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hesitant about buying a quilt because I toss and turn a lot
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Loki Cuthbert

Locale: Portland, OR
hesitant about buying a quilt because I toss and turn a lot on 09/19/2012 19:19:41 MDT Print View

Hey been reading for a while and been making a plan of attack to get my kit down to 10 lbs. I keep looking at my 2 lb 12 oz long kelty cosmic and keep thinking how nice it would to get 24-28 oz out of my pack. My only problem is that I turn over quite a bit. I'm a notorious stomach sleeper. I also end up on my side a lot. It's quite often that I wake up with my sleeping bag turned over with my hood over my face.

I sleep relatively hot. I don't know how cold it was on my last trip, but I woke up with frost all over my tent and ice in my platy that was under the vestibule. I was plenty warm in my cheep 20* kelty cosmic bag with just light thermals on(I would have been naked, but I didn't wanna get all my funk rubbed into my bag).

Do quilts usually strap around sleeping pads? I've read that you tuck them under you, but that sounds like I'd just be inviting myself to waking up at 3 in the morning freezing.

Also my last thought is that since I sleep a bit warm I'd be afraid that I'd throw the quilt off in the middle of the night.


Ed Tyanich
(runsmtns) - F - M
Quilt on 09/19/2012 19:28:11 MDT Print View


I too toss and turn a lot and I have tried several different quilts and kept coming back to sleeping bags until I tried one of Tim Marshall's Enlightened Equipment quilts.
Since then I have never slept better. I am going to order a 0 degree down quilt soon to go with my 25 degree synthetic.

I think one of the secrets with a quilt is to get it somewhat over sized to have ample room, especially if you toss and turn a lot. With Tim you have endless options and excellent customer service.

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
Don't necessarily want it tied to the pad on 09/19/2012 19:55:59 MDT Print View

I sleep cold, so this may or may not work for you, but I find if I tuck the quilt around me I sleep much more warmly than if I attach to the pad. I do toss and turn quite a bit myself, but haven't had any issues with the quilt giving me cold spots. Next week-end I will be sleeping at altitude with the coldest temps I've encountered yet this summer, so I'll know a little more after that trip. I too purchased an EE Rev X quilt, and really like it.

Jack Elliott
(JackElliott) - F

Locale: Bend, Oregon, USA
New 2 Quilts Myself on 09/19/2012 20:07:28 MDT Print View

Loki wrote, "Do quilts usually strap around sleeping pads? I've read that you tuck them under you, but that sounds like I'd just be inviting myself to waking up at 3 in the morning freezing."

On warmish nights I just pitch the quilt atop the mattress, leave the strappies undone, and use it like a, well, quilt, sticking legs or arms out as needed to dump excess heat. But on my last trip, which went down below freezing night after night, I wrapped the straps under the mattress and cinched the neck drawstring. I slept warmly, and never slipped nor slid off the mattress.

I turn a lot a night, being a side sleeper which causes the lower shoulder to get achy, and the quilt didn't turn with me, it stayed atop me without hassle.

I'm liking the flexibility of a quilt, and don't mind at all not having to carry a bunch of excess down and nylon which gets uselessly mashed under my body.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Hesitant about buying a quilt because I toss and turn a lot" on 09/19/2012 20:10:53 MDT Print View

You don't have to go the quilt route to save weight a top quality bag would be lighter, but not cheap of course. If you want to go with a quilt getting one wide enough is the key. The Enlightened Equipment quilts are a great fit and the Zpacks quilt/bags also look very promising.

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Re: hesitant about buying a quilt because I toss and turn a lot on 09/20/2012 00:53:47 MDT Print View


I toss and turn a lot too, and sleep on my stomach. i don't use straps to attach my quilt to sleep pad. Rather, I just remove those and then tuck the quilt under me. No problems whatsoever and I tend to sleep cold.

I have a Katabatic Gear down quilt and an EE synthetic quilt. I would recommend either one.


Ozzy McKinney
(PorcupinePhobia) - F

Locale: PNW
It works on 09/20/2012 01:22:39 MDT Print View

I'm in the same boat- toss n turn, stomach/side sleeper, and I run hot. I moved to a quilt and love it, because I don't have to decide "turn in the bag, or with the bag", and because i CAN throw it off in the middle of the night when I'm too hot.

On a side note, I'm a budget oriented guy and didn't want to spend a couple hundred bucks to try the quilt thing, so I MYOGd myself a climashield/ripstop 2nds quilt for about 60$ and I'm stoked on it.

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Don't be hesitant on 09/20/2012 04:34:56 MDT Print View

The whole toss-and-turn side-sleeper issue is why I went to quilts in the first place, so yes, I think they work.

I have five quilts, the four mentioned in that article and a new one (30 F) that I am taking out for 9 days starting next week.

I am really thinking hard about having Tim make me a Cuben winter quilt to see if I can even take them below 0 F.

I never attach my quilts to the pad. That just creates air space you need to heat when it is cold and keeps you from ventilating easily when you are too warm. In fact all of my 30 F or higher rated quilts have the straps removed.

Here's a couple of reviews of quilts you can buy too. ;-)

Edited by rayestrella on 09/20/2012 04:54:32 MDT.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: hesitant about buying a quilt because I toss and turn a lot on 09/20/2012 04:51:02 MDT Print View


I can relate to the tossing and turning issue under a quilt. Still I don't intend to go back to conventional bags. Rather I've been kicking around the idea of a "quag" or a "bailt" (quilt + bag). ;-)

Here's a MYOG idea.

