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Affordable backpacking quilt

Old 08-31-23, 10:35 AM
  #26  
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What is the reasoning for wanting a quilt instead of a sleeping bag? Quilts are for the most part a cottage industry catering to backpackers who want ultralight gear. Most would purchase a quilt over a sleeping bag to save weight. But... Unless you spend a good bit more than $200, you will not save weight. Due to mass-marketing and therefore better availability, one can get a sleeping bag that is better quality and lighter than a bargain quilt.

Do you find a quilt more comfortable?
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Old 08-31-23, 06:15 PM
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I surprisingly found my new quilt more comfortable than my old mummy bag, due to being able to toss and turn and the quilt pretty much staying put.
I never would have thought so, but like my quilt.
The two under the mattress cord thingees seem to do the job, but I'm slight so this probably helps.
mine is a MEC model rated to 0c, got it on sale for a bit under 200 cad


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Old 09-01-23, 06:56 AM
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An unexpected advantage I found with the quilt is cleanliness. Since there's minimal, very low pressure skin contact with the insulation, it stays very clean, and therefore does not degrade. It's easy to sanitize with a few minutes of sunlight on breaks. On a long tour, it's a plus having one less funky thing in the pack.
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Old 09-01-23, 03:12 PM
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Unless the temps are very cold, say lower than 30F the sleeping bag is too confining, especially a mummy style bag. Quilts are better adapted to heat regulation. In addition to this I move around a lot when I sleep, be it at home or on the floor of a tent, and a bag is, once again, too confining by restricting movement.
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Old 09-01-23, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul_P
I find odd the idea of sleeping directly on the mattress. Seems to me a regular bag with full length zipper can be used just as well as a quilt when open, but you can also have the draft-free warmth when you need it and the comfort of sleeping on something other that rubber.

There are wide or rectangular bags that are much less confining than a mummy.

I've always used a liner in a sleeping bag which can be used by itself and is easy to wash (make them myself and they stay in place with velcro).
My Klymit pad has a "Klymit V Sheet" cover that acts as a bottom sheet (and pillow trapper) so I don't lie directly on the mattress. It is awesome.
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Old 12-06-23, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero
Last night my go to quilt got chilly at 50 degrees Fahrenheit. I am now looking for a quilt that will go down to 30 degrees, yet is not in the uber price range. Under 200 bills is the goal. Any hope of finding one that is over 80" in length?
I had the same problem so I designed one to solve them twelve years ago. Online I bought ripstop and Climashield Apex insulation rated for 30F. Cost was $90. Climashield only needs to be sewn around the perimeter which simplifies the sewing greatly.
A friend with better sewing skills offered to sew my quilt. Finished size 60"W by 90"L. Wt. 28oz.
I can create a footpocket with snap buttons along the bottom area. This I find useful for retaining heat below the rated low limit.
Hundreds of nights of usage without problems.
Give your seamstress friend a try. You will like the results.
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Old 12-07-23, 01:25 PM
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Quilt

Originally Posted by TiHabanero
Last night my go to quilt got chilly at 50 degrees Fahrenheit. I am now looking for a quilt that will go down to 30 degrees, yet is not in the uber price range. Under 200 bills is the goal. Any hope of finding one that is over 80" in length?

While their down quilts are over your spending limit, the synthetic is close. Couple hundred grams more in weight, long compresses down to 9.4L, and is 84" long. I was going to suggest just upping the R value of your sleeping pad, but no wonderkid sleeping pad is going to close the gap on a 50 degree quilt, unless you go with a serious sleeping pad liner, lol.

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Old 12-10-23, 12:37 AM
  #33  
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arctos, your suggestion on the insulation is helpful. Although she has already made the blanket (not exactly what I need, but is close), I am going to have her look into your suggestion after the holidays as she is booked through with projects. Climashield is very cost effective and it looks like the 7.5 oz is what is needed to achieve temp rating.
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Old 12-16-23, 05:23 PM
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Packing quilts are very much like an old poncho liner we used when I was in the Marines back in the 70s. Lay the liner on the poncho, fold them in half and snuggle in, kept you quite warm.
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Old 12-16-23, 09:12 PM
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I use a down bag, one pound of down. Then small down comforter about 30x60 inches inside the bag when itís really cold. Donít forget to insulate yourself from the ground with a top notch air mattress or something similar. Thermarest NeoAir for me but others have their followers.
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Old 12-17-23, 04:59 AM
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I never got how a quilt is supposed to save weight.

