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New Down Quilt from Sierra Designs with built in hood and hand pockets
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Michael Glavin
(gmontlake) - MLife

Locale: Cascades and Selkirks
Re: Re: More comments on 09/27/2013 22:23:00 MDT Print View

The Flashlight shown is 90" long!

Michael Glavin
(gmontlake) - MLife

Locale: Cascades and Selkirks
Re: Re: More comments on 09/27/2013 22:32:24 MDT Print View

90" long
50" wide at head
46" wide at foot
46" peak height
32" triangular gear closets (3.3 feet squared each)
39 square feet interior
Included vertical poles add 6 ounces
2 pounds 15 ounces minimum
3 pound 5 ounce packed

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: New Down Quilt from Sierra Designs with built in hood and hand pockets on 09/27/2013 22:50:39 MDT Print View

Michael,

You have my attention. I look forward to seeing what else you come up with for the 2014 line.

Andrew

Mole J
(MoleJ) - F

Locale: UK
quilt on 09/28/2013 02:12:03 MDT Print View

some great features on that quilt. Love the hood. But ,as already pointed out, the footbox entry looks too wide to not allow draughts in easily .

Michael Glavin
(gmontlake) - MLife

Locale: Cascades and Selkirks
SD Backcountry Quilt footbox on 09/28/2013 10:43:24 MDT Print View

I have a sample available for testing and comment by any user if this forum who will actually use the bag soon (like next weekend, my window for any changes is almost closed), who is legitimately concerned about the footbox, and will send it back to me quickly with thoughtful comments based on your experience. Again, I have not experienced or heard about any issue with the footbox design, most testers were not as experienced with quilts as many of you. But if there are improvements to discover.......

I'll sleep in it again tonight and focus on this area and let you know what I think. It's cold here is Spokane, so it should be a good testing night.....

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: SD Backcountry Quilt footbox on 09/28/2013 11:05:26 MDT Print View

My problem is that I find many foot boxes to be too small to accommodate a pair of size 15 feet without crushing the insulation.

Michael Glavin
(gmontlake) - MLife

Locale: Cascades and Selkirks
SD Backcountry Quilt footbox design on 09/28/2013 11:31:38 MDT Print View

All:

Based on the comments above, I just spent some time looking at all the various quilts in my gear closet, specifically focusing on the "closure" of the underside of the footbox. First, some of the footboxes are deeper than others, the BCQ is about "medium" in its length, and on the large side of girth. In terms of closure, the V shape footboxes attempt to roll the quilt under you, and are effective at the footbox but obviously flop open towards the top. The BCQ is different in that the handpockets create a full-length fold under of the edge of the bag, show here:BCQ Underside

This folds the edge of the quilt under for the entire length of the bag, especially for stomach and side sleepers like me who will tend to keep their hands in the pockets most of the time, tensioning the edge and folding the side under. Now, if it twists at the foot, you will get drafts right at the top of the footboy, but no more so than quilts with a shorter footboy and a V shape. We could, of course, add more material to make it a V shape, or lengthen the footbox, but this would add weight. Or the term we use in our team of corporate greed: "It's a dollar and an ounce".

My conclusion continues to be that it's good to go as-is, but the offer for additional perspective still stands...

Christopher *
(cfrey.0) - M

Locale: US East Coast
Re: SD Backcountry Quilt footbox design on 09/28/2013 12:03:42 MDT Print View

Hard to have a viable opinion without actually seeing or using the thing, but in the video it really looks like the bottom end of the quilt flops open exposing the underside of the foot-box quite a bit as he adjusts. I am an "active" sleeper so for a quilt meant to go below freezing that would be a big concern for me.

The underside of a Katabatic quilt comes to a "V" on its way to the foot-box (and BTW is shaped to not flop open at the top), but an additional feature is an slightly elastic adjustable strap with flat hardware placed a few inches above the joining of the "V". I always thought that was a smart low-weight design feature to address a similar concern.

quilt

(I took this photo from Hendrik for illustration)

Also, looking at the underside of your quilt I cannot make out how your neck closure works. Does the system rely on just the hand pockets to cinch the top?

Edited by cfrey.0 on 09/28/2013 12:25:23 MDT.

