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Attaching Quilt to the Pad
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Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Attaching Quilt to the Pad on 10/22/2012 14:48:13 MDT Print View

Here's the system I made to couple two NeoAir pads and attach our MYOG Love Bird Quilt to the pads.

• Secure the pads to each other with no gap in between.
• Secure the quilt to the pads.
• Make it easy to attach and detach the system.
• Allow me to 1) leave the quilt unattached for warm weather, 2) attach the edge of the quilt to the edge of the pad for cool weather, or 3) cinch the quilt under our bodies for cold weather. The system is functionally like Katabatic - and is, I think, the best way to stay warm with a top quilt, as shown in the diagrams on the Katabatic Gear website -

On our prior double-quilt, we attached the quilt to the pad-couplers using velcro. The design was easy to use, but the velcro was in a fixed location so we couldn't pull the bag in under our bodies in cold conditions. When I made this quilt I wanted a system that was adjustable.

Two couplers. Each made with 85" of 3/4" gros-grain ribbon. Finished length is 40.5".
Two 3/4" Center Release Buckles on each coupler, male half, pointing toward the outer edge of the pads.
Female half of the buckles are sewn to the edge of the quilt. The fitting points outbound, and the hole (where the male fitting snaps into place) points DOWN toward the ground.
When you fold the edge of the quilt under to attach it to the strap, the female fitting on the bag mates with the male fitting on the strap.
The male fitting can slide along the strap, so we can cinch it snug when it's cold.

We marked our pads with the strap location so we don't have to fuss with it to get it right every night.

It uses the same materials and concept that Nunatak uses, but on his bags the straps are not attached to the pad, so that if you roll over you need to keep the quilt centered above you. With this system, the quilt stays in place when you roll around.

We use two couplers. One is at the armpit, which allows me to put my arm out without unclipping, although I do unclip to get in and out of the tent. The second is at my upper thigh.

We've used it for five nights and it was just great. The only downside is that the grosgrain ribbon is not stiff enough to prevent the sliding buckle from crinkling or folding the gros-grain. It's not hard to keep everything aligned, but you do have to pay attention. Edited Feb21: Quest Outfitters sells gros grain ribbon in FIRM or SOFT. Turns out the yellow gros grain was of the SOFT variety, thus the crinkling. I've now built with FIRM gros grain and it is better.

Each coupler and associated female bit weighs 16 grams.

Edited Feb5: In my original post I had a loop lock between the two pads to form the figure 8, but after using it decided it doesn't work as well as my old method, which was just to stitch the grosgrain together. I pulled out the loop lock and now I just stitch the grosgrain with a 1.5" vertical wall - photo below:
pad coupler 4

View from inside the bag, about to attach the quilt to the coupler.

View from inside the bag, with the buckle out at the edge, when the weather is fair.

View from inside the bag, with the buckle cinched in under the shoulder, when the weather is colder.

Overall view of the system, with the head end of the quilt folded back to expose one of the couplers.

Edited by drongobird on 02/21/2013 11:59:18 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Attaching Quilt to the Pad on 10/22/2012 15:55:38 MDT Print View

Very imaginative and creative.

I like how you used the buckles in a way they didn't really intend

That nicely gets around the problem of quilt being drafty in cold weather

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Attaching Quilt to the Pad on 10/24/2012 19:48:42 MDT Print View

Great minds;)

Good job!


Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Attaching Quilt to the Pad - design update after some usage on 02/06/2013 18:06:10 MST Print View

I updated my original post with new info, based on more usage.

1) the loop lock to form the figure-8 was not worth it and didn't work as well as the old method of sewing into a figure 8, so I've gone back to the old method. I made a 1.5" vertical wall, which seems to work about right for a NeoAir.

2) I found an old coupler made from gros grain which is slightly thicker, not by much and no measurable weight penalty. But the thicker gros grain doesn't frumple and wrinkle when I slide the plastic bit. MUCH better. I ordered "firm" gros grain from Quest Outfitters and it is AOK, better than the "soft" gros grain I originally used.

3) I just noticed Tim's (Enlightened Equipment) announcement that his quilts now attach to the pads. Now I understand the Oct 24 comment :)
Tim, is your solution essentially the same, or did you find something better that I should know about?

4) Worth noting -- Jim and I liked this system a lot. But AlanD and his wife borrowed our double quilt for a cold week and they thought the clips were a nuisance. On the other hand, they said they don't thrash at night and that neither of them are cover-pigs, so they just tuck and don't attach at all. (The just-tuck method doesn't work in my bed because one of us is a cover pig -- not going to divulge if that's me or Jim).

Edited by drongobird on 02/21/2013 12:00:01 MST.

