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First project - synthetic quilt questions
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Ignacy Krasicki
(ignacykrasicki) - F
First project - synthetic quilt questions on 09/05/2012 13:17:03 MDT Print View

Hello everyone!

As my first MYOG project I am going to make synthetic (Climashied APEX 133g/m2) quilt with shock cord and velcro strips at the bottom to form the footbox. I want to mix waterproof and breathable fabric in the top layer and fully breathable bottom layer as shown in the picture (there are commercial quilts that use similar idea). It hope it will help in some situations and the waterproof fabric might be cheaper.

Quilt project

I have some questions:

1. Do you think it is good idea or recommend other solutions?
I need simple design in my first project.

2. Warmth question. How would you rate APEX against 800FP down - how much down would be equivalent in a quilt?

3. What dimensions a,b,c would you use in this (hopefully) 3 season quilt? I am 178cm, slim.
The Nunatak Arc Alpinist has 55in top and 38in bottom, but I am not sure how exactly is it measured (flat?). What about length? This type of quilt bottom closure takes some of its length away.

4. I have never used Climashield APEX - could you confirm that I don't need downproof fabric.

5. Is too much breathability of the top layer bad for the quilt warmth?
In commercial quilts the downproof fabric like M50 or Pertex Quantum is windproof. Is it neccesary to keep warm air inside quilt? I would like to use cheap nylon that is water repellant, but definitely not windproof (you can breathe through it easily) but I am afraid it will ruin properties of the quilt.

6. Somewhere I have seen the hand sewn thread loops that keep insulation in place, but do not compress it. Are they necessary or this (continuous filament) insulation could only be sewn through on the perimeter?

7. Some quilts (Sierra Sniveler etc) have slit in the middle that allows you to wear quilt when necesary. It makes design more complicated, but looks like excellent idea. What do you think about it? How is it closed (velcro?)?

I am especially concerned with question number 5.

Thanks in advance for all your answers and suggestions!

Tyler Johnson
(riemannia) - F

Locale: Northeast Georgia
Re: First project - synthetic quilt questions on 09/05/2012 20:12:45 MDT Print View

1. Yes - my first project was a simple rectangular APEX quilt with a triangular footbox made by sewing the two halves of the bottom of the quilt together. I thought it was really, really easy. The WPB edging will make it a little more complicated, though you should still be able to handle it - however, I don't think it's really necessary considering you are intending to use synthetic insulation, unless you are using it for particularly wet conditions.

2. It depends on how much down you would use. The 133g/m^2 APEX should keep you warm to 35 degrees; I would imagine you would need 12-15 oz of 800 FP down for a similarly rated down quilt, depending on the size of the quilt. There's a discussion here - - about how to calculate how much down you would need. You won't win with warmth/weight ratio with APEX - however, it will be much easier to deal with for your first project, cheaper (initially - not in the long run, down lasts longer than synthetic; but initial costs should be your primary consideration if this is not the last quilt you intend to sew), and of course has the benefit of retaining more warmth when wet.

3. Jamie Shortt has some instructions on making a down summer quilt here - - and claims to have done "much experimentation" and has decided his dimensions are the minimal width that is comfortable for an average size man. He is your height and 160 lbs, for reference. I am also your height and a meager 135 lbs and have made some quilts shorter and not as wide as his, and I find them not quite big enough. I think his size would do you good. His quilt is also the same style (velcro foot box) as yours. I think the Nunatak Arc Alpinist comprimises a bit on size for weight, based on reading their description a while ago.

4. No, you do not need downproof fabric. The stuff's magical - you don't even need to sew stitches through the middle, edge stabilization is all you need.

5. Don't worry about it if you're using a bivy or a tent. For a big tarp with no bivy, you probably want windproof/DWR ripstop for the top layer. You can get 2nds 1.1 oz DWR ripstop for really cheap ($4-5/yd, half as much as the popular - and lighter - stuff) on

6. See 4, nope! Sewn through on the perimeter is just fine (which is why this is ideal for a first project!)

7. My hiking buddy has an M90/Silk 2.5 oz/yd^2 APEX quilt which has such a slit (it almost drapes like a cape, unlike the Jacks R Better wearable quilts. I think it has a big larger dimensions to enhance its use as a wearable insulation layer). It looks pretty awesome. I'm sewing a 20 degree down quilt soon which also utilize the slit; I hope to be able to use it as my primary worn insulation, inspired by Glen Van Peski's commentary on using your sleeping bag/quilt as your main insulation layer, instead of bulking up on warm clothing and carrying a summerweight quilt (more efficient use of warmth - jackets, etc are complicated and require more weight for their warmth). Yeah, velcro closure.

Tyler Johnson
(riemannia) - F

Locale: Northeast Georgia
WPB strips on 09/05/2012 20:14:22 MDT Print View

Also, WPB fabric will be heavier and I can't imagine where you are finding it that is cheaper than ripstop (2nds, at least - I don't see why any MYOG'er would ever use anything but 2nds if given the option)