Quilt toe-dipping

Discussion in 'Sleeping Bags & Quilts' started by Foxster, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. Foxster

    Foxster Trail Blazer

    I have slept in the whole range of bags - ex-army clunkers through huge synthetics to modern goose down mummy bags.

    Now I have the urge to carry less and yet be as warm through the wonders of a quilt.

    There's just too much information out there, so I was thinking of a Fozzie recommendation: a Mountain Laurel Designs 28f Spirit Quilt. This still good or am I way off?
  2. DuneElliot

    DuneElliot Ultralighter

    Quilts by ZPacks, Enlightened Equipment, Loco Libre Gear (my personal favorite) or any other cottage manufacturer are all good quality and keep you warm WITH THE RIGHT PAD.

    I can't do a quilt below about 40* (whatever that is in English) as I just move too much in my sleep and it lets the drafts in.
  3. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    40°F = 4°C
    30°F =-1°C
    20°F =-7°C

    Nothing wrong with MLD afaik. Not sure what weight APEX they use but I reckon it's probably 6oz. The gramxpert equivalent is pretty similar weight wise with less wait. If your after down cumulus is worth a look.
    Munro277 and Dave Vaughan like this.
  4. Dave Vaughan

    Dave Vaughan Moderator Staff Member

    Ive started to move to quilts for all seasons now.

    I can recommend Cumulus, very impressed with my 350 from them.

    I started off with a simple Alpkit quilt that I used most of last summer, nothing wrong with it at all, I used it to around 2C which was ok but I would not have wanted to go any lower. I sold that and picked up a Cumulus Quilt 350, very well built and very warm for the weight. I am now looking at either making an Apex quilt or buying one from Gramxpert to use in the summer and add a degree or two in winter to my down quilt plus it would add a water resistant topper for the down.
    andreostergard and murpharoo like this.
  5. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    ( for once) I think there are better designs than the MLD quilts. Though I'm sure they are fine.
    American brands as above, but European brands are Cumulus, GramExpert, As Tucas, Bespoke Ultralight... ( The latter 2 reportedly have long lead times for orders).

    If you are mostly sleeping inside an inner tent, I'd consider a down quilt over Synthetic.
    For a particular temperature rating, it'll pack smaller and be lighter. But Syn tolerates damp conditions better. Horses for courses...
    I use my synthetic quilt for bivviing mostly.

    I have used both synthetic and down quilts for 9 years, but still prefer a bag in cold conditions. With a quilt I find I need to keep more clothes on. Depends what I'm doing camping wise. But for late spring to autumn, quilts are great.
    Marco, Arne L., Shewie and 1 other person like this.
  6. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    If i lost or had my Katabatic Flex stolen i'd buy exactly the same the next day
    I'm THAT chuffed with it

    I'm not really into all the technical stuff with fabrics and fill weights, so i've no idea why, but from the fabric feel, to the size to the warmth it's just perfect for me in the conditions i camp in
    Dave Vaughan likes this.
  7. Munro277

    Munro277 Thru Hiker

    Hillwalker66 uses one I’m pretty sure
    hillwalker66 likes this.
  8. Robin

    Robin Thru Hiker

    I was a bit sceptical about quilts but took the plunge a while ago with an As Tucas Foratata down quilt. Outside of winter, I’m a convert. The Foratata is oversized which suits me as a restless side sleeper. I spin inside the quilt, which means less risk of gaps. The quilt virtually closes underneath me. For me, I think one with a lager gap might be problematic. It’s also long, so I can pull it over my head and is more comfortable than a hood. Mine has 250g of down and weighs 510g. For me, it’s comfortable to about 2-3c. It’s the most comfortable sleeping bag I have. In the colder months I go back to a conventional sleeping bag, a Western Mountaineering Ultralite, mainly because I’ve got one and it’s a superb bag for colder conditions and I can’t see much point in buying a quilt to replace it, although I might save 150-200g.
    Mole and Marco like this.
  9. Foxster

    Foxster Trail Blazer

    Thanks, everyone. Great info.
    Marco likes this.
  10. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    In conditions where it's probable that the temps are below zero, like others, I prefer a SB; the Cumulus Panyam 600 does me down to ~ minus 10C or the Alpkit PD400 if it's only around freezing.

