Feb 16, 2014 at 9:55 pm #1313401
I keep seeing "come to Jesus" stories on here about how people resisted quilts for the longest time, tried one, and never went back. Any stories to the contrary?
The reason I ask is that I'm thinking of converting my Kelty Cosmic Down 20 to a quilt. I'd like to drop some weight, and I don't have the money for a new quilt. Problem is… I don't have the money for a new sleeping bag either. If I turn this into a quilt I'll be stuck with it.
So, will I regret it? If so, why?Feb 16, 2014 at 11:07 pm #2074282
@m-lLocale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
I like the quilt + hooded down puffy combo. Makes a ton of sense.Feb 16, 2014 at 11:09 pm #2074284
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
There is an easy solution to this.
Unzip your sleeping bag and use it like a quilt. Then you will know if you like it or not.Feb 16, 2014 at 11:39 pm #2074289
Yea, I could do that (and have, though not anywhere near the bag's temp rating), but y'all tell such good stories and have such interesting opinions that I want to hear them anyhow.
It's also not quite the same, because if I quiltify the bag I'll be removing material from the sides and increasing the opportunity for drafts (my biggest worry). On top of that, the unzipped bag doesn't have straps to keep it in place, and sleeping on zippers is uncomfortable.Feb 17, 2014 at 1:23 am #2074296
I wouldn't mess with your bag, you can try the bag out as a quilt as Justin pointed out to see if it works for you.
Personally I switched to a quilt mainly for comfort reasons, not weight. I've never had problems with keeping the quilt in place, and I don't use the straps. Funny that you mentioned sleeping on zippers as uncomfortable because I hate that too. Many quilts have a zipper foot box still, I actually had Tim at EE make me a quilt sans zipper. I'm pretty small, 5'8"/155 lbs. but got the regular length and wide dimensions so I could protect against drafts. I still have the drawcord at the foot box so I can bundle my feet up. But yeah, my decision to switch to a quilt was mainly inspired by wanting something more comfortable. If I were out in colder temps more consistently I'd go with a sleeping bag.Feb 17, 2014 at 3:20 am #2074301
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Hmmm, let me check a Cosmic Down….OK. It is an OK bag with a rather high temp rating at 32F. It weighs about 2#9. (Note these all very a bit.) 550 fill is not that great hence the cheaper price tag. Durability is still great, well worth taking care of.
OK. If you cannot afford to replace that bag, then don't fiddle with it. Quilting is great in warmer months, but quickly looses it's appeal in late fall/early spring. 3 major points here: ventilation, ground protection, weight.
Ventilation is great in the summer, but the same drafts that are cooling in summer are cold in winter. There is a lot of air leakage compared to a bag.
GOOD ground protection is required. The conduction of heat is the strongest source of heat loss. With a quilt, there is none. With a bag you loose the loft, but you retain a 1/8"-1/2" of insulation against the ground. This isn't a lot but it helps. A simple Blue Pad, will cover the difference for a 32F bag. However, a 32F quilt, will not. You need a good R2.5+ pad for good comfort at 32F. The pad becomes part of the sleep system and is really necessary. A holed inflatable is a real disaster with a quilt. 'Corse, in the forest, it is easy enough to scrape up forest duff to 6-8" for some insulation.
Weight is great. Quilts are generally smaller than an unrolled bag. So, you carry less weight. Don't forget a pad, but mostly, you will carry a pad, anyway. It may be a better pad, or two pads…negating any weight savings, though.
I would leave your current bag. If you want a quilt, save for one. In the mean time, use the bag as a quilt when you get a chance. If you get cold, zip it up. If you still get cold, well, you are at the limit of your current equipment. Add a layer or two. Don't forget that the EN ratings assume a good pad and long johns inside a bag. You may find the survival rating of 20F to be quite cold. I believe most would have rated it as a 35F or more bag.Feb 17, 2014 at 5:43 am #2074313
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
I love quilts above 35F but any time I tried them below that drafts drove me daft as I move around a lot in my sleep. I am going to give it one more go at about 15F once it warms up here a bit (this morning was -5F)Feb 17, 2014 at 6:48 am #2074319
I don't like quilts below 40F due to drafts.
