Forum Index » Editor's Roundtable » Katabatic Sawatch 15 Quilt and Crestone Hood Review


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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Katabatic Sawatch 15 Quilt and Crestone Hood Review on 02/22/2011 14:12:41 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Katabatic Sawatch 15 Quilt and Crestone Hood Review

Levon Jensen
(LevonJensen) - MLife

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Quilt on 02/22/2011 14:38:12 MST Print View

Mines in the mail, great article, now i'm even more excited.

James Moughan
(jamougha)
Torso size on 02/22/2011 15:00:29 MST Print View

Interesting stuff Roger. In might be useful to readers to know your chest size and perhaps shoulder width.

John Castro-Rappl
(Jabber) - MLife
Thanks on 02/22/2011 15:36:28 MST Print View

Great review, though I'm sorry your trips didn't work out!

Definitely looks like a nice quilt, and I actually am glad they chose to make it functional with CCF pads as well; one of the more attractive features of quilts are that they can be opened up for use at higher than rated temperatures. For someone trying to backpack on a budget, being able to just slide some light foam under the quilt helps it keep from sweltering in summer and can help drop base weight.

Still, with the 40% off deal at GoLite, I have yet to see any quilt that offers a better return than the 3 Season (20F) Quilt at $165.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Katabatic Sawatch 15 Quilt and Crestone Hood Review on 02/22/2011 15:40:53 MST Print View

There was a rumour of a wider version of the Katabatic quilts. I would certainly be interested in one. I agree with Roger that a bit of extra width can potentially do away with all the add ons needed to avoid drafts. Sometimes I think there comes a point when shaving off a few extra ounces really starts to impact functionality. Howvere, quilt width does seem to be a bit of a personally thing and I was glad to hear from Roger that quilt width wasn't an issue in practice.

Edited by jephoto on 02/22/2011 18:24:01 MST.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re : Sawatch on 02/22/2011 15:43:53 MST Print View

Good report Roger, but i'll disagree with you on there not being much difference between the 55" width of the Nunatak, and the 52" (i measure mine more at 51") of the Sawatch. The Sawatch was advertised originaly at 54". If i had known it was so narrow, i wouldn't have bought it.
I'm a side sleeper, and 55" gives me enough tuck. 51"/52" is too narrow, and both sides of the quilt don't touch the ground when i'm on my side, unless i use the cords. I don't use the straps on my Arc Specialist, but need to use the cords on the Sawatch. It just works ok, but i prefer the freedom of more room. I love quilts for their non-restrictiveness, as well as the weight savings. As a side sleeper, i find the Sawatch is more like a restrictive sleeping bag for me.

And yes, that single snap won't stay closed! I'll try to figure out a way of adding another snap, without damaging the thin shell material. I'll maybe get a seamstress to do it, and add a few inches of material to the sides at the same time.

It's a top quality quilt, but too narrow for comfort for this side sleeper.
I'm 5'10", 42" chest, and around 170lbs.

Edit. I've just emailed Aaron to see if he will update my quilt. Apart from the single snap, the elastic edgeing may give a better seal.

Edited by MikefaeDundee on 02/22/2011 16:08:19 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Torso size on 02/22/2011 17:50:40 MST Print View

My chest size 99 cm (39"), fully inflated ...

Mike - what's yours?

Cheers

Edited by rcaffin on 02/22/2011 17:52:09 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Katabatic Sawatch 15 Quilt and Crestone Hood Review on 02/22/2011 17:53:16 MST Print View

> I was geld to hear from Roger
I do hope you weren't ...

Cheers

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Katabatic Sawatch 15 Quilt and Crestone Hood Review on 02/22/2011 18:25:58 MST Print View

Now that would be taking weight saving just a bit too far :)

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Katabatic Sawatch 15 Quilt and Crestone Hood Review on 02/22/2011 18:52:32 MST Print View

I think the wider is more than a rumor. I have a newsletter stating it! I'm going to hold em to it. ;)

Dave .
(Ramapo) - F - M
Wider? on 02/22/2011 19:06:26 MST Print View

Is that right? They're making a wider version?