    For most of the year I like the weight of Cumulus 250 quilt ~480g, I found it comfortable for me to the suggested +4C but have used it down to minus 2C with full base layer & fleece. Only criticisms I would have is that it possible a little narrow for some, ~120cm, & I would have liked the foot box to have a short zip down the back to allow it to open out; however Cumulus will do custom work if contacted & there prices are definitely very competitive compared with a US import.
    Mole likes this.
  11. Marco

    Marco Trail Blazer

    Lead time for As Tucas standard products is only one week, which I would say is not that bad :)
  12. Padstowe

    Padstowe Section Hiker

    Quilts are great, sure a bag will be more snug in colder temps but I never liked them & doubt I'll ever go back to them.
    Marco likes this.
  13. Foxster

    Foxster Trail Blazer

    I suppose I'm just a tad wary of buying more cupboard-filler and wasting a couple of hundred £ if I don't take to it. I mean, it's not like I really have any particular problem with a sleeping bag.

    I need a try-before-you-buy or maybe I'll see what what eBay offers cheap that I'll try overnight in the garden or something.
    Marco likes this.
  14. Marco

    Marco Trail Blazer

    Most people love quilts after they try them. Specially if you focus on well designed quilts that not only take weight into account.

    We offer 30 day returns, so you can experience a quilt without too much worry. I'm really confident on this proposal ;)
    tom, JimH, Mole and 2 others like this.
  15. FOX160

    FOX160 Section Hiker

    Best find out if anyone near you as a quilt to look at
    Marco likes this.
  16. Dave5791

    Dave5791 Trail Blazer

    I took the plunge last summer and acquired a GramXpert eLite (Apex 133) and I have to say that it is excellent. It really surprised me with its warmth and loft and it is good for the recommended limit and probably a touch lower. My thinking was go synthetic for two to three season and down (WM Apache) for winter and colder temps in shoulder season. I did consider a down quilt and it was a toss up between Cumulus, a Scotty Von Porkchop and an As Tucas Foratata. The Foratata was still in development otherwise I would've probably plumped for it. Looking back I'm glad I waited for GramXpert to launch as the synthetic choice means I have the best of both worlds. I opted for slightly oversized so that I can combine with my down bag for any future use in serious temps.

    I was a tad skeptical before I pulled the trigger but after some use, I'm glad that I did.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
    Enzo, Mole and Marco like this.
  17. JKM

    JKM Thru Hiker

    @Foxster I also have the GramXpert eLite (Apex 133) quilt and I am sure we can arrange a time when I can pop into town so you can have a look/try if you like.
  18. Foxster

    Foxster Trail Blazer

    Cheers, James.
    I'll PM you about that at some point. Maybe we could combine it with a stove demo.
    JKM likes this.
  19. hillwalker66

    hillwalker66 Trail Blazer

    I use an mld 38deg spirit quilt. I find it great on its own for summer or to layer over my WM summerlite in winter. Adds extra warmth and keeps down bag dry.
  20. Quixoticgeek

    Quixoticgeek Ultralighter

    As tucas are doing their synthetic range in about a week currently.

    Marco likes this.
  21. Imperial Dave

    Imperial Dave Ultralighter

    Quilts are far less restrictive and I actually think they give better thermal performance than bags overall. For me the ability to change position or let air in and reduce the build.up of moisture is a big bonus.
    Marco likes this.
  22. Marco

    Marco Trail Blazer

    Many people claim that the biggest advantage of quilts is that they're lighter than mummy bags. For me, quilts are superior because they're much more comfortable (specially for side sleepers) and more versatile. A mummy bag is designed to be very efficient in the cold limit. However. you usually use a bag in a wide range of temps.
    WilliamC likes this.
  23. dovidola

    dovidola Section Hiker

    I use my mummy bag unzipped most of the time, leaving a footbox for my feet and the main body in 'quilt mode'. If it gets cold enough I zip up into 'bag mode'. Am I missing something here?
  24. Marco

    Marco Trail Blazer

    No, in fact this a great way to try the quilt concept. However, a mummy bag is designed to be used in mummy-mode: the geometry is not optimal in quilt-mode. In addition, the zipper is usually in your side, and the opening of a quilt is on your back.
    dovidola likes this.
  25. SafetyThird

    SafetyThird Ultralighter

    I did much the same with my mummy bag to see if I liked the idea of a quilt. It works very well but you end up with the hood section covering your head I find and, as Marco says, the geometry doesn't work well. That said, it was enough to make me want to get a proper quilt.
    Marco and dovidola like this.

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