Author Topic: Thinking about trying a quilt.  (Read 629 times)

Johnny Thunder

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Thinking about trying a quilt.
« on: 09:03:51, 30/08/20 »
I would really appreciate any thoughts quilt users have please.
Are there any quilt users?
Has anyone moved to quilts and moved back to bags?


Also any recommendations for quilts to look at would be great.




Thank you.

zuludog

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Re: Thinking about trying a quilt.
« Reply #1 on: 10:01:55, 30/08/20 »
I have to admit that I've never used a quilt, though I considered it for a while, but didn't buy one, not because I thought there was anything wrong with a quilt, but because I already have four sleeping bags, and I couldn't afford/justify one

However, them as 'ave them speak highly of them. Cynics would say that when you've just spent £200 or more on a piece of kit you'd have to say that anyway
I have a couple of friends in the Backpackers Club who use them regularly, both for simple weekend trips and longer routes like LEJOG & SWCP, and they're happy enough

I assume you have read the book that really introduced quilts and ultralight backpacking, by Ray Jardine
He has produced two editions of essentially the same book, but has given them different titles - Beyond Backpacking and Trail Life
If you Search YouTube; there are several videos, but Search for 'backpacking quilts' or you will get all sorts of household ones and others

Probably the two best suppliers in UK are www.backpackinglight.co.uk and www.ultralightoutdoors.uk
Probably like choosing a tent or a rucsac you'll spend ages going round & round till you're confused and bog - eyed, then realise that you'll just have to settle on something. And as usual I expect that price will be as good an indication of quality as anything
You'll also have to consider the sleeping mat and attachments for the quilt

But I never figured out what you were supposed to wear in a quilt
I can't imagine lying naked, or with just a T shirt on a sleeping mat being very comfortable. And if you have to carry some sort separate night wear like jogging bottoms/sports pants and a top then that would start to negate any weight saving
On the other hand, users say they are more comfortable and have more room & freedom than a sleeping bag, and it's easier to fold them back to have a pee

Another comment I've heard is that it's easier to stuff your Jack Russell Terrier into the bottom of your quilt, to keep your feet warm
« Last Edit: 10:08:53, 30/08/20 by zuludog »

gunwharfman

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Re: Thinking about trying a quilt.
« Reply #2 on: 10:53:18, 30/08/20 »
I have used a Cumulus Down Quilt for about 6 years and I wouldn't consider anything else. For a quilt to work PROPERLY you need to use it as part of a SLEEPING SYSTEM. That is, to recognise that your choice of mattress is as important as the quilt, they really have to work in harmony together. So in my case, I use a Thermarest NeoAir which stops any cold coming up from the ground and through the mattress to make my body cold.

So when night temperatures vary, I adapt to them as necessary. I can wear hardly anything on a warm night, perhaps leggings and a top when cooler, as it gets colder I can wear my synthetic jacket, or if really cold I can wear my down jacket. As an individual I practice day time layering and I practice night time layering as well. I've also tried the suggested method of cord to pull the edges of the Quilt under me but I don't worry about that all now, too involves too much faffing about. Depending on your torso size you do need to ensure that your quilt covers you properly, just like you would ensure this on your bedroom quilt at home.

My quilt has no hood (I never needed one anyway) and it has no back to it, so the weight of my quilt is generally lower than a sleeping bag. It also crushes up very small for carrying purposes.

There are I think two types of quilt to consider, there are ones like mine and the second type is called a 'comforter.' If you go on the Cumulus, Poland website you will see what I mean. I must admit though I've never really understood the difference between them?

gunwharfman

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Re: Thinking about trying a quilt.
« Reply #3 on: 10:58:01, 30/08/20 »
Sorry, forgot to mention. If you buy a quilt (or a sleeping bag) have a good look around the EU sites, my quilt was a lot cheaper than buying it from the UK. My Cumulus quilt came from Slovakia. Also, Cumulus UK does not make or sell quilts, you need to Google in 'Cumulus, Poland' if you want to consider that brand. I like the look of a few USA ones but I know nothing of extra import costs?

Birdman

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Re: Thinking about trying a quilt.
« Reply #4 on: 12:37:54, 30/08/20 »
Personally, I don't see the advantages of a quilt. Any places where warm air can leak out really reduces the effectiveness of your sleeping system. I also like to have a hood, because it weights almost nothing extra but makes the system so much warmer by effectively sealing off most of the leakage.


