It’s easy to buy a very lightweight quilt, but can you buy one that is true to its temperature rating? Don’t get me wrong. I love UL quilts and use them, but some vendor’s quilts are warmer than others. If a brand overemphasizes gear weight, look carefully at the amount of down fill/quality they include in their bags. This is a case of the fox guarding the hen house. There is enormous incentive to emphasize gear weight and therefore a good reason to consider buying a warmer bag or adding down overfill to guarantee a warmer experience.

SIZING: When sizing a quilt, it’s important to understand whether the length includes the foot-box or not, since several inches of fabric are lost when forming a foot box. Quilt makers often provide recommended heights for users when quoting sizes, so look for these. Hammock users can usually get by with narrower quilts than ground sleepers, because they use underquilts which wrap around their sides and insulate them. Ground sleepers need the extra fabric and insulation to tuck under their sides to prevent drafts.


The Enlightened Equipment Revelation is a quilt that can be used in a hammock or for sleeping on the ground. It’s available in a wide range of different  length, widths, colors, temperature ratings, and fabric weights. The Revelation comes with a pad attachment system and a zippered/ drawstring footbox and half taper. You can also choose from three different grades of treated, water-resistant down: 850 fill power duck down and 900 or 950 fill power goose down. A basic made-to-order Revelation 40 weighs 14.32 oz. Price Range: $225.00-$510.00
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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.
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.
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.
ALSO OFFERED IN LOFTY WHITE DOWN Weight: Lightweight warmth Fill: Hypoallergenic Core-Loft® Shell: Long-staple cotton Our essential comforter — now offered in an energetic kaleidoscope-inspired diamond print with a coordinating sham. This layer is a go-to piece for every bed in the house. * Designed for down-sensitive sleepers, it is filled with hypoallergenic Core-Loft® (550 fill p...
The Jacks ‘R’ Better Sierra Sniveller is a 25-30 degree (24 oz) quilt can be used for sleeping in a hammock or on the ground and includes perimeter tabs for a ground attachment system. It’s unique because it can also be worn as an insulated garment, with a non-snagging, mixed hook & loop re-sealable head hole in the chest. The hole seals tightly when not used so there’s no heat loss through it. You can also choose between a drawstring or sewn in foot box. The Sniveller is available in two lengths and filled with 800 fill power goose down, either treated or untreated. Price Range: $270.00-$280.00

The MassDrop Revelation Quilt is a ready-made budget backpacking quilt of their own design, manufactured in China on a contract basis by Enlightened Equipment. If you’re not familiar with MassDrop, they sell small batches of a specific product called “drops” over a multi-day period, giving increasingly deeper discounts when higher volumes are sold. While the specs of the quilts they sell can vary from batch to batch, they’re usually one-step down from the custom or on-the-shelf quilts sold directly by Enlightened Equipment, with slightly heavier shell fabrics and lower fill power down insulation. Despite the differences, they’re high quality backpacking quilts and priced to move!
It’s easy to buy a very lightweight quilt, but can you buy one that is true to its temperature rating? Don’t get me wrong. I love UL quilts and use them, but some vendor’s quilts are warmer than others. If a brand overemphasizes gear weight, look carefully at the amount of down fill/quality they include in their bags. This is a case of the fox guarding the hen house. There is enormous incentive to emphasize gear weight and therefore a good reason to consider buying a warmer bag or adding down overfill to guarantee a warmer experience.
EILEEN FISHER HOME BY GARNET HILL Soft, luxe organic-cotton velvet offers tempting texture and casual refinement, while the undyed linen backing keeps this quilt light and relaxed. Generously filled for plushness. * Quilt and sham have 100% organic-cotton velvet front; backed in undyed linen * Lofty 100% recycled-poly fill * Sham has linen-covered button closure * Pillow cover is velvet on ...
The MassDrop Revelation Quilt is a ready-made budget backpacking quilt of their own design, manufactured in China on a contract basis by Enlightened Equipment. If you’re not familiar with MassDrop, they sell small batches of a specific product called “drops” over a multi-day period, giving increasingly deeper discounts when higher volumes are sold. While the specs of the quilts they sell can vary from batch to batch, they’re usually one-step down from the custom or on-the-shelf quilts sold directly by Enlightened Equipment, with slightly heavier shell fabrics and lower fill power down insulation. Despite the differences, they’re high quality backpacking quilts and priced to move!
Since polyester batting became available sixty years ago it has been the batting material most always used in Amish quilts. Being much easier to quilt than raw cotton batting found in antique quilts and by making a quilt much easier to launder (wet cotton batting weighs 'a ton!') practical Amish women quickly made the switch. Excellent but more expensive woolen batting is also occasionally used in Amish quilts.
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.
I have wide shoulders. I have become a believer in the vertical baffles from the neck down to the knees or so. I am a side sleeper and many times I have woken to cold shoulders. The down had shifted, even with overfill, down off my shoulders leaving only two thin sheets of nylon to insulate me at the shoulder to elbow. Women have had this problems at the hips. Differential cut helps but not a cure. I have tried all of the best brands and they all have the same result. The verticle baffle in the EE and OV design reduces this significantly. Please discuss this issue in the 2019 report. It resolved a 50 year old frustration for me climbing many mountains or hiking winter trails.
The Loco Libre Gear Ghost Pepper is a down quilt made with a unique chevron style baffle, which limits the amount of down shift by catching it in the corners that the baffle forms every time it changes direction. This eliminates cold spots and means that the down stays on top, where you want it, so you can stay warm. The Ghost Pepper is available in a wide range or widths and lengths, color choices, insulation types, and foot box styles. You can even add a sleeping pad attachment system. This can all be very confusing for first time quilt buyers, but they are very patient and happy to explain “the why” before you buy. Some of the of the key options offered are 800 duck or 900 goose fill power water-resistant down, a draft collar, different taper styles, a drawstring vented or closed footbox, and added insulation. A basic Ghost Pepper 40 weighs in at 14.5 oz. Price Range: $154.00-$474.00

