Sleeping bag vs Quilt - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2015, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Default Sleeping bag vs Quilt

Hello everyone,

So I am trying to slowly research and figure out what may work best for me camping here in VA/WV and for a WCT trip next year. A week ago I spent Mon/Tues on part of the AT just so my friends and I can try out some of our gear. Luckily they have a lot more than I do and I was able to borrow what I did not have yet.

The temps only got down to about 30 degrees F so it was not that cold. I was on a BA Q-Core SL (Not entirely sure I am keeping this but want to give it one more night) and was using a plain jane REI 20 degree sleeping bag. I slept in underwear and an under armour t-shirt.

I was warm. Too warm actually and opened the bag up multiple times during the night to let cold air in. So I was looking for something perhaps not as "cold-rated" as 20 degrees for local and was not 100% sure if I need much for WCT in July.

So on to my question: I am seriously considering a quilt and was wondering peoples experiences/opinions of them for 30F and up temps. I was eyeballing the MLD Spirit quilt and the Enlightened Equipment Enigma.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2015, 12:45 PM
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I have only ever used a quilt on the WCT (completed several times). I find quilts excellent to just below freezing but when it is truly cold, a bag works better.

Whatever you end up doing, make sure you get a quilt that is wide enough to permit restless sleeping. Drafts are the biggest issue with using a quilt.

I have a down quilt and had the Spirit quilt. The Spirit is really too narrow for me so I sold it. EE quilts are nice and customizable and that is where I would start my search.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2015, 01:10 PM
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I think the primary disadvantage of a quilt is that if you roll around a lot they tend to roll off you. I haven't used a quilt, but I have used a sleeping bag with no insullation on the bottom. It's a little bit finicky, but it works okay. It lets me take a smaller pack which is really nice when climbing/mountaineering. For something like the WCT, it's certainly not necessary. But if you're a very calm sleeper, or you don't mind fiddling around a bunch in bed, they can be nice to have.

Regarding temps: 30 F is probably fine for the WCT in July, you can always put on an extra jacket. Be aware though, that some nights are much colder than others, so don't put too much weight on one experience. It's easier to let cool air into a warm sleeping bag than to make a cold one warmer.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2015, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by trick View Post
It's easier to let cool air into a warm sleeping bag than to make a cold one warmer.
I would disagree with this. Layering in with clothing is just as easy as unzipping your bag.

And...you are able to carry a lighter bag if you can use clothing.

The coldest I have experienced on the WCT was 7C in early May (I have done it 7 times over the years). There may be some convective heat loss on top of that but as long as you are in a tent or using a tarp to block any wind a 0C bag is more than sufficient.

Last edited by FamilyGuy; 01-07-2015 at 01:12 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyGuy View Post
I have only ever used a quilt on the WCT (completed several times). I find quilts excellent to just below freezing but when it is truly cold, a bag works better.

Whatever you end up doing, make sure you get a quilt that is wide enough to permit restless sleeping. Drafts are the biggest issue with using a quilt.

I have a down quilt and had the Spirit quilt. The Spirit is really too narrow for me so I sold it. EE quilts are nice and customizable and that is where I would start my search.
Thanks for the post. I honestly do not prefer camping when it gets below freezing. I blame that on my time in the military as an Infantryman way back when. Too many times being cold and miserable that the thought of going out camping is not exciting to me (and this is 20+ years later). Civvie technology is 1000 times better than my old .mil stuff though so maybe one day I might do it again.

I did not think about getting it wide. I am a side sleeper but do rollover side-to-side. Something I will definitely keep in mind.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trick View Post
I think the primary disadvantage of a quilt is that if you roll around a lot they tend to roll off you. I haven't used a quilt, but I have used a sleeping bag with no insullation on the bottom. It's a little bit finicky, but it works okay. It lets me take a smaller pack which is really nice when climbing/mountaineering. For something like the WCT, it's certainly not necessary. But if you're a very calm sleeper, or you don't mind fiddling around a bunch in bed, they can be nice to have.

Regarding temps: 30 F is probably fine for the WCT in July, you can always put on an extra jacket. Be aware though, that some nights are much colder than others, so don't put too much weight on one experience. It's easier to let cool air into a warm sleeping bag than to make a cold one warmer.
While true some in my group were thinking of doing 0F bags. A 20F bag was way too warm for me in 30F weather. I hear what you are saying though.

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Cheers, Rick
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