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Earlier than testing backpacking quilts, I didn’t perceive what the hype was about. Anytime somebody talked about one, I all the time thought, “Can’t I simply use a sleeping bag? What’s the distinction?” Turns on the market is a distinction, and if you happen to give quilts a shot, chances are you’ll be transformed.

Right here’s what units them aside: Backpacking quilts don’t have again material and don’t wrap round your physique like a sleeping bag. Nevertheless, well-designed quilts nonetheless have glorious insulating and warmth retention properties as a result of they connect to a sleeping pad to carry them in place. Many light-weight and ultralight backpackers want quilts as a result of, and not using a zipper and with much less material, the sleep system is far lighter. Plus, for individuals like me who toss and switch or who sleep on their facet or abdomen, a quilt provides you extra mobility and, in flip, a greater night time’s sleep. Under are the most effective backpacking quilts I examined for nearly any situation.

How We Picked the Greatest Backpacking Quilts

Photograph Credit score: Kara Rockstad

Selecting the most effective backpacking quilts was a brand new problem for me. I’ve historically gravitated in direction of sleeping baggage, particularly since I do loads of backpacking within the shoulder seasons or throughout chilly climate. When starting my analysis for this text, I didn’t know a lot about quilts or why they existed, so it was enjoyable to be taught extra in regards to the idea behind their design and see how genuinely purposeful they are often.

It took a good period of time to collect suggestions from backpackers who repeatedly use these merchandise to find out which quilts to incorporate on this article and which to check. As most of the hikers I interviewed are ultralight fanatics, they have been capable of level me in the precise route. From there, I collected the merchandise and hit the path. Being new to the quilt idea, I used to be specific in regards to the warmth retention and performance as part of my sleep system.

Past that, a lot of the testing appeared much like sleeping baggage. I analyzed the burden and packability, the supplies and sourcing, and I did my finest to gauge sturdiness. Like sleeping baggage, nobody quilt is the right match for everybody. Every one has its finest utility, and like with most gear, all of it comes down to non-public choice and supposed objective.

Greatest Backpacking Quilts: Critiques and Suggestions

Greatest Total: Out of doors Vitals StormLoft Down TopQuilt

Greatest Total

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Specs

  • Weight: 23 oz (15F Common)
  • Cloth: 10D Ripstop Nylon w/ VitalDry DWR
  • Fill: 800-Fill Energy HyperDry Water Repellent Down
  • Temperature Ranking: 0 to 30F / -17 to -1C

Execs

  • Light-weight and extremely packable
  • Obtainable in a variety of temperature scores
  • Glorious water resistance for down
  • Clips and pad straps included
  • Out of doors Vitals lifetime guarantee

Cons

The Out of doors Vitals StormLoft Down TopQuilt is without doubt one of the finest three-season backpacking quilts when it comes to worth and efficiency. It’s fairly priced, particularly when in comparison with equally rated blankets and baggage. I examined the StormLoft 15F for this text, however Out of doors Vitals additionally provides this design in a 0F and 30F temperature score. When you get chilly simply, even when tenting in the summertime, the 15F bag is a wonderful choice.

Out of doors Important’s slogan is “stay ultralight,” and this quilt lives as much as that normal. The bag itself has a extremely sturdy design but continues to be very light-weight. Using 800+ down fill and 10D material shell/lining, this bag is heat sufficient for many three-season ventures and will final a number of seasons. I like that the model supplies clear care directions for cleansing on-line that will help you keep the blanket. The common size of the quilt is appropriate for many common adults, however every temperature score is available in an prolonged model if that may be a higher match.

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The extremely packable Out of doors Vitals Stormloft Quilt 15F has a wonderful weight-to-warmth ratio that even the coldest sleepers can belief. Photograph Credit score: Kara Rockstad

The foot field of the quilt mimics that of a mummy bag, and the draft collar will help retain extra physique warmth. When you’re tenting in colder climate and nervous about dropping warmth by means of your head, we advise trying into the insulated balaclava that acts as a mummy hood would. It’s probably not obligatory through the summer season however it could improve your sleep expertise throughout cooler climate. Whereas most options are appropriate for a cushty night time’s relaxation, the cinch on the draft collar is in the midst of the quilt, which suggests it falls proper onto your face when it’s cinched down. When you’re a light-weight sleeper, this will disturb you whilst you relaxation. There are clips and pad straps included, however the pad straps could possibly be extra sturdy and safe.