Ammon Bruce
(AmmonBruce) - M

Locale: South Eastern Washington State
Re: SD Backcountry Quilt footbox on 09/28/2013 12:13:52 MDT Print View

Michael ,

I live in Richland Washington and I would love to test this out and also my brother; both from the Tri cities we are going to Lake Roosevelt next weekend at my brothers property.
We both use the Exped Dream Walkers 250 and would love to review and compare them. We are both 6 foot one guys. I will sent you a pm with more info
Ammon Bruce

Also this is a cool way to advertise,but if we could get the 2014 Dealer Workbook sent to us with all the specs. If you have so many new items; let us Christmas shop the catalog. Most smaller retailers will not carry everything you will sell. That way we can compare notes! I have my fingers crossed!

Edited by AmmonBruce on 09/28/2013 12:32:22 MDT.

Michael Glavin
(gmontlake) - MLife

Locale: Cascades and Selkirks
Re: Re: SD Backcountry Quilt footbox on 09/28/2013 12:40:16 MDT Print View

Got your message. Coming your way on Monday.....

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
new SD stuff on 09/28/2013 18:23:21 MDT Print View

Looked at the SD site for tents.
When will the new tents be posted?
Thanks.

Lance Stalnaker
(Katangi)
SD on 09/28/2013 21:09:46 MDT Print View

I get just about everything I can from the cottage gear maker. I stopped getting Backpacker a few years back since they don not cover much that is relative to those with experience or those who are truly UL, or looking for functional high quality gear. As you pointed out, most of it just sucks. I have several Hammockgear quilts (under and over) and they are great, plus Adam has retro improved items for me at no cost. The designs are simple and practical and I deal with good folks, with great personal service, and I can support someone here in central Ohio. That is just one example, I could go on and on (hammocks, backpacks, cuben tarps, etc.). To me it is clear that the folks at Gossamer Gear actually use the backpacks they design as compared to a UL commercial product like Golite, not that they do not all have there place.

It is good to hear of the new direction of SD, hope it works out for you. Your new tent looks like some cottage gear makers (see Tarptent) designs we have seen for years, but nice to see it making it mainstream I suppose. The quilt looks a bit gimmicky to me, most here want practical and no frills. The hand pockets just do not make sense to me at all, you can't grab a regular quilt and move around with it? What quilts have you tested that are too small to do this? I can get the Hammockgear and other cottage makers to make it whatever specs I want for minimal charge, I have never had a problem moving around with my quilt as opposed to a bag (which is why I use a quilt) and as for a hood, why? the reason most of us do not like them is that they are confining and are always there, I like to be able to wear a fleece, down, both or none at all, the hood takes that versatility away from me.

The backpacking quilt should be like the quilt at home and move with you, with no pockets or hood IMO. I can also see hands getting a bit too sweaty in those pockets. Anyway, nice to see what is going on at SD, keep sharpening the pencil, I doubt many that use Cottage makers will switch, but the newbs and others out there reading the Backpacker gear guide in March may be the better for it.

Lance Stalnaker
(Katangi)
SD new products (UL vs SD) on 09/29/2013 07:39:02 MDT Print View

After rereading your post with specs, I am assuming your en rating is lower extreme and not the comfort rating, am I right? Also just a few more observations, particularly how they relate to the UL crowd. If I compare my HG Burrow 20 quilt with the SD one, this is what I find: SD is 24 oz, HG is 17.3, 6 oz difference, HG has 12 oz down in an Argon shell (1 oz more) and is rated to what I consider a conservative 20 degrees, with a price of $263. So that is a 28% weight savings for a warmer bag?

The shelter could be similarly compared to the TT Scarp, SMD Lunar Duo, etc.

I guess my question is who is your clientele? Are you going after what you perceive as a gap between the commercial and the cottage gear maker? What I am seeing is something in the middle. You are never going to sell a heavier, same price or more expensive item to the UL crowd, and most newbs are going to stick with the straight forward sleeping bag, tent, pack, etc. when they first start out? People seek out UL, they don't go to REI to find it at least not in my experience, we only shop there for sporks.

I think it is great to see a different approach to it all, I just don't quite get your market segment? Those truly looking for UL gear will find it and you will still always be a quite a bit behind the cottage gear makers, right? I mean you are saying this is coming out in 2014, HG switched to the lighter Argon fabric with one quick announcement on the HG forums, by 2014, there will most likely be something lighter still and you will be looking at fabrics like Argon for 2016.

