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Nunatak Arc Specialist

in Sleeping Bags - Quilts & Top Bags

Average Rating
5.00 / 5 (4 reviews)

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kevin davidson
( kdesign )

Mythical State of Jefferson
Nunatak Arc Specialist on 06/10/2007 20:55:15 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

In a sense, every Nunatak topbag/quilt is custom to one degree or another (if one is taking full advantage of Nunatak's services). Mine is no exception, being made for my height and with some local adjustments made to the girth of the quilt body and foot box. as well as to baffle height and fill.

In general, the Arc Specialist ( is a further development of the Arc quilt originally made to BPL's specifications and sold exclusively by them a couple of years ago ( It has 3 adjusting straps underneath to create a 'variable girth" system that adjusts to both conditions and the amount of additional clothing (insulated layers, for example) the sleeper wears under the quilt. It has a well baffled foot box. Baffle spacing is 5' and baffle height stock (remember this is for single layer--not total loft of the quilt) is 1.75" ( mine is 2")---this equals excellant control of the distribution of the fill. There is a choice of shell material but I elected to use Pertex Quantum for it's downproof, water resistant, high breathability and lightweight charateristics. *800+" fill power down is used---this seems to translate to the quality level of the down used by most high end bag manufacturers. With 9 oz. of down fill, my Specialist weighs in at just a hair over 16 oz. after trimming of the generous amounts of strap material which comes with each Arc quilt. The quilt comes with a suggested temp. rating of 32 degrees F.----mileage will vary, as they say. My custom modifications make it a little warmer (smaller volume, a little more fill, slightly taller baffles).

Quality levels and custom mods are well worth the wait (and I think expense---this is a small volume cottage firm). Design is more sophisicated than it's competition and the Ray-Way quilt kits and this results in a lighter and more efficient quilt.

This is the core of my go-to SUL sleeping system and I'm very pleased with it. A "5+" if this were possible.

Edited by kdesign on 06/10/2007 22:10:07 MDT.

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David Neumann
( idahomtman - M )

Northern Idaho
Arc Specialist... a winner on 08/13/2007 10:03:37 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

For my first experience using a quilt, I was very impressed. I ordered this quilt in order to have more room because I like to sleep on my side and bring my legs up a little. Weighs only one pound and I was very warm with the quilt inside my BMW bivy. Very high level of craftsmanship. So far, I am a convert.

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Scott Whalen
( sturgeonguy )

Great Southwest
Arc Specialist Review on 01/17/2009 22:19:24 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I purchased an Arc Specialist last year and have been thrilled with its performance. The quality of this bag is top notch. Nunatak recommended that I spilt sizes between large and medium for the best fit since I'm 6 feet tall. I ended up going with EPIC material since I spend most of my time in humid environments and I use a single wall Contral Tarp Tent (which is awesome). I also added a little extra down to the foot box and body. It weighed in at 21oz, which you may think is a little heavy for a quilt, but I have had no problems with drafts or temperatures down to freezing wearing lightweight thermals.

I use a 3/4" thick Evazote torso pad and get dual use (around camp and sleeping) out of my Feathered Friends Hyperion down jacket on even colder nights. I've gone down well below freezing using this system and have stayed toasty. My version of the bag is probably a little heavy for summer but I'm glad I got the extra down added. For my comfort level, it makes for a true three-season bag when combined with a down jacket and my homemade silnylon rain pants as a vapor barrier.

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Richard Hanson
( RHanson )
A love this quilt! on 01/18/2011 10:48:25 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I ordered an Arc Specialist last July for camping this season and it arrived in late September.

I am a big man and I ordered a large quilt.

41" Foot Box
47" Hips
57" Shoulder
+2 oz. Fill for a total of 11 oz.
0.8 oz. Pertex Quantum

19.25 oz. in an MLD cuben stuff sack.

I live in North Texas and do a bit of camping with the Boy Scouts (38 days in 2010) and the Arc Specialist is a total solution for me as I can use it to cover all of my local fall / winter / spring camping activities in North Texas as well as summer camping in the mountains.

This last weekend I used the quilt in Palo Duro Canyon where the temperatures dropped down to about 26F and I had a nice layer of frost on my tarp in the morning. I was inside an MLD bug bivy and on top of an ExPed Downmat 7 and was very comfortable in only a thin base layer that I use to keep the quilt clean.

When I order my quilt I did so with extra buckles so that I could remove the straps during warmer weather. I love the snap at the back of the neck and the adjustable elastic draw cord and because my quilt is rather large I have found that I don't need the straps even in colder weather especially when I am inside a bivy. I am a side sleeper and change position about four or five times each night. Each time I wake up for just a moment when I role over and I make sure that I role inside the quilt and adjust the drape around my shoulders. Half a minute later I am back to snoring. The only time I have found the straps of much use is when the weather is getting down to freezing and I am not using a bivy. I am thinking about snipping off all the buckles and leaving the straps at home permanently.

Overall, I have found the Arc Specialist to be an extraordinarily flexible piece of equipment that I use like a blanket in temperatures between about 40 and 60 and then tighten up a bit as the temperatures drop below 40. Tom Halpin at Nunatak provided good customer service but expect a long delay before receiving your order. Plan ahead.

I hope my wife never figures out just how much I paid for my quilt else I will be making a rather hasty trip to a jewelry store, and I can understand why people who spend this much on a quilt might feel compelled to justify their extravagance by giving a great review, but I truly love my Specialist and I hope Nunatak is still in business if I ever need a replacement.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Exped DownMat 7 priced at: $128.95 - $218.95
Exped DownMat priced at: $129.00 - $219.00
Shop ARC, Canyon, Duro products at GearBuyer

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