Bag or quilt

Bushwalking gear and paraphernalia. Electronic gadget topics (inc. GPS, PLB, chargers) belong in the 'Techno Babble' sub-forum.
Forum rules
TIP: The online Bushwalk Inventory System can help bushwalkers with a variety of bushwalk planning tasks, including: Manage which items they take bushwalking so that they do not forget anything they might need, plan meals for their walks, and automatically compile food/fuel shopping lists (lists of consumables) required to make and cook the meals for each walk. It is particularly useful for planning for groups who share food or other items, but is also useful for individual walkers.

Bag or quilt

Postby MudAnt » Sun 14 Mar, 2021 10:56 am

Hello,

My wife and I are in our early 60’s and have decided (wisely??) to do a bit of hiking and camping. We have only done caravan-park tenting in the past, most recently last year.

So I’m after some advice on where to start.

I’m wondering if sleeping bag or quilt is the way to go. (I’m assuming I’d need a mat regardless.) We live in Tassie and we’re going to do the Three Capes walk in about two months (paid for) but would then like to venture out on our own and do various walks like the Overland. I’ve asked a few hikers I know but unfortunately none of them are aware of quilts.

Personally I’m thinking I’d prefer a quilt as I tend to like things draped over me and I hate it when the bed sheets are tucked in. However I’m happy to be persuaded otherwise. Any advice would be great. And do quilt ratings equate closely with bag ratings.

I’m sorry if this question has been asked but I'm new to the site and haven’t found an article in the site regarding the pro’s and con’s from people who have used both.

Any perceptions would be greatly appreciated.
MudAnt
Nothofagus cunninghamii
Nothofagus cunninghamii
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat 13 Mar, 2021 11:41 am
Region: Tasmania

Re: Bag or quilt

Postby Tortoise » Sun 14 Mar, 2021 1:06 pm

Welcome, MudAnt.

I've used a quilt for several years now, in cold Tassie mountain weather. I'm a side-sleeping tosser-and-turner, neither of which are ideal for quilts. But, for the weight and bulk saving, I'm more than happy using them. If I hadn't gone lighter a few years ago, I absolutely would not have been able to do some brilliant walks in recent years. It's worth looking after the aging body!

I have one of Undercling Mike's -8C quilts, which I love. But he put a hold on orders a while back, as he got swamped. I don't think he's taking orders again yet. I love his vertical baffles, which tends to kept the down over me better than horizontal ones.

My first quilt (now my summer one) is a Hammockgear -2C. It's a lot narrower, so is less good for tossing and turning. But as it's not usually very cold when I use it, I leave it open over me, and it's no problem. I do get cool spots where the down shifts, though. 'Overstuff' of down and different baffle design helps avoid cold spots.

Most quilts have the option of clipping in the sides to 2 elastic loops you can put around your mat. That keeps the down tucked in around your body, while minimising cold air coming in when you move. Sounds like you don't want to clip it in. But if it was really cold, it'd be an option. With my quilt, I toss and turn under it. With my bag, the whole thing comes with me.

I'd strongly advice getting the treated down for water resistance. Makes a difference to warmth on mulit-day Tassie walks, as condensation is very common, and makes the down damp.

Hope that helps. Happy walking. We live in an amazing part of the world! :D
User avatar
Tortoise
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 4275
Joined: Sat 28 Jan, 2012 9:31 pm
Location: NW Tasmania
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Female

Re: Bag or quilt

Postby Tortoise » Sun 14 Mar, 2021 1:10 pm

PS The other quilt I had was an Enlightened Equipment Revelation. It was good, but a few things annoyed me, like the drawstring dangling in my face. Mike's design fixed all my gripes, including a little down 'pillow' to block the tiny hole that's left when you make a foot box with the drawstring at the base.

