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Has anyone here switched to a quilt and liked it LESS than a regular sleeping bag?
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Mitchell Ebbott
(mebbott) - F - M

Locale: SoCal
Has anyone here switched to a quilt and liked it LESS than a regular sleeping bag? on 02/16/2014 22:55:02 MST Print View

I keep seeing "come to Jesus" stories on here about how people resisted quilts for the longest time, tried one, and never went back. Any stories to the contrary?

The reason I ask is that I'm thinking of converting my Kelty Cosmic Down 20 to a quilt. I'd like to drop some weight, and I don't have the money for a new quilt. Problem is... I don't have the money for a new sleeping bag either. If I turn this into a quilt I'll be stuck with it.

So, will I regret it? If so, why?

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re: Has anyone here switched to a quilt and liked it LESS than a regular sleeping bag? on 02/17/2014 00:07:32 MST Print View

I like the quilt + hooded down puffy combo. Makes a ton of sense.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Has anyone here switched to a quilt and liked it LESS than a regular sleeping bag? on 02/17/2014 00:09:23 MST Print View

There is an easy solution to this.
Unzip your sleeping bag and use it like a quilt. Then you will know if you like it or not.

Mitchell Ebbott
(mebbott) - F - M

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Has anyone here switched to a quilt and liked it LESS than a regular sleeping bag? on 02/17/2014 00:39:00 MST Print View

Yea, I could do that (and have, though not anywhere near the bag's temp rating), but y'all tell such good stories and have such interesting opinions that I want to hear them anyhow.

It's also not quite the same, because if I quiltify the bag I'll be removing material from the sides and increasing the opportunity for drafts (my biggest worry). On top of that, the unzipped bag doesn't have straps to keep it in place, and sleeping on zippers is uncomfortable.

William F
(wkf) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Has anyone here switched to a quilt and liked it LESS than a regular sleeping bag? on 02/17/2014 02:23:03 MST Print View

I wouldn't mess with your bag, you can try the bag out as a quilt as Justin pointed out to see if it works for you.

Personally I switched to a quilt mainly for comfort reasons, not weight. I've never had problems with keeping the quilt in place, and I don't use the straps. Funny that you mentioned sleeping on zippers as uncomfortable because I hate that too. Many quilts have a zipper foot box still, I actually had Tim at EE make me a quilt sans zipper. I'm pretty small, 5'8"/155 lbs. but got the regular length and wide dimensions so I could protect against drafts. I still have the drawcord at the foot box so I can bundle my feet up. But yeah, my decision to switch to a quilt was mainly inspired by wanting something more comfortable. If I were out in colder temps more consistently I'd go with a sleeping bag.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Has anyone here switched to a quilt and liked it LESS than a regular sleeping bag? on 02/17/2014 04:20:43 MST Print View

Hmmm, let me check a Cosmic Down....OK. It is an OK bag with a rather high temp rating at 32F. It weighs about 2#9. (Note these all very a bit.) 550 fill is not that great hence the cheaper price tag. Durability is still great, well worth taking care of.

OK. If you cannot afford to replace that bag, then don't fiddle with it. Quilting is great in warmer months, but quickly looses it's appeal in late fall/early spring. 3 major points here: ventilation, ground protection, weight.

Ventilation is great in the summer, but the same drafts that are cooling in summer are cold in winter. There is a lot of air leakage compared to a bag.

GOOD ground protection is required. The conduction of heat is the strongest source of heat loss. With a quilt, there is none. With a bag you loose the loft, but you retain a 1/8"-1/2" of insulation against the ground. This isn't a lot but it helps. A simple Blue Pad, will cover the difference for a 32F bag. However, a 32F quilt, will not. You need a good R2.5+ pad for good comfort at 32F. The pad becomes part of the sleep system and is really necessary. A holed inflatable is a real disaster with a quilt. 'Corse, in the forest, it is easy enough to scrape up forest duff to 6-8" for some insulation.