Notice that quilts could be costly, which is why many individuals don’t gravitate towards them—and even at a lower cost level, this quilt could also be out of some backpackers’ budgets. Apart from that, there’s quite a bit to love about this quilt. It is a wonderful worth for the worth, and the options swimsuit backpackers and ultralight packers alike.

Greatest Ultralight: Massive Agnes Fussel UL Quilt

Greatest Ultralight

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Specs

  • Weight: 17.3 oz
  • Cloth: Polyester ripstop shell w/ water-repellent end
  • Fill: 850 DownTek (PFAS-free)
  • Temperature Ranking: 40F / 4C

Execs

  • Ultralightweight, minimalist design
  • Extremely packable
  • Glorious materials high quality
  • Good worth for the worth

Cons

  • Solely appropriate for heat, informal tenting
  • Sizing isn’t very inclusive

If ultralight is your objective, the Massive Agnes Fussel UL Quilt needs to be a high consideration. This quilt packs and feels much like ultralight tenting blankets. The light-weight snapping system and minimal insulation present a comfortable night time’s sleep however solely below the precise situations. This quilt is nice for informal tenting or mid-summer ultralight journeys. Weighing simply round 1 pound, it’s a straightforward technique to reduce some pack weight on lengthy hikes.

This quilt is so mild as a result of it’s only rated to be used at 40F, and it’s insulated with 9 ounces of 850 down fill. This design could be purposeful however just for a brief window of time or if you happen to stay in a sub-tropical local weather. This limits its total versatility, however you would use it as as extra packable different to a sleeping bag liner for hotter summer season tenting journeys. The snaps permit you to connect it to your sleeping pad or add some extra air flow. Actually, whether it is that heat out, this works finest opened as a blanket. Then, when temperatures are creeping all the way down to the consolation score, you may connect it to a better r-value sleeping pad for simply sufficient heat in a single day.

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The Massive Agnes Fussel UL Quilt is a light-weight summer season bag choice that backpackers, fastpackers, and ultralight hikers can all get pleasure from. – Meg Carney

Another choice for this quilt is to make use of it to layer and add further insulation to current sleep methods. That means, you have got a high quality summer season bag to bolster your shoulder and winter-season tools. The one design flaw I discovered with this bag is that as a result of the snaps are so light-weight, they don’t safe very firmly. Once I was shifting and shifting round within the night time, the snaps both opened up the bag or got here unclipped from the pad attachment, which might compromise consolation whereas sleeping.

Greatest Water-Resistant: Therm-a-Relaxation Vesper Down Quilt

Greatest Water-Resistant

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Specs

  • Weight: 15 oz (Common)
  • Cloth: 10D Nylon Ripstop w/ DWR
  • Fill: 900 Fill Goose Nikwax Hydrophobic Down, RDS
  • Temperature Ranking: 32 F / 0 C

Execs

  • PFAS-free water resistant down
  • Down sourced with the Accountable Down Commonplace
  • Light-weight and packable design
  • Sturdy supplies
  • Snug form and really feel

Cons

  • Sleeping pad attachment could be improved

Down is a wonderful insulator, however solely whether it is stored dry. When backpacking in distant areas, it’s robust to remain fully dry, and when issues occur, you need your tenting gear—particularly important gear like a sleeping bag or quilt—to work. Waterproofing down and different sleep supplies could be troublesome, however Therm-a-Relaxation pulled it off with their Nikwax Hydrophobic Down (RDS). The massive advantage of Nikwax is that it’s PFAS-free, making it a extremely purposeful waterproofing agent with out dangerous chemical substances.

Past the sensible efficiency in water resistance, the Therm-a-Relaxation Vesper Down Quilt is light-weight and cozy. The design is normal for a quilt with a tapered finish much like a mummy bag and snaps to connect to your sleeping pad. Very like our ultralight choose, this quilt is barely appropriate for heat summer season climate and is rated for 32F. Plan accordingly if it is likely to be colder, primarily as a result of the snaps and pad straps come unfastened pretty simply and could possibly be up to date for a safer match.

