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    • Sleeping in sleeping bags is becoming a thing of the past in the backpacking community. Insulating material surrounds the body in a sleeping bag. Down and synthetic insulation relies on many air pockets to prevent loss of heat through convection. Compressing those air pockets by laying on them renders the insulation useless. So a lot of a sleeping bag doesn't actually keep you warm.

      Quilt style sleeping bags designed for the outdoors are warm blankets. They cover you. And below you is your sleeping pad. Sleeping pads are the only effective insulation from the ground. There's no need for nearly half of the sleeping bag. Down quilts are all the rage in the backpacking community because eliminating half the material saves tons of money and weight, enabling ultralight trips far easier and cheaper. It seems like such a simple concept, but it took until well into the 21st century to invent this sort of outdoor sleeping. And manufacturers are finally developing them!

      All my friends are using now using down quilts when camping, even in subzero weather. I haven't made the switch but will do it soon, however I don't know what to get yet. Who's heard to down quilts? Who might make the switch?

      Hammock Gear's 0 degree down sleeping bag I'm considering buying 👇

    • Amazing. I have slept in down bags this way for years but never thought of designing a sleeping bag that is intended to be slept in this way. I do it because I feel too restricted otherwise, plus I don't like crushing my down. I have a couple bags where the down on the bottom has lost its loft so when I roll over and it's on top, I get cold.

      Adventure Alan has a comparison of brands and says the one you showed in your photo is the standout: http://www.adventurealan.com/best-lightweight-backpacking-quilts-sleeping-bag/

    • Same here, I always sleep with my down bag unzipped as a blanket, even on extremely cold nights. Finally, manufacturers have listened to us and are giving us a sleeping bag without the bottom.

      It's important to note that pairing a high R-value sleeping pad with the quilt is essential to surviving cold nights. This is also true with sleeping bags, but with the quilt, the only thing between you and the ground is the pad.

      I have the Thermarest NeoAir pad, which has an R-value of 5.7, which is remarkably high for sleeping pads. I'm excited to pair that with a quilt.

    • I somewhat gave up on down bags for two reasons. I sleep warm and was usually either too hot (in the bag) or too cold (out of the bag) or transitioning between those two states. The second reason was one of space. I like a bag with lots of leg/foot room. Mummy bags are not my friend and it seems all down bags are mummy style.

      I transitioned to a rectangular bag -- one of the Wiggy's models -- on top of an Exped Downmat. The downmat insulates me from the ground and is thick enough to sleep on my side. It is a pain to inflate. Still, I like it. Good thing I bought it years ago. The price has gone through the roof. The bag is comfortable, but takes up lots of space. It does not compress anything like down. It's an issue, but not a deal breaker as my gear is usually strapped to the back of a motorcycle.

      A down quilt interests me. Because to 3 or 4 sleeping bags stored in the garage aren't enough.

    • I love down because it's highly compressible. But the tradeoff is that too much compression can lead to loss of loft which results in diminished insulation qualities. Also down is expensive, extremely hard to wash, and doesn't keep you warm if it gets wet.

      But I still think I want a down quilt as opposed to a synthetic quilt because the warmth to weight ratio is off the charts.

    • It's the wet performance that bugs me. I always lean towards hollow technical fibers. I spent an early spring hiking trip once trying to keep warm in 18" of newly fallen snow, which totally changed the pace of the trip. Post holing up a trail through knee deep snow really slows you down. We were soaking wet from sweat and exhaustion hiking late past sundown, and really appreciated getting in awarm sleeping bag to stay warm. Quallofil. It was pretty clutch on that trip. Iirc, big Agnes was the one that pioneered the slip in sleeping pad. Which cuts down "half the bulk" of a sleeping bag. That was many years ago. But if you ask me, the bottom half of a sleeping bag isn't completely useless because that completely ignores the second function of the fibers...helping to distribute moisture that your body produces. I hate the moisture build up that I feel between the impermeable air mattress and me. So a nice later of fibers is quite useful, even if it is compressed and not insulating very well. I don't like the concessions many people make in going ultralight. I'm a fan of spreading my legs out too. So...mummy shaped bags piss me off. ☺️

    • It's the wet performance that bugs me.

      All my insulating jackets are now synthetic for this reason. Even under a shell, my insulating jacket get wet from sweat, snow, and rain. I used to wear down, but I'd go from warm and comfy to shivering once the jacket got wet.

      I really like my Ary'teryx jacket with Primaloft. Last year I got caught in a cold rain storm without a shell. I was soaked but stayed warm because the Primaloft in my insulating layer retained heat, even when wet. It's kinda performs like a wetsuit :) Down must be carefully protected from the elements or it's a safety risk.

      I still like down for my sleeping bags. So far I've been able to keep my sleeping bags dry camping in all 4 seasons. But us ultralighters are quirky and sometimes not all that sane :)

    • I'm known to pack in frozen steaks, wine in a box, and eggs in my pack, even if my pack tops out at 80lbs, so that at least on the first night out, we can enjoy an honest-to-goodness steak dinner, and legit scrambled eggs in the morning. The milk might be powdered, but the eggs will will be sublime. :) I'm quite the opposite of ultralighters, lol.

    • Ah that sounds magical. A steak dinner in the backcountry. Yum!!! Food is the serious sacrifice I make when ultralight backpacking. I optimize my calorie to weight ratio, which means I end up with not so great tasting things, like avocado oil. Did you know avocado oil has more calories per volume than gasoline? Yeah I'm crazy.

      I'm going to do a pack-animal trip into the high Sierra next year with some friends. Dutch oven and all is coming. They're going to make me make up for all my lost time on the trail being miserable :)

    You've been invited!