Aug 30, 2013 at 10:09 am #1307125
So I backpack in NY, NJ and PA all seasons and I am looking for a synthetic lightweight quilt. I currently use GoLite down 1 season and 3 season quilts, which I love. The 1 season gets most use, even in cold temps. However, I now plan on useing a MLD Patrol shelter as my primary shelter. As you now, in the NE mountains we get plenty of rain and snow and humidity. So I am considering trying a light weight synthetic quilt with my new system. Right now, my base pack weight is at 8.5 – 9 lbs. I would like to keep it there. I was looking at the MLD spirit quilts or now possibly an Enlightened Equipment synthetic quilt(I forget the name). Do any of you use synthetic quilts? Any recommendations? Is there a better choice other then the 2 I'm looking at? Of those 2 which is better? Or are they reletivly the same and its just a matter of choice? Thanks for any input and help…
JoeAug 30, 2013 at 10:31 am #2020169
Its pretty easy and much cheaper to buy the materials and make it yourself. If you can't sew or don't have a machine, chances are you may be friendly with someone who does or you could bring it to a seamstress or the like. Thru-hiker is a good source of Climashield Apex and good quality but cheap nylon fabric can be found at many places.Aug 30, 2013 at 10:38 am #2020171
Meh' you lost me on make my own. Yeah…no not gonna happen on this one. No idea and easier for me to buy it . Thanks though.Aug 30, 2013 at 10:46 am #2020173
In that case, while I don't have a synthetic quilt from a company, I do have a E.E. down quilt (which is significantly harder to make) and highly recommend their general quilt quality. And yes synthetic does make more sense for some conditions.Aug 30, 2013 at 10:59 am #2020177
I'm a big fan of Enlightened Equipment quilts – Tim's great to work with and his quilts are of high quality.Aug 30, 2013 at 11:18 am #2020182
size the synth quilt to go over yr down one …
and youve now got a very redundant and condensation resistant winter setup
;)Aug 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm #2020197
I really like the MLD Spirit 28. It's really light and has kept me warm past the temp rating. I wrote a bit about it here: http://www.nsiderbam.blogspot.com/2013/07/thoughts-on-mld-spirit-28-quilt.htmlAug 30, 2013 at 12:04 pm #2020198
@aroth87Locale: Missouri Ozarks
I was going to suggest making your own as well, but since that option is out the only people I've seen making synthetic quilts are EE and MLD. I just got an EE RevX (down) quilt and it puts my MYOG synthetic quilt to shame as far as workmanship goes. It's very well put together, I have to imagine their synthetic quilts are just as nice. I haven't seen the MLD Spirit quilts but judging from the word on the 'net and the tarp I had from them they should be exceptional as well.
I haven't had a chance to use my synthetic quilt yet (just finished it last week) but I chose synthetic for much the same reason you're considering it. Mine is a summer-weight quilt and around here that means lots of dew and humidity and I didn't want to be worry so much about getting my quilt damp. Plus the weight savings of down wasn't huge at this temperature rating. For my "winter" quilt its a different story.
I think the biggest difference between the MLD and EE quilts is going to be the cut. The MLD is more form-fitting, the EE is more generously cut. Both are available is a variety of lengths and widths. Both offer their quilts with lightweight, high-quality fabrics but EE also has the "X" line which uses cheaper 30d nylon as a budget option. I don't think you can really go wrong with either one. The other difference is MLD uses omni-tape to close the footbox and EE uses a zipper.
AdamAug 30, 2013 at 12:31 pm #2020210
Good point Adam that for a summer weight quilt there is not a huge difference in weight difference between Apex and down. I would say there is a noticeable difference in volume though and Apex is much less forgiving over time as far as compacting.
For most though the volume won't be that big of a deal. It is kind of for me since my go to overnighter and weekend pack is rather small (20L).Aug 30, 2013 at 12:39 pm #2020213
I really like my MLD Spirit 48. Under 12 ounces for a large and enough insulation for most of my summer trips or year round in the Bay Area. Impeccably finished with great materials.Aug 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm #2020219
@aroth87Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Yeah, the pack size is a definite disadvantage as is the life expectancy of the insulation. My 2.5osy Apex quilt packs into a 5.5L stuff sack, which is about the same size as my 30 degree down quilt. A 45 degree down quilt would certainly pack smaller and if you use a small pack like Justin, that's a big consideration. I use a 50L pack most of the time so it doesn't bother me at all.
As far as long term durability, I sort of decided that if I can get five or so years out of it I'd be happy. I paid under $50 for the materials to make my synthetic quilt so if it goes flat soon I'm not out a lot of cash. And by then who knows what sort of advances synthetic insulation will have made. I may want to make a new quilt then just to take advantage of the new materials even if my quilt is still going strong.
AdamAug 31, 2013 at 6:16 pm #2020550
I use ULA CDT pack. I carry so few items that I do believe it will not make much of a difference in my pack. I decided on the EE Prodigy 40 degree regular size quilt. I will definately push its limits with how cold i can take it down to in my back yard so I get a better feel for it uses. I guess I will primarily use the synthetic bag when I know to expect lots of rain and humidity and some snow. The weight is pretty much close to the same as my 40 degree down bag, so its no concern to me really. My pack weight will still be hovering around the 9.5 lb weight, minus food and water. If everything I have read and heard about the differences of down and synthetic is true, in wet/humid/damp conditions, then I most certainly believe this is the way to go with my setup where I do most of my hiking. Thanks everyone for your help
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