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katabatic vs. nunatak
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ben wood

Locale: flatlands of MO
katabatic vs. nunatak on 11/26/2011 20:47:44 MST Print View

so i know this is close one spec wise, just wanting to hear any thoughts

looking at an alpinist 55"/45"/38" with 11oz of 850+ down 2.5" loft
looking at an alsek 52"/42"/38" with 12.4oz of 850 down 2.75" loft

alpinist says 20, alsek says 22, but...... looking at those specs the alsek would be narrower and has more fill, therefore warmer, right? or is the "850+" that nunatak is using that much better?

i know there are other things to consider than just those specs, but just wondering if anyone had any thoughts

Edited by benwood on 11/26/2011 20:56:42 MST.

Stephan Doyle
Re: katabatic vs. nunatak on 11/26/2011 21:28:22 MST Print View

Katabatic is underrating its quilts, IMO. Looking at the loft, Aaron is being conservative. As a Palisade owner, I have found this to be true, as have many others on these forums.

Between these two cottage companies, it comes down to quilt shape. Both make outstanding products, of the highest quality. Nunatak will work with you to do custom work (and has some great stock options), while Katabatic offers a unique mummy-like quilt shape.

Shawn Forry
(porkpie73) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra
Katabatic on 11/26/2011 21:38:03 MST Print View

Katabatic seems like the clear winner. $90 cheaper, more down for the same weight and a much better designed closer system and optional attachment to your pad. Why pay more for a colder bag that weighs the same?

wander lust
Katabatic on 11/26/2011 21:47:02 MST Print View

And you don't have to wait 3 months for your quilt.

There is no difference in quality, although I prefer Katabatic's closing system.

I would only go for a Nunatak if you need something special.

The quilts from Katabatic are quite narrow, so I might be good the check which wide you need.

Edward Z
(Fuzz) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
+1 for Katabatic on 11/26/2011 21:57:51 MST Print View

I own both the Palisade and the Chisos. Both I've found to be understated in what theyc can handle. Great construction, execution etc... top notch. Plus I ordered the wide and do not regret the extra side rolling space. These are wonderful.

Rakesh Malik

Locale: Cascadia
Re: +1 for Katabatic on 11/26/2011 22:12:06 MST Print View

I have a Katabatic Blackwelder, and found it to be both comfortable and warm. I haven't yet used Katabatic's attachment system, but even just the webbing straps worked great for me on Kilimanjaro. I have no experience with Nunatak's stuff, so I can't compare them, but I definitely would give Katabatic a thumbs up.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Re: katabatic vs. nunatak on 11/26/2011 22:15:44 MST Print View

Nunatak is a totally custom house. They list the default specs and prices for each item, but Tom will build just about whatever you want (within reason). You can choose either Pertex Quantum (2 different weights) or Epic fabric outer shells in assorted colors, the number, location, and removeability of straps, any dimensions you need (girths at shoulder, hip, and foot, overall length, overfill (including where it goes), differential cuts; you name it. That's what you're paying for. That also means longer lead times.

The only options I'm aware of with Katabatik are for overfill and a single fixed extra width on each quilt.

It's your money; spend it the way you want to.

Edited by wandering_bob on 11/26/2011 22:17:44 MST.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: katabatic vs. nunatak on 11/26/2011 22:25:48 MST Print View

I'll give Nunatak a big thumbs up. I've owned a number of Nunatak quilts - all have been exceptional.

If you're not considering, I'll also give a big thumbs up for Tim Marshall's quilts, have owned a number of them as well.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
re "katabatic vs. nunatak" on 11/27/2011 03:00:08 MST Print View

I would say the workmanship is better on my Katabatic Sawatch wide, than my Nunatak Arc Specialist. The sewing isn't as neat on the Specialist. Also, my Sawatch is absolutely full to bursting with down. The Specialist needs another ounce or so for even loft. Some folk seem to like being able to shift down around in their quilts. I don't. I want it full enough that it doesn't shift.

Nathan Creech

Locale: California
Katabatic on 11/27/2011 10:51:10 MST Print View

Ive been contemplating the same thing for a while and after reading this thread it has convinced me to try a Katabatic quilt. I would really like 2... a summer quilt and a winter quilt.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Katabatic vs. Nunatak on 11/27/2011 11:58:53 MST Print View

Katabatic quilts are built with an extremely high attention to detail. The stitching is excellent, and the construction techniques are clearly carefully considered.

The fabrics are comfortable and less clammy than Quantum, and it's clear that their temp ratings are conservative relative to other down quilt mfrs. But, you can't compare the ratings between two manufacturer's anyways, so I wouldn't go down that road.

Plus, the guys at Katabatic are just plain nice, which is refreshing.

Eric Krumland
(Eric_K) - F

Locale: The northwest is the BEST
I have a nunatak! on 11/27/2011 12:24:53 MST Print View

I have a custom arc specialist and absolutely love it, 14oz and cozy down to the 20s more with lots of cloths. If you are thinking nunatak it is only worth it if you are going custom. I knew the dimensions I wanted and was able to cut weight by not having more bag than needed. They are pricy though. If this is your first quilt, you may want to go katabatic, next time around you will know more specifically what you want and then a super customized quilt may be the way to go!

Not to hijack the thread or anything, but I want a two person synthetic quilt for alpine climbing, does anyone have any good leads on where to look?


ben wood

Locale: flatlands of MO
Re: katabatic vs. nunatak on 11/27/2011 12:52:40 MST Print View

cool guys, thanks for all the input. it seems everyone is pretty pumped about the katabatic quilts.

It's wont be my first quilt, and i know that i want a more tapered shape than the flat quilt i use now. I do like the closure system and collar but not sure if that will be important to me. I currently use a JRB hudson river and have never used the cord system. I can and have had every bag or quilt i've owned down to 10 deg below its rating with no problems in baselayers, and been well into the teens in the hudson so I am thinking the Alsek's 22deg rating would be closer to a usable 15deg for me.

i'll have to mull this one over for a bit, thanks for your thoughts

Edited by benwood on 11/27/2011 12:54:26 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: katabatic vs. nunatak on 11/27/2011 21:05:56 MST Print View

Doug said,

I'll give Nunatak a big thumbs up. I've owned a number of Nunatak quilts - all have been exceptional.

"If you're not considering, I'll also give a big thumbs up for Tim Marshall's quilts, have owned a number of them as well."


Agree. On my Nunatak Arc Specialist I got to choose the shell material and got some extra fill in the foot box area. 1.75" loft at 15 oz total.

I also have an original cuben Ephinany Tim Marshall quilt 2" loft at 11 oz. I got to choose the dimensions... well sort of; I chose a standard size, but Tim would have made anything I needed.

In winter I take both quilts, the smaller Ephinany fits inside the Arc Specialist perfectly. 3.75" of loft for a total of 26 oz.

Quality and service from both companies was outstanding.