The Mid-Atlantic Mountain Works Marcy 20 is three season quilt available in a multiple widths, lengths, tapers, shell fabrics, and colors. It has a unique side draft elimination system for ground sleepers that relies on perimeter shock cord rather than sleeping pad straps, which are easy to lose or forget at home. The Marcy 20 has a vented footbox and can be insulated with 850 fill power HyperDry goose down or 800 fill power, untreated duck down. A basic, regular Marcy 20 weighs 23 oz. Price Range: $235.00-$350.00.
Once your child is old enough to have bedding in his crib, look for a lightweight quilt that can work in the crib and toddler bed by itself or as a layering piece. Choose a super-soft version made of 100% cotton and a lower-loft fill to keep your child warm without getting too hot. A lightweight version can also fit into your home washing machine to clean it when your child has an accident or an illness. Choose one in bright white that can be bleached if need be (because you know with kids, some kind of stain is inevitable!). The bonus with all-white: It will continue to match your child’s room decor and other bedding as their tastes change from one character or hobby to another. If you don’t like all-white, this one also comes in gray, blue and pink, or just with blue or pink borders.
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.
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.
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.
The advantage of buying a custom-made quilt from a cottage manufacturer is that you can personalize it with added features, higher quality/lighter weight insulation, or custom fabric colors. An increasing number of quilt makers also offer budget quilts made with a limited set of options that are much less expensive and often available immediately. These are a great option if you’re trying a backpacking quilt for the first time and overwhelmed by the customization choices available.
While I understand the Zpacks commentary and feel it is deserved to a degree, I just want to also chime in that I own one of their quilts and find it to be warm and well built. Will I consider these other manufacturers in the future? Sure — this article proves there are a lot of great options out there and perhaps Zpacks will be revisited in the future.
The Sierra Designs Backcountry 700 quilt is slightly heavier (900 grams) than the quilts from Sea to Summit and Nemo listed above but because it provides great functionality, it is nevertheless very popular among hikers and backpackers. The quilt features hand pockets which allow you to snugly enclose it around your body when the temperature drops. For good insulation it has an insulated hood and a tight-fitting footbox. It is also slightly wider than the other quilts on this list and thus better at preventing cold drafts. The quilt features a 20-denier nylon shell which provides great abrasion resistance. The insulation layer consists of 700-fill power hydrophobic down – each down plume is treated with DWR so that it stays dry longer when exposed to moisture. The quilt has a lower limit rating of -8 C° by the EN standard and comes with a stuff sack for easy storage.
AVAILABILITY: Many of the quilt makers who specialize in highly customized quilts often have very long backorder times (2 months or more)  during periods of high demand. If you need a quilt and can’t wait, you’re probably better off buying a less customized, off-the-shelf model. This one factor, more than any other, can often determine which quilt you select.
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.
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