I agree with GWM about the importance of the mattress. I have both the NeoAir Xlite and the Xtherm. They insulate very well. The Xlite is more than enough in most cases (so I use that one the most - the XTherm is usually overkill), but if I could buy only one it would be the XTherm because it has about twice the insulation value at the expense of just 100 gram extra and a bit more bulk. But it is so nice on really cold nights... It can simply cover a wider temperature range. For myself the XLite is sufficient up to about -3įC, but even a bit above that the XTherm is still a nicer sleep, so...



Also another thumps-up for Cumulus. The one and only sleepingbag that I use nowadays is my Cumulus Panyam 600 (~1.0kg) with hydrophobic 850 cuin down. It's warm enough to use well below freezing, but still usable in warm climate because of the 2-way zip (you can sleep with your feet out if you want). So for long distance hikes with a large temperature range (like the American West), it works very well. I'm pleasantly surprised how well it has maintained its warmth over time. After so much use (5.5 years, ~400 nights sleeping in it, each time packing it, compressing, etc) it still has good loft and because of the lack of deterioration I expect to use it for many more years to come.


At the time, Cumulus wasn't allowed to ship to the UK because they had some exclusive deal with a UK company that sold them onder their own name (at a higher price). So when I ordered it in Poland (where the company is based), I got them to send it to my father in the Netherlands who then sent it to the UK.
My travel and walking reports: https://www.hikingbirdman.com/

Johnny Thunder

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Re: Thinking about trying a quilt.
« Reply #5 on: 09:55:51, 31/08/20 »
Thank you for your replies.
It is something I have been thinking about for a while.
My daughter has just finished Uni and her future is a bit up in the air at the moment due to possible jobs, Masters courses etc
being put on hold. So she is going to be doing a bit of hiking and camping with me.
I thought this would be the ideal opportunity for me to try a quilt. My daughter can have the sleeping bag.
When she does eventually move on with her future, I will be left with a choice of either.

BrionyB

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Re: Thinking about trying a quilt.
« Reply #6 on: 12:00:33, 31/08/20 »
As I understand it, the idea of quilts is that sleepng bags (the down ones in particular) donít provide much insulation underneath you, owing to being compressed by your weight (hence the importance of a mat in either case), so you might as well save the excess size and weight.


Maybe good also if you donít like the feeling of being confined or Ďtrappedí in a bag (I donít, and it actually puts me off camping, combined with the claustrophobic feeling of being in a tent) or tend to get too warm?

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Thinking about trying a quilt.
« Reply #7 on: 14:31:21, 31/08/20 »
I am a restless sleeper and used to find that my sleeping bag twisted itself around me while I slept. I havenít tried a quilt and am unlikely to do so, as my camping days are probably behind me.

gunwharfman

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Re: Thinking about trying a quilt.
« Reply #8 on: 15:33:25, 31/08/20 »
One other good thing about a quilt if you are a 'nervous' sleeper and want to easily get out of it, and be ready for anything (because of noises, animals, etc) then a quilt is so easy. Like at home, fling it off and you're out. My last sleeping bag was a fully zipped one. OK if the zip wasn't closed but when closed mine always caused me problems, so many times I caught the sleeping bag fabric in the mechanism. I couldn't deal with a mummy bag. If I go and stay with anyone or stay in a hotel I always take my quilt, (plus my light as a feather Thermarest sheet) I just lay it on top of the bed, throwover my quilt, no need to disturb the sheets etc. Weird? Maybe.

Confession time. When I was about 18 and at uni I stayed in a shared house for a night. I had a fully zipped sleeping bag then and because it was cold I was fully zipped up. During the night an older and heavier student threw himself on me. I still remember to this day fighting to get out of the sleeping bag and fighting to get him off me as well! One of the problems of a sleeping bag. I never used the zip again! When my son went to university we bought him a sleeping bag (with a full zip) I made sure I told him about my experience. He never had such a problem to worry about.

gunwharfman

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Re: Thinking about trying a quilt.
« Reply #9 on: 16:09:10, 31/08/20 »
Apart from being in my tent the other time I was glad I had a quilt was a few years ago when I stayed the night and was attacked in a 6-bed dormitory at the YHA, Keswick. I was walking south on the Cumbria Way and didn't feel well so booked in the late afternoon. I could see that others were in the room, their clothing etc was all around. I got onto a top bunk in my quilt and fell asleep. Sometime later, it was now dark I was vaguely aware that others had quietly wandered in. Within a couple of minutes, someone grabbed at my feet and started shouting "He's taken my bed, I'll kill him!" That woke me up!

