Feb 4, 2009 at 5:21 pm #1233804
I looking for a 35°/40° down quilt under 16 ounces. I'm guessing at a 55/55/35 profile. I'm open to a sewn-thru, or any other suggestions you might have. Except synthetic – to bulky for me.
This is for Sierra summers, or the Grand Canyon October thru April, and probably will be paired with a BPL Cocoon or Patagonia R1 hoody and a bivy.
I can't cut much weight on down, so that leaves fabric- about 6 yards for top and bottom, plus baffles, if used.
With Pertex .8 sold only to manufactures, AFAIK, aside from Momentum .9, what other UL fabric options are available?
Thanks in advance.Feb 4, 2009 at 6:40 pm #1475487
Momentum is the lightest breathable fabric that is commercially available. I bought mine from Thru-hiker.com, and I recommend that site for all of your quilt-making needs.
If you're looking for dimensions, check out Mountain Laurel Designs's quilts.Feb 4, 2009 at 8:34 pm #1475530
the down quilt kit from thru-hiker is a good deal with 5yd of momentum and 12oz of down for $150. For a 40* quilt you may only need 6oz, probably more like 9 but not 12 so the materials are only $125 and that includes some nanoseeum for baffles which you may not need to use to reach 40* and 16oz. Sewn through is easier, but baffling isn't really that hard, just time consuming.
I have made a bunch of quilts and 5yds is always more than i use.
How long do you plan to make the quilt and how much loft do you want to reach your goal of 40*?
is it 55head, 55hip and 35 foot? So it doesn't taper until the hip?
I am 6'2" 300lbs and my quilts are around 53head tapering to 40foot by 80" long. 35" foot is very tight for me and i only wear an 11.
I can tell you that 16oz may be tough. I made a bag with 1.3" loft (900 fill speer down) and it came in at 17oz (1.1oz fabric & no-see-um). It was very long, maybe 84 or 86" i forget. I think you'll want at least 1.5" of loft maybe even 1.75 and the baffles wouldn't hurt, but i doubt you'd make the 16oz goal (maybe 2oz-3oz of mesh used)
-TimFeb 5, 2009 at 7:21 am #1475587
I'm 5'9", 180#, and fetal/side sleeper in constant rotation.
Dimensions – 55" at head, 55" at hips, then a taper to 38". Head to hips is 36" and hips to feet is 36". I'll probably extend the length to 80", but for material estimation it's good enough.
For loft I'm thinking 8 ounces in 1.5" baffles on 6" centers, based on other quilts.
I looked at Thru-Hiker but did not see any dimensions.
Under 16 ounces IS tough, especially with such "generous" dimensions. But the real question is about shell materials. What is the lightest availabe, aside from Cuben?. After that the question is sewn-thru or baffled?
PHD is doing some interesting stuff, but are to busy to do custom builds now. They do have a 41° bag at 16 oz, so I believe a quilt should be possible.
Thanks for the input.Feb 5, 2009 at 7:51 am #1475597
te – waParticipant
Greg, maybe Tim can agree with me here: I think the width of your quilt should only match the girth of your shoulders. No more. If Tim can get by @ 300#s and a 53" quilt, why in the world are you looking for 55"? I dont know anybody who would use that big a quilt for 180#
Also, it was rumored that one could purchase (quantum-epic?) uberlite shells but ive seen nothing available. Momentum is made for Paul (ayce) at Thru-Hiker. That is the only place to find it.
FWIW, i have a 46x46x34 quilt with 1.1 ripstop, 1.75" loft on sewn thru baffles, that weighs 12.7 ounces. I would call it a 45° rating.
One way to save weight if you are hellbent on the 55" width, fill baffles that are 48" wide and have "quilt wings" (that is unfilled nylon edging) about 6" wide each side.Feb 5, 2009 at 8:06 am #1475600
Sleeping in a fetal position requires more width below the hips. Draping a blanket over me and measuring shows 50". I'm allowing couple of inches on each side to cover the gaps.
All that said, in warm weather a narrower cut may work.
Regardless of dimension though, I'm still in search of the lightest possible fabric to build with.
12D fabric is out there somewhere…
Is it strong enough to get stuffed and mashed? I don't know.
Edit: BTW, Golite a Utra 20 is 54 wide and a Nunatak is 55.Feb 5, 2009 at 8:10 am #1475601
Any Western Mountaineering Highlite owners using their bag as quilt?
Or care to comment on sewn-thru construction?Feb 5, 2009 at 8:11 am #1475602
te – waParticipant
youve promted me to make the very first "fetal shaped quilt" that is of course reversible.
seriously tho, if you can break into the Montbell facility get some of that 7 denier for me too!