Weight is great. Quilts are generally smaller than an unrolled bag. So, you carry less weight. Don't forget a pad, but mostly, you will carry a pad, anyway. It may be a better pad, or two pads...negating any weight savings, though.

I would leave your current bag. If you want a quilt, save for one. In the mean time, use the bag as a quilt when you get a chance. If you get cold, zip it up. If you still get cold, well, you are at the limit of your current equipment. Add a layer or two. Don't forget that the EN ratings assume a good pad and long johns inside a bag. You may find the survival rating of 20F to be quite cold. I believe most would have rated it as a 35F or more bag.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Has anyone here switched to a quilt and liked it LESS than a regular sleeping bag? on 02/17/2014 06:43:26 MST Print View

I love quilts above 35F but any time I tried them below that drafts drove me daft as I move around a lot in my sleep. I am going to give it one more go at about 15F once it warms up here a bit (this morning was -5F)

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Has anyone here switched to a quilt and liked it LESS than a regular sleeping bag? on 02/17/2014 07:48:50 MST Print View

I don't like quilts below 40F due to drafts.

I have a 30F 2 lb synthetic quilt which I use sometimes (wet, humid weather) for temps above 40F. Otherwise, I just take my 21 oz 30F down bag and unzip it for use as a quilt when it's warmer.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Has anyone here switched to a quilt and liked it LESS than a regular sleeping bag? on 02/17/2014 08:37:39 MST Print View

I am sure many dislike quilts. You might try what I did years ago, buy an inexpensive, light, synthetic quilt here in gear swap. I bought a BPL Cocoon 60 quilt pretty cheap. Only weighs about 12 ounces and only works in mild weather.

John McAlpine
(HairlessApe) - M

Locale: PNW
Too Much Draft for Me on 02/17/2014 08:49:22 MST Print View

I tried a quilt and found I didn't like the draft coming in throughout the night. That kept me awake. I had one of the gear makers build me a sleeping bag with a full nylon sheet on the bottom and 3-inch 900 fill baffles on the top. That solved the draft problem for me.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Re: Has anyone here switched to a quilt and liked it LESS than a regular sleeping bag? on 02/17/2014 09:07:07 MST Print View

I no longer own any quilts. The weight savings is mostly sleight of hand, and I find them too fiddly.

Christopher Graf
(cgraf)

Locale: So Cal
"Has anyone here switched to a quilt and liked it LESS than a regular sleeping bag?" on 02/17/2014 09:10:27 MST Print View

+1 Dislike Drafts

I used a quilt with a bivy/tarp combination over the past few years from mid-spring to mid-fall here in SoCal and was fine as the bivy prevented drafts for the most part. Since the move away from bivy use, I’ve found that even in warmer weather I dislike drafts, resulting in my move back to a light weight bag.

Steve B
(geokite) - F

Locale: Southern California
Out of the boat on 02/17/2014 09:20:34 MST Print View

I tried a quilt for a JMT hike, 30 degree one. Turns out I toss and turn too much, had to adjust it every time to avoid drafts. Got a FF Vireo and I'm all happy.

Steve

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Has anyone here switched to a quilt and liked it LESS than a regular sleeping bag? on 02/17/2014 09:34:00 MST Print View

I guess I'm one of the few folks who like quilts even in winter, and have used them down to 7 degrees on the ground with no issues. I'll be using a quilt system in Northern Michigan on a short trip in a couple of weeks. All indications are it's going to be cold..... :-)

I went to quilts from mummy bags because I toss and turn a lot during the night, and I got tired of twisting my bag all up. I also like to sleep semi fetal, and couldn't do that comfortably in a mummy bag (perhaps I just had the wrong mummy bag - I was using GoLite Adrenaline bags when I made the switch some 5 years ago). I've never had significant issues with drafts after I learned how to toss and turn with a quilt without lots of drafts (and I don't attach my quilts to my pad or body).

