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Down quilts
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Adam McFarren
(amcfarre) - F
Down quilts on 05/12/2005 08:07:37 MDT Print View

Besides Nunatuk, are there other companies selling down quilts?

I'm looking into replacing an older 600 down sleeping bag (over 2 lbs) for summer use. I'd be interested in trying a quilt, but only if I can find one that beats or meets the WM Highlite in price and weight with similar loft.

Nunatak's Arc Ghost costs ~$80 more than the WM Highlite.


David Wiesenfeld
(davidwiesenfeld) - F
Lightweight synthetic quilts on 05/12/2005 08:32:33 MDT Print View

I don't know about other down quilts - they all seem to be pretty expensive anyway - but fanatic fringe says that they make a synthetic quilt with an insulated footbox that weights 1lb 6.5oz and is good down to around 30 degrees (2" of single-sided loft) for $190 - it doesn't seem to be quite what you're looking for, but it is a fair amount less expensive:

I don't know anything about the quilt, I just found it online, but it's about $40 cheaper than the highlite and probably over $100 cheaper than the nunatak arc ghost.

Glenn Roberts
(garkjr) - F

Locale: Southwestern Ohio
Western Mountaineering on 05/12/2005 09:23:35 MDT Print View

I noticed, at, that Western Mountaineering offers a "Cloud 9 Comforter." The advertising spiel is something like "people said they wished we made a quilt in the same quality as our ultralight bags, so here it is, for your bed, in twin, queen, and full sizes" - no specific recommendation that it's trailworthy, but it does carry a 40-degree temperature rating, and it is an 850+ down fill construction. Don't know if this is what you're looking for or not, since I still use a bag, but thought it might help.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
down quilts on 05/12/2005 09:33:38 MDT Print View

JacksRBetter also makes some nice looking quilts. Fanatic Fringe makes synthetic quilts. Speer Hammocks makes a number of quilts as well as an interesting bag which surrounds a hammock called the PeaPod. The Down Works in Santa Cruz will custom make a quilt for you. If you don't mind a bit of sewing you could buy a or Ray-Way kit.

DJ Wilson
(ojulius) - F
Quilts on 05/12/2005 21:48:38 MDT Print View

I've sewn both a Ray-Way Quilt and the Down Quilt Kit from AYCE's site. Ray's design is really as easy a DIY as you can get: extremely clear and easy to follow; very step-by-step. The thru-hiker kit was pretty easy to follow, but a few times I found myself scratching my noggin' perplexed about what exactly to do next. I overstuffed mine to a loft of approx. 3.5", attached underside webbing straps and a zippered footbox so that it would lay completely flat on warm nights. It weighs 22 ounces.

John Carter

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Quilts on 05/13/2005 09:49:59 MDT Print View

That's exactly what I did a few weeks ago, except I used velcro and buttons instead of a zipper and have 3" loft. Man am I glad I didn't mess with a footbox! Just took it out at 30 deg F damp weather and was toasty all night!

Kevin Lane
Montbell Bags Instead Of Quilt? on 05/14/2005 17:51:28 MDT Print View

Check out the sale page on For their down and synthetic bags. I am by no means a gear collector, but at the price these are listed for it is hard to resist

(RavenUL) - F
Montbell bags on 05/14/2005 21:27:26 MDT Print View

Im VERY impressed with MontBells bags... and your right, the sale they have going on some items is a great score!

jacob thompson
(nihilist37) - F
quilting on 05/21/2005 23:21:24 MDT Print View

I guess it happens to every person but, how do i choose between so many great products? ive narrowed my list down to about half of the amount it was before but im having real troubles deciding which bag to go with. I'll put them down in the order of which one i think is best and why. if anyone could add some more info on which one i should go with and answer any questions a i have along the way it would be much appreciated.

sierra designs wicked fast. about $200, 18oz. i like this bag because its a top down only. i like top down bags mainly because i live in australia. its not that im afraid of snakes and spiders and what have you (im a biologist) but i just dont want them in my bag with me. the question i have is is there fill on the sides? because i can imagine that the sides of the bag dont quite touch the ground and thus there would be parts without fill on the sides, ie cold spots.

Rab Quantum Top bag. $200 14oz. Another top bag. the only reason i have the sierra designs above this bag is because they are harder to find. the same question applies here is ther dead space on the sides?

fanatic fringe quilt. $190 22.5oz. i like this bag but i think that possibly it is designed like a flat quilt with a foot box. this may be a good thing but im not sure and i cant find any reference to it. i like that it is synthetic but if i was to buy a BMW cocoon in the future it would most likely be my safety piece and i wouldnt need synthetic fill.

ray way quilt. $150 with extrafill to 32F. weight unknown. the only problem i have with this is that i dont know how much it will weigh with the extra fill. its a good option though.

nunatak ghost. 17oz. $300. nice bag but a little too pricey. hey how bout i boost it 950+ and pay about another $700.

like i said feedback is always welcome. at the moment its really between the SD, Rab and rayway. they all seem so good. its just so darn hard to choose which one. also in my system i will be using a BMW cocoon and a spinnaker/quantum homemade bivy.

