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Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby Rockchucker » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:05 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?

I agree with everything AlmostThere wrote. I'll add a big part that pushed me into quilts was your reason #1. I always get a much bigger bag than I need in order to toss and turn which means more weight, still not totally comfortable, more bulk. Now I got use to sleeping with my bags unzipped but hated laying on the zipper. Once I bought a quilt it solved all my issues I've had with mummy bags. I don't use the straps but button up the bottom half if it gets cold. I got a wide quilt so wrapping up when the temp drops is easy. I'm thinking of getting a 40* quilt in addition to my 20*. I think I could handle most temps with either one or a combo of both.
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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby longri » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:28 pm

AlmostThere wrote: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.

If you just look at the manufacturer's numbers -- questionable as they always are -- the Nunatuk 32°F bags are pretty close to the same weight (but more expensive) as the 32°F Western Mountaineering mummy bags.


AlmostThere wrote: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.

That may be true for hammock camping but for tent camping it's the other way around. A mummy bag with a full zipper can be a quilt, albeit a heavier than necessary quilt. But a quilt can never be a mummy bag with an integral hood.


AlmostThere wrote: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.

Prices for quilts and bags of comparable temperature ratings aren't that far apart. A Nunatek quilt will cost you more than a Western bag of the same rating. Does stuff size vary that much? A 5°F Nunatek quilt for a 6'0" person stuffs to 7x18 inches whereas a 5°F WM bag stuffs to 8x17 inches. That would be only 23% more volume -- if the numbers were exact.


AlmostThere wrote:One ridiculous episode of a stuck zipper and having to pee and bam! instant buy-in to quilts, forever.

Also a good reason to switch to pants with elastic waistbands.
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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby Rockchucker » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:37 pm

Enlighten equipment a numbers are spot on according to my scale so my 20* wide is 22 oz and at the time cost 170$ now they use duck down and cost a bit more 210$. Way cheaper than WM, but I'm not bashing WM,their bags are awesome, great quality, fabric, pack weight and size. Hard to beat. I want one for 0* temps ..... Maybe one day!
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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:50 pm

You have to tolerate a fully cinched up hood on a sleeping bag to get the maximum warmth from it. If you simply want to leave the top open, a quilt may be just as warm. Another option is an "elephants foot" and down hooded jacket. You can use a lighter down jacket for summer, and an expedition jacket for shoulder seasons. An elephants foot is a half sleeping bag that you cinch around your waist. Feathered Friends will make one to fit (custom order). My husband uses this method because he hates to be confined. And, you can wear the jacket on cold mornings and in the evening!
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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:55 pm

A single JRB 3 season quilt is 240 - not bad for a 20 oz down item that keeps me that warm.

And I have no need of a replacement any time soon.

Don't care about the weight as much as I care about the function - I find that using a sleeping bag as a quilt ain't the same, as you are then either sleeping on the zipper or not tucked in - and zipper wear in a nylon hammock? on a NeoAir? Nope. Not doing that.

I don't need a hood. I never used one, never will. That's what hats are for. And you can't use the mummy bag hood while you're out hiking around - hats are multi-purpose, too.

If you spend 2 seconds kicking off the quilt, you don't need an elastic waistband - you can get out of the tent without fighting your way out of a twisted up tube of fabric first. If you're in a hammock, it's even less of a problem - unless there's bugs about I don't even zip the bug net shut, just swing the legs out and walk off into the trees.
Last edited by AlmostThere on Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby longri » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:59 pm

Enlightened does have very competitive prices. Their 850 fill quilts are significantly cheaper than a comparably rated Western sleeping bag. It looks like good stuff. My homemade quilt was cheaper (ignoring my labor time) and lighter in weight, but not by very much.

Again, as Daisy suggests and AlmostThere reiterates, it seems that some people just hate to be mummified. I always find it comforting to be snuggled in a tight bag zippered up and with a hood all cinched down when it's really cold. Maybe I got stuck at one of Freud's or Piaget's earlier stages of development.
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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:10 pm

Oh, you get tucked in nice and snug in a quilt - more snugly than I did in a bag that's too big.

That's actually one of the things about quilts that led to me being warmer than I was in the bag, I think.
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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby longri » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:29 pm

AlmostThere wrote:Oh, you get tucked in nice and snug in a quilt - more snugly than I did in a bag that's too big.

A too bag bag? Maybe. One could say the same about a too small quilt. But a nicely fitted bag is snugglier than a nicely fitted quilt. Advection happens with both when you roll but quilts are more prone to that form of heat loss.

The question, still unanswered for me, is whether a bag or quilt of same total weight and same type of fabric and insulation is warmer than the other. It may be one of those "it depends" kind of questions.
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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:00 pm

longri wrote:
AlmostThere wrote:Oh, you get tucked in nice and snug in a quilt - more snugly than I did in a bag that's too big.

A too bag bag? Maybe. One could say the same about a too small quilt. But a nicely fitted bag is snugglier than a nicely fitted quilt. Advection happens with both when you roll but quilts are more prone to that form of heat loss.

The question, still unanswered for me, is whether a bag or quilt of same total weight and same type of fabric and insulation is warmer than the other. It may be one of those "it depends" kind of questions.


I'm not sure but I think it does depend - and I don't have nearly so many issues with quilts as I do with bags. So my math, my money and my bets are pretty clear. I never get really warm in a bag the way I do in a quilt.

Have I been in many bags? Not really. Don't intend to bother, either. So someone else will have to do the test driving and get back to you on that. I prefer to be comfortable.
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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby DriveFly44 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:48 pm

Lots of good responses and sharing of personal experiences and preferences. Some of us sleep warm, cold, move around, value weight over certain comforts, need to exit at a moments notice, etc. It is certainly not a one size/model fits all situations for everyone. I like the flexibility of my quilt since I can release the bottom footbox and have it become a straight blanket when the temps are moderate or cinch it up when it gets colder. I made it wide enough so drafts aren't an issue. I have used it several times this last year including my JMT trip and didn't ever come close to being cold. I also move around a ton and have felt claustrophobic in a mummy bag in the past. If I did more trips in the shoulder months I would most likely add to the arsenal by making a 10 degree quilt.

Another thing to consider is the kind of pad you use, if you use one at all. I have an Exped SynMat UL (which I love) that provides an R-value of 3.1 so that also adds to my warmth and comfort :)
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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby oldranger » Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:52 am

Drivefly44 wrote:

Lots of good responses and sharing of personal experiences and preferences. Some of us sleep warm, cold, move around, value weight over certain comforts, need to exit at a moments notice, etc. It is certainly not a one size/model fits all situations for everyone.


Amen! Lets not carryout this thread with no added info but just trying to get the last word in.

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Re: Traditional sleeping bag vs quilts.

Postby Rockchucker » Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:52 am

Tim is having a sale on quilts so I bit the bullet and ordered one of his new Enigma 30* I'll post a few pics as sone as I get it.
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