And E
(LunchANDYnner) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
thanks for the great tutorial on 03/14/2013 00:16:37 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the great info and ideas. I'm currently making my first quilt and bought .5" buckles like yours and am using .5" elastic around the pad instead of grosgrain. I remember having seen this post awhile back and couldn't remember where I saw/got the idea for the attachment method I was going to use as I started planning my first quilt. Then I remembered there's a search function (duh) and found your post again.

Anyways, thanks for the great idea, I'm totally borrowing it for my quilt!

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Attaching Quilt to the Pad on 03/14/2013 08:51:26 MDT Print View

Rather than having webbing or grosgrain

Sew a waterproof piece of fabric, like silnylon, to the bottom of the quilt around the edges.

Then you'll be protected from the ground

No drafts around edges

Just slip pad in and sleep on it

Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Attaching Quilt to the Pad on 03/14/2013 10:59:57 MDT Print View

In prior quilts I have used something similar to Jerry's method -- sewing a pad sleeve to the bottom of the quilt.

I have subsequently found that the ability to tuck the edges of the quilt in under our bodies makes a difference when the weather is cold and we're pushing the temp limits of the quilt. Katabatic illustrates the difference well - - and I've found their description of eliminating air pockets to be spot on.

I also prefer the clips instead of a sewn-on bottom when the weather is warm, as it's easier to stick arms and legs out from under the quilt.

Everybody finds their own sweet spot, and at least for now we're enjoying the Katabatic model (but wish Katabatic would sell their clips since I think they'd work better than the buckles we used).

FWIW, on our next trip I'm going to experiment with using velcro on one pad strap and the clips on the other and see which we like more after several weeks on the trail.

Edited by drongobird on 03/14/2013 11:00:53 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Attaching Quilt to the Pad on 03/14/2013 12:35:24 MDT Print View

I agree air pockets on sides are a negative

But if there are no air gaps between pocket and outside it's not so bad.

With regular quilt, as you toss and turn, or if it's windy, it seems like there will be air gaps and outside air will blow inside quilt.

Also, wearing insulated vest or jacket will help.

Jordo _99
(jordo_99) - MLife

Locale: Nebraska
Just a few ideas on 03/15/2013 09:54:48 MDT Print View

@Amy -- I've thought about using one of the plastic pieces from a loaf of bread (used to close up the end instead of a twist tie...could also take a sturdy foam or plastic and dremel it to get it to work...that's what I'm probably going to end up doing on the quilt I'm making for a forum member now.

I'll post back my results if I end up going the "dremel route", which is very likely...just need to come up with a material to use and figure out how I want to attach it to the quilt.

And E
(LunchANDYnner) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Dremel/drill on 03/15/2013 10:04:36 MDT Print View

You could try those cheap plastic plastic cutting "boards," more like sheets. Or some thin sheets of ABS plastic or something if you have a TAP plastic nearby like me. Could also use polystyrene sheets from a hobby store. I might try making my own katabatic style clip as well.

like, buy 1/8" ABS or HDPE, whatever plastic feels rigid enough, but flexible enough it wont snap and do this (sorry, just drew it in paint, not so good with google sketch up)

Edited by LunchANDYnner on 03/15/2013 10:16:48 MDT.

Backpack Jack
(jumpbackjack) - F

Locale: Armpit of California
Dremel/drill on 03/15/2013 20:53:22 MDT Print View


If you decide to make some of these I'd buy as many as you would sell me, I'd like to use that style on my next MYOG quilt

And E
(LunchANDYnner) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
woops, flaw in my drawing on 03/16/2013 11:53:40 MDT Print View

Hey Jack, I'll definitely give you a heads up. I'll probably give it a shot next week after my finals. All I have are a power drill and hand tools, so it'll take some time, but it'll be fun. I'll see if TAP can cut whatever plastic I want into 1" squares.

One goof I realized I made in the drawing was the placement of the grosgrain attachment. The slot for attaching the clip to the grosgrain should run parallel to the holes/slit for the cordage. That way, any tension would cause the cordage holes to grip the cord.

Edited by LunchANDYnner on 03/16/2013 11:55:41 MDT.

Backpack Jack
(jumpbackjack) - F

Locale: Armpit of California
woops, flaw in my drawing on 03/16/2013 18:54:11 MDT Print View

Actually An-D the line that runs up and down I really don't need, I'm going to sew right through the plastic to the quilt.

Thanks for the offer, Jack

Jordo _99
(jordo_99) - MLife

Locale: Nebraska
Katabatic knock-off pad "dongles" on 03/21/2013 08:28:00 MDT Print View

I ended up finishing up a quilt for another forum member and took some's one of the pad attachment:

attached to pad

2 pieces

It's made from a CD case (not the hard, square jewel cases) that has some flex to it. It's soft enough of plastic that I could round the edges by rubbing it on carpet and cut the grooves with a dull box cutter.

Edited by jordo_99 on 03/21/2013 08:32:05 MDT.