A sleeping bag is simply a quilt which has been exactly shaped to your body shape, with every inch of excess material removed. For the same thickness, the sleeping bag is lighter.

The sleeping bag is also fully enclosed, whereas a quilt allows a draft. The sleeping bag has a hood that encloses your head, the quilt does not. Therefore in order for a quilt to be equally warm, it has to be thicker to compensate.

Of course you can buy a high end quilt with lightweight down insulation, but the same high end materials would yield an even lighter sleeping bag.

If you find your sleeping bag to be too constricting, it means you are too hot. When you are cold, your brain has an automatic reflex that makes you draw in your limbs. When you are hot, your brain has a reflex that makes you spread your limbs. Unzip your bag and regulate your temperature to obtain the desired brain state.

Any sleeping bag can be opened and used like a quilt. The shape is a bit awkward, but if you are warm enough that you can afford to open the bag, it means perfect coverage is not necessary anyway.

Last edited by Yan; 12-17-23 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 12-17-23, 06:24 AM
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I have claustrophobia, just zipping up a bag with my arms inside presents anxiety. Just because it is a different way of getting the job done doesn't necessarily mean it is an inferior method.
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Old 12-17-23, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero
I have claustrophobia, just zipping up a bag with my arms inside presents anxiety. Just because it is a different way of getting the job done doesn't necessarily mean it is an inferior method.
When it is really cold outside, I can't get the zipper zipped all the way up fast enough.
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Old 12-19-23, 03:12 AM
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Those with claustrophobia can relate to this, I'd rather die than be trapped in a zipped bag! It is excruciatingly painful anxiety. Sucks, but can be avoided.
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Old 12-19-23, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero
Unless the temps are very cold, say lower than 30F the sleeping bag is too confining, especially a mummy style bag. Quilts are better adapted to heat regulation. In addition to this I move around a lot when I sleep, be it at home or on the floor of a tent, and a bag is, once again, too confining by restricting movement.
Different strokes... I find light backpacking style quilts VERY confining. Any movement opens you to drafts. That could be avoided with a big quilt, but if looking to save weight that isn't the answer. With a mummy bag you can move all over the place and the bag goes with you. You don't get any draft.

I tried to work out using a quilt to save weight, but it really didn't for me. To avoid draft and to be as warm it needed a skirt and a bit more insulation that made it the same weight as my favorite bag.

I have found that for me. I like to use a mummy bag that I can zip most of the way open and use like a quilt when it is warm out, climb in as it gets cooler, zip up as it gets cooler yet, and pull the hood drawstring snug as it gets cooler yet.

I get that what works for me isn't for everyone and that quilts are the right answer for some. Little backpacking quilts designed to minimize weight may not be the right answer for someone looking for freedom to move around and not too worried about weight. I don't see much mention of bigger quilts, but I could imagine they might suit some folks.

I know some folks just hate mummy bags, but my nice down bag my be my most loved piece of gear. It is a bit of home away from home.
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Old 12-19-23, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
...
I have found that for me. I like to use a mummy bag that I can zip most of the way open and use like a quilt when it is warm out, climb in as it gets cooler, zip up as it gets cooler yet, and pull the hood drawstring snug as it gets cooler yet.
...
Yup.

I would add that a sleeping bag liner alone is nice for when it is quite warm, and as the night cools, you can start to get into your sleeping bag.

ADDENDUM:
I just saw your other post at:
Cleaning a Down Sleeping Bag
where you describe why you do not use a liner.

Got it.

Last edited by Tourist in MSN; 12-19-23 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 12-20-23, 07:57 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Yan
I never got how a quilt is supposed to save weight.

A sleeping bag is simply a quilt which has been exactly shaped to your body shape, with every inch of excess material removed. For the same thickness, the sleeping bag is lighter.

The sleeping bag is also fully enclosed, whereas a quilt allows a draft. The sleeping bag has a hood that encloses your head, the quilt does not. Therefore in order for a quilt to be equally warm, it has to be thicker to compensate.

Of course you can buy a high end quilt with lightweight down insulation, but the same high end materials would yield an even lighter sleeping bag.

