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My first quilt - one quilt, all seasons, room to move
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Veronique Dault
(verndo) - MLife
My first quilt - one quilt, all seasons, room to move on 01/08/2013 18:06:29 MST Print View

Current gear: Kelty Light Year 3D Mummy Style Sleeping Bag 30 Degree Polarguard, Weight 2.4lbs, 30F rating.

- It has a zipper at the foot box so I can vent if I get too warm. On really warm nights, the zipper wouldn't open enough so I would yank the sleeping bag up to my calves and sleep barefooted.
- Works.
- Has kept me warm during cold spring/summer/fall nights in Northern Ontario and cool nights in Patagonia coupled with an Exped Downmat 7, bivy (see below) and merino base layers.
- I also own an Wild Things 100% eVent bivy sack as a shelter option or to increase the warmth of my sleep system.
- Never used the mummy part, except to hold my makeshift stuff sack pillow in place.

Considering a Down upgrade:
- I get the whole "compressed down equals no heat so it's wasted if it's under you argument" so I'm thinking quilt
- With limited space and limited funds, I would like a one-size-fits-all kind of solution: one that can really open up so I can properly vent in warm conditions but that when cinched up, is crazy hot.
- I am drawn to wide open spaces and cool weather type of hikes in general, even if hot during the day, it can get cold at night.
- Side sleeper at home, I hate how the mummy sleeping bag constricts my movement and that is usually what wakes me up during the night, not the cold or anything else.
- I am a woman, with womanly curves, some of this chest/hip measurements are clearly tailored to V built man frames ;). I can fit within those measurements but there won't be much wiggle room.
- Also, I hate sleeping with clothes on so the most I will wear is merino base layers unless I am absolutely dying of hyperthermia. I prefer nothing though.

- ZPacks 10 or 20 degree quilt, Medium regular or wide cut (I want to be able to move around without any gaps and avoid having to use zipper 90% of the time, footbox looks tight, what happens when you turn to your side? I wear size 6 1/2 shoes.
- Katabatic Pallisade or Sawatch Wide cut (not sure how I feel about having that cord rubbing against my back and feels like it would be tougher to use as a quilt... more like a backlesss mummy sleeping bag but footbox looks more comfy. expensive.
-Nunatak Back Country Quilt, velcro?

Thoughts? Do I just keep using the same ol' gear or do I save 4-500g and more importantly pack something smaller in a hopefully smaller pack on my next adventure? While my 30 degree quilt has served me so far, it has stopped me from sleeping outdoors out here when the thermometer really drops for fear I may put myself in a dangerous situation. I'd like to be able to extend my hiking season which is why I am leaning towards something that is rated for colder weather but that will vent rather well when it's warm outside.

Thank you in advance!

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: My first quilt - one quilt, all seasons, room to move on 01/08/2013 18:53:38 MST Print View

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but nothing that is warm at 0 F is going to vent well enough to work at 60F.

Your best bet (IMO) is a high quality bag for below about 20F and a quilt rated around 30F for everything else. If you live in a wet area, the quilt can (and maybe should) be synthetic.

I haven't seen a Zpacks bag in person, but of the quilts I've handled Katabatic is probably the nicest currently being offered (especially if you want something for the 0 F area). I tested a Katabatic Blackwelder (regular width) down to about 10F and was toasty. I didn't use their attachment system and just tucked it under me. This was in a 'mid so drafts were minimal and not an issue. I'm 5'8 and 135-140 lbs for sizing purposes.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re on 01/08/2013 19:07:59 MST Print View

Lots of options out there, just get something that has a good weight, 20-30 degrees is plenty most the time. Wear down puffys if you need to extend that.

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Re: My first quilt - one quilt, all seasons, room to move on 01/08/2013 19:38:03 MST Print View

I have a katabatic gear palisade that I really love. it's perfect at 30F and a little below. I think KG is conservative with their ratings such that the quilts are actually warmer than rated. However, I have encounterd severe rain and storms that have made me rethink down.
As much as I like my Palisade, if I had it to do over again, I probably would stick with synthetic.

I also have an Enlightend Equipment 40F quilt (synthetic) for warmer endeavors that is actually too warm a lot of the time.

