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Thread: Baffles FAQ

  1. #1

    Baffles FAQ

    So I have searched around this forum for info on baffles, but had a hard time trying to figure out some stuff. I don't know much about them, but I figured it might be a good idea to start a FAQ thread, maybe we can get it stickied I will edit this first post as you all help me fill in info and add to it.

    I have no idea what differential baffles are. what other info should be here?


    What are Baffles?



    Baffles are strips of fabric that are sewn to the top fabric and bottom fabric so that the top and bottom have a space between them. Simply sewing would mean that the stitch would be a thin spot, thus a cold spot. It a;sp allows for a barrier to prevent the down or insulation from shifting to one spot. The baffles for these quilts are basically long rectangular strips of noseeum netting that act as 'walls' to separate and keep the down in individualized compartments. Remember that the temperature rating for a bag is based on how much loft the bag has. A summer quilt typically has about 1" of loft , and 20 degree bags about 3" . Usually make the baffles the loft height plus extra to be able to sew them in and the length depends on how long the quilt is.

    Notes: You gotta have a sewing machine to do this (obviously). Thread type doesn't matter too much, but make sure it's not too thick. You want to use the smallest needle possible so you don't make big holes (facilitates down leakage), and i also use a low-thread count (8-10per inch) for the same reason.

    What are Differential Baffles?
    The idea behind differential baffles is that they are by nature no uniform. They may be shaped to form more fitted blankets. This means that you will have baffles that are different lengths, shapes or may be sewn to the top and bottom at different intervals.






    Shaped like a rainbow you described, this would hug the bottom of the hammock.


    Why use No-Seeum fabric for Baffles?
    No-Seeum fabric is both cheap and light, it allows for a barrier to prevent the down or insulation from shifting to one spot.

    Which direction should my baffles go?
    There is allot of discussion on this, there are pros and cons to both. Essentially the two main approaches are these:





    Are there other types of baffles?

    HELP on this one too
    Last edited by ryan112ryan; 12-30-2009 at 10:34.

  2. #2
    Any help on these questions and for you all to suggest questions would be great!

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    Senior Member
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    Differential, as I understand it, simply means that the spacing between the baffles is different for the top and bottom layers. This allows for better coverage on a curved surface, aka your hammock. For instance, if your bottom layer of baffles were spaced every 4 inches, the baffles on the top layer might be 3.5 inches.

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    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
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    anything you sew can be sewn by hand- machines just make it faster and more regular. on the up side, having the gear for hand sewing means you can field modify or repair at need. no electric required. KM

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    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Differential means the baffles are in three dimensions. This usually means that, rather than the baffle material being shaped like a rectangle, it could be shaped like a rainbow to allow the quilt to better shape to the occupant's body (though usually not as severe of a curve as a rainbow).

    jbryan's response was correct as well. Sewing a baffle to the top layer at every 3.5" and to the bottom layer at every 4" will prevent pressure on the top layer from compressing insulation. A quilt that is truly baffled along the length and width of the occupant will use shaped baffles, as in the paragraph above, and different spacing along the baffles.

    Differential baffles could also mean that the baffle width (but probably not baffle height) may be different for a baffle at the shoulders than for a baffle at the feet, so the quilt will be tailored to the occupant, thus saving weight. The opposite of this would be a square quilt, where baffles are identical throughout the quilt.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jeff View Post
    Differential means the baffles are in three dimensions. This usually means that, rather than the baffle material being shaped like a rectangle, it could be shaped like a rainbow to allow the quilt to better shape to the occupant's body (though usually not as severe of a curve as a rainbow).

    jbryan's response was correct as well. Sewing a baffle to the top layer at every 3.5" and to the bottom layer at every 4" will prevent pressure on the top layer from compressing insulation. A quilt that is truly baffled along the length and width of the occupant will use shaped baffles, as in the paragraph above, and different spacing along the baffles.

    Differential baffles could also mean that the baffle width (but probably not baffle height) may be different for a baffle at the shoulders than for a baffle at the feet, so the quilt will be tailored to the occupant, thus saving weight. The opposite of this would be a square quilt, where baffles are identical throughout the quilt.
    Like this?


    OR this?


    Here is the one that looks like a rainbow you described, this would hug the bottom of the hammock.

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    LostCause's Avatar
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    There are also Karo Step baffles. They are short baffles instead of the long continuous ones from end to end. This can bit more involved with measuring and marking, but eliminates the step of weighing the down.

    See here for examples and a better explanation.
    TeeDee's quilt
    AnimalControl's quilt
    JerryW's quilt
    My quilt

  8. #8
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan112ryan View Post
    OR this?
    Differential baffles would look like this if it were a top quilt, and the entire quilt would be curved to lay on top of you with no compression. An underquilt would have the baffles facing the other direction. Both of these work very well with darts to account for the larger area of the outer layer, IMO.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

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  9. #9
    Senior Member TinaLouise's Avatar
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    Something I also did when drawing and then making my differential under quilt was to fatten out the sides and make the foot and head end shorter, sort of looks like this: () and then also added darts on the sides so now it's kind of banana shaped. So it's no longer a rectangle. I have the baffles running from head to foot but because I shortened those ends, I had to do some "creative" stuffing!!! I also have different heights on the baffles with the shorter heights being near the foot and head ends, really thick (high baffles) in the middle and center.

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