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Clipflashlight 2 on 09/29/2013 08:28:44 MDT Print View

Looks like a walrus or MSR Zoid, might be interesting

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Like the hand pockets... on 09/29/2013 10:05:34 MDT Print View

Those would drive me nuts. Like sleeping with mittens on.

So all the two person tents will only have a single door?

Edited by kthompson on 09/29/2013 10:08:29 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Like the hand pockets... on 09/29/2013 10:06:16 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 11/13/2013 15:53:15 MST.

Michael Glavin
(gmontlake) - MLife

Locale: Cascades and Selkirks
More comments and responses on 09/29/2013 12:54:36 MDT Print View

Hi All:


*New tents will be posted on the site in January when the 2014 models arrive for delivery.

*For those wanting the inside scoop sooner, I posed the relevant pages of the workbook on a new sierra designs page at zenbivy.com Note: I crossed out the wholesale price, which is what retailers pay before any discounts we give them. For some insight into the corporate greed, we charge the retailer about half of the retail price, so I am selling them a $300 tent for a smidge over $150.

*only one of our 2 person tents has a single door. The Flashlight, our lightest tent, has two doors. When I was talking about a single door, I was referring to getting in and out of the tent. Tents with vestibules require you to open and close 2 doors, plus crawl over your gear, plus they crush ventilation. Vestibules, IMO, are just about the worst thing you can do to a 3S tent. The first vestibule was done by TNF when they converted the venerable VE24 to the VE25. They were used to eliminate snow tunnels, so that a person could get into a vestibule, then shut the inner tent before opening the next door. Sort of a storm chamber that eliminated shimming through a storm tunnel in bad weather. Then people figured out you could cook and store there, and most tents have been ruined following this model ever since. Gear stored in the door is not smart. Two doors on a 3S tent is not smart. Killing ventilation on 3S tents is not smart. Vestibules do all these things, which is why you won't find any on SD tents anymore.

*The new flashlight is reminiscent of the Zoid (I used to be the S&M Director at MSR, and I was the one who started MSR tents from the remains of Moss and Walrus. Unlike the Zoid, the front poles are vertical, and can be replaced with trekking poles. Plus, there is no vestibule blocking the door and hindering ventilation, the gear storage is moved away from the door, and the door creates a huge vent that you can open in bad weather, and a nice window that you can always see out of. I live in the Northwest, and nearly every shelter on the market (except for the MSR Missing Link/Faststash) require you to close the tent up in bad weather. In most cases, you can't even get in and out without water coming into the tent interior. To be truly comfortable, a tent has to both vent in worst case conditions, and you MUST be able to see outside in poor weather, so you avoid that cooped up feeling, and you MUST be able to cook. ALL SD tents allow all three, because the door is no longer a door, it is a wall that can be height customized (drop door can be zipped up part way to block lower wind, but still get over it to cook (and see), it is a HUGE vent (really the best part, which allows us to get away from double walls and use it like a real tarp. The key is the awning over the door. When I named the Missing Link in 2002, that is what saw. Most people saw a funky ugly trekking pole single wall freak show (which is was), I saw the future: awnings over doorways fundamentally redefine the experience. Every SD tent is descendant from the MSR Missing Link, the shelter I use in most conditions to this day. We even have mostly double wall (they are all exoskeleton/hybrids) freestanding versions, but they all have awnings and drop doors, and are dramatically more livable as a result. Think about it: isn't this freedom why most of us love tarps? Is it really all about weight?

*I will do a quick video of the Flashlight 2 and post it to the SD page on zenbivy.com; I'll try to do it today but priority is to get off this computer and outside before the rain comes this afternoon....

*EN ratings are not in the workbook, since they were still being tested at print. But yes, the 28 degree number is the Limit (not extreme, that is something else), the comfort rating is 38 degrees.

*Regarding Lance's questions comparing the SD quilt to the HG Burrow 20. I am not familiar with that bag, but I can tell you there is no rocket science to the weight of any of these bags. Ounces of down (given the same fill power) is probably your best comparison tool for judging relative warmth of bags that are not EN rated. Beyond that, weight is a simple factor of size and material weight. So, though I admit I have no idea, I doubt that bag would rate at 20 degrees on the EN test (In fact I know it wouldn't, since it does not insulate the head, but just speaking relatively). But with super high fill power down, and an uber light shell, it is certainly conceivable.

