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Enigma quilt system
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Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Enigma quilt system on 11/25/2013 15:57:17 MST Print View

It's always fun talking to Tim Marshall about quilts. I was testing a pre-production model of his Enigma and chatting with him about it, my thoughts, how it had performed for me, etc. I mentioned that the one thing seemingly missing from the market was a quilt system - where pieces were made to work together so that a couple of quilts could cover a wide range of temps. I had recently read one of the many threads on BPL about combining bags for lower temps, but there was a side concern about compressing the down in one, which would limit effectiveness.

Tim thought about this and then came up with a quilt system that would work together for a wide range of temps. There are three pieces to the system (my choice of temp quilts) - a 50 degree quilt, a 30 degree quilt and a cuben quilt liner. All pieces have snaps (though Tim might change snaps to straps or buckles if he goes into production with these) and are cut so that any two, or all three, can be combined and will stay together when tossing and turning at night. So the cuben liner will snap into either quilt, and the 50 degree quilt will snap into the 30 degree quilt. The 50 degree quilt is regular width, the 30 is wide.

So, it's gonna get around 40 degrees? Take the 50 and the cuben liner. Etc. The nice thing about the pieces actually snapping together is not only that they'll stay together if tossing and turning, as mentioned above, but you can slip your down jacket between the cuben liner and the quilt and it'll stay put instead of falling out one side or the other.

Tim really outdid himself with this system. Very high quality, as you'd expect. I ordered down in both quilts (the 850 Downtek). Can't wait to test it out (though that'll have to be January at the GGG, unfortunately, can't get out before then).

Some pics:


The three pieces side by side


A closeup of the double snap on the 50 degree quilt. It'll snap to the 30 degree quilt, and the cuben liner will snap to it, all at the same time.


Closeup of the snaps with the 50 degree quilt inside the 30 degree quilt. You can also see the buckles for Tim's strap system to attach the quilt to your pad, if you so desire.


The 50 degree quilt inside the 30 degree quilt. Perfect fit!

It's a great looking system, and just seems to make so much sense to me. For a few extra grams you have a system that truly fits and stays together and should cover from 60 degrees to 10 degrees, I'd think (though you engineer/math folks should feel welcome to contradict that since I don't do math about how cold I could take it if all 3 pieces were used together). The three pieces together weigh about 28 ounces.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re: quilt system on 11/25/2013 16:20:13 MST Print View

Awesome idea. I would do the outer quilt in synthetic for winter use. Wish mine snapped onto my down quilt like that.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: re: quilt system on 11/25/2013 16:24:49 MST Print View

"I would do the outer quilt in synthetic for winter use. Wish mine snapped onto my down quilt like that."

Tim said the same thing, but I felt with the Downtek that down in both would be fine and would keep the weight down (no pun intended).

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: re: quilt system on 11/25/2013 16:30:07 MST Print View

The same basic idea works really well with the USGI sleep system.

From looking at Tim's specs for size Regular, the 50* has 4.5oz of fill and the 30* has 9oz. In theory that would be comparable to his 10* quilt which has 13.45oz of fill but it's difficult to calculate how creating an extra microclimate between the two quilts will increase the loft of the total system so maybe creeping closer to 0* than 10*.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 11/25/2013 17:02:57 MST.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Enigma quilt system on 11/25/2013 16:56:07 MST Print View

Adding 5.5 ounces for the synthetic would allow you to be in all climates.
I think that would be a little better set-up.

That's a sweet piece of gear (s)...

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Enigma quilt system on 11/25/2013 17:43:02 MST Print View

I love the concept and do find I use a combination of two sleeping bags/quilts often.

I do have mixed feelings about combining a synthetic quilt as the outside layer because of the extra weight compressing the inner down.

I lean toward the synthetic on the inside, but understand why that is a problem with the outside layer being more affected by dampness from spray, accidents and condensation.

I'd still go with all down and be very careful. I do wear synthetic clothing layers underneath at least.

