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Waterproof quilt standalone shelter
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Alex Herron
(AlexHerron) - F

Locale: Front Range
Waterproof quilt standalone shelter on 05/27/2014 16:17:44 MDT Print View

I apologize if I didn't search hard enough and this was already discussed.

I just got back in to using a waterproof bivy sac and love the cowboy camping feel. However see some potential improvements.

What if you just used a waterproof quilt with taped seams as your only shelter. I wouldn't mind it raining on my face. I have seen Tim Marshall's epiphany quilt but he seems to have shyed away from it. Seems like a problem would be stuffing it as air could only escape from the valve. What if one had two maybe three valves? Or just apex and no baffles? Also what if it was made out of 1oz/sq yrd cuben or heavier on the outside to make it durable since it will be the only line of defense and the underside potentially getting dirty because I see no need for a groundsheet if my insulation is waterproof. I could wear something like an r1 if I wanted it to be warmer because a down jacket underneath this would get wet from perspiration.

Seems like its more important for my insulation to stay dry and not so much me.


Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Waterproof quilt standalone shelter on 05/27/2014 16:40:15 MDT Print View

Perfectly acceptable on dry weather, but if it rain water will get in between the quilt and pad

Also rain on your face all night would be akin to the treatment dished out on a certain Naval Base on a certain Island off the South east coast.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Waterproof quilt standalone shelter on 05/27/2014 16:56:28 MDT Print View

Could be just me but I would think that the first time you arrive at camp when it is raining and it keeps raining for the rest of the evening the idea of a bivy only (no tarp) or worse a waterproof quilt will not be all that much fun any longer....
Anyway I can't see, if you have your head out in the rain, how you would stop that rain from seeping through the rest of your body ?

Mind you, easy enogh to test.
wrap an open sb inside plastic trash bags sealed together with some tape, then the first time it rains where you are go outside set that up and see how you go.
As a tip, expect to get wet from the inside.

Alex Herron
(AlexHerron) - F

Locale: Front Range
Waterboarding and getting wet on 05/27/2014 17:08:46 MDT Print View

I haven't slept with my head out in heavy rain, but in light rain it wasn't bad at all, just keep your mouth closed ;).

I have been under a bivy a couple time also under light to medium rain and it has been fine. Especially when I remembered the ear plugs!

As for water getting in under the pad. Sure. I will most definitely get wet. But the point of this is to keep my insulation lofted not me dry. There shouldn't be massive water exchange that would cool me off. Simply water wicking to me from under the quilt perhaps. And if I am only using a torso pad I cant imagine it catching a lot of water. My face is a different story haha. But as mentioned before I can't imagine this cooling me significantly.

Alex Herron
(AlexHerron) - F

Locale: Front Range
Test on 05/27/2014 17:12:08 MDT Print View

But ultimately this is all guessing. That idea for testing isn't a bad one at all! Thanks I will probably do that. I expect to suck but ya never know.

J Mag
Point? on 05/27/2014 18:48:36 MDT Print View

I cannot in any scenario see the point to doing this.

It wouldn't save weight.
It wouldn't save money.
It wouldn't be comfortable.
It wouldn't be safe in many places/months.
You wouldn't sleep well.

Compared to just cowboy camping every night that it isn't raining and using a tarp the 5-15% of the nights that it is.

But if you are willing to spend the money to try it I guess you might as well.

Edited by GoProGator on 05/27/2014 18:49:23 MDT.

Alex Herron
(AlexHerron) - F

Locale: Front Range
weight savings and simplicity on 05/27/2014 20:47:52 MDT Print View

If you used a reasonable durability cuben fiber on the exterior (1oz) and .33oz cuben on the interior, no groundsheet, no bivy, no shelter, just a torso pad with the pack under the legs, the weight savings should be evident, not tremendous but I am comparing this to using a w/p bivy that can weigh 14.5 oz if you use the MLD soul bivy with the wire brim. So depending on the weight of the quilt you would be saving 14.5 oz + 1.7ish oz for groundsheet-added weight of 1oz cuben fiber exterior+saved weight from using .33oz cuben fiber interior-weight of valve.

However this is mostly about simplicity and this appeals to that. Plus messing around with your gear is half the fun ;)

Just imagine just taking off your pack, sliding out your pad and unstuffing your quilt and being done! No worrying about getting your quilt wet either! However I am already quite pleased with my bivy sac currently so I will most likely stick with that since this would be an expensive switch to get this custom made or attempt to make it myself.

Crazy ideas aren't always bad ideas. Just usually

Edward Jursek

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Waterproof Quilt on 05/27/2014 20:59:19 MDT Print View

With proper site selection, especially drainage and tree cover, this could work OK. Not my cup of tea, I would rather have at least a minimal tarp over me. Certainly minimalist.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
VBL on 05/28/2014 00:32:38 MDT Print View

youve just made a giant VBL with all the advantages/disadvantages


Edited by bearbreeder on 05/28/2014 00:33:58 MDT.