Most Versatile: Feathered Buddies Flicker UL Quilt Sleeping Bag

Most Versatile

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Specs

  • Weight: 1 lb 9.2 oz (20F Common)
  • Cloth: Pertex Endurance UL, Flite 15 denier ripstop nylon
  • Fill: 950+ Goose Down
  • Temperature Ranking: 20 – 40F / -6.67 – 4.4C

Execs

  • Made within the USA
  • Obtainable in three temperature scores
  • Extremely versatile design
  • Waterproof shell material
  • Sturdy materials building

Cons

  • Not a fan of the neck draw wire for the closure and sturdiness

The Feathered Buddies Flicker UL Quilt Sleeping Bag can operate as each a backpacking quilt and an ultralight sleeping bag. The choice to make use of it as a full mummy bag or a quilt/blanket makes this one of the vital purposeful and versatile sleep methods obtainable. Made within the USA in Seattle, the down backpacking quilt is obtainable in three temperature scores. Whereas the 40F bag is right for heat summer season tenting journeys, I like to recommend the 20F quilt if you happen to’re on the lookout for one thing you should utilize throughout all seasons.

The good thing about a zipper provides this quilt an edge over the others as a result of you may zip it up on colder nights to make it draft-free. Different quilts could reduce a couple of ounces by avoiding this, however relying on when and the place you’re backpacking, it could be nicely well worth the extra weight. The zipper and drawcord on the neck collar and foot field present further air flow and customization for sleeping situations. You may cinch the neck collar up like a mummy bag hood or unzip it to put on as a quilt. Because it unzips absolutely, it additionally works nicely as a blanket.

The eye to design that went into this quilted bag blows me away with its versatility and performance. The shell materials is Pertex Endurance UL which is of course water resistant and received’t put on off over time, in contrast to coatings like DWR. There’s quite a bit to love with this quilt, and truthfully, it was arduous for me to discover a con to checklist on this evaluate. The one draw back I can consider is that over time, the drawstrings loosen.

Greatest Funds: OneTigris Featherlite Ultralight Sleeping Quilt

Greatest Funds

Camping photo

Specs

  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Cloth: 20D Ripstop Nylon, 380T Polyester Pongee Lining
  • Fill: SEE Polyester
  • Temperature Ranking: 41F / 5C

Execs

  • Reasonably priced value
  • Good for summer season tenting
  • Packs down small for an artificial insulation
  • Hook and loop closure stays in place nicely

Cons

  • The loft of insulation could be misplaced within the compression bag throughout transport
  • Solely appropriate for heat climate tenting
  • Heavy for a backpacking quilt

If you wish to check out a quilt however need to keep away from paying a premium value, the OneTigris Featherlite Ultralight Sleeping Quilt is an honest place to start out. It packs down small however as a result of it makes use of artificial insulation, it’s bulkier and heavier than down. Nevertheless, the benefit of artificial insulation is that it’s simpler to revive the loft if misplaced, and it continues to insulate when moist.

Ultimately, it’s a purposeful quilt. Because it’s solely rated for round 41F, we solely suggest utilizing it throughout heat summer season nights. This cuts down on the performance of the quilt for all the backpacking season in most areas, however at this value level, it could be price it, relying in your supposed frequency of use. In the long term, chances are you’ll be higher off discovering a greater model from a used retailer or native consignment retailer, however this one will do in a pinch.

What to Contemplate When Selecting a Backpacking Quilt

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Massive Agnes Fussel UL Quilt in compression bag on one other quilt – Meg Carney

Backpacking Quilt vs. Sleeping Bag: What’s Proper for You

From the surface trying in, it may be arduous to inform why a quilt could also be extra helpful than a sleeping bag in some conditions, however for a lot of thru-hikers and ultralight backpackers, a quilt is nicely well worth the value. When deciding if a backpacking quilt is an effective alternative to your outside wants, it helps to know why quilts are designed the way in which they’re.

