Feb 13, 2020 at 6:40 pm #3631151Robert IBPL Member
A couple of months ago, I posted my gear list and asked for suggestions. Several people suggested I try a quilt. I’ve always been hesitant because I thought I’d be cold due to the opening on the sides. I read Ryan’s review of the REI Magma quilt, and thought I’d give it a try. My first night with the quilt was in my backyard with no shelter, winds up to about 10 mph, and temperatures below freezing (colder than expected). I have a thermarest neo air xlite, and put a yoga mat underneath. I was warm until I woke up about 7:15 when I was a little cold. I also noticed that it took longer after getting into the quilt to be warm than with my sleeping bag. I’m wondering if that is because the air in the pad also needs to warm up? I’m pretty well convinced after one night that I’m going to use a quilt going forward. I guess I need a few more nights to see if I need something warmer. Thank you to everyone for helping with my gear list, and the suggestions for trying a quilt.Feb 13, 2020 at 7:04 pm #3631152Russ WBPL Member
@gatome83Locale: Southeastern US
Robert – I had a similar experience a few years back and came to this forum for help. The basic advice I was given was to protect your head with a balaclava or some such, protect your feet with socks or insulative booties, and make positive sure your pad is sufficiently insulated. And, if really cold temps, wear additional insulative layers. I’ve been doing week long trips where the nights get into single digits and have been as toasty as a bug in a rug. Don’t abandone the quilt until you pad out the edges. Good luck!Feb 13, 2020 at 7:18 pm #3631156M BBPL Member
Ive been down in teens using quilts.
I prefer it for simplicity, ease of movement
But I agree with others that say it gets to be a bit of a pain below some temperature. That temperature may be different depending on the quilt rating, or maybe the quilt size, but for me it’s about 20 to 25 F. That’s my cut off where I just bring a 10 degree F rated bag and sleep better. No waking up with a cold spot somewhere.
It’s not like it’s really that big of a deal, you generally warm up practically immediately when you cover that cool spot up… But it’s just a recurring irritation.Feb 13, 2020 at 7:39 pm #3631166Diane “Piper” SoiniBPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara
I have learned that if you feel a cold spot, don’t move away from it, move into it. That will close the draft. Also, cinch the straps well on cold nights so if you roll around you don’t open up any gaps. I like quilts better than bags because they behave more like your bed at home.Feb 13, 2020 at 9:19 pm #3631199Michael SchlesselmannBPL Member
@mschlessLocale: Southern Los Padres National Forest
Below freezing in that quilt is a good data point. What layers were you wearing with the quilt? Any?Feb 14, 2020 at 9:25 am #3631259Jon FongBPL Member
@jonfongLocale: FLAT CAT GEAR
I read Ryan’s review of the REI Magma quilt, and thought I’d give it a try. My first night with the quilt was in my backyard with no shelter, winds up to about 10 mph, and temperatures below freezing (colder than expected). I have a thermarest neo air xlite, and put a yoga mat underneath. I was warm until I woke up about 7:15 when I was a little cold.
If you are using a 30 F quilt at below freezing temperatures with no shelter in a 10 mph wind, I would say that your results were pretty impressive and the quilt exceeded expectations. If anything, you might consider going up in R rating of your pad. My 2 cents.Feb 14, 2020 at 1:00 pm #3631275Jim ColtenSpectator
For myself, longer time warming up my micro-environment in a quilt vs sleeping bag would be due to needing less physical movement getting into the quilt vs bag. YMMV of course.
All the advice already given is very valid. From my experience I’d rate head insulation as most important with pad insulation (R-value) a close second. I’ve been surprised at being chilled on relatively warm nights (low temp in the 40’s F) when I opted for a too light balaclava and even with a super warm head covering and 20 F quilt I will feel chilled from below on a thermarest x-lite if the temp gets down to 3oF.Feb 15, 2020 at 10:38 am #3631402Jenny ABPL Member
@jenniferaLocale: Front Range
I am also using the Magma quilt, and it has become my go-to sleeping option for 3-season backpacking. Saving that extra pound of weight over my 40-degree bag is great! I have not been cold at all in temps down to low 30’s as long as I’m using adequate layers on my body and cinch down 3 of the 4 toggles, leaving one open for quicker exits at night. I’m using a Thermarest XTherm pad. Everyone’s metabolisms are different, of course, but Robert you were probably pushing the limits of that sleep system in those temperatures.Feb 15, 2020 at 6:22 pm #3631468Robert IBPL Member
I was wearing my patagonia mid-weight long underwear, a light weight rei long underwear top, a quarter-zip athletic sweatshirt, wool socks, a beanie, and an enlightened equipment synthetic balaclava. I probably would have been ok if I’d have had on a jacket, or been sleeping in a tent. I had the toggles on the pad straps positioned about 3 inches inside the outer edge of the pad – I found them very easy to adjust. I probably should get a gossamer gear foam pad or something similar to put under the x-lite if it’s going to be cold. I do have an rei magma 10 sleeping bag if it’s really going to get cold.
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