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Help with chooosing a 3 season quilt
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(BasqueJ88) - F
Help with chooosing a 3 season quilt on 08/05/2013 20:29:26 MDT Print View

I live in Idaho and i am strongly debating between a 20 degree and 30 degree quilt for late spring through fall. Any other Idaho hikers have some input? I do a lot of hiking in the Sawtooths and Hell's Canyon areas. If it helps, I am looking at the EE Revelation. Any help would be appreciated!

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Quilts on 08/05/2013 20:38:05 MDT Print View

If it's your only quilt, I'd go 20F. I use a 30F quilt, but I also have a winter bag I can use in the colder fringe seasons. If it's more of a 2-season quilt and you're willing to wear clothes then go 30F, but normally there isn't a big weight difference because the shell fabrics are half the weight and they don't change much.

I'd look for about 12-13oz of 800-900FP down in a 20F quilt. EE makes solid stuff and the Rev is darn good. Other nice options are Zpacks and GoLite (when it's on sale).

Daniel Pittman
(pitsy) - M

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Help with chooosing a 3 season quilt on 08/05/2013 21:00:20 MDT Print View

I've heard good things about
I'm saving up for the Sierra Stealth myself, but they do make a few quilts for colder temps. Worth checking out.

Likes Hikes
(BasqueJ88) - F
20 degrees on 08/05/2013 21:12:21 MDT Print View

Thanks for the input Dan. I actually have the GoLite Z30 but I would like to get away from the sewn footbox. I don't like to layer up when I sleep so I think 20 degrees may be the right choice.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Help with chooosing a 3 season quilt on 08/05/2013 21:27:34 MDT Print View

Like Dan, I've currently got a 30 degree quilt. I've pushed it below the rating with all my extra clothes but I wouldn't want to do it regularly. In fact, it kept me from going out much when the weather got cold because I didn't want to deal with it.
I just purchased a 20* RevX (should be here in 3 weeks!) so that I can be confident that I'll be warm enough when the weather gets cold. I'm going to make a 45 degree Apex quilt for warmer temperatures and think this will be a much more versatile system for me.
I haven't done any hiking in Idaho but from experiences in Colorado I know that even in July is can get pretty chilly when you're camped up high. I'd definitely go for the warmer quilt. The beauty is you can open up the foot box if you find you're too warm. And with EE you aren't paying much more to go from a 30 degree to a 20 degree quilt. In the long run I think I'm going to be happy I spent the extra $15 for the warmer quilt.


Likes Hikes
(BasqueJ88) - F
leaning towards 20 on 08/05/2013 21:36:07 MDT Print View

Thanks for your reply Adam. I was curious also if a 20 degree down + a 50 degree synthetic quilt over it might be warm enough to be feasible for winter use. Anybody have any experience with this?

Daniel Pittman
(pitsy) - M

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Help with chooosing a 3 season quilt on 08/05/2013 23:57:28 MDT Print View

Layering works, as long as you're not compressing the down too much. Might be better with the synthetic under the down.

Shawn Peterson
(afterdarkphoto) - MLife

Locale: Nor Cal
Nunatak on 08/06/2013 00:19:16 MDT Print View

I just got my Nunatak Arc Alpinist from Nunatak....awesome quilt...I can't say enough good stuff about the quality. The price isn't cheap...but Tom will custom make it for you and add anything you'd like.

He made a 6'7" length 68 inch shoulder wide and 40" foot box quilt for me with .8 Quantum in and out with 2 oz's of overfill and this thing weighs in at 24 oz.

Worth checking out.

Derrick White
(miku) - MLife

Locale: Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
Layering on 08/06/2013 05:08:14 MDT Print View

I use the following in varying combinations:

EE Revelation 20 degree quilt ~21 oz
Western Mountaineering 20 degree bag ~31 oz
Exped UL7 Down Pad ~23oz
MLD Event Soul Bivy ~11oz

The quilt is usable alone down to about 0 C. It is a great product. Well made, but the down does move around quite a bit due to the short baffles, which has been remedied in the newer version. Company is excellent to deal with.

I use the bag from 0C to -10C. The quilt is not as warm as my WM bag despite its equal rating. I attribute this mostly to the lack of a mummy hood and it is more prone to cold spots due to down drift.

I use my Exped down mat year round and it adds a lot of warmth to both products. People underestimate how much heat is lost to the ground, even in summer.

I layer the quilt over the bag in sub -10C temps; dont' strap it on tight to preserve lofting of both. They work incredibly well together.

When it gets really cold like -25C, the coldest in which I've slept outside, I put the pad, the bag and the quilt (and me) inside the bivy. It reduces airflow significantly around the insulation but you have to be careful to minimize sweating.