(truth be told, using the Highlite in 60° with that tiny, almost useless zipper was the catalyst for buying my first quilt)Feb 5, 2009 at 8:43 am #1475609
I use my WM Caribou as a quilt and it works fine. Probably doesn't help with your dimensions much but from the comfort standpoint I don't usually zip up until it gets in the 40F range.Feb 5, 2009 at 2:55 pm #1475694
momentum is the lightest fabric i know that is readily available to the MYOG crowd. At 20d it seems heavy compared to the 7d mentioned by others. If there is something lighter available (thats breathes, so cuben is out for me) i want to be first in line.
-TimFeb 5, 2009 at 3:25 pm #1475703
I'll keep looking for that SUL 'mainstream' fabric, but I just remembered 1) Bill Fornshell's projects in silk, and 2) a local seamstress who makes silk clothing.
I've sent an e-mail off to Bill, and have a phone call into the seamstress.
I'm really leaning that way. 0.57 ounces per square yard for the 4.5mm Habotai and half the price of Momentum. The only decision is on baffles. But a less than a half an ounce I think I know the answer.
I'll keep you posted.
Thanks for your insights.Feb 5, 2009 at 3:41 pm #1475709
(Greg- I was writing the message below as you were posting.)
You might consider 4.5 mm silk. The "mm" stands for momme (pronounced mummy) and is a measure of silk fabric by wt. You can look it up, but basically multiply the momme wt by 0.128 to get the oz per square yard. So 4.5 mm = .57 oz/ yd2. I made a quilt from this material 2 years ago and it is about 99.9 % downproof. A few feathers escape occasionally. It is breathable and it comes in white. You could dye it any color you like. Relatively strong and not too expensive. I got my silk from Thai Silk (http://www.thaisilks.com) You want Habotai or China Silk. I just checked and the 4.5mm silk is 54" wide and $4.15 a yard. Bill Fornshell has used this in some of his projects.
-MarkFeb 5, 2009 at 4:03 pm #1475713
Convergence! I Love it.
Just what I needed to hear.
Thanks.Feb 5, 2009 at 4:09 pm #1475714
Greg and all-
I did some experimenting with several silks a while ago. To determine if the silks were downproof enough for my satisfaction, I made little down "sachets" and I would work them between my hands–simulating stuffing into a sack and pulling out. Two samples I used and found not nearly downproof enough for my purposes were the 4.5 and 8 momme Habotai/China silks from Thai Silks. After just a few stuffings I found little bits of down coming out. Not pin feathers, no quills, just the dandelion-puff-like stuff. Wispy little things coming through. I was not okay with having 4 or 5 wisps poking out of a 3-4" sample square every time I stuffed the pillow into my hand a few times. If you were using the silk as baffling material only that'd work fine. Or if you were using the silk to contain down, then shell it all in something else. I found a heavier dupioni silk that worked quite well. I've also found that 12mm twill is reasonably downproof, though not quite to my expectations. I'm not trying to be disagreeable or argumentative, Mark! I've just had different experiences and think folks should hear "the other side" before making their decision. I'd say the 4.5mm Habotai I got from Thai Silks is, I dunno, 85% downproof? I want to say less than that, but reality is that my experience has probably been in that 85-90% range. I admit that I have little tolerance for down escaping from my things. My old Western bag has probably lost fewer than 10 down pods in well over a decade. Just food for thought, all…Feb 5, 2009 at 4:15 pm #1475715
My WM Summerlite has the same dimensions as the Highlite; I use it as a quilt when occasion demands, works great! I like the versatility… if I get cold I can totally ensconce myself with downy goodness, and if it's too warm I use it like a quilt. Good stuff.
I also have a WM Mitylite, sewn-though. At 40*F, its low range, I can distinctly feel drafts/cool spots at the sewn-through lines. Perhaps it's a bit of pea and princess; I do tend to sleep cold.Feb 5, 2009 at 4:53 pm #1475725
Ok, maybe 99.9% is a little high.:-) But I still maintain that it is pretty down-proof. The quilt is approximately 70 x 48 inches, sewn though construction. I would say I lose and average 1-3 plumules every time I stuff then unstuff it. Sometimes none and sometime up to five, so 3 is a reasonable average. I have about 60 camping nights with that quilt or roughly 180 plumules lost. There is no appreciable difference in loft, at least that I can tell. I may be a little more tolerant of escaping down than you are. Now, my quilt will probably not last the 10 years your WM bag has so there is a trade off. I might not use the 4.5mm for a sleeping bag where zipped up it would get more tugging and pulling as I roll around in my sleep. But as a top quilt where it is basically settled on top of me, or an underquilt for a hammock, I am very pleased with the 4.5mm silk. Hope this helps everyone understand some of the pluses and minuses of my silk use.
