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  1. #1
    Senior Member lesspayne's Avatar
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    Wool Blanket Vs Down TQ

    My current setup for cold weather is a full length New River UQ and Kelty sleeping bag which work great at keeping me warm, but are not the easiest to pack and take up alot of room. I am probally going to get a down 3/4 UQ. The top quilt is still up for debate.

    I am live in south Louisiana and the temperatures never get too much below 25-30 degrees in the winter time and the last time I saw snow was 5 or 6 years ago, it didn't last more than an hour or two before it was gone. As far as camping farther north, I will only do that in the late spring to early fall as I'm not too big on cold temperatures.

    So I have read alot about down and no doubt I can get an OQ that will compress down smaller than my current sleeping bag and keep me plenty warm, but the price of both a down OQ and UQ is pretty expensive.

    However, after watching Dave Canterbury's channel on YouTube, I am wondering if a queen or king size wool blanket will keep me warm in the weather I expect and don't expect and compress smaller than my sleeping bag? I can save a few dollars if I go the route of a Wool blanket as my TQ.

    So does anyone use a wool blanket as their TQ and if so how cold of temperatures have you used it in? Does it pack up smaller than a syenthic sleeping bag?
    Last edited by lesspayne; 12-06-2013 at 12:50.

  2. #2
    PIF Moderator
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    This past summer, if want to call it that, in upper MI I got caught by an unexpected cold front moving through. I was expecting temps in the 50's at night and got caught with temps in high 30's/low 40's with a brisk north wind. I had a JRB Nest rated 25-30F but a DIY top quilt that I had purchased from another member. I about froze my butt off the first night.

    The following night I used the JRB UQ, tossed a Harbor Freight wool blanket over me, then the DIY down quilt over that. Slept like a baby.

    How well your wool will compress/roll down depends on your size. I use a twin sized one and it rolls down to half the size of my 30F synthetic sleeping bag. Obviously if you are using a full, queen, king sized wool blanket, it won't roll down that small.

    Please keep in mind that the quality of the wool blanket you use will greatly impact the warmth of it. The Harbor Freight wool blankets are an 85/15 blend and they do a good job but I also have a twin sized Orrlaskan wool blanket that is 100% wool, soft as can be, not so heavy, and a lot warmer than the Harbor Freight wool blanket. Good news is I can carry the HF blanket in my trailer, on a pack, in the back of my truck and if I stain it or tear it up...who cares..10.00 and I have a new one. That is not the case with Orrlaskan

  3. #3
    Senior Member Wlb007's Avatar
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    The wool blanket is pretty big and heavy. there is a golite adrenalin 40 in the for sale thread that is listed as adrenalin 20, it is $150 now and was close to $400 new. It would prob be all you would ever need. if it gets cold add a pair of long johns or a sleeping bag liner for winter and as is it will be good all summer. that bag will compress smaller than a volleyball and has the center zip perfect for a hammock. you could flip it over and use it as a quilt if you prefer as it is center zip.

  4. #4
    Ratdog's Avatar
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    I use a wool blanket to supplement my 20 degree mummy bag which serves as a topquilt. If temps dip below 30 I will add a KAQ Jarbidge or new River to the top quilt setup.

    The wool blanket goes under my head and over my shoulders, arms and chest.

    One of the limitations I have with the topquilt setup I am using is that it often leaves my shoulders exposed. The mummy bag was meant to be zipped and then there's the hood.

    The KAQ stuff I use on my legs and torso, maybe pull it up under my chin but the shoulders are still exposed. I love having a wool blanket to add that something extra to keep warm.

    Car camping or short hiking you can bring all kinds of stuff, unfortunately backpacking finds my wool blanket left at home. Not sure I could use only a wool blanket unless temps are in the mid 40's, then it works for me by itself.
    Have sherpas, will travel...

  5. #5
    PIF Moderator
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    RatDog is right. If I was hiking/backpack for any distance the wool blanket would have to stay home. My twin sized ones run about 4.5 pounds so I would not want to carry it along with the rest of my gear very far. Car camping, base camping, motorcycle camping I always carry a wool blanket...otherwise, it stays home.

  6. #6
    mbiraman's Avatar
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    +1 on the weight issue. Just because its wool doesn't mean its any good. Like everything in life you get what you pay for. A good wool blanket is a wonder, AND it costs $$ and weights allot. I did a night out last spring with my wool cloths and what i thought was a decent wool blanket i had. 40 degrees , no fire, on an insulation bed of pine needles on the ground. I did ok but a few weeks later was gifted a Hudson Bay Blanket. I then understood the difference in wool blankets,,,,the HBB being far superior. Their expensive but worth the money if you want to go that route. Not really a backpacking item
    " The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it."

    “The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate, but in what you give away.” ~Wayne Dyer

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  7. #7
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Car camping I'm known to bring the wool, but a decent wool blanket is going to weigh about 7 lbs. That's not going in my backpack.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Given the temps you've described, you might consider looking at Wilderness Logics Summer Series quilts.

    Considerably cheaper than the ones rated for cold temps, and considerably lighter and more packable than anything else with comparitive temperature ratings.

    I agree with what's already been said on the subject of wool blankets. They're warm, and they hold insulative value even when wet...but they're bulky and heavy compared to pretty much any other form of insulation.

  9. #9
    Acer's Avatar
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    I would love to use my 100% wool Red Hudson Bay 4 point Trading Blanket as I use it sometimes car camping as it will toast you even at 20 degrees with long johns on but it weighs in at 6lbs 4 oz. Had it over 35 yrs or more and its like new as they will take a beating and less for the wear. Had 2 at one time and took the other one and made me a coat out of it with a hood too..its hot and heavy as well but toasty warm. Hard to get 100% wool saturated wet as well.

  10. #10
    Senior Member lesspayne's Avatar
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    Thanks. I will give the WL TQ some research Owl.
    As far as weight goes, as long as I can stay under 40 lbs for my hiking trips (I usually don't hike more than 6 miles in one day) I'll be fine. What I'm looking for is something that I can pack in my 1500 cubic inch EMS packable daypack with my UQ and strap to my Molly Macpack. Currently I can only fit my New Rivers UQ in this pack, my sleeping bag gets put in the compression sac it came with but it doesn't compress down very small. It would be ideal if I could wrap my UQ in a wool blanket and shove it in my EMS daypack or stuff both my UQ and TQ into my EMS daypack to stay warm in the winter weather hiking trips.

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