Dec 16, 2010 at 11:04 am #1266629
So I am saving up to buy a quilt, but not sure which one I should go for.
I have always used a full mummy sleeping bag and it was worked great, but I want something a little lighter. I currently use a 20degree down North Face bag. I am a very warm sleeper…I normally just sleep in my boxers whether is 50 degrees out or 15….i manage to stay warm. I sleep mostly on my side or stomach and am 5'7'', 160lbs and have pretty broad shoulders. The majority of my backpacking is 3 season and either in the high sierra Nevada's or coastal California.
I was looking at the Jacks R Better quilts..either the Shenandoah or the Hudson River. What do you think of those? Other quilts you would recommend?
I am hoping with the information supplied I could get some good ideas of quilts you recommend? I figured since I am only 5'77 a regular length would be good.
DanDec 16, 2010 at 11:13 am #1674720
Also check out:
Warbonnetoutdoors.net – (love it)3 season mamba goes down to 20*F
Hammockgear.net – hear great things about their quilts.
Wait time is about 2-3 weeksDec 16, 2010 at 11:18 am #1674724
Don't overlook the idea of a custom quilt from somebody like Tim Marshall at enLIGHTened Equipment. If you're looking to save weight and have something thats specifically built to your specs to maximize your comfort along with weight, you might want to check him out.
I just received a quilt that is Cuben (I don't mind the vapor barrier effect) and synthetic (will be climbing big walls with it) and it should rate to about 25 degrees. I was able to choose between many design options to balance my comfort and the weight of the quilt. I'm a curled-up side sleeper, so I chose a half-taper, where it doesn't taper too fast above the knee and had it built to my height of 5'4" to get the lightest quilt that would suit my frame.
I couldn't be happier because I have a nearly weather-proof quilt, likely good to 25 degrees, using synthetic insulation for about…get this…15 ounces!
Sure, I had to wait for about four weeks, but its worth it. A few days after it arrived I even got an email from the maker asking how it worked out and if I liked it!
Great customer service and a great product to boot!
-Kate.Dec 16, 2010 at 11:25 am #1674725
Tony WongBPL Member
@valsharLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Just this year I switched over to a JRB Sierra Snievler.
I am 5'6" and 145 lbs….cold sleeper…also hike the Sierras like you.
I looked at the Hudson River, but if memory serves me correctly, the Sierra is wider than the 48" of the regular quilts they make.
48" is barely cutting it in my opinion and I am a dead back sleeper that does not move an inch while sleeping.
The Sierra was made specifically with the "ground sleeper" in mind.
Just over Thanksgiving, I was in Iowa, and I slept outside in 22F and 17F weather with the JRB quilt, MLD bivy, GG thinlight and torso pad…wearing all of my regular three season clothing. (Thermawarp jacket, BPL merino long johns, BPL Hoody, gloves, hiking pants, Primalid Insulated hat, hiking socks)
The 25F rating seems true to me….my feet got cold at 22F.
Adding ID Hot Socks and Montbell Thermawrap pants, I was able to stay out 4 hr til 4:45am, and my feet got cold and my back was getting chilled.
Anyway, my point is…look for something a little wider….especially if you are a side sleeper.
The Nanutak quilts are even wider, which would be ideal in my opinion, but the price of entry to play that game was a bit high for me…especially as I had never used a quilt before.
I love the quilt, but I can tell you that it is all about tucking the edges under your pad or your body to keep the draft out.
I did have to change my sleeping method from draping my jacket over my chest to wearing it….my shoulders were getting cold at the top of the quilt really does not have a good way to seal off at the top.
Wish there was a snap like the Golite Quilts or something to help keep the top of the quilt around my neck or to simply close off the top area to prevent drafts.
Maybe this is worth looking at:
Hope this helps and good luck to you….let us know what you decide.
-TonyDec 16, 2010 at 11:26 am #1674728
I was looking at their website….there stuff looks bomber! but I think they are a little out of my price range. :-(Dec 16, 2010 at 11:47 am #1674737
Christopher GrafBPL Member
@cgrafLocale: So Cal
I highly recommend Javan Dempsey for a custom quilt. I'm a side/fetal position sleeper and like his unique variable taper design as well as the incorporation of other custom requests.
He is knowledgeable, a pleasure to work with, has a great reputation for quality craftsmanship among BPL members and will steer you in the right direction.
Do a quick search and you'll find pictures of his finished work….or go to titaniumgoat.com as they have contracted him to produce a quilt line for them.
CheersDec 16, 2010 at 11:48 am #1674739
@mikefaedundeeLocale: Under a bush in Scotland
In my opinion, 48" is pretty narrow for a side sleeper. Cut up an old bed sheet or something at 48" to make sure it is wide enough for you.
