More recently, what was once a social gathering has turned into a business enterprise for many “plain” (Amish and Mennonite) women. Cottage industries of quilt-makers are springing up throughout Amish Country in Pennsylvania. Many Amish and Mennonite women have opened up small quilt shops in their homes to subsidize the family’s income. While traveling throughout Lancaster, PA, it’s common to see a handmade sign stating simply: “Quilts Sold Here,” which is often accompanied by “No Sunday Sales.”
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.
The Hammock Gear Burrow Econ is a quality top quilt that’s available at a very aggressive discount because it’s only available in a limited range of colors, sizes, and temperature ratings. For example, a 17.26 oz, regular-sized Econ 40 quilt only costs $120.00, which is a great deal. It comes with 800 fill power durable water-resistant duck down, which is just as warm as 800 fill power goose down (see explanation.) The Burrow can be used in a hammock or with a sleeping pad using a ($5) pad attachment kit. It’s also available with a vented snapped foot box or one that’s sewn shut, which is better for colder weather. Price range $110.00-$165.00.
The quality of down insulation is measured by the fill-power index which ranges from 400 (low grade down) to 900 (high grade down). The higher the fill-power index, the better warmth for the weight the insulation provides. Down is often treated with DWR (Durable Water Repellant) so that it becomes better at retaining warmth when exposed to moisture. Such down is referred to as hydrophobic down.

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.


Not so obvious is the special way these quilts are produced. At a time when practically every textile product sold in America is made in a sweatshop in Asia, these Amish quilts are made one at a time in people's American homes. What's more, these quilts are made using just the technology that was in common use 150 years ago. Because of the extensive handwork most women only take part in producing a couple of quilts each year.
We rebuilt the traditional log-cabin-style quilt with concentric, small-scale geometrics in bold, bright colors that pop against a textured white ground. * 100% cotton: white fabric is slubbed cotton; printed fabric is cotton; fill is cotton batting * Multicolor print matches easily with a range of bedding options * Machine-quilted for precision * Medium-weight fill * Pieced-front quilt and sham * ...

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.
In this review we selected the best backpacking quilts for 3-season adventures. We were especially looking for highly functional products which have a great warmth-to-weight ratio. If you think you might want to go for a sleeping bag instead, check out our review of the Best Lightweight 3-season Sleeping Bags. As quilts leave your back in direct contact with a sleeping pad, many use them together with sleeping bag liners which significantly increase the comfort for very little added weight (a sleeping bag liner can weigh as little as 100 grams). Check out our review of the Best Sleeping Bag Liners here.
If you live in a place with a real change in seasons, look for a midweight quilt that will be comfortable when it’s warm out, but that’s easy to layer in the colder months. Choose a quilt in a solid, neutral color to give yourself the most flexibility as you transition through the seasons: In summer, pair it with lightweight cotton or linen sheets, then in winter trade in flannel sheets and top it with an extra throw blanket or duvet if you need more warmth.
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