If so, that's great news for me. If Katabatic makes one of their quilts in a width like that of the Golite UltraLite 3-Season (or better yet with Roger's suggested 6 inches), that'd be enough to get me to buy one and give a quilt a try.

Up to now, I've always been dissuaded by something when it comes to getting a quilt: too narrow, too expensive, not enough down fill, etc. I've stayed loyal to my sleeping bag so far.

One question about the review: perhaps I'm not understanding the pad attachment system, but I wonder if it would work okay for all sorts of pads (closed cell foam, thin inflatables, thick down-filled inflatables)? You'd just need longer or shorter line wrapped around the pad depending on its thickness, right? Are you limited to using the clip system, or can you still tuck it under your pad as is more traditionally done with quilts? What about using the Katabatic in a hammock?

Edited by Ramapo on 02/22/2011 19:09:26 MST.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Wider? on 02/22/2011 20:25:55 MST Print View

Yeah. Saying 58 inch at shoulders. Adding some more quilts to cover greater temp range.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Wider? on 02/22/2011 22:54:52 MST Print View

> I wonder if it would work okay for all sorts of pads (closed cell foam, thin inflatables, thick
> down-filled inflatables)? You'd just need longer or shorter line wrapped around the pad depending on its
> thickness, right? Are you limited to using the clip system, or can you still tuck it under your pad as is
> more traditionally done with quilts?

The string provided is a long length adaptable to all sorts of pads, with some to spare. You just tie it around the mat to suit.

You don't have to use the clip system: some nights I didn't bother. With a little experience or practice, you find you can turn over under a quilt without disturbing the edges. Well, I can, anyhow.

Tucking the edge of the quilt under the mat seems very wasteful to me! I might tuck it under ME, but never under my pad. It could easily get damp between the groundsheet and the mat as well. Bit of a no-no in my book.

Cheers

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re : Sawatch on 02/23/2011 00:15:05 MST Print View

Hi Roger.
I added my chest size (42") at the end of my post. I'm about 51/52" around the shoulders. This is with my arms at my side. It's more in my normal sleeping position.
Don't get me wrong. It's a beautifully made quilt, just a bit too narrow for comfort for this side/stomach sleeper.

Dana Morton
(GoLiteBoulder) - F
EN Rating on Quilts on 02/23/2011 07:15:55 MST Print View

Roger, nice review.

I just wanted to add clarification around your comment "None of the companies state on their websites how the temperature rating for their quilts have been tested: to the reliable EN13537 standard or to some other standard."

This is because, as of yet, there are no "approved"/common test procedures defined for non-mummy bags. EN13537 only covers mummy bags therefore quilts, and rectangulars (with no hood) are unable to be rated under the current methodology.

If you haven't seen it already, Mammut has a very comprehensive look at Temperature ratings and the history of sleep systems:
http://www.mammut.ch/images/Mammut_Sleep_well_pt1_E.pdf

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Katabatic Quilts on 02/23/2011 11:58:26 MST Print View

I've been very happy with my Sawatch and Palisade quilts so far (got the Palisade for Christmas from my GF. Score!).

They're really well made and in my opinion, conservatively rated for warmth. Roger's comparison to the Nunatak and GoLite quilts seems to confirm this based on the claimed temp ratings and fill quantities.

I really like the material of the shell, it's very soft and smooth, almost like silk.

I haven't had too much trouble with the width of the quilt. I use the 6' quilts and I'm 5'10", 200 lbs with a 43" chest and broad shoulders. But I also use the clips to hold the quilt down to my pad and keep it in place and this seems to keep the quilt wrapped around me pretty well. No draft issues yet. Of course, I don't have any other quilt experience to compare it to.

The neck baffle, drawcord and snap collar are great ideas. In practice though, I've had trouble fastening the snap collar while I'm in the bag and equal trouble keeping the snap collar shut. It likes to pop open. However, the neck baffle is pretty cozy and I usually like to sleep with an arm out of the quilt and under my head, so I don't find the need for the snap collar to be buttoned up too often anyway.

Getting in and out of the quilt when using the clips is a little fiddly, but I'm getting better at it with use.

