Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Quilt, Sleeping Bag, Loft-I have questions
Display Avatars Sort By:
Kevin Hall
(ClassicMagger) - F
Quilt, Sleeping Bag, Loft-I have questions on 11/12/2012 16:00:07 MST Print View

Okay, I know these topics have been beat to death and I have used the search feature, but at this point I'm trying to make some decisions and need some help.

I've decided on getting rid of my current sleeping bags, which have served me well and consolidate to 2-3 quilts or sleeping bags that were in my go to temperate rating before.

1. What is the difference or why is there such a drastic difference in WM and Feathered Friends loft for a 10 degree sleeping bag (~6 inch) in comparison to Enlightened Equipment and Z-Packs Quilts (~3.25 inches)?

2. When looking at a quilt is Cuben Fiber realistically a smart option? The main purpose of the bag I have in question will be for a CDT Thru-Hike next year. Is it going to be TOO warm since it would act like a complete vapor barrier in a quilt?

3. Should I look into the new(er) downs? Dry Down and Down Tec or is good old 850-900 fill what YOU would go with if you were in my shoes?

4. Out of the quilts I have looked at it seems like Enlightened Equipment, Jacks R Better, and Z-Packs are my main options…is there someone else I should be looking at? Any one of these manufactures significantly better than one of the others or perhaps offer something that would make you go with them above another?

Thank-you very kindly for your help in advance.

-Kevin

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Quilt, Sleeping Bag, Loft-I have questions" on 11/12/2012 17:46:11 MST Print View

1. What is the difference or why is there such a drastic difference in WM and Feathered Friends loft for a 10 degree sleeping bag (~6 inch) in comparison to Enlightened Equipment and Z-Packs Quilts (~3.25 inches)?

Quilts only have down on the top so you basically have 3 inches of down on top of you. The WM and FF figures are for a bag so half the loft is under you.

2. When looking at a quilt is Cuben Fiber realistically a smart option? The main purpose of the bag I have in question will be for a CDT Thru-Hike next year. Is it going to be TOO warm since it would act like a complete vapor barrier in a quilt?

No expert here, but likely to be too warm at least some of the time. Also a question of durability on a thru hike.

3. Should I look into the new(er) downs? Dry Down and Down Tec or is good old 850-900 fill what YOU would go with if you were in my shoes?

I would probably not get what is something of a beta technology quite yet. However I would contact Katabtic Gear and find out what water resistant down they are using. Please note I ignored this advice myself:).

4. Out of the quilts I have looked at it seems like Enlightened Equipment, Jacks R Better, and Z-Packs are my main options…is there someone else I should be looking at? Any one of these manufactures significantly better than one of the others or perhaps offer something that would make you go with them above another?

I would definitely look at Katabatic Gear. According to Tim Enlightened Equipment will be raising their prices some time soonish and redesigning their quilts. With quilts a lot of it comes down to the cut of the quilt and if it is right for your sleeping style. If you can't decide I would order from a number of manufacturers and try them out. I have a quilt from Zpacks, E Equipment and JRB and would say the following.

1. JRB No-sniveller - too narrow, but JRB make wider quilts now. Well made and true to temp rating.

2. Enlightened equipment - Very well made and very roomy in the wide half taper cut. Almost too roomy for me. Great value, but I personally don't like the karo baffling, but there are many, many happy customers.

3. Zpacks - I have a 30 degree quilt with water-resistant down in 800 fill. Only got it a few weeks ago, so hasn't been used outside yet. It is regular width extra long and this allows me to pull over my head (I am 6 foot). The fit is great for me as a side/stomach sleeper. Not quite as good as the EE quilt for stomach sleeping, but there is less bag volume to heat up. Construction quality is not as good as EE quilt of JRB quilt.

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
questions on 11/12/2012 17:50:08 MST Print View

The loft on the sleeping bag is total loft. That is two layers of bag. The quilt is one layer. So really your examples are very comparable.

Vapor barriers work best at very cold temps, and with no baselayers (or very thin at the least). I don’t break mine out until it is around 0 F. Above freezing they will be very uncomfortable and do nothing to make you feel warmer. I have never used a Cuben quilt but there should be many here to steer you right.

I have been pretty impressed with what I saw of the DownTek and DryDown, but unless it was available for no, or little, added expense I would not bother with it unless I was around a lot of rain (the PNW or such). My quilts have dried quickly the few times they got damp. That is why I like a black inside shell for mine. I do like as high a fill-power as possible.

Those are three choices, plus there are a lot more out there. There’s also Nunatak Gear, Katabatic Gear, and GoLite makes a couple models. If you are buying this for next year Brooks Range will have a few temps of their new Cloak quilt.

Good luck and welcome to quilting.

(Ha, you were a faster typist Jason.)

Edited by rayestrella on 11/12/2012 17:51:30 MST.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Quilt, Sleeping Bag, Loft-I have questions on 11/12/2012 17:53:04 MST Print View

1. What is the difference or why is there such a drastic difference in WM and Feathered Friends loft for a 10 degree sleeping bag (~6 inch) in comparison to Enlightened Equipment and Z-Packs Quilts (~3.25 inches)?

Generally, bags use both the top and bottom layer when measuring loft. A quilt, of course, does not have a bottom layer.

