Debating quilt purchase – EE or Katabatic
Feb 2, 2016 at 4:14 pm #3379742LaurenBPL Member
I’m in the market for a new quilt and have narrowed the options down to an Enlightened equipment revelation 10* vs one of the new Katabatic flex quilts (either 15* or 22* with 1-2 oz overfill). I’m a woman who sleeps cold and am looking to use the quilt for 3 season backpacking in Oregon and on my next thru hike (hopefully CDT 2017). I hiked the PCT with a ZPacks 20* and was cold many nights despite base layers, beanie, hooded down jacket and a good pad. I move too much in my sleep to keep the zipper under me and tended to get drafts.
I have seen almost universally positive feedback about the quality and comfort of Katabatic quilts. However, I’m trying to keep my pack weight low and EE’s use of lighter shell materials makes the listed specs on their quilts appreciably lighter for the same rating/fill weight as their Katabatic equivalents. EE seems to have mixed reviews on their attachment system, baffling, and the ability to seal out drafts.
Can anyone provide insight on which they’d choose for a thru hike? Are the Katabatic quilts “worth” the slightly higher weight? I’m aware that this is mostly gram-counting quibbling and am sure I’ll be fine with either, but figured I’d use this resource to get feedback from those who’ve tried different brands.Feb 2, 2016 at 4:22 pm #3379744Michael SirofchuckBPL Member
@mr_squishyLocale: Great Wet North
I have a Katabatic 5 degree, an EE 0 degree, and a Zpacks 20 degree. I find the Katabatic to be the warmest and most comfortable even if it’s a bit heavier/bulkier than the others. I like the fit around the feet and legs and I like the cord attachment system for attaching it to my sleeping pad. I, too, had a hard time keeping warm in my Zpacks 20 even in 30 degree temps.Feb 2, 2016 at 5:44 pm #3379766Jennifer MitolBPL Member
@jenmitolLocale: In my dreams....
I’m a super cold sleeper too – and I am a HUGE fan of the EE enigma. It’s just perfect for me…
Apparently the differential cut of the Katabatic isn’t the greatest if you do a lot of tossing and turning. I’m quite a rotisserie sleeper and I do not at all use the attachment system. I got a wide one, tuck it under me, and sleep like a rock.
If the 20 was cold for you – I’d def go for the 10 deg enigma.Feb 2, 2016 at 5:48 pm #3379767Thomas WillardBPL Member
Take a look at fill weight. The Katabatic is heavier but it has almost 2oz more fill in it.Feb 2, 2016 at 7:04 pm #3379777James holdenBPL Member
As a woman remeber to add 10F to the rating of any non woman specific bag or quilt
when in doubt get more down
also figure out the max clothes/poofayz youll be wearing inside and size it for that …. But size it too large and youll have dead air spaces that will reduce the “warmth”
;)Feb 2, 2016 at 9:18 pm #3379809Richie SBPL Member
They are both high quality quilts. Main thing I would focus on is the attachment systems. The Katabatibc one will wrap around you a bit more while the EE one will allow you more freedom of movement. Decide which sort of sleeper you are.Feb 4, 2016 at 10:24 pm #3380288Katherine .BPL Member
I really like my EE revelation. And I’m a rotisserie sleeper. And I’m a cold-sleeping Oregon woman.
i usually wear my hadron anorak to bed. I only cinch up the neck if it’s really cold.Dec 28, 2016 at 1:54 pm #3442114Randy CainBPL Member
@bagboyLocale: Fresno, CA
Hi, Jennifer ;) I got rid of my Zpacks quilt after only one trip in the High Sierra because the flat foot box left me with frozen toes. When I’d sleep on my back with toes pointed upwards, there was not enough space in the flat foot box to allow insulative space between my toes and the outside cold. My toes compressed the insulation and left virtually no loft between them and the outside. Maybe my circulation isn’t so hot in my feet, but it seems like I don’t hear that many people talking about flat vs round foot boxes. I guess if I slept almost entirely on my sides, it wouldn’t be an issue because my toes wouldn’t be pointing upwards. Hope that makes sense. Anyway, I noticed that the Enlightened Equipment Enigma that you are enjoying has the same flat foot box design as Zpacks does. And it made me wonder if you’ve had any issues with cold toes when sleeping on your back.Dec 28, 2016 at 9:38 pm #3442193Tim MarshallBPL Member
next week, maybe Wednesday, take another look at the Enigma. Footbox is getting a facelift.
-TimDec 30, 2016 at 7:32 pm #3442482Jonathan BrownBPL Member
I have the flex 30 and it’s great! I’m a guy who tends to sleep cold. With a medium weight merino base layer and other cold weather essentials (warm hat, nalgene full of warm water) I’ve found it’s good right down to the limit on all except the windiest nights. I would pay attention to Thomas’s advice. I remember noticing the weight difference when shopping and figuring out if I had paid to overfill the EE to the same level the weights were identical.
As for the attachment system, I think it really just depends on the user. I’ve found that Katabatic’s can be a little aggravating to lock down. The first notch in the tab allows the quilt to move freely and the second locks it down. What I’ve found is it takes both hands and making sure you’ve got good tension on the cord to get it all the way locked down. If it comes loose during the night it can be a pain to get it hooked back.
