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synthetic Sleep Systems

Old 08-25-16, 11:04 AM
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synthetic Sleep Systems

Hey all,

Before we begin I'd like to cover my arse and say I've done a forum search here and in google and came across lots of information regarding sleeping systems for bike touring and camping. However, needed further technical advise from riders who've actually ridden this area and conditions while using similar sleep systems. I'm in the market for a synthetic sleeping quilt that's light weight and easy to pack in a saddle bag. I have several options but narrowed it down to two see below...

1.) Therm-a-rest Proton blanket rated at 60 degree
2.) Enlightened Equipment Prodigy Quilt 30 degree

I use a 4 season tent pretty much all year around (Hilleberg Akto) and sleep warm for the most part. I don't do much winter camping although I have several times with friends. I considered going with a 20 degree quilt by enlightened equipment for lighter sleeping system. I usually sleep with my nano puff jacket on with thermals if it get's really nippy out. Coupled with my tent I'm very comfy on my XLite pad and have left my 650 fill bag (no longer have) at home on several occasions.

If anyone can shed light on these two systems or recommend others within the same caliber I'd appreciate it.
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Old 08-25-16, 12:19 PM
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I have several Enlightened Equipment quilts, a few down ones, and a 40F Prodigy.
Have been a satisfied EE customer for several years.
Their quilts are well-made, and well thought-out. The pricing is very fair. I Strongly recommend them.
The synthetic ones (of the Prodigy series) are very easy to maintain and require very little care.
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Old 08-25-16, 02:14 PM
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I've heard nothing but good things about the Enlightened Equipment quilts. There's one on my wish list.

I cannot imagine using a 60 degree blanket in anything but summer, late spring, or early fall in New York. And I can easily imagine nights where even then that might not be warm enough.

But I don't actually have experience with either of them. I just used to camp with a 60 degree bag, and I found it useful primarily when it was warm enough that I barely needed insulation. You could supplement it with other layers, which is what I did, but eventually you've packed enough layers that you might as well have packed a real, camping quilt, which would have taken up less space. That's why for top insulation I'm now planning on a CoolMax travel sheet and a Prodigy quilt for either 30 or 40 degrees. I can always vent the quilt if it's too warm, or just use the travel sheet, but finding out you don't have enough insulation to sleep warm is miserable.
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Old 08-25-16, 04:02 PM
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Do look at the MLD Spirit Quilt 28,38 and 48F degree versions. I bought the lowest temperature one four years ago and have been very pleased with the materials, design ,workmanship ,durability and performance even below the recommended temperature range. My XL weighs 24 ounces and packs small in a 10L stuff sack to put in a Revelate SeatPack.

The Climashield Apex insulation drapes and breathes well in a wide range of temperatures. Easy to clean. Just use a front loading washer and some detergent to wash. Line dry or use very low dryer setting as high heat can shrink the insulation.

This year for other camping purposes I made an Apex insulated quilt which cost under $80. Easy to do as the insulation only requires sewing around the perimeter. Thru Hiker offers Apex quilt kits as well.

Re:EE(Enlightened Equipment). Several years ago I had Tim make a child's Apex quilt as a gift. It was very well designed and constructed of excellent materials. Four years later the fast growing friend is now six years old and will outgrow the quilt soon. She uses it at home on her bed and on frequent bike, kayaking and backpack camping trips.
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Old 08-25-16, 05:07 PM
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EverLite | Western Mountaineering

Priced about the same or a little more as the equivalent Enlightened Equipment quilts. The large (65" for 6' 6") 45*F Everlite opens up completely and will lay flat as a quilt. No foot box, has a drawstring at both ends. I bought it mainly for late spring, summer and early fall; I'll use it as a quilt mostly. I like WM bags and have another also.

I can't report on performance yet; just got it yesterday.

The Enlightened Equipment quilts do look nice. The 6'6" WM Everlite is about 17 Oz.

Sorry I missed the part about synthetic...this is a down bag. Read the title too fast...

Last edited by jonc123; 08-25-16 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 08-26-16, 10:18 AM
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Years ago I bought a Marmot component bag set, a zip cover over 'eggcrate' foam, bottom
then got an Exped insulated air mattress to replace the foam.. a Thermarest would do too.
its rectangular..




./.

