VERSATILITY: Some backpacking quilts can be used in a wider variety of ways than others, which may be an important factor based on the way you like to backpack. For example, quilts that can be fully unzipped can be used as a blanket in a wider range of temperatures that those with closed foot boxes. Wider width quilts can be used for hammocks and ground sleeping, something to consider if you plan on doing both.
Quilting is often thought of as communal activity such as a quilting bee where woman gather around a quilt frame to quilt a bed quilt. With Amish quilts today two, three or four people may work together to make a single quilt, but instead of quilting together each takes on a one or more of steps in the quilt making process. The first step in the process is to select the quilt's design and select and purchase the fabrics to be used in the quilt. Second step is to assemble the quilt top. Third step is to do the quilting and the fourth step is add the binding and ready the quilt for sale. It is not unusual for a different person to do each step. But the most common practice is for one person to do steps one, two and four and another person to the quilting. Occasionally a single person will do it all. The reason for the division of labor is that the work involved in each of the steps is quite different. The ability and artistic talent to select fabrics is not common --better for someone with this talent to apply it to the making of many quilts. Piecing a particular quilt top becomes easier and the workmanship better after quilter has made a half dozen tops of that design. So it is best to turn to a woman who is expert with a particular design to make the quilt top with that design. Quilting usually is not specialized to a particular design or style of quilt and is less cerebral -- in fact it may be a great distraction from the problems of the day. Applying the binding and readying the quilt for sale -- which means finding and removing spots, finding then adding missing lines of quilting, requires attention to detail. The coordination of the whole process is usually done by the person selecting the design and fabrics. This person selects Amish and Mennonite friends to work with on each quilt. Each person working on the quilt works on it in their own home. All work is done in America.
The Therm-a-Rest Corus HD quilt is another great choice for 3-season hiking. The quilt uses 650-fill power down which is treated with Nikwax so that it repels the water (hydrophobic down) rather than absorbing it. Therefore, it offers better warmth when exposed to moisture than regular down. The shell is made of 20-denier DWR treated nylon for good abrasion resistance and weather protection. The quilt has also an elastic footbox so that it keeps your feet warm at low temperatures. As it features snap loops it can easily be attached to a sleeping pad. It comes in two different sizes – regular (193 cm in length) and long (203 cm in length).
The Katabatic Gear Flex is a quilt that can used in a hammock or on the ground, coupled with a sleeping pad. Weight varies by temperature rating, but a standard-sized Flex 40 weighs 16.9 oz. It’s available with regular or HyperDRY waterproof goose down and comes with a sleeping pad attachment system to help prevent side drafts. The’ Flex also has a very desirable draft collar that snugs around your neck and prevents heat from escaping when you move around at night. The Flex footbox can be zippered closed and has a draw-string vent, or you can unzip it completely and use it as a blanket. Katabatic Gear has a well-deserved reputation for making quilts that exceed their temperature rating. Price range $260.00-$435.00.
As with any rule of thumb, rules were meant to be broken. Ducks actually produce the *best* down. The Eider duck produces a fine 700FP-750FP down that many consider the best you can buy. It actually holds heat better than goose down, regardless of the fill power. Fill power only measures loft, NOT the actual insulating value of the down. Eider down is “clingy”, not slippery like goose down, meaning it will form a more even layer in a bag preventing cold spots/under filled areas. It is also more water proof than goose down, naturally. And each barbule on a plume is more springy making it compress/recover better. Why don’t I use it?? COST. The 16-18oz fill alone for a sleeping bag runs between $1000-6000. Beware of mixes and “Eider” brand names, they usually are not 100% premium eiderdown.
How do rate the chevron style baffles on the loco libre ? I have a Hammock Gear with virtical baffles, and while I am a side sleeper the down seems to fall to the edges. I imagine the horizontal baffles suffer similar problems but in the other direction. I wonder what real world practice is really with the different baffle systems especially the chevron style?
The comforter gets a lot of the credit for making your bed into the plush slumber sanctuary that it is. The quilt, meanwhile, is one of the most underrated bedding elements, easily adding extra warmth in the winter and a lighter cover option in the summer, as well as a tailored, textural layer that enhances the overall look of your sleep space year-round. Here are nine quilts that we wouldn't dream of kicking out of bed.