All in all, I'm pleased with these quilts. The improved snap collar seems like a good idea. The option for wider quilts sounds interesting too. Both of these items should make these quilts even better.

Martin Rye
(rye1966) - F

Locale: UK
atabatic Sawatch 15 Quilt on 02/23/2011 13:02:21 MST Print View

Great review Roger. Used my Sawatch for several trips now camping high and out in very bad weather. Been down to -4 and its been fine. Nice and warm. I am 6'2 and use the long version. No issues for me with width as I can sleep side or on my back fine. I have no issues with the single snap adjustment on the collar but the new design seems a good idea. I so like this quilt it is my number one sleeping cover now. I cant fault it.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: EN Rating on Quilts on 02/23/2011 14:27:00 MST Print View

Hi Dana

> as of yet, there are no "approved"/common test procedures defined for non-mummy bags. EN13537
> only covers mummy bags therefore quilts, and rectangulars (with no hood) are unable to be
> rated under the current methodology.

A good point for a lawyer, but it leaves me dissatisfied.

I cannot see any reason why you could not test a quilt using the EN13537 protocol. For both sleeping bags and quilts you need an adequate mat underneath, as any down underneath the test body gets squashed to the point of being useless for warmth. So, use a good mat and just do the test.

Sure, you would have to add a note to your brochure (sales screed, whatever) explaining how you adapted the EN standard to handle a quilt. As long as you are completely up front about what was done the reader is not deceived and may even be impressed. And maybe the Standards body will be inspired to upgrade the Standard to handle quilts.

Cheers
PS: yes, I downloaded the PDF many years ago.

Edited by rcaffin on 02/23/2011 14:27:44 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: EN Rating on Quilts on 02/23/2011 14:40:08 MST Print View

"And maybe the Standards body will be inspired to upgrade the Standard to handle quilts."

Yes, and then when the new standards document has incorporated your improvements, you will be invited to purchase that new document.

I've been down this road before.

--B.G.--

John Giesemann
(johngiesemann) - MLife
Katabatic Quilt on 02/23/2011 16:50:41 MST Print View

Just mu insight into the quilt and its system. I have the long Palisade quilt, rated at 30 degrees. I have used it for approximately 10 nights ranging from roughly 20 degrees to 60 degrees. 4 of those nights were in the low 20 degree range.

I am 5' 10", weight 250 ( pretty heavy for an ultralight guy), my chest is 48" and my shoulders are about 58". I sleep mostly on my side and stomach. I sleep very warm. A 30'degree bag for me will generally work to at least 30 degrees with only a pair of briefs on.

How has the quit worked for me? I am very pleased with it. Since this is my first quilt, I have had to learn to use it and this has been an adventure. But it has worked very wellthe last few times I used the quilt.

Things I like. The weight is excellent. The material is very nice to the touch and drapes well. The fill weight is better than any other quilt I could find. The workmanship is excellent. The clip system is ingenious.

Things i don't like. The footbox comes up too high for me. i like to sleep pn my stomach and cannot bring my leg up because of the height of the footbox. I cut off the grosgrain strap and buckle. If was simply too far down the quilt to be of any use to me. It was useless weight. I also cut off the secondary clips. Because of my size, they were useless for keeping the quilt on the straps. I only need the regular clips. Finally, the top clips seem to come unattached when I sit up because of thier orientation to theh strap. If they were reversed so that the line came in from the bottom, they would not release the line. The bottom clips have this orientation and never come undone.

Due to my size, the clip system is imperative for me. I still sometimes get a draft when I turn over and have to pull the clips under me a little. If the weather is warm, I only attach one side of the clips and the pull the other side over me holding it in place. If it is near 30' F, I fasten one side, get in and then fasten the other clips. Yes, it is a little hassle at first, but I have learned to fasten them pretty efficiently.

What would I change? I would reverse the orientation of the top clips to keep them attached. I would add 2 inches to the bag width (maybe). I have used the bag very successfully and do like the light weight. I would do away with the adjusting strap. I would reduce the height of the footbox from 30" to 20".

I highly recommend this quilt.