Taking a look at a mummy sleeping bag, a quilt removes a couple of issues to cut back weight and enhance packability, specifically the again of the sleeping bag. When laying on a sleeping bag, you compress the insulation. This compression nullifies any insulating properties, so a quilt received’t have a panel. Most quilts additionally take away the hood that’s classically seen on mummy sleeping baggage, however some have options or equipment that replicate a hood.

Since there isn’t any again panel of material and insulation on a quilt, it may be draftier than a sleeping bag. That’s why a correct attachment system involving clips and pad straps is important to safe the quilt to your sleeping pad. Whereas sleeping pads add some consolation whilst you sleep, its major objective is to insulate your physique warmth from the chilly floor, so pairing your backpacking quilt with a correctly rated sleeping pad is crucial.

Most quilts are designed for hotter climate situations and received’t be appropriate for winter tenting and even some high-altitude or shoulder season adventures. Whereas many campers just like the roominess quilts present, they are often draftier than a sleeping bag relying on the pad attachment system and the way a lot you progress round at night time. The potential drafting can deter backpackers as a result of the temperature scores on quilts aren’t essentially as constant as they might be for a sleeping bag.

Whereas some quilts—just like the Feathered Buddies quilt—have a partial or full zipper, it’s much less frequent. Eradicating options like a zipper and a hood is a part of how quilt designs reduce weight.

When selecting between a backpacking quilt and a sleeping bag, it is very important establish your supposed use, the local weather, and your sleeping fashion. When you’re an ultralight backpacker who principally camps through the heat summer season months, a quilt could be the right addition to your sleep system. When you’re like me and sometimes backpack in chilly climate, a mummy sleeping bag is the higher alternative.

Temperature Ranking 

The temperature scores for backpacking quilts aren’t probably the most constant or dependable. Whereas corporations can use worldwide testing requirements like EN or ISO scores, many manufacturers do in-house testing and supply temperature scores. Quilts typically received’t qualify for worldwide or standardized assessments due to their open-back designs and potential for drafts.

Because the EN or ISO scores for temperature aren’t all the time probably the most correct, it’s typically higher to take a look at a consolation score and even the down-fill energy and weight of the insulation to get an thought of how heat the quilt is. Different options that may enhance the consolation score embody the choice for a hood, a draft collar, an in depth foot field, and safe pad attachments.

The down fill energy—which dictates how a lot house is stuffed per cubic inch by the down insulation—is crucial when overviewing backpacking quilt specs. For sleeping baggage and quilts, fill energy varies from 500-900, however many quilts sit on the upper finish of the size (850-950). It’s essential to notice {that a} larger fill energy doesn’t all the time imply a hotter quilt. In junction with the fill energy, take a look at the insulation weight to higher perceive the potential heat. Fill weight isn’t as extensively mentioned however could also be a greater indicator than the fill energy. Moreover, I like to recommend on the lookout for duck and goose down sourced utilizing the Accountable Down Commonplace.

Camping photo
A closed foot field, draft collar, and safe pad attachments are a couple of methods quilts can have higher insulating properties. Photograph Credit score: Kara Rockstad

It’s higher to rely extra on the consolation score when evaluating temperature and luxury scores. Temperature scores are usually listed as decrease than the consolation score as a result of, because the title suggests, a consolation score tells you the bottom temperature on the quilt retains you comfy. A temperature score, however, is the bottom temperature on the bag retains you protected. Consolation scores are extra frequent on ladies’s particular baggage for the reason that means ladies regulate physique temperature is completely different than males’s.

In follow, I prefer to plan a sleep system colder than what you want, in accordance with the forecast. This can be much less of a priority in the summertime, but when I’m backpacking in a shoulder season and the nighttime low temperature is 30F, I carry both a 20F bag or decrease. If that isn’t potential and I’ve a 30F bag, I pack a sleeping bag liner to enhance the temperature score.

Having a sleeping pad applicable for the climate situations can even enhance your consolation as you sleep.

Supplies and Water Resistance

Sturdiness is a major query with ultralight backpacking gear, and quilts are greater than probably much less sturdy than the typical sleeping bag. To gauge the potential sturdiness of the bag, take into account the supplies used for the shell material and the material denier. Product specs checklist the product supplies and will have a quantity with a D subsequent to it. The D stands for denier, the thread thickness used to make the material. The upper the denier quantity, the extra sturdy the material is.

