The MT. Washington 4 underquilt that I had ordered from the Jacks during their sale last week arrived in the mail yesterday. As always, the ordering process like the shipping was fast. This is my first experience with a down product so I was excited to pull the quilt out of the box and look it over. The box was neatly packed with my quilt loosely stuffed in one of those zipped plastic bags that bedding comes in from stores. Also in the box were a set of underquilt suspension lines and a stuff sack.
Upon pulling the quilt from it's packaging the first few things that ran through my head, almost simultaneously, were 1. Wow I actually really like the look of the new olive green color. This was a surprise to me because I didnt think I would like it when viewing it on the JRB website 2. I cant believe the high quality of the product considering it came from a small business which is ran, possibly even sewed, by two guys back east somewhere. 3. Man this thing is thin, I wonder if they forgot to stuff it with down. 4. This thing is pretty light weight, I'm sure they forgot to stuff it with down.
I remembered watching a youtube video that said to shake down quilts after you pull it out of it's packaging/stuff sack to bring the down back to life. So I gave the quilt a shake and laid it over the back of my couch. Again I thought about the nice color and the quality of the product. I also remember thinking about the differential baffles, I guess I thought I would see something strange on the outside of the quilt that I could claim as being differential baffles.
Well I had just biked home from work so I decided to go shower and clean up prior to hanging the quilt. In the shower I came to the conclusion that the Jacks had shipped me the wrong quilt, there was no way something that thin would keep me warm, and I'm a warm sleeper, down to zero degrees. I concluded that when I got out of the shower I would look at the receipt that was in the box. When I got out of the shower I did just that and found it was the Mt. Washington 4 underquilt I had ordered. Well I guess I will go hang it up on my JRB bridge hammock to check it out, maybe it's not fully lofted yet. I said to myself
I walked into my second room and took the ENO doublenest off the stand (I hate my ENO compared to my bridge. I try to make myself use the ENO at home so I dont wear out my bridge as fast) and I put of the bridge hammock. The instructions for the UQ suspension were easy to follow and I had hung my quilt in no time. Man this thing looks good hanging off my bridge hammock. Nice green color on a black hammock. Two of my three favorite colors. My set up is going to look awesome when all together. Black tarp, black hammock, green UQ.
By now the quilt had gotten some of its loft back, but I was still shocked how "airy" the stuffing felt. Keep in mind this is my first experience with down. I'm used to insulation in my sleeping bags that is thick and provides resistance when you push on it. Kind of like laying your head on your pillow, it's fluffy but will compress and get hard. Not this quilt, it feels like it's stuffed with California air (a little thicker than Arizona air).
I was still thinking there was no way this thing would keep me warm anywhere near freezing. My best guess was 50 degrees or so...then I climbed in the hammock and almost instantly started sweating. I was really surprised to feel so much heat radiating back at me so quickly, I forced myself to stay in the hammock for about 3 minutes but was very hot when I got out. Ok, now I believe this will keep me warm down to freezing. I suppose I'm just not used to the high quality, lightness, and warmth of down. I remember thinking something like "now I see why there are ultra light backpackers out there, you can be warm, and comfortable without carrying tons of weight if you get down products".
Despite my initial thoughts that this quilt would not keep me warm, I now have no doubt that it will. The 2nd biggest question I was wondering as I was waiting for the quilt in the mail was if it would be worth the $300+ I spent on it. To fully answer this question I will have to try it outdoors on a cold night. However, after my initial look over I would say yes, I think this will turn out to be one of the better purchases I have made when it comes to camping gear.
The biggest question I was wondering as I was waiting for the quilt in the mail was if it would be worth the 90 days of physical torture I committed myself to in order to get this quilt. You see, I have been wanting this quilt for about a year now. My wife has been wanting me to do this P90X program you see on TV for the last year or so. When the quilt went on sale I tried to explain to my wife why I needed it, for some reason she just didn't believe me. So I had to pull out the desperation card and tell her I would do this program if I could buy the quilt. She agreed! I ordered the quilt and started the workouts. I was glad my quilt showed up on the 4th day of my workout so I could stare at the reason I was doing what I was doing! Anyway I think it will be worth it at the end, although my body might hate me by then!