Jun 9, 2009 at 9:01 pm #1236959
Companion forum thread to:Jun 10, 2009 at 12:24 am #1507165
Very well done Roger!
So what to tackle first – a Caffin tent or a Caffin quilt?Jun 10, 2009 at 12:42 am #1507167
Or a … ?
CheersJun 10, 2009 at 6:38 am #1507193
Very Nice, Roger.
Concepts, materials, and the niggling details.
This should inspire anyone so inclined to give it a try.Jun 10, 2009 at 6:49 am #1507196
@sabmeLocale: SW UK
I like the light weight quilt design.
I'd go for a synthetic insulation version, also easier to make. Might loose the zip out too.Jun 10, 2009 at 7:22 am #1507203
@ramblerLocale: On the AT in VA
Wonderful article with helpful diagrams and photos.
Thru-hiker.com has methods and diagrams for adding a hood to your bag and no-see-um netting can be used for baffles.
A simple way to add a hood to a quilt is just to add another piece of down filled section to the top edge and close it over your head with a zipper or just a few snaps. I got this idea from another thread here a year or so ago.
Here is another site for a MYO quilt:
Photos of MYO Sleeping bag: NB: no-see-um baffles and foot box part of original piece of materialJun 10, 2009 at 2:04 pm #1507315
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Very nice details Roger. Shame I'm a back sleeper, so can't make use of the flip-over hood.
Another really simple way to make a footbox is to just use a drawcord along the bottom edge of the quilt (ala JRB), with a draft tube behind it. This make the quilt very versatile as it can be left open and flat when really warm, or cinched up tight when colder. So many ways to make a quilt! At least anyone contemplating the task has got some very good ideas and details to get them started.
My next project has got to be a Roger Tent! I just can't figure out how to make those bent pole joiners…hint hint.Jun 10, 2009 at 2:18 pm #1507318
Roger, this has got to be the most lucid, descriptive break-down I've seen of how to build a sleeping bag. Thank you.
One point of interest: have y'all ever noticed the shot in the Western Mountaineering catalog where an employee is sewing in a baffle? I've spent far too much idle time looking at that photo in recent months trying to figure out if they just sew the strip in, or if it's folded back upon itself. I think it's just sewn right in. Reckon I'll have to call them and find out one of these days. But there's no arguing that doubled over will be stronger.
Glad to see someone else likes the center zip!
BradJun 10, 2009 at 3:30 pm #1507339
Excellent how-to article. Makes it look like we can all make one. My wife already told me to not even think about a quilt. My projects tend to become her projects.
I don't want to jeopardize our string of 33 years. Also, I have this nightmare of waking up and being beaten with a hiking pole, but I can't see or move because I've been sewn into a down sleeping bag.Jun 10, 2009 at 3:36 pm #1507341
Yeah, but the tent is a LOT more complex!
> I just can't figure out how to make those bent pole joiners…hint hint.
Ah, that should be fairly easy for you. It's called a University engineering workshop …
Contact me direct if you want.
cheersJun 11, 2009 at 2:11 pm #1507581
This was an EXCELLENT article. Thank you SO much for writing it. I've got all the mats for making a down quilt for two, and I've been putting it off, intimidated that I will get stuck in the details. I feel confident jumping in now – that I will not have over-looked something vital.
One thing that did strike me though: the comment you made about some manufacturers being willing to fill the down for you. This is the one part that I've been the most worried about and dreading…
Does anyone have any experience with this? Know current manufacturers willing to do this? And do you have to buy the down from them? Because I already have my down… :(Jun 11, 2009 at 3:02 pm #1507593
Sharon, I wouldn't sweat stuffing the down. I use a digital scale tared with a small plastic bucket. I pull down from the bag I got it in, add to the bucket until I reach my desired weight. Then I take handfuls of down from the bucket and shove them directly into the proper baffle. I do this in the bathroom, sometimes with the door shut. The last project I'm pretty sure I had less than 0.25 oz of down floating about; it picked up quite easily, just swept my hand across the counter top and the floor, put the down back in my bag. No problems. No reason to dread. Simple!
Cheers-Jun 11, 2009 at 7:18 pm #1507674
Check out the bit in the article about using a cardboard tube inside a large plastic bag. I did this a few days ago and it worked fine.
I don't know about specific USA manufacturers – perhaps someone else might be able to help.