David Spellman
(dspellman) - F
Down Quits on 05/24/2005 22:56:29 MDT Print View

JacksRBetter ( has down quilts...

Adam McFarren
(amcfarre) - F
quilts vs bags on 05/25/2005 09:39:29 MDT Print View

Well, since I started the thread, I'll let you know why I was interested in a quilt.

My original thinking was that I could find a good quality quilt w/ similar loft to the WM Highlite for lower price & weight (thinking removing the hood and some stitching, bottom, etc). However, the only lighter weight quilts I can locate are more expensive.

I'm now leaning toward the FanaticFringe 40 degree quilt, as the 50+ degree nights we'll have around here (Indiana) for the next several months will be just too hot for any bag without plenty of ventilation options. The Highlite has a 1/2 zipper. The other night I had my current bag totally unzipped, and only partially covering my shoulders.

So for my summer "bag", I think a quilt would be ideal and far more useful over over a wider range of temperatures.

If I had an interest in sewing a bag, I'd certainly check out the RayWay designs. Maybe someday.

BTW, the SpeerHammocks people seemed to have the perfect quilt (light, cheap, high loft), but they told me in an email that the quilt wouldn't work for ground sleepers.

So I'll probably suck up the extra 6.6 ounces between the FanticFringe and WM options but happily pocket the $100 difference. Should still remove ~13-14 ounces from my current pack weight.

So thanks for everyone's suggestions here.

nathan matthews
(nathanm) - F

Locale: Bay Area
shell materials for primaloft quilts on 05/26/2005 09:23:09 MDT Print View

(posting in the make-your-own-gear forum as well)

Folks who have made their own quilts: what material (other than insulation) did you use? I'm looking at sewing a primaloft quilt as the cheapest way to cut a pound from my pack. Looking around, I see some DIYers just use 1.1 oz uncoated ripstop, but I don't see as much of that in commercial bags. Maybe other options should include also "micro filament" taffeta, or others?

Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
RAB Quantum top bag on 05/27/2005 02:41:06 MDT Print View

Jacob, I own this bag and have not been real impressed with it. The down sides just barely reach the ground and seal poorly - even if you lie still (for my 175lb., 5ft.9in. body). If you buy this bag from in the U.K. like I did you will be at the mercy of exchange rates and a "Customs Brokerage Fee" (read the website fine print) which will be assessed after shipment by a shipping company perhaps another $30-$40.

I much prefer my 900 fill The North Face Beeline 900 with hood,down all around and pertex quantum shell for 1lb.2.4oz $300. Add a 1lb. down suit from MontBell and 3.5 oz down hood and you've got an alpine winter bag and winter camp clothes set-up.
Neither bag has a zipper.

Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
Feathered Friends Vireo on 05/27/2005 04:42:57 MDT Print View

Though not a quilt and if you can wait for the preparation, check the Feathered Friends Vireo Sleeping Bag ( It has continuous variable depth baffles, is part of the Feathered Friends Layering System and is designed to take a high loft insulation jacket as part of the layering system. The Vireo is a hood less bag without any zipper (and needs no draft tube as a result). It is available in choice of color, materials, down quality, and down overfill. The sleeping bag has a girth of 64/48/38. The sleeping bag is available in 62", 68", and 72" lengths. Also, if you order the Vireo Sleeping Bag at the same time as any of Feathered Friends Jackets there is a 15% discount on both the sleeping bag and the jacket. If you order the sleeping bag, also consider ordering the Volant Hood which can be added to either/both the Vireo Sleeping Bag and the jacket through the use of installed snaps. If you order the Volant Hood have the snaps installed on the hood, sleeping bag, (and if ordered the jacket at the time of purchase- Feathered Friends has to install the hood flange on the Hyperion or Helios jackets at the time of manufacture). The Volant Hood can then be used alone, or attached to either the Vireo Sleeping Bag and/or the jacket.

The Vireo Sleeping Bag by itself is rated to 45 degrees F, but used with the hood the sleeping bag's ability is rated to below 32 degrees F. With the proper layering of clothing the system should be able to be brought down to at least into the low 20's or teens. The basic Vireo Sleeping Bag has down loft of 3" to 5" and a price of $210 (without discount) in Pertex Quantum. With upgrades to 800+ down from the standard 750+ down and down overfill, you can substantially increase the down loft and lower the temperature range of the Vireo Sleeping Bag.

