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  1. #1
    Senior Member sbmcghee's Avatar
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    Ray-way or Thru-Hiker

    I know a few people around here have Ray's and/or Thru-Hiker's quilt. I've been thinking about picking up a kit from Ray. From the threads I've read, it seems to do a good job in keeping out the cold and the instructions are clear even for a novice like me. Plus with a few of the bells and whistles it's only $100, so it's very hard to beat in that category. Thru-Hiker's quilt comes close to it in price though. It looks like directions for it aren't as easy though.

    I just can't seem to get a good idea of how well this thing packs down since it's not using down. I read that the packed dimensions are 10"x21". This seems awfully big to me. Anybody know if this is right?

    How about Thru-Hiker's quilt?

    Input from both sides would be helpful.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein

  2. #2
    Mrprez's Avatar
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    I had the Ray-Way quilt and while it did a great job, it was a bit of a space hog. What I did though was to use a pack liner and stuff the quilt into the bottom of my sil-nylon pack. Then, put everything else on top. That way the pack was always full and rode pretty well. It is an Equinox Katahdin frameless pack. That worked pretty well. The quilt is very easy to make even for a novice seamster. I can't speak for thru-hiker's quilt. I've only seen the one the Risk made. He carried it in his modified G4 pack which is slightly larger than the Go-Lite Breeze and packed it the same way.

    Either one of these would be a good quilt, but for hammocking you might want to make them a bit narrower than the plans call for.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrprez View Post
    I had the Ray-Way quilt and while it did a great job, it was a bit of a space hog. What I did though was to use a pack liner and stuff the quilt into the bottom of my sil-nylon pack. Then, put everything else on top. That way the pack was always full and rode pretty well. It is an Equinox Katahdin frameless pack. That worked pretty well. The quilt is very easy to make even for a novice seamster. I can't speak for thru-hiker's quilt. I've only seen the one the Risk made. He carried it in his modified G4 pack which is slightly larger than the Go-Lite Breeze and packed it the same way.

    Either one of these would be a good quilt, but for hammocking you might want to make them a bit narrower than the plans call for.
    My wife made me an Alpine Ray Way Quilt. Works great but it does take up a lot of space. A KAQ UQ and the Ray Way didn't leave a lot of space in my Vapor Trail. With something like a large Golite pack or a ULA Catalyst it might work fine.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Heber's Avatar
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    What do you mean by thru-hiker's quilt? I have made a synthetic quilt using materials I purchased from thru-hiker but AFAIK there is no quilt pattern or kit available from thru-hiker for a synthetic quilt.

    Now there are directions for a down quilt on thru-hiker's site but since you are comparing to a ray-way I assume you are thinking about making a synthetic quilt.

    I haven't found that space in my pack is a huge issue. But synthetic quilts don't pack down as small as down for the same temperature rating so you have to expect that the synthetic quilt will be a bit bulky compared to a down quilt.

  5. #5
    Mrprez's Avatar
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    Thru-hiker's is a down quilt.

  6. #6
    Doctari's Avatar
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    I have the RayWay, easy to make if you follow ALL of the directions*. I have the alpine upgrade.

    They can pack small(ish): mine easily fits in a #4 MSR stuff sack, & with a bit of effort it will fit in a #3.



    *Sew it all together INSULATION SIDE DOWN!
    When you have a backpack on, no matter where you are, you’re home.
    PAIN is INEVITABLE. MISERY is OPTIONAL.

  7. #7

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    I have the Ray Way with Alpine upgrade. My mother sewed it for me. She's been sewing for over 50 years and says it was very frustrating to sew (maybe she skipped a step or didn't follow the directions explicitly?). It does not pack down very small but can be compressed if using a compression bag. It is nowhere near as small as an equivalently rated down quilt. It is WARM though.

  8. #8
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    Something to keep in mind is you can use the directions I put together to make the thru-hiker quilt to work as a top or bottom quilt. The rayway quilt would be harder to pull off as a top and bottom quilt.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  9. #9
    Senior Member animalcontrol's Avatar
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    I have made 3 top/under quilts using the 3 different weights of Climashield from Thru-hiker. I have not made a Ray-way quilt (I couldn't find out what insulation he was using and I wanted Climashield so I made my own. I believe that Ray recently switched from Polarguard 3D to Climashield...verify that)
    Pros for Vs Down - Climashield:
    CHEAP! Light 2.5-5.0 oz/yd and easy to quilt. WARM! IMO, the temp rating given on Thru-hiker match up (I'm a warm sleeper)
    I have a total of $150 in materials for all 3 quilts. They weight between 7 (40 F) and 18 oz (20 F). I have NO sewing skills...my wife will verify!

    Cons:
    They do not compress as well as down. I also put the quilt in the bottom of my pack and fill it, letting the other gear compress it as far as needed.
    While Climashield is cheaper, I'm sure it will not last (loft) as long as down does. How long will it last? I don't know...

    My quilts are simple compared to a Ray-way...no draft tubes or anything. I made an 18" footbox using snaps and tuck the top end under me in the hammcock. I was warm this weekend using the 20 F quilt down to 22 F...
    "Every day is a new day to a better future"
    "Of all the things that matter, that really and truly matter, working more efficiently and getting more done is not among them." ~ Mike Dooley
    "What if I told you that you couldn't have anymore of anything... No more friends, no more money, no more anything, until you first got happy with what you have?"~ Mike Dooley
    "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." ~ Socrates

  10. #10
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Take-a-knee View Post
    My wife made me an Alpine Ray Way Quilt. Works great but it does take up a lot of space. A KAQ UQ and the Ray Way didn't leave a lot of space in my Vapor Trail. With something like a large Golite pack or a ULA Catalyst it might work fine.
    How well would it work to put either of these quilts in a separate sil dry sack and strap to the outside of the pack? Or would that mess up the way the packs carry? Since at the moment I still use my large McHale pack( 5 lbs) I never have this problem of room. But I am always considering dropping to a lighter pack.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

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