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  1. #1
    slbear's Avatar
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    Summer Quilt decisions

    I posted on a couple threads, but thought I would start another on summer quilts so I don't take over an OP's discussion.

    I am looking forward to some summer trips - both hammock and beach trips that might have me on the ground a night or two. I have an HG Burrow 20F with 2oz extra, just for reference, and my original topquilts, an EE Rev 30F. I'm generally happy with the 30F in warmer weather, but I think I could go a little lighter (always!) With a couple of backpacks recently, my son has seen the light too (get it?) and wants to borrow a quilt for summer trips. We spent one night on the PCT last weekend and it was ~47F at night. My son took a Costco throw instead of his 20F sleeping bag. His tent buddy sleeps cold and always uses a -40F synthetic sleeping bag - talk about an odd couple. Not surprisingly his buddy doesn't backpack much. I'm not sure the Costco throw is sufficient for my son as we head to higher altitudes this summer.

    I would plan to pair this new summer quilt with a 40F Phincubator that I just got here on the for-sale forum. I'm weight and budget conscious, and want something delivered in about 4 weeks.

    So with that in mind, I've looked at a couple options and would welcome all feedback from others.

    1. HG, EE, or LL 40F quilt - I prefer new for TQs. List price is $219 to $285, and weight should be ~13 oz.

    2. 50F top quilt - same likely candidates plus a Wilderness Logics SSTQ. These will all be sewn through - no baffles - if I understand that right. Cost and weight are better, $159 to $250s at ~10-11 oz. I've been sleeping colder lately, although I attribute that to not having my Phoenix UQ adjusted just so - Hopefully the Phincubator solves that problem.

    3. Jacks R Better Sierra Stealth. They advertise this as 40-45F quilt and it is also sewn through. The appeal here is that I could leave behind my 6.7oz down Montbell Anorak and wear this in camp in cold evenings or mornings. Cost is $200 to $210. Weight is 17.5, but effectively 10.8 oz when I subtract out my anorak. I'm really interested to know if anyone has these and uses them in this way. What forecasted temps would you take this and use it as your walk-around-camp insulation?

    4. HG Burrow 40 looks interesting at a great price. I would get it for my son, and just keep using the EE 30 in warmer weather. I don't save any weight this way, but it's the lowest cost option here.

    Thanks in advance for feedback and advice.

    Slbear

  2. #2
    dakotaross's Avatar
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    If you want down, I think the HG Econ Burrow 40 is the way to go. If you want synthetic, I just acquired one of JustBill's Primaloft TQs for not much more and at the same weight, rated to 45. Well thought out and sewn.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

  3. #3
    blgoode's Avatar
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    My SS wilderness logic is heavier than my EE 30 degree revelation. Marty's stuff runs a bit heavier than some.

    I think a 40 degree is the more usable option to have that 20 degree rating buffer in case the temps drop some.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by dakotaross View Post
    If you want down, I think the HG Econ Burrow 40 is the way to go. If you want synthetic, I just acquired one of JustBill's Primaloft TQs for not much more and at the same weight, rated to 45. Well thought out and sewn.
    If going to high elevations often- you may be better pursuing a 40* down piece as you mentioned.
    I do have a batch of my 45* synthetics in progress though so if you wanted a quick ship option there will be some sitting here and ready to ship shortly.

    Though the trick works with some other quilts, my quilt is designed to stack over down pieces for colder weather use as well as to function as a camp puffy as well. They are also cut for ground use (bit wider/longer).

    Feel free to email as I'm not "open" so I can't really direct you to a website at this time. Although here is a link to some pics and info I've been putting together- https://1drv.ms/f/s!Apygyt54yYPwg48atvi04-yf_qgMSA

  5. #5
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    Depending upon the weather, my summer TQ is typically just a bag liner combined with dry camp clothing. In the cooler spring nights, tend to use a 40 degree TQ. Think about layering your sleeping system just like with clothing...

  6. #6
    slbear's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the recommendations on the 40 deg options.