CheersJun 12, 2009 at 12:27 am #1507722
I was in your same position a little over a month ago. I thought it would be the hardest part of the process but it was probably one of the easiest. I used the vacuum fill method with and completly recommend it. No part of my quilt construction was very difficult but most were pretty tedious. I have a thread about my thru-hiker quilt construction. You should be able to find it in my profile. If you have any problems you can pm me with your phone number since reading a writeup, especially mine, isn't always clear. Good luck.Jun 12, 2009 at 5:58 am #1507756
@ramblerLocale: On the AT in VA
Sharon. Follow Brad's suggesstions about stuffing down. I tried it in a tent and in a work room off my garage. A small bathroom works best. Just hang the baffle to be filled from the towel rack and fill it by hand using the scale to determine what is left in the down container. A few feathers float around, but they are easy to pick up. To keep feathers from sticking to your hands cover them with chalk. Climbers use chalk on their hands, so it can be found in stores that sell to them. (eg. REI) I also use small binder clamps to hold the filled baffles closed. They are found at stores like Staples. They are also can be used as a substuturte for pins in your sewing projects. They do not make holes.
When one reads all the directions for a sewing project all at once, it is easy to be overwhelmed and discouraged, but when you go step by step as you sew, they will be come clear and easier to grasp.
Warmlite uses vapor barrier fabric in their sleeping bags, inside on the top. They sell the fabric which is 1.4 oz. silicone coated aluminized nylon at $24 per yardJun 12, 2009 at 10:12 am #1507819
Hey Matthew – I didn't make the connection when I saw your response, but once I found your MYOG thread, I recognized it right away. I have your write-up bookmarked from when you first posted it! I thought it was a fantastic write-up, and I really like your idea for "ruler" masking tape…
I'm not sure what the vacuum fill method is though. Do you know where I can find more information on it?
And thank you very much to everyone else for the encouragement and suggestions. Definitely is helping to reduce the dread! :)Jun 12, 2009 at 10:14 am #1507821
Hey Roger, what are your thoughts on the vertical baffles in the blue bag? Do you notice better/worse down control? Would you do it again that way? I could see the technique being particularly useful in a center zip bag… but then, the one I just made seems to keep down in place without trouble. What do you think about that baffle style?Jun 12, 2009 at 1:01 pm #1507862
My wife complained that the down was forever migrating sideways in her red bag, and suggested vertical baffles would solve that.
I suspect that underfill in her red bag might have been the real problem, but I gave it a go. Yes, better control, but less flexibility.
CheersJun 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm #1507897
Also, does it matter which side of the fabric (shiny or matte) is facing the down vs. which side is facing your skin?
Or is it just a matter of preference? If so, would a few people mind sharing their preferences, and they have them?Jun 12, 2009 at 9:39 pm #1507944
@trebiskyLocale: Southern Arizona
Plenty to learn even if I never sew my own quilt, (though I think I probably will have a go at it).
And a very enjoyable and effective writing style!Jun 13, 2009 at 3:29 am #1507957
> does it matter which side of the fabric (shiny or matte) is facing the down vs. which side is facing your skin?
Fourth pic down from the top.
My own opinion is that the cire side will stick to your skin more, and also it will block the down better.
CheersJun 13, 2009 at 6:10 am #1507966
Thanks Sharon, The vacuum fill method involves a vacuum with hose, cardboard tube from a paper towel roll, and noseeum mesh. First I placed 2 layers of the mesh over the cardboard tube then I pushed the vacuum hose snugly inside the tube through the mesh and taped the mesh to the outside of the cardboard tube. Then set up your down as normal and instead of taking handfulls of down suck it up in the tube then remove the vacuum hose and blow the down into the bag with your mouth. It took me about 3 tubes per baffle on average. I don't have a scale but I wish I did for this process.
Here are the links I used.Jun 15, 2009 at 9:47 am #1508270
@mad777Locale: South Florida
Shiny side: Dull side
The first quilt I made used Momentum from Thru-Hiker and that question stopped me before even getting started. I emailed AYCE and he said put the shiny side in so that the dull side shows.
Longitudinal vs Transverse Baffles:
I've made an under quilt for a hammock using longitudinal baffles because I didn't want the down to migrate to one spot under me. Plus, theres no way to "fluff" up the under quilt from inside the hammock. Worked well. However, for the top quilt, I used transverse baffles, go figure!Jun 24, 2009 at 1:24 pm #1510216
Hmm….so the article says that "a single walker would need a lot more than [300 grams] of down at -7 C (20F)".
What's the deal then with GoLite's Ultra 20 quilt? With 270g of 800fp down (size regular), is it no where near its claimed 20F (-7 C) warmth? The Beeline bag by The North Face uses 296g of 850fp down and they only claim a -1 C rating. What gives?Jun 24, 2009 at 1:27 pm #1510218
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
"What's the deal then with GoLite's Ultra 20 quilt? With 270g of 800fp down (size regular), is it no where near its claimed 20F (-7 C) warmth? The Beeline bag by The North Face uses 296g of 850fp down and they only claim a -1 C rating. What gives?"
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