As someone else said earlier add some width at the top of the quilt, especially at the shoulders. Instead of leaving the back or bottom of the quilt open add a layer of un-insulated material that "closes up" the back / bottom of the quilt to prevent drafts. You could even add a small size zipper like a #3 or a little larger to one side of the back. If you place your pad inside of yur "quag" ;-) you wouldn't feel the zipper at all. If this all works out as I have described your quilt / quag should stay put while you twist and turn during the night.

I plan on using a drawstring at the top that cinches up around the neck. I realize that reaching the zipper that I described could be a little difficult. Entry and exit to a "quag" could be achieved in the same manner as a simple drawstring style bivy.

Party On,


Josh Garst
Quilts are amazing on 09/20/2012 06:19:05 MDT Print View

Loki, I used the standard mummy bag for awhile and always got twisted in it and found it very confining. For the past three weeks I've been using an enLIGHTed quilt everyday. I toss and turn through the night and kind of sprawl out when i sleep. I could not be happier with my quilt. The way the quilt zips and buttons up makes it very easy to regulate the temperature.

At the feet the quilt zips up to just over my calfs, then buttons together to my hips, from there you can use cord to tie the torso together, then a final button snap is at the shoulders, along with a draft collar. I've been using the quilt as a blanket the entire time. After using the quilt I'll never go back to a normal bag. I plan on buying another one for spring/summer use.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: hesitant about buying a quilt because I toss and turn a lot on 09/23/2012 09:25:28 MDT Print View

Any sleeping bag can pretty much turn into a quilt (with a stitched footbox).

The benefits of a quilt are usually slightly less weight and the ability to toss and turn without the hood getting in your way.

The benefits of a sleeping bag are the elimination of drafts.

I prefer a stitched footbox once temps get around freezing. I found that a drawstring footbox doesn't work as well, even if you plug the hole.

The ZPacks sleeping bags have both benefits. The weight of a quilt, no hood, and the elimination of drafts. Unzip it and you have a wide quilt with a stitched footbox. You can't loose - if you can afford one.

I prefer a synthetic quilt for temperatures 45 and above (summer or warm climates). I prefer a sleeping bag for temperatures 40 and below (3-season). I'm not a fan of all the gimmicks to keep a quilt closed off to drafts. They generally work most of the time, but it's the last thing I want to mess with at 2am when I'm tired. They're not foolproof.

Edited by lindahlb on 09/23/2012 09:30:36 MDT.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Another side sleeper on 09/23/2012 11:26:02 MDT Print View

I use Zpacks sleeping bags, and am very happy with them. They work as a quilt or a bag, depending on how hot/cold it is. See my review (and a few tweaks) here:

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Katabatic quilts are great for people who toss and turn. on 09/23/2012 11:44:49 MDT Print View

I have a Katabatic quilt and I toss and turn a lot. With the pad attachment system, the quilt stays firmly in place despite my thrashing. It feels a lot like sleeping in a conventional sleeping bag (no drafts, wraps itself around you, don't have to tuck it) except you can slide the pad clips to make it super wide for a warm night or cinch it down tightly around you when it gets cold.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
zpacks on 09/23/2012 12:48:11 MDT Print View

+1 on the Zpacks bags, they look very promising. Cheaper, higher quality down 900, and way lighter than western mt. bags. Also dri-down is a free upgrade.

Tom Lyons
(towaly) - F

Locale: Smoky Mtns.
hoodless bag on 09/23/2012 13:14:30 MDT Print View

I have a hoodless summer bag, the Montbell Super-Spiral UL Down Hugger.
It's under 14 ounces, so it's as light as a quilt too. But it zips up all the way when I want it to.
I sometimes unzip it and use it in quilt mode in the warmer months.
Any hoodless sleeping bag should be able to do this role.
I use it as a bag when it gets cooler, and when it gets below the temps that this bag can handle, I have another bag for that.
In the cool/cold, I prefer the bag. In the warmer times, I can go quilt. I don't like drafts up my back when I'm sleeping in cold weather.

You have to try things out for yourself.

Edited by towaly on 09/23/2012 13:25:56 MDT.

Diana Vann
(DianaV) - MLife

Locale: Wandering
Consider the wide version/Katabatic quilts are great for people who toss and turn. on 09/23/2012 14:14:13 MDT Print View

I also have a Katabatic quilt, and I agree that it stays in place well, though I do sometimes tuck it in when the weather's cold. It feels incredibly luxurious--sort of like being enveloped in a soft cloud. I opted for the wider version, which is something to consider if you tend to toss and turn (or sleep on your side). I'm not sure the narrow width would be adequate for side sleepers or folks who toss and turn.

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 09/23/2012 19:32:24 MDT Print View

I'd love to see some pics of side/belly sleepers actually in their quilts. I still don't see how my fellow belly sleepers keep their arms covered unless they get an extra long quilt. And if the arms aren't covered, how do you keep the heat from pouring out around the shoulders and neck?

A quilt that fits up to your neck when sleeping on one's back can't possibly give enough coverage if you're on your belly and have your arms around a camp pillow.

Help me see the light! :)

Edited by El_Canyon on 09/23/2012 19:33:12 MDT.

toss n turn on 09/23/2012 20:51:08 MDT Print View

I like quilts in warmer weather because I toss and turn. I get twisted up in mummy bags doing that, and the hood gets in the way too.