Forum Index » GEAR » Questions about Katabatic Gear Quilts, Bristlecone Bivy, EE Prodigy...ordering soon.


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Wolf's Rain
(WolfsRain) - M
Questions about Katabatic Gear Quilts, Bristlecone Bivy, EE Prodigy...ordering soon. on 07/21/2014 19:01:05 MDT Print View

I am about to place an order for a new quilt / bivy system and wanted to try and get some experiential based feedback.

The first up is choice of down type. All the katabatic gear quilts are offered in 900fp and 850fp water resistant down. I'm leaning towards the traditional down, but is there any reason not to go with water resistant down at this point? I plan on ordering the 40 degree chisos and maybe a 15 degree sawatch later down the line. It will be primarily for hiking in the NE United states / White Mountains, etc.

I've read some posts that recommend going with synthetic for a summer quilt just for the fact that is easier to wash. Would it be any better to go with a 40 degree EE prodigy? The other benefit I could see going synthetic is I could use it to supplement my down bag in winter to protect some against condensation. But, I'm not convinced I would carry it for this purpose.

My other questions lie with the sizing of the bristlecone bivy. I would like to have one bivy that I can use the majority of the year when needed. I've read that the bristlecone is generously sized, even in the regular width. However, in the winter I use a large neoair xtherm which has a 25'' width. Website lists that this would require a wide size bivy. Would I be swimming in this thing any other time of year or with a CCF pad alone? I should probably note I'm quite thin (5'11'' and 155ish) and a pretty solid back sleeper.


Any one have some input? I'm hoping to place an order in the next 24 / 48 hours. Thanks!

Edited by WolfsRain on 07/21/2014 19:28:09 MDT.

John Reichle
(mammoman) - M

Locale: NE AL
Katabatic Bivy and Quilt on 07/22/2014 07:47:05 MDT Print View

I have a Long/Wide Bristlecone bivy that I paired with a Long/Wide Sawatch quilt during a week-long AT section hike in the Smokies this past winter. The combo kept me toasty in shelters. I used a NeoAir and there was still plenty of room in the bivy for movement...certainly I didn't feel "stuffed" into the thing. Very minimal condensation too.

I noted your reservations about pairing a synthetic 40 degree quilt to extend winter temps, but I think the bivy would have enough room if you go that route.

Edited by mammoman on 07/22/2014 07:48:16 MDT.

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Katabatic on 07/22/2014 08:18:37 MDT Print View

I have purchased a number of Katabatic quilts and highly recommend them. To date I am using a wide Chisos with a 2oz overfill for temps down to mid to upper 20f. This has been atop an Exped Downmat UL7 as I rarely see nighttime temps above 50f.

My last purchase was a wide Alsek to replace a Sawatch that was stolen earlier this year, but I have yet to use it as the Chisos covers 90% of my needs. All have been the non treated down as I have not had any problems with using traditional down for 40 years and I am taking a wait and see approach.

You will not be disappointed with any of the Katabatic gear items. I looked at the bivy and if I were to go that route I would go wide for the extra room and slightly better ventilation. I am not that big at 5' 9" and 175lbs, but I absolutely love the comfort of a wide quilt and wide pad for a small weight penalty. The wide bivy would compliment that nicely.

Joe Annese
(dirtbaghiker) - M
bristlecone bivy on 07/22/2014 11:07:57 MDT Print View

I am 5 ft 10, and I weigh about 225/230 lbs. I use the regular size/width bristlecone bivy and find that I am comfortable in it. I only use this bivy in the winter. I personally think it's a great choice.

John Holmes
(pastyj) - F

Locale: North Central Florida
Bristlecone on 07/22/2014 12:34:56 MDT Print View

I'm 6'1", 220 lbs and used an Original NeoAir regular and a 6'6" WM Megalight bag inside a Long/Wide Bristlecone. Honestly I could have gotten dressed/undressed inside that bivy...it was HUGE! Sold it on because I'm just not a "bivy guy". Given your listed height/weight, I'd bet the Reg/Reg would work just fine with your winter gear. If you want to be extra sure, or just want the room, a Reg/Wide would definitely do the trick.

