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Sleeping bag or quilt cold weather
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Doug Wolfe
Sleeping bag or quilt cold weather on 01/18/2012 06:41:55 MST Print View

I have been kicking around the idea of getting a quilt an was wondering if some of you guys would throw out some pros an cons of of cold weather quilt?
I'm currently using a mummy bag and on cold nights I've got the draw strings pulled and balled up inside.
So I'm looking for everyones thoughts.

Edited by Wolfie2nd on 01/18/2012 06:42:34 MST.

Paul Hope
(PaulHope) - F
Re: Sleeping bag or quilt cold weather on 01/18/2012 09:01:52 MST Print View


You pretty much just stated the con with quilts and that is that in the winter, the simple "tucking" method just isn't sufficient, but of course YMMV. For me it was just an unpleasant night sleeps when the temp dipped to the low single digits and the winds were gusting to 50mph and there was just no way to keep out those drafts efficiently.

I use a quilt in the 3-seasons and a mummy in the winter-- there is no way I would go back to a quilt for winters in Colorado at 11K.

If you live in a milder winter climate, then you could probably get away with using a quilt year round.

Doug Wolfe
Quilt con on 01/18/2012 09:16:43 MST Print View

Well you pretty much made my mind up for me.. forget the draft! Thanks for saving me some coin!

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Winter Quilts on 01/18/2012 09:26:33 MST Print View

If you're going to use a quilt in the winter, it needs to be quite a wide one so you can easily get it tucked it/rolled around you, even if you are wearing a ton of extra layers. It can be done, but if you go with a generous width quilt, then you're not saving much weight over a normal bag, so you have to really prefer quilts. I do prefer sleeping in quilts (weight aside) but in the winter I still prefer to security/simplicity of a bag. With that said, I don't own a bag and I've been using a quilt so far this winter and it's been fine. It also hasn't been that cold (ie. no colder than 20F when I've been out).

Doug Wolfe
Sleeping bag or quilt cold weather on 01/18/2012 09:30:18 MST Print View

Last weekend I experienced 6° at night with 15-20 mph wind.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Quilts on 01/18/2012 10:21:10 MST Print View

As others have said, the quilt must be wide enough. Trying to balance a narrow strip of down on top of you is simply stupid.
Even in warmer weather, the quilt needs to be wide enough to stop drafts.
I use a Nunatak Arc Specialist down to around freezing, then a Katabatic Sawatch Wide when the temp drops lower. Even though the weight savings aren't that big with a wider quilt, it's worth it to me for the freedom it gives.
I HATE mummy bags.

Don Selesky
(backslacker) - M
Re: Sleeping bag or quilt cold weather on 01/18/2012 13:26:35 MST Print View

First, if I'm out in the winter I try to stay out of the wind by using some kind of shelter or bivy. That way strong winds don't blast the sleeping bag all night long.

I will use a quilt in the winter to save weight, specifically a Nunatak Arc Expedition quilt. I tried it last month down to about 15F. At first I was having issues with drafts getting in around the edges. I had the quilt straps running under my pad, but when I switched to having them directly under me the drafts stopped and I was quite warm.

Of course, you need some kind of down balaclava with a quilt in lieu of the normal hood on a sleeping bag.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Quilts on 01/18/2012 14:20:26 MST Print View

What Mike said about *narrow* strip of down!
Yes, we use quilts in winter. Requirements:
Wide enough
A good head cover
*Good* shelter from wind
A *good* mat underneath
A good dinner


Aaron Croft
(aaronufl) - M

Locale: Oregon
Cold on 01/18/2012 14:26:44 MST Print View

In cold weather, I prefer a mummy bag. In spring, summer, and fall situations I can get away with a quilt, but I prefer a bag for lack of fiddle factor and drafts when the temps drop and the wind starts blowing.

Jeffrey McConnell
how wide? on 01/18/2012 14:30:11 MST Print View

I'm curious, how wide is wide enough for those of you using quilts in winter?

Charles Henry

Locale: Arizona and British Columbia
Re: how wide? on 01/18/2012 14:33:22 MST Print View

Tucking the quilt in is important.

I have a Katabatic gear quilt the Palisade wide 6', and it has a very good attachment system with multiple "latches". I toss about but I find the system very good for attaching me to the quilt. I would say I would still prefer a sleeping bag for warmth but only by a very small margin that is not normally worth the quilt's advantages.

I think what is important is the sleeping pad and R rating. I have no problems with the quilt itself but the ground can leach alot warmth with my Synmat UL at 20 degrees.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: how wide? on 01/18/2012 14:54:41 MST Print View

"I'm curious, how wide is wide enough for those of you using quilts in winter?"

Well now, that depends on how wide a person is...... ;-)

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Sleeping bag or quilt cold weather on 01/18/2012 16:33:15 MST Print View

I smell a fat joke inbound...........

Jeffrey McConnell
Re: Re: how wide? on 01/18/2012 20:41:08 MST Print View

"Well now, that depends on how wide a person is...... ;-)"

I thought about going there... :) How about for a 5'5" 155 lbs guy with around a 38" chest? I've been thinking of making a winter quilt but not quite sure how wide to go. It seems like the commercially available ones are around 58".

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: how wide? on 01/18/2012 20:54:00 MST Print View

At your size, 58" would be more than fine. I'm bigger than you, once had a Nunatak BackCountry Blanket, which is 61" at the shoulder and 51" at the hip, and I could easily wrap that thing around me nice and snug.

But what I'd do is simply put on what you'd normally be sleeping in, lay down on the floor on your back or side (depending on how you sleep), have your wife/a friend take a tape measure and fairly loosely drape it around you at your widest point (should be shoulders, unless you've had children.....), add a few inches for tuck, and you've got your width at the shoulders! At least, it seems like that would work.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: Re: Re: how wide? on 01/19/2012 04:02:04 MST Print View

That's pretty much how I had mine measured and made from Nunatak. It's worked out just fine. IIRC, my widest part of the quilt is 57". I can tuck snug if I need to, but haven't had the need. Just make sure you don't let yourself get wider!

Doug Wolfe
Length on 01/22/2012 16:38:52 MST Print View

So what length should I get if I'm 5'6" 180 lbs? Do you think I could pull a 6' wide over my head?? I think I'm going to take the plunge....

Christopher Yi
(TRAUMAhead) - F

Locale: Cen Cal
Re: Length on 01/22/2012 20:02:06 MST Print View

I'm 5'8", about 175lbs, and with a regular length/width (6", 52") Chisos w/ 2oz overfill, and the bag comes up to about my forehead.

Edited by TRAUMAhead on 01/22/2012 20:02:42 MST.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Sleeping bag or quilt cold weather on 01/22/2012 20:12:59 MST Print View

Extra quilt width really helps cut back on drafts. So does a bivy. I also suspect that a pad with bigger side baffles will help prevent drafts by keeping the edges of the quilt better tucked, and it's looking like I will try this out a lot this winter.

Rakesh Malik

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Re: Sleeping bag or quilt cold weather on 01/22/2012 20:31:43 MST Print View

I used a Katabatic Blackwelder on Kilimanjaro, and it was fine even at Kibo Hut camp (15,500 feet). I was sleeping in a tent (MSR Asgard), using a pad that the porters provided so I don't know much about it since the label had worn off, but it was quite comfortable. The rest of the group was astonished by how light it was for a zero degree setup. :)