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enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept.
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Tanner M
Re: Re: Enigma inspired design for the Prodigy? on 07/25/2013 09:14:46 MDT Print View

> The issue is the footbox will be harder to do right in synthetics, not impossible but harder.

I can second that...

Frankenfoot is fairly easy.
A not-sewn-through foot is another thing.

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: Re: Enigma inspired design for the Prodigy? on 07/25/2013 09:46:01 MDT Print View

For 40 and 50* quilts we could do the simple sewn through one we did on the summer blanket but for colder than that wed want to do it different to keep it warm


Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Re: Re: enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/25/2013 11:18:50 MDT Print View


Thanks for the breakdown on why you are reluctant to offer upgraded down on the revX line. It makes sense, though currently you seem to be getting a distinction between rev and revx and offering the same down in both lines.

From my perspective 750 down seems like bottom basement down for a cottage bag (which is why I don't think it matters as much if you use duck or goose). It makes sense to use it so that you can offer a low starting point. But if you don't offer the upgrade to your current offering you might lose many of your current customers who are looking for the optimum price vs performance point. That's the customer I was when I bought a revx from you. If you want to stay in the game for those price vs. performance customers you should move to 800 fill down. Psychologically, 800 does not feel as steep of a down-grade from 850 as 750 does. 800 feels like a compromise. 750 feels like I am going for the cheapest I can get.

Another option you might consider is to only offer color choices in the rev line and higher. That might let you buy fabric in bulk for your revx line and save some money. Frankly I don't think people in your revx line care as much about color as your higher end customers.

If you downgrade your revx too much to have better distinction in your line, you may loose customers who fall between your lines.

Gregory Hardy

Locale: North Carolina
footbox for a synthetic quilt on 07/25/2013 13:01:06 MDT Print View

Hm, I didnt think about the difficulty of making a not-sewn-through foot box with the synthetic. And its bulk is still an issue, youre right. I am looking to use synthetic for sustained bikepacking trips, and was just dreaming about having the Prodigy40 at 1 lb. But the Prodigy40 is already a great weight on a great synthetic quilt, so it makes sense to knock out the Enigma first. I just hope you don't forget about the Prodigy fans out there : )

Cant wait to see the Enigma, thanks Tim!

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/25/2013 19:58:16 MDT Print View

I ran out of money this Spring waiting for the cuben fiber quilts to come back out. When you offered them again, they did not stay listed on your site for long, I have not checked for a bit now. So as you mentioned to me personally, they still did not sell I'm guessing. One of a couple items I want this coming Spring is a quilt, but the lowest weight I can get in a 30F, price not a big concern, but still within reason. For me, I believe a sewn footbox is lighter and anything else to get the weight down. I'll be checking your lineup out later.
Keep up the thinking.

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/26/2013 12:26:16 MDT Print View

Im not sure where the epiphany fits. I always loved it but rarely sold it. Sewn baffles are stronger, taped more waterproof but the tape adds an oz to the weight which now that we have 10D really cuts the weight savings back. If customers would be willing to seam seal that would be the lightest and most robust way to approach solving the problem but is in no way the most elegant. Nylon needs to be added to the shell layer to increase lofting and allow more effective field drying but that adds in weight and reduces weather resistance so im left wanting it but not knowing where to position it for success and validity in the market

On another note we stuffed some sample 6' WIDE 20* RevX with 750 and 800 goose down fills. The 800 is impossible to tell from 850 in the quilt expect it weighs an oz more. The 750 however feels more full and complete throughout the quilt and results in an extra 1" of loft at the cost of another oz of weight. I hadn't expected it to loft more at all. I have read studies that indicate that <=750 downs maintain their loft better over time and across varying levels of humidity than >=800 downs but i didn't expect an extra 1" of loft (this is two layer loft as i measured and observed it so .5" single layer)

These quilts are being tested by my staff for the next week and we will weigh and measure them again along with accessing their feedback to help us dial in the right choice. Just thought id share my surprise in the noticeably fuller 750 quilt, crazy


Tanner M
Re: Re: enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/26/2013 12:45:03 MDT Print View

I really have no experience with down stuff. Only recently learned I had outgrown childhood allergies. Yeah, I know it isn't supposed to be the down but stuff living in it..

Anyway, I have wondered that the really fluffy stuff may not always fluff so well if the user binds the covering even a little. Light shells seem to be needed. etc.

800 is +1 oz. v. 850 (makes sense according to 'formula')
750 is +1 oz, v. 800 for a total of +2 oz. v. 850 ?
[to be sure I follow correctly]

You get an extra half inch or so of loft. That might take another ounce or two for the 'fragile/delicate' 850 to achieve... So not far from parity ? [it is interesting]

I am really close to trying to build me a quilt. Why not. I am thinking about 1.4x or so versus the 'formula fill' for good firmness in the torso and maybe a bit less in the sides/wings. With 850. Because I worry it will not always fluff like 850 /can/....

