealth with by leaving a leg out, or something. It takes some getting used to, but that's how people survive sleeping under duvets.

If you're intent, I like Troy's advice very much. Just don't use zippers at all, and find some way of attaching the two layers together (synthetic on top): a series of small sew-on smaps would work perfectly.

Whatever you do have a footbox. It just makes sense.

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Peru on 01/20/2010 11:48:31 MST Print View

Yeah, we're gearing up to do 3 weeks in Cordillera Blanca of Peru, but then we'll be zooming over to the NW coast for a couple of weeks of beach action afterwards.

That being said, I have a place to stash gear in Lima at a friends house after the mountains. However, even at the beach, nights can get chilly in Peru, alot more than you'd think, plus the elevation changes in the Cordillera can make for some extremely wide temp ranges.

I'm wanting this to be a solution for here also, and I don't see why it cant be, at least when it's both of us.

I've got my own setup for going solo anyway, so that's not really an issue.

I'm going to work on the down quilt first, after that, if I'm still sane, the synthetic one should be a breeze.