If you live in a chilly climate or in an a home with poor insulation, you know what it means to get cold at night! For these homes, you want high loft (meaning lots of material between the outer layers) and a material that will hold in heat, like down, down alternative or wool, to help you get and stay warm for hours on end, so look for a fluffy box-stitched quilt to do the trick. This one is made from 100% polyester and a down alternative to make it both hypoallergenic and more affordable and can be used with or without a duvet cover.
To facilitate hand quilting, colorfast quilting weight cotton fabrics (and occasionally light weight woolen fabrics) are used to cover the fronts and backs of Amish quilts. Fabrics are purchased off-the-shelf from fabric stores or distributors in small quantities usually no more than a bolt of a particular fabric at a time. Extra wide fabric is purchased to be used to cover the back of the quilt. It is traditional and not unusual to use somewhat rustic cotton muslin on quilt backs and, where appropriate, on the front of quilts. Both solid color fabrics and printed fabrics are used in Amish quilts.
More and more backpackers are switching from sleeping bags to backpacking quilts because they’re lighter weight, more compressible, and more comfortable, especially for side sleepers. While top quilts have always been popular with the hammock crowd because they’re easier to use in the confined space of a hammock, they’re also a great sleeping system option for ground sleepers, when coupled with a sleeping pad. Backpacking quilts are ideal for summer and warm weather since they’re so easy to vent if you’re too hot. But in freezing temperatures, starting at 30 degrees and below, most backpackers still prefer a sleeping bag because the wraparound fabric is less drafty.
TEMPERATURE RATINGS: The introduction of standardized sleeping bag temperature ratings by the outdoor industry substantially improved their reliability. Many manufacturers had overstated their temperature ratings by as much as 10 degrees before that standard was introduced. No such testing standard exists for backpacking quilts, so you’re forced to rely on their reputation and customer reviews. When buying a backpacking quilt, the current rule of thumb is to purchase one rated for 10 degrees below your needs to ensure you’ll be warm enough. There is enormous incentive for ultralight quilt makers to quote low gear weights, so read their customer reviews carefully. Women may want to add 15-20 degrees of insulation because they sleep colder than men due to lower body mass. No one makes women’s specific quilts yet, although there is an obvious need for them.
If you live in a place with a real change in seasons, look for a midweight quilt that will be comfortable when it’s warm out, but that’s easy to layer in the colder months. Choose a quilt in a solid, neutral color to give yourself the most flexibility as you transition through the seasons: In summer, pair it with lightweight cotton or linen sheets, then in winter trade in flannel sheets and top it with an extra throw blanket or duvet if you need more warmth.