Edited by Tan68 on 07/26/2013 12:46:38 MDT.

Tanner M
Re: Re: enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/26/2013 12:54:52 MDT Print View

When you stuffed the quilts, was it at the typical 'formula' fill ? In any case, I figure any overstuff or whatever was consistent between the fills. So doesn't really matter.

So, the 750 fill may not weigh much different by time you either remove some 750 to get the loft you want/targeted or add more 850 to get loft equal to the 750...

Yeah, there is supposed to be more than just loft involved with warmth. Density, as well. I figure your 850 sample fill isn't very dense :)

So, 750 isn't supposed to compress as well. I wonder, though, if there is really much difference by time the 750 and 850 quilts are adjusted to have the same loft (presumably similar warmth) by either adding or subtracting down from one or the other. Maybe they will pack about the same size then...?

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Re: enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/26/2013 17:17:17 MDT Print View

I believe you will find that the extra 1" lofting difference of the 750fill down is actually about the same warmth as the 850fill down.

Usually higher fill downs have larger and better developed down feathers than lower fill downs. This means that the air pockets are actually smaller, thus more efficient at stopping convective currents through the down. I am not sure of the exact numbers, but using proportions based on 900fill as the maximum you have 750/900 compared with 850/900, or, .8333 and .9444 for relative warmth, hence, relative heat retension properties (assuming 900fill down would be 1.000.)

Soo, to retain the identical warmth of 900fill down over 4" of loft, you would need about 4.2303 inches of 850 fill down or about 4.8000 inches of 750 fill down. (This is the inverse of the heat retention for four inches of down insulation.)

Given the differences in down rating is not absolute (it varies by year and batch) and the weight of the shell layer compressing it slightly, it is reasonable to assume that the 1" you are seeing is about correct if they are both the same temp rating. For example:
The 750 could be an actual 725 legitimatly for a 4.9655 lofting, for example.
The 850 could be an actual 875 legitimatly for a 4.1142 lofting, for example.

This assumes you maintain a rather exact equivalency in fill amounts in each, of course.

I would rather think the one inch difference was through intentional calculation (like the above) rather than any real error. Note that 1 inch in 2 inches of loft is a LOT. But, I am guessing they would be of similar warmth, give or take.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Tim some thoughts on 07/26/2013 23:28:12 MDT Print View

I think it would benifit people if you clearly stated the weights of the quilts.

You are including bungee straps and the stuff sack in the weights where they are in fact lighter than advertised. Or so I think, unless my quilt is underfilled.

Maybe I missed this but with the new quilt design just how much lighter will a 50* Prodigy be? Right now it is 15oz for a 6ft reg.

Gregory Hardy

Locale: North Carolina
New piece to the puzzle on 07/27/2013 04:15:51 MDT Print View

Hey Tim,

I was thinking you could expand your customer base outside backpackers to include climbers/mountaineers. As you are probably aware, this group (and many hikers) often carry a bivy with the elephant foot (aka 3 quarter bag, half bag) combo with their puffy jackets. Aside from MYOG or chopping up your favorite bag, there are very limited places to get a light weight 3 quarter bag/quilt. Few large brands may sell one, but the weight/warmth/custom doesnt compete with cottage. As far as I know, the only cottage that makes these are Feathered friends and Nunatak. FF has the vireo, at a pound, completely sewn up, with differential fill. Nunatak has the Arc AT half quilt, something like 9 oz for 40*F.

The best part about getting into this market is that all you would have to do is advertise, you already make them. It seems your Rev(x) Jr. line would be a perfect candidate for 3 quarter mountaineering quilts. Yeah they are narrow for adults at something like 46", but the people buying these arent looking for the luxury of having extra material at the chest. I think you should include a 3 quarter quilt page in your website, or at least include this idea in the product descriptions of your products (especially Jr. line). Just mentioning it could get people to see its potential and to encourage "outside-the-box" thinking when selecting your sleep system.

And for the new Enigma, a 3 quarter version could be a defining piece to its puzzle. I dont even want to guess how low this weight would be.

- Greg

Tanner M
Re: New piece to the puzzle on 07/27/2013 11:37:58 MDT Print View

Brooks Range makes a 1/2 bag product.

It is called an Elephant Foot and 'Mountaineering' is the second part of the company name. Exactly as you said things should be :^)

I thought 'elephant foot' was just their name. I didn't realise it is also a more general name. I also didn't know it is a type of bag favored by climbers. Now the BR product name makes more sense to me.

Still wonder where the name came from...

Rocco Speranza

Locale: Western NC Mtns
I was thinking... on 07/27/2013 13:12:20 MDT Print View

I was thinking... I've changed my mind a little.

I feel you should have 5 different styles. I'm going to think like Apple does on this. I value there business model as it works quite well.

1. RevX
2. EnigmaX
3. Rev
4. Enigma
5. Epiphany

RevX like the Ipad is a cheaper computer that gets the job done.
Will be limited on features stuck as 750 fill down and heavier fabric.

