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Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby dsundrwd » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:45 am

Based on this thread & a couple others, I purchased a WM Badger. I took it on a test run this weekend. The temps got down into the high teens/low twenties & the bag worked great. I didn't feel the cold temps at all. I was completely comfortable all night long. Plus the bag was roomy enough for my toss & turn sleep style. Thanks to everyone who recommended this bag



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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby markskor » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:17 pm

dsundrwd wrote: I purchased a WM Badger....into the high teens/low twenties & the bag worked great... completely comfortable all night long. Plus the bag was roomy enough for my toss & turn sleep style.


Good choice, (based solely on my 10 years with the same bag.) IMHO, The Badger is the best Sierra bag made for a larger backpacker. Un-mentioned but still pertinent, there exists that un-measurable feeling of immense pride (probably the elitist in me) that occurs every time I climb inside...warm, safe, and gear-proud . :thumbsup:

Regarding buying a quilt, seems that for lower elevations/summer months especially, there would be advantages to losing that extra one pound of weight. However, as we all know, snow can happen anytime Sierra and some here get high often. :whistle:
How does a Jack's quilt handle 15º? How confining is a draw-string toe-box? Would extra clothes be necessary?
Still pondering the quilt conundrum.
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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby Rockchucker » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:18 pm

I've taken my 20 deg quilt down to 12 on a recent trip, I had a foam and air pad and slept in a bivy, no tent. I was very warm and could even see dropping a few more degs before feeling slightly uncomfortable.
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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby longri » Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:32 pm

markskor wrote:Un-mentioned but still pertinent, there exists that un-measurable feeling of immense pride (probably the elitist in me) that occurs every time I climb inside...warm, safe, and gear-proud . :thumbsup:

Why pride? Did you design the Badger?

markskor wrote:Regarding buying a quilt, seems that for lower elevations/summer months especially, there would be advantages to losing that extra one pound of weight. However, as we all know, snow can happen anytime Sierra and some here get high often. :whistle:
How does a Jack's quilt handle 15º? How confining is a draw-string toe-box? Would extra clothes be necessary?
Still pondering the quilt conundrum.

There are summer quilts and winter quilts just as there are summer bags and winter bags. So you match the bag or quilt to the expected conditions.

Why choose one over the other?

For me the quilt choice was largely because I wanted to save money and sewing a full sleeping bag is harder than sewing a quilt. It remains a question in my mind if a sleeping bag is warmer than a quilt of the same weight, same fabric, same quality of down. That quilt will have more down and a higher loft than that sleeping bag but will not be fully enclosed or have a hood. So which is warmer? I don't know, but sewing a quilt is easier so now I have a quilt. An equivalent weight and approximate temperature rating bag for my quilt would be the Western Mountaineering SummerLite. I've never slept in one of those and I wonder if it would be just as warm as my fluffy, toasty quilt. I do feel the extra warmth of pride when I sleep in my own creation though.
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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby maverick » Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:00 pm

Longri wrote:
Why choose one over the other?


It seems this may have something to do with familiarity. Most folks know sleeping
bags and it is what they grew up knowing as kids. This may fuel some skepticism
as is the case with folks who grew up with tents and would not want to use a tarp.
This has changed some in the past years, as probably will the usage of quilts as time
goes on.
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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:13 pm

Jacks R Better Hudson River, rated to 20-25F.

Hung my hammock at Twin Lakes, 9,000 feet elevation, below Silliman Pass in mid-November of 2010. There was a hard freeze. The lake had half an inch of ice, the outlet stream that was flowing the day before was sheet ice on the granite, the trail was frozen and crunchy. It was 28F when we went to bed, thereabouts.

Had a Hudson River above and another below, added a poncho loosely draped over the under quilt and strung the tarp just in case of breezes (stray wind through the down of an under quilt can be chilly at these temps).

Shook ice flakes off the shell of the under quilt... the poncho had collected condensation in it as well. I was toasty and even sweating because in a panic not trusting the quilt that low, I put on in addition to my mid weight base layer a 200 wt fleece and balaclava. Silly me. I would have been fine.

Somewhere in the middle of the night, I had to go pee - the privy was icy, the woods were deadly still, quiet as only winter in the Sierra can be - not a breeze, not a thing stirring... when I crawled back in I went right back to toasty warm.

So I trust my quilts even though they are six years old and not the new 900 fp version. I wash them every year - year and a half, based on the number of nights out I've used them - I am using them 2 - 10 nights per month, depending, and sometimes also on my bed as happened early this year when the heater broke and it was below freezing each night. The cat really likes them now too. I use them in the tent, on the hammock, and interchangeably when using only one - they are exactly alike, with the end center draw cord mod for use as an under quilt and full length omni tape on one side so they can be fastened together to cover the queen sized bed.
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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby dsundrwd » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:36 pm

markskor wrote:Good choice, (based solely on my 10 years with the same bag.) IMHO, The Badger is the best Sierra bag made for a larger backpacker.


