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.
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.
The Nemo Siren Down Ultralight quilt is with a weight of 540 grams even lighter than the Sea to Summit Ember EB III quilt, but on the other hand also less insulated – it has a lower limit rating of -1°C. The quilt has a super lightweight shell which is made of 10-denier ripstop nylon and treated with DWR in order to repel water rather than absorbing it. The insulation layer uses a high-grade 850-fill power down and thus provides great loft and warmth. The quilt has a lacing system on the underside so that you can easily attach it to a sleeping pad. Another great feature is the insulated collar which comes around your shoulders and prevents cold drafts. The quilt comes with a stuff sack and measures only 25 x 25 centimeters when packed.
I could take a roll of paper towels down to 17 degrees with additional clothing but it might negate the weight savings of my super ultralight sleep system. I’ve heard a lot of people had that same issue on the PCT that Cheese had with both the Zpacks and EE quilts. It would be nice if both of those companies rated their quilts accurately though so people wouldn’t waste their money on a 40 degree quilt when they think they’re getting a 20 degree quilt. Furthermore, you can always tell a Z-Packs Fan Boy by how defensive they get about their company.
Not a fan of these Z-Packs Fan Boys, as some people like to call them. I have no way to prove it, but I think Z-Packs pays people for favorable reviews/comments. The favorable comments above probably came from one guy with a bunch of different “user accounts.” I’ve struggled with wanting to buy a Z-Packs tent and backpack in the past because their reviews and low weights are super enticing but I don’t think their equipment is built to last. This is coming from someone who’s never owned Z-Packs gear so take that as you will.