    Just a Quilt looks interesting in the way that JRB's Sierra Stealth quilts look interesting. Saving a few ounces and still being warm is always a good idea, but I have yet to hear anyone who actually uses the JRB quilt regularly. I'm probably just not traveling in the right circles, but you would think there would be more reviews and evangelists out there singing the praises. Unless it's something you really don't use that often. I can climb into any quilt and shelter to stay warm in a hypothermia situation. I was hoping the design made it something you would want to use on a cool night or morning around - but I'm skeptical. But I'm also still open - I want it to be a good thing - just waiting to hear the user reports.

    This has me leaning near term to a 40 deg quilt for me or my son. I wish one of the vendors would have had a May Day sale. That slight discount usually pushes me over the edge.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by slbear View Post
    Thanks all for the recommendations on the 40 deg options.

    Just a Quilt looks interesting in the way that JRB's Sierra Stealth quilts look interesting. Saving a few ounces and still being warm is always a good idea, but I have yet to hear anyone who actually uses the JRB quilt regularly. I'm probably just not traveling in the right circles, but you would think there would be more reviews and evangelists out there singing the praises. Unless it's something you really don't use that often. I can climb into any quilt and shelter to stay warm in a hypothermia situation. I was hoping the design made it something you would want to use on a cool night or morning around - but I'm skeptical. But I'm also still open - I want it to be a good thing - just waiting to hear the user reports.

    This has me leaning near term to a 40 deg quilt for me or my son. I wish one of the vendors would have had a May Day sale. That slight discount usually pushes me over the edge.
    The Jacks stuff had more presence in the UL/LD hiking world as to be honest, many hammock users would carry a jacket for camp vs. the LD hiker who is likely to really appreciate the camp puffy options, so I think that's why you don't see it here as often as perhaps BPL or WB. Though EE and zpacks have really dominated those markets of late and many LD hikers have adopted a "walking or sleeping- not camping" attitude so the jacks trick feels less relevant these days to many of those folks.

    For my part- I prefer the way mine go (I really need a video, lol).
    I pull the foot box up over my torso (picture the quilt upside-down and you step into it). So I'm basically wearing a vest that stops at my armpits with the rest of the quilt hanging down from my butt and the opening at my legs. Bit like an exaggerated tuxedo with tails.

    If it's not too chilly, I can sit on the rest of it, or let it hang down when sitting at the fire to protect the back of my legs but let them be warmed by the fire.
    If it's colder out- I can flip up the body of the quilt over my back, cover up my shoulders and a decent bit of my arms (like a cape) and then use the wings to tie it off.
    This means that my torso up front and shoulders has at least one layer of insulation (quilt), but my back has two layers. In PLG that means roughly 45/50* up front and 25/30* in back. I find that combo nice as if I'm up at a camp it's probably enjoying a fire- so I don't roast in front and freeze in back.

    Even better- I can grab an oversized windshell or raincoat that I am already carrying and put that on over the quilt for a true camp puffy. This is more of a SUL type trick if you find yourself on an unexpectedly cold night or going over a pass in a bit of a storm. In a truly bad night (big cold front blows through on a speed hike)- then you night hike with your camp puffy and sleep the next morning when temps are warmer.

    With a synthetic- Considering I'm often around fire when employing these tricks- I don't need to freak out about an errant spark or a branch snaggling me when I leave the fire to pee and my night vision isn't quite ready to avoid every twig. And if I'm on a fast and light trip... I don't need to worry about saving my sleeping bag as a "last resort" if I'm chilled in the rain or up on a pass during a break and want to use it as a shawl as the Primaloft Gold retains about 92% of it's value when wet- so as a shawl or under a wind shell (where you would drive moisture via sweat into it) I don't need to be concerned about it.

