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Overnight testing experience with down quilt
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Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
comments to OP on 12/25/2012 05:36:04 MST Print View

Hey Jeff,

I am a quilt user down to 0 F (I have five) and am a side-sleeper like you. As many have said, I think the biggest thing you need to change is your pad. Side sleepers concentrate their weight on the shoulder and hip. Your combo would have left me in agony. I take either some flavor of NeoAir or a 3-1/2 thick down pad to give me plenty of room for my body to conform to the pad without hitting ground. I am using an XTherm right now and am very impressed.

At the temps you were at I do use the under-straps but just tight enough to keep the quilt from opening as I turn over. I almost never cinch them tight. I want to move under the quilt, not turn it with me. Of more importance is cinching the top closed to keep from bleeding off heat around your neck.

At the temps described I use a fleece beanie, but any lower I bring a down balaclava.

Personally I don’t think it is wise to wear the clothes I hike hard in to bed. Why get the quilt dirty? At some point it will start affecting the down unless you plan to wash it often.

Jeff McWilliams
(jjmcwill) - M

Locale: Midwest
Lots of great input on 12/27/2012 08:13:38 MST Print View

Thanks for lots of great comments. It's interesting to read the varying thoughts and perspectives.

The ground I was sleeping on that night was my back yard, which is typical lawn. It was damp with a little snow here and there.Quarter dome tent the night I tested my quilt

I definitely concur that I was probably losing a lot of heat to the ground.

I will probably do another test on Saturday night. We received about 4" of snow yesterday. It may be a good excuse to get out my mountaineering tent, a Black Diamond Stormtrack 2, which I took up Olympus & Rainier in 2011 on a traditional mountaineering trip.

I'm amazed at the "R" value Thermarest is able to deliver in the NeoAir XTherm for the weight. I'm definitely interested in this pad.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
comments to OP on 12/27/2012 14:00:34 MST Print View

Thanks for the experienced view Ray. Since I have a big investment in WM winter bags, I'll see down the road sometime to get a summer quilt to enable me to eventually get a small pack, smaller shelter. Winter gear is too expensive to replace, it was hard enough getting to that point to even own any.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Overnight testing experience with down quilt on 01/07/2013 15:15:40 MST Print View

Considering you were warmer sleeping on your back, than on your side, your problem is NOT the sleeping pad. The more surface area you put on your pad, the more the pad contributes to your overall warmth.

The problem is solely due to drafts. I've found the same problem with quilts when used without a bivy. I've found that quilts only really work well for me down to about 35 degrees. Any colder, and draft elimination is necessary. I chose a 20 degree ZPacks bag, coupled with a 45 degree quilt that I can take down to 40 degrees with a down jacket. I can also unzip the Zpacks bag and use it as a quilt during warmer temperatures to bridge the difference.

Not all side-sleepers have problems with drafts - it all depends on how restless you are. I tend to toss and turn when I'm awake, but sleep without moving much. A quilt works fine for me in warm weather, since once I fall asleep, I won't wake up from being too cold (because I'm no longer introducing drafts from tossing and turning). But in colder temperatures, the drafts from all the tossing and turning while waiting to fall asleep keeps me too cold - it's simply too cold for my body to comfortably recover from.

Edited by lindahlb on 01/07/2013 15:17:12 MST.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Overnight testing experience with down quilt on 03/22/2013 16:14:18 MDT Print View

I was bored at work and looking at other stuff when I came across this thread again.

Thinking about it more, and looking at your gear, it actually could have also been the lack of extra insulation on your legs. When lying on your back, more surface area of your legs would be insulated by the pad. In addition, your legs are more exposed to air movement when on your side. You also mentioned that you felt better whenever you moved your legs around to get blood flowing. If not drafts, I think the imbalance of insulation between your top and bottom may have been the culprit.

Drew Jay

Locale: Central Coast
Drafts on 03/22/2013 21:52:38 MDT Print View

It's been mentioned, but the draft issue is easy to fix. Just slide your pad inside the top 1/2-2/3 of the quilt and adjust the straps so that the sides of the quilt tuck under the pad a few inches. You can then roll around inside the quilt as much as you want without drafts. It is a bit trickier to seal the top around your neck when you do this but it can be done.

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
using a blue pad to cut out drafts on 03/22/2013 23:07:32 MDT Print View


Pedro Arvy
(PedroArvy) - MLife

Locale: Melbourne
Situps on 03/23/2013 04:06:15 MDT Print View

If this happens again, try doing situps until you warm up. That should stir up quite a bit of heat. This will keep you warm until you wake. Once you are cold its hard to warm up by adding layers.

Don Selesky
(backslacker) - M
Re: Drafts on 03/23/2013 06:03:41 MDT Print View

I used a Nunatak 5F quilt last winter on a trip where it was getting fairly close to 0F. I was sleeping in shelter, and started off with the quilt straps under the pad. As I wad getting cool with this setup I moved the straps directly under me, and that made a bid difference in how warm I was. Basically, you need some way to seal off the quilt so that drafts don't sap the warm air from around you. The Nunatak quilt comes with UL straps that snap together, and allow you to tighten them as much as necessary.