Should I Get an Overstuffed Quilt or Wear More Insulated Clothing?
Jul 9, 2021 at 11:03 am #3721426
I am about to purchase a Feathered Friends Flicker YF Wide 20 degree quilt sleeping bag hybrid with 4 oz. of overstuffing . I am wondering if wearing better insulated clothing offers any advantages compared to overstuffing. The overstuffing costs $80 and I own an excellent puffy jacket.
LowellJul 9, 2021 at 11:29 am #3721427
Yeah, there are two schools of thought:
1) It is essentially more efficient to keep all your down together (this means all the feathers, of course.) Usually in a bag/quilt, they are warmer/weight without extra fabric layers.
For an example, a 12oz jacket might only have 4oz down in it.
2) The convenience of having a puffy jacket is very high with use in active hours (mornings and night) going beyond the sleeping hours. But, you pick up on about a half pound of fabric weight. for the convenience.Jul 9, 2021 at 12:02 pm #3721429
So, if I understand you correctly, it is better to get the overstuffed bag if the goal is increasing warmth while sleeping. If I was going to use down pants and a puffy jacket at other times of the day besides when sleeping, then I would get those items instead of the overstuffing and the additional cloth weight penalty would make sense because of the additional use scenarios.Jul 9, 2021 at 12:35 pm #3721430MarcusBPL Member
Adding down to an already-existing piece of gear has no additional weight penalty besides the down itself. You get 4oz of additional down warmth without the weight-cost of fabric, therefore adding overstuff is one of the most efficient ways to add a little warmth to down gear.
But as James says, its less versatile than a jacket/pants combo for morning and night. Figure a top of the line montbell jacket and down pants still come out to 15-16oz. you could go from a 20 down to a 0* or -10 bag for that same weight penalty and definitely be warmer. But then you potentially lack camp clothing so its a balance of ‘free insulation’ vs versatility of wearing clothes.
Also, using Hammock Gear as my reference, they are pretty much comfort rated – their 20* 55″ quilt has 13.5oz of 950 down. the FF 62″ quilt has 14.7oz down. I’ll guess the extra 7″ of width needs more than 1.2oz down to fill at HG’s overstuff spec, so an additional 2-4oz would definitely beef up/ensure the 20* comfort rating.
Personally, I’d always get the overstuff too. a couple extra oz of down is the best weight you can carry IMO. (I run cold at rest being spoiled by so cal weather and hate being cold, so down is my friend when at rest)Jul 9, 2021 at 2:24 pm #3721435
I turn the question around a bit in my head — if you’re going somewhere that it’s going to be cold enough for a 20F bag and maybe lower, just from a survival and common sense standpoint, would you want to be without an insulated jacket? Not me.Jul 9, 2021 at 2:35 pm #3721436
JR – agree, and I have a good puffy with me pretty much always. I was actually thinking more of puffy pants being the way to add warmth vs. overstuffing.Jul 9, 2021 at 2:37 pm #3721437
I am also wondering about a cinch cord or sewn or zippered foot box. The lows will be 20 – 30 degrees. Any suggestions?Jul 9, 2021 at 2:44 pm #3721438
Why not just a traditional bag? What’s the weight cost in going that way?Jul 9, 2021 at 3:21 pm #3721440
jscott – for me it is less about the weight and more about the comfort others talk about if they are the sort of person that moves around a lot in their bag. I use a mummy bag but I move from side to side all night long and the bag ends up in all sorts of weird positions. I decided to get a quilt and then learned about hybrids and that is what I decided to purchase.Jul 9, 2021 at 3:49 pm #3721441matthew kModerator
I am also wondering about a cinch cord or sewn or zippered foot box. The lows will be 20 – 30 degrees. Any suggestions?
I used to have a zipper/cinch footbox and I never opened it up. Now I have a sewn footbox and I like the simplicity, the lack of drafts and the lighter weight. If my feet are warm, I can still pull them out of the footbox, nabd.Jul 9, 2021 at 4:09 pm #3721448Dustin VBPL Member
I grabbed some down pants this year because I don’t like leaving all of my down if I have to get up overnight. Also, it provides a buffer when I move around and create a draft or overheat and need to vent the quilt. If I’m too hot, I tend to put a leg out in my sleep, which results in a cold limb and still-overheated core.Jul 9, 2021 at 5:37 pm #3721481
It’s interesting…for me, when it'[s cold or will be overnight, I appreciate the womb warmth of a traditional bag with a hood. I’ve never used a quilt because I always felt it would leave me too exposed and allow drafts; or I would kick it off in my sleep. I also turn a bit while sleeping but seem to have figured it out in a bag.
We’re all different! No one right way for sure.Jul 9, 2021 at 5:38 pm #3721482MarcusBPL Member
I have a sewn 20* quilt and a zip 40* quilt.
The Zip is about .8oz heavier and slightly less warm. The key to a zip quilt is to cinch the end, then wrap the cord around the bung to tie it off tight like this. If you dont tie it off there is typically a 1″ diameter hole left in the end, which allows in a significant draft with any movement. This may be desirable on hot nights, but again this is on my 40* quilt when I expect temps to be warmer.
With that said, I will not order another zip quilt, only sewn for me. My zip quilt is a 40* and zip is fine for a summer quilt, but for a 20* if I had a choice I would definitely choose sewn as its warmer, it does not shorten the quilt length like a zip/cinch does, and its .8oz lighter.Jul 9, 2021 at 8:12 pm #3721517Steve HBPL Member
I got all excited about getting a quilt a while back but after all my research I decided against it (may still get a light one for summer). Still, I read a lot of love for quilts & as stated above how we sleep varies a great deal between persons. I turn & move a lot at night, & have found my hoodless FF Tanager wonderful. Doesn’t matter how I roll around, ends up the same. I also almost always have my puffy, for inactive times & for my pillow stuff sack. Have never had to sleep in it.Jul 10, 2021 at 6:02 am #3721530
I’ve never used a quilt because I always felt it would leave me too exposed and allow drafts; or I would kick it off in my sleep. I also turn a bit while sleeping
One word: straps.Jul 10, 2021 at 9:41 am #3721550
“One word: straps.”
