Sep 27, 2013 at 8:02 pm #1308148
About two months ago James DeGraaf loaned my wife and I his Zpacks Twin Quilt to try out. We took it for a 4-day trip in Humphreys Basin and were instantly sold on the concept. First of all, James' version of the quilt weighed 28 ounces – an ounce less than my wife's Western Mountaineering Ultralite just by itself. So it essentially saved us the full weight of my quilt (23oz). I don't think a single piece of gear has saved me so much weight since I switched from a freestanding tent to tarps years ago. It also freed up a huge amount of volume in our packs. My wife ended up using a 28 liter pack that she normally uses for dayhiking on that trip because her gear volume ended up so small.
Humphreys Basin with James D's twin quilt that he was kind enough to loan to my wife and I.
But most importantly, sleeping in it was awesome. I expected to have an elbow in my side for the full duration of the trip, but it actually was quite comfortable and felt roomier than a single sleeping bag. I could stretch my legs out when my wife slept on her side, and we could even sleep back-to-back without running out of room. Pee breaks in the middle of the night avoided the dreaded warming up period when you got back in the bag, because there was a warm body in there keeping things nicely pre-heated. And my wife, who is generally a cold sleeper, was so warm cowboy camping at 30F on a windy night that she didn't have all her layers on thanks to the shared body heat. That's a temperature that historically would have her borderline chilled wearing everything in her WM Ultralite.
Back at home, we sold her WM Ultralite and placed an order with Joe for our own twin quilt. After e-mailing back and forth for awhile, we came up with a revised design for the neck closure which in my opinion is a big improvement over the original arrangement. Basically, each person has a button on the outside corner of the quilt, and there are two button holes in the middle along the top edge separated by about 4". When it's warm out, you attach the button to the outer button hole, and there's a 4" gap between the two of you that gives you extra girth. When it's cold out, you button each corner into the farther button-hole so that the corners overlap by 4" and the gap is closed up to keep out drafts. It's simple, lightweight, easy to get in and out of quickly, and provides some additional flexibility.
Zpacks 20F Twin Quilt, 6' length, 850-fill water resistant down, with a draft collar added. Next to it is my 22F Katabatic Alsek, which has more than 100 nights in it now and is still going strong. Weight for the quilt with DWR down and additional draft collar is 30.5 ounces.
Detail of the two buttons on the neck closure.
As I had heard here on the forums before, Joe was great to work with – he was very responsive to my barrage of questions and worked with me to make sure I got exactly what I wanted.
Since I plan to use this quilt in the shoulder season and in winter, but mainly out of curiosity, I ordered the quilt with water-resistant down. Only time will tell how it holds up with age and how it performs in bad weather, but as delivered the quilt is very lofty. It seems identical in loft to James D's 900-fill quilt and has very similar loft to my 22-degree Katabatic Alsek, pictured next to it.
A $600, two person quilt is a bit of a niche item, and I can't imagine too many people on this board needing one. But if you backpack often with a significant other, it can be a great way to save a significant amount of weight. I'll update this thread as I get some more use out of the quilt.Sep 27, 2013 at 8:24 pm #2029027
thanks for posting.
what temp rating is the twin quilt good for?Sep 27, 2013 at 8:27 pm #2029029
Mine is rated to 20F with 20 ounces of down. Joe has 10, 20, 30 and 40 degree versions.Sep 27, 2013 at 8:46 pm #2029030
@schasseyLocale: Bay Area
Thanks very much for this review- I have been contemplating ordering one myself since Joe first started offering them, but could never turn up a review.
My girlfriend and I have used pairs of Montbell UL SS #1s and #3s for the past 2 years and will never go back to individual sleeping bags. Moving to one of these quilts could really lighten our load.
I like your neck closure system- did Joe say one way or the other if he was planning on making this standard?
Please update us after a season's use! I might order one next year if you're still loving it.
Thanks again!Sep 27, 2013 at 9:06 pm #2029036
delSep 27, 2013 at 9:29 pm #2029040
Scott, I'm not sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if Joe started using this as the standard closure.
