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BillyGoat/Virga Outdoors Wendego - My new M55/900FP SUL Quilt
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Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

BillyGoat/Virga Outdoors Wendego - My new M55/900FP SUL Quilt on 11/19/2011 23:03:05 MST Print View

BPL member BillyGoat (aka VirgaOutdoors) made me a new SUL quilt that I'm pretty stoked about. He's calling this quilt the Wendego. Mine is all M55 and uses 7.6oz of 900fp down, 0.51oz cuben baffles (19 of 'em).

I'm really happy with M55. The stuff seems totally downproof....I've used this quilt for several nights and I haven't been able to find a single bit of down popping out. With reasonable care, I have no durability concerns with M55 as a sleeping bag shell fabric. It's a bit slower to loft up than some other shell fabrics because the air permeability is sorta low, which comes hand in hand with it's great down-proof-ness.

BillyGoat is rating this quilt at 35-40F, which makes sense since it uses 7.6oz of 900fp down. That's 0.5oz more than Katabatic's 40F rated Chisos quilt and even 0.3oz more than Zpacks 30F rated quilt/bag (Zpacks uses 5.5oz in their 40F one), so this quilt should actually be warmer than all of those.

I think this quilt is an nice alternative to the Chisos at a similar price. You save a couple ounces using the lighter shell fabric, which is then spent getting a bit wider cut and more down. Like the Chisos, this quilt is 52" wide at the shoulders, but it's stays wider so you have a lot more than 42" at the hips which is nice.

The quilt as delivered weighed 14.6oz on my scale and it now weighs 14.3oz because I swapped out the cord and cord locks for some lighter stuff.



Edited by dandydan on 11/19/2011 23:19:29 MST.

Chris Muthig
(cmuthig) - M

Locale: Georgia
Virga Outdoors Wendego on 11/20/2011 05:56:39 MST Print View

19 baffles seems like a lot. That is a nice feature that should keep the down in place a lot better. How much loft does it have after it has the time to fully loft up?

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: BillyGoat/Virga Outdoors Wendego - My new M55/900FP SUL Quilt on 11/20/2011 07:50:48 MST Print View

Dan that is AWESOME!!!

What a great looking quilt!

tyler marlow

Locale: UTAH
Gear envy on 11/20/2011 13:26:44 MST Print View


I think I speak for all of us when I say:

Stop getting such cool custom gear! You're making me jealous!

But really, super sweet quilt!

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Jealous on 11/20/2011 22:28:22 MST Print View

We'll I'm still jealous of everyone out there with a packraft. It's on my birthday list/christmas list, but I think it's going to take a while to save up for that one. I gotta stop buying smaller items for a while.

Chris, it lofts up quite good. I think the baffles are 1" and it lofts up way more than that as you can see. I haven't measured the loft because I consider the amount of down used to be a better indicator of warmth than loft height....and because I'm lazy.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Nice on 11/22/2011 23:33:30 MST Print View

Glad to see you finally got the new quilt. How does the foot box work? And I guess you just tuck it under yourself rather than use straps?

So how did it do on the few nights you used it? How cold was it and what did your total sleep system consist of?

Edited by WarrenGreer on 11/22/2011 23:34:14 MST.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Re: Nice on 11/23/2011 15:54:37 MST Print View

The foot box is good. I attach the velcro and then I do up the snap at the non-foot end of the velcro and then lastly I cinch in the drawcord at the bottom to close it off. The shape of the footbox seems a lot like my former Golite quilt. It works good for me.

My former Golite quilt came with straps, but I never liked using them so I asked for no straps on this quilt. BillyGoat would add them if you wanted though. Straps make it harder to enter/exit the quilt, which is one of the big advantages of the quilt. I also don't find it as comfortable as just wrapping myself up in the quilt. If a quilt is quite narrow, then you do probably need strap to keep it in place without drafts, but if a quilt is wide enough that you can have it tucked in all around then that's the best IMO. I really love quilts....even if no weight was saved I'd still take one over a bag in any conditions aside from extreme winter use.

I've only used this quilt for 2 nights, and both of them were in my car. I slept in the back of my Honda Fit with the back row of seats folded flush into the floor to create a nice queen sized flat sleeping area. The first night it was below freezing outside (maybe 27-30F) and it was pretty cold inside my car too.....right about freezing. Using my Exped Synmat UL, this quilt and just a t-shirt and thin pants, I was cozy. I was guessing it was 32-35F in the car that night and I think I was close to the limit of this quilt when used with pretty much no additional insulation. I could feel a tiny bit of cold, but nothing that affected my sleep.

My initial estimates for this quilt are that it's good to about 35F with just thin baselayers on. It could do to about 28-30F by adding my Montbell Ex-light vest and maybe warmer socks. Then if I fully layered up for colder conditions with my Montbell Alpine Light parka and Goosefeet down pants then I think I could take it to about 20F. One of my motivations for getting this quilt was to be able to use my other layers more effectively. With my GoLite Ultra about 80-90% of the time I wouldn't wear any of my insulation to bed because the quilt was warm there was room to go with a lighter quilt and then use the layers that I'm carrying anyways to supplement it if needed.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Very cool on 11/23/2011 20:12:07 MST Print View

For 14 ounces, that's a pretty warm bag. My 35* bag is 22-23 ounces and I'm not so sure it is 35* if you get my drift. Although I'm also only using a Clearview pad, which is, well, clear. And it has an R value of just 1. But is also pretty light at 11 ounces.