My 62" long Vireo (I am only 5' 6" tall) was made in eVENT outer fabric and nylon taffeta inner fabric with 800+ down, 2 oz of 800+ down overfill and hood snaps. The Vireo Sleeping Bag as described weighs 22.4 oz (my sleeping bag loft varies from about 4" to about 7" [in the foot box]). When I ordered my system Pertex Quantum was unavailable. In the 62" size, this sleeping bag can be made as light as 16 oz and uses 8 oz of down (17 oz and 8.8 oz of down fill in the 68" long). The Volant Hood that I had prepared in the same materials and 800+ down weighs about 3.4 oz (even though Feathered Friends indicates 4 oz in lighter materials). The Hyperion Jacket that I had made in the same materials, hood flange, snaps, and 800+ down in large weighs about 16.5 oz.

You can add something like a silk liner (like a cocoon [about 4.4 oz with stuff sack]) to the system which can add to the warmth of the system or be used by itself if you find that the sleeping bag is too warm.

Rich Nelridge

Edited by naturephoto1 on 05/27/2005 05:36:58 MDT.

Kevin Lane
Fanatic Fringe Delta Quilt on 05/28/2005 15:30:14 MDT Print View

I just used my FF Delta quilt for the first time last night and was quite impressed with it. Living in the east, condensation is always a problem and precipitation is always a threat. The temps got to the low 40's. SLeeping with Cloudveil Rodeo pants and an unlined pertex top I was quite comfortable despite the fact that I turn. I had been worried about the lack of straps but that proved to be a non issue. I was many times more comfortable than when I use my Nunatak Ghost. The added benefit is that with the syn fill and the shell I was not concerned with water getting on it and making me pretty miserable

Brian Griffith
FF Vireo on 05/28/2005 19:58:17 MDT Print View

Sorry for the hijack,

I've also been looking for a new bag and have gone through the same process (same brands, bag v. quilt) with the Arc Ghost or Arc Alpinist as the ideal and ended up at the FF Vireo as the best choice for me for the money.

Has the Vireo worked well for you? Did you order it to wrap around your shoulders like a top bag or Arc-quilt?


Edited by 03bart on 05/28/2005 19:59:25 MDT.

Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
FF Vireo on 05/29/2005 19:26:17 MDT Print View

Hi Brian,

I have only used the Vireo to a limited extent, particularly in my Van at this point to test it with and without my Hyperion Jacket (with and without the Volant Hood). As I recall with the description of my Vireo in the above posting, I was quite warm in my Van well below freezing (middle 20's?) and it should work as I described in my previous posting. I expect to be putting it to real use shortly.

I ordered and you should also order the sleeping bag to cover your shoulders. Order the proper length of the 3 options (62", 68" or 72") so that it at least fits over the the top of your shoulders. Any more insulation if needed can come from a Volant Hood if ordered.

I like the bag very much, 22 oz by itself is light and it is much lighter than my FF Lark. You just have to get accustomed to climbing in from the top since there is no zipper. FF products are all made to a very high level of workmanship. You are getting a custom made product for what others charge as a production run.

Decide for yourself if you want any upgrades (amount of and kind of down loft), fabrics, and if you want a hood and/or jacket as I describe above.

Also, the continuous variable depth baffles allow you adjust the loft of the bag and to move the down either above or below you for temperature adjustment.

Edited by naturephoto1 on 05/31/2005 06:52:50 MDT.

Brian Griffith
FF Vireo on 05/30/2005 10:35:54 MDT Print View


Thanks for your help. I should call FF and ask for sizing help. At 74" tall, do I get the 68 or the 72? I will opt for the Quantum w/ 850+.

I will probably order a Hyperion as well and save $60 on the total, also Quantum w/ 850+.


Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
FF Vireo on 05/30/2005 22:49:50 MDT Print View


The down loft upgrade for FF is 800+, but according to the description on their site if it is still current some of the down may be reading as high as 900.

Talk over the length with FF customer service. You may fit the 68", though you are 6' 2". Maybe someone can measure the top of your shoulder height with a tape measure.

Definitely consider the Volant Hood. It will definitely extend the temperature range of the Vireo when needed (leave it home when not) and it can be used with the Hyperion Jacket if the Hood Flange and Snaps are added to the jacket or by itself (by the way, click to enlarge the photo of the Volant on the FF website, pretty amusing).

800+ down rather than the 750+ down will probably increase the warmth of the bag about 5 degrees F. When I ordered my FF Lark Sleeping bag in 1999 that is what the customer service rep indicated (but check with customer service to see if this applies to such a light bag).

Decide if you want additional down. The cost in 800+ down is only $8 an ounce. FF normally suggests that 2 oz increases the warmth of the bag by 5 degrees F. But with such a light bag it is almost like adding somewhere approaching 25% more down (that is what it was with my 62" bag).

One last thing about the Hyperion Jacket, as FF indicates, they do run a bit small and maybe several inches (3"?) past my waist. They are designed to fit much like a fleece jacket. But, I can get at least 2 to 3 light to medium layers under my Large.


Edited by naturephoto1 on 05/31/2005 15:33:35 MDT.

Volant Hood on 05/31/2005 02:41:03 MDT Print View

A couple of days ago, after reading a prev post, I checked out the Volant Hood on the FF website. Clicking the graphic of the hood in order to enlarge it produced this