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New Down Quilt from Sierra Designs with built in hood and hand pockets
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diego dean
sd tent on 10/02/2013 20:37:47 MDT Print View

Thanks Michael for showing us your design and the dialog behind it. Ill definitely be checking it out when its ready...I see some very tempting features!

Derek M.
(dmusashe) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Welcome to the crazy club on 10/02/2013 21:33:37 MDT Print View

"I have never posted on any forum like this before, and am clearly addicted. My wife thinks I am crazy, and thinks I should stop working on backpacking, stop talking about backpacking, and just go backpacking. I like that idea."

Welcome to the club! You are in good company. I think if we could all "just go backpacking" as much as we wanted, then the forum would be a ghost town!

After all, how much do we hear from thru-hikers while they are on the move? Not much, of course, because they are backpacking as much as they want (probably more!).

When I'm out on a trip, I certainly don't daydream about posting on the forum :), but very few of us get out as much as we'd like, so interacting with other BPL members on the forum is the best we can do while we're not on the out in the backcountry.

Anyway, glad you have joined the club. The toothpaste is most certainly out of the tube my friend...

Edited by dmusashe on 10/02/2013 21:34:58 MDT.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Why so much mosquito netting on 10/02/2013 21:51:24 MDT Print View


You have been very patient with us so feel free to ignore this non-essential question.

Why have the inner tents under flys gone to mostly mosquito netting instead of solid fabric, as was common in the past? the lighter solid nylons are now the same weight or lighter than mosquito netting.

I'm looking for warmth in a tent and solid inner tents are much better at providing warmth than mosquito netting. I've never been too warm in a tent while backpacking (mostly upper elevations of Washington State).

Is this a sign of global warming?

just Justin Whitson
Re: Welcome to the crazy club on 10/02/2013 21:59:52 MDT Print View

"...but very few of us get out as much as we'd like, so interacting with other BPL members on the forum is the best we can do while we're not on the out in the backcountry..."

Grrr, unfortunately true for this member. I started a new job (well back in April) that requires me to work every other weekend, and the week i don't have a weekend off, i don't get two days off in a row. Double grrr.

And it's a field/type of job where you are really discouraged to take off any time (and even if you're sick it can be hard to do because you have to find coverage yourself). Only reason why i was able to get off time for my AK trip was because i had made these plans before getting hired there, and told them even in the interview about the trip, and so i was reluctantly given time off.

With my last job, especially during the cooler periods, about 3 weekends out of the month, on average, i was going out. Now very little, even though it's cooling down.

Michael Glavin
(gmontlake) - MLife

Locale: Cascades and Selkirks
Breathable fabric and weight weenies on 10/07/2013 20:14:52 MDT Print View


I do tend to think everyone on this site is a weight weenie, even though I know that is not the case. I have been a member for a long time, and have not explored "the limit" since the I went under 10 pounds in the mid-90's and came back from the trip wishing I had a better mattress, more food, and some gloves. Now I still try to go light, but don't use a scale. I am also mostly a climber, and cutting too much weight on the climbing gear gets pretty dangerous pretty quickly....


Regarding mesh vs. breathable: That's a real good question. When we made the MSR Hubba Hubba in 2002, it was one of the very first tents to use exclusively (almost) mesh for the interior. Now, it is pretty much standard. While it is true that there are fabrics that weigh the same as mesh, they are dramatically more expensive (Hubba Hubba XP). Plus, most folks are wanting more and more ventilation (other than in Great Britain, where they still seem to really love their steamy shelters that keep out exterior moisture at all costs). But anyone who has hiked in dry desert conditions has learned that mesh filters blowing sand so that you get covered in silty nastiness in windy conditions. And there are lots of other conditions where breathable panels are better than mesh.

So I don't have a good answer. Folks just are not doing it. Maybe we should......