2. When looking at a quilt is Cuben Fiber realistically a smart option? The main purpose of the bag I have in question will be for a CDT Thru-Hike next year. Is it going to be TOO warm since it would act like a complete vapor barrier in a quilt?

Too warm is relative...
If you get a 10F bag made from cuben, it will be usefull to about 25F. Take the same bag to 32F and you will be uncomfortable...alternatly overly hot and cold. For a quilt, at least you have the extra ventilation to help, but any ventilation will be too cold to stick an arm or leg out all night...toss and turn to stay comfortable.

3. Should I look into the new(er) downs? Dry Down and Down Tec or is good old 850-900 fill what YOU would go with if you were in my shoes?
These are unproven in cold weather. They dry significantly faster (between 10-20%, they tout 1/3 but...) That doesn't have a lot to do with frost build up at 10F using a standard shell. They will *still* frost up on the inside. The degree of frost build up and how much it effects the overall loft/warmth is unknown. NikWax Down Proof helps for water and spray off the tarp. Not the same as water vapour/condensation.
An example: Your car windshield is fairly hydrophobic when treated with RainX, bit, it does not stop condensation, it is just easier to wipe off.

4. Out of the quilts I have looked at it seems like Enlightened Equipment, Jacks R Better, and Z-Packs are my main options…is there someone else I should be looking at? Any one of these manufactures significantly better than one of the others or perhaps offer something that would make you go with them above another?
No, I don't use quilts so I cannot say.

Richard Scruggs
(JRScruggs) - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: Quilt, Sleeping Bag, Loft-I have questions on 11/12/2012 18:32:59 MST Print View

I'm not an expert, and have no experience with the bags and quilts you describe, but here are my thoughts after checking websites for some of the bags/quilts you describe, and also based on my experience from researching and then buying the quilt I've been using exclusively for the past 8 or 9 years (Nunatak Arc Alpinist) --

Re your first question: "1. What is the difference or why is there such a drastic difference in WM and Feathered Friends loft for a 10 degree sleeping bag (~6 inch) in comparison to Enlightened Equipment and Z-Packs Quilts (~3.25 inches)?"

Maybe the difference in loft is because quilt manufacturers measure "loft" based on the quilt laid flat (with loft determined by the height of the baffle connecting the inside lining with the outer shell), while sleeping bag manufacturers measure "loft" from the ground up to the height of the puffed-up bag as it lays on the ground all zipped up so that their claimed "loft" reflects twice the baffle height.

If that's the explanation for the difference in loft described/claimed for quilts versus bags, the sleeping bag manufacturer would appear to be claiming about double the height of the baffles connecting the inner lining to the outer lining of the bag as the "loft" of the bag, even though about half of that "loft" would be flattened when you get into the bag. By comparison, it does appear that quilt manufacturers described "loft" that will actually occur as you lay under the quilt.

The height of the baffle would sure seem to be a pretty important consideration for comparing bags and quilts since the height of baffles (which limit loft to a degree regardless of the nature of the shell material and the quality/quantity of down) are a true indicator of the amount of loft that can be provided by the down that's actually covering you (rather than the down that's crushed flat underneath you).

Re your second and third questions about a cuben quilt vs a "new down" quilt vs a "good old 850/900" down quilt -- I like that "good old" stuff because it's good and it's likely a lot less expensive than cuben or the newer stuff, plus it seems like a cuben quilt wouldn't breath, pretty quickly leaving you with wet down.

Re your fourth question about any other quilt manufacturer to check out, you might look at the quilts at the Nunatak website --

http://www.nunatakusa.com/index.html

Nunatak quilts are expensive but very well made, and you can customize to fit your needs, e.g., length, fill weight, baffel height, differential cut.

Edited by JRScruggs on 11/12/2012 18:37:35 MST.

Nathan Stuart
(forest.)

Locale: Hunter Valley - Australia
HG on 11/13/2012 04:01:59 MST Print View

Don't forget hammockgear.com
I have 2 custom M50/7d quilts from Adam and they are amazing. He's happy to do any custom work you like and is full of great ideas.

Not sure on your size but don't make the mistake of getting a TQ that is too narrow if its for ground camping. Im a 56" wide fan myself. No draft gaps.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Quilt, Sleeping Bag, Loft-I have questions on 11/13/2012 13:56:59 MST Print View

I will answer the only thing that I have actual experience on:

A bag design will be warmer, all other things being equal (same fabric, same top loft etc...), and if it has a full length zipper it can also be opened out and used as a quilt. A down bag will also be warmer if you are one of those few people who use the likes of an X-frame sleeping pad, as the pad actually makes use of the down on the bottom to add warmth to the pad.

Cuben fiber adds a little warmth a lot of wind resistance. My Enlightened Equipment 'quilt' is a hybrid custom design which can be used as a quilt or a top-bag (like a sleeping bag but with only fabric n the bottom). When it's warm enough to use as a quilt, I have essentially no problems with condensation. When it gets cold enough that I convert it to a top-bag, I usually get around an ounce of condensation per night inside the down of the bag, which is a little higher than I get with a non-cuben bag, but not a lot. The condensation sneaks in through the sewn baffle seems. In other words, it does not form a complete VBL because of the seams, but in terms of warmth and wind resistance it is essentially a VPL when closed up tight.

Hope that helps