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Looking for a synthetic quilt
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Andy Anderson
(ianders) - F

Locale: Southeast
Looking for a synthetic quilt on 02/03/2013 07:03:20 MST Print View

Has anybody tried the Enlightened Equipment Prodigy 30 quilt? I thinking about giving one a try. Living on the east coast most of my trips are to the NC and Virginia Mountains. My experience is that on trips with high humidity or even a little rain, I only get good loft in my down quilt (Ultra 20) on the first night. I can notice less loft each night after. Seems like everybody on the forum uses down. Are many people in my area using synthetic? I've also considered the MLD Spirit quilts, buth they seem a little narrow compared to my Ultra 20.

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
RE: Looking for a synthetic quilt on 02/03/2013 10:11:04 MST Print View

Hi Andy,

The EE Prodigy 30 would be an excellent quilt for the Southern Highlands, especially for trips with some precipitation. It will also combine well with other gear you have/may have to create a modular sleep system that should cover any conditions expected other than severe cold, say below 0F.

I use a system quite similar to what I'm proposing for all conditions encountered in the SE. The components in my system are as follows: MYOG Climashield XP5.0 quilt, Marmot Hydrogen down bag, down clothing layers, synthetic puffy layers. I can combine these in a number of configurations to handle the expected conditions. The synthetic quilt is key for a couple of reasons:

1) When used over my bag it shifts the condensation point from inside the down bag to either inside the synthetic quilt or between the two. This allows me to preserve the integrity of the down as regards moisture accumulation. This comes into play in temps below 20F.

2) I use the quilt combined with my synthetic puffies for what seems to be the most common winter conditions for us: mixed precipitation and temps between 25F and 35F. Down gets really hard to manage in such conditions, thus I often go out with only synthetic layers. Articles and forum threads here concerning shoulder season conditions are an excellent resource; what folks in the Rockies call "shoulder season" conditions is what our winters are like.

3) I use the quilt as my sole insulation on warmer weather trips. Up to about 45F I'll carry along an insulated jacket, above that just the quilt. This, combined with good raingear and a good shelter, allow me to hike worry-free on long wet trips, without worrying about taking sun-breaks to dry gear or stopping early enough to build a fire to dry gear.

There are a couple of drawbacks to my system. It is definitely heavier and bulkier than a single bag/quilt solution. You may need a bigger pack, not sure what your using. It is also more complex and "fiddly"; I can appreciate the simplicity and elegance of a single bag/quilt solution.

I say go for the quilt, the only question to me is whether to get the 40F or the 30F. The 40F might be more versatile for you, it will definitely be lighter and more compact. Enlightened Equipment makes great gear, so no worries on that front.

Andy Anderson
(ianders) - F

Locale: Southeast
Prodigy stuffed size on 02/03/2013 14:31:31 MST Print View

Anybody have any ides on the stuffed size of the EE Prodigy quilts in 30 or 40 degree sizes?

Christine Thuermer
(GermanTourist) - F - M

Locale: in my tent
EE Prodigy Quilt on 02/04/2013 06:02:29 MST Print View

I use a EE Prodigy 20 and have used it for about 100 nights now - and I am very happy with it. I have bought it for a thrupaddle of the Mississippi in fall/winter and a 5 week winter hike in the Southern Appalachians. It turned out to be the ideal gear for these conditions. I honestly don't know whether I would have survived my winter trip with a down bag.

I am more or less constantly living outdoors for 5 years now and like almost everyone else here I started out with down sleeping bags. They work great for certain conditions (dry climates), but overall I found them more and more unreliable. I made the same observations like you. In humid or wet conditions the down degrades quickly turning the down bag into an unreliable piece of gear. Two years ago I switched to synthetic and have never regretted it. Especially on my long trips with different climates synthetic has always reliably worked. In order to compensate for the higher weight of synthetic I changed from a bag to a quilt. Personally, I don't understand why down is still so popular. For me it has far more disadvantages than synthetic.

I cannot tell you the pack dimensions of the EE Prodigy 30 or 40, but the bulkier 20 fits into a Cat's Meow compression bag which is 6.5" x 21".

If you are a side sleeper consider the EE wide option - it is so much more comfortable.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
Looking for synthetic quilt... on 02/04/2013 07:35:22 MST Print View

MLD Spirit quilt!

Herbert Sitz

Locale: Pacific NW
Re: Prodigy stuffed size / Prodigy vs. MLD Spirit on 02/04/2013 16:22:45 MST Print View

Re; stuffed size, I have an EE Prodigy X quilt with the 4oz Apex material (i.e., the 40 degree quilt). It stuffs down pretty well, don't have dimensions for you since I normally just push it into bottom of my pack. But it seems to stuff about the same as my JacksRBetter Hudson River quilt, which is a down quilt rated at 25 to 30 degrees. The two weigh about the same, too, 21 ounces or so. But the "loft" of the synthetic quilt is much less, when you first see it you wonder how such a thin layer can keep you warm, but it does.

RE: MLD Spirit quilts. These use same Climashield Apex material as the EE Prodigy quilts. So the insulation material is identical, main differentiator is quilt size. EE seems to offer more sizes and (I think) encourages larger sizes. EE "Slim" widths are same as MLD "Large" widths.

Other differences could be price, shell material, and construction quality. EE is quite a bit cheaper than MLD when using ProdigyX "seconds" material (which I have and which is fine for me). EE is still substantially cheaper when using their premium shell material. I haven't seen MLD Spirit quilt but the construction quality of my EE quilt seems top-notch.

My Prodigy quilt uses the 4oz Apex material, which EE rated as "35degree" last year but which is probably better labeled by them as "40degree" this year. I think this may correspond to same weight of Apex MLD uses for their "38degree" rated quilts, but I'm not sure.

Andy Anderson
(ianders) - F

Locale: Southeast
Other options on 02/04/2013 18:23:32 MST Print View

Are there any other options for synthetic quilts these days? MLD, EE, Golite (not really an option).

Herbert Sitz

Locale: Pacific NW
Re: Other options on 02/04/2013 20:40:27 MST Print View

Not sure of what other synthetic quilt makers there are, but EE and MLD both have it right with using Climashield Apex insulation, which as I understand it is best of available synthetic solutions: both lightest weight per unit of warmth and best compressibility and highest durability when being often compressed.

You could check out a MYOG solution by getting Apex material somewhere like and sewing shell around it. It's supposedly one of easier myog projects, but for me the low cost of EE ProdigyX line is close enough that it wasn't worth what for me would have been some anxiety and aggravation over making quilt correctly, and I'm sure EE's construction is way better than most myog solutions.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
+1 for Climashield on 02/04/2013 21:02:50 MST Print View

I entirely agree with Herb on Climashield Apex insulation's qualities. As a continuous filament it is far more likely to stay in place and it does have the best loft retention of current synthetics. Only the British Wiggies fill comes close. Plus the US military now uses it for their new bags so it must be "Marine proof".

As the (sad) owner of a very flat Primaloft summer bag I cannot recommend that fill for sleeping bags.

Minor Digression:
The new DWR treatments for down may be the answer for those in wet/damp climates who still want down's light weight. Certainly I would never buy a down winter bag without that treatment.

Edited by Danepacker on 02/04/2013 21:05:19 MST.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: +1 for Climashield on 02/05/2013 18:04:20 MST Print View

another +1 for climashield (if synthetic is what you need/want)