EnigmaX should be in between the price of the RevX and Rev.
Like RevX, but with your more special design.

Rev like Apples higher end computer are limited in modifications.
This will come with 850Down standard and have the option for 900 fill or water resistant 850.

Like Rev, but with your sewn foot box.

Epiphany will be like Apple's Mac Pro. Their top of the line computer.
This will use 900 fill down standard with .34oz Cuban Fiber, Seam sealing can be an option.

Not too sure on prices. I feel there should be a larger price gap between 40 and 0f quilts.
$175-$250 for new RevX
$200-$275 for EnigmaX
$225-$325 for Rev
$250-$350 for Enigma
$300-400 for Epiphany

Not really sure on prices since I don't know your material costs and such, but I feel you should have the Epipany as an option for those few extreme people.

What do you think?

Edited by Mechrock on 07/27/2013 13:17:55 MDT.

Gregory Hardy

Locale: North Carolina
brooks range 1/2 bag on 07/27/2013 13:19:27 MDT Print View

ah yes, I forgot about brooks range. I havent seen this bag before. I cant lie, it does look incredibly comfortable at 25*.

And I am not sure where the term elephant foot came from. I assume its from the europeans and the early bivouac days in the alps. I think the reason why they are more popular with climbers versus hikers is because a heavy pack has a different level of liability for climbers, they all have to go UL whereas hikers dont. And since climbers almost always carry a puffy jacket due to their exposure, it makes sense to chop their bags into elephant feet.

So I am still convinced Tim's JR line-up is a sleeper in the elephant foot world. No pun intended. I'm thinking about purchasing the Prodigy X JR, just to test this out. (And I wonder if any SUL'ers here have already done this?) While I dont bivy on mountains (yet), i may loan it to some friends that do.

Tanner M
Re: brooks range 1/2 bag on 07/27/2013 13:56:48 MDT Print View

I think climbers got a different set of options available to them.

Sometimes I read 'go to bed or hop in the sleeping bag early if you are cold' and that implies to me the person is either moving and happy or stopped, chilled, and in the bag.

Sometimes climbers can't move and can't get in the bag (sounds like you know this). So the heavier jackets you mention. I don't climb but I take pictures and, for me, that also involves time at rest. Granted, I /can/ get up and move but I am usually pretty stationary.

So, I tend to try and have stuff with me that makes me comfortable at rest. I don't rely on 'keep moving' strategy. If I do it right, the sleeping bag/quilt/foot only needs to be warm enough to offset metabolism slowing during sleep and temp drop at night...

just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/28/2013 10:02:18 MDT Print View

I'm sort of an unconventional thinker at times, but I have thought about a hybrid quilt before especially for longer trips where rain and humidity will be part of the equation sometimes. A layer of thin Apex on the bottom with some down on top. That way if on a longer trip you could have some weight and packing savings (and cost), but if you get into some "oh shite" situations at least you have the Apex to rely on, some reliable warmth is better than very, very little which is what happens when down gets too wet. Course as a manufacturer, such a product might be a big pain to implement especially since the nice thing about Apex is not sewing baffles.

Might be an interesting and "novel" product, but I'm not sure how it would sell in the mainstream since there seems to be definite down & synthetic camps and which tend to be somewhat polarized.

Could call it Apocalypse...

Gregory Hardy

Locale: North Carolina
synthetic and synthetic hybrid on 07/28/2013 10:12:06 MDT Print View

Justin D - I like that thought. Big Agnes has (or had) some products like that, not sure how well they sold. I was thinking about something along the same lines, but not a hybrid between down and synthetic, but instead a hybrid between synthetic and synthetic. 5 oz apex on the bottom half of the quilt, and 2.5 oz on the top half. Inspired from the differential down fill of Feathered Friends Vireo.

just Justin Whitson
Re: synthetic and synthetic hybrid on 07/28/2013 10:19:38 MDT Print View

If you put it that way Gregory, we're talking about rather different things.. BTW why more Apex on the bottom half? Wouldn't it be better reversed since its our core which its better to keep warmer?

Edited by ArcturusBear on 07/28/2013 10:21:05 MDT.

Gregory Hardy

Locale: North Carolina
Re: Re: synthetic and synthetic hybrid on 07/28/2013 10:41:43 MDT Print View

Well usually people carry more insulation for their core versus their legs, so having the thicker Apex on the bottom would even things out. This is basically a compromise to the elephants foot, which doesnt have any top half above somewhere along the chest. And yeah i guess these hybrids are way different then yours. I wonder about going all synthetic bottom, all down top... vise versa? These monstrosities are probably best left to the MYOG crowd.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: Re: synthetic and synthetic hybrid on 07/28/2013 11:44:43 MDT Print View

That is true, does make sense now that you explained it. Does take a lot for my legs to get cold if I'm wearing some kind of leggings to begin with.

Monstrosities..haha, sure. I made something like that but it hasn't been cold enough to try yet.