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Wearable quilts
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Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Wearable quilts on 11/18/2011 11:15:01 MST Print View

I've just received my JRB wearable down quilt. It's very toasty when worn, much warmer than my down sweater. I'm thinking that it's possible that I could actually leave my down sweater home. I only wear it in camp. If I wear it while hiking I have to take it off in 5 minutes because I get too hot. However, the wearable quilt is sort of awkward to wear and does look a little ridiculous. I'm wondering how much I might regret leaving the jacket home to rely on the quilt. I think I would mainly wear it in the morning while waiting for slowpokes to get their stuff together. I'm just having that old "going too light" panic moment.

Looking for experiences you can share to help me decide.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Wearable quilts on 11/19/2011 03:54:07 MST Print View


Welcome to the dorky world of JRB quilts!

I have been using the Sierra Sniveler for 1-2 years now and more recently took it with me on the JMT in August.

I have not gotten rid of my mid-layer insulation, Montbell Thermawarp Jacket, simple because there can be rare occasions where I find that I will want a jacket to hike in if it is fairly cold....shoulder seasons.

Plus, I often find that to keep the chill off my shoulders while sleeping under the quilt, I will wear my Thermawrap.

I think that you could selectively decide to leave your insulation layer at home, depending on the weather conditions you expect to encounter, like in summer time.

I error on the side of safety and I am a cold sleeper, so I take my jacket with me all of the time.

That said, it is great to be able to wear the quilt in the morning while having breakfast to stay toasty warm.

Looks dorky as hell and sitting down while wearing the quilt can be a problem with the edges of it spilling out everywhere.

Hope this helps.


Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Wearable quilts on 11/19/2011 13:40:08 MST Print View

On the plus side your on trail giant turtle/tortoise impersonation abilities will be unmatched.

I have a No-sniveller, but I never wear it as a jacket. I always take a synthetic puffy and this is generally enough for around camp wear. In cold dry conditions it could be a useful back up or even replacement jacket.

Chris Muthig
(cmuthig) - M

Locale: Georgia
Re: Wearable quilts on 11/20/2011 09:29:49 MST Print View

I had a synthetic wearable quilt that I made out of 2.5oz Apex. During the summer and going a bit into a bit cooler weather in the SE, it is all the insulation I would take. I don't know how well this would work for the JRB wearables, they may be too thick, but with mine, I liked to put it on and then put on my windshirt. Then, I would tuck the extra into the windshirt. That way it wasn't awkward doing things around camp, including using a wood burning stove.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Wearable quilts on 11/20/2011 11:21:33 MST Print View

Like others said, the deciding factor is if you wear your puffy layer to sleep in. To me that translates to leaving the puffy home in mid-summer and perhaps adding it in for shoulder season use. As far as looks, it is purely a matter of how light you want to go-- function over fashion.

I have ordered a Therma-a-Rest Tech Blanket for a cheap summer quilt and I'm definitely thinking about adding a head hole for use as camp insulation. I could just wear it wrapped around me.

Wearing blankets


We went to the summit of Haleakala to see the sunrise and there were groups of people who had taken the blankets from their hotels to keep warm. Each hotel had a different color blanket, so there were "tribes" of pastel pink, blue, green and yellow. It looked like different groups of monks walking up from the parking lot to the summit view point.

Edited by dwambaugh on 11/20/2011 11:27:54 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Wearable quilts on 11/20/2011 11:33:47 MST Print View

If you sleep in your around camp insulation

around camp you need about half as much insulation to keep warm because you're more active (MET is about twice as much)

so it makes sense to have your around camp insulation and your sleeping bag/quilt to be about equal warmth

there's no reason to have a wearable quilt

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Wearable quilts on 11/20/2011 11:57:36 MST Print View

Jerry added, "there's no reason to have a wearable quilt"

I get the math-- if you sleep in your camp insulation. But with a wearable quilt you can have a warmer quilt *and* garment, and have one less piece of gear to buy and manage. I'm wearing camp insulation for a very short time compared to sleep and hiking: cooking, eating and setting up my shelter. Why have your quilt doing nothing when you aren't sleeping? It is a major contributor to bulk, weight and cost in a UL kit.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Re Wearable Quilts on 11/20/2011 12:20:19 MST Print View

I like the idea but knowing how sloppy I can be I'd be nervious wearing an expensive down quilt. Seems like to many chances to get it wet, spill food on it, or rip it.
On the other hand a wearable snythetic quilt sounds like a great idea. My BPL quilt is 23 oz and I'd say by itself its about equal in warth and weight to my down quilt plus jacket. So that would give me all synthetic insulation for SUL trips and I could throw in a jacket for really cold trips to add even more.
For those of you that have tried wearable quilts does the design lose any heat when used as a quilt?

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
wet on 11/20/2011 12:28:21 MST Print View

dont get it wet ... its that simple ;)

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Wearable Quilts on 11/20/2011 15:08:24 MST Print View

Here's my shameful confession: I got the quilt to ADD to my current sleeping quilt. I want to be so toasty warm I feel like I'm at home. Basically, I'm adding a pound to my gear for cold fall or spring trips and doing it to alleviate the thing I hate the most: shivering through a cold night from about 3AM on to morning. Maybe it will turn out to be overkill, we'll see. So yeah, I could easily sit around in the evening or morning looking like the Stay-puft Marshmallow man knowing that my quilt is in the tent waiting there for me to go to bed. Now the question is, do I risk leaving my down sweater home, the risk being that the whole Stay-puft thing is just too impossible to deal with? Here's how it looks on me:
Me in my JRB Quilt

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Re: Wearable Quilts on 11/23/2011 19:13:53 MST Print View

I just wanted to add an update. I brought the quilt on an overnighter on the Piedra Blanca trail north of Ojai. I doubled it up with my other quilt. It was very cold up there and the extra down helped a lot. I lacked sufficient padding under me, however, because I had to camp on snow. I've never done that before!

Haddock Campsite

I have to report that the quilt is awesome! In the morning, I put my head through the headhole while the quilt was still warm, then wore it as I put my things away and had breakfast. What a luxurious thing to have, and so sensible, too.

I did not bring my puffy but I did bring a fleece jacket. With all that snow I needed something to wear even while hiking. In warmer months, I can't see any reason to bring a puffy if I bring the quilt.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Wearable Quilts on 11/24/2011 05:24:17 MST Print View


Glad that it worked out for you....nothing better than getting out and using your gear to see if that configuration would work for you.

The only issue that I see for you and I is if there is any value in having the ability to hike with an insulated layer on, which would be difficult to wear a quilt with a pack on.

In terms of weight, it might be better to have a heavier wearable quilt vs. two quilts.


Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Re: Wearable Quilts on 11/24/2011 11:44:57 MST Print View

Here's a picture of me wearing the quilt.

I only wore the quilt while eating breakfast and putting stuff away. I never wore it while hiking. I had a fleece sweater for that, but didn't need it for hiking, actually. I stayed plenty warm enough with a long-sleeved shirt (with thumb loops), a long-sleeved button down shirt, a Houdini for a little while and some gloves.

It was nice to wear the fleece around the fire at night and inside my sleeping bag. I froze during the night because all I had under me was a z-rest. I didn't expect this much snow. If I had had enough insulation under me and enough wood for the fire to last more time, the fleece probably wouldn't have been necessary at all.

Me in my JRB wearable quilt