    Come deeper winter- the synthetic outer makes a good second bag for quilt stacking. Adding roughly 20* to your sleep system. So if you have a nice 20* down and a 45* summer synthetic... getting to zero is quite possible and you're back to utilizing all the camp puffy tricks in the colder temps without having to endanger your safety piece (the down bag) by dragging it around camp. And the synthetic is already warmed up so when you do crawl into bed you get a jump start on getting that down bag warmed up. I like to think of it like a typical layering system- where the down piece is your insulation and the synthetic summer bag your shell.

    So all in all- a nice down piece will last a long time with care, and with the lower humidity generally present out west it gets harder to choose. And if you aren't camping much or may end up in katabatic zones or pockets then it makes sense to go with a bit of an overdone (30* down) single quilt because as you pointed out... you can always just crawl in and be covered.

    A good synthetic though can truly be a jack of all trades piece for summer trips since you don't need to baby it- so that's the edge it has IMO. Though I am still in the early stages of developing the Primaloft Gold for sleeping gear... I sought that out as it doesn't have the compression issue that Apex does and it drapes much better as well. More like a nice jacket than a brillo pad with a nylon shell. Primaloft Gold is less susceptible to the breakage and premature wear common with continuous fill synthetics... the trade-off is the quilting requirements adding cost and complexity. That said- it was actually my very positive long term use of the Patagonia Nano-puff line that led me to explore PLG as that is a very popular and capable jacket that many find very durable and capable of taking abuse- which is what I wanted in a synthetic do everything insulation piece.

    A good down bag is still a good down bag- you'll more often find me talking someone into one of those over one of mine.
    But I do feel there is a narrow window for a premium synthetic beater bag for a lot of folks who are looking for the most bang for their gram in summer conditions and understand what this product can and can't do for them.
    Last edited by Just Bill; 05-02-2017 at 13:33.

  8. #8
    slbear's Avatar
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    Hi JustBill,

    I totally get what you are saying about the benefits of the synthetic quilt. I don't get what you mean by
    "I pull the foot box up over my torso (picture the quilt upside-down and you step into it). So I'm basically wearing a vest that stops at my armpits with the rest of the quilt hanging down from my butt and the opening at my legs."
    a selfie would work in lieu of a video. The PDF is informative - the way you describe the use and benefit of the quilt is good.

    I appreciate your point about why thru-hikers don't think about camp lazy time - their priorities are eating and sleeping. However, I'm sure the your synthetic quilt appeals to the multi-purpose and durability aspects - and for the safety in case it does get wet. My body won't allow me to hike all my waking hours, and when camping with boy scouts, camp time is important.

    For me, being mostly out west, and aspiring to a 12 lb base weight, I've been pretty much committed to down. I'm interested to hear what other head-hole quilt wearers say - I know some of you are out there! I might not do anything before my June trip, but I'll be thinking about the Just A Quilt next time I'm standing at the campfire.

  9. #9
    slbear's Avatar
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    George at Loco Libre has me back thinking about a 50F quilt. If only his lead-time wasn't 8 weeks on the new Operator series.

    Another thread also reminded me about the benefits of wearing long pant/sleeve sleepwear so keep the grime or salt off your hammock/pad or top quilt. Even lightweight merino and a 50F quilt sounds like a good set.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by slbear View Post
    George at Loco Libre has me back thinking about a 50F quilt. If only his lead-time wasn't 8 weeks on the new Operator series.

    Another thread also reminded me about the benefits of wearing long pant/sleeve sleepwear so keep the grime or salt off your hammock/pad or top quilt. Even lightweight merino and a 50F quilt sounds like a good set.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    https://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?p_id=2305113

    Lots of options but a light wind pant is likely in a typical summer backpack and doubles as a good way to keep your bag cleaner without bringing a base layer pant you're unlikely to need. A windshell top is a nice choice for this too.
    From a SUL perspective... if you don't need the sleep clothes for warmth...your ounces are better spent on the bag itself. A few ounces will get you a 40* vs a 50* down bag...but you won't find a base layer pant for much less than 6-8oz.

    Ps. Hope to get the "camp puffy trick" together this afternoon.

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