Having said all that, I personally think it would be a mistake to convert your sleeping bag into a quilt, especially when you don't know whether or not you'll like using one. Save for a quilt or borrow a buddy's if you want to try it out. The warmer weather quilts can be pretty inexpensive, you might start there.

Side note, I'm pretty heavily invested in quilts now, and they work for me just fine, but during some recent navel gazing on the web I came across the Feathered Friends Penguin Nano series of bags. They intrigue me, especially how they can so easily convert to a two-person sleep system. I might get one some day ... if I can first find the other person to sleep with, that is. :-)

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - M

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: Re: Has anyone here switched to a quilt and liked it LESS than a regular sleeping bag? on 02/17/2014 10:33:32 MST Print View

I went from a bag (heavy), to my 1st quilt (too narrow), then back to a bag, and then back to a quilt again. I've been using quilts only for about 2 years now. Coldest night was 10 degrees - I did fine. I've had many nights in the 20s with quilts. The only other style sleeping bag I would consider is a hoodless zip bag.

Zorg Zumo
(BurnNotice) - F
Re: Has anyone here switched to a quilt and liked it LESS than a regular sleeping bag? on 02/17/2014 10:47:16 MST Print View

I'm a side-sleeper and I would switch sides frequently during the night due to pressure points. During the roll-over, cold air would leak in. In moderate weather it was no big deal. But in cold weather it would jog me awake. I went back to a large mummy for cold weather.

I used a 20* down Campmor mummy as a quilt for a long time. The only negative was the hood getting in the way. When I finally got around to buying a quilt, I was quite pleased with the superior loft and drape, compared to my 550fp bag. My quilt is plenty warm into the 20's if I am careful how I wiggle around. I've since moved off the ground entirely, but that is another subject.

IMO, a quilt is best suited for large people who toss and turn and camp in moderate weather. Mainly because bag manufacturers size their products for trail-weasels, a quilt can be a lighter, cheaper solution than a custom sized mummy. If you are going to quilt in sub-30*f, you have to put some work into pad attachment to minimize those drafts. And you need to get a really good head covering solution. Definitely something you need to work out in the backyard before you take a trek.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Re: Has anyone here switched to a quilt and liked it LESS than a regular sleeping bag? on 02/17/2014 10:52:47 MST Print View

I will echo some others sentiments. I found quilts too fiddly, too drafty below about 40F, and just an overall hassle for my shifty sleep style. With that said, I still use an 11oz one above 40F purely for weight savings. A bag like the FF Vireo or the Zpacks without the hood are a great compromise IMO. Still get some weight savings without the drafts and fiddle factor.

Ryan

Edited by ViolentGreen on 02/17/2014 10:54:51 MST.

Rick Adams
(rickadams100) - M
yes on 02/17/2014 11:02:23 MST Print View

if you sleep without moving for hours on end a quilt is good. If you move a little the drafts may wake you up. They are good in warmer weather. I am back to a bag and will only use a quilt on warm nights.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Has anyone here switched to a quilt and liked it LESS than a regular sleeping bag? on 02/17/2014 11:13:54 MST Print View

I've tried a quilt.
My takeaway from the experience is that a bag can do everything a quilt can do and more. The few ounces of weight savings a quilt provides is not worth the tradeoff in features and fiddling. I like being able to zip out all drafts and cinch the hood tight.

So I stick with bags.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Has anyone here switched to a quilt and liked it LESS than a regular sleeping bag? on 02/17/2014 13:51:32 MST Print View

I find bags too constrictive after using quilts a lot, I don't think I could go back. When it's cold I wear a warm hat, long-johns and thick socks to bed. No problem with occasional drafts, but I built "draft-stoppers" into all my quilts that make a big difference (flaps of fabric around the perimeter that stop drafts).

I had no problems at 15 degF in a two-person quilt sealed in a tent at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.