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Down vs Apex packed size?
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Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Down vs Apex packed size? on 03/28/2013 11:52:56 MDT Print View

My MYOG quilt is in need of refurbishing/replacing. For starters, I made it 48" at the top which has proved to be too narrow for me as a side sleeper. The other problem is I seemingly underfilled the baffles in the upper torso area which means that the down has always tended to migrate to the edges over night, this has been compounding over the years as the down has lost loft due to body oils/etc. And I've had problems with my breath severely wetting out the top baffle.

After using some Apex to make a sleeping bag for my wife I'm considering a quilt for myself using it. I feel like it would solve most of my "insulation migration" and wetting out issues and I could make it the appropriate size. One more plus for the Apex is that I would be comfortable making my own which would save me some money. If I end up going with down I'm buying it pre-made, my experience working with down was not enjoyable. My only reservation is the packed size. I can't directly compare my quilt to my wife's bag since its got a bottom layer and hood with 2.5oz Apex but its significantly larger than my quilt. Right now my quilt uses 9oz of 800 FP down and for the quilt I'd use a single layer 5oz Apex.

So I've got two questions for anyone whose got experience with both; down to what temperature does 5oz Apex keep you comfortable (for reference, I'm comfortable in my quilt with a base layer to about 35*) and how much larger will the Apex be compared to the down?


Edited by aroth87 on 03/28/2013 11:54:34 MDT.

Peter Fokkinga

Locale: the Netherlands
5oz apex warmth on 03/29/2013 02:14:49 MDT Print View

5oz (per square yard) Apex would be roughly be equivalent to your 9oz down (maybe a little warmer). Not from experience, but Tim from enlightenedequipment makes both down and apex quilts so you can make a reasonable comparison I think.

just Justin Whitson
Re: 5oz apex warmth on 03/29/2013 04:01:54 MDT Print View

Hi Adam,

I don't know the (more specific) answers to your questions (best of luck on your research on it), but had some indirect comments and questions. Does your partner and you do a lot of backpacking together? If so, have you thought of making or using a double quilt at all? Especially if you are pairing a warmer sleeper (often men in general), with a colder sleeper (often women in general), a double quilt can be a great way to save (well more like pool) warmth in general and help out the colder sleeper. It's also flexible too. If you're going out in particularly cold weather, she can bring the bag along and use that as well, and thus be a lot warmer (assuming she is the colder sleeper). If it's warmer conditions, you could just bring the quilt for the both of you.

I don't have a lot of experience with this outside of home use yet, but i believe Roger has written some stuff on this, and it's a pretty common sense idea/concept anyways.

The only problem is that depending on your combined sizes, the quilt would need to be quite a bit larger (if you're both average sized, i would say at the very minimum 70 inches wide but preferably for maximum comfort 75 to 82 inches), and so heavier and bulkier as well, especially if using Apex.

The problem with this system is it may not leave you a good solo bag for just yourself. I'm doing the above, but giving my wife my former bag, and so if i go out on solo trips, i will just use that bag rather than the double quilt. I'm actually shorter than my wife by a bit, so it works out fine for me, but may be a deciding negative factor for you if you couldn't use your wife's bag for solo trips.

Edited by ArcturusBear on 03/29/2013 04:05:47 MDT.

bill berklich

Locale: Northern Mid-West
Re: Down vs Apex packed size? on 03/29/2013 05:16:26 MDT Print View

Maybe the top baffle should be a different material? I envy you MYO folks because you can tailor your gear so specifically. I really should learn how but so many other things to do ;-) Good luck.

Edited by berklich on 03/29/2013 05:18:59 MDT.

Andy Anderson
(ianders) - F

Locale: Southeast
EE on 03/29/2013 05:25:37 MDT Print View

I have a 40 degree Enlightened Equipment quilt and its great. It packs down to about the same size as my Golite Ultra 20 quilt. I thought about making my own, but Tim's prices are so good, I just let him do it. I've slept on it in base layers on a Neoair down to around 40 and was nice and toasty. With layers, I wouldn't be afraid to push it to the low 30s.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Down vs Apex packed size? on 03/29/2013 07:09:09 MDT Print View

Thanks for the input everyone!

