Greatings. I am new to hanging and in the process of putting together my gear. I am most likely to go with a DIY top quilt, but maybe not depending on time. Regardless of which option I go with, I need to determine what size quilt. I have read and searched through all of the posts in top quilt section the DIY section and BPL and while there are some good recommendations, I can't find anything definitive on how to size a top quilt. To further complicate matters, recommendations appear to vary across manufacturers. How do we figure out the size of a quilt that is "just right" (not too big and not too small).
I am going to use my body size as an example, but I am hoping that out of this comes a reference for future newbie hangers like myself. My specs:
- Height: 6' 0" (72"); 63" to my chin
- Weight: 175 lbs
- Body type: Slim / Athletic build
- Chest and arms: All around- 50"; On back - 33"; On side - 39"
- Shoe size: 11.5"
- Sleep Style: Side and some back; Occasionally change positions through the night, but not a thrasher
There seems to be two schools of camp here: Short and Long.
I have read some rules of thumb were you add 6-8" to your height to get the length if you are using draw strings. Also that body shape can take some inches off. Using this would put me in the long camp (78").
Question 1: How should the quilt fit? Should it go to my chin, over my head, or somewhere in between? How loose should it be? Does it matter on the season?
Question 2: Are there better guidelines for length that takes into account design (sewn vs cinched), foot size, body type?
Quilt Top Width
For the top width I have read that the dimensions depend on whether you are a back or slide sleeper, how much "wiggle" room you need, and whether you plan on going to the ground. There have been some other rules I read based on total chest size and coat size, but the below rules makes the most sense to me.
Back sleepers: Lay flat on the floor and have someone take a measurement from the floor by one shoulder, across your chest to the floor on the other shoulder. Also measure at the elbows and at your wrists down by your sides. Add several inches to drape your body and prevent drafts.
Side sleepers: Lie on your side, one shoulder on the ground, the other up. For minimum width you definitely want the edges touching the ground. Add another 6 to 12 inches for "wiggle room".
Question 3: What is the appropriate adders for draping and wiggle room? Does it make a difference for hammock or ground?
Question 4: Are there better guidelines I should use?
Quilt Bottom Width (foot box)
It appears that the bottom width is driven by foot size and that we want the bottom of the quilt to wrap around our feet comfortably when cinched or sewn.
For a cinched foot box, I think it makes sense to calculate the width based on the circumference of a circle that uses your foot length as the diameter. We can use the formula C = 2πr = πd, or use an online calculator. Based on my foot size of 11.5", I need a minimum bottom width of roughly 36.25".
For a sewn rectangular box, I am guessing that you would make the height of the rectangle the length of you foot plus some for wiggle. The length of the would probably be based on how far your feet spread when laying plus some room for wiggle. To get the width of the quilt bottom that would be sewn to the box, you would simple add the lengths of all four sides of the rectangle.
Question 5: Do the above guidelines make sense?
Question 6: How much extra should we add to allow for comfort, wiggle, cinching and so the insulation isn't overly tight?
It seems some quilts are full taper, others are half taper while others are 2/3 tapered.
Question 7: How do you determine which taper is right for you?
Testing the size
Unfortunately, we can't just go to the store and try a quilt out (hence our original problem). Also we don't want to figure out the fit by trial and error by ordering or sewing different sizes. So it seems the best advice I have read is to mock up a quilt using a bed sheet folded to the dimensions figured out above. The folds can be secured with safety pins or binder clips. Experiment until you find dimensions that provide enough wiggle room for your needs.
Question 8: Any specific guidelines on determining best overall fit?