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Quilt Temp Ratings Fairly Accurate?

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Quilt Temp Ratings Fairly Accurate?

Postby juliabrooke » Mon May 25, 2015 8:44 am

Hi Everyone,
I'm fairly new to the world of backpacking, but have done my fair share of camping. I have a few backpacking trips coming up this summer (2 in the Sierra's) and am looking to buy a sleeping bag or quilt. I'm 5"7, 130 lb female, cold and restless sleeper. I absolutely cannot stand sleeping on my back always manage to get tangled in mummy or even semi rectangular bags. At this point I am leaning towards purchasing a quilt, but I am nervous about the warmth factor. Any guidance or advice on this? Are the lower rated quilts (0 or 20 degree) from EE or other makers accurate? Or at least within a 10-15 degree window? I'm trying to stay fairly cost friendly on this whole thing as well.



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Re: Quilt Temp Ratings Fairly Accurate?

Postby Hobbes » Mon May 25, 2015 3:29 pm

A few years ago I made a down quilt using the Thru-hiker.com kit. Paul (trailname Ayce) hiked the PCT in '99 and is an expert on materials. When I spoke to him while ordering, he was honest when he said quilts don't work that well below 25 degrees. As it gets colder, it's not the amount of insulation (which is still important), but the difficulty of re-generating heat if cold air is allowed to enter. I over-filled mine from the std 12oz to 15oz of 900FP down, but I still treat my quilt as good to 25 degrees in a pinch.

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If you're a tosser, cold sleeper or expect colder temperatures, you should probably get a bag. If you like to backpack and think you'll still be doing it in the years to come, then investing in a really high quality bag is a smart move. That's because the cost per year/night out becomes pretty small when averaged over its lifespan. (10-20, maybe even 30, years - unlike synthetic materials, down doesn't really degrade.)

Probably the two highest rated bags are Western mountaineering and Feathered Friends. FF sells a lot of these bags:

http://featheredfriends.com/egret-ul-wo ... g-bag.html
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Re: Quilt Temp Ratings Fairly Accurate?

Postby AlmostThere » Mon May 25, 2015 3:37 pm

I have Jacks R Better Hudson River quilts (3 season, 20-25F depending) and while initially nervous I have found over 8 years since the initial purchase I haven't had a cold night. I have used them into November and on nights when the temp at dinnertime was in the mid 20s. While my base layer and hat change with the season, most of the time they are adequate or even overkill.

I picked up a 0 degree Hammock Gear Burrow with 2 oz overstuff, and while I have not had it out in 0 degree weather, it is fine below freezing and a little too warm 40 and above.

EE is a well respected maker in the ultralight community and likely deserves the rep, though I have only seen them and not used them. All the cottage makers I have firsthand experience with have turned out excellent quality product. Certainly much more reliable than my experiences with mass produced sleeping bags.

There is a learning curve with quilts - you can't expect to have the quilt tied to the pad and get good results. Mine work best tucked around me. I can never fall asleep on my back and always sleep on my side with my legs slightly bent. Reaching under myself to pull the edges in (back to front) and tucking in the front from the inside works best. In colder temps I use the draw string to tighten around my neck. I am more active when uncomfortable and had horrible nights twisted inside sleeping bags - since switching the increase in comfort (when accompanied by an adequate sleeping pad or hammock with underquilt!!!! I have never been comfy on Thermarest Prolites, blue ccf pads, or any air mattress thinner than two inches!!!! my hip hits the ground every. single. time) has led to my becoming a sound and stable sleeper with few movements to open gaps along the edges of the quilt. A quilt of adequate width is a wonderful thing. (As you can tell, I do not agree that active sleepers won't like quilts - they might not, but then again, perhaps we are only looking for more comfort so we can settle down)

While not for everyone, certainly, especially people who aren't willing to even try, they have been keeping me in the backcountry longer and more comfortably for quite a while now. I may get my very-tall boyfriend one for Christmas so he can toss out the mummy bag he currently freezes in.
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Re: Quilt Temp Ratings Fairly Accurate?

Postby maverick » Mon May 25, 2015 3:55 pm

Hi Julia,

Welcome to HST! We have a few members who are quilt users, like the members who have already chimed in. Please take advantage of the "search feature" at the top of the page to search several previous threads about quilts that may help.
If you have a moment, it would be great if you introduced yourself here :) : viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9329
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Quilt Temp Ratings Fairly Accurate?

