Jan 31, 2009 at 11:23 am #1233689
I would love a quilt like an Arc Alpinist, but some comments by Jamie Shortt on a separate thread regarding his 18.65 ounce GoLite Ultra quilt raised a couple of thoughts/observations:
According to golite's website, a size "regular" Ultra 20 quilt has 270 grams of down fill. If my math is correct, this works out to a little over 9.5 ounces of down for a quilt with similar girth dimensions to an arc alpinist (this is an assumption…please correct me if I am mistaken).
Nunatak's website says that the arc alpinist has 11 oz ounces of down fill in their "medium" that fits someone up to 5'10" and 12 ounces in the size large, which fits someone up to 6'4". This leads me to believe that the Ultra 20 must not be as warm as an arc alpinist, but based on the numbers listed by Jamie (his GoLite Ultra quilt weighs 18.65 ounces with straps removed)a medium GoLite Ultra is lighter than even a medium arc alpinist in their lightest fabric, Quantum, by about 1.5 ounces. A custom sized alpinist to fit someone six feet tall (like me) would presumably be at least 2 ounces more than an Ultra 20.
My question is this: could someone add two or three ounces of down fill to a GoLite Ultra quilt to make it at least equal in warmth to an arc alpinist?
I've been working on a few myog sewing projects (bivies, tarps, synthetic insulation clothing), and have considered making my own down quilt as well. However, I think that if possible, adding down fill to an Ultra 20 (if found at a good discount/sale, for example $150-$175) would save a couple hundred dollars compared to buying a custom nunatak quilt (I'm a student, and on a budget), or conversely save a lot of time compared to making my own down quilt from scratch while only being marginally more expensive.
Those of you who own an ultra 20 or are familiar with the construction: are baffles continuous from end to end? Would I have to rip out seams on each side of the quilt to add down, or could I simply open up one end of each baffle to add down? In your estimation, do the seams on the sides of the quilt look complicated or difficult to remove/re-sew?
MattJan 31, 2009 at 11:37 am #1474301
Let's see. I called Golite, and they told me there were baffles between the top and side/bottom, but a forum member told me that there weren't. That's a big help, isn't it? The way the side/bottom seemed overfilled, I'd probably have to vote with the forum member. And I got a great deal a while back on some LuxuryLite bags that had underfilled chambers ($39), so I have been practicing opening seams, and adding down to the underfilled chambers. I checked my GoLite before I returned it, but I couldn't really find a seam to cleanly open and add down. Maybe I didn't look close enough. Guess you could always cut it, add the down, and patch it. I though about that too……Jan 31, 2009 at 12:12 pm #1474307
@jshorttLocale: North Carolina
Matt, Sounds like a number of us are on the same quest. Thanks for finding the amount of down fill on the ultra, I had not been able to find it. I agree that the ultra is probably not as warm as an Arc Alpinest, but probably warmer then an Arc Specialist. This now makes sense…8 oz on Specialist, 9.5 on Ultra, and 11 oz on Alpinest. Mayebe call the ultra a ~25 degree bag based on Nunataks rating scale.
I will say I am happy with my ultra and I think it is one great bargain. As to the baffles, I can confirm that my ultra has 2 lengthwise baffles that run from the head to the toe box. This creates 3 chambers across each of the "normal" baffles that run across the bag. I believe Nunataks only have the cross baffling creating only single chambers. At the chest the side baffles are ~12" each and the center baffle is ~26". This does prevent the down from sliding to the sides. If you were to add down I think you would want to do it to the center section only which means you can not open up the side seams and get access the center. I just can not see a way to get into the center chambers. I do think the quilt would perform significantly better with 2 oz of extra down… say like the Alpinest.
JamieJan 31, 2009 at 12:26 pm #1474310
Joe and Jamie –
Thanks for the responses – its nice to know now that there are two baffles running from head to foot, as that could have been a major hang up later on….looks like i'll just have to order a down/momentum quilt kit from thru-hiker.com to get what i want at a price i can stomach.
mattJan 31, 2009 at 1:19 pm #1474318
I know the one I sent back was obviously overfilled on the sides. It was drum tight, and you could see thru places on the top.
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