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-26-16 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 08-26-16, 11:23 AM
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I'm simply using a 32 degree down bag. Packs small and works good. I would use that for spring/fall conditions. For summer time I just use the rain fly and toss it over me. I don't set up the tent as I don't find a need for one. The rain fly traps my body heat and keeps me warm down to around 60 degrees.
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Old 08-30-16, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by IK_biker View Post
I have several Enlightened Equipment quilts, a few down ones, and a 40F Prodigy.
Have been a satisfied EE customer for several years.
Their quilts are well-made, and well thought-out. The pricing is very fair. I Strongly recommend them.
The synthetic ones (of the Prodigy series) are very easy to maintain and require very little care.
Thanks for chiming in everyone! IK_biker - does your 40 Prodigy pack down well? Was looking into grabbing one before my trip in a month or so. Was looking into a 30 and hope I can stuff it in a medium compression sack.
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Old 08-30-16, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by biketocamp View Post
does your 40 Prodigy pack down well? Was looking into grabbing one before my trip in a month or so. Was looking into a 30 and hope I can stuff it in a medium compression sack.
I have considerable experience with both down and synthetic sleeping bags and quilts, some 40+ year with the former and perhaps 30 years with the latter - of pretty active use, mainly on hiking trips.
I am also not a rich man. Because of this, I treat my stuff right, so it could last longer.
Compressing synthetic quilts is something I never do due to the unquestionable sensitivity of the filler material. I compress the heck out of my down stuff (because it's been tested and proven that this results in no lasting damage), but if one starts compressing their synthetics, one would soon realize that what they have is merely a consumable (soon to be in need of replacement) instead of equipment.
As opposed to a consumable, a synthetic quilt is a considerable expense, I expect it to last me a few hundreds of nights sleep, and to make most of it I never compress mine. The Prodigy is filled with the best synthetic insulation for the purpose there is - Climashield Apex, and indeed is quite forgiving to some short-term moderate compression, but is still sensitive and I can not afford to compress mine.

EE ships these in a properly sized bag, and I either use this same bag - or have the quilt loosely layered on the bottom of my backpack (hiking) or pannier/saddlebag (biking) with other stuff packed on top of it. This may result in some compression, but the quilt handles it well.

Thus, I am unable to answer your question about compressing the quilt, and suggest you avoid compression sacks - unless you don't care about longevity and can afford to change such equipment often. Or get a down quilt - these trump everything else when it comes to compressibility.
EE diligently shows on their web site their recommended "packed" volumes for all of their quilts (based on size, material, and temperature ratings) for your perusal.

Last edited by IK_biker; 08-30-16 at 07:52 AM.
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Old 08-30-16, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by biketocamp View Post
Hey all,

Before we begin I'd like to cover my arse and say I've done a forum search here and in google and came across lots of information regarding sleeping systems for bike touring and camping. However, needed further technical advise from riders who've actually ridden this area and conditions while using similar sleep systems. I'm in the market for a synthetic sleeping quilt that's light weight and easy to pack in a saddle bag. I have several options but narrowed it down to two see below...

1.) Therm-a-rest Proton blanket rated at 60 degree
2.) Enlightened Equipment Prodigy Quilt 30 degree

I use a 4 season tent pretty much all year around (Hilleberg Akto) and sleep warm for the most part. I don't do much winter camping although I have several times with friends. I considered going with a 20 degree quilt by enlightened equipment for lighter sleeping system. I usually sleep with my nano puff jacket on with thermals if it get's really nippy out. Coupled with my tent I'm very comfy on my XLite pad and have left my 650 fill bag (no longer have) at home on several occasions.

If anyone can shed light on these two systems or recommend others within the same caliber I'd appreciate it.
I used the proton on a 4 day trip in MN recently. I really liked it. It kept me warm and comfortable. Granted this was in August and the coldest it was at night was in the 50s. But sleeping on a mattress and in a tent that worked just fine. If it gets a bit colder, I'd just throw on a sweater and a hat.
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Old 08-30-16, 09:36 PM
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Not a quilt, but I used a 35 Mountain hardwear Ultralamina Spark sleeping bag on my recent wet trip to Iceland. It's about a pound and a half, and packs down super small, and it's synthetic.

Downside is, it's a very narrow cut with a very small zipper. If you like quilts for the sleep experience, this is not the sleeping bag for you.
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Old 09-02-16, 03:21 PM
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I use a Marmont 45 Plasma bad inside a Big Agnes synthetic "sleep system" overbag and a Therm-a-rest self inflating pad. Never been cold, usually have the overbag opened up by morning. But, I do live in Georgia and have not been exposed below the twenties. YMMV
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Old 09-02-16, 05:12 PM
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i bought the enlightened quilt few years back never used it yet so no idea what its like in cold weather (LONG story)
but it's certainly well made quality gear and great lads to deal with .
i had the akto tent just could not get on with it .
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Old 09-23-16, 12:21 PM
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Thanks everyone. I ordered an Enlightened prodigy quilt but the production time will take a while so I won't have it for my trip.

Last edited by biketocamp; 09-23-16 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 09-23-16, 12:33 PM
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Synthetic insulation Manufacturers have long tried to get close to Down's insulating value, per pound .

have they succeeded? thats open to opinions..
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Old 09-23-16, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by biketocamp View Post
Thanks everyone. I ordered an Enlightened prodigy quilt but the production time will take a while so I won't have it for my trip.
Same here. I may have mine in time for my next camping trip, but it will be close. It was just so hard to pull the trigger on a cold weather quilt while I was still sweltering.
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Old 09-23-16, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
Same here. I may have mine in time for my next camping trip, but it will be close. It was just so hard to pull the trigger on a cold weather quilt while I was still sweltering.
Yeah to bad... I went on and ordered this to use for my trip https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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