If you go for a quilt, make sure you get one that opens at the bottom, not a sewn-in foot box, as that's how you'll use it most.
User avatar
Tortoise
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 4275
Joined: Sat 28 Jan, 2012 9:31 pm
Location: NW Tasmania
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Female

Re: Bag or quilt

Postby Moondog55 » Sun 14 Mar, 2021 1:42 pm

In addition to the information from Tortoise there are a few other things to keep in mind. You may want something warmer at certain times of the year and in some locations. Roger Caffin who sometimes posts here has a good system for couples use.
He and his wife use single LW quilts most of the time but carry an extra large lightweight double sized quilt to layer over both of them for the colder times.
You are correct in your surmise that you will need mattresses, a sleeping system is only as warm as the mats you use and often are more important than the sleeping bag or quilt is concerned, luckily there is a great selection of mats that combine warmth and comfort and most are not too heavy.
I'm a sleeping bag user when temperatures drop below about 14C but I do own a Sea to Summit Traveller2 for warmer weather and to use as an overbag if it gets really cold. I'm also a believer in synthetics for use as overquilts but down is lighter and has a longer life. Sea to Summit used to make and sell an double sized TR1 and you might be lucky to find such on the second hand market.
https://seatosummit.com/product/travell ... g-bag-tri/
https://seatosummit.com/product/travell ... -bag-trii/
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
Moondog55
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 10092
Joined: Thu 03 Dec, 2009 4:15 pm
Location: Norlane Geelong Victoria Australia
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Bag or quilt

Postby Watertank » Sun 14 Mar, 2021 4:53 pm

Hi MudAnt
welcome to the site. I have a quilt and I have sleeping bags. I do love the quilt and use it regularly - and I also use my bags. For me if the weather is likely to be very cold then I would choose a bag - probably not because it will necessary be warmer but purely because it feels psychological safer that it will keep me warm. Your choice may also depend on whether you and you wife sleep cold - it seems that women almost always sleep colder than men. If you get a quilt my recommendation is to get a long and wide one so you can tuck it in and effectively create a bag on those nights when you feel more warmth. I have a quilt from Enlightened Equipment in the USA - they have an excellent reputation. You will find a wealth of information on this site - enjoy your travels.
WT
Watertank
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 258
Joined: Thu 05 Apr, 2012 1:26 pm
Region: Victoria

Re: Bag or quilt

Postby warnesy » Sun 14 Mar, 2021 8:01 pm

I'm a quilt convert (Mine's a Mike quilt like tortoise) after many many years of using a big warm bag.

It's not quite as warm as my Kathmandu Rumdoodle, which I think I could sleep in just my jocks at everest basecamp, but on really cold nights I can layer up with thermals and beanie and it is perfect. On warmer nights, it is about 1000% better than having the bag and overall I prefer the ability to toss and turn in the quilt as opposed to the bag.
warnesy
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Sat 04 Apr, 2015 12:57 pm
Region: Australian Capital Territory

Re: Bag or quilt

Postby Ms_Mudd » Sun 14 Mar, 2021 8:28 pm

Moondog55 wrote:You are correct in your surmise that you will need mattresses, a sleeping system is only as warm as the mats you use and often are more important than the sleeping bag or quilt is concerned, luckily there is a great selection of mats that combine warmth and comfort and most are not too heavy.


Yes to this.
I had a beautiful -12C quilt from an Australian maker that did not work well for me anywhere near to 0C as the mat I was using at the time let the team down so I sold the quilt which I regret somewhat now. My mat did have an R Value of close to 4, but the design of it channeled cool air right into the middle of the pad when using a quilt.
I think for weight quilts are the go, just consider the whole system, unlike me.
Having said that, I am still using bags as memories of very chilly nights in my quilt days have scarred me :lol:
User avatar
Ms_Mudd
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 896
Joined: Fri 23 Mar, 2018 11:26 am
Location: NSW
Region: New South Wales
Gender: Female

Re: Bag or quilt

Postby Al M » Wed 17 Mar, 2021 11:32 pm

As a beginner to hiking you may find sleeping bags too restrictive, but it’s not to the extent that one cannot sleep.

