Quilts What Am I missing ,,,,

3:14 p.m. on March 18, 2016 (EDT)
273 reviewer rep
1,949 forum posts

OK so I am thinking of getting a 30 degree quilt for 3 season because the quality and people have been using them with great results...I had the oppertunity to see a really good one in North Carolinia a backpacker was using and was a little surprised...Mind you I have 2 different temp rating sleeping bags one new but just for cold weather and a 15 degree that I been using as an all around bag...So educate me more on quilts I know a few things I been doing research on this but you guys know...So spill it all...LS,JR, Josesph.Goose...

4:28 p.m. on March 18, 2016 (EDT)
8,824 reviewer rep
1,490 forum posts

Is there something in particular you're wanting to know about? If so ask specific questions. Otherwise...

I've been quilt only for years now and get by with a 40°F down quilt for three season use for the most part. I added a 20°F synthetic a while back which I let my wife use three season and I take it by itself for the edge of shoulder season or as is more often the case, along with the 40° for winter. Combined with wearing some insulation to bed I take that sub zero with -18°F being the lowest I've pushed it.

The down packs much better but I like having a synthetic layer on top in the cold. If I get frost on that one it doesn't lose any loft and is easier to dry out. It really is huge though, even when compressed, compared to the down.

As for what makes the difference between a good quilt and a bad one I'd say, baffles, footbox, shoulder and collar in that order of importance. If the baffles don't hold the down where you need it you might as well sleep naked. The footbox needs to accommodate your sleep position and more importantly should keep the quilt attached to your lower body. Shoulders need to be wide enough to drape on both sides in any sleep position while the collar should feel good wrapped around the neck when needed. For cold weather,  some quilts use different materials at the collar in expectation of frosting from your breath.

Others may value straps to hold the quilt in place, but I never use them. Both of mine have snaps which would work with straps and also match up with snaps on my fitted sheet for my air mattress, but I prefer to keep the quilts loose so I can toss them off or stick a leg out if I get too hot.

One other thing to consider if going with a quilt is that what is under you is important, even more so than with a bag. I really like the feel of my fitted sheet rather than sleeping right on the air mattress, especially in Summer when things are hot and sticky. I don't worry about the sheet in Winter, but I do prefer to put my TR Trail Pro on top of the air mattress so I don't feel the cold under me if I shift around.

Again, I'm not sure exactly what you were looking for, so I'll just leave it at that and check back later to see if you have questions.

8:22 p.m. on March 18, 2016 (EDT)
273 reviewer rep
1,949 forum posts

Thanks Ls you described some things I was thinking about the snaps for instance there's no pictures to illustrate how it's connected to the pad when Iam looking at pictures..Also you mentioned a fitted sheet for your pad..Where did you get a fitted sheet or are you using something just from your household? Jack's R Better had a video that's showed me how they create the footbox...Can you go larger than what they have? I move around alot and it seems the footboxe's are smaller than a sleeping bag when there sinched? Also Summer I have no problem being directly on the mat a friend of mine said that today to me i use my sleeping bag in summer like a quilt half on half off...I think when I have more questions I 'll keep posting them and get everyone's take...

9:33 p.m. on March 18, 2016 (EDT)
2,017 reviewer rep
393 forum posts

denis daly said:

there's no pictures to illustrate how it's connected to the pad when Iam looking at pictures.

Here are some pics of the strap and quilt clips on my Enlightened Equipment Enigma:



Quilts give you more room inside than a sleeping bag and yet weigh considerably less.

1:27 a.m. on March 19, 2016 (EDT)
273 reviewer rep
1,949 forum posts

Thank you for the pics ...That helps alot....I was looking at the enigma and couple of other quilts they have....toebox looks bug on it compared to stock photo's on the site..

10:58 a.m. on March 19, 2016 (EDT)
2,780 reviewer rep
1,638 forum posts

I have never been a fan of straps on quilts. I really love the quilts from hammockgear. Adam and his wife make really top notch quilts. I have 4 of them and couldnt be happier. 99% of the time i am using the wuilts in a hammock so i have little experience using them on the ground.

6:20 p.m. on March 19, 2016 (EDT)
273 reviewer rep
1,949 forum posts

TheRambler said:

I have never been a fan of straps on quilts. I really love the quilts from hammockgear. Adam and his wife make really top notch quilts. I have 4 of them and couldnt be happier. 99% of the time i am using the wuilts in a hammock so i have little experience using them on the ground.

 Threw another one to check out..Thanks Rambler..

2:00 p.m. on March 29, 2016 (EDT)
1,747 reviewer rep
743 forum posts

I feel like the largest advantage of quilts is the comfort they provide for those of us that flop around a lot at night. I can sleep in a mummy-bag on trips where every ounce of space and weight matters...but I do not sleep as well as I do under a quilt so I rarely use them. Also...I make my quilts (usually from down I collect in second-had stores) so this pushes my preference towards quilts with simple construction (though I have used baffled-construction and sewn in a foot-box on all  but one of the quilts I have made).

