eLite over-quilt

Discussion in 'Sleeping Bags & Quilts' started by tom, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. tom

    tom Thru Hiker

    I'm considering an APEX 67 elite quilt to be used as an over-quilt for down quilt in damp-cold conditions. Any thoughts or experience anyone?
    Mole likes this.
  2. JKM

    JKM Thru Hiker

    I have a heavier(133 iirc) eLite and it's a very nicely made quilt and a good weight for the warmth and features.

    Can't comment on using a lighter one over down thoughbut I think it would make a nice booster layer.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
    tom likes this.
  3. dovidola

    dovidola Section Hiker

    Ditto. Haven't done it yet but it makes sense to me. Saves buying a winter-rated down bag and gives some insurance against moisture. Plus a bit of CCF going on underneath the Neoair for added insulation plus some puncture insurance. Seems to be the way to go if (like me) you're not going to be out in proper winter conditions that often and therefore don't want to invest in the full-fat winter versions (e.g. XTherm plus Panyam 600 which won't give much change from £500).
    Mole and tom like this.
  4. oreocereus

    oreocereus Ultralighter

    I feel that if it’s just for the purposes of being an overquilt and it’s apex insulation there’s not too much need to get hung up on design features. Apex is apex.
    The main issue is getting an appropriate size (want to maintain some air gap) and perhaps considering some attachment system. Gramxpert where very helpful when I co-ordinated with them about some potentially custom features on a quilt, though I did not order one in the end.
    Mole and tom like this.
  5. tom

    tom Thru Hiker

    Thanks @JKM @dovidola @oreocereus
    - I have plenty of down to pack - my aim is managing damp. Event style bivvies don't help much with damp but in my experience with down sleep systems in cold-damp conditions, damp seems to settle in the outer down layer and not affect the inner one much. My thinking is that the weight penalty of APEX might be good temperature economy given how down looses loft in the damp? Particularly on longer trips with persistent damp and wet conditions. eLite come with plenty attachment points and they said they could make me a zipless footbox...
    Mole likes this.
  6. oreocereus

    oreocereus Ultralighter

    It seems a common system, though not one I’ve used (down-free, baby). From memory @Enzo has something like this/ or an “apex” bivvy type concept? (Apologies if it was someone who wasn’t Enzo)
    tom likes this.
  7. FOX160

    FOX160 Thru Hiker

    What if you swapped your down to hydro down?
    tom likes this.
  8. Clare

    Clare Thru Hiker

    I used an apex 67 overquilt (which @Enzo had made) over my down quilt while sleeping on @Mole and @Fair Weather Camper's cold and very damp field. The apex outer got pretty wet and the down was fine, so it's a good plan in theory but I'm not so sure for multi-nights as when is the Apex going to get a chance to dry out? and then you end up carrying around the soggy apex and soon enough the damp will transfer to the down quilt below if it hasn't had a chance to dry out. So is the weight penalty then worth it? Next time I'll try the famous dust sheet quilt cover as that should give condensation protection without the problem of carrying soggy apex around afterwards.
    Mole and tom like this.
  9. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    In winter, we use a Zpacks Apex overquilt over our Zpacks Twin 20 quilt. As well as boosting the warmth, it does do a good job of keeping the down quilt dry.
    In reply to @Clare, the Apex quilt does more than protect the down quilt from outside condensation; in cold weather it also moves the dew point outside the down quilt so your perspiration doesn't condense inside the down. And if you do get some decent weather, the thin Apex quilt will dry out much more quickly than a thick down quilt.
    FOX160, Clare, Mole and 1 other person like this.
  10. oreocereus

    oreocereus Ultralighter

    My understanding is that even if the apex does accumulate moisture it'll dry off far quicker than down. It'll be warmer than down when wet (doesn't lose loft as dramatically, but it's still not a miracle "warm when wet" insulation). It'll also move the dew point further from the centre of your main/down quilt, so condensation doesn't have a chance to settle in the down. These benefits may be of dimishing returns on long trips if you can't dry the overquilt - I don't have any practical experience, only having done 1-2 night trips in proper cold conditions (I don't want to be out any longer anyway), so have always had a chance to dry out at home quick enough.

    EDIT: William already said what I was saying, but more concisely.
    Clare, WilliamC, Mole and 1 other person like this.
  11. tom

    tom Thru Hiker

    Just dug up the "Using two down bags" thread here - don't think I ever saw the final 2/3rds. BPL thread too. Very useful along with replies here. More to think about :confused: and sleep on :)

    @WilliamC couldn't find any APEX quilts @zpacks - probably discontinued. Do you remember specs? 2.5oz? One of my questions is whether 67 APEX is sufficient as a damp barrier

    I'm not a believer in chemically altering the amazing natural properties of (top quality) down - I accept there are benefits in the short term but not ever seen any robust long term tests, including for unwanted "side effects".
  12. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    The problems with damp insulation are very much overblown, they tend to be more fear based than real world. I was guilty of it for many years.

    I've used both down and synth, for extended periods, on countless trips, in cold and wet conditions. Both are fine if your not being lax, or your kit has got utterly soaked in a flood/fall in a river etc.
    I can't remember using any sort of cover for my sleeping insulation in over 2 years now, maybe 3...that's over 300 nights in the UK, lots in winter, in drippy single skin shelters. Sometimes, my down is a little damp in the morning if it's especially foggy, or it's been dripped on or sprayed all night. It quickly dries out the next night or with an airing in the day.

    Down inside synth is fine, it works well as long as the weight of the outer layer doesn't compress the down. Personally, I wouldn't take an Apex quilt to manage the moisture in the down layer; it's just not needed. To boost the insulation? yes.
    If a layer is needed to move the freeze point, your in serious cold and will likely know about not introducing moisture into the sleep system in the first place. If your getting condensation moving through the outer layer into your down, the DWR could do with a refresh.

    BTW, If anyone has any of that nasty non-hydrophobic down kicking around in sponge-like sleeping bags and quilts, I'm happy to 'recycle' it for you. :)
    FOX160, JKM, cathyjc and 1 other person like this.
  13. Clare

    Clare Thru Hiker

    @Teepee I thought you were the originator of the dust sheet quilt cover idea and that you swore by how useful it was!
  14. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    It was a custom order - remember the days when Zpacks used to do those? I don't remember the spec of Apex for certain, but it was a thinner grade and the same one Zpacks used to sell, so most likely 2.5oz. Joe reckoned the quilt on its own would be good to a temperature of 50F.
    tom likes this.
  15. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    Nah, not me. I heard it was stolen off Shaggy and it wasn't him either.

    Only drunk decorators sleep in dustsheets. :)
    Charles42, JKM and FOX160 like this.
  16. FOX160

    FOX160 Thru Hiker

    I agree with @Teepee. I too had learned a lot using single skin down to -2 but no more than two nights in a row I went for a heavier 15d for the face of my quilt, EE can supply 20d face or part fabric for their quilts which maybe the way to go. I also found using my stormin cone together with the simmer ring, would burn for a few hours and made it a little more comfortable, also using a Nalgene bottle as a hot water bottle (wrapped in a plastic bag) inside the bottom of my quilt worked too.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019

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