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Which quilt for late May GSMNP?
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Joey Dawson
(inabag) - F

Locale: Northern VA
Which quilt for late May GSMNP? on 05/18/2013 08:17:32 MDT Print View

So I have two options:

1) Enlightened Equipment RevelationX 20 degree.

This weighs about 20-21 ounces, and packs down to about 2x the size of the below DIY quilt.

2) DIY Climashield APEX 2.5 Summer quilt

This weighs 14-15 ounces, and is about half the size packed of the above EE quilt.

I plan on wearing a baselayer of thin merino longsleeve pants/shirt to bed. Lows appear to be in the mid 50's.

So is the EE overkill? Will I be cold with the summer quilt? I don't mind taking up the extra space/weight for the EE, but don't want to waste it if I don't have too. My total pack weight including food/water will be around 15lbs.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Which quilt for late May GSMNP? on 05/18/2013 08:26:38 MDT Print View

Lows in the 50's I'd take the summer quilt. Especially if you are wearing base layers to bed. I would burst into flames under a 20 degree quilt in those temps.

David Hunter
It can get cold in gsmnp on 05/18/2013 19:51:47 MDT Print View

Eight years ago I hiked the AT from one end of the Smokies to the other during the third week of May. The temps were in the high thirties to forties every night, contrary to the forecast. I remember one particular night it was 38 degrees with heavy fog and slightly swirling winds. The shelter was full, and it seemed that everything everybody had was wet. It was a cold night! A fifty degree forecast does guarantee fifty degrees.

quilt on 05/19/2013 08:39:42 MDT Print View

The forecasts are pretty good a few days out.
But temps can range from 30s-60s that time

Ill personally take my chances with one cold night, but I dont aspire to several in a row.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
Re: Which quilt for late May GSMNP? on 05/19/2013 14:29:53 MDT Print View

Joey, There is a possibility that I may be hiking in the Smokies/high elevation NC late in May/early June. I have quilts in much the same range as yours (20 degree and one summer one, both MYOG).

If I go I will be taking my summer quilt (10.8 oz total weight) without hesitation, but likely take my down puller over and fleece cap also. With all of these items I can push the quilt down to upper 30's. If you are at high elevations (5000-6000 feet) you can certainly see temps in the 30's in late May, possibly even sub freezing. If you are sleeping at lower elevations than the weather forecast in the 50's is much more reasonable. I've found the temps can be 20 degrees lower than forecast at the upper elevations.


Joey Dawson
(inabag) - F

Locale: Northern VA
Thanks on 05/20/2013 10:51:27 MDT Print View

Sounds like I will stick with the EE 20 deg bag to be on the safe side. Our campsites are at 2500 and 3000 feet, so the lows will most likely be a little lower than forecasted. I am not planning on taking a heavier top layer than a thin wool longsleeve and a thin fleece vest, so I don't want to risk it. I know for the most part during the day, and even up until dark I will be comfortable with the clothes I am taking already, so the 20 deg quilt should fill the gap at night.

Thanks for the replies. Looking forward to the trip this weekend!