Alex Herron
(AlexHerron) - F

Locale: Front Range
Vbl on 05/28/2014 07:06:37 MDT Print View

Indeed, but one that can be vented very easily. People who used Tim's epiphany didn't seem to have a problem with it.

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Waterproof quilt standalone shelter on 05/28/2014 18:17:54 MDT Print View

An updated version of the epiphany is planned for this fall. However it will not be waterproof. This time a larger piece of nylon will be used to allow faster drying and lofting. Just so you guys know it wouldn't be a fit for this purpose as I see it mentioned a few times here


Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
Interesting Idea - especially maybe for winter on 05/28/2014 21:38:38 MDT Print View

I have a Stateless Society Quilt with Event footbox, lower and neck/chest areas. It works great if there's any drip from a light tarp setup. Not sure about a no-tarp setup. I think you'd at least want an umbrella on the ground behind your head, but interesting it's not a decisive no-go. Look forward to hearing others' thoughts/experiences (if any).

(KalebC) - F

Locale: South West
RE: waterproof sleeping bag on 05/28/2014 22:53:46 MDT Print View

In my opinion.... A WR or WP sleeping bag is only useful in snowy conditions in an exposed environment, I would never use a down bag straight in the rain. If you risk getting wet, and do, you will get cold and hypothermic in under 60F conditions. At the very least, make a natural shelter out of sticks, moss, fern fronds or whatever is available and get off the flat ground so you are not laying in running water.

A 16oz down bag and 4oz cuben tarp is far more logical

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Waterproof quilt standalone shelter on 05/29/2014 09:27:47 MDT Print View

For years my main quilt has been an Epiphany quilt without the nylon panel. It isn't water proof, but it is water resistant. And as Eric mentioned it can be a VPL item - good and bad. Used with a small tarp, I don't need a bivy for extra protection. There is a lot to be said for living under a shelter vs. a bivy in prolonged bad weather. I normally do not set up my shelter unless rain or big winds are in the forecast. You can get fairly large Cuben tarps for less weight than most bivies. Your solution sounds like it would work, but in real use would probably be awful.

Alex Herron
(AlexHerron) - F

Locale: Front Range
Re: Re: Waterproof quilt standalone shelter on 05/29/2014 23:35:06 MDT Print View

So here is where I am at after hearing the comments and doing some more research.

I am thinking of trying an umbrella with a silnylon rain jacket and lightweight fleece for awesome versatility.
The umbrella and rain jacket I believe can compliment the system I am describing.

I will cover my EE quilt with a WP membrane of some kind to test how livable it is with the umbrella overhead

Assuming that goes well I am thinking of a cuben quilt with apex not down that has two flaps, one that opens to inflate the bag, the other which I am more fuzzy on could be rolled up by the head of the quilt, which could be unrolled to go over my head and attach at the corners to the quilt at my shoulder blades. This flap would still have openings on either side of my head for venting. This would be used if it is windy and having the umbrella pitched over my head isnt a good idea. I think it is doable but certainly a strange idea but could ultimately lead to an insanely versatile system and if I used durable cuben on the outside, this system could potentially last a long time with few repairs other than occasional duct tape.

This would be my first myog but by the sounds of it making a synthetic quilt isnt the hardest thing to do.

The second flap/ and using apex, I believe makes this a safe option to use. Uncomfortable? Not more than a bivy I believe, and potentially more stress free because one isnt worrying about the bag getting wet.

Looking forward to trying the silnylon rain jacket/fleece/umbrella combo. The umbrella would be used for not windy conditions and the silnylon for cold driving rain.

Any further comments are appreciated

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Waterproof quilt standalone shelter on 05/30/2014 06:30:36 MDT Print View

Seems to me like a down bag in a WPB bivy is much more versatile than the system you describe. It's probably lighter, warmer, more compact, and just as straightforward to set up and take down, assuming you leave the bag inside the bivy. This is actually the system I use quite often. It is probably more expensive (at least initially - maybe not over its much longer lifetime though) than your MYOG cuben/apex quilt though.

I say it's more versatile because it can be set up appropriately for all kinds of weather and temperature situations.

I think you need to restate what exactly you're trying to achieve - because it's starting to sound like your actual goal now is just to incorporate a cuben/synthetic quilt into your kit somehow, but for no real world reason.

Edit to say that I usually pack my down bag and bivy sack separately, but you could roll them up together as I've described above. I don't find it to be too much of a chore to stuff the bag in the bivy at the end of the day and prefer better protection for bag in its own sack. I also like to keep the dirty bivy separate from other contents. Also helps with organization for packing to keep them separate, at least for me

Edited by 7sport on 05/30/2014 06:34:43 MDT.