Quilts with and without draft collars

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    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member


    All the good stuff is in the next post …

    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member


    In his recent review of the REI Magma 30 quilt, Ryan Jordan praised its draft collar. In a follow-up post he also wrote:

    Collars aren’t common (yet) on “ultralight” quilts because so many of these guys play the tenths of an ounce game in order to look like they have better products (“The lightest 30F quilt!”)

    So I checked out the web sites of several well-known quilt makers:

    Quilts With Collars
    Feathered Friends
    Loco Libre Gear (optional draft collar)
    Katabatic Gear
    UGQ Outdoor (optional draft collar)
    Western Mountaineering

    Quilts Without Collars
    Enlightened Equipment
    Jacks ‘R’ Better

    Then the obvious question becomes: Do quilts with and without collars have a significant weight difference?

    Both Loco Libre Gear and UGQ Outdoors offer an optional draft collar on many of their quilts for an apples-to-apples comparison.

    Loco Libre: “Neck draft collar will add approximately 1 ounce to total weight.”

    UGQ: Adds about 1.4 ounces using their custom configuration tool

    Comparing quilts between companies is tough due to different temperature rating schemes, fabrics, down fill power, sizes, or other design features like open vs. closed footbox.

    In other words – we should look for large differences, not small ones.

    Quilts with a 30F rating are pretty common. I selected the lightest available down-filled options and a regular or medium length and width. A couple of companies don’t offer a 30F quilt, so I extrapolated from the two closest models.

    30F Quilts With Collars
    Ounces – Make and Model
    23 – Feathered Friends Flicker 30 UL
    20 – Therm-a-Rest Corus 32F
    19 – REI Magma Trail Quilt 30
    18.6 – UGQ Bandit 30°
    17.8 – Nunatak 30° Arc UL
    17.5 – Katabatic Gear Palisade
    16.6 – Loco Libre Gear 30° Ghost Pepper with neck draft collar
    16 – Western Mountaineering Astralite 26F

    18.6 – Average
    16 – Minimum

    30F Quilts Without Collars
    20.8 – Jacks ‘R’ Better, average of Sierra Stealth and Sierra Sniveler
    17.4 – UGQ Bandit 30°
    15.6 – Zpacks, extrapolated between 35F and 20F Solo Quilt
    15.6 – Loco Libre Gear 30° Ghost Pepper
    15.4 – Enlightened Equipment Enigma Custom

    17.0 – Average
    15.4 – Minimum

    1.6 – Average Difference
    0.6 – Minimum Difference

    While the 1.6 ounce Average difference seems significant, there’s a lot of design variation in these lists.

    On the other hand, the 0.6 ounce (17 gram) / 4 percent Minimum Difference shows that with good design the weight penalty of a quilt draft collar can be pretty small.

    Would you pay a 0.6 to 1.6 ounce weight penalty for a draft collar on your quilt?

    — Rex

    Dena Kelley
    BPL Member


    Locale: Eagle River, Alaska

    I probably would make that choice, as a cold sleeper, if I thought about the choice. Ryan’s review resulted in me ordering the REI Magma quilt which I was notified shipped today after being on b/o for a few weeks. My primary concern is- will it be warm enough? Or have I made a huge mistake? haha. The draft collar should help some. But I must admit I didn’t think about it much when I ordered the quilt- I was more thinking of the space and weight savings overall.

    Paul McLaughlin
    BPL Member


    Recently ordered a Nunatak, and the collar was a key point for me. I looked up all the quilts I could find, and eliminated any that did not have a collar. A good neck seal is very important to me. A while back I made a synthetic overquilt for snow camping, which I also use by itself for warmer summer camping. I put a bit of a collar on that and I very much like it when using it by itself.

    BPL Member


    Interesting.  While I have yet to camp below 10F I have approached it many times. I own a 10 deg EE Enigma without draft collar and never noticed a problem with neck seal.  I often wear a Montbell Plasma 1000 parka when the temps approach single digits and the puffiness around the neck may explain my experience, although neck seal without the parka has never been a problem. I do not doubt however, that if EE offered a collar as an option, I would likely opt for it, but the lack of a collar does not represent a negative for me.

    Victor Jorgensen
    BPL Member


    Locale: Northern California

    I have an UGQ with a draft collar that I really think is a luxurious and cozy addition to the quilt.  I would say that it is worth the weight to me, and will be a feature on my future quilt purchases.  My UGQ is a 40 degree model, and has not been tested in really cold conditions yet..

    I wanted to mention that Warbonnet Outdoors has recently come out with an innovative quilt, offered in several temp ratings, including 30 degree.  A draft collar option is offered there as well.  So one more vender for the list.

    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member


    Victor thanks for mentioning the new Warbonnet quilt.

    Their spec chart says the draft collar option adds 1 ounce to their 30F regular/medium/10D/950fp model with a base weight of 17.8 ounces.

    — Rex

    Diane “Piper” Soini
    BPL Member


    Locale: Santa Barbara

    I usually pull the whole thing over my head and wear a zpacks down hood so I’m pretty well covered.. These days I bring two quilts and put the top one over my whole head. Then I get no drafts anywhere, including the sides. And it’s darker at night with the extra quilt over my head. I’ve actually slept in a few times, which is rare for me.

    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member


    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    Glad to see Piper’s post. By far, the greatest heat loss takes place from the head.

    Tony Wong
    BPL Member


    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    Rex….great bit of data gathering there.

