Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
ptownclimber

ultralight down quilt or sleeping bag?

Recommended Posts

I've never used a down quilt, but I have a Feathered Friends Vireo UL. As you can see if you follow the link, it's an elephant's-foot-like bag with no hood or zipper. The idea is you're bringing a down puffy anyway, so you might as well wear that to bed and bring a lighter sleeping bag. Hence, the torso area is very roomy compared to the footbox. The standard model also has more down in the leg area than the torso area for this reason.

 

My Vireo has five ounces of overfill in the torso, so it's actually around 20 oz. I used it on Mount Adams at the Lunch Counter camp (around 9400 ft) at the end of May, with Capilene 4 underwear, a light synthetic puffy, and a light wool hat, and inside an eVent bivy, on top of a Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol and under a tarp. I guess the low temp was in the low 20s that night. Anyway, it was supremely toasty. My model is the 68" length, and I am 69" tall, so I can really cocoon myself in it. It also had enough girth for two Nalgenes and a fuel canister near my hips and lower back, although you would be hard-pressed to get anything besides your feet in the footbox/lower leg area. I will also say that the Vireo did a good job of venting persperation, apparently, since it was dry but the foot of the bivy had some frozen condensation in the morning.

 

In summary,

 

Pros: light, packs small, warm

Cons: feet might get pretty warm in warm weather, no snuggling w/ SO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

western mountaineering ultralite with overfill. that thing is pretty damn light, feels so soft, and is very warm!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've looked at quilts to reduce weight and pack space but they don't seem to save much on either and are relatively expensive. Quilts do seem like they would be more comfortable than a traditional bag but I can't justify the purchase for that reason as I was trained that all bivies are supposed to be uncomfortable, with little sleep and always either too cold or too hot. :mad:

 

The Feathered Friends Vireo seems like a great lightweight idea but I worry about a lack of temperature regulation. I have a hard enough time with that issue in my 3/4 zip bag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I decided to take the plunge and get an Enlightened Equipment quilt. I do have a couple bags, including a Western Mountaineering bag and a Feathered Friends bag. I use both the current bags depending on the conditions (the FF bag is slightly warmer), but I'm not sleeping out much in super cold conditions and I prefer concept of a quilt...the reality...I don't know. I know that much of the time I end up using my FF or WM bag like a quilt anyway to regulate. So I'm going to try a quilt.

 

I am a big fan of Feathered Friends though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny story, not especially helpful. I was climbing once with a new partner. The partner had a lightweight elephant's foot style bag. I had a traditional 30 degree bag with a hood and a zipper. We were camped on a tiny col, with no true flat ground, so we pitched the tent as best we could. I slept on the down hill side and woke up several times with my face against the tent fabric (it was a single wall tent) and my partner smashed against me. The next morning I mentioned something to my partner about sliding downhill all night. My partner said 'no, it was not that, I was just cold'.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They don't really market it as such, but the Feathered Friends Flicker is a boss alpine climbing bag. It's a touch heavier than the Vireo, but the quilt style is far more versatile.

 

I use it as a 4 season bag in Washington, as there's enough room in it to accommodate belay pants and a heavier parka when the temperatures drop. It quilts out well for two people; we used one for two dudes on Huntington rather "comfortably". Would recommend mandatory hardshells when you're spooning with the homies, but the converse may apply with the honeys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use an ME 20oz bag as a summer bag and as a liner for an "oversize" FF bag on colder winter trips. The ME bag is warmer than I'd expected, so I also use it as a light "three season" bag. the ME bag was a replacement/upgrade for an older NF "lightrider" -16oz- which NF originally marketed for bicycle touring. being borderine between NF "regular" and "long" sizes, I bought the regular, which turned out to be uncomfortably short in use. for temperature regulation, the lightrider is constructed with no side-block baffle, so that on warm nights, you can shake most of the down to the bottom side of the bag and sleep on top of it, while on colder nights, you shake all the down to the top side. this gives the bag an extraordinary comfort range. If you're 5'10" or shorter, and not too bulky, the lightrider could be an excellent solution for you, and I would sell it cheap - $100. the lightrider in combination with a puffy jacket and pants kept me comfortable at 21000' on Aconcagua...

in my opinion, a bag with a full-length zipper is more versatile than a quilt. You can open a bag and use it as a quilt, but closing a quilt securely is problematic.

Edited by montypiton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know...is a zipper absolutely necessary for a secure closure/heat retention? A quilt with the ability to close up like a sleeping bag might be more versatile. But I guess it is splitting hairs and the definition between the two gets blurred....

 

http://www.enlightenedequipment.com/revelation/

 

http://featheredfriends.com/feathered-friends-flicker-20-ul-quilt-sleeping-bag.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish that FF would make a ground sheet that zips onto the Flicker and have mentioned this to an employee. A two person bag is a lot to commit to money-wise, but a one person bag that turns into a two person bag would be rad.

 

Good to know it works OK as a quilt for two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wish that FF would make a ground sheet that zips onto the Flicker and have mentioned this to an employee. A two person bag is a lot to commit to money-wise, but a one person bag that turns into a two person bag would be rad.

 

They make the Penguin and Condor, along with a groundsheet for both. You can use either as a single bag, then pair with the groundsheet and use as a double. It isn't as light as using the Flicker, but same general idea.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's definitely not as spiffy as a pre-made groundsheet, but you can easily get a matching zipper from Seattle Fabrics and sew your own. I suspect it'd be better for climbing than whatever they'd make, as the real target market for their two-person systems is romantic, not climbing, partners.

 

You'll want to (A) get the lightest (i.e. least comfortable) possible fabric and (B) sew the sheet as a triangle or isosceles trapezoid narrowing toward the foot. I believe Rolando Garibotti's Patagonia book has a whole schpiel about setting this up.

 

Frankly though, I've used the quilt with two people by just unzipping the top half of the bag and tucking the edge under my shoulder. It's not totally windproof, but good enough if you're in a bivy tent or in a sheltered spot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think part of the equation is how you sleep, if you naturally sleep in a position that is good for a sleeping bag then it works pretty well. If you splay out limbs and thrash some then a quilt may be better. I think on average a quilt is better for moderately warm conditions rather than the really cold. I prefer a quilt or a zipped open sleeping bag when not in really cold conditions.

A bivy sack or a single man tent can help hold the drafts down on the sides when using a quilt. I have a Jacks are Better two person quilt that is made well, not sure if it is wide enough for two, no field experience yet. I suspect it will be good for summer alpine with light belay coats for the occasional draft. For cold weather I suspect we (wife and I) need another system or a another quilt in combination(two quilts laying over each other in the middle or attached together) to be warm enough for us. A lot of sleeping needs is individual specific, and how hardman you want to go for a particular trip out. Quilts seem lighter for a given temp rating by the manufacturers, I wonder if there is a lower end in temp that a quilt works well enough as compared to a sleeping bag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×