Even materials with a comparatively excessive denier are liable to rips and tears, so correct care is really helpful whereas utilizing quilts on the path. Pay attention to sticks and rocks when organising camp, and retailer the quilt out of the compression bag to protect the insulation loft.

Quilt liner and shell materials are usually comprised of some artificial materials or mix. Supplies like ripstop nylon are frequent, however some manufacturers could use proprietary material blends to create a extra water resistant and sturdy materials.

To avoid wasting weight, most backpacking quilts strictly make the most of down insulation. Though down is far lighter and might pack down smaller than artificial insulation, it doesn’t proceed to insulate when moist. This might not be as a lot of a difficulty in heat situations, however it will possibly imply sacrificing some consolation on the path. To fight these points, many corporations now combine some type of water resistance into their down insulation. Massive Agnes makes use of DownTek waterproofing, whereas Therm-a-Relaxation opts for a PFAS-free answer from Nikwax.

Weight and Portability

The intention behind the backpacking quilt design is to be extremely packable and light-weight, so I like to recommend selecting one which weighs 2 lbs or much less. Lots of the quilts listed below are finest fitted to heat climate situations, which helps them keep light-weight.

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The Massive Agnes Fussell UL within the compression bag. – Meg Carney

In case your sleeping bag’s weight and packed dimension are the first issues, a backpacking quilt is really helpful. Many common campers gravitate in direction of baggage as a substitute as a result of they have an inclination to have a better stage of consolation and sturdiness. All ultralight gear has some trade-offs, and with quilts, probably the most important sacrifice you’re prone to make is relating to the temperature score and the excessive chance of a draft.

FAQ

Q: What’s the benefit of utilizing a backpacking quilt as a substitute of a sleeping bag?

The first advantage of a backpacking quilt is that they’re lighter than a standard sleeping bag. On common, a quilt is round 25% lighter than a sleeping bag as a result of a lot of the material that’s often below the sleeper is eradicated. Most backpacking quilts connect to the sleeping pad to cease any important warmth loss, and since compressed down and artificial insulation doesn’t insulate correctly, their efficiency is akin to sleeping baggage.

Q: Can you utilize a backpacking quilt for winter tenting?

A backpacking quilt with an applicable temperature and luxury score for the situations can be utilized for winter tenting. Since most quilts don’t make the most of zippers, they’re simpler to get out and in of than zippered sleeping baggage. If warmth loss as a result of lack of a zipper is a priority, layering insulating clothes to cowl drafts or including one other quilt is all the time an choice.

Q: What’s the finest materials for a backpacking quilt?

The perfect materials for a backpacking quilt combines a sturdy artificial shell and light-weight, high-fill power-down insulation. Many of the highest-performing backpacking quilts make the most of duck or goose down, licensed by means of the Accountable Down Commonplace. Some quilts might also make the most of a hydrophobic down to extend moisture resistance and drying instances if supplies get moist.

Q: Are backpacking quilts good for facet sleepers?

Backpacking quilts are nice for facet sleepers, abdomen sleepers, and anybody who tosses and turns quite a bit of their sleep. When you could get an identical impact with an unzipped sleeping bag, the large distinction is that almost all quilts can connect to the sleeping pad. That means, you don’t catch a draft from the bag shifting an excessive amount of whilst you sleep.

Greatest Backpacking Quilts: Remaining Ideas

The perfect backpacking quilts are light-weight, comfy, and extremely packable. It’s protected to say that backpacking quilts aren’t for everybody, particularly at their common value level. Nevertheless, they are often a useful piece of tenting tools for ultralight backpackers or anybody that strikes quite a bit of their sleep. Get to understand how and when chances are you’ll use a backpacking quilt earlier than investing in a single. When you’ve tried a well-designed quilt, you’ll have a tough time going again to all the time utilizing a sleeping bag.

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Our Greatest Total Choose: Out of doors Vitals StormLoft Down TopQuilt. – Photograph Credit score: Kara Rockstad

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