The first down quilt I purchased didn't work for me as advertised, the result being that the quilt does not maintain loft throughout the night. I contacted the manufacturer and was told they could not resell returns and it was suggested that I sell it on the Internet.
To add insult to injury, the quilt had gone on sale at a huge discount only days before I realized I needed something else. The quilts started showing up in gear swap, in unused condition, for at least a $100 less than I had paid for my quilt, which had been used only a few times.
The quilt was bought based on Backpackinglight reader reviews of a similar product ( same manufacturer) and rave reviews of the company in question. I am creating this thread hoping to get as many responses from people with actual real world experiences with either or both company's products as I can, in order to save myself from more cold nights, hassle and wasted money.
Katabatic ( more money and features ) and Enlightened are the two quilt manufacturers I am interested in.
I have two primary concerns.
1. Loft. The Alsek uses a continuous baffle. This turned out to be an unwanted feature in my current quilt, the down does not stay put over the top of me in the middle of the night, especially when used inside a bivy. The Enlightened quilts use a square baffle which looks promising, but as far as I can tell they do not use a differential cut, which I have learned from recent experience is important when tucking the quilt tightly to seal drafts. Does the down stay where you put it in these quilts? Do you crush the down and compromise loft when tucking your quilt?
2. Shell material. I want to cowboy camp and use fairly small tarps while leaving the bivy at home or under the quilt as a ground sheet. Katabatic uses Pertex Quantum Ripstop, Enlightened uses inptrepid 20d. What are your experiences with these shell materials on windy nights and with occasional splash under a tarp?
Katabatic seems like the safe bet, but it is expensive, and I would like to save some money and put it towards a Trailstar... however, when I bought my first quilt, I thought the price and specs were too good to be true, and was correct. Enlightened quilts of a similar rating are even less expensive than my first purchase.
Please help me get my next purchase right!