Ammon Bruce
(AmmonBruce) - MLife

Locale: South Eastern Washington State
Review on the New Down Quilt from Sierra Designs with built in hood and hand pockets on 10/07/2013 21:18:12 MDT Print View

Review by Ammon Bruce

I took Michael's offer to test out the New Sierra Designs Backcountry Quilt. This thread started out about a quilt and now it is on tents. Michael sent me the quilt and I recieved it on October 3rd. I tested it for 2 nights and my brother one night. For those that saw the so called gaps on the Prolite video and wanted to know more. This review is for you and all the people that read it.
Produce info from the workbook
SD Backcountry Quilt 800
2-Season. (30 degree f/-1c)
Size Regular
MSRP $259.95
Trail Weight 1lb 9oz
Fits Up To 6'4"
Fill Weight 11 oz
Stuff Size (WxL) 7"x14"

Fill 800 fill duck Dridown
Shell 20D Nylon Ripstop
Liner 20D Nylon Taffeta
To see this workbook specs go to
Part I

Edited by AmmonBruce on 10/07/2013 22:54:26 MDT.

Ammon Bruce
(AmmonBruce) - MLife

Locale: South Eastern Washington State
Review part II on the New Down Quilt from Sierra Designs with built in hood and hand pockets on 10/07/2013 22:32:08 MDT Print View

Part II
My profile
6' 3"
255 lbs
49" Shoulders
Top size XL
Bottom size 36
Shoe size 12
I test in a long sleeve merino 1 Patagonia shirt. Shorts and running socks

The quilt's specs according to me: Remember this is prototype and sizes my change. When the Quilt comes out in April 2014, it my have had some changes. So go try it, I know I will.
Quilt weight 1lb 7.5 oz
Top 50" wide
Length 76"
Hood 12"x14" fits a size 8 head comfortably
Foot Box 12" wide mummy
Foot box size 21"x21"
True 30 degree quilt. I feel that it couple easily have gone 5 degrees lower with bag liner. I woke up at 30 degrees feeling no cool spot anywhere. I slept on my back, side and stomach. Warm and comfortable at all sleeping styles. Tested at 30-37 degrees over the three nights
I made sure to wake up early to see how I felt at the coldest time of the night.

Fits up to 6'1" I found that I stretched it out in some areas, but found no cool spot where the loft had been streched tight. Right now they have a "one size fits all". (Regular size). No long size.
I am hoping the final product is a inch or two longer.
Part III.....

Edited by AmmonBruce on 10/07/2013 22:58:56 MDT.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Breathable fabric and weight weenies on 10/07/2013 22:54:03 MDT Print View


I own a Hubba Hubba HP and the fabric does look expensive. Did you help with that design too?

I think it was a great idea to make a light tent with mostly fabric. I must be in the minority, however, because they discontinued it.

Michael Glavin
(gmontlake) - MLife

Locale: Cascades and Selkirks
Re: Re: Breathable fabric and weight weenies on 10/07/2013 22:59:00 MDT Print View

No, that one came after me. I left MSR/Cascade in 2003, then worked at various other places like Mointainsmith, OR, Stanley thermos, PAC Outdoors as an independent contractor. Then GSI Outdoors for 5 years, then another independent contact period with MSR again (BPL readers will be VERY interested in that project when they move on it), GSI, and Stanley again. Then to SD. Typing this makes me feel old.

Jim Klazek
(Klazek) - M
Quilt thread on 10/08/2013 07:29:09 MDT Print View

Michael, this thread has gone off on a bit of a tangent re the Flashlight tents. I think there will be a lot more posting re the quilt before it ends. For that reason maybe the Flashlights should have their own thread as there will be considerable posting on it also. Hopefully you can get a video up on the redesigned 1 or get one to Philip at Sectionhiker. I think I have pretty well decided to get one to 'mess around' with.

Jim Klazek
(Klazek) - M
Flashlight 1 on 10/08/2013 17:36:28 MDT Print View

Michael; Something I would add if not final design. Add 2 clips/hooks to each vertical wall and attach/clip to each vertical pole. It would prevent the walls buffeting inwards/outwards and making a lot of noise in driving wind/rain etc. By nature of the tent configuration it will gather a lot of wind under the awnings, which is what we really want. The wind tunnel testing on your site was quite interesting.