I have a 30F 2 lb synthetic quilt which I use sometimes (wet, humid weather) for temps above 40F. Otherwise, I just take my 21 oz 30F down bag and unzip it for use as a quilt when it's warmer.Feb 17, 2014 at 7:37 am #2074332
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
I am sure many dislike quilts. You might try what I did years ago, buy an inexpensive, light, synthetic quilt here in gear swap. I bought a BPL Cocoon 60 quilt pretty cheap. Only weighs about 12 ounces and only works in mild weather.Feb 17, 2014 at 7:49 am #2074337
I tried a quilt and found I didn't like the draft coming in throughout the night. That kept me awake. I had one of the gear makers build me a sleeping bag with a full nylon sheet on the bottom and 3-inch 900 fill baffles on the top. That solved the draft problem for me.Feb 17, 2014 at 8:07 am #2074346
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
I no longer own any quilts. The weight savings is mostly sleight of hand, and I find them too fiddly.Feb 17, 2014 at 8:10 am #2074347
@cgrafLocale: So Cal
+1 Dislike Drafts
I used a quilt with a bivy/tarp combination over the past few years from mid-spring to mid-fall here in SoCal and was fine as the bivy prevented drafts for the most part. Since the move away from bivy use, I’ve found that even in warmer weather I dislike drafts, resulting in my move back to a light weight bag.Feb 17, 2014 at 8:20 am #2074353
@geokiteLocale: Southern California
I tried a quilt for a JMT hike, 30 degree one. Turns out I toss and turn too much, had to adjust it every time to avoid drafts. Got a FF Vireo and I'm all happy.
SteveFeb 17, 2014 at 8:34 am #2074358
I guess I'm one of the few folks who like quilts even in winter, and have used them down to 7 degrees on the ground with no issues. I'll be using a quilt system in Northern Michigan on a short trip in a couple of weeks. All indications are it's going to be cold….. :-)
I went to quilts from mummy bags because I toss and turn a lot during the night, and I got tired of twisting my bag all up. I also like to sleep semi fetal, and couldn't do that comfortably in a mummy bag (perhaps I just had the wrong mummy bag – I was using GoLite Adrenaline bags when I made the switch some 5 years ago). I've never had significant issues with drafts after I learned how to toss and turn with a quilt without lots of drafts (and I don't attach my quilts to my pad or body).
Having said all that, I personally think it would be a mistake to convert your sleeping bag into a quilt, especially when you don't know whether or not you'll like using one. Save for a quilt or borrow a buddy's if you want to try it out. The warmer weather quilts can be pretty inexpensive, you might start there.
Side note, I'm pretty heavily invested in quilts now, and they work for me just fine, but during some recent navel gazing on the web I came across the Feathered Friends Penguin Nano series of bags. They intrigue me, especially how they can so easily convert to a two-person sleep system. I might get one some day … if I can first find the other person to sleep with, that is. :-)Feb 17, 2014 at 9:33 am #2074373
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
I went from a bag (heavy), to my 1st quilt (too narrow), then back to a bag, and then back to a quilt again. I've been using quilts only for about 2 years now. Coldest night was 10 degrees – I did fine. I've had many nights in the 20s with quilts. The only other style sleeping bag I would consider is a hoodless zip bag.Feb 17, 2014 at 9:47 am #2074377
I'm a side-sleeper and I would switch sides frequently during the night due to pressure points. During the roll-over, cold air would leak in. In moderate weather it was no big deal. But in cold weather it would jog me awake. I went back to a large mummy for cold weather.
I used a 20* down Campmor mummy as a quilt for a long time. The only negative was the hood getting in the way. When I finally got around to buying a quilt, I was quite pleased with the superior loft and drape, compared to my 550fp bag. My quilt is plenty warm into the 20's if I am careful how I wiggle around. I've since moved off the ground entirely, but that is another subject.
IMO, a quilt is best suited for large people who toss and turn and camp in moderate weather. Mainly because bag manufacturers size their products for trail-weasels, a quilt can be a lighter, cheaper solution than a custom sized mummy. If you are going to quilt in sub-30*f, you have to put some work into pad attachment to minimize those drafts. And you need to get a really good head covering solution. Definitely something you need to work out in the backyard before you take a trek.Feb 17, 2014 at 9:52 am #2074379
I will echo some others sentiments. I found quilts too fiddly, too drafty below about 40F, and just an overall hassle for my shifty sleep style. With that said, I still use an 11oz one above 40F purely for weight savings. A bag like the FF Vireo or the Zpacks without the hood are a great compromise IMO. Still get some weight savings without the drafts and fiddle factor.
RyanFeb 17, 2014 at 10:02 am #2074382
if you sleep without moving for hours on end a quilt is good. If you move a little the drafts may wake you up. They are good in warmer weather. I am back to a bag and will only use a quilt on warm nights.Feb 17, 2014 at 10:13 am #2074385
I've tried a quilt.