Thanks for sharing how you feel your new quilt will work with the rest of your clothing system. I'm kinda thinking that when I'm in the Sierra I'd like to be ready for 20* and with a pair of down pants. Though I wasn't out much this year, it was definitely colder this year than last and I wasn't very comfortable because a 35* bag wasn't really quite enough and I didn't have much in the way of backup insulation. A guy on the trip had the Montbell Super Spiral Hugger 3 and he was a bit cold too. -I have both an EXL and the Costco 12 ounce down jacket and think that one of them would be plenty to get me well below 35*. And I think the down pants are the way to go to keep total cost down. I've got the rest of the cold season to figure that out but your comments really help and addressed what I'm thinking about.

Please keep us updated as you use your new system. Very interested to hear your observations.

Matt Summa
(shattercat) - F

Locale: I dig the South.
ohh yeaahhh on 11/23/2011 21:45:52 MST Print View

Awesome quilt Dan!! BTW your old GoLite Ultra is hangin right next to me, smiling, and telling me that she misses you. I actually have used her for about 6 nights so far and have been more than happy with the warmth. It is exactly what I was looking for, and Im soo happy that my endless search for the Ultra on gear swap didnt go unnoticed. Im sure one day in the future Ill make the upgrade for a lighter quilt, Ive been very interested in the Enlightened Equipment Epiphany quilt. Looks awesome!

Michael G
(Neptune) - MLife
Date Received? on 11/29/2011 13:28:32 MST Print View

When did you receive your quilt? I have been expecting one for a little while now.

William Zila
(Ultralightwillinn.m) - MLife

Locale: Albuquerque
delivery date on 11/30/2011 17:58:01 MST Print View

i would be lenient with josh when Alter Ego Gear first started selling gear I grossly underestimated time it would take to get everything done for guys like me and josh who run small amount of product out of our house its harder to estimate dates josh is a good guys so i know he'll deliver

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Delivery on 11/30/2011 22:47:00 MST Print View

Initially I paid for this quilt Aug. 21 with the estimated time of delivery to be the end of September (6 weeks). However, BillyGoat/Josh had some delays due to his shipment of cuben having some shipping issues, which pushed the delivery of this quilt past the trip I was hoping to use it for. At that point, I told Josh I really wasn't in a hurry because I likely wouldn't use it this season and just to finish it when he could. I ended up receiving the quilt a few days into about 10 weeks total.

I actually used this quilt last night at backcountry ski cabin. No real temperature test this time as it was 40-50F in the cabin, but I continue to be stoked with this quilt. The cut is great, it's unbelievable light and M55 is awesome fabric.

billy goat
(billygoat) - F

Locale: West.
Dan, thanks for the great review! on 12/02/2011 13:20:52 MST Print View

I made this quilt for Dan and when it was finished didn't want to give it up! Even better than the prototype I took on the JMT this year. Then, I made Mike's 10 degree version and it is even nicer! These things keep getting better, I must admit.

The 10 degree version has 16.5 ounces of 900 fill, the same 19 cuben baffle/20 chamber construction (adjusted for extra down), and checks in at 22.5 ounces!!! Sick!

I was way overdue on each delivery which really irked me - probably even more than my customers were irked, but I'm learning... In my defense my guiding season has been off the hook which is a good thing. Projects for this winter are to create a website and finish the logo/tags, but for now you can like Virga Outdoors on Facebook.

Pictures of the 10 degree Wendego coming soon!

Edited by billygoat on 12/03/2011 20:37:46 MST.

Nicholas Martin

Locale: SoCal-High Desert
thing is sweet! on 12/06/2011 21:20:54 MST Print View

If Darth Vader used a quilt, this is the one i see him using!
How much did this cost? I mean, say if someone wanted to buy one too.

billy goat
(billygoat) - F

Locale: West.
Price... on 12/07/2011 02:25:08 MST Print View

Every quilt I make is custom, so prices begin at a base rate of $315 for an m90 version and go up from there. Options include full m55, different temperature ratings (more down), custom sizing, color choices, etcetera. I anticipate raising prices as these are very labor-intensive to make.

Nicholas Martin

Locale: SoCal-High Desert
yeah... on 12/07/2011 19:33:56 MST Print View

....your quilt looks pretty bet you could start at the $400 mark and get plenty of clients!
ok when i win the lottery im calling you!

Scott May
(neutron) - F
M55 Source on 09/06/2012 06:54:40 MDT Print View

Very Nice quilt. I am jealous Where are you getting your M55 Micro ripstop now. It is no longer listed on thur-hiker. I need about 4 yards for a project.

Mike D.
(mpd1690) - F
Re: M55 Source on 09/06/2012 07:52:25 MDT Print View

I don't know of any place that sells it. The m50 that thru-hiker sells now is downproof like m55 though. It is not the same as the old m50. Micro ripstop is no going to stop many tears anyway.

Edit: I have some m50. I think that it is the one that I just check, but I could be wrong. It is micro ripstop.

Edited by mpd1690 on 09/06/2012 07:54:17 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

M50/M55 on 09/06/2012 23:14:27 MDT Print View

Yeah Thru-Hiker updated their M50 fabric and did away with M55 at the same time. Supposedly the new M50 is a lot closer to M55 than the old M50, so it's good stuff. It'll have a bit of shiny/plasticy feel to it, but that's the trade off for the excellent downproofness and weather resistance (windproof, water repellant).

I have a different Zpacks quilt now (long story, but basically the airline lost this one for a long time) and it's made of EightD (now called TenD). This fabric has a nicer feel (ie. soft, smooth) but it's not very downproof and the wind and water resistance isn't nearly as good either. I never ever saw a down clump/feather poking out of the M55, whereas I can always find a few poking through this despite it being 900FP down. The new M50 is a no brainer for the outer shell. For the inside, use 10D if you don't mind weak downproofness or use M50 if you don't mind a bit of a windshirt feel to it.