Gryphon Gear Aries 20 Quilt Review
May 7, 2021 at 9:45 am #3711752
Companion forum thread to: Gryphon Gear Aries 20 Quilt Review
The Gryphon Gear Aries 20 Quilt (25.7 oz / 729 g, MSRP from $327) is a three-season quilt with a differential cut, draft collar, an edge tensioning system, and 17.5 oz (496 g) of down fill.May 7, 2021 at 12:26 pm #3711765Michael BBPL Member
I anticipate that it will be a little too warm for alpine summer trips.
I see this mentioned a lot, but I have to ask the question: for warmer nights, why not just completely open the quilt, or turn it over/ rotate it so you are basically laying on top of it, with the opening either on top of you or to one side for venting? I do this effectively with my quilt at home, as sometimes I just like the feeling of my quilt rather than my bedding. Genuinely curious. Maybe some people just need to feel like they are in a cocoon?
good review of a well-priced product though.May 7, 2021 at 1:26 pm #3711770Russ WBPL Member
@gatome83Locale: Southeastern US
Ben – You really do provide outstanding write-ups…thank you.
I hope this is relevant to the discussion. I purchased a 10 degree Gryphon Gear Taurus sleeping bag after comparing to other hoodless offerings from Nunatak, Feathered Friends, Katabatic Gear, etc. The long version with 900 fps down came out to about 31 ounces including 22 ounces of fill. I used it on a January Smokies adventure with lows a few degrees above 0, and I was soooooo impressed. Very comfort rated. I enjoyed the fit and form of the draft collar but admittedly don’t have experience with these other brands. This one is a keeper!May 8, 2021 at 8:08 am #3711835
Michael B – Yeah I hear you and I sometimes do something similar. I think that statement you pointed out was essentially targeted towards gram counters who could probably get away with taking some 19oz, 30-degree quilt on alpine trips to save 5oz or so.
Russ W – Dang, those specs are pretty incredible on that Taurus.May 8, 2021 at 4:15 pm #3711872
I’ve been notified that Nunatak Arc UL quilts are not egg shaped. The sides are parallel. This is good to know. My perception that it is egg shaped may be due to the way that the quilt looks, rather than how it is actually constructed. The same could be said of other egg-looking quilts mentioned. I hope I wasn’t misleading.May 9, 2021 at 7:54 am #3711906James VeselyBPL Member
I know the quilt is overstuffed but I still don’t trust down bags where the baffles don’t run lengthwise. Eventually the down will settle out on the sides and produce cold spots on top. What’s your thoughts on this?May 9, 2021 at 7:57 am #3711907Jeff McWilliamsBPL Member
Great write-up. The owner of Gryphon Gear, Gary and I both live in Metro Detroit and I met him through our local outdoors club. We actually went on a winter group trip to the Adirondacks High Peaks between Christmas and New Year’s about 5 years ago and had a good time. He’s a very smart guy (he use to work in the aerospace industry) used to rock climb when he was younger, etc. Several years ago he even ran several classes through the club teaching people how to sew their own down quilts and vests. It’s great to see his company getting more publicity. I think it’s because he finally retired from full time work, though I’ll admit I haven’t seen him at a club meeting for more than a year (COVID).May 9, 2021 at 9:43 am #3711915
James – I really doubt the down will settle on the sides in the Aries. I used a Katabatic for several years and the down shifted a little but not much. That said, to ensure that the most loft was right on top of me I just gave the bag a good shake before bed. Worked fine. So I don’t know if I have a baffle preference. Of course, if either of those bags were understuffed then yeah, it would be a problem.May 9, 2021 at 4:45 pm #3711942Michael BBPL Member
I think that statement you pointed out was essentially targeted towards gram counters who could probably get away with taking some 19oz, 30-degree quilt on alpine trips to save 5oz or so.
Ben, I totally get the weight weenie thing! If one can afford to optimize that way and don’t feel concern for possible inclement weather, then by all means, spend the money, right?