As conditions dictate I layer my clothing for more warmth.

All of the above combinations are inside a tent.

Hope this is helpful.


Edited by miku on 08/06/2013 11:16:28 MDT.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Back Country Blanket on 08/06/2013 07:04:31 MDT Print View


I converted to quilts several years ago for three-season camping (Montana and Wyoming)several years ago. My Nunatak Back Country Blanket is easily the most versatile quilt I own. Extra long, six extra ounces of down, can be draped in warmer weather, closed up when it gets colder. Like several others who've posted here, I use an Exped down pad or (lately) a Big Agnes Q Core synthetic fill pad, which really helps. I sleep very cold but either pad adds 10-15 F degrees to what a bag can accomplish by itself.

As Shawn says, Nunatak isn't inexpensive but you get exactly what you want.


Darren M.

Locale: West
Katabatic Alsek on 08/06/2013 07:35:54 MDT Print View

Been down this same road with various bags etc. I must admit, I haven't tried an EE quilt or some of the other quilts. I picked up an Alsek last year and absolutely loved it! The quality from the Katabatic quilts is off the charts. Truth be told, the 22 degree is a bit conservative for his quilts and I was quite warm in it. Sold it and no have the 30 degree Palisades and feel perfect with it and the ability to laver when the weather gets chili.

You owe it to yourself to check out the Katabatic quilts. I really like the differential cut and the retention system. I will not go back to a bag! Good Luck with your choice.

Zorg Zumo
(BurnNotice) - F
Re: Help with chooosing a 3 season quilt on 08/06/2013 12:13:35 MDT Print View

20*f is what I use. Some suggestions: Use a blanket, lay on your side and try to adjust the blanky so that you can get an idea of the right width. Too narrow and you'll get cold spots. IMO wider is better. Pad attachment - check to make sure that the manufacturer thought about it - some quilts are really only intended for use in a hammock. Black on inside - at high elevations it will dry super fast over a rock in a 15 minute sun break. Finally, 800 fill or greater.

There are a lot of cottage shops making quilts, but most of them are catering to hammock users. That doesn't mean they don't make a great quilt - but it does mean that you should ask them questions about stuff that matters to ground dwellers.

Not a bad idea to invest in a down hood or beanie. Fall can see honest 20* nights in the Sawtooths.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Re: Help with chooosing a 3 season quilt on 08/06/2013 12:29:52 MDT Print View

That's a great point about the width. I made my quilt based on JRB dimensions and as a side sleeper found 48" to be too narrow. I roll over a few times during the night and always ended up with a cold draft up my back when I did. I was debating between the standard and wide EE quilt but in the end decided (just like the temp) the couple of extra dollars and ounces would be well worth it to be sure I get a good night's sleep.


Corbin Camp

Locale: Southeast
EE on 08/06/2013 15:51:10 MDT Print View

You won't go wrong with an appropriately rated quilt from EE. I'm a 6' ~165#, side sleeper and the 6' reg Rev is a perfect size. Great coverage and the strap system works great on a 2"+ pad. I have a 40* Rev and it's warm enough for most situations where I will be. If I needed something warmer, I'd get the warmer version of what I have.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
3 season quilt + layering on 08/06/2013 18:03:56 MDT Print View

If you want a little more flexibility to ride out colder temps, I'd recommend you go with the 20*F quilt rather than a 30*. Depending upon the quilt design, you can always open the quilt up more or cinch it down to adjust for temps.

A few other thoughts...

Width/cut... Selecting a quilt of appropriate width is really key. A quilt that isn't wide enough to allow for a good wrap around your upper torso/shoulders will allow for drafts. This is no fun as temps drop. Different quilts manufacturers also provide different cuts through the torso/footbox. Some like more room to spread out, others like a slimmer cut for thermal efficiency and weight savings.

Footbox design... I'm on the fence. I have two quilts with a sewn footbox (Katabatic) that are super warm and cozy. Problem is, when it's a little warm out for the quilt, you can't easily vent or otherwise open up the footbox other than just hanging a leg out. Other designs, like the EE quilts, allow you open up the footbox for warm(er) weather use. On a dedicated summertime or warm weather quilt, this can be a nice feature. For a 3-season quilt, it might not be as ideal since it might not be as warm as a permanently enclosed footbox.

Strap designs... I really love the Katabatic Quilt strap system to attach the quilt to my sleeping pad. For a rotisserie sleeper (I spin round and round in my sleep), this system successfully keeps the pad under me and the quilt on top of me.

Hood... Definitely key as temps drop. Or plan to wear your down parka inside your quilt.