I have one of Mikes Under cling -2 C quilts and it weighs about 550g and very impressed with it. I have taken it to middle Japan in winter hiking lower hills and mountain terrain in -2 or less conditions with a silk liner to add warmth and I am a warm curled up side sleeper so my butt sticks out sometimes therefore I do get drafts and have to manage it so it would have been better if I had ordered a little more width. In the mean time I try to sleep more on my back and legs straight. For about 80% of my trek/hike/ hostel travel needs it will do. A -4 C or higher quilt might be my next choice or when Mike has time I might ask for mods in future.

I also have highly rated Western Mountaineering 0 C 550g and -2 C 650g bags that I use with a liner that are very good. If it came down to colder and more extreme conditions these would be my choices due to the fact one can really batten down the hatches when it matters and max out the warmth (fully zipped over head with a peep hole to breath out from under and reduce a lot of heat loss around the head and neck and in a side curled position) and it wouldn’t matter if I rolled around a lot. They also have quilts and you can search for local suppliers, they are not cheap http://www.westernmountaineering.com/sleeping-bags/

I would still recommend a good quilt for most people wth less challenging conditions so long as their sleeping habits suit a quilt design.
Al M
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 162
Joined: Sun 28 May, 2017 2:15 am
Region: Western Australia
Gender: Male

Re: Bag or quilt

Postby MudAnt » Mon 22 Mar, 2021 9:36 pm

Thanks for all the great info. I'm tending towards a quilt with a good mat. I like the idea of more freedom with quilts. Also I don't own either (other then a very cheap bag that I've had for years) so if I get a quilt I won't know what I'm missing out on by not getting a bag.
As I'm new to this site I'm not sure how I contact Mike to see if he still makes quilts, or has some ready made ones in stock. By the comments it looks like he may not at the moment.
There are half a dozen camping shops in Hobart and between them all I've managed to see one quilt worth considering - a Sea to Summit Ember EBII. Anyone with views on these?
It seems like bags are still the 'go to' option for most people. And if Mike isn't producing at the moment and the SeaToSummit doesn't pass the test then I may end up with a bag simply because that's just about all I can find locally and time is running out for me with delivery during these covid times.
MudAnt
Nothofagus cunninghamii
Nothofagus cunninghamii
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat 13 Mar, 2021 11:41 am
Region: Tasmania

Re: Bag or quilt

Postby commando » Mon 22 Mar, 2021 10:05 pm

With identical fill and by inherent design a bag is warmer than a quilt, the same as a pair of shoes is warmer than pair of thongs. (Airflow)
If you are just getting into it and are mature age which means its not a life long internally motivated outdoor driven activity then there is a
good chance you would even be wasting money on anything that's really high quality, quilt or bag and you should contemplate a Dupont Dacron
Hollofil / Fiberfill bag at a reasonable price.
commando
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue 14 Jul, 2020 10:32 pm
Region: Australia

Re: Bag or quilt

Postby Tortoise » Tue 23 Mar, 2021 7:44 am

commando wrote:With identical fill and by inherent design a bag is warmer than a quilt, the same as a pair of shoes is warmer than pair of thongs. (Airflow)
If you are just getting into it and are mature age which means its not a life long internally motivated outdoor driven activity then there is a
good chance you would even be wasting money on anything that's really high quality, quilt or bag and you should contemplate a Dupont Dacron
Hollofil / Fiberfill bag at a reasonable price.

Hmm. The shoes vs thongs analogy doesn't work for a properly used quilt. There should be minimal airflow. If the quilt is too narrow for a side-sleeping tosser-and-turner, then yes, plenty of cold air can come in the sides. But choosing an appropriate width minimises this, as the sides of the quilt can be clipped into the elastic around the mat when it's colder. Which I know you don't like, but it is an option if you have a really cold night. But I find it's less claustrophobic turning over underneath the quilt, than getting twisted up with a sleeping bag.

