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.


Patchwork piecing of Amish quilts is usually done with a sewing machine. Connecting patchwork pieces together this way makes the quilt very strong. What's more, this stitching can not be seen once the quilt is completed. Amish women have used non-electric sewing machines since they first became available over 150 years ago. On the other hand, applique work is all done by hand, as is most embroidery and binding.


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.


Quilts utilize either down or synthetic insulation. Down insulation is more thermally efficient (with a superior warmth-to-weight ratio) and compresses better than synthetic insulation. However, down insulation also has downsides; it is more expensive and unable to provide good warmth when exposed to moisture (sweat, rain, high humidity etc.). Nevertheless, as quilts are primarily intended for lightweight hiking, we only included quilts with down insulation in this review.
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’ve had a Katabatic Gear Palisdade quilt since 2014, rated to 30 degrees, and can’t say enough about how warm it is! Very comfortable down to freezing, and liveable down into the 20s. The company is great as well – last year one of the mitten clips broke and one of the other attachment clips was starting to feel loose, and they repaired it for free and I only had to pay shipping to get it to them. Great customer service. Well worth the investment.
For the record, I am using an EMS 20 degree bag that’s about 10 years old now. I’m going to be very sad when it needs replacing as it has a bunch of features that probably make it a bit heavier, but also make it very adaptive. Things like a removable hood, multiple draft cinches, a slightly wider body so I can turn easily on my side, and the previously mentioned pocket for keeping stuff like a phone, flashlight, etc handy.
WEIGHT: While gear weight is important, be careful not to sacrifice your comfort by selecting a quilt that won’t keep you warm in the conditions you need it to. In fact, insulation is usually the lightest weight component of a quilt, where the bulk of its weight comes primarily from the fabric used to make it. When choosing fabrics, consider their breathability and whether they have a DWR coating, which can be important if the foot of your quilt gets wet regularly  If you plan on using your quilt heavily, consider getting a heavier inner shell fabric as this is where the greatest wear and tear occurs over the long-term.
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.
×