Like LS and Rambler I do not like straps. I prefer a quilt large enough to tuck under me while covering my neck in every sleeping position. Baffles around the perimeter of the quilt are nice on an under-quilt...but they make construction more difficult and more expensive so I have never used them on a top-quilt.

I would only use a quilt without a foot-box in warmer weather or as an outer-quilt. I wouldn't worry about the size of the foot-box unless you like to sleep in a jumping-jack position (then maybe a small foot-box in each corner might help?). I flop around like crazy at night but generally sleep with one leg fully extended within the foot-box and the other somewhere else. Of course I switch feet a bazillion times ...but as long as I put both feet into the foot-box before switching the process works seamlessly.

For summer camping I will once again recommend the much derided fleece-bag ($15-$20). As LS mentioned sleeping on an air-mattress in the summer is gross...fleece absorbs less water and dries quickly so it is perfect for sweaty and humid conditions (bulky though). Fleece bags are also resistant to dirt and oils...so you can drag it around camp with you in blanket-mode on chilly mornings and shake it clean when packing-up!

9:37 a.m. on March 30, 2016 (EDT)
273 reviewer rep
1,949 forum posts

Yeah you just described how I sleep in the summer..I been looking at quilts for well over a week...It was time to get one..I been using a sleeping bag basically during summer as a quilt anyway...The Fleece is a good idea never thought of that..I am sure my mother could put something together on the cheap for me since she sows...

3:48 p.m. on March 30, 2016 (EDT)
1,747 reviewer rep
743 forum posts

Honestly Denis you can buy a fleece sleeping-bag for about the same price that it cost to make one (you can get a Texsport 100w fleece-bag online shipped for free to your nearest Walmart for $12)...the combination of zipper/fabric/time will easily put you near or over that price. The only significant advantage I can see to making one is that you can construct the bag from a heavier weight fleece than is typically available...which adds bulk...but adds a lot of warmth and durability...and at that weight you will likely never have a damp bed.

Since warmer weather is right around the corner...and I am such an advocate of the fleece-bag for warm weather camping I want to add a little more:

1) Zippers are a luxury and sewing a bag is unnecessary (a friend of mine wraps himself in two yards of 200 weight fleece that he "hemmed" using a lighter and he thinks I'm silly for wanting more). However...I use my fleece-bag in my hammock as well as on a pad in warmer weather so using it zipped helps keep the fleece underneath me at night...and since zippered-bags can be bought for such a low price...it seems like a smart choice.

2) I mentioned that fleece-bags resist dirt and oil (as well as moisture)...and that cleaning your bag is as simple as unzipping it and shaking it (with sandy soil or dried mud you sometimes have to use your hand to brush the fabric)...but on one trip a friend of mine vomited in his bag while he slept (it was so gross)...he was able to wash and dry the bag in the field using the trash-compactor bag he stored it in (his bag smelled of Bronner's peppermint...and it was a bit of work...but there is no way that was happening with down or synthetic fill).

3) As I mentioned before...in blanket-mode a fleece-bag makes cool and damp mornings (also evenings) warm and dry...I only use it this way a few times a year...but for many of my girlfriends this has been one of the most important functions the fleece blanket serves (to the point of wanting to bring one along in puffy weather because the thought of being without a fleece blanket is too terrible to imagine).

4) Finally (but there are so many more awesome things to love about fleece [such as breathability]) I would estimate that most of the folks who go camping need nothing more than a fleece-bag (they only go camping a few times in the summer at relatively low elevations)...a fleece-bag is a great way for people to save their heard-earned money...and the low investment allows newcomers to explore sleeping outdoors without spending a lot of cash just to discover they hate it (I know???...but it happens).

Fleece does have some draw-backs...it is bulky...but summer loads tend to be smaller so the issue usually works itself out. If you are sleeping in the open (no tarp/tent/bivy) fleece does not perform well on windy nights...but if you go out for an overnight with no shelter other than a fleece-blanket...the experience can serve as a useful lesson in hubris. I sleep in lightweight cotton pajama-pants and a cotton t-shirt in warm weather...and my 200 weight fleece-bag keeps me warm down to about 60 degrees with socks...if you think it might get lower than that bring heavier sleeping clothes or bring a quilt or sleeping bag to use as an outer quilt (I once got cold on a trip with Pillowthread and his puffy jacket worked great just resting on top of my chest...so that's a viable option if you got extra clothing you don't want to wear inside the bag). Worst of all...fleece-bags are so awesome that people will often make it all the way home before realizing they forgot to return yours to you!

11:57 a.m. on March 31, 2016 (EDT)
273 reviewer rep
1,949 forum posts

Thanks Joseph you keep a tab on pricing for DIY projects..I think I'll go with recommendation for the fleece from wally world...I think that would work for the summer..WE get a 95 degree heat index here at times and I was out in it last year..So this will work....Still looking at quilts...

December 6, 2019
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: Biolite solar Newer: Jackets/Layering
All forums: Older: bivy or just a tarp Newer: Trail Chef: Cook Bacon and Eggs in a Bag