You & Rlown had nothing but good things to say about them & I figured two HST regulars must know something more about bags than I do. Thanks again to both of you.
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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby rlown » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:38 pm

Mav might be onto something in his comment. I've never thought of using a quilt. I like the zipper concept. I once got trapped in a marine surplus mummy bag, and got an arm out and cut the stupid rope with a steak knife. Yes a little claustrophobic.

I have mostly camped in July/Sept and only on a tarp, cowboy style. just recently as I went up higher to needing the tent in case.

I can't see a quilt in my future. I have no hair and I do sometimes choke the badger down around my head. It's a nice feature.

As for a Cat touching my bag/quilt. um, no. That's a throwdown comforter for the cat. My dog doesn't even get to look at my bags.
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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:13 am

Hats work. I used hats before I started using quilts.

CANNOT use a mummy bag hood, no matter what - I thrashed and smothered in them. CANNOT stand being twisted up inside a mummy bag. The bag has to be big enough to thrash in, which defeats the purpose of it. HATE zippers. Quilts were like the epiphany of my backpacking life. Without them I would not still be going. There's absolutely no way I could be trapped in a mummy that much.

Strangely, the more comfortable I am, the less I move at night - in a hammock I slept 10 hours once, all the way through, without waking.

That cat has no claws. The worst thing she can do is shed - which doesn't stick to the quilt. It may be the only thing in the house that doesn't have cat hair on it... even things she never touches accumulate cat hair.
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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby longri » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:09 pm

rlown wrote:I have no hair and I do sometimes choke the badger down around my head.

I can't quite figure out what this means but it sounds funny.
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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby longri » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:23 pm

AlmostThere wrote:CANNOT use a mummy bag hood, no matter what - I thrashed and smothered in them. CANNOT stand being twisted up inside a mummy bag. The bag has to be big enough to thrash in, which defeats the purpose of it. HATE zippers.

Is this -- the constraints of mummy, hood and zipper -- the main reason quilts are popular?
Or is it mainly a question of fashion?
Or could there be a weight advantage?
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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:00 pm

longri wrote:
AlmostThere wrote:CANNOT use a mummy bag hood, no matter what - I thrashed and smothered in them. CANNOT stand being twisted up inside a mummy bag. The bag has to be big enough to thrash in, which defeats the purpose of it. HATE zippers.

Is this -- the constraints of mummy, hood and zipper -- the main reason quilts are popular?
Or is it mainly a question of fashion?
Or could there be a weight advantage?


Most people try quilts for the weight loss - some people seem to collect them. Were I to splurge, I would order up a custom Nunatuk quilt, in a heartbeat.

For me I am a slave of function. They work better than bags for me, and didn't cost me as much, even though I have two for simultaneous use with a hammock. I also have a dedicated 0 degree under quilt - 3/4 length, intended to use with a pad in the hammock - that has seen very little use, since it was purchased when I (like so many sleeping bag users) labored under the apprehension that leads folks to go 0 degree "just in case" (a byproduct of having cheap bags that won't cut it at the rated temp).

I don't care about re-tucking the quilt. I prefer the freedom of being able to get the heck out of the tent in a hurry, if I need to. One ridiculous episode of a stuck zipper and having to pee and bam! instant buy-in to quilts, forever.

My first quilt was a Ray Way - still have it. It gets loaned to people who want to try quilts. It is the same dimensions as a JRB save for the draft stopper edging.

I suppose for $580 I could have a Western Mountaineering - but it would not do all the things the quilts do - it won't be top quilt and under quilt with a hammock down the middle, to keep me off the ground. It won't be a queen sized comforter. It won't let me cut it in half for when I sleep on the ground. It won't let me open it out totally flat. It won't (with one quilt, this is possible) pack down to smaller than a typical kickball and fit in a corner of the pack with room to spare at the bottom for the sleeping pad and my down jacket.

Function is pretty much all I look at, with some gear. I am too accustomed to multi functionality to give it up for a one trick sleeping bag. Even if it's as nice a bag as a Western Mountaineering. I may, someday, spring for a winter WM bag and sell the heavy Marmot Never Winter. But for $145 that was a good compromise for the single snow trip per year I manage to do, and a decent price for a bag I intended to potentially abuse ala Search and Rescue. The Marmot is too big for me, but it gets filled with extra clothes and things I don't want frozen at night including my bagged boots. And I stuff things in the hood and use it as a pillow, since claustrophobia demands that I never try to kill myself again by actually using it as a hood - a balaclava and wool cap are my insulation. I do somehow manage to close down the chest baffle for warmth's sake, but I always sleep on my side, always move around inside it a lot, and usually pair it with an Exped DM 9 - overkill, but eh, I am a cold sleeper and dislike the chill and the feel of stacked pads.
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