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UL premarital counseling (sleep system for two)
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Timothy Huguenin
(timhuguenin) - F
UL premarital counseling (sleep system for two) on 04/08/2012 21:52:53 MDT Print View

So, getting married soon! To an amazing girl--loves backpacking! We want to buy something sleep system-wise that would be good for two for, eh, obvious reasons.

For a while we've been talking about the sleeping bags that zip together, which I think may be a great idea. But I was wondering about quilts and if they would be better for two people...a little more freedom, etc. I noticed the BPL UL 240 Quilt...looks like a good one, but is it made to be comfortable enough to keep two warm and well-covered? Would I have to order the largest size, or would that just increase the length more than the width? I did see that the chart gave circumference sizes, but I'm not the greatest with estimating that kind of thing, especially since i'd have someone else to think about...She's not big, but, you know. we're obviously bigger than just myself. Any suggestions? should we stick with the zipping-together bags, or are there better quilts for this sort of thing? She is worried about being too cold, and I've never used a quilt myself to know how well they keep you covered. We'll be doing most of our camping in the mid-appalachians, although I've always wanted to go out to the pacific northwest eventually. I'm thinking about moving out there within the next 5 years, but nothing's for certain besides we'll be here in the appalachians for at least a little while.

Also got an MLD TrailStar on the way---can't wait for it to come! Too bad he's so backed up with said it'll take at least 8 weeks to arrive. I already ordered it, so if someont thinks i shouldn't have, not much i can do. Has anyone used it, and are there significant strengths and weaknesses? I did a little research on it, and i read the review they did on BPL when it came out a while back...but I'd love other's perspectives on it.

Thanks guys. Peace.


Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: UL premarital counseling (sleep system for two) on 04/08/2012 22:04:27 MDT Print View

The BPL quilts are no longer being made. Not big enough anyway. There are a bunch of custom quilt makers out there as well as sleeping bags that can be coupled together. Pretty humid were you are. Might be best off with a synthetic quilt for each of you. That way they can be sized accordingly.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: UL premarital counseling (sleep system for two) on 04/08/2012 22:26:45 MDT Print View

A double SB is a bit of a nightmare in practive. Go for two quilts, and two rectangular mats with tie-loops to hold them together. Warm mats are half the story!

If it gets cold (if your wife gets cold) then snuggle together with the quilts layered over the two of you. We have done that to -7 C with UL summer bags and thermals.


Chad Lorenz
(ChadL) - MLife

Locale: Teton Valley, Wydaho
UL sleeping for two on 04/09/2012 07:55:32 MDT Print View

Another option:

You may or may not be comfortable using down in the Appalachians/PNW, YMMV.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: UL premarital counseling (sleep system for two) on 04/09/2012 08:19:39 MDT Print View

not really UL but it will work for your,eh,obvious reason

Edited by annapurna on 04/09/2012 08:34:49 MDT.

Cody Lebow

Locale: Orange County
sexy hotness on 04/09/2012 08:46:33 MDT Print View

That inner fabric for the SH bag is too much.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Bag for two on 04/09/2012 09:32:20 MDT Print View


Your best bet, if your budget allows, is a pair of Back Country Blankets from Nunatak. Since writing my review of the BCB for (see ) I did buy a second BCB to make a couple's quilt when appropriate. Works very well for that and can always be separated into two quilts for solo trips or to accommodate the occasional quarrel or blanket-grabbing.

A less pricy and very comfortable summer alternative is a semi-rec bag that zips to a ground sheet. Down underneath you doesn't insulate very well, so you can open out the bag as a quilt. I know that Feathered Friends and Western Mountaineering used to sell a "coupler" that was designed to work with its bags.

Congratulations, by the way.


Logan Spader
(___o2) - F

Locale: .
re on 04/09/2012 09:41:21 MDT Print View

When I purchased a bag for my fiance I made sure that it could zip up to mine. The first time we used the bags zipped together she was awake shivering all night. Maybe we weren't snuggling close enough or maybe we should have got naked for better heat exchange ;) but we found that it is very difficult to seal out the cold air with two heads popping out of one hole. I'm sure it works great in warmer weather but we no longer zip our bags together for sleeping.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Re: UL premarital counseling (sleep system for two) on 04/09/2012 14:06:35 MDT Print View

My wife and I have been using two-person quilts exclusively for about six years now, in temperatures down to 15F (so far), and we are very happy with them.

In 2006 I purchased a RayWay deluxe quilt kit with split-zip, draft-stopper and alpine upgrade. We have been using this on most trips. We particularly like the draft-stopper, a flap of thin fabric running around the quilt perimenter that cuts drafts down when someone moves, and I move a lot!.

In warmer weather we use a thin quilt. In cold weather we put the thin quilt on top of the RayWay quilt. Sometimes we stuff some unused clothing in the top opening to cut down on drafts there.