Jeffrey Wong
(kayak4water) - MLife

Locale: Pacific NW
Saw the video on the flashlight on 10/13/2013 01:57:44 MDT Print View

And I saw the tent's mesh pocket for stuff, and heard you specifically mention eyeglasses. That's a dumb place to put my specs, because they'll get cold after a few minutes and condense moisture as soon as I put them on my fool face. To keep my specs warm, I tuck one of the temples behind the front collar of my t shirt, while my zip turtle neck keeps them from flopping around too much. One day maybe soon, I'll sew an eyeglass pocket into my quilt, so if I start belly sleeping one day, I won't destroy my specs.

Put that into your quilt or sleeping bags, my four eyed friends.

Edited by kayak4water on 10/13/2013 22:58:23 MDT.

Michael Glavin
(gmontlake) - MLife

Locale: Cascades and Selkirks
Re: Saw the video on the flashlight on 10/13/2013 10:22:30 MDT Print View

I am too afraid to keep my glasses near or on my body. I wrap them in my hankie and put them in a pocket. When I sleep in a bivy sack (my usual method), I won't even put them inside. I wrap them in a hankie then put them in my hat (baseball style cap) with my headlamp. I just flail around too much to have that hard stuff near me. I don't even like zippers in my bed at night. I'm kind of a softie.....

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
size for a 2 man tent on 10/13/2013 11:16:11 MDT Print View

Just saw the video on the Flashlight 2. Like some of the concepts, will be interesting to see how they play out. The size is an issue for me, as someone who regularly hikes with my boyfriend. One of the reasons I haven't been able to get him to make the jump away from our REI Quarterdome T2 Plus is floor space. The Plus seems to be unique in the 2 person tent department with its dimensions of 54" x 94". Having the footbox narrow to 46" makes it difficult to put 2 25" wide pads side to side. We are both short people, but we like the extra length because we don't use vestibules for gear storage, we put our packs at the foot of our sleeping pads, laid on their backs. The narrowing also restricts this option. The folded-back "gear locker" outside doesn't look like an easy space to put a pack, and it would be leaning against the tent wall, or possibly having the hip belt poke out from under the awning, getting wet. I could be wrong, it's sometimes hard to get an impression of size on a video.

I'm sure that the narrower footbox is a weight-saving strategy; I've never understood it though in terms of livability of the tent. 3 pound weight isn't quite enough for me to switch tents. Our current tent is split between the 2 of us; the Flashlight one of us would end up carrying the whole thing. The pitch looked really easy, though. The other reason I haven't been able to get Bill to switch is that he likes how easy it is to set up a free-standing tent. The few times we tried a tarp tent he didn't want to have to practice setting it up; having to fiddle with the stake settings to get the tent to work right just was not something he was willing to do.

Warning: we are not ultralight hikers, we are lightweight hikers who will not sacrifice comfort for a lower weight on a gear sheet. So, in a way, we are sort of your target market.

Mark Rash
(markrvp) - M

Locale: North Texas
Thanks Michael on 11/13/2013 15:11:50 MST Print View

Thanks to Michael for taking the time to discuss his thinking and strategies. As a Scoutmaster, it's really hard for me to get parents of 12-14 year-old boy scouts to even consider something like a tarptent or hexamid shelter. I can, however, convince them that a Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight 2 at 3.5 lbs. is better than a Wal-Mart tent that weighs 7 lbs. I'm sorry to see that the Clip Flashlight 2 is going away as that was about the most expensive lightweight tent I could get scouts to go for. I am, however, stoked to see WHY the designs have changed.

Michael, please keep us in the conversation.

Michael Glavin
(gmontlake) - MLife

Locale: Cascades and Selkirks
Re: Thanks Michael on 11/13/2013 15:46:35 MST Print View

Will do! Note that the new Flashlight 2 comes in two builds, with the standard build at $259 /3lb, 6oz. and the UL version at $359/ 3 lb, 0 oz.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Review part II on the New Down Quilt from Sierra Designs with built in hood and hand pockets on 11/15/2013 01:10:39 MST Print View


Thanks for taking the time to give us a review of your experience with the SD quilt.

Eagerly waiting for Part III.

Even though the thread has turned mostly into a tent discussion, I am sure that I am not alone in wanting to hear about this innovative quilt design.

I think that the hand pockets and the built in hood are brilliant and innovative concepts that we have not seen before.

Your report will help shed light to see how well these ideas work in the field.