I have a 55" Nunatak, and a 51" Katabatic, and i wouldn't go any narrower than 51" as a side sleeper.Dec 16, 2010 at 11:58 am #1674743
@elf773Locale: Vancouver, BC
Listen to Tony. He said it all.Dec 16, 2010 at 12:12 pm #1674749
Ok….so it sounds like a wider shoulder is important, and alot of you mentioned Nunatak. I took a look at there site and the quilt that stuck out to me was the Arc Alpinist. What do you all think of that bag?Dec 16, 2010 at 12:22 pm #1674754
I suggest you pick a few vendors and contact them. You will be surprised that many cottage industries will modify their product for you to give you what you are looking for. Also if you need the quilt in a specific time period let them know to see what the wait time is. For example I ordered booties from nunatak but due to the order load I had to wait 2 months for the product.Dec 16, 2010 at 1:09 pm #1674773
@rayestrellaLocale: Northern Minnesota
I love my Arc Alpinist.
I have three Nunatak quilts and they are very nice in quality and workmanship.
My fourth quilt was made for me by Javan Dempsey and it turned out great. It is worth talking to him first.Dec 16, 2010 at 1:31 pm #1674788
Andy AndersonBPL Member
I haven't bought a quilt from Javan yet, but have discussed it with him several times. He is a super cool guy, send him a PM. Seems more than willing to discuss ith with you. When I make the switch to a quilt, I will definately go for one of his. There is currently a JDempsey quilt for sale on Gear Swap, check it out, I think it was posted around the end of November or first of December.Dec 16, 2010 at 1:44 pm #1674791
Thanks for all the endorsement guys.
I will say that I can't honestly recommend that quilt on the gear swap for a side-sleeping ground dweller. It is around 50" wide and a half-taper which does provide more room in the torso, but it was made for a hammocker. Personally the difference between a half or straight taper and the variable taper, which provides more like 54-55" usable width in the torso area, along with extra knee/hip space, is night and day. It also does this without costing significant wt.
A 30deg variable taper for your size would come out ~16oz finished.
Everything I make is custom, so there is a waiting period, although since I moved into my new shop(and significantly more productive now) I'm opening up a couple of slots for late Jan, early Feb delivery. My prices aren't entry level, but I feel they're competitive with the other top tier options.
Regardless, 50" width is your minimum if you want to actually get more than 20 minutes sleep. Just my opinion, YMMV.Dec 16, 2010 at 1:59 pm #1674798
Tony WongBPL Member
@valsharLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Just a comment on Nunatak.
When I was researching them, two things that are options seemed to be recommended across the board- 2 oz of overfill and differentiated baffles.
You might want to factor that in the pricing of their quilts.
That said, Nunatak seems to have an excellent reputation for quality of build from everyone that I have talk to on the forums.
Down side is that they still may have long wait times to fill orders.
Definitely a lot more options out there from just a year ago when I bought mine, so check them all out.
P.S. You might want to check out the Special version of the JRB Sierra Snievler, which for $20 more is lighter, more down fill?, and lighter fabric shell. I can not remember which company was selling it, but I do recall that it was an exclusive being made for an online company. There was a posting on it on the forums with in the past week or so.
-TonyDec 16, 2010 at 2:06 pm #1674800
eric chanBPL Member
arent go(something) quilts like 40% off right now with the right code? … never used a quilt myself … but 40% off is always attractiveDec 16, 2010 at 2:14 pm #1674804
Bob BankheadBPL Member
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
I've spoken with Tom Halpin, owner of Nunatak, several times about this for a custom Arc Specialist.
1) Overfill is a personal thing and depends on several factors. (1) how warm/cold you sleep, (2)what makes up your personal "sleep system", and (3)how far you are trying to "push" the lower temperature limit of that system. Four to five inches is the max he'll go, unless you're heading for the deep freeze and need an Arc Expedition.
2) Differential cuts add $50 to the quilt and are not recommended (unnecessary expense for very little practical return) until you reach at least 4 inches of loft), but he'll do it if you insist and want to pay for it.
3) Top width: "I'd say the stock measurements would be within reason, however to be sure that you have the ability to cover and layer completely, we could cut the shoulder top end to the maximum fabric width. This can be 57-60" and is outer shell fabric dependent." Tom said that 58 inches is the max width with Pertex Microlite, but any width beyond that is possible if you don't mind the shell seaming.Dec 16, 2010 at 4:30 pm #1674853
@davidlutzLocale: Bay Area
I love my old style GoLite Ultra 20. They show up for sale here now and then. It's my favorite piece of kit that I've bought over the last year or so (along with my DuoMid).