I've used my -8C quilt to about -7, and been fine.* I'm a cold sleeper. As others have said, the choice of mat is crucial. I use my NeoAir XTherm if I'm expecting freezing conditions. *And whether you use a quilt or a bag, it's you can boost the warmth by wearing thermals (normally assumed in sleeping bag/quilt ratings, I gather) and a puffer jacket.

If you can afford it, I'd highly recommend getting something high quality, which means lighter and less bulk, which means a lighter and smaller pack is needed. Which all makes a massive difference to those in our 60s!! Do you have packs yet?
User avatar
Tortoise
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 4275
Joined: Sat 28 Jan, 2012 9:31 pm
Location: NW Tasmania
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Female

Re: Bag or quilt

Postby MudAnt » Tue 23 Mar, 2021 8:56 am

Tortoise wrote:
commando wrote: ... Do you have packs yet?


Not yet. One of the guys in one of the shops told me to get the gear I want/need then look at packs at the end. The idea being to get a pack that suits the gear I get. It sort of made sense when he told me.
MudAnt
Nothofagus cunninghamii
Nothofagus cunninghamii
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat 13 Mar, 2021 11:41 am
Region: Tasmania

Re: Bag or quilt

Postby Tortoise » Tue 23 Mar, 2021 9:27 am

MudAnt wrote:
Tortoise wrote:
commando wrote: ... Do you have packs yet?


Not yet. One of the guys in one of the shops told me to get the gear I want/need then look at packs at the end. The idea being to get a pack that suits the gear I get. It sort of made sense when he told me.

Excellent advice.
User avatar
Tortoise
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 4275
Joined: Sat 28 Jan, 2012 9:31 pm
Location: NW Tasmania
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Female

Re: Bag or quilt

Postby stry » Tue 23 Mar, 2021 10:55 am

I have both and use both.

If you want to feel as if you are under the doona at home, you will have either a very big and heavy quilt or a very drafty quilt.

If you use the quilt in the manner described by Tortoise, it can be as warm as a hoodless bag and also a little lighter, BUT it will also be a little more restrictive than you may think you want. No free lunches.

Many quilts are not much more than a flat quilt with a drawstring to attempt to reduce heat loss through the foot. No good IMO. My quilt (and Tortoise') successfully address these shortcomings but many do not - plus getting one is problematic for now.

I don't get the hangups about bags (and well set up quilts) being restrictive) That may be because I have been using bags for over 60 years and mummy bags for maybe 40 years. I have no issues with freedom of movement and quite like feeling snug but I am, or have become, a rather tidy sleeper (side sleeper) and have never been a thrasher. I doubt that a thrasher could get a warm nights sleep in anything. Thrashers will also have difficulty staying on their mat, which means more encounters with cold surfaces.

Again no free lunches. If you want to maximize freedom, something (or things) will be sacrificed.
stry
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1291
Joined: Mon 10 Jun, 2013 6:28 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Bag or quilt

Postby wildwanderer » Tue 23 Mar, 2021 2:51 pm

stry wrote:I have both and use both.

If you want to feel as if you are under the doona at home, you will have either a very big and heavy quilt or a very drafty quilt.

If you use the quilt in the manner described by Tortoise, it can be as warm as a hoodless bag and also a little lighter, BUT it will also be a little more restrictive than you may think you want. No free lunches.

...... SNIP....

I have no issues with freedom of movement and quite like feeling snug but I am, or have become, a rather tidy sleeper (side sleeper) and have never been a thrasher. I doubt that a thrasher could get a warm nights sleep in anything. Thrashers will also have difficulty staying on their mat, which means more encounters with cold surfaces.

Again no free lunches. If you want to maximize freedom, something (or things) will be sacrificed.


As always opinions/experiences vary.

I have a mike quilt in the wide version and a sewn footbox. When I had a sleeping bag I was a bit of a thrasher .. I'd change postions numerous times during the night and I'd always wake up twisted in the bag. was always a challenge getting out of it as well when everything was zipped up and the hood drawn tight.