Justin- Unfortunately my wife doesn't much like backpacking yet. She's been on some short dayhikes with me but prefers the creature comforts of car camping to "roughing it" out on the trail.

I had considered emailing Tim since he makes both types of quilts. Since I'm probably going end up going the MYOG route it felt like going into a store to try something on then buying it cheaper somewhere else, it just didn't sit right with me.


just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: Down vs Apex packed size? on 03/29/2013 10:27:18 MDT Print View

Bill, i don't have a lot of MYOG skills yet, but i have made an Apex Quilt and really it's pretty easy to do, and QUITE cheap unless you use the latest and greatest, super duper most lightweight fabrics with exotic or comical names like Nobul.

Andy, i think Tim's prices on his down quilts are a great deal, but honestly i don't think his Apex quilts are that great of a deal. It cost me about 50 dollars to make myself an Apex quilt. If i had used premium shell material, yeah it would have went up to about 75 or so, but still significantly cheaper than his quilts. And they aren't much work, granted his quality is way better than mine even though.

Adam, ah, i see. Well i hope that changes at some point, if you want it to change. My wife likes going out, except when it's cold (which is when i like going out most), but sometimes it's nice to have that solitude--actually sometimes i prefer it though i also enjoy her company.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Regarding a two person quilt on 03/29/2013 14:30:46 MDT Print View

One of the problems we've had with two person quilts is that they are more prone to drafts.

With the right kind of design and a tight fit, they should be fine, unless someone moves around a lot.
When either person moves, air gets pumped in and out.

A single quilt on the other hand, can fit tighter with less air to force in and out as you move.

But that is from my limited experience after fussing around with one on a near freezing night. Extra puffy clothing helped fill the air gaps in our case, but it was more confining than if we were each in a solo quilt.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Regarding a two person quilt on 03/30/2013 01:23:56 MDT Print View

Hi Steven,

I don't want to derail Adam's thread, but i was curious as to how wide the quilt was that you were using for two was?

The one that i ordered recently, i've decided that since we are both under 5' 10", that i will try flipping it around and have the shorter, 71 inch section as the length and the 86 inch section as the width. We would be able to really wrap it around ourselves in that case, which i would hope would minimize some of those issues you mentioned. Thankfully my wife is a pretty stable sleeper--i'm a bit more restless though.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
two Person on 03/30/2013 03:48:32 MDT Print View


I don't rmember the size of the quilt that we used.

I think that you'll fine as long as you sleep close and have a good seal all around, you will be warmer than in two solo quilts.

It seem the biggest problem for us was the gap between us at the top. Keeping air form coming in there when we moved was and issue.

This can be fixed if the quilt has a method of blocking the gap around the necks. In our case, the puffy jackets took care of it, but a strap or tongue in the midle of the top is a method that I've seen.

John G
(JohnG10) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic via Upstate NY
mld on 03/30/2013 07:03:52 MDT Print View

Mountain laurel designs used to have pics of their apex quilts in stuff sacks on their web site.

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: Down vs Apex packed size? on 03/30/2013 08:01:26 MDT Print View


Feel free to contact me with MYOG questions. I'm all over that, no reason not to.


And E
(LunchANDYnner) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
compressed size on 03/30/2013 09:40:16 MDT Print View

You can check out my MYOG 5.0 Apex quilt for compressed size... It went into the 13L event sack without any fuss and can compress down a lot more. I had no trouble getting it in my pack.

It can be compressed down to 7x12 easily, but any more than that would probably be bad for the Apex in the long run.

As far as warmth, I'm a warm sleeper, and just wearing lightweight base layers, I took it down to 38 and was plenty warm. I have no doubt I can take this down into the 20s, especially with proper layering. The pad attachment system I used was great, I toss and turn and it kept the quilt right around me and on the pad with no draft problems.

Picture is before compressing it.

Edited by LunchANDYnner on 03/30/2013 09:52:35 MDT.

just Justin Whitson
Re: two Person on 04/01/2013 14:47:58 MDT Print View

Thank you for the reply back Steven.