Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Katabatic Sawatch 15 Quilt and Crestone Hood Review
Display Avatars Sort By:
Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
Ridiculously Warm Hood on 02/23/2011 18:32:46 MST Print View

Thanks for the great review, Roger. I have no experience with the Crestone Hood which you recommend only for very cold environments. I have much experience with the Nunatak Down Balaclava which is comparable to the Crestone except for having more down and a fully separating chin opening which I agree is a very valuable feature. The following opinions relate to Ridiculously Warm Hoods in general.
The greatest surface area of the body with a high concentration of blood vessels near the skin is the head/face/neck. As the old outdoorsman saw states: If your feet get cold, put on a hat[and a face balaclava and a neck muffler].
Ironically, the last area that outdoors people typically apply insulation to is that very same area. I often see backpackers wearing heavy, poofy jackets and pants while sporting a bare head, neck and face.
It is true that I would never wear my down balaclava while exercising at moderate temps (above freezing). However, much of my outdoors time is spent in sub 50 degree temps resting or waiting during the hiking day and physically inactive in camp performing camp chores, relaxing and sleeping. This is where the RWH comes into it's own.
3 oz strategically placed on ones' noggin provides far more warmth than 3 lbs of insulation on the torso and legs. I'm the weird looking guy in camp wearing inappropriately slim pants and jacket and a head covering that would appear more at home on an AMA Superbike racer.
Go with the warmer Crestone hood. Wear a fleece peruvian style hat when you're active, and slip on the RWH magic Calorie saver when you're in camp. And leave the warm jacket and pants at home. You won't need them until it get really cold anymore.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: EN Rating on Quilts on 02/23/2011 20:17:24 MST Print View



The University of Kansas Lab. started testing comforters in 2005. Their protocol uses the same basic test procedure that they use for sleeping bags. It didn't require a new standard and the comforter test cost is the same as a sleeping bag test cost.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: EN Rating on Quilts on 02/23/2011 20:22:12 MST Print View

Do I recall correctly that such a test is about $600?

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Re: EN Rating on Quilts on 02/23/2011 20:43:32 MST Print View


That was the approximate cost the last time I checked.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: EN Rating on Quilts on 02/23/2011 21:06:51 MST Print View

Ryan Jordan said, “We are currently doing heated mannequin research and testing on the Cocoon Clothing and Quilt systems, and will have that data in the spring”

Roger - Is this still going to happen?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: EN Rating on Quilts on 02/23/2011 22:29:02 MST Print View

Hi Richard

You would have to ask Ryan about that. It has to do with the development of the Cocoon gear: a BPL shop matter.


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Ridiculously Warm Hood on 02/23/2011 22:30:05 MST Print View

Hi Al

We are most definitely singing the same tune about insulating the head.


Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re : Width on 02/24/2011 06:12:32 MST Print View

I've had a couple of PM's asking me about my experience using the Sawatch as a side sleeper.
I'll try to explain my thoughts more clearly.
My main reason for using a quilt is comfort. I don't like the constriction of mummy bags. Any weight saved is an extra bonus.
I don't use straps on my Arc Specialist, as there is enough 'tuck' to sleep in almost the same position i use at home. I don't get cold spots, as i seem to keep myself tucked in without waking up.
With the narrower Sawatch, i have to use the cords to keep it tucked in. It then becomes more of a 'top bag' in my opinion. Yes it works this way for keeping me warm, but i feel like i'm back in an uncomfortable (for me) mummy bag.
So just because this side sleeper would like more width, it doesn't follow that others will feel the same.
It's a superbly made quilt, and i'll probably try to modify it to suit my sleeping style.

Dave .
(Ramapo) - F
Re: Re: Wider? on 02/24/2011 08:51:34 MST Print View

>>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.

That's what I assumed from looking at the photos, but I thought I'd read somewhere that Katabatic quilts could only be used with certain sleeping pads. Thanks for clarifying.

>>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.

Huh. Good to know. I've never used a quilt, but I thought that tucking them under the pad was common practice. See this photo from the Golite Ultra review here on BPL:


What about hammock use?

One other question: is girth measured the same in quilts and in sleeping bags? In other words, if I have a Western Mountaineering Megalite with a 65" girth at the shoulders, how comparable is this with a Katabatic quilt that has a 52" girth. Girth is a simple concept with sleeping bags, but there is no actual diameter to measure on quilts. So is quilt girth measured with the quilt closed (two sides meeting together) or with the quilt attached to a sleeping pad?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Wider? on 02/25/2011 13:37:47 MST Print View

> I thought that tucking them under the pad was common practice
Well, when I look at the photo you included I can see at least two big problems.
* The first is that stretching the quilt out like that will make for big draft channels down the sides. Brrr...
* The second problem is that it wastes a lot of quilt weight under the mat, weight which could be better used keeping you warm.

I guess if someone can't stay on their mat they are going to have a problem. But I suspect that the cold night air might be ... educational ... :-)

> What about hammock use?
I have never used a hammock, so I can't answer that very easily. :-) Obviously you would need a LOT of mat insulation under you.

> is girth measured the same in quilts and in sleeping bags?
Dunno. There are no Standards, so it's up to the manufacturer.


Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Katabatic Sawatch 15 Quilt and Crestone Hood Review on 02/25/2011 13:58:41 MST Print View

I have got a JRB No-Sniveller, which to me seems too narrow for side sleeping. I have added two sets of straps to it, to help keep it wrapped around me. I did try running the straps under the mat, but found that this was not particularly effective and caused problems as mentioned by Roger. Instead I now just use the straps over the top of the mat. One strap is made of fabric and another of thin shock cord so it has a bit of stretch in it. It works fairly well and having a bivy helps keep out the drafts. However, as soon as I can justify the cost I am going to get a wider quilt.

