I'd go with 20* top and bottom quilts. That way, you'll be good to go the majority of the time. I live in the Adirondacks in NY and by watching the weather forecasts and picking my dates, I camped out once a month all fall and winter. When it gets warm, venting the UQ works fine, and I just use a fleece sleeping bag liner and/or cheap fleece blanket instead of a top quilt. I thought I'd be adding 40* rated quilts to my arsenal later on, but I really don't see myself spending the money; it just doesn't seem that necessary to me.
Take it easy,
Thanks for all the good info everyone!! I think I am going to go with 20* TQ and 20* UQ that way i am prepared for the cold if I so choose...I live at the base of a mountain, and it is hitting mid to low 30's at night still on the mountain right now...so if I want a true 3 season solution I think the 20* for both is my best option. I also like the idea of just using the fleece liner for warmer nights.
I don't have a TQ, yet...looking at a Burrow 20* from HG. I have the 0* Phoenix from Adam, love it...stay really toasty. I have used my 20* synthetic bag from ALPS Mountaineering as a TQ, works, but the hood is a pain, and even if I remove it, it's still really bulky and heavy.
I went with the 0* Phoenix based on a call with Adam...I live in WI and talked to him about the areas that I will be going in to. He recommended to go into the 0*, not the 20*, as I could just vent it. It's a choice that I made and haven't regretted it. Real tests will come this summer, and seeing how I will sleep on all the Scout Campouts we go on...
Good Luck, let us know what you find!
I use my 20* Phoenix all year. If I decide to do some really cold camping I bring my jarbridge and use both the Phoenix and the jarbridge together.
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I didn't see where anybody mentioned Leigh's quilts at HammockQuilts.com.
She sells 30* and 15* quilts.
Perhaps the 30* would be a good compromise between the 20* and 40*.
I sleep hot - so that set up would be too much for me - unless I kept my TQ pretty loose and an arm and leg outside it most of the time.