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.


The Loco Libre Gear Ghost Pepper is a down quilt made with a unique chevron style baffle, which limits the amount of down shift by catching it in the corners that the baffle forms every time it changes direction. This eliminates cold spots and means that the down stays on top, where you want it, so you can stay warm. The Ghost Pepper is available in a wide range or widths and lengths, color choices, insulation types, and foot box styles. You can even add a sleeping pad attachment system. This can all be very confusing for first time quilt buyers, but they are very patient and happy to explain “the why” before you buy. Some of the of the key options offered are 800 duck or 900 goose fill power water-resistant down, a draft collar, different taper styles, a drawstring vented or closed footbox, and added insulation. A basic Ghost Pepper 40 weighs in at 14.5 oz. Price Range: $154.00-$474.00

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.
I took my Zpacks 30-degree quilt down to 17 degrees (with additional clothing of course) last year on a Skurka High Sierra adventure trip. I really have no idea what you are talking about regarding “widespread reputation” for cold under-insulated quilts. That is simply false because their quilts are in fact known to be accurately rated or even slightly underrated temperature wise.

INSULATION: High quality goose and duck down with fill powers of 800, 850, 900, and 950 provide excellent insulation by weight and are widely preferred by backpackers because they’re so lightweight. In addition to excellent compressibility, quilts insulated with down will last for decades of use if properly cared for. Some manufacturers only offer down that’s been treated with a water-repellent coating, while others prefer to offer it unadulterated. Down is naturally water-resistant so the jury is still out on whether “treated” down lasts as long and insulates as well in the real world vs. a testing lab. Regardless, with a little care and common sense you can keep a down quilt dry by carrying it in a waterproof stuff stack, picking good campsites that don’t flood in rain, and airing it out occasionally in the sun.
FEATURES: Most ultralight backpacking quilts are pretty similar when it comes right down to it. But there’s something unique about each of manufacturer’s quilts listed above that improves their performance in a unique way. For example: the use of continuous or chevron-shaped baffles, draft collars, zoned insulation, closed foot-boxes and external snaps for quilt layering, all improve cold weather performance. A strapless pad attachment system is far more convenient and comfortable than ones that rely on straps, while a head-hole enables multi-use as a garment. Look for these differentiators because they can have a profound influence on your backpacking experience.
The Warbonnet Mamba is primarily designed for hammock use, but is available in a wider XL width (55″) which is more suitable for sleeping on the ground. It has a mummy-style footbox, is available in multiple lengths, and three temperature ratings, including 40, 20, and 0 degrees.  The Mamba is made with a black, 20d DWR ripstop shell fabric and overstuffed with 850 Fill Power Hyper-Dry Goose down. A regular sized 40-degree Mamba weighs 13.81 oz, while a wide weighs 16.3 oz. Price Range: $245.00-$330.00
My current quilt is an Enlightened Equipment Revelation that I’m going into my second year on. It’s significantly lighter than the previous quilt (mostly due to a higher quality down – 950 vs 650 – and a lighter fabric) It’s actually a bit unnerving at first at just how light this is. My previous quilt didn’t have a good foot enclosure which really does make a difference in cooler temps. Bought it wide to get less drafts. Love the compressability.

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.
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