-MarkFeb 5, 2009 at 5:31 pm #1475736
The discussion, observations and perspective certainly helps me. Somehow I don't mind if things aren't perfect, IF I know up front that will be the case. If I expect 'perfect' and it doesn't happen then I'm bummed. But it is so much easier to know what to expect and accept it.
In this case, I suspect there will be a lot of surprises and that's OK. If I get a 12 ounce 35° bag from this effort I'll be very happy. If it lasts 5 seasons before I have to rebuild I'll be ecstatic.
Thanks all for input. I pick up some lightweight silk samples tomorrow to see how the machine and I get along with it. If all goes well I should have a quilt by mid-March.Feb 5, 2009 at 9:28 pm #1475787
@bfornshellLocale: Southern Texas
You will not be happy with the results of the 4.5mm Habotai as it is not Down Proof.
I also have tried both Thru-Hiker Down and the Down from Ed Speer. The Ed Speer Down seemed to have a lot more feathers in it. Not good for a shell material that is weak in the Down Proof area.
I don't make Quilts any more and now make a sleeping bag with a non- insulated bottom.
For a 40 degree Quilt / Sleeping bag as stated above I would use one of the good synthetic insulations. With a synthetic insulation you could use light Silk and the weight you are trying for would be easy to achieve.
Using your measurements I get about 2.77 squard yards per layer of material or insulation.
XP 2.5 ounce per sq yard Insulation x 2.77 sq yards = 6.92 ounces.
Silk Shell Material .57 oz per sq yard x 2.77 = 1.58 ounces x 2 = 3.16 oz
Total weight = 10.08 oz.
This is a planning weight only.Feb 6, 2009 at 7:25 am #1475836
Thanks for input.
I'm pretty set on down for it's better low-volume packing. There would be no point to 10mm silk given the qualities of Momentum.
Time to re-think.Feb 6, 2009 at 8:04 am #1475849
The math is all right there, but to give voice to it… if you were to round up to 6 square yards of material you'd have 3.42 ounces of 4.5mm silk or 5.4 ounces of 0.9oz Momentum. It's a 2 ounce difference. Say you use 9 ounces of down, that still gets you in at 14.4 ounces, plus a bit for notions and Murphy. Seems good to me!Feb 6, 2009 at 12:07 pm #1475894
I would swear I got the 4.5mm silk because Bill had mentioned he used it for down tubes of some kind. Anyway, I use my quilt as a supplement to my sleeping bag in cold weather and more recently as an underquilt in my hammock. It is a flat quilt and is definitely delicate, in that it works fine as a coverlet, but as I mentioned above, I would not use it for a wrap around sleeping bag. I think the thrashing around I do when I sleep could rip it. I would use Momentum if I were contemplating anything that might wrap around or have an enclosed foot box due to the wear and tear factor.
Brad has a good point in that the difference is only 2 oz for the proven Momentum vs. the admittedly non-downproof silk. If you are still thinking silk I would definitely look at some samples before commiting.
-MarkFeb 6, 2009 at 12:41 pm #1475900
"Only 2 ounces" ?!
Why that's a 17% weight gain!
WHO am I talking to?
Well, I am a little heartbroken but reality is sometimes to much to overcome. Unless I find that magic material I'll probably go with Momentum. darn.Feb 7, 2009 at 7:05 am #1476027
@conlyLocale: Lots of canoeing and snow
I actually just finished making a 40* quilt out of thru-hiker down and momentum. One thing you should know is that when I actually weighed the momentum it's actual weight came out to 1.1 oz/yrd. I thought the fabric would weigh 5.7 oz but it weighed 7 oz. One thing I'd really recommend is 5" baffle spacing. Spacing them that close together only adds one or two baffles overall but (which weigh .07 oz each in netting) but greatly add to keeping the down in place. I'm 175lb and 5'8" and my dimensions were 48" tapering to 38" at the foot starting at the hips and 78" long. The dimensions are perfect. It also has 5" fabric wings on either side. I used 6oz of down and the quilt came out to 14oz exactly. It has 1.4" of loft. I'd worry more about the size of the quilt than the materials. If your using the lightest materials you can only get lighter by using less.Feb 7, 2009 at 8:39 am #1476035
Thanks for the real-world numbers.
When do we get the Test report?Feb 7, 2009 at 8:50 am #1476038
@owareLocale: Steptoe Butte
Fabric weight seems to vary around 8% in light backpacking
type nylons. For example the Pertex Quantum varies from
.7 to .9 ounces per square yard. Silnylon 1.2 to 1.4 ounces.
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