The split-zip allows the quilt to unzip into two pieces, one for each of us. For the thin quilt I skipped the zipper and just keep it in my pack.

Years ago I purchased a lightweight Marmot rectangular sleeping bag (Grouse) that opened up and zipped to a thin bottom sheet, thus converting a one-person bag into a two-person top bag. This worked great for many years, but was heavy by today's standards (although we still use it, more often as a single bag). I suppose the same strategy is possible today if you can find a lightweight rectangular bag.

Edited by ewolin on 04/09/2012 14:07:49 MDT.

Ryan Elsey
(paintballswimguy) - F

Locale: Kansas City
quilts on 04/09/2012 14:30:06 MDT Print View

Jacks R better makes some nice 2 person quilts at a very fair price. you should check them out

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: UL sleeping for two on 04/09/2012 14:41:06 MDT Print View

I would definitely look into the Spoonbill. It is a more advanced version of a Penguin matched with a Penguin groundsheet ( My wife and I use the Penguin and fleece groundsheet and it is great. It is much easier to work with than a quilt and much more efficient than zipping two bags together. There is a bit of a trade-off between the Spoonbill and the Penguin with groundsheet. The Penguin/groundsheet is a bit roomier. However, I think you would save more weight with the Spoonbill. Plus, I think it has better draft control (an issue with any two person design). Personally, that would be my choice.

I should mention that the Pacific Northwest is generally dry in the summer. It is generally sunny by the time things finally melt out and you can go backpacking up high in the Cascades or Olympics. That doesn't mean it won't, of course, but it is pretty common to get lots of sunny summer days here (not quite as many as California, but close). The opposite is true in the winter, in that we often get day after day of rain then. Long story short: I use down sleeping bags in the Northwest, as do a lot of other people. After all, Feathered Friends is a Seattle company. Just use common sense (you might consider using a synthetic bag if you plan on hiking the coast in November).

Edited by rossbleakney on 04/09/2012 14:49:37 MDT.

Luke Khuu
JRB on 04/09/2012 14:47:42 MDT Print View

I recommend Jacks R Better all the way.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Ray way quilt on 04/09/2012 17:40:44 MDT Print View

I also made a ray way double quilt. I left out the draft stopper as we sleep in a tent. I got the alpine upgrade and it is too warm. Although we were comfortable at 40 sans clothes. ;)

Logan Kidwell
(Logan) - MLife

Locale: Maine
third rec for Ray Way on 04/10/2012 06:32:20 MDT Print View

I think Ray Way will by far be the least expensive option for you - while offering many perks.

That being said, you may have other priorities in your new marriage other than building gear together.



Kyle Meyer

Locale: Portland, OR
RE: UL premarital counseling (sleep system for two) on 04/10/2012 09:08:19 MDT Print View

Nobody yet has mentioned that a two person quilt or two zip together sleeping bags won't work in the Trailstar, what with the center pole and all. Sure, you could potentially get two pole jacks, lash the poles together at the top and create an inverted V, but that seems more hassle than it's worth. Two velcro-together quilts could work as you could connect them around the pole though.

Why not do the, eh, obvious things, during the day in nature, and use your sleep systems for getting a good night's sleep?

Edited by kylemeyer on 04/10/2012 09:08:51 MDT.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: UL premarital counseling (sleep system for two) on 04/10/2012 10:44:08 MDT Print View

Looks like Feathered Friends makes something just like my old Marmot Grouse plus groundsheet. Kind of pricy, though, much cheaper and almost as light to make a synthetic quilt.

Our RayWay quilt with alpine upgrade was in principle too warm on many trips, but one of the reasons I like quilts is that all I have to do is poke an arm or a leg out from under the quilt to achieve perfect temperature regulation. At home at night the heat is set low and we use a thick quilt on our bed, and I do exactly the same thing to keep comfortable. Using a rectangular bag with groundsheet stops all the drafts but makes it more difficult to do this.

Timothy Huguenin
(timhuguenin) - F
trailstar centerpole on 04/10/2012 11:59:56 MDT Print View

good point with the trailstar problem..hadn't thought of that for some reason. although she also has a tent, and we may just use that when we go together. if we both want to use the trailstar on a trip we may just have to bring the separate bags we already have.

Timothy Huguenin
(timhuguenin) - F
jacks r better on 04/10/2012 12:01:51 MDT Print View

i'm leaning towards jacks r better for now rather than the ray way...not really sure how much time and ability i'll have to put together a kit, especially with wedding preparations, and if we get anything we'd want to have it for the honeymoon, obviously...

Timothy Huguenin
(timhuguenin) - F
thanks for all the tips on 04/10/2012 13:16:35 MDT Print View

i'm going to check back to my fiance with all this and see what her take on it all is. if anyone has any more insight, i'd still like to hear it. i'll send her the link to this thread

. .
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
... on 04/10/2012 15:35:25 MDT Print View


Edited by RogerDodger on 06/16/2015 15:24:13 MDT.