A lot of my sleeping challenges have been solved with the quilt.

Quilt is wide enough that I can twist and sleep on my side and stomach and there is still enough width that there is no draft/gap between the quilt and the mat.

The quilt straps keep you on the mat.

Below zero I like a hood, so I wear my down jacket.

At -10 rated and 740 grams I feel I'm very much getting my lunch for free or at least 1/2 price.

Definitely agree that a good mat for the conditions is essential. I once did a detour on a trip in NZ and ended up in a old hut with suspended hessian 'bunks'. I didn't bring my mat and froze. Was -5c and well within the capability of the quilt but couldn't get warm because the cold was coming in through the hessian.
User avatar
wildwanderer
Auctorita modica
Auctorita modica
 
Posts: 1449
Joined: Tue 02 May, 2017 8:42 am
Region: New South Wales
Gender: Male

Re: Bag or quilt

Postby Drew » Thu 25 Mar, 2021 8:01 am

A note on mat choice for quilts. I've had an Enlightened Equipment Revelation for a few years and like it (although the temp rating was a bit oversold so I topped up the down - I hear that they have more fill in current models). My partner has one of Undercling Mike's quilts and it is fantastic, better than the EE. I own a Klymit Static insulated mat. It has a high R rating (maybe 4.2?) but due to the ridged design is not suitable for use with quilts. With a sleeping bag the bag's down fills those ridges to keep you insulated from the ground. With a quilt you're not lying atop any down so it can get cold. Probably unlikely you're looking at such a mat as they're not very common, but good to keep in mind!
Drew
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 710
Joined: Fri 13 Jan, 2012 11:16 am
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Bag or quilt

Postby Ms_Mudd » Thu 25 Mar, 2021 8:46 am

Yes to what Drew said. Exactly my own experience.
As I said in my earlier post, I froze my bits off anywhere near 0c in a -12c quilt with the same mat, given its R value being so high, I never once considered it was the mat design not the quilt itself...until after I sold the quilt and discussing the combo here.
User avatar
Ms_Mudd
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 896
Joined: Fri 23 Mar, 2018 11:26 am
Location: NSW
Region: New South Wales
Gender: Female

Re: Bag or quilt

Postby WestcoastPete » Thu 25 Mar, 2021 8:46 am

We swapped over to quilts quite a few years ago, mainly due to the promise of weight and bulk savings for similar warmth. It’s worked really well for us, using good mats. We bought 2x EE -6o Revelations when they first started making them and I’ve really liked them. I’ve been toasty in my undies at -1 in NZ. We almost always use ours clipped into the elastic and with the toe box drawn in. The tiny little hole there when the drawstring is tight is a bit annoying for draughts, but I just tuck it under me or put a t-shirt down there if it’s that bothersome.

I recently bought a lovely quilt from Tier Gear in Deloraine TAS. It’s excellent. It’s a touch heavier than the EEs but also warmer. I bought it because the kids are getting bigger and when we went on our first hike together, carrying the old bags and mats totally blew out the weight and made the hike suck a fair bit. We’re in Tassie too so this new quilt factored in colder conditions. The ordering process from Tier Gear was simple, and designs can be customised. I think the wait time was about 2 months?

As others have stated, the sleeping mat is very important. Hiking is always more enjoyable with less weight on your back, so I’d recommend going for the warmest lightweight mat you can find. I’m gearing up to buy a Thermarest XTherm. They’re so expensive! But my original Neo Air has been great, and R6.9 or 7.1 or whatever it is on the XTherm should mean I can go anywhere in Tas without much weight on my back. A decent alternative might be a S2S Etherlight. The might be slightly more comfortable and they’re a bit cheaper, but at the expense of a bit of insulation (R3.2 from memory?)
WestcoastPete
Nothofagus gunnii
Nothofagus gunnii
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu 25 Apr, 2013 10:35 pm
Region: Tasmania


Return to Equipment

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Nimbasa, Zapruda and 12 guests