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Sleeping bag versus quilt

March 20, 2021 — BarryK

I am currently revising the hiking gear, an exercise to reduce weight when hiking with the Daylight lumbar pack.

A couple of weeks ago, posted about reducing weight of the shelter system:

The shelter system is an ongoing project. Heh heh, there are hikers who spend their whole life looking for that "perfect tent". I am the same, and confess to being a "tentaholic".

Anyway, this blog post is about the sleep system. Here is the report on gear used in the last hike:

The sleep system:

Sleeping bag (S2S Micro III, in compression bag)
Mattress (Nemo Tensor insulated short mummy)
Pillow (S2S inflatable)
Pump (S2S)

The pillow has developed a leak, and on the last hike had to improvise a pillow using the Daylight pack.

Rethinking the sleep system, and after considerable online reading, I have decided to go for a quilt rather than sleeping bag. These are a special kind of quilt designed for hikers.

This is a very good overview:

I am a side-sleeper, and turn from one side to the other 3 or 4 times during the night, even more when in a tent. My mummy sleeping bag ends up all twisted up, and often the head-section ends up on top. A quilt allows you to toss and turn.

However, there is one significant downside. That tossing and turning may result in air gaps on the sides, not so good in cold weather. This would probably be the number one reason why some people prefer a sleeping bag. One guy who uses a quilt and is a side-sleeper, reported that sometimes his bum would stick out and get cold.

Ideally, I would like to train myself to sleep on my back, not turn from side to side. Proper use of the straps would help. We shall see. I have ordered one from a guy here in Australia who makes them to-order. He is very popular, and currently has a backlog of about 6 weeks.

This is what his quilts look like:


...that one has a zippered footbox, so can be opened up completely, good for hot nights.

Usage of the straps is optional. Some hikers don't use them. Their purpose is to keep the sides down, so you don't get side draughts. They can go either under or over the mattress.

The one I have ordered has more down fill than the S2S Micro III, yet is much lighter. Here are the weights, the quilt is the "-8 regular" model with zippered footbox, 950-loft down and 10D fabric:

Stuff sack

I will post details on where it is ordered from, after it arrives. The chap is struggling with a backlog right now, so let him catch up a bit.

Some interesting developments with the pillow, but will post about that later. There will be a later post on the complete new light sleep system.

If you want to watch some videos:   

Tags: light