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DIY Quilt from Sleeping Bag?
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Bill Rose
(BRnPA) - F

Locale: Philly suburbs
DIY Quilt from Sleeping Bag? on 03/08/2011 08:50:59 MST Print View

I had posted this over on the Gear forum but I think it might get more traction here.
Recap: I'm starting to lighten my packing load and have a question about sleeping bags vs. quilts. I understand (after reading Ray Jardine's book) the virtues of the quit but I'm confused on why one can't simply take a sleeping bag and convert it into a quit? For instance, my current 3-season bag is a Coleman Exponent Klickitat 20 degree bag. It weighs in at 2 lbs. 11 oz., has kept me warm way past freezing and only cost me about $80.00. So, here's my question: If I wanted to lighten this bag further and create a quasi-quilt (or Frankenstein bag) from it, would it be possible to do something like 1) remove the zipper and draft tube and sew side closed, 2) remove the stuffing on the bottom of the bag, which gets flattened when sleeping on anyhow, but leaving the soft bag-material to sleep on, and 3) after removing the bottom stuffing, provide a "slot" to slide in a sleeping pad? You'd basically be removing a fair percentage of the stuffing, saving weight, but still maintaining many of the bag's virtues. Has anyone done this (or is three something indicative to quilts that I'm missing?)? Thanks!

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: DIY Quilt from Sleeping Bag? on 03/08/2011 09:04:56 MST Print View

I have just used a sleeping bag as a quilt as is, without modifications. But I can see being such a heavy bag why you might want to try to modify it. Should be interesting to see if anybody has done it and how that went. I imagine there'd be a bit of an explosion of feathers.

Bill Rose
(BRnPA) - F

Locale: Philly suburbs
DIY quilt from sleeping bag on 03/08/2011 09:17:31 MST Print View

This particular bag uses Climashield XP, which is a shingled & layered synthetic stuffing, so I think the actual job would be fairly straight-forward.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Test First on 03/08/2011 09:24:23 MST Print View

You could test out your idea by sleeping with the bag unzipped and draped over you like a quilt. (So the opened zipper side would be under you.)

This would allow you to see how you like sleeping under a quilt before you make changes to your bag that can't be reversed.

This is the way that I (and I assume Piper) use an existing bag as a quilt when weather is warmer. When things get cold, however, I'm in full zip mode with the hood tightened around my head.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: DIY Quilt from Sleeping Bag? on 03/08/2011 10:16:08 MST Print View

Is it possible? Of course. Tim Marshall converted a sleeping bag to a quilt for me. Of course, it was probably a bit easier since the bag had a center zip to begin with, but still, you can make anything out of anything!

By converting you could even make it a bit warmer, as you can move the insulation that used to be under you to your sides and top instead of removing, if you wanted to. At least that worked with my down bag-now-a-quilt.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
DIY Quilt from Sleeping Bag? on 03/08/2011 10:52:59 MST Print View

There is an old article somewhere on here that details that exact process, although with a down bag. Easier with synthetic.

Found it!

Edited by skinewmexico on 03/08/2011 13:44:14 MST.

Bill Rose
(BRnPA) - F

Locale: Philly suburbs
Re: Re: DIY Quilt from Sleeping Bag? on 03/08/2011 11:04:58 MST Print View

Douglas - That's a really good point about cold-weather sleeping and quilt vs. sleeping bag. If I were to try this, I could pickup a 40 degree bag, which would be a lighter starting point, and probably cheaper to boot. That would give me a nice 3-season quilt/bag that's light and stuffs small.

Dustin Snyder

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Re: DIY Quilt from Sleeping Bag? on 03/08/2011 12:22:53 MST Print View

I have made two quilts out of cheap sleeping bags before. It was very easy, but they don't look too good. All I did was cut the zipper out and sew the fabric back together. For the hood, I cut it off about two inches longer than I wanted the quilt to be so I would have plenty of room to fold it over and sew it. It probably took me two hours per quilt. Making the sleeping bag a quilt took off about 10oz. of the over all weight. It is a great (and cheap) way to lighten your base pack weight. If you don't mind the way it looks.LOL

Edited by DustinTSnyder on 03/09/2011 11:44:00 MST.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
conversion on 03/08/2011 12:48:38 MST Print View

I also had a sleeping bag converted to a quilt by Tim Marshall, mine was a Marmot Atom- he was able to re-use all 10 oz of fill, so I have a warmer sleeping system than when I started and shed ~ 35% (27 oz to 18 oz)

The quilt came out looking like it was made that way from the factory, a testament to Tim's abilities- I wish I had just 1/4 of the sewing skills :)

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
DIY Quilt from Sleeping Bag? on 03/08/2011 13:39:12 MST Print View

I just wish Tim still did those conversions.