Rick, here's what I had to say in another thread about sleeping pads with this system:
"For keeping your pads together, I agree that the sleeping pad gap sucks. My wife and I both have NeoAir Xlites which are tapered so on the first night it was pretty annoying. However, the second night I figured out a solution that works perfectly and makes the pads almost feel like a single double-wide sleeping pad. I took four pieces of thin cord (Kelty Triptease), about 4' long each. I tied two cords around each sleeping pad, one cord at about shoulder level and the other down near the bottom below knee level. I then took two mini carabiners and clipped the loops to each other. This held the pads together, and also was a tight enough connection that the pads bent inwards towards each other and closed the gap even though they are mummy shaped. You can fine-tune the separation by controlling how taut the loop is around the sleeping pad… the best way to do this is to tie a fixed loop in one end, pass the other end through it, cinch it down, and then tie it off with a slippery half hitch. The four pieces of cord and two mini-biners can't weigh more than an ounce, and if you need a more secure connection, just add a third set of cords and carabiner."Sep 27, 2013 at 10:05 pm #2029043
@dmusasheLocale: Pacific Northwest
Thanks for the review! I've been eyeing this twin quilt for my wife and I but haven't pulled the trigger yet because of the price.
Another BPL member here (Colin Krusor) had a post awhile back about his Zpacks twin quilt having really abrasive threading on the inside of the quilt.
Does yours have this problem too?
Also, could you post a few more pictures of how exactly the two button closure works in its various modes? I've found that the potential drafty air gap between the two sleepers is the biggest challenge with shared two-person sleeping systems, and I always like to find out more about methods to ameliorate this issue.
Thanks!Sep 27, 2013 at 10:22 pm #2029048
No problems with the thread. The stiching feels the same as in my Western Mountaineering and Katabatic stuff. The Pertex Quantum fabric has a nice soft feel against the skin.
It's kind of hard to take photos of the closure system. Maybe this diagram that Joe sent me will help explain it better:
Of course I haven't tested it out yet, but I expect the new closure plus the draft collar to work very well. The old closure left a larger gap, and even then drafts weren't a problem. One night when we were testing James' quilt we had our heads pointed into the wind which was gusting at around 10-15 mph all night and I didn't feel any drafts make their way in. It helps to have a long quilt here, because you can pull it up around your neck. The 6' version is long enough for me to completely pull the quilt over my head if I need to (I'm 5'11".)Sep 29, 2013 at 7:53 am #2029305
My wife and I use the 30 degree version with two Xlites. I took 1/16th"(maybe smaller, its pretty thin stuff) shockcord and made 4 large loops that fit around both pads. One at the head, one at about the stomach, one at the thighs/knees, and one at the feet. You could probably go with 3, but 4 has worked well for us. Of course the loop for the tapered foot area is a bit smaller. We haven't had much of a problem with a gap. I also put a few seam seal dots on the bottom of the pads. It makes them stick to our cuben floor pretty well.Sep 30, 2013 at 7:22 am #2029498
The two button neck closure design that Andrew described became a standard feature on our Twin quilts at the beginning of September 2013. It replaced the original velcro neck closure.
So there is no need to ask for this on your twin quilt order, it is default.Sep 30, 2013 at 7:57 am #2029508
My wife and I have a 20 degree and a 40 degree quilt with 32 nights experience in total. We have never closed up the necks, but instead use a ladder lack buckle attached by webbing to our sleeping mat attachment. The buckle goes through the button hole to hold the quilt down to the ground to avoid drafts when we move. This gives more room than closing the quilt completely at the neck. We've had the 20 degree down to about 19 degrees and the 40 degree down to about 34 degrees with no problem this way. I think the shared body warmth really makes this quilt a winner.
As for the water resistant down, we went for that option on the 20 degree quilt. A couple of nights we've had the quilt in conditions where everything exposed to the air became sopping wet. The quilt showed no sign of loss of loft. I don't know if that was due to the down treatment or the dwr on the quilt, though.
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