Friday, July 31, 2015

Gear Review ~ Sleeping Quilt

Before we headed out on our trip, I made myself a sleeping quilt.
Oddly enough, there are no photos of me sleeping in my sleeping bag, so we'll just rerun this picture, shall we?
I made it from a kit designed and sold by Ray Jardine, lightweight backpacking guru. I made the 1-Person Alpine version in purple. I write a little bit about the making process here.

Now, as far as the sleeping here's what I found:

Pros:

  • It was so comfortable. I loved the light, soft nylon, which was silky and much less crinkly than some sleeping bag nylon. I It had enough weight to it that it wasn't like sleeping in the open (which I hate) but was still super light and put no pressure on the body. I also loved the puffiness created by the batting being tied, rather than quilted or baffled.
  • I loved that it has no zipper. There was none of that confining claustrophobia of being zipped in. The quilt drapes over you and I would just cozy my feet into the foot pocket and tuck the free edges, including the loose flap of fabric ('draft-stopper') under myself. (My sleeping mat is a Thermarest with a smooth, canvas-like texture; another type of sleeping mat might have been less pleasant to sleep directly on).
  • There was no annoying velcro or drawstrings to get stuck to or tangled up in.
  • Light! I finally weighed it: just over 2 1/4 pounds. By comparison my old down bag is: 4 pounds!
Cons:
  • The only downside, was that I got cold the night we were in the Sand Dunes. I looked up the temperature data and the low that night was 43 degrees F. This quilt is supposed to be good to 28. But I am a cold sleeper and I was wearing summer pajamas (having expected summer weather--and forgetting that we always took our winter coats camping in Colorado when I was a kid). I found a pair of yoga pants and a long-sleeved shirt in my suitcase and wore those, along with socks on subsequent nights and was much warmer. (Ray Jardine has a whole chapter in his book about sleeping warm in a lightweight bag...guess I better reread that!).

I still have plans to make more for my other family members, but I want to try it out in more camping conditions first.

6 comments:

  1. I still have a parka that my sister made in around about 1980 from a Frostline kit. Frostline is not around anymore I guess.

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    Replies
    1. That's quite the long-lived parka!

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  2. I love that you made your own sleeping bag!

    Happy weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Kim! Happy weekend to you, too!

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  3. More pros than cons - so it's a winner!

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