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Mating Quilts
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K Magz
(lapedestrienne) - F

Locale: somewhere without screens
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...

K Magz
(lapedestrienne) - F

Locale: somewhere without screens
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: PNW
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!

Derek M.
(dmusashe) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Couple's bags on 05/28/2014 03:10:05 MDT Print View

I'm resurrecting an old thread here because I'm interested to see if anyone has any more insights into the issue of mating two separate sleeping systems together.

My wife and I both want quilts and would like to find a flexible system that works well both separately and together.

I currently have my eye on some Enlightened Equipment quilts, but I still don't quite know how we'd mate these together.

Has anyone tried the method talked about above of zipping two drawstring footbox quilts together to make one big double footbox with both drawstrings cinched tight? It seems to me like this "double footbox" might be too narrow since it's all coming together at a point right down the middle between the two sleepers. Maybe those fears are unfounded though?

Then the question is how to connect the two quilts down the midline higher up as well. Hmmm... I wish somebody would make an elegant, lightweight, modular system to accomplish being able to comfortably sleep together, or separately.

Nobody has seemed to hit this one out of the park yet. Are there just not that many couples demanding this?

Edited by dmusashe on 05/28/2014 03:14:17 MDT.

J Mag
Re: Mating Quilts on 05/28/2014 12:12:35 MDT Print View

I've heard this is how Tim puts out new quilts so quickly. Just leave two in a room for a night and there's a third in there the next day.

Although I've heard complaints that the male quilts often end up with too much overstuff and the fabric on the female quilts can make them quite noisy.

Edited by GoProGator on 05/28/2014 12:13:29 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Mating Quilts on 05/28/2014 15:32:33 MDT Print View

What do you get from two mating quilts? Small pillows maybe?

More seriously though - controlling a flat quilt is difficult. My wife and I find having a foot box solves that problem perfectly. And that lets me layer our two quilts over the two of us if it gets very cold. Light-weight summer quilts pushed down to -7 C once. We snuggled, and were warm.


Zorg Zumo
(BurnNotice) - F
Re: Re: Mating Quilts on 05/28/2014 15:49:11 MDT Print View

Never thought about becoming a quilt breeder until this thread. I wonder how this works?

Derek M.
(dmusashe) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Mating Quilts on 05/28/2014 16:51:51 MDT Print View

"My wife and I find having a foot box solves that problem perfectly. And that lets me layer our two quilts over the two of us if it gets very cold."

Can you explain this in a little more detail. I'm not sure I fully understand what you mean by layering the quilts. Are the quilts simply partially overlapped in the gap between you and your wife, or are they completely stacked on top of one another and then you drape that over both of you together?

Edited by dmusashe on 05/28/2014 16:53:16 MDT.

K Magz
(lapedestrienne) - F

Locale: somewhere without screens
mating quilts, a follow-up on 05/30/2014 11:27:25 MDT Print View

After a lot of market research, we went with a Feathered Friends Penguin Nano 20 plus coupler. It is crazy-cozy-warm, we love the shell fabric, and its specs suited our needs a tiny bit better than the WM Ponderosa or Alder. A custom Nunatak BCB was also a top contender, but ultimately warmth won out over minimalism. We both sleep cold. For warm summer nights when drafts aren't an issue, we're sticking with two separate summerweight quilts.

This was a year ago, mind you, so I don't remember the whole decision-making process. Suffice to say, a spreadsheet was made and the Penguin came out on top in terms of fill-dollar-ounce ratio.

It's bulky, not the lightest, but it is palatial and comfortable and extremely warm. The coupler sheet is awesome; it solves the problem of pad drift--that little gap you get in between two sleeping pads as they shift during the night.

We've also discovered that this set-up (with two cushy inflatable mattresses) makes a great guest bed for those of us too minimalist to furnish the extra bedroom... ;-)

Our quilt-mating experiments did not produce any down (or synthetic) offspring, but we did somehow end up with a human baby. Currently 13 weeks old and 15+ lbs, he no longer qualifies as UL.

Edited by lapedestrienne on 05/30/2014 11:30:38 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Mating Quilts on 05/30/2014 15:50:00 MDT Print View

Hi Derek

> "My wife and I find having a foot box solves that problem perfectly. And that lets me
> layer our two quilts over the two of us if it gets very cold."
Imagine each of us with a quilt with a foot box, sleeping side by side. My feet in my foot box, etc. There would be a fair bit of quilt bunched up between us, going to waste.

When it is cold I push my quilt off me and slip under my wife's quilt - or pull the side of it over me. Her feet stay in her foot box. Her quilt may not cover me fully, but it does cover a fair bit of me. Then I flip my quilt over the two of us as well. We end up with two layers of quilt on TOP of us, and each of us has a full-length 'hot water bottle' snuggled up against us.

Some winter trips, we each take our summer quilts plus a down over-quilt covering the two of us. Same idea, and very warm.


john Tier
(Peter_pan) - M

Locale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA
JRB Couples quilt options on 06/10/2014 14:28:18 MDT Print View

Jacks R Better has a couples mod so that any two quilts are readily mated for two users... Each retains their own foot box or they can have one large foot box or the quilts can be used as one large flat quilt... scroll down on this link for couples option...

two hudson river quilts joined with couples FLOT


Derek M.
(dmusashe) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: JRB Couples quilt options on 06/10/2014 23:29:21 MDT Print View

John Tier,
Your picture has piqued my interest. Do you have an more pictures showing the different couples configurations afforded with full length omnitape?

Also, how are drafts best managed in between the two sleepers when coupling two FLOP quilts?