Jan 5, 2014 at 9:17 pm #1311818
Using Roger Caffin's article about making a quilt/sleeping bag, I tried my hand at making one so I can get my pack weight down to a reasonable amount. I used a Thru-Hiker quilt materials bundle of coyote brown M50 for the outer shell, black M50 for the inner shell, and about 11.5 ounces of 900 fp down. I am coming from a 5 lb.(!) synthetic bag which I have been using in quilt fashion, and I like a hood and closed footbox, so I incorporated them into my quilt.
The baffles are 6 inches apart with a loft of about 3 inches. The top of the bag came out about 56 inches wide using the entire width of the fabric minus half an inch for each selvedge, and it's about 72 inches long.
I included three pair of grosgrain loops for fashioning some sort of connection to my sleeping pad in the near future, and one small grosgrain loop at the footbox for hanging for drying in the field or for storage in a closet. I also have a channel around the top of the hood so I can potentially run a drawstring with cord lock to draw it around my head if needed, but I'm not sure that will be used.
Anyway, I had a blast doing it! I'm ready to order more materials and make my wife, son, daughter, and son-in-law quilts whether they want them or not. It was a little tedious at times, but overall I found the process fascinating and very fun. And I definitely feel like I have a better handle on sewing after that project.Jan 5, 2014 at 9:26 pm #2060759
"I used a Thru-Hiker quilt materials bundle of coyote brown M50 for the outer shell, black M50 for the inner shell, and about 11.5 ounces of 900 fp down."
What material are the baffles, since they are in neither shell?
What was the overall finished weight?
–B.G.–Jan 5, 2014 at 9:33 pm #2060764
I knew I forgot something. It included nanoseeum netting in the bundle for the baffles.
I haven't made a stuff sack for it yet, and I haven't weighed it after finishing the edge seams, adding the drawstring channel, and the grosgrain. But I stuffed it into a tyvek stuff sack I have and weighed it right before that and it was around 15 oz.
I'll weigh it tomorrow and post the final weight. It looks like it ought to be close to a pound, and after carrying a 5 lb synthetic, I'm ecstatic.Jan 5, 2014 at 9:38 pm #2060765
William, I don't know what the environment is like where you are. In some areas with humidity, the down will seem to suck in some moisture out of the air, so the overall weight might seem to increase. For arid places, it might go the other way. That's why fresh dry down is often packaged in plastic bags, to keep out any humidity.
–B.G.–Jan 5, 2014 at 11:14 pm #2060784
Awesome job looks like a really nice quilt!
DerekJan 6, 2014 at 6:47 am #2060809
@hillhikerzLocale: Monterey Bay
WOW… Did you record the whole process on video, as that would be the only way I would have to atemped a project like this, I am thinking… Very cool….Jan 6, 2014 at 12:12 pm #2060909
"the down will seem to suck in some moisture out of the air, so the overall weight might seem to increase."
I live in eastern North Carolina – believe me, I understand the perils of humidity, especially in the summer! That's a good point, though I certainly hope I have a net weight lower than my old 5 lb synthetic, even with the humidity. :-)
That would be an interesting experiment to weigh my leftover down as it comes out of the plastic bag, then leave it in a place away from rain and such, but subject to the humidity to see how much of a factor it can be. If I get motivated to try it, I'll post.
That does bring up a question I had – assuming I am going to use a stuff sack (I know the arguments on both sides but old habits die hard, eg still using the 5 lb synthetic), would I be better off with making it from my leftover M50, or from something more waterproof? I'm assuming a waterproof sack would better protect from the ambient humidity, at least when I'm not using it. Anyone want to weigh in on that?
WilliamJan 6, 2014 at 12:21 pm #2060913
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
You've done an impeccable job on your new quilt! If I was that good I'd make one for all my fam too!
As for your stuffsack, waterproof is never bad. That said, I don't use one at all, but instead shove it into my packliner (trash compactor bag). If you do not use a packliner, then I would use silnylon and seamseal it. If you do and still want a stuffsack, then use the M50 you have on hand.
ToddJan 6, 2014 at 12:44 pm #2060923
"assuming I am going to use a stuff sack"
I seem to be in a minority around here, but I always use a stuff sack that is 99% waterproof. My current one is made of cuben fiber, so it is light but strong. I find that I can pack my sleeping bag much more compactly that way. When it takes up less space in my backpack, I can get by with a smaller backpack, and that weighs less as well. I never use any sort of pack liner, either. For some strange reason, my pack never gets any wetness inside, despite getting rained on some of each day for five straight days.
Alternatively, if you have a stuff sack fabric that is moderately waterproof, you can spray it with a waterproofing spray treatment. That isn't perfect, but it is better than nothing.
I guess it depends on how much you intend to be rained on and how many deep streams you attempt to cross.
–B.G.–Jan 6, 2014 at 1:56 pm #2060947
@jeepin05Locale: Land of Enchantment
I have found for my usage that a happy medium between these two works best. I'm in the boat of people moving from traditional backpacking to a lighter weight setup, so this might not be the lightest weight solution, but it works for me. So here is my current setup: I use the Exped Shnozzel Pumpbag that came with my pad. It takes up about the bottom third of my pack. I stuff in my sleeping bag, and any clothes I want to make sure stay dry. The pumpbag has taped seams is super light (2oz) and gives me the option of compressing the contents by expelling the air after its all sealed up. I can't get it as tight as a traditional stuff sack with compression straps, but I find it a happy medium between space savings and taking care of my bag.
I imagine you could do the same with any kind of larger dry bag, though the nozzle at the bottom of the pumpbag make it super easy to get the air out. It also gets bonus points for letting me inflate my DAM without introducing moisture into its insides.
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