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Quilts in Winter
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Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Quilts in Winter on 02/12/2010 06:41:12 MST Print View

Do people use them, or is a bag preferable because the full enclosure holds in heat and seals out drafts?

I'm talking about 10 degrees and below temps, where you'd be using something like the Nunatak Expedition quilt rated to 5 degrees. The existence of the Expedition means some people must use quilts is those temps. (I'd MYOG my own this summer using the Thru-hiker kit)

I currently have a Nunatak Specialist I can push down to 15-20 with the insulation I'd be carrying for those temps anyways, so I need something for 15 and below, and as a warm sleeper, I generally overheat at more than 10 degrees above a bag/quilts rating, and venting only does so much.

I could then also layer the two for really cold temps.

I just wonder if a bag would be easier in this case.

Winter bags are tough because they're expensive and good for only one season, so I want to make the most educated choice the first time.

Chad Miller
(chadnsc)

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Quilts in Winter on 02/12/2010 08:52:59 MST Print View

For me it's all about personal preference due to how I sleep. I tend to roll over and sleep on my side and back during the night so I like to use a bag for winter use. If I were to try and sleep only with a quilt in the winter my rolling over would greatly decrease the quilts efficiency, creating drafts and allowing me to get cold. That being said I will augment my bag by adding a 40 degree quilt inside my bag if the temperatures are going to be below what my bag (and insulated clothing) can handle.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Quilts in Winter on 02/12/2010 11:12:23 MST Print View

. I tend to roll over and sleep on my side and back during the night so I like to use a bag for winter use. If I were to try and sleep only with a quilt in the winter my rolling over would greatly decrease the quilts efficiency, creating drafts and allowing me to get cold.

That's why, as much as I'd like to go with a quilt, I'm leaning toward a bag. I need to train myself to sleep on my back. That would solve the draft problem to a large degree.

I also have a Tigoat bivy I could use to stop drafts.

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Quilts on 02/12/2010 11:47:33 MST Print View

Interesting. I'm also a side sleeper who rolls around a lot. I like my Nunatak Backcountry quilt because it can be configured to fit around me and isn't a pain in the neck to roll around in.

I supplement it with a hat (very important) and light down jacket, which moves with me as I thrash around at night.

Stargazer

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Quilts in Winter on 02/12/2010 11:58:19 MST Print View

At the end of the day, personal preference is BIG factor here.

But I've been happy with winter quilting. I sleep mostly on my side but part of the night on my back, changing positions whenever I wake up (every hour or so). I also use a bivy if I expect temps to dip below 25F (-4C) and I don't find that rolling over causes more drafts and chilling than I can recover from in a minute or so.

Note that the coldest I've slept under a quilt is 0F (-18C) (so far).

Regarding winter bags being good for only winter ... I find that a quilt good for 0F or below is too warm and too heavy for non-winter use. As always, YMMV.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Quilts in Winter on 02/12/2010 13:37:05 MST Print View

Quilts when ski touring (and the rest of the year too).
Double quilt when very cold. Flexible.
Search previous threads - LOTs of info there.

Cheers

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Re: Quilts in Winter on 02/14/2010 07:16:48 MST Print View

Quilts when ski touring (and the rest of the year too).
Double quilt when very cold. Flexible.
Search previous threads - LOTs of info there.


Obviously I still have some residual "Traditional" backpacker instincts left. I guess I was just thinking about the looks I'd get when signing up for a snow-camping trip offered by Sierra Club or whomever and I tell them I'm bringing a quilt.

A good wide quilt along the dimensions of a Nunatak Expedition (58" wide at the shoulder) combined with a bivy if conditions merit seems like it would work. Plus the ability to layer it with my Nunatak Arc Specialist to take me into the sub-zero farenheit's And being able to MYOG with some help and a lot patience would cost me about half of buying an equivalent bag.

Thanks everyone.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Quilts in Winter on 02/14/2010 08:59:26 MST Print View

I just keep the straps under my sleeping pad, which keeps it tucked in pretty well. Never had any drafts to speak of. Key is getting them adjusted where you can roll over easy, but don't get drafts.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Quilts in Winter on 02/14/2010 16:00:49 MST Print View

Joe, I just trimmed my 72" Ridgerest so the foot portion tucks perfectly into the footbox of my Nunatak, which should help keep the pad and quilt together along with the straps. 1st time cold weather camping with the quilt, I fastened the straps around myself and got a draft or two when rolling over, so I'll have to experiment with the straps under the pad. In winter, I use a 2/3 Ridgerest on top of a full length, so I'll try the straps around the 2/3 pad.

Thanks.

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Re: Quilts in Winter on 03/06/2010 20:17:38 MST Print View

I'm seriously thinking about just trying a down pants/jacket/boots combo next time out in the cold.

I just got back from using a bag+overquilt combo, and wasn't happy with it as "toss and turn" sleeper. I'll never be able to sleep on my back. What I ended up doing that worked the best for me, was putting on my WM flight jacket, cinching up the sleeping bag around my waist, putting the quilt over me, and putting on a balaclava. That's the only way I got good sleep.

It's especially bad for me in the cold, as I tend to automatically sleep much more tense. Limbs fall asleep and such if I can't roll around.


Anybody out there have a sleeping outfit that allows them to avoid using a bag/quilt or just supplement with a light quilt in the cold?

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Re: Quilts in Winter on 03/07/2010 07:13:15 MST Print View

@Javan: Check out the Nunatak Raku...

Raquel Rascal
(flutingaround)

Locale: Rocky Mtn. West
yeah Skurka! on 10/30/2012 17:17:13 MDT Print View

I'm digging up an old thread..weee!

In Skurka's new book he says he prefers mummy bags instead of quilts when temps fall below 20*, and there is a concern with drafts in a quilt when the temps get cooler. He recommends using a water-resistent bivy with the quilt to prevent drafts when going to lower temps.

I thought this was good advice and took out my new EE quilt 10* overstuff with a military gortex bivy in 5* F temps and 30 MPH winds in a 3 season ultralight tent. I didn't feel any drafts, not a one! Slept like a baby.


I've never used a bivy before and I was plesantly surprised because I am such a cold sleeper. Of course, I'm sure the insulating clothes I was wearing helped too.

So I guess I'm posting this to confirm that Andrew's advice is solid for those who might be considering a quilt for winter use.

This set up gave me enough confidence to consider getting a pyramid tarp to try out this winter with the bivy. Hmmm.

Edited by flutingaround on 10/30/2012 17:20:36 MDT.