Well, yes. But now things are getting fidgety and the straps just seem to address an issue that bags solve more simply and better.Jul 10, 2021 at 10:19 am #3721551
Bags can have their benefits but also come with drawbacks/trade-offs that some people find gives the advantage to quilts. Whatever works for you. I’m just addressing the concerns of drafts and shifting the quilt off of you — with a couple of no-big-deal straps I solve those problems for myself (and I am a rotisserie sleeper) and find I am much happier gaining the benefits of sleeping under a quilt.
For any who haven’t actually tried sleeping under a backpacking quilt I do recommend doing so if you can, either borrow one or buy and return, so you can see what it’s like. It may not be for you, in which case you’ll be even happier with your choice of bag rather than quilt. But you might find it actually works better for you, in which case you (but perhaps not your wallet) will be glad you tried it.
Quilts aren’t all about weight savings (though they are lighter). But as I said above, you sleep under a quilt rather than in a bag. To me it feel much more like sleeping in a real bed. The straps hold the quilt in place like a tucked-in blanket does, and I’m free to roll around underneath without it wrapping around me or getting tangled in it. That’s what I like about quilts most of all, the weight savings and smaller packing size are just added benefits for me.Jul 10, 2021 at 11:16 am #3721574
Almost the first thing I do when entering a motel room is, untuck the sheets and blankets! far too confining for me.
So much of falling asleep is psychology (and comfort). I suppose I just grew up using a bag and associate it with warmth and cocoon safety. I totally get how others find them confining or get twisted up in them. Being free to roll around has to be a benefit. Whatever works! the smaller space taken by a quilt must also be an added benefit.Jul 10, 2021 at 1:51 pm #3721586
I didn’t mean to suggest that a quilt feels confining when used with the straps, quite the opposite. Only that it holds the quilt in place so I don’t get drafts and the quilt can’t slide off me.Jul 10, 2021 at 7:03 pm #3721613
I never use straps. I simply pull my quilt around me…done.
In cold weather, I tuck my feet in, then roll on one side, pulling the quilt around me…then I roll back over the quilt and pull thr quilt around the other side…then I return to normal sleeping position with the quilt tucked in around me and somewhat under me. The Marco Wiggle my wife calls it.Jul 10, 2021 at 8:09 pm #3721620
James..to me that burrito wrap seem even more restrictive than a zip bag…? Obviously it works for you and delights your wife.
quilt=papoose a la MarcoJul 10, 2021 at 8:28 pm #3721622Jim MorrisonSpectator
@plinyLocale: Pacific Northwest
After a lot of thought and more than a few years out on the trail here is my take. I have a summer-weight bag (1.75 lbs. = 0.8 kg) and a three season bag (2.0 pounds, 0.9 kg). I always take either my UL down jacket (and a buff) or my other down jacket with a hood depending on the temps expected. So (and I know this doesn’t help much) it is very much a personal thing based on your experience, how warm you sleep, your preferences, and your objectives. I’m sure a quilt is perfect for some people, but I feel more secure in a mummy bag with a hood.Jul 11, 2021 at 6:54 am #3721642JCHBPL Member
re: down pants. I was shocked at how warm a simple pair of down pants with only 2oz of down was. My legs don’t usually get cold unless standing/sitting around camp, but just those down pants were so much warmer than the combination of 150 wool/Pat exp weight/hiking pants I was using.
I like the “modular” nature of supplementing my quilt with a puffy parka and pants. Like most things backpacking, you have to decide what works best for you :)Jul 11, 2021 at 8:54 am #3721647
I do use a separate down jacket, simply for the convenience of having a jacket at camp. I am fully conversant with the efficiency angle and it might be costing me maybe 8oz or half a pound. But handling a quilt that is not designed for walking around in is a painful experience. Typically, I carry a 20F quilt in a long/wide(about 21oz.) And a down jacket at 12oz. If it gets down to 20F, I use my hiking cloths as well as my long underwear, and, my jacket. I know I will be good to 30F with no help from other clothing (hiking cloths) but still use my jacket as supplemental warmth. I am getting older so I have to pee 3 times every night, so it is nice having the jacket already on to head out into the woods.
Anyway, loft for 850FP and above down is not the only determining factor of warmth. 950FP has finer, more flexible fibers and more of them on an average down plume than 800FP down. Loss of loft would be less critical for the 950FP down, because, it breaks up trapped air more efficiently than 800FP down, reducing convective losses inside the quilt…more or less. Convection/conduction is the primary thing you are trying to reduce. Smaller air pockets are more efficient at reducing convectional losses. 800FP down also has a higher percentage of rachi which conducts heat better than plume(filament)/air does. The rachis are found in semi-down feathers not true powder down…of course, 800FP down has more semi-down than true down. 800FP may loft a bit higher after some hard use, but the air pockets are also larger, rather than 950FP down which may show some degradation in loft, but, the smaller air pockets will be warmer than the larger ones in 800FP down.
Hey, it is a bit geeky, but 950 will last longer under the same conditions, even though it will loft something less than 800FP. Of course, there is always the dividing line between convectional loss being overcome by simple numerical quantity.Jul 11, 2021 at 6:14 pm #3721679
All other things being equal, how much warmth does one get going from 850FP to 900FP, to 950FP?
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