My takeaway from the experience is that a bag can do everything a quilt can do and more. The few ounces of weight savings a quilt provides is not worth the tradeoff in features and fiddling. I like being able to zip out all drafts and cinch the hood tight.
So I stick with bags.Feb 17, 2014 at 12:51 pm #2074430
@ewolinLocale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
I find bags too constrictive after using quilts a lot, I don't think I could go back. When it's cold I wear a warm hat, long-johns and thick socks to bed. No problem with occasional drafts, but I built "draft-stoppers" into all my quilts that make a big difference (flaps of fabric around the perimeter that stop drafts).
I had no problems at 15 degF in a two-person quilt sealed in a tent at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.Feb 17, 2014 at 12:55 pm #2074432
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
I need to get something warmer and I've been thinking about getting the cheaper version of the EE 10 degree down quilt… only because it's very inexpensive. Hopefully I like it, because a high quality down sleeping bag is nowhere in my foreseeable future. At least these things have good resale value.Feb 17, 2014 at 2:14 pm #2074458
I think the type of quilt and what type of sleeper you are has a lot to do with it. I toss and turn frequently and after trying a golite quilt a few years ago, sold it because of drafts. That being said, I've been using a Katabatic Gear quilt for the past year and won't go back to a bag unless I plan on doing super cold weather camping. The KG quilt is super comfortable, easy to adjust, and I prefer not getting tangled up like in my previous mummy bag.Feb 17, 2014 at 6:40 pm #2074539
@skomaeLocale: northeastern US
I sleep cold, I am a side sleeper, a rotisserie sleeper, and I thrash around a lot at night. A quilt has proven to be the best option for me. My 20º Enlightened Equipment RevX quilt at 22oz easily takes me down right to 30ºF with the Xtherm. I've now spent over 20 nights in my EE quilt and it's the best sleep I've had on or off the trail.
With its elastic pad straps, the Enlightened Equipment quilt stays put and completely draftless on my sleeping pad. The neck cinch keeps my shoulders and torso warmer than even the best draft collars, and having no hood means that I can sleep on my side and still breathe. I wear a hat to bed, or a hooded jacket instead. I can roll around all I want and I'm never in danger of falling off the pad, never get drafts, and stay comfortable all night long.
When it is warm out, I can easily regulate my temperature by opening the footbox and sticking my feet out or simply opening up the neck cinch a bit. If it's really warm, I take off the pad straps from the quilt and just drape it over me. Easy.
Into subfreezing temperatures I switch to a -20ºF bag, but if a -20ºF quilt and matching balaclava were offered I'd be more than happy to give it a whirl.Feb 17, 2014 at 7:46 pm #2074552
@kalebcLocale: South West
I went to quilts for bags above 30. I'm a side sleeper and when you cinch the bottom cords before you sleep and button/Velcro the top- I have never had the draft issues. I feel like I'm sleeping at home in a quilt, I will never go back. I use them for weight savings and comfort/versatility. I have a few WM bags for the cold <30F. In your case, I wouldn't do it, maybe cut the hood off?Feb 17, 2014 at 7:49 pm #2074555
@dafiremedicLocale: Southern California
My situation almost exactly echoes that of Stephen Komae. I am a cold sleeper, I sleep on my side, and I roll around a lot at night. The quilt has helped with all of these areas. I have two EE Revelation X's and one JRB. I find I sleep warmer at night because of less air space around me, and more comfortably because I can change positions easier without the restrictions of a bag. With the quilt clipped around the back, its pretty rare to get a draft and when I do its not that bothersome. They are the first sleep system that I've been able to use down to their claimed ratings.
A few benefits that I've discovered but don't see mentioned very often: Its much more comfortable to "relieve" myself on those cold nights as I don't have to get out of the bag, only kneel up and use the waste bottle while keeping the quilt over me. Also, when getting up on cold mornings, its nice to keep the quilt around me, or in the case of the JRB, stick my head through the poncho hole until I put my hiking clothes on. Finally, my 11 yr old son (unbeknownst to me) had neglected to put his sleeping pad down one night on the JMT on a night in the low 30's. In the middle of the night, he told me he was cold. I was able to throw one side of my quilt over him and his quilt as well, which really helped. That was the only night any of us was cold, and it was because he slept directly on the tent floor. This despite many times that I found them like this on frosty mornings (they started out sleeping in the same direction):
That being said, quilts may not be for everyone. I wouldn't do it just for the weight savings, only if its more comfortable for you. As was mentioned, try using the bag as a quilt, but I don't think its going to be quite the same, as attaching the quilt around the back is one of the keys to comfort and warmth.
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