Jan 15, 2008 at 10:43 am #1226740
Finally finished my opus quilt project. It was mainly designed for two people 3 season use, so is larger an heavier than what you're used to. It weighs 900 grams (2lbs, or 1lb each) and has 3+ inches of loft.
Some other features of the quilt include velcro strips along the side that attach to the bottom of our sleeping mats to keep out drafts. I originally tried just fabric strips along the edge to tuck under (RayWay style), but this didn't work well for us. The edges needed to be more secure to prevent tug-of-war issues!
There is a small draft stopper for the foot box
Which folds up
There are also two velcro strips along the bottom of the outer edges that join together to help form the foot box
And then a drawcord to cinch the whole thing together
Tightening the draw cord across the top creates a passive top collar
Very snuggly :)
The velcro along the sides can also be joined to form one bodacious solo quilt for winter use
In this mode it has a minumum total loft of 8 inches. Steamy! Team it with a down balaclava and a bivy bag for an arctic-ready expedition (well, maybe not quite).Jan 15, 2008 at 10:54 am #1416206
@tcxjwagoneerLocale: GSM Area
that is really nice. I am looking at something like that for my wife and I. she doesn't like the really cold backpacking though. Do you have plans or more details on how you made it?
TommyJan 15, 2008 at 12:00 pm #1416214
This is a great quilt for those that sleep cold. The planning is, IMHO, the most important part of making a quilt like this.
I based the basic dimensions on cross between Nunatak's "back country blanket", and "dual arc alpinist. I planned on finished baffle height of 3 inches at 5.25 inch spacing, but there was enough over fill that it lofts a lot more than this. I figured on an inch seam allowances all around. I used 0.85oz/yd downproof nylon for the shell and lining, and nano-see um netting for the baffle material. The drawcords are aircore spectra 2. The down is 800+ fill power. All the materials (except the aircore) came from Thru_hiker.com
So initially there is quite a bit of maths involved in working out how much fabric and down you need, how you're going to cut it, etc…I cut the nylon with a soldering iron and straight edge ruler to prevent unravelling. Getting the tension right on the sewing machine also took some patience. The 'funnest' part was weighing and adding the down. I did this in a tent, inside the house, with some fine scales I borrowed from work. I also had a vacuum cleaner ready to go in the tent. More maths involve in how much down to put in each channel, given that the bag tapers from top to bottom so that each channel needed a different amount of down!
Then the tweaking began. The extra nylon flaps I originally added just didn't work as I mentioned. So I removed this and added the velcro tabs to both the quilt and our sleeping mats (two Stephenson's DAMs). At this stage I also added velcro to the bottom edge of the foot box so it would actually fold under the ends of our mats and form a draftless seal. We found that the velcro was under enough stress that it would partially rip whenever we moved, waking us with that lovely velccro sound. So then I removed that velcro and just went with the drawstring foot box. But this left a small hole where cold could still seep in, so I added the extra draft flap. This is a very warm foot box! The original top collar I used was like the one on the dual arc alpinist. We found this wasn't quite enough on really windy nights in a Tarptent. In fact, the draft flap in the footbox was originally the neck flap. I made a longer draft tube that covered most of the length of the top opening, and now we're happy. Just as well I had some spare fabric and down to work with. Actually, the spare fabric and down were meant for making a doggy quilt, so now I'll have to think of something else for poor pooch.
Overall a big project for me, and not dirt cheap either, but fully satisfying and just exactly what we want in a sleep system. It would have been hard to just order something like this even from the custom places like Nunatak and Feathered Friends as the design has continually evolved.Jan 15, 2008 at 12:19 pm #1416222
Great job Allison! Did you cut the top layer wider than the bottom to make it drap better when wrapped around you? (since an arc with depth will have the top line longer than the bottom)…Again very nice job.Jan 15, 2008 at 12:52 pm #1416226
No Jhaura, I contemplated a differential cut, but figured most of the time we would be using the quilt flat during warmer weather, so it wasn't worth the extra effort. Draping that way has not been a problem, rather the gap in the middle between us is where most of the cold is prone to get in. The only time a differential cut would really make a difference would be when configured for solo cold weather trips. Surprisingly, when it's set up like this, it drapes better without a differential cut, as the inner fabric is forced to billow around and fill all the air gaps.
I have had an Arc Alpinist with differential cut, and it wasn't nearly as cozy a fit as this beast.Jan 15, 2008 at 6:15 pm #1416277
I think I'm quoting Jack Stephenson in saying that your sleeping kit reminds me that "comfort will not be sacrificed"!
Nice job!Jan 15, 2008 at 6:37 pm #1416279
Right on. Carrying a Stephenson's DAM is the ultimate stand on not sacrificing comfort while hiking. The DAMs weigh more than the quilt! But being able to snuggle up with your favorite hiking buddy surrounded by 3+ inches of fully lofted down top AND bottom is making the ultimate statement in comfort ;)Jan 16, 2008 at 11:01 am #1416357
Got a nice, dry morning to take some outside photos which I upgraded in the origianl post.
Also thought I would put it all in context by including the sleeping mats. Although I show DAMs here, this quilt would work just as well with any other pad. I use Selly's Urethane Bond to attach the velcro, and so far this has woked well with every pad I've tried (including Ridgerest and Torsolite).
This shows the bottom velcro. There is a lot of velcro here which is not needed (I haven't yet removed it). For this quilt, all that is needed are the 4 strips along each side of the DAMs. The strips on the inside secure the two mats together. The other velcro will be removed…Sep 18, 2008 at 6:00 pm #1451534
Alison, great design, exactly what I was thinking of!
How did it work out for you and have you thought of making on in Climashield or PG?Sep 18, 2008 at 7:15 pm #1451538
The design works well except in very windy conditions in tarptents where a double bivy bag would be needed to make it comfortable in colder weather. I have never really considered synthetics as I've been really happy with the performance and weight to warmth ratio and compressability of high quality down. However, a synthetic quilt would be orders of magnitude easier and cheaper to MYOG than a baffled down one!
It's really important in whatever design you go with to control drafts from the edges, foot, and also the gap that forms between two people.Sep 21, 2008 at 5:03 pm #1451795
i really like the idea that have a small draft stopper for the foot box.
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