If you find your sleeping bag to be too constricting, it means you are too hot. When you are cold, your brain has an automatic reflex that makes you draw in your limbs. When you are hot, your brain has a reflex that makes you spread your limbs. Unzip your bag and regulate your temperature to obtain the desired brain state.

Any sleeping bag can be opened and used like a quilt. The shape is a bit awkward, but if you are warm enough that you can afford to open the bag, it means perfect coverage is not necessary anyway.
I always used to think the same as you, that quilts really didnt make sense, and figured you'd get drafts all the time (I'm skinny and hate being cold).
I've been using the same mummy shaped sleeping bag, a synthetic one, for eons, and it works ok still, but this year wanted to get a new bag. I started getting the idea to try out a quilt, mostly because I'm a turny turny sleeper, and my old bag has always been a bit confining feeling.

Anyway, got a MEC down quilt on sale in the spring, and was pleasantly surprised to see that it stays in place when I turn from side to side, it really didnt have drafts, and I actually found it more comfortable to sleep in than a mummy bag and it stays in place around my sides fairly effectively due to the two strap thingees that go under my sleeping pad.
Its rated to 0c and I've slept perfectly comfortable in it to about 4, 5c , which is probably really all I need for what I do camping wise, so in the end, I was proven wrong about quilts--and anyway, its way warmer than my old sleeping bag.

It was a bonus getting it on sale, and given that I've been using my old bag exclusively for something like 30 years, it's nice to have something more comfortable and is a good deal lighter and takes up less space--really handy in using a handlebar harness and a drybag , so quilt, campmat and camp pillow in the drybag, and tent also in the harness, in a reasonably not too heavy setup.
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Old 12-20-23, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
...
Anyway, got a MEC down quilt on sale in the spring, and ....
I thought MEC went out of business. Did they not?
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Old 12-20-23, 09:47 PM
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They got bought by an American company, kept the stores and an older logo, is now mountain equipment company, not coop.
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Old 12-21-23, 12:30 AM
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Pretty sure MEC got robbed out of existence by a corrupt co-op board, because Kingswood paid supposedly $150M, but MEC had only $90M in debt, so where did the $60M difference go? Because MEC members sure didn't get a single cent. Clearly the board members sneaked away with millions under the table each.
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Old 12-21-23, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Yan
Pretty sure MEC got robbed out of existence by a corrupt co-op board, because Kingswood paid supposedly $150M, but MEC had only $90M in debt, so where did the $60M difference go? Because MEC members sure didn't get a single cent. Clearly the board members sneaked away with millions under the table each.
At the time I was rather preoccupied with the pandemic and family, so don't recall the details.
I would like to see some reliable sources of reports that give an overview of the sake.
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Old 12-21-23, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
At the time I was rather preoccupied with the pandemic and family, so don't recall the details.
I would like to see some reliable sources of reports that give an overview of the sake.
Here's the webpage on the matter. Alvarez & Marshall is the law firm appointed by the BC courts to oversee MEC's reorganization.
https://www.alvarezandmarsal.com/MEC

Under the section affidavits, if you dig into one of the early ones from around the time of sale, you'll see that the sale agreement with Kingswood is listed as an exhibit, but the exhibits have been redacted. You could try contacting the law firm and requesting an unredacted copy, or you could try to request it from the court directly as theoretically it should be public material.

​​​​​I couldn't find any reporting on the agreement details in any news articles, and there are no reliable sources for even the value of the sale. I have to assume the journalists were not successful at accessing the agreement. Not really sure what's going on, and now my time wasted on this matter has come to an end.

It would have gone like this: "Hello, we are an asset management company called Kingswood and we would like to acquire MEC out of receivership. Following the sale, we would like to engage the current MEC board members for a period of two years to oversee the transition to new ownership. The compensation for the two year engagement is X million dollars. What are the thoughts of the current MEC board members regarding this proposal?"

MEC board members' reply: "X million each or X million together? And where do we sign?"

Fully legal. And it won't be in the sale agreement. MEC is now a private company and its dealings are a private matter. They can hire consultants for however much they want.