@ Michael,

It really is a treat to see you hear to engage the community with your insider's perspective and to solicit feedback....definitely can see your passion for what you are doing and what direction you are taking SD into the future.

I am also really happy to see that the BPL community has welcomed you vs. being negatively critical as opposed to constructively critical.

Going into this thread, page by page, I was cringing at the thought that I might see comments attacking you for being part of "big business".

Anyway, really enjoying reading this great discussion.


Ammon Bruce
(AmmonBruce) - MLife

Locale: South Eastern Washington State
Review part IIl on the New Down Quilt from Sierra Designs with built in hood and hand pockets on 11/16/2013 19:45:35 MST Print View

Part lll

Positions and Performance

On your back:
Well on my back I was unable to use the hand pockets do to how high they were. So, I pulled the quilt up to my neck and the hand pockets keep the warmth in like baffles.
Rated 10/10

The hood worked great well on my back. Head and face stayed warm all night and fit great for a size 8 head. I found no moister in the morning anywhere around the mouth opening. I thought I would, but due to a great designer the quilt remained dry. The hood felt soft against my face. My brother has claustrophobia and the hood bothered him.

Rated 10/10 for back sleepers.

On your Side:
I tried using both pockets and found that it did not wrap well around me. It left gaps for air lose(like in the Prolite video on YouTube)down by the knees. Both he and I are big guys and had to adjust to MAKE it fit. Solution: only use one hand pocket. Sleeped on my side with the top pocket and some air lose when I moved to switch sides. Sleeped warm and cozy over all.
Rated 8/10

You can us the Hood with a little adjustment , but works better for a back sleeper.
Rated 9/10

On your Stomach:
Hand pockets are your two best friends well sleeping on your stomach. Works great!! Wraps you warm and tightly. Here is where the hand pockets features shines.
Rates 10/10

Well you can't use the hood well on your stomach, the opening is designed to let no air out. So it acts like a extra layer to keep your head warm, bonus!
Rated 10/10

Remember that I am at the big and tall side of the scale. I believe that a smaller person would not have the side sleeper draft problems like I did. You would find it more like a 10/10 rating.

My rating is based on Features, Warmth, Comfort and overall Quality of sleep.


Ammon Bruce
(AmmonBruce) - MLife

Locale: South Eastern Washington State
Review Conclusion on the New Down Quilt from Sierra Designs with built in hood and hand pockets on 11/16/2013 20:59:37 MST Print View


This is not a ultralight Quilt. The Backcountry Quilt is more like the missing link between Ultralight and light hiking. No cuben fiber here,but take the ZPacks quilt and you have to wear a separate down hood with that; which is the way you want it. Now look at this Quilt for whom its' target audience is, every one else.

Going to REI or MooseJaw you don't find quilts with these helpful features. So for everyone else this brings them one step closer to Ultralight hiking and that is a good thing. Also you don't find $250 6'2" 32* degrees hypo phobic down quilts anywhere.

So come April 2014, go try one out and see how it fits you. I had three warm and comfortable night sleep in 30* degree weather.

This is your Big and Tall review. If it works for me, it should work for you!

Ammon Bruce

Side note: I have no affiliations with Sierra Designs or Michael Galvin. I was given nothing to try this quilt or write this review. Just a thank you message from Michael. I payed to ship it back to Michael. Thanks for your time.

Jim Klazek
(Klazek) - M
Re: Re: Thanks Michael on 01/10/2014 11:59:12 MST Print View

Just saw the revised Flashlight 1P on the REI site. I think you pretty well nailed it this time (see Section Hikers review of a prototye which was subject to change); of course tinkerers and moders like myself will always do our thing with it.

I'll have to get a few outings with it, but I'm thinking of moding the door flap ( 2 anchoring points) to the gear shed door. I would add another panel which could open up to about 1/2 the center distance of the main door. This would allow more protection in blowing rain, wind, etc., to allow getting the pack in and out without getting everything wet and also for cooking. For normal use the panel would fold back under the original flap (original closure position) until needed again.

This will be my new 3-season tent. My Tarptent Scarp 1P (solid interior & crossing poles) will now only be my winter and severe weather tent.

Well done Mike G, well done.