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Kate Magill
(lapedestrienne) - F
Mating Quilts on 04/02/2013 08:27:09 MDT Print View

My partner and I are trying to create a good 2-person sleep system for 3-season use (mostly in northeastern US and Canada). Two-person sleeping bags are expensive and not flexible (ie not good for solo trips or if we get separated due to emergency). On my own, I prefer using a quilt (currently an EE RevX), but find that with two people underneath it shifts a lot and slides off. In my imagination, it seems that zipping the lower portions of two quilts together could create a very flexible double-bag that could also become two single quilts when necessary. Has anyone tried this?

(I realize we could also invest in two mate-able WM bags, but that is a pricy proposal...)

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Mating Quilts on 04/02/2013 18:10:56 MDT Print View

I don't know the answer but I think it is an excellent question. Hopefully Tim Marshal will weigh in. Have you emailed him? I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work (if you can get the zippers that mate.) Jacks-r-better mentions something about it if I recall correctly.

Edited by bzhayes on 04/02/2013 18:11:27 MDT.

John Martin
(snapyjohn) - M

Locale: Pacific NW
EXPED DREAM WALKER 400 DUO on 04/02/2013 19:00:56 MDT Print View

I got mine in the mail today it was under $220 from Sierra Trading Post after 35% of last week. I own another Dream walker sleeping bag.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
omni on 04/02/2013 19:51:42 MDT Print View

what about using omni tape to serve the purpose of the zipper. cheaper, probably lighter, and you could do it yourself instead of paying someone to put a zipper on your bag...

Kate Magill
(lapedestrienne) - F
options on 04/03/2013 07:18:04 MDT Print View

Yes, I have asked TIm and it should definitely work. What I'm wondering is whether anyone else has tried it. The trick is finding the right balance between space to move around and snugness to block drafts. Whatever we end up with needs to be comfortable down to 15-20 degrees F.

The Exped quilt is interesting but not warm enough for my purposes--it's rated to 45 I believe?

The Feathered Friends Spoonbill seems really nice; like a quilt, there's no insulation on the bottom, but it is bag-shaped so it doesn't shift the way a quilt can. But it's not cheap, especially considering we would both still need solo bags/quilts for solo trips.

Andrew Zajac

Locale: South West
couples bags on 04/03/2013 09:09:11 MDT Print View

I have used a ray-way synthetic double quilt with my girlfriend for most of our recent trips. However, after several nights below freezing we have vowed not to use the double quilt for anything below 30F. It is just too drafty. Our current system is two EE down quilts. The beauty of this system is versatility. We can share a footbox or have our own. We could even have entirely separate bags if we need to. We could also snuggle really close and just double layer the quilts if we are really cold. I haven't tried this system in anything too cold yet, but it seems promising to us. However, one thing that didn't work was trying to make an enormous footbox by zipping two quilts together. They mate up just fine, but the zipper was a drafty cold spot. Make sure to get a baffle along the zipper if you go this route. We also tried using the included tabs on the EE quilts to make one enormous quilt, but found that it was just way too large. Simple overlapping has worked just fine for us.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: options on 04/03/2013 10:11:50 MDT Print View

Hmmmmm. I say again, hmmmmmm.

The draft issue always seems to come up in these conversations. I wonder if the following could ameliorate that (and assumes you have two, mated sleeping pads as well):

Both quilts unzip to flat and have slightly more robust bungie to cinch the footbox closed. So you can zip both quilts together from the very bottom, and zip the 'far' sides together to form a footbox, connect the bungies on the inside zip, and then pull the bungies on the outsides to close off the bottom. You now have a double footbox.

On the inside edge of the quilts (the edge that mates to the other quilt), there are cord attachments under the zipper midway up and at the top. When it's really drafty, attach those to your own sleeping mats so your quilts come down around your own body more. On warmer or less drafty nights you wouldn't need to do this and could enjoy snuggling instead.

Just thinking out loud.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Mating Quilts on 04/03/2013 13:25:41 MDT Print View

My wife and I have used our RayWay double quilt down to about 15 degF inside a tent (here actually two quilts, one on top of the other), and routinely in tarps or leanto's to below freezing. We've had little problem with drafts, but note that our quilts incorporate "draft-stoppers" (a flap of fabric running along the edge of the quilt), and we also wear base layer tops and bottoms when it gets cold, along with a warm hat.

Our worst problem with drafts occurred in an ADK leanto. We were cold all night from drafts. In the morning I realized the drafts were coming up from the floor! From then on in colder weather we used a ground sheet under our pads in leanto's and the problem disappeared.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Couple's bags on 04/03/2013 20:22:18 MDT Print View

Good question, and I surely don't have the definitive answer except for (d) below, which is even more expensive than most couple's bags. Here is what I have tried:

(a) Western Mountaineering semi-rectangular bag [was the Aspen when I owned it, but I think it's been renamed] and Summer Coupler. OK down to about freezing. Could go lower with a stouter WM bag but mine (Sequoia - 20 years old) didn't mate with the coupler.

(b) Nunatak Back Country Blanket. See my review of this at Works in 50 F+ weather and down to freezing "only if the users are close friends neither of whom is a blanket hog."

(c) Tim Marshall couples-specific bag. A fellow BGT member very kindly sent me his. Similar to Nunatak's couples' quilts but shorter and narrower. Used at 20 F, with each of us wearing a down sweater. A bit cramped.

(d) Two Back Country Blankets, discussed in the addendum to my review cited above. The best option but REALLY expensive unless you're as lucky as I was in scoring two at bargain prices.

This is a gear issue highly dependent upon how each of you sleep - hot or cold, close or slightly apart, dead to the world or restless all night.

If you find your solution, please advise!