*Lance: you nailed it: "Are you going after what you perceive as a gap between the commercial and the cottage gear maker? What I am seeing is something in the middle." I even have this funky chart in my business plan that shows the "gap" you refer to, with the following caption:

"In general, our competitors are not providing much that is very interesting. Since our objective is to produce products that fundamentally change the customer dialogue so that we change the state of the marketplace, in total defiance of anything that could be considered status quo, it is pointless to review them in detail.

Competitively, all the “big brands” are nicely piled on top of one another, each fighting for the same space using the same “aspirational” marketing model. Meanwhile, when it comes to Sierra Design’s core activities of backpacking and hiking, the big brands are doing nothing innovative. As a result, many of the enthusiast level backpacking and hiking customers have deserted the traditional outdoor marketplace, and a small but dedicated cottage industry has grown to fulfill the need created by simply being ignored by the big brands.

And there exists a void, a white space, and a key opportunity for Sierra Designs."

Then I have a big arrow that shows are vision of customers moving from the traditional toward the dedicated enthusiast. As has been stated in this thread over and over, there is not much that Sierra Designs can bring to the enthusiast crowd that you are not already getting (but there is some). Our real mission is to provide real ways to turn casual backpackers into dedicated backpackers, by making the experience light and comfortable. Right now, if you want to go backpacking, and you walk in to an REI, what you walk out with is generally crap that is both heavy AND uncomfortable. But that is what people do all the time, and I hate it, because many people who have that experience simply stop participating, which is a shame. More backpackers means more emphasis on resource protection, and more people who share our passion for the wild places. If I have my way, Sierra Designs will actually GROW the cottage industry by introducing more people to new and better thinking.

I showed this slide to the buyer of a major retailer, and no kidding, the buyer said "what is this cottage industry you are talking about?" He had no clue that you guys even existed, or that people were so passionate about backpacking.

Now, some of you may not want the average Joe to become more involved in backpacking. For me, just about the last thing I want to see on my trips is another backpacker. But I think that more backpackers is a good thing, because more backpackers means more voices, and hopefully more protected wild places for us to wander. Readers of this forum may need to wander farther to obtain solitude, but keep making those packs lighter and you can do just that!

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: More comments and responses on 09/29/2013 14:18:11 MDT Print View

Thank you for your response.

Lance Stalnaker
(Katangi)
SD on 09/29/2013 16:02:51 MDT Print View

Thanks for the reply. I can see where you are going now, I hope there is indeed a market for SD in that gap, somewhere between where we are and the commercial companies, if you get these new lines in the big box stores, maybe the newb can start out a "E" and then get to "H" from there, rather than starting at "A" like most of us did. I can remember hauling some heavy, not so functional packs with heavy underrated gear as most others have experienced.

I think the en ratings are a good idea, just not always apples to apples. For the adventurer that caries a down hood, fleece hood, or balaclava, and wants to use that there is no real answer to "no hood" I do know my HG products are 900 fill and way warm. If you are interested head over to Hammockforums.net there are a ton of do it yourselfers and cottage gear makers making some really forward thinking, quilts, hammocks, tarps, etc.

Most of us who have been at it a while can look at the loft and cut of the bag and tell how warm it is...just lay a Western Mountaineering 20 bag next to NF Cat's Meow and it is obvious someone is fibbing about temp rating.

Thanks for your input and best of luck with your new product launch, good to see someone cares about the consumer and product.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
"Vestibules, IMO, are just about the worst thing you can do to a 3S tent. " on 09/29/2013 16:56:28 MDT Print View

Michael,
Forgive me. I did read all your earlier posts, but had to stop here.
You probably personify the comment I posted recently suggesting that the larger tent makers, before they make any new tents, should be required to spend a month every summer trekking in the Pacific NW, with only their own tents for shelter I would add.

The posts identifying the new SD tent with older designs hit the nail on the head.

For innovation, look at the tents designed and built by two of our Scottish posters on MYOG. Only experience trekking will provide the knowledge required to move tentmaking forward. The rest is fluff. We can always use less of that.