Rating: 3 / 5
I have mixed feelings for & mixed results with this product. I think one of the biggest reasons people like it is that it is often one of the first major do-it-yourself projects that they have completed so they feel perhaps excessively loyal to this product.
I'm no stranger to making my own gear so it was not a major project. I'd say that average is probably 8 hours of sewing, I think it took me 5 to 6, but the largest time consideration was constantly aligning the multiple layers of fabric and insulation.
As far as a sewing project goes, it is a good beginner project as it isn't too complicated, but you still get a large sense of acheivement.
The instructions were excellent.
The quality of the materials is of course top notch.
The finished product weight is good, but not excellent compared against better down alternatives.
I have to be honest, with modern finishes on down bags and the new ultra light waterproof stuff stacks, breathable bivy sacks and such I simply don't feel that synthetic is superior to a quality down bag even in damp conditions.
As to the bulk, I feel that for a winter bag, it is a poor choice unless you are willing to dedicate a lot of space in your pack. Equivalent down weights less but even more noticable packs down to a small fraction. This is probably less of an issue when using the 40 degree versions of the quilt but it's bulk is very noticable in the 10 degree configuration.
The customer support is hard to gauge. While Ray seems great at inventing & Jenny is good at cranking out the orders they intentionally isolated themselves from any other questions beyond those that have an order number.
I purchased the quilt with the extra layers of the thickest insulation to make a 10 degree bag.
After several trips I found that it does offer supperior venting options over a standard bag. However, with those venting options also come the problem of staying warm if you move at all during the night.
In 14 degree weather every time I so much as shuffled my feet slightly I usually received a large chill as the draft gaurds had slipped off my sleeping pad. While the rating was dead on if I didn't move, this quilt design simply isn't for the person that tosses and turns inside a bag or likes the snug feeling of a close mummy bag. Perhaps if paired a bivy sack this would compensate for the constant drafts.
Overall, it earns a 3 in my mind. While being innovative, it is best suited for people who never move in their sleep and for summer or hammock camping. Also, people trying to keep minimal bulk in their packs should approach it with caution.