    My 1st quilt was a Jacks R Better Sierra Sniveler, which I used for a few years, including on my 2011 JMT.

    A number of years later, I decided to shell out the money for a Katabatic Gear Palisade.

    All the issues that I had with the Sierra Sniveler were addressed.

    (To be fair, the Sierra Sniveler was a great value purchase for me at the time and a relatively easy way to get into a quilt to see if I could like it)

    My favorite aspects of the Palisade was the draft tube and the strong neck snaps to keep the quilt firmly around my neck/chest to prevent gaps and loss of heat.

    I found the draft collar and neck snaps to greatly increase my warmth and comfort, as a cold sleeper.

    Weight is always important, but I do like to look at gear through the lens of performance.

    For less than 2 ounces, am I feeling significantly warmer?  (For me, definitely YES)

    Do I have to lay my down jacket on my chest, under the quilt to keep me warm? (I did that with the Sniveler to stay warm, but not with the Palisade)

    For me, a draft collar is a must…despite the added weight…however, the Palisade is lighter than my Sniveler…..


    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member


    Stumbled across a company in Spain making Apex quilts with optional draft collars:

    Unfortunately, the As Tucas web site doesn’t show weights with and without collars.

    — Rex



    Locale: The Cascades

    As Tucas was first announced on BPL back in 2013. The proprietor hasn’t posted on BPL in a few years though.

    Eric Blumensaadt
    BPL Member


    Locale: Mojave Desert

    REI, Thermarest got it right. Excepting truly warm weather, you do need a draft collar with a quilt – and a good fleece balaclava.

    My “quilt” for warm nights is my WM Megalite with the foot end hooked one the foot of my mattress. Very comfortable and I can “hang a leg out” to get cooler.

    Jim Colten
    BPL Member


    Locale: MN

    Many pluses concerning Eric’s comment about a warm balaclava when quilting.  But I’d be inclined to qualify his statement about a draft collar by adding “depending on your metabolic rate while sleeping”.

    The average male’s is about 28% higher than the average female’s.  But few individuals are “average” … unfortunately a half dozen different search strings failed to find info about the range of variability so YMMV.  I’d be inclined to suggest opting for the collar if there is any hint that you chill easily.

    I get by fine without one but I am a warm sleeper.  In fact I tighten or loosen the quilt around my neck to regulate how warm I feel. and a collar might get in the way of that


    Eric Blumensaadt
    BPL Member


    Locale: Mojave Desert


    Do any quilts with draft collars have a provision to fold them over out of the way when not needed, say with Velcro?

    Gunnar H
    BPL Member


    As Tucas is highly regarded in Europe.

    Jim Colten
    BPL Member


    Locale: MN

    Do any quilts with draft collars have a provision to fold them over out of the way when not needed, say with Velcro?

    interesting idea.  I don’t know.

    My initial quilts were MYOG with synthetic insulation and no draft collar … if I had thought about a draft collar I probably would have included one.  The fear of drafts/leakage had me experimenting with pad attachments and imagining very complex balaclavas to seal at the neck.  A great example of wanting to  pack my fears.  I never tried making any of the complex balaclavas and I no longer bother with pad attachments unless it is real winter (0 degrees F or colder) … I stay warm enough just tucking the edges under me

    When I decided to switch to down quilts I tried EE and have been pleased enough to not shop around so I know little about all the others..


    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member


    Enlightened Equipment recently added an option for draft collars to their custom down quilts. On the Revelation, draft collars at the neck and foot add 0.93 to 0.99 ounces; on the Enigma with a closed footbox, a neck-only draft collar adds 0.54 to 0.58 ounces.

    Unfortunately, EE hasn’t added a draft collar option to the Apex versions of their quilts. Despite what their video says:

    YouTube video

    Fortunately, EE’s 10% off sale is still running.

    — Rex

    Ross B
    BPL Member


    Nunatak has a draft collar on their synthetic quilts and a lot of other neat options not provided by other manufacturers. Link

    Erica R
    BPL Member


    Wouldn’t you rather have a hood, like Piper has, than a draft collar?

    john hansford
    BPL Member


    With the quilt neck elastic tight around my neck, and an apex or down balaclava, I don’t feel the need for a 1oz collar as well.  Never tried one though. I use a 40F  Chisos, and revelation 10F.

    Terry Sparks
    BPL Member


    Locale: Santa Barbara County Coast

    I don’t see the need for a draft collar with my system. When the temps drop I use a 900 fill, hooded down puffy with my quilt, which seals far better than having a drawcord around my neck.

    BPL Member


    Locale: Mid Atlantic

    I recently ordered a new quilt and this time I opted for one with a draft collar.  The intention being to help minimize the chance of drafts when changing positions. I am a pretty active sleeper and try to not wear a puffy or much clothing if at all possible.

    Soon I will see if it is worth while or not, but i can see the merits of either or. I believe it really depends on preference and sleep system to get a good seal.


    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member


    I contacted Enlightened Equipment, and they’re working on draft collars for their APEX synthetic quilts. Maybe summer 2020.

    — Rex

    Eric Blumensaadt
    BPL Member


    Locale: Mojave Desert

    Owning an overstuffed (to 20 F.) Western Mountaineering Megalite mummy I’d opt for the WM quilt as I have great faith in WM’s quality.

    Howsomever I eschew quilts since I can unzip my bag full length and have used it as a quilt.

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