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Quilts: Is a drawstring footbox as warm as a sewn footbox?
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Nathan Pipenberg
(Thoreau-going) - F

Locale: Central PA
Quilts: Is a drawstring footbox as warm as a sewn footbox? on 10/14/2010 10:45:34 MDT Print View

Hey everyone,

I'm getting ready to make a down topquilt, and after looking over some designs, it seems like making a foot box by cinching down the bottom end would work best for me -- easy to make, versatile in warmer weather, etc..
The design I'm looking at is very similar to Stormcrow's Burrow quilts.

But it seems like it would be colder than a sewn footbox. Can anyone with experience tell me what they think?

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
Nathan on 10/14/2010 10:52:04 MDT Print View

Hey Nathan,

I find that the drawsting is just as warm, in other words its not noticeable if I have the drawstring cinched down all the way. It will be lighter without, but thats your choice. Im making some underquilts and topquilts as well, out of .33oz cuben + down.

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Quilts: Is a drawstring footbox as warm as a sewn footbox? on 10/14/2010 11:23:20 MDT Print View

This is something that is pretty open to debate, and there are widely varied opinions.

I personally find I prefer and recommend a sewn footbox for temps below 30deg where drafting can be such a huge warmth drain. 30deg and above weather it seems very advantageous to have a draw-string footbox that can be adjusted to allow superior venting and comfort range.

YMMV however.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Re: Quilts: Is a drawstring footbox as warm as a sewn footbox? on 10/14/2010 12:08:47 MDT Print View

I'd have to agree. Below freezing the name of the game is to eliminate drafts and cold spots. A sewn footbox will be better for this. Above freezing the drawcord may prove more versatile, although many people just pull one or both feet out of the footbox in warm weather.

The design of the footbox also plays a huge role. If you just sew through the bottom to seal the footbox, it will not be as warm as a proper baffled construction. Also if you create an extra large last baffle and overstuff it, then using a draw cord can create enough of a puff effect to effectively seal off the end of the footbox as if it were sewn (at a small weight penalty).

If your feet stay as warm as your core during the night it might not make a huge difference either way. A drawcord bottom will be easier to make (especially for a first time project) and if this is for summer or 3 season use, the draft issue is not as much of a concern.

Personally I always have cold feet (and live in AZ where I'm used to 90+ temps at midnight) and prefer a sewn footbox for anything less than 60F. Above that I don't even bother with a bag/quilt.

Edited by upalachango on 10/14/2010 12:09:51 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Quilts: Is a drawstring footbox as warm as a sewn footbox? on 10/14/2010 15:30:59 MDT Print View

> Below freezing the name of the game is to eliminate drafts and cold spots.
> A sewn footbox will be better for this.

+1

Cheers

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Quilts: Is a drawstring footbox as warm as a sewn footbox? on 10/15/2010 09:18:24 MDT Print View

"Is a drawstring footbox as warm as a sewn footbox?"

Nope.

Joe L
(heyyou) - MLife

Locale: Cutting brush off of the Arizona Tr
Design for the intended use on 10/15/2010 10:18:41 MDT Print View

Design for the intended temp range. For a thick quilt for below freezing temps, a sewn footbox would be appropriate. For a thin one, opening it flat to dry out after rain splatter might be better.

I second the suggestion for overstuffing the last baffle on a flat design to puff up the cinched baffle as a seal on the end of the footbox.

Look at the best of the cottage/garage manufacturers for how their products are designed. Nunatak quilts, sold at a premium price, are better crafted than those sewn by a newer operation. It is just a question of do you really need mountaineering gear for trail hiking?

Nathan Pipenberg
(Thoreau-going) - F

Locale: Central PA
Re: Design for the intended use on 10/15/2010 13:08:21 MDT Print View

The quilt will be used for an AT thru... so looking for comfort down to 20 F at least.

I like the idea of the overstuffed baffle. That might just be the ticket. Thanks everyone.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Re: Design for the intended use on 10/17/2010 08:26:57 MDT Print View

I'm pretty sure I saw once on this forum someone make a drawstring footbox and then for colder temps had a down filled 'plug' to insert in the small opening in the footbox left by the drawstring. I can't find a link and I have no idea how successful this was in preventing drafts.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: Re: Design for the intended use on 10/18/2010 10:20:49 MDT Print View

James,

Here is the link to Jamie Shortt's LytW8 webpage where you'll find the "plugged" footbox.

Party On,

Newton

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Re: Re: Design for the intended use on 10/18/2010 10:31:26 MDT Print View

@ jrmacd

i may have mentioned that topic, i used to sleep on the ground and when i transitioned to hammocks, i used my pillow to fill the hole in the Hudson River. i took the drawstring idea to my myog top quilt, and then just started using a spare sock to plug the 1" diameter hole.
nowadays i wear down socks, (goosefeet) if the temps warrant.

i like the versatility of a footbox/flat blanket so that is how i make them now. sewn footbox has no versatility.

Say Raow
(lordrasov) - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Design for the intended use on 10/18/2010 12:09:43 MDT Print View

Is there a generally agreed upon minimum temperature a drawstring + plug footbox can be used?

I have been brainstorming/designing a winter system of two
double quilts (the first one being 3 season, ~20F) to be comfortable down to -30F with clothing.

It would be ideal for both double quilts to be of the drawstring type, but if that temperature would be far outside the limits of the style then I would have to need the outside quilt to have a sewn footbox.

Any thoughts?

Have any of you seen cold winter quilts with a drawstring footbox with a plug?

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Design for the intended use on 10/18/2010 12:23:12 MDT Print View

i had a thought, if you were to sew omni tape along the foot end, on the inside, you could essentially have an open blanket -OR- a "sewn" footbox.

has anyone done this?

*omni tape is almost mandatory, as it wont grab socks or other items like "velcro" does

Edited by mikeinfhaz on 10/18/2010 12:24:17 MDT.

john Tier
(Peter_pan) - M

Locale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA
plenty warm on 10/18/2010 12:56:30 MDT Print View

A draw string foot box with an Omni Tape leg tube is every bit as warm as a sewn in foot box, when properly drawn and wrapped...Additionally it can be vented in warmer condition...or even opened flat for other applications, such as under quilt use for hammocks.

It comes down to camping styles, desired flexibility, temperature range, and cost when deciding between the two styles.

Pan