A Quilt for all Seasons

There is no doubt that a quilt can be lighter, more comfortable, and a lot less inconvenient to enter and exit than a bag. A down quilt can weigh under 500 grams for something which will rate around -10C (providing you have a warm mat), so you can see that you can definitely make one an integral part of your ultralight ‘system’. Over ten years ago I often used to use a sleeping quilt before I had a bad back, but now I toss and turn too much because of it, so I have gone back to my sleeping bag.

I had two different quilts I used. One was made up from bits and pieces of a Mountain Designs down bag plus some extras. The other Della made for me from a kit purchased from Ray & Jenny Jardine (from US$109.95 Jun 2018). I could have slept on a Greenland Glacier in it. I found both excellent (at different seasons) for hammock camping (because they are much easier to ‘get in to’ in a hammock than a sleeping bag is). I used the former (hanging in our lounge room from two eye bolts screwed through the wall!) for over a year when my back was really bad whilst I waited for an op to fix it.

Nunatuk for example,  have some of the most awesome quilts, such as this 0C/30F model which weighs under 400 grams – but it will set you back US$ 320 (Jun 2018). No doubt it is superb.

Tier Gear is an Australian quilt manufacturer who you can rely on for excellent products and service. For example they have this -1C model for the Quenda which weighs 566 grams for A$395 (Jun 2018): https://www.tiergear.com.au/shop/sleeping-systems/ultralight-top-quilts/quenda-quilt-1

Of course Della’s Zpacks sleeping bag is very like a quilt (and they make quilts too – approx US$359 Jun 2018). In her size (and -7C) Hers weighs 499 grams in its stuff sack: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/new-zpacks-sleeping-bag/

However, on Massdrop this morning they have an Enlightened Equipment quilt which looks very nice (for US$219.99 Jun 2018) This must be nearly half-price for an excellent product. If you miss out on this ‘drop’ they will have another one. Just keep watching.

It has many interesting innovative features too. ‘On those three-dog nights, tuck it snugly around your body with the included elastic straps and leave the footbox closed. When it’s warmer out, let it hang looser to allow air to circulate. And when it’s really balmy, unzip the footbox and let your quilt lay open like a blanket. When it’s fully open, you can also drape it over your shoulders while sitting around the campfire. Please note that because this quilt doesn’t have a hood, you’ll want to wear a hat to stay warm at night.

Along with creating more room around the knees, Enlightened Equipment’s signature quilt shape is wide up top for wiggle room and tapered at the foot for increased warmth and reduced weight. It also lines up the baffles to keep the down where you need it. Vertical baffles around the torso prevent the down from shifting from side to side, while horizontal baffles in the foot area ensure it stays at your feet, rather than shifting up toward the torso.’ Check it out.

Its Specs are as follows:

Massdrop x Enlightened Equipment

15d nylon taffeta fabric (DWR treated and calendared)

800-fill-power DownTek down (hydrophobic, RDS certified, Zero PFC)

Temperature rating: 20º F (-6.7º C)

20 in (50.8 cm) zipper #3

Elastic drawstring at foot and head areas

2.5 in (6.4 cm) loft

Green shell and charcoal liner

Weight per included strap: 0.5 oz (13 g)

Made in China



Length: Up to 5 ft 6 in (168 cm) tall

Width: 54 in (137 cm) head tapered to 40 in (102 cm) foot

Down fill: 13.4 oz (380 g)

Weight: 20.7 oz (587 g)



Length: Up to 6 ft (183 cm) tall

Width: 54 in (137 cm) head tapered to 40 in (102 cm) foot

Down fill: 14.5 oz (411 g)

Weight: 22.1 oz (626 g)



Length: Up to 6 ft (183 cm) tall

Width: 58 in (147 cm) head tapered to 42 in (107 cm) foot

Down fill: 15.2 oz (431 g)

Weight: 23.4 oz (663 g)



Length: Up to 6 ft 6 in (198 cm) tall

Width: 58 in (147 cm) head tapered to 42 in (107 cm) foot

Down fill: 16.4 oz (464 g)

Weight: 25.2 oz (714 g)



2 removable elastic straps (1 straight, 1 looped): 0.9 oz (25 g)

Lightweight 13L (793 cu in) stuff sack: 0.7 oz (20 g)

Enlightened Equipment’s limited lifetime warranty


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