I know the quilt is overstuffed but I still don’t trust down bags where the baffles don’t run lengthwise. Eventually the down will settle out on the sides and produce cold spots on top.
nope. This is the unfortunate taste left in people’s mouths from suppliers who make bags with poorly sized baffles, or want to market with the “down should be able to be shifted” mentality. Different strokes, I guess. I for one feel that even the people making bags with vertical baffles space the baffles out too much, in effort to save baffle weight and have competitive weight specs on paper. My opinion. The Gryphon stuff still looks like the baffles are spaced too far out, but they over stuff which will compensates to a point.May 10, 2021 at 6:16 pm #3712062Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Very in depth review. Very balanced and well written.
What could be better than a house-cat approved down quilt?May 13, 2021 at 8:34 am #3712416Kent WBPL Member
Great review. Curious if you have any experience with the UGQ Bandit 20 and know how that may compare?May 13, 2021 at 8:59 am #3712422
Kent W – I don’t have any experience with the UGQ Bandit 20. Hopefully someone else can chime in on that. But just looking at it, it looks like a more customizable version of the EE quilts. No differential cut but optional edge tensioning system which is cool.Jun 26, 2021 at 8:11 pm #3720196Trevor SBPL Member
Outstanding write-up! Thank you! I hadn’t heard of Gryphon Gear but saw their quilt on the Garage Grown Gear website. I was curious, so I looked them up and found your review. I appreciated your in-depth comparisons of other popular quilts. I have a Katabatic Flex 22, which I love. I never actually open up the foot box drawstring on it, but I do unzip the bottom some on warmer nights, providing plenty of room to sprawl my legs out. It’s such a great quilt but I’m always expanding my gear inventory as my kids are starting to get old enough for further backpacking trips and my wife was interested in finally making the switch from bag to quilt. Interestingly, today on the Gryphon Gear website, I stumbled upon their Elephant’s Foot quilts which look like they’d actually make outstanding quilts for my kids. They’re offered at 35 and 45 degrees and are $158 and $126. Not bad for a 900fp, half-pound quilt! Looks like they come in short (<47”), medium (47.5” and 52”), and long (>52.5”) with four different width options as well. The only other options I’ve found for kid’s quilts are by UGQ and Enlightened Equipment. Both had really long wait times so I haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Not sure how long it would take for one of these elephant’s foot quilts to ship, but I’m seriously considering ordering a couple. My only hesitation is that I don’t think they have pad attachments to hold them in place. Maybe I’ll contact the company to see if they can add a couple. Anyway, that’s probably more information than anyone wanted to know, I just haven’t been able to find much about lightweight quilts or bags for kids. Right now, my daughter uses a Big Agnes Wolverine 15 which is a really great top-insulation-only bag with a pad sleeve on the bottom. I pair it with a short Nemo tensor insulated that I scored off the return rack at REI. She loves the bag, but it’s synthetic so does not compress down much and, at 2lbs 6oz, is heavier and bulkier than my Flex 22. Considering I usually end up carrying it, I’ve been looking for better options. With my younger son coming along now, I don’t think I have room for two of those bags (I wish they made them with down). But two of these elephant’s feet in my pack might be more reasonable. The fewer barriers to getting these kids out in the wilderness, the better. Anyway, thanks for the great review! Maybe you know someone who would want to do an in-depth review of lightweight bags/quilts for kids. I’m sure I’m not the only dad out there looking for better options.Nov 18, 2021 at 11:05 am #3732667Bo SunSpectator
Thanks Ben for the great review.
Could I ask you what your shoulder circumference measurement is? Your height & weight is very similar to me (skinny/athletic), but as you probably know shoulder width makes a lot of difference when fitting quilts.Nov 18, 2021 at 11:15 am #3732668
I think around 45″ circumference maybe. I just wrapped a tape measure around my shoulders and that’s what I came up with. Not 100% sure I’m measuring correctly. Maybe 18″ for just the width.Nov 18, 2021 at 11:41 am #3732670
Trevor – I must have missed your comments. Great thoughts on sleeping bags for kids; thanks so much for sharing! I’ll ask around here and see if there’s anyone who could do some reviews. I don’t have kids myself.Mar 10, 2023 at 10:09 am #3775395Bo SunSpectator
Hi Ben, sorry for thread revival.
Do you have more description and/or pictures of how the (optional) edge tensioning straps work?
Are they better for keeping out drafts, even if you have a quilt of sufficient width?
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