Layering... So, I have a 30*F 3-season down quilt and a 15*F down "winter" quilt. Earlier this year I purchased a 50*F synthetic quilt to use for the occasional really warm trip and to extend the range of my 15*F winter quilt into the realm of 0*F or colder. My plan is to layer the synthetic quilt on top of the down quilt and wear my down insulation pieces as needed inside the quilts. The synthetic quilt was sized large enough and is light enough to fully drape over my 15*F down quilt without any noticeable compression. In theory, having the synthetic quilt on top adds a little warmth and will also help with moisture management during wet winter trips by moving the dew point into the synthetic quilt rather than the down quilt. I haven't tested this yet in the field, but there were a few posts/articles over the last couple of years suggesting this approach works well for others.

FWIW, I've switched to quilts exclusively for the last 3 years or so. I don't even own a mummy bag anymore. They work a lot better for my needs and solve many of my issues with standard sleeping bags.

Likes Hikes
(BasqueJ88) - F
Katabatic on 08/06/2013 19:36:04 MDT Print View

I have heard a lot of great things about Katabatic quilts. I'm just on the fence about the sewn footbox. I understand that the footbox will be warmer in colder weather, but my concern is mobility as I roll around a lot. I'm 6'3" 205 with broad shoulders, so width is very important. Katabatic quilts are for the most part more costly than I was looking for, however, I understand that EE will be going up in price next month anyhow. I currently have a GoLite Z30 which is a good quilt, but I am looking for something wider and warmer for the weight. Do any of you Katabatic owners find that the footbox becomes restrictive?

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Katabatic on 08/06/2013 19:58:01 MDT Print View

I've been reading the sewn footbox saves a tiny bit of weight, I hang a leg or more out some nights anyway here in the Sierra. I want to get a quilt this coming Spring, debating widths. I've laid on the floor with a tape measure, a blanket sounds good to try out to check needs. Looks like ZPacks has upped the ante some with lighter fabric per my check on their site tonight. Katabatic is backed up.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Footbox confinement on 08/06/2013 19:58:56 MDT Print View

Im a few inches shorter than you but have about 5-10 lbs on you. I'm similarly broad shouldered and generally built like a sturdy rugby player. I also always run warm.

If I could, I would love to always sleep spread out under a down blanket. I don't care for being cramped up within a narrow confined space like a mummy bag. So, yeah, I find the footbox on my katabatic quilts "restrictive" but no more so than any other mummy bag or quilt. Obviously in warm weather now I'll gladly switch to the EE quilt and make use of the ability to open up the footbox, but for colder nights, I accept the limitations of the sewn footbox in exchange for better warmth. I can't imagine a winter-rated down blanket would be very efficient, although I'd welcome the ability to sprawl...

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Help with chooosing a 3 season quilt on 08/06/2013 20:47:13 MDT Print View

Look at the 25°F Western Mountaineering Alder MF (microfiber) semi-rectangular sleeping bag. It is hoodless, has 2 full length zippers - one down the side and another across the foot - that allows it to open completely flat as a quilt or zip up into a fully closed sleeping bag. There is a hooded version also - the Sycamore MF.

5 1/4" Spacing/Continuous Baffles
5" Loft, 25° F
62"/ 46" Shoulder /Foot Girth
16 oz. Down Fill
Zips to Summer Coupler
1 lb. 15 oz. Total Weight

$390 for a 6 foot version ($415 hooded)
$405 for a 6 foot 6 inch version ($435 hooded)

We have two of the hooded versions. One fully open works fine for the wife and me during the warmer months. Because ours have the zippers on opposing sides, we can zip them together to make a double bag for colder month, or close each of them up individually when we choose.

I've used mine for 2100 miles of the PCT, all 165 miles of the TRT, and 120 miles of the CT. Never once did I wish for something else.

Edited by wandering_bob on 08/06/2013 20:48:40 MDT.

Darren M.

Locale: West
Footbox on 08/06/2013 20:57:59 MDT Print View

Hey Jason,

I have had no issues with the footbox on my two Katabatic quilts. It's funny as I had to think back to how I was worried about the same thing but the foot area is not restrictive at all and the way Aaron cuts the foot box, it's very roomy vertically. I am 6'1 and around 200 lbs. and am a very active sleeper as well. Both of my quilts are wide and they truly are amazingly comfortable. Like others have mentioned, the ability to tie down the edges and have them tuck around you, even when you move from back to side is very effective.

My 22 degree Alsek was too warm in the summer and If I wanted just one quilt for the summer and shoulder seasons, I'd look at a Palisade with 1oz. overfill. I sleep great with a standard Palisade and just layer my clothing when it gets real cold. I've had mine down to 20 with just my hiking pants/shirt/socks. You could easily get lower with a small down jacket/rain gear etc.