Most nights I just hook the bottom set. It does come with 2 adjustable straps if you want to just attach the edges to one another. I’ve found these work even when tossing and turning.
My absolutely favorite feature are the neck and footbox baffles. I’ve had bags in the past that had shoulder baffles and hated them. If I can get a good seal around my neck, it goes a long way to keeping me warm.
Hope this helps,
JBDec 31, 2016 at 10:16 am #3442550kevperro .BPL Member
@kevperroLocale: Washington State
I’ve owned both…. still have the EE but sold the Katabatic. The Katabatic “looks” better in terms of design but I much preferred the EE straps and Tim and gang are top-rate in terms of customer service. The foot box in practice didn’t matter to me (I own the Prodigy) but I roll around a lot in my sleep. If I slept like a corpse with my feet pointed up all night it might make a difference. My approach to cold feet is to use goose down booties which often means I have the opposite problem (too hot) but that approach is more flexible over a wider range of temps for me and I can wear them sitting around in camp.Jan 3, 2017 at 5:04 pm #3443083Matt MacaulayBPL Member
“next week, maybe Wednesday, take another look at the Enigma. Footbox is getting a facelift.”
EE website indeed shows a new footbox – and lighter weight, but at a bit higher cost. Curious how the new design dropped the weight. And increased prices?Jan 3, 2017 at 6:37 pm #3443100JCHBPL Member
Absolutely love the new footbox design! Almost wish i didn’t already own 2 EE quilts so I could order a new Enigma.Jan 3, 2017 at 6:45 pm #3443104Jonathon SelfBPL Member
EE website indeed shows a new footbox – and lighter weight, but at a bit higher cost. Curious how the new design dropped the weight. And increased prices?
I don’t know about weight decreases, but if the foot box requires a more complicated patterning and sewing process, then it will require more labor hours to produce. Hence, increased cost.
I like the look of them!Jan 3, 2017 at 7:06 pm #3443109Matt MacaulayBPL Member
“I don’t know about weight decreases, but if the foot box requires a more complicated patterning and sewing process, then it will require more labor hours to produce. Hence, increased cost.
I like the look of them!”
I honestly like the look of them too. I was ready to buy a Revelation, but now I’m reconsidering. Even lighter (I think they were only a half ounce lighter than the Revelation before for the 30 degree 850 fill – now more than an ounce for just $10 more), simpler, and perhaps warmer (at least in the footbox). I’m not sure the price increase has anything to do with extra labor though as prices seem to have gone up for the Revelation and Revolt as well – both without design changes as far as I can tell. Haven’t had the time to to compare their other products.Jan 3, 2017 at 8:34 pm #3443123Tim MarshallBPL Member
weight decrease is a result of the reduced length needed in the quilt now that the footbox is 3d. Length is no longer used to create height in the footbox.
Price increase for all quilts is the result of an internal pricing audit. Apparently I never added the costs of the stuff sack, storage sack or straps to the cost of any quilts, and I forgot to charge for zippers too;( for the last two years it seems I’ve been giving all this things away for free. It’s a wonder how I pull this off sometimes, I’m not the most detail oriented.
Enigma increase is about the more complicated construction and additional materials needed to add the footbox plug. This increase was softened by the fact that the former short is now the regular as a result of the new footbox, it’s why it’s lighter. Old short price plus complication/materials increase makes the price of the new Regular.
We will also be announcing an awesome new storage bag later this month that helps us support an amazing cause, which added a few extra dollars. All orders from today on should get these bags, assuming they arrive in time.
Hope this help make sense of the changes
-TimJan 4, 2017 at 10:26 am #3443165Colin MBPL Member
Lauren: I have a Katabatic Flex 30, 2 EE quilts that I ordered but haven’t tested and live in Bend.
The Katabatic quilts are definitely overbuilt and far warmer than their ratings. I think when most companies say their rating they are saying the survivable low limit whereas Katabatic is giving somewhere around the men’s comfort level. On a 25 degree and snowing night I actually had to remove a bunch of clothing under my Flex 30 last summer as that thing is way warmer than any 20 degree bag I’ve ever owned. As far as attachment, I also move around a lot and find the Katabatic system to work really well. I can’t compare actual sleep to the EE as I haven’t used the EE’s yet but comparing my friend’s Revelation 20 to my Flex 30 on a trip last year the Flex has more loft.
As I was so warm, and to save weight, I ordered a 30 degree Revelation for summer months and plan to only use the Katabatic if nightly temps are expected to be in the 30’s. I’m a big fan of using the right equipment for the application so really don’t recommend attempting the “one-size-fits-all” method of only having one quilt.
For what you are planning, I’d consider either doing a 2 bag setup, especially on the CDT as you will be facing wildly different nightly temperatures. A Flex 15 and a EE Revelation 30 would be a good setup. If you want just one, consider doing the Flex 22 with no overfill and bringing a liner for the northern sections and mail the liner home for the southern sections.Jan 10, 2017 at 3:26 pm #3444348IanBPL Member
(nm commented in wrong thread)
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