Kenda Willey
(sonderlehrer)
Questions about Katabatic on 07/22/2014 15:46:56 MDT Print View

I have a 40F Chisos that I use to all summer, and to a little below 40. I am also slender, but like to go to sleep on my side (I turn onto my back while sleeping), and this causes gaps at the sides unless you attach the quilt under the pad (straps are included with the quilt, but that makes it too hot on summer nights). In other words, I recommend wide quilts unless you sleep *only* on your back. I also have an Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20F quilt, this one wide. I like both my (down) quilts very much, they keep me nice and warm down to their temp claims. I do prefer Katabatic's fabric over EE's, though. EE's cheaper than Katabatic.

Wolf's Rain
(WolfsRain) - M
follow up q's on 07/22/2014 15:56:10 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the responses!

"I am 5 ft 10, and I weigh about 225/230 lbs. I use the regular size/width bristlecone bivy and find that I am comfortable in it. I only use this bivy in the winter. I personally think it's a great choice."

Hi Joe. What size pad do you use inside the bivy in the winter? What you use for a bag?

"To date I am using a wide Chisos with a 2oz overfill for temps down to mid to upper 20f."

You've got me considering a small overfill on the Chisos after reading some of your posts about it. You also have me wondering about wide quilts ha. I think I'd be fine with a regular size chisos but am considering a wide on the sawatch.

How is the length on these quilts? Do they give any leeway beyond the stated height? I'm just short of 5'11''. I'd like to stay with a regular length but don't want my feet pressed up against the footbox or anything. Also, how much will overfill change the length?

" Honestly I could have gotten dressed/undressed inside that bivy...it was HUGE! Sold it on because I'm just not a "bivy guy". Given your listed height/weight, I'd bet the Reg/Reg would work just fine with your winter gear. If you want to be extra sure, or just want the room, a Reg/Wide would definitely do the trick"

Makes me think a regular would work just fine. I think I'd be annoyed if there was far too much extra fabric draping around.

"I have a Long/Wide Bristlecone bivy that I paired with a Long/Wide Sawatch quilt during a week-long AT section hike in the Smokies this past winter. The combo kept me toasty in shelters. I used a NeoAir and there was still plenty of room in the bivy for movement...certainly I didn't feel "stuffed" into the thing. Very minimal condensation too"

You didn't feel the bivy was too huge?

Wolf's Rain
(WolfsRain) - M
hhmm on 07/22/2014 16:44:14 MDT Print View

Interesting about the regular width not being quite enough for side sleeping.

I just took out my down bag and unzipped it like a quilt. Its shoulder width that way is comparable to Kata's wide quilts. It seems like it would be almost too much, especially for a warm weather quilt. Maybe for a winter quilt it would be useful for plenty of space for layering though. I tried to simulate a regular width and that seemed pretty decent even with some space for layering. Tough call =)

Aubrey W. Bogard
(bogardaw) - M

Locale: TX
E-Mail The Source on 07/22/2014 21:23:55 MDT Print View

To the OP,
Aaron at Katabatic Gear is the best source of advice on his products, and in my experience is very responsive via e-mail.

John Reichle
(mammoman) - M

Locale: NE AL
Replay on 07/23/2014 07:35:52 MDT Print View

"You didn't feel the bivy was too huge?"

Not at all, but definitely roomy. Of course, I don't like feeling confined. This was my first bivy and I was surprised how much I liked it to be honest.

Joe Annese
(dirtbaghiker) - M
pad on 07/23/2014 14:24:19 MDT Print View

In winter, using bristlecone bivy I use the GG nightlight torso length foam pad with a thermarest sol ridgerest pad (I am pretty sure that's what it's called). The yellow pad with silver bottom that folds up like an acordian. I also use an EE Enigma quilt. Depending on temps..I have a 10 degree and 30 degree quilt for winter.

Edited by dirtbaghiker on 07/23/2014 14:24:55 MDT.