Have a look at Katabatic quilts.Dec 16, 2010 at 5:04 pm #1674861
@peter_panLocale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA
For a couple of years now JRB has been supplying quilts at the request of the ground community…The Sierra Sniveller Series of quilts is a full 52 inches wide though the body to include the hip area then tapers to 42 inch bottom for closer leg and feet fit…side loops on the body portion, if you wand to secure around the pad…and the iconic resealable head hole or serape design…
The three season model A JRB Sierra Sniviller Special in 20D and 900fp down, 20 oz is available exclusively at Ti Goat…Very reasonably priced too… Check Ti Goat out…
These quilts are in stock and ready to ship for Christmas delivery.
PanDec 16, 2010 at 6:05 pm #1674874
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
I would also recommend a wider quilt. Can't go wrong with Nunatak, or Tim Marshall if you think you can handle cuben. The Katabatics also look pretty nice to me if they make them wide enough…Dec 16, 2010 at 6:17 pm #1674878
You said "if I can handle cuben" What do u mean by that? Is there a problem with cuben?Dec 16, 2010 at 6:34 pm #1674887
Tom BenoBPL Member
@killerbLocale: Pacific Northwest
Cuben is non-breathable, so it acts as a vapor barrier. You'll retain heat – and sweat – in a cuben shelled bag or quilt. Some don't have issue with that, some actually like it…some can't stand the "sweatiness".Dec 17, 2010 at 7:33 am #1675027
Erik HagenBPL Member
@ewh100Locale: SF Bay Area
I highly recommend taking a look at Katabatic. It’s rare that I give a piece of gear such high accolades. I own a Nunatak Alpinist, Nunatak Ghost, and a Jacks R Better quilt. I also bought my girlfriend Katabatic Sawatch last year and to me it is the best of the lot. No knock against Nunatak, it is a great a quilt and if any customization, other than added down, is needed it is a great choice. I consider Jack’s R Better as second tier because the materials aren’t as good as Katabatic or Nunatak. What separates the Katabatic, is that it has a much better cut and a far superior pad connecting system. It aslo has great loft. How the pad connecting system works is you tie 2 lines around your pad (line is supplied) and the quilt has 2 points that can clip onto the line on top of the pad. This first point is at the edge of the quilt and for a snugger option there is a second clip a few inches higher than the edge. The clips can travel along the line so you can really get the quilt wrapped around your body. I also believe this will save a couple of width inches compared to other designs.
I most likely will be trading out my Alpinist for a Katabatic next year. I plan on using it in a bivy and I figure I can clip down the quilt on one side (the non-opening side of the bivy) and use it as a blanket. This will make entering and exiting much more easy. If extra warmth is needed I will clip down the other side.
The Katabatic has the option of adding down if needed and the turnaround time is like only a week compared to Nunatak’s 6 to 8 weeks. Lastly, although minor, Katabatic gives you a cotton storage bag with your purchase, Nunatak doesn’t. You’d thing after spending $400+ Nunatak would at least included a storage bag.Dec 17, 2010 at 8:21 am #1675039
Warren CrowBPL Member
How does Javan Dempsey view the tuck problem all quilt users speak of. Has he come up with a connect system to help prevent drafts?Dec 17, 2010 at 8:26 am #1675041
John VanceBPL Member
@servingkoLocale: Intermountain West
I have owned many custom bags over the years as well as top offerings from pretty much all the major players and have been extremely impressed with the Katabatic quilts. It may measure a bit narrower than others but it wraps around you and drapes over you much better. As a side sleeping tossing and turning camper, it has been my favorite bag and I also have a new found appreciation for the quality of the product having just finished my first sewing project and MYOG effort – a lightweight summer quilt baffled and tuck stitched. It is serviceable but not pretty. My son wanted to make a quilt as part of his Jr High sewing class so I figured I would join in as well. To say the least, it was a learning experience for both of us and I think that the prices asked for the handmade items from the likes of the cottage gearmakers and FF and WM are well worth it.Dec 17, 2010 at 9:15 am #1675051
The Cyanocitta hybrid style quilt for frigid temps eliminates drafts.
Otherwise on my 3-season style quilts I recommend having adequate coverage in the first place. A few strategically placed tieout loops helps if necessary but the issue most people have with tucking is because their quilts are too narrow in the first place, and they aren't designed to place insulation and material where it's needed.
Personally I never use any kind of attachment system, and don't recommend it. Above 30 it's not needed, below that point, and none of them are sufficient. Which is why at this point I'm steering my customers away from a traditional quilt style for temps below the 25-30 range unless their intended use is with down-clothing.
Personally I'm using a Cyano this winter or a half-bag with a parka when it gets really cold.
Here's a pic of a Cyano:
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