Postby gabe&mel » Mon May 25, 2015 9:27 pm

Julia,

I have two Enlightened Equipment quilts: an older 30 degree with the Karo baffles and a new 20 Degree quilt. On the 30 degree quilt I felt like it was a tad cool at freezing temperatures (side note I'm 5'11" and 200 lbs) and would require me to put on my insulated jacket, though I highly suspect the cause was an inefficient baffle system that they no longer use. Ive used the 20 degree quilt in temps in the mid 20s and felt fine and toasty.

I'd look at your ground insulation too though as I've found that my exped synmat hyper lite and UL 7 were at cool at around 25 degrees requiring me to stuff clothing under my pad. My partner Mel uses a big Agnes Q-core sl in the same conditions and has never had any issues.

Almost forgot about keeping your head warm. I use a wool beanie/Balaclava down to freezing. Below that I will drape my down jacket over my head or put on my down jacket and wear the hood. Mel will use a Capilene 4 hoodie and a buff, then if it's cold enough will use her down jacket hood.


Last thought: if I were routinely expecting my trip to be at 30 degrees I would error on the side of caution and use my 20 degree quilt. We have camped in 50 degree weather and just thrown the quilts on top of us like a blanket and have been very comfortable.

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Last edited by gabe&mel on Mon May 25, 2015 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Quilt Temp Ratings Fairly Accurate?

Postby gabe&mel » Mon May 25, 2015 10:03 pm

AlmostThere wrote:A quilt of adequate width is a wonderful thing.



I whole heartedly agree with this. Both of my quilts are wide. A wide pad helps too as I toss and turn frequently.


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Last edited by gabe&mel on Tue May 26, 2015 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Quilt Temp Ratings Fairly Accurate?

Postby Brien » Tue May 26, 2015 7:13 am

You also might want to check out the Sierra Designs Backcountry. Kinda like a hybrid between a sleeping bag and a quilt. I got one last year and love it!

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Re: Quilt Temp Ratings Fairly Accurate?

Postby AlmostThere » Tue May 26, 2015 8:19 am

The mass manufacturers don't get quilts... 2 lbs 8 oz 30 degree quilt made for back sleepers? versus a 22 oz 20-25F quilt that can be a blanket if you want it to. Wow.

Sure, they think side sleepers can use it... this one would have trouble with the claustrophobic design.
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Re: Quilt Temp Ratings Fairly Accurate?

Postby gabe&mel » Tue May 26, 2015 9:08 am

juliabrooke wrote:I'm trying to stay fairly cost friendly on this whole thing as well.


I have the EE Revelation and is more than sufficient and budget friendly. The 10d fabric is really comfortable and feels nice next to the skin.


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Re: Quilt Temp Ratings Fairly Accurate?

Postby juliabrooke » Tue May 26, 2015 8:02 pm

Thanks for all the great replies! I really appreciate all the info. If I can sleep on my side or stomach, my restlessness is to a minimum. But, being forced into a back sleeping position leaves me waking up 4-5 times a night, all tangled, rolled off the pad-basically a mess. I have a Women's Thermarest Prolite with a 4.6 r rating. More narrow than I would like, but doable and I got it for around $25, so it was hard for me to pass up. I will look into the whole beanie situation and insulating my head better.
I'm all for putting out more money for a quality piece of gear, but being new to backpacking I figure it'll take me a few seasons to tweak things, learn and figure out exactly what works for me. Plus, I'm in my mid-twenties without a ton of extra money to spare. At this point I've picked up most of my gear by deciding on a few qualities I don't want to sacrifice on and then spending some time hunting down the best deal. I originally checked out the back country bed from SD, but then I simultaneously stumbled on the whole quilt idea and realized that was probably a more versatile/quality option.

At this point I'm looking at an EE Revelation 10 degree Short length/Regular width. Is the 10 D fabric of good function/durability? Or should I take the 20 D instead? Again, I'm 5'6" ~130 lbs female. Someone had mentioned not to underestimate the benefits of a wide quilt. their regular width is 54″ head half tapered to 40″ foot and the short is geared towards users up to 5'6" tall. Not sure if I should go with the regular length/wide width instead.

Thanks again!
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