May 13, 2007 at 10:16 pm #1223239
I'm looking at reducing my weight in my sleep system from a mummy sleeping bag to possibly using a quilt. Sleeping comfort is high on my list and I don't want to drop 200-350 on a decent quilt (arc alpinist, cocoon ul 180) and find out I don't like it. I'm not a side sleeper but I do like some shoulder room (62 in is my current bag), and I sleep in a LW tent. Could someone tell me about their experience switching from a sleeping bag to a quilt?May 14, 2007 at 1:19 am #1389168
I haven't switched – here's what happened. The idea was very attractive to me. I had at the time a new REI subkilo bag – with the zipper opened all the way, it has a sort of foot pocket like some quilts do. So I thought, I'll just use it as a quilt, not zipping it, and if I like it that way, will trim off the excess and the zipper. Well, bottom line is, even with the extra width to tuck in under me, it was simply never as warm as when zipped up. So it looked to me like, to get enough warmth to compensate for the drafts and convection losses, I'd have to up the loft. Plus, I still just didn't like waking up with part of it untucked. I suggest you might try the same approach – pretend the zipper is broken on your current bag – if you find you always sleep toasty and can keep the sides tucked under you all night, maybe go for a quilt. BTW another approach to the so-called dilemma of insulation being compressed under you, so get rid of it, is someone (I think Glenn Vanpelt) makes a sleeping bag with a thin layer of nylon underneath but no insulation on the bottom. Yet another thing to consider. Good luck in your quest.May 14, 2007 at 4:54 am #1389173
@jjpittsLocale: Midwest US
I am about to TRY making the switch and just took advantage of the sale at Jacks 'R Better (No Sniveler Quilt). That said, I still don't see the weight savings yet. My current bag is 2 oz lighter than the quilt. -IF- I can drop my insulation layer and use the quilt as a "serape" (a feature of this quilt) then I will save 8 oz by leaving my down jacket behind but add 2 oz from the added weight over my sleeping bag… so a savings of 6 oz which is significant. That said, my bag is good down to 40 degrees (more with clothes) and the word is that this quilt is potentially good to colder temps than this (a "YMMV" type of situation). I am excited to give it a shot but don't know if it will work for me or not.May 14, 2007 at 6:34 am #1389174
@djohnsonLocale: Washington State
First of all- check this out: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/2006_unconventional_sleep_systems_review_summary.html
Personally, I have an Arc Ghost and a Jacks R Better No Sniveler. Both great bags. The JRB is much more roomy so if you like extra room, there's an option. I know the other Arc bags are wider as well.
What I've found is that as a side sleeper that moves a lot, I sometimes lose heat through the space. It was really a problem when under a tarp with even a mild breeze. Now I always use a SUL bivy in those conditions and use a tent otherwise. It's also become fairly automatic for me to put my hand down when rolling over to keep the space beneath me.
So I'm in quilts much of the time these days. I especially love them when the weather is warm because you can open them up so I find the temp range to be very wide.
I also tried an experiement with opening a normal bag but it's so hard to control the extra width and you lose effeciency. At least that was my experience- I didn't find it to be a fair judge of a true quilt system which pulls the sides snugly against you with straps, etc.
Hope that helps- especially the articles!
DougMay 15, 2007 at 7:25 am #1389285
Thanks all for your helpful comments and James let me know how it goes, I may just try it to kill my curiosity.
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