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 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 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.
The Paria Thermodown 15 quilt is incredibly warm as it features no less than 22 ounces of 700-fill power down. However, with a weight of more than two pounds, it is also the heaviest products in this review. The Paria quilt has a lower limit rating at 15 F and thus it is perfect for backpacking in relatively cold weather. It has a very light and breathable shell and comfortable inner layer. The Paria quilt comes with a stuff sack for easy storage and has two straps to easily secure it to your sleeping pad. It can also be closed up to form a standard mummy sleeping bag in case that temperatures drop too low. The Paria Thermodown 15 quilt is a great option for beginners as well as more experienced backpackers.
Whether you live someplace warm or like to throw the windows open come summertime, a lightweight quilt is a must to be comfortable in the nighttime chill or with the air conditioning going. But you’ll want to stay away from heavier materials like wool fill or densely woven outer layers so you don’t get too hot. This quilt is made of 100% cotton in both the fill and outer layers, so it provides a little bit of warmth but still breathes, and won’t hold on to humidity. It’s made by artisans in India (a country that gets very, very hot) using a traditional weaving method called “kantha” and takes six days to make. It’s super-soft and can be used alone on the bed for hotter days, or layered under or over a duvet when it’s really chilly.
Amish quilts are entirely hand quilted. The quilt top, batting, and quilt backing fabric are sandwiched together and held taut in a quilting frame. The quilter then uses needle and thread to place each quilting stitch in the quilt. A typical queen size bed quilt will have forty to fifty thousand such stitches. The quilting stitches are small (6 to 12 per inch), straight and uniform. To insure uniformity all the quilting for each quilt is done by one quilter.
Quilts are becoming increasingly popular among hikers, backpackers and mountaineers because they are lighter, less bulky and more adaptable than mummy sleeping bags. Unlike a sleeping bag, a quilt leaves your back in direct contact with the sleeping pad (the bottom of the quilt is open) and doesn’t have any zipper. However, it is typically big enough to be partially tucked under your body. The main argument for using a quilt instead of a sleeping bag is that the insulation on the underside of a sleeping bag gets smashed by your body weight and is thus just an excessive weight to carry (note that smashed insulation provides very little warmth). Typically quilts also feature a foot box for better insulation in the feet area and come with straps so that they can be attached to a sleeping pad. Please note that a quilt is always used together with a sleeping pad – unless you want to have your back on the bare ground.
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.
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.