Edited by jephoto on 02/25/2011 14:10:17 MST.

al b
(ahbradley) - M
Clips: are they custom on 02/26/2011 05:20:16 MST Print View

The pad adjustment seems clever (it remind me of Ray jardine idea):
are the clips custom made, or are they a standard part (which)?

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Sawatch on 02/26/2011 09:30:13 MST Print View

Having lived with my Sawatch through this past winter I can say that I am still a BIG fan. As mentioned earlier, I too would ditch the adjustment strap and make the open up the foot/leg area down the back by at least 10 inches.

The "clips" appear to be the same as "mitten" clips that have come on a number of gloves and mittens that I have purchased over the years. The "tabs" and the quilt edge appear to be a custom item. I however, have yet to use the clips and straps. I am a tossing and turning side sleeper with a shoulder girth of 51" and 41" chest and have no problem with drafts. I use very small bungie cord straps that are attached to the bag only. I have a simple overhand knot at each end and then a couple several inches apart at one end and simply attach it to the flat sewn in tabs by stretching the bungie cord and slipping it into the slot. When tension is released, it stays put. This allows me to vary the girth, add flexibility for tossing and turning, and keeps everything together. Due to the warmth of the quilt, I find that unless it is in the 20's(f) or lower, I don't need them.

I have taken the Sawatch, a Kookabay downmat (R6 according to Bender), silk-weight long tops and bottoms, wool socks and cap, and my FF Hyperion down vest draped over me under the quilt, down to a minimum low of -5F. I was very comfortable but as always YMMV.

I have been to the Katabatic site many times and put the Crestone hood in my basket, but have yet to pull the trigger. I just haven't seemed to need it yet for sleeping. I would more than likely use it around camp in the evenings and mornings but just purchased a down hoody so I may never need it.

If I were doing it again and looking for one bag for all my use, I might be tempted to go with the yet to be released Alsek and the Crestone hood and augment my winter system with more of the clothing I already have with me.

I certainly understand those wanting more width, but I have found that the 3D contoured shape of the Katabatic to function as though it was wider than a simple flat quilt of the same width wrapped around you.

I have been playing with a MYOG quilt and have been slowing trimming the dimensions to see just how small I can go and still have functional utility that doesn't require significantly changing my sleeping style. At present I have girths of 40" top, 50" shoulder, 42" hip, and 37" foot. As a side note I do have the bungie cord straps deployed at a higher temp than the Sawatch to keep drafts out. It has 9 oz of down and 2" baffles. I have not been removing down as I take things in and currently have a pleasantly plump single layer loft of 2.5" and weight of 17oz.

Edited by Servingko on 02/26/2011 09:35:13 MST.

john Tier
(Peter_pan) - M

Locale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA
Sierra Sniveller quilt on 02/27/2011 07:42:50 MST Print View


The No sniveller is narrow for side sleepers...Some 2 years ago, JRB intoduced the Sierra Serries of Sniveller style quilts specifically for the ground sleepers... It is wider at a full 52 inches all the way through the body area and passed the hip, then papers to 42 inches...It also has three small tabs in the body are that allows for securing the quilt close to the sleeper or around the pad, if desired...Normally and economically priced the same as the No Sniveller.

FWIW we concur with Roger that a quilt is best simply tucked under... That approach matches the simplistic approach and the basic design goal for quilts and is effective for most...

It is also woth noting that most who report tuck issues also describe themselves as "Toss and Turners" and on further inquirey are using thin/minimal pads.
perhaps the lesson here is that the pad really is a major player in the good night sleep as well as light conundrum...Alternatively, one might use the relative saving of a quilt over a full bag to increase the thickness/comfort of the pad and thus reduce the tossing and turning all leading to better sleep.


John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Sierra Sniveller quilt on 02/27/2011 08:56:51 MST Print View

Pan, I toss and turn at home, so that does not necessarily have anything to do with the pad. What does the word "relative" mean on weight savings of a quilt over a "full" bag? Just curious ; ).

Edited by jshann on 02/27/2011 09:04:59 MST.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
JRB Quilts on 02/27/2011 13:35:50 MST Print View


One of your ground sleeper quilts will definitely be on my list of possibles if I decide to replace the No-Sniveller. I have a trip coming up in about four weeks where I expect temps to go down to around 30F at night, and I will be using a bivy plus my Kooka Bay insulated mat, so it should be great for quilt testing. To date most of my trips using the No-Sniveller have been un-seasonably warm, except for one in the garden test, but this was without a bivy.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Sierra Sniveller quilt on 02/27/2011 14:19:38 MST Print View

As John wrote:

> perhaps the lesson here is that the pad really is a major player in the good night sleep

> Alternatively, one might use the relative saving of a quilt over a full bag to increase
> the thickness/comfort of the pad and thus reduce the tossing and turning
A very good point too.


John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife

re on 03/03/2011 20:14:19 MST Print View

Pertex Quantum Ripstop

Just how water resister / proof is this material?

Can a person go walking around in the hood somewhere in the PNW with full rain coming down, considering it is made out of Pertex Quantum, or is water going to go right through this material?


Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: re on 03/03/2011 20:57:10 MST Print View

Pertex Quantum is not waterproof. It just has a DWR so a drop or two will roll off, but I wouldn't want it exposed to rain for more than a half second.

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife

re on 03/03/2011 21:01:39 MST Print View


Thought so, just wanted to check and make sure something had not snuck in since I last checked.