Last edited by Yan; 12-21-23 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 12-21-23, 08:38 AM
  #48  
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that seems like a likely take on things. I recall not much detail being available, and the quick searching now pretty much confirms this.
I just remember being disappointed that a Canadian company didn't take it over, but in the end, one giant company with lots of money running it or an American one---is there a difference.
Bottom line, the changing world of sales has made it pretty darn hard for brick and mortar businesses like this to keep going--and I have no insight into answers or solutions, I'm just a joe-blow nobody with no big business knowledge.
Here is one observation -- I was glad that MEC continued to exist, even with a different form, part of that comes from someone who goes back a long time buying stuff from MEC.
Also while before they really never had "sales" as such, they do now, pretty much the same as all other outdoor gear stores, and I bought my new sleeping quilt and small tent on sale, so I'm glad I made these purchases from at least an entity that has brick and mortar stores here in Canada.

again, no more deep insights other than that.....

off topic ish, how are the mounting systems on the blue mec panniers holding up? I was always a bit suspect of mec brand panniers because of that and wondered how robust it is.
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Old 12-21-23, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
that seems like a likely take on things. I recall not much detail being available, and the quick searching now pretty much confirms this.
I just remember being disappointed that a Canadian company didn't take it over, but in the end, one giant company with lots of money running it or an American one---is there a difference.
Bottom line, the changing world of sales has made it pretty darn hard for brick and mortar businesses like this to keep going--and I have no insight into answers or solutions, I'm just a joe-blow nobody with no big business knowledge.
Here is one observation -- I was glad that MEC continued to exist, even with a different form, part of that comes from someone who goes back a long time buying stuff from MEC.
Also while before they really never had "sales" as such, they do now, pretty much the same as all other outdoor gear stores, and I bought my new sleeping quilt and small tent on sale, so I'm glad I made these purchases from at least an entity that has brick and mortar stores here in Canada.

again, no more deep insights other than that.....

off topic ish, how are the mounting systems on the blue mec panniers holding up? I was always a bit suspect of mec brand panniers because of that and wondered how robust it is.
Those panniers are a late 2000s model. Molded plastic hooks with simple plastic spring retention tabs molded as a single piece with the hooks themselves. Old style bungie cord hook at the bottom. There's a picture on this webpage. It's not the exact same model but the back is identical to mine.
https://thelazyrando.wordpress.com/2...tour-panniers/

Zero problems in nearly 20,000km, including some serious off road stuff. I rode Elk Pass in Banff with them this summer. They've faired significantly better than the mounting hardware on those red original generation Ortliebs. The plastic rails on the old Ortliebs are just a deformed mess, albeit apparently still structurally sound.

Just buy from REI and drive across the border to pick up. Plenty of parcel holding businesses along the border. Here's an example at Niagara Falls. Walking distance to the border crossing, only charges $2.50 to hold a package on your behalf.
https://www.americanmailbox.net/

Last edited by Yan; 12-21-23 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 12-21-23, 05:27 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Yan
Those panniers are a late 2000s model. Molded plastic hooks with simple plastic spring retention tabs molded as a single piece with the hooks themselves. Old style bungie cord hook at the bottom. There's a picture on this webpage. It's not the exact same model but the back is identical to mine.
https://thelazyrando.wordpress.com/2...tour-panniers/

Zero problems in nearly 20,000km, including some serious off road stuff. I rode Elk Pass in Banff with them this summer. They've faired significantly better than the mounting hardware on those red original generation Ortliebs. The plastic rails on the old Ortliebs are just a deformed mess, albeit apparently still structurally sound.

Just buy from REI and drive across the border to pick up. Plenty of parcel holding businesses along the border. Here's an example at Niagara Falls. Walking distance to the border crossing, only charges $2.50 to hold a package on your behalf.
https://www.americanmailbox.net/
Ya, I remember the plastic hardware on them, I seem to recall an orange plastic doohickey also , probably to stop the hooks from hopping off rails with a bump--it was those orange things that to me looked chintzy--but your experience with them shows they are tough, so there you go....
I also remember that vik guy, have recollections of him with a surly cargo bike or something like that, dummy somethingorother.

My most heavily used Ortliebs also have deformed/curved rails that the upper hooks are on--it used to bug me, but they too just keep on working. I wondered if it was from riding in a lot of heat for weeks on end, plus the weight in the bags (although they usually werent really heavily loaded).
Ya, we have , or used to have a vermont parcel holding business, Ive used it in the past, but I'm not sure if its still open, and anyway, its a far enough of a drive from here that its not something I'd do on a whim, just too much driving time involved.
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