I know, I know, you might be wondering why in the hell would anyone get a quilt over a sleeping bag! Well, I thought the same but decided to try one out and see if I’ll be much colder than sleeping in a good old sleeping bag.
The down quilt I chose is one from Enlightened Equipment and is called Revelation, an ultra-light down quilt which usable in three seasons up to 20 degrees Farenheit which is around -5 Celsius.
Why did I choose a down quilt over a sleeping bag and why exactly this one?
The main reason I chose it was that lots of people on Bushwalk and other forums recommended it and it was much lighter than my McKinley sleeping bag. My plan was to see if I will get cold or it would do the same job.
At the time I bought the Revelation, its cost was $240 USD and as the company is known for its high quality products, I decided to get one.
It is 100% made from Nylon material and weighs only 550 grams and comes with a down fill power of 800. Most people who talk against quilts say they can’t keep you warm as the bottom side is open to the temperature variations of the outside environment.
After doing my own research, I found out that most sleeping bags should theoretically keep colder as when you sleep on them you squash the bottom side and there isn’t enough volume or ‘fluffyness’ to create an insulation ‘wall’.
So it turns out a quilt is much lighter yet insulates at the same rate. Who would’ve thought!
Other features that the EE Revelation has
Other characteristics of the down quilts are its elastic, detachable straps which can tighten the quilt either at the top or the middle. You can combine this function with your sleeping mat or pad by tightening it around it to keep you warmer.
Moreover, there are a few small clip on studs and some elastic drawstrings that you can use to wrap around your feet for extra insulation and warmth.
There is a nylon sack to put the quilt in but I thought it’s too thin and replaced it with a Sea to Summit dry sack (8 litre). A great replacement.
I’ve hiked for almost 2 years with the down quilt and can say I’ve never found myself in a situation where I’m feeling colder than I would with a sleeping bag.
There are many colors you can choose from, the one I chose was aqua I think.
You can get one in a day if it has Amazon prime option if, for example, you live in the US or the UK.
So, to sum up:
What are the advantages of a down quilt vs a sleeping bag?
- Lighter – you can instead put some extra food in your bag
- Less volume – the quilt takes less space and can easily fit in one of your outer bag pockets
- Freedom of movement – a sleeping bag feels like you are tied up
- Cheaper – you can spend less on a down quilt than on a sleeping bag of the same brand or standard
At the end of the day, you must try it yourself and see which option works for you, we all have different sleeping behaviour and preferences.