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Joe Annese
(dirtbaghiker) - M
synthetic lightweight quilt on 08/30/2013 11:09:56 MDT Print View

So I backpack in NY, NJ and PA all seasons and I am looking for a synthetic lightweight quilt. I currently use GoLite down 1 season and 3 season quilts, which I love. The 1 season gets most use, even in cold temps. However, I now plan on useing a MLD Patrol shelter as my primary shelter. As you now, in the NE mountains we get plenty of rain and snow and humidity. So I am considering trying a light weight synthetic quilt with my new system. Right now, my base pack weight is at 8.5 - 9 lbs. I would like to keep it there. I was looking at the MLD spirit quilts or now possibly an Enlightened Equipment synthetic quilt(I forget the name). Do any of you use synthetic quilts? Any recommendations? Is there a better choice other then the 2 I'm looking at? Of those 2 which is better? Or are they reletivly the same and its just a matter of choice? Thanks for any input and help...
Joe

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: synthetic lightweight quilt on 08/30/2013 11:31:40 MDT Print View

Its pretty easy and much cheaper to buy the materials and make it yourself. If you can't sew or don't have a machine, chances are you may be friendly with someone who does or you could bring it to a seamstress or the like. Thru-hiker is a good source of Climashield Apex and good quality but cheap nylon fabric can be found at many places.

Edited by ArcturusBear on 08/30/2013 11:41:59 MDT.

Joe Annese
(dirtbaghiker) - M
make my own on 08/30/2013 11:38:49 MDT Print View

Meh' you lost me on make my own. Yeah...no not gonna happen on this one. No idea and easier for me to buy it . Thanks though.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: make my own on 08/30/2013 11:46:46 MDT Print View

In that case, while I don't have a synthetic quilt from a company, I do have a E.E. down quilt (which is significantly harder to make) and highly recommend their general quilt quality. And yes synthetic does make more sense for some conditions.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: synthetic lightweight quilt on 08/30/2013 11:59:29 MDT Print View

I'm a big fan of Enlightened Equipment quilts - Tim's great to work with and his quilts are of high quality.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
size on 08/30/2013 12:18:49 MDT Print View

size the synth quilt to go over yr down one ...

and youve now got a very redundant and condensation resistant winter setup

;)

George Davis
(nsiderbam) - F

Locale: mid-Atlantic
Spirit on 08/30/2013 13:03:42 MDT Print View

I really like the MLD Spirit 28. It's really light and has kept me warm past the temp rating. I wrote a bit about it here: http://www.nsiderbam.blogspot.com/2013/07/thoughts-on-mld-spirit-28-quilt.html

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: synthetic lightweight quilt on 08/30/2013 13:04:06 MDT Print View

I was going to suggest making your own as well, but since that option is out the only people I've seen making synthetic quilts are EE and MLD. I just got an EE RevX (down) quilt and it puts my MYOG synthetic quilt to shame as far as workmanship goes. It's very well put together, I have to imagine their synthetic quilts are just as nice. I haven't seen the MLD Spirit quilts but judging from the word on the 'net and the tarp I had from them they should be exceptional as well.
I haven't had a chance to use my synthetic quilt yet (just finished it last week) but I chose synthetic for much the same reason you're considering it. Mine is a summer-weight quilt and around here that means lots of dew and humidity and I didn't want to be worry so much about getting my quilt damp. Plus the weight savings of down wasn't huge at this temperature rating. For my "winter" quilt its a different story.
I think the biggest difference between the MLD and EE quilts is going to be the cut. The MLD is more form-fitting, the EE is more generously cut. Both are available is a variety of lengths and widths. Both offer their quilts with lightweight, high-quality fabrics but EE also has the "X" line which uses cheaper 30d nylon as a budget option. I don't think you can really go wrong with either one. The other difference is MLD uses omni-tape to close the footbox and EE uses a zipper.

Adam

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: synthetic lightweight quilt on 08/30/2013 13:31:57 MDT Print View

Good point Adam that for a summer weight quilt there is not a huge difference in weight difference between Apex and down. I would say there is a noticeable difference in volume though and Apex is much less forgiving over time as far as compacting.

For most though the volume won't be that big of a deal. It is kind of for me since my go to overnighter and weekend pack is rather small (20L).

Matthew Black
(mtblack) - M
Re: synthetic lightweight quilt on 08/30/2013 13:39:32 MDT Print View

I really like my MLD Spirit 48. Under 12 ounces for a large and enough insulation for most of my summer trips or year round in the Bay Area. Impeccably finished with great materials.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Re: Re: synthetic lightweight quilt on 08/30/2013 13:48:05 MDT Print View

Yeah, the pack size is a definite disadvantage as is the life expectancy of the insulation. My 2.5osy Apex quilt packs into a 5.5L stuff sack, which is about the same size as my 30 degree down quilt. A 45 degree down quilt would certainly pack smaller and if you use a small pack like Justin, that's a big consideration. I use a 50L pack most of the time so it doesn't bother me at all.
As far as long term durability, I sort of decided that if I can get five or so years out of it I'd be happy. I paid under $50 for the materials to make my synthetic quilt so if it goes flat soon I'm not out a lot of cash. And by then who knows what sort of advances synthetic insulation will have made. I may want to make a new quilt then just to take advantage of the new materials even if my quilt is still going strong.

Adam

Joe Annese
(dirtbaghiker) - M
pack size on 08/31/2013 19:16:06 MDT Print View

I use ULA CDT pack. I carry so few items that I do believe it will not make much of a difference in my pack. I decided on the EE Prodigy 40 degree regular size quilt. I will definately push its limits with how cold i can take it down to in my back yard so I get a better feel for it uses. I guess I will primarily use the synthetic bag when I know to expect lots of rain and humidity and some snow. The weight is pretty much close to the same as my 40 degree down bag, so its no concern to me really. My pack weight will still be hovering around the 9.5 lb weight, minus food and water. If everything I have read and heard about the differences of down and synthetic is true, in wet/humid/damp conditions, then I most certainly believe this is the way to go with my setup where I do most of my hiking. Thanks everyone for your help