I immediately threw off my quilt (no zip to worry about) and made sure my legs were free. The light switched on and there, just below me was a middle-aged man, shouting at me, shaking from head to toe with rage. Due to my psychiatric experience, I recognised that I had an instant problem to solve and tried to calm him by offering to come down and go over to the other top bunk bed. He said NO, he switched off the light and I heard him climb his ladder to the bed I had just offered to change to. He kept muttering and cursing and saying " I'll kill him." I just lay there gathering my thoughts and heard him shuffling around still muttering and I realised the matter had not yet ended.

I heard a thump as he jumped down onto the floor, he switched the light on again and there he was again still quivering from head to toe, shouting his head off but now only in his Y fronts! I noticed that two of the lower beds were occupied but they stayed under their duvets. I shouted above my adversary that I'm leaving the room. I jumped down, grabbed my rucksack and waterproof, it was on top of it and with the other hand grabbed my quilt. Just as I made my move to leave the room he picked up a bottle of Lambrusco that he'd bought (odd what things we remember) and took a swing at me. It was full so he didn't aim correctly, I ducked, it hit the bunk bed not me and I was then out of the door!

I reported it to the night porter (whilst I dressed myself properly) but I said do nothing, (it had now gone quite) if you do it will just escalate, he was so glad of the advice. He gave me a room all to myself, with my own key. By the time I got up the next morning he was gone.

It was reported to the Police and the end of the tale was that he came from Gateshead and when the Police went to pick him up he'd scarpered. I've no idea if he was ever found?

Dodgylegs

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Re: Thinking about trying a quilt.
« Reply #10 on: 19:40:09, 31/08/20 »
I am a restless sleeper and used to find that my sleeping bag twisted itself around me while I slept. I havenít tried a quilt and am unlikely to do so, as my camping days are probably behind me.


Made me laugh ... restless sleeper... I used to wake up with my head inside the tent and everything else outside!

gunwharfman

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Re: Thinking about trying a quilt.
« Reply #11 on: 20:17:09, 31/08/20 »
I tend to be the opposite, I sleep straight, first on one hip then the other, I'm not a mover at all.

Birdman

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Re: Thinking about trying a quilt.
« Reply #12 on: 20:41:45, 31/08/20 »
As I understand it, the idea of quilts is that sleepng bags (the down ones in particular) donít provide much insulation underneath you, owing to being compressed by your weight (hence the importance of a mat in either case), so you might as well save the excess size and weight.


This is true, but I suspect that most of these savings will be offset by the fact that you'll need a thicker quilt compared to a sleepingbag because it is less effective in sealing off the warm air. On cold nights you are going to feel the leaks and any cold spots in general.

Quote
Maybe good also if you donít like the feeling of being confined or Ďtrappedí in a bag (I donít, and it actually puts me off camping, combined with the claustrophobic feeling of being in a tent) or tend to get too warm?


This is a valid point if this bugs you. But it also condemns you to a bulkier/ heavier sleeping system. The more air you have around you, the less effective the heat is retained. This is why mummy bags were invented.


And if "too warm" is a problem, then you can save weight/ bulk right there by buying a thinner bag/ quilt! In case of a sleepingbag I would always get one with a 2-way zip, so you can zip the lower part open (sleeping with your legs outside).
My travel and walking reports: https://www.hikingbirdman.com/

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Thinking about trying a quilt.
« Reply #13 on: 23:19:27, 31/08/20 »

Made me laugh ... restless sleeper... I used to wake up with my head inside the tent and everything else outside!
I have done that as well.  :-[

Johnny Thunder

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Re: Thinking about trying a quilt.
« Reply #14 on: 09:01:35, 01/09/20 »
Thanks everyone. Plenty for me to think about before making a decision.