Brock Graves
(gravesbrock) - F

Locale: asheville nc
Production on 11/25/2013 20:20:11 MST Print View

Any idea if or when this will be put into production? I would be in for one!

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Production on 11/25/2013 22:21:57 MST Print View

Now! Just contact me and we can build a system for you

Of note about the synthetic over quilt option is that the main reason to use synthetic is to collect the condensation in the synthetic layer and not the down. However Doug's system incorporates a VBL which traps all moisture next to skin keeping it out of his quilts while boosting temps. Doug has been using VBL quilts since I started making them and one of the big advantages often overlooked is how much drier a VBL will keep your insulation


just Justin Whitson
Re: Enigma quilt system on 11/25/2013 23:45:36 MST Print View

Funny enough, i've been thinking about this very topic a lot recently and did some experimenting this weekend with it (didn't see this thread until a little while ago). The snaps on the EE system look nice, but out of necessity have to stick with what i have.

I have three main quilts we use. A short, slim EE Rev X 40 degree quilt, a 30 degree down quilt a little larger than the former that i got used, and two person Exped Dreamwalker 45 degree down quilt gotten at STP.

Not surprisingly, my sometimes hiking partner (wife), runs quite a bit colder than myself. Coaxing her out when it's below freezing can be bit of a challenge at times. I managed to do it this weekend despite a forecasted low of 22 degrees. (not sure how i pulled this off, the Moon must have been in the 7th house and Jupiter aligned with Mars and all that...)

I added a M50 sleeve to the EE quilt (which added slightly less than 2 oz total). The sleeve is a bit wider than the quilt itself.

So, it surprisingly has enough room for my wife and i to fit in. So what we did with this trip, was too stuff the double quilt inside of the the other quilt w/ sleeve.

The EE quilt is really not big enough itself to fully cover both Becky and i, but i found with the Dreamwalker duo wrapped around us, in combo with part of the EE quilt covering me, and the M50 helping, that we were plenty warm despite that we were dealing with a 40 degree and 45 degree quilts, and i was only fully covered by one. It allowed Becky to get all my warmth too. We also were supplementing with our clothes too, which obviously helped. I was actually too hot at one point.

Oh, btw, i did a quick easy mod to the Dreamwalker quilt, wherein i added a rectangle of Apex material roughly in the middle top of the quilt to act as bit of a draft stopper for when we are not closely spooning and there is a gap. I've read about other methods, some rather arcane and involved, but figure why not try the easy one first.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: Production on 11/25/2013 23:52:22 MST Print View

Hah, our next plan is to also use a VBL liner with above system. Not sure if we should go with totally enclosed bag like VBL, or just a sheet of sorts with a foot area, but in any case, gonna make it out of that amazingly tough but amazingly cheap "polycryo" stuff. Unfortunately, won't be able to wear all of our clothes with this, but the down jackets can be put in between the two down layers i suppose.

Rob P
(rpjr) - M
Re: Enigma quilt system on 11/26/2013 20:42:17 MST Print View


regarding your concern about the weight of a synthetic outer quilt compressing the down of an inner layer, I have a 50 degree Prodigy with 10D inner and outer and it is so light that it does not compress the down of an inner bag at all. I almost think I could have gone with a 40 degree if I needed to.

Hope this helps.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Enigma quilt system on 11/27/2013 02:25:28 MST Print View

Thanks Rob,

I had been considering a system like that.
It would be nice to have a 50 degree synthetic bag for summer kayak trips as well.

Keith F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Re: Enigma quilt system on 12/16/2013 14:17:41 MST Print View

Tim, how much would a system like this cost?

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: Enigma quilt system on 12/16/2013 14:42:24 MST Print View

The enigma prices don't change so the added cost is the liner but I haven't figured out pricing on that yet


Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Snapping quilts together on 12/16/2013 17:17:34 MST Print View

I was able to snap my 20F Rev X to a Prodigy 50F synthetic quilt by turning the inner quilt upside down.