Bottomline, I understand only wanting one quilt, but you made need to be more realistic given the prospective temperature ranges and condions, ie wet, cold or arid and hot, altitude, etc that you expect to encounter on your BP trips. You may end up with at least two quilts. In that case, I suggest having a 20 F temperature rating difference between them as the most efficient set-up. Temperature conditions in between can be made up for by layering for more warmth or venting for less.

Hope this helps.


PS. Oh, and I wouldn't worry about all the strings and doo-dads on the quilts, I never use any of them. I just tuck the quilt around me and be done with it. I toss around a lot, but haven't had a problem keeping covered and warm.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
One quilt for all conditions on 01/08/2013 19:47:13 MST Print View


I agree with Chris that there is no one-size-fits-all-temperatures quilt. That said, a Nunatak Back Country Blanket is a remarkably versatile sleeping quilt.

Like you, I am a cold sleeper and a side sleeper; in fact I switched to quilts because I just couldn't take mummy bags. (I'm also claustrophobic.) My Back Country Blanket (BCB) has six extra inches over Long length and six extra ounces of down. It keeps me warm as a cocoon down to 15-20 F and I can throw it over me uncinched at 60-70 F. Insulation depends on how much of the Velcro I cinch up.

I also moderate temperature with clothing layers, including a down sweater or jacket on top. Sleeping in the buff doesn't work too well with a quilt because of lack of insulation from the waist up. If you really want to continue that, take a look at Jack Stephenson's article on VBL principles at Now that Warmlite has become politically correct you might have to download the catalog to get that.


Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 01/08/2013 20:15:08 MST Print View

Concur with Chris' advice.

Brad Fisher

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: _ on 01/09/2013 06:59:15 MST Print View

+1 Chris

I have the Katabatic Palisade and Sawatch(wide) and they handle all my backpacking needs. I have a couple of western mountaineers, but I prefer the Katabatics over them. You will find mixed reviews on the attachment system. I really like the string/clip attachment. Often times I will just attach one side to keep the quilt in place. If it's really cold I will secure everything and it works great. I'm also one of those guys that will get up at least once during the night.

I used my last weekend for a trip to the Linville Gorge. The temps were low 20's and I used the Sawatch with a Xtherm, base layer and goosefeet. I was toasty all night and didn't even attach one side of the qulit to the string. I would consider myself an average sleeper temp wise.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
quilt on 01/09/2013 11:05:14 MST Print View

For bang for your buck check out enlightened equipment quilts. For just over 200 dollars you can get yourself a 20f quilt. There is no better deal on a high quality down sleeping product.

You dont say what your min temp you want to go down to is but if your current 30f bag is warm enough then a 30f quilt should still work for you. If you think you want a little warmer than go for the 20

Joe S
+1 Enlightened Equipment on 01/09/2013 11:54:39 MST Print View

Tim, the owner, goes above and beyond to answer questions. I highly recommend you shoot him an email and get his thoughts. If you want to know how highly folks think of the value of his product, just search for "EE" or "enlightened equipment" and see what comes up here.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Enlightened Equipment, karo baffles, and broad temp range on 01/09/2013 12:18:35 MST Print View

I have an EE quilt. It's rated at 20*F with 30% overfill. This past weekend I had it in temps around 15*F and wore only my thick winter base layers (no puffy clothing except a down hood) and was warm. I think with extra clothing I could take this quilt into the single digits. Actually, now that I think about it, I originally went to bed with my puffy on and some insulating pants. I woke up during the night because I was way too hot and stripped down to my base layers. Was comfy till morning.

I've also had this quilt in the 40's 50's and 60's. Overkill? Maybe, especially when you could get away with a lighter quilt at those temps, but this quilt can adapt!

Tim uses something called Karo baffles. Basically, the baffle chambers are not totally separated from one another, allowing the down to shift. Normally this is undesirable, but not in this case. The down mostly stays put until you *want* it to move. Then it is quite easy to shift the down around.

If I lay my quilt flat, I can shift nearly all the down (or as much as I want) directly to the center in less than 30 seconds simply by patting the edges. This pushes the down into the center baffles, making it a warmer quilt for colder temps. Conversely, if it is a warmer night, I can pat the center of the quilt, forcing the down out to the edges, again in about 30 seconds. This means there is less down directly over me, making the quilt not so hot.

You also have the options to zip up and cinch down the footbox or lay the quilt flat for more venting to tailor it to the temps you are experiencing.

The argument can easily be made that getting two quilts designed for their respective temp ranges is more practical, but if you want or can only afford ONE quilt to do it all, I highly recommend an Enlightened Equipment quilt. For 24 ounces, I have a 4 season quilt, and its versatility makes it one of my favorite pieces of gear.

P.S. I think the 30% overfill option actually keeps the down in place better since the quilt is more "full," making it harder for the down to shift around on its own.

P.P.S If you need special sizing, talk to Tim. He was great to work with. I'm 5'11", 170lbs and I have the 6' foot regular size quilt. Fits me well.

Edited by T.L. on 01/09/2013 12:27:01 MST.

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
all season quilt. on 01/09/2013 12:25:32 MST Print View

check out the Enlightened Equipment Epiphany Quilt.
It's a cubin quilt that inflates so you can adjust the loft.
I have a zero degree epiphany with huge loft but I have also been
able to use it in 40 degree weather just by keeping the loft compressed.
I'll post some pictures. If it's a hot night then I fip the quilt over
and just sleep on top of it until it cools down at 3 am.

I also have a Sawatch quilt and you can't go wrong with either.

I'll post some pictures later so you see what I mean.

Barry P
(BarryP) - F

Locale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
Re: My first quilt - one quilt, all seasons, room to move on 01/09/2013 12:58:51 MST Print View

Well, since no one else did, I’ll put my plug in for the 20F zpack quilt.
I love my WM bags and my Jacks-R-Better quilts but I keep going back to the zpack 20F for 3+ season hiking.
Mine weighs 16.4oz and thus its light weight is more attracted to my Murmer backpack.

When I wear Teramur lightweight longjohns for pajamas, I stay warm at 20F (with my neoair underneath).

Good luck in your sleeping choice.

Veronique Dault
(verndo) - MLife
keep the comments coming! on 01/09/2013 13:52:56 MST Print View

More options = more confusion but also ensures that when I do take the plunge, I'll know I took the time to make the right decision. ;)

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
women on 01/09/2013 14:30:52 MST Print View

one thing no one has mentioned is that the average woman will require a bag that is 10F or so warmer than the average man for the same level of comfort ...

and no amount of BPL positive thinking can change physiology ;)

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
pic on 01/11/2013 18:45:02 MST Print View

A picture is worth a 1000 words

this is a photo of 4 quilts:
from left to right
classic cubin enlightened quilt 15 degree 14.35 oz
Katabatic Sawatch 15 degree 24.5 oz
Katabatic Palisade with 4 oz over stuff
Enlightened Equipment Epiphany cubin quilt 20 oz zero degree bag


in warm weather don't inflate it! Now it covers a wide temp range.


With the Epiphany quilt you control how much loft the bag has, keep in uninflated in warmer temps and give it loft when it gets cold. You can open up the top and bottom in warm weather to let heat out or drap it loose over yourself. If it's 60 I would probably just drap it over my legs and sleep in my jacket. I have not used it in 60 degree weather but I have been comfortable with it at 48 degrees and also at 15 degrees.


with me in the Epiphany warm as a bug in a rug, I sold off the Palisade and the Sawatch ready for zero degree weather.


Edited by anthonyweston on 01/11/2013 18:52:03 MST.

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
My first quilt - one quilt, all seasons, room to move on 01/11/2013 19:03:37 MST Print View

The big tradeoff with the epiphany aside from price is you have to baby it.
You pack in a large stuff sack and give it lots of space so the cubin doesn't get stressed out. It's the warmest quilt I know for the weight. I tried em all but this is my goto quilt. How long will it last, forever with duct tape, not sure probably longer than I will.

Veronique Dault
(verndo) - MLife
Epiphany not currently available on 01/14/2013 16:28:06 MST Print View

I wish I had access to more info as to what it will be and when it will be available to see if it's a contender.

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Epiphany not currently available on 01/14/2013 16:30:56 MST Print View

Should be back next month.