Australian made down top quilts - Tier Gear

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Australian made down top quilts - Tier Gear

Postby simonm » Sat 19 Aug, 2017 5:15 pm

Hey all,

Most people probably know that Tier Gear supply DIY materials, however, the majority of our business in now focused on manufacturing our own lightweight bushwalking and camping gear. We have been making our down top quilts for over 12 months now, and whilst they are without a doubt our most popular item I haven't really promoted them here to any great extent, mainly because we already have our lead times at about 6-8 weeks, and that is with Sarah and I both working full-time at Tier Gear. Plus I don't like bombarding this forum with commercial posts. However, I thought it was about time to spread the word a little more, and it coincides with a post I placed on our Facebook page this morning, which I have mostly cut and paste below.

We are constantly seeking to make improvements and as such we will be testing some new fabrics and new hydrophobic down in the near future. Not that the fabrics and down we use now are not top class, they are, but you need to always be open to improvements. The new ultralight fabric we will be testing is a high tenacity Robic nylon sourced direct from the manufacturer which we are excited to test, but they would need to be good to replace the Argon fabric we currently use. Though the extra strength and abrasion resistance of Robic nylon is appealing, but time will tell.

Our Quenda top quilt range are designed with flexibility in mind, with a snapped footbox allowing you to regulate your warmth by opening all or part of the way, just like other quilts of similar design. We have some additional top quilt designs in the mix but they will be some time off yet.

A few of the features of our Quenda top quilts are:

1. Offset continuous trapezoidal baffles - these help reduce the possibility of any cold spots forming as the top and bottom stitch lines are offset. This adds a little complexity and time to the build process, and adds a little bit of extra weight but produces a more thermally efficient quilt in our opinion. No-one else uses this style of baffle construction in a top quilt as far as I am aware, though you do see them in some higher end sleeping bags.

2. Easy to reach offset draw cord - at the head end we have placed the draw cord on the top side of the quilt but off to the side. This has several advantages - the cord won't hang in your face, and it is also easy to access when you need to vent the quilt if you are too warm or cinch it up when you are cold. We use a 2mm shock cord which is made in Australia.

3. Adjustable snapped footbox - we chose snaps over a zipper, which we used to offer as an option, for a few reasons:
-they offer more versatility over a zipper as you can open or close the footbox as much as you like depending on how warm or cold it is.
- a failure of one snap is less catastrophic than a zipper failure when out in the field and more easily repaired when you return. However, neither are very likely from my experience.
- you won't catch the fabric in a snap like you can in a zipper.
- snaps are slightly less weight

4. Optimum down insulation density - we have a focus on producing quilts that are functional first and weight is a secondary consideration. As such our quilts will never be the lightest as we seem to have a bit more down than other similarly rated quilts. We ensure our quilt baffles are precisely filled to the 1/10th of a gram to ensure the optimum density of down to provide the desired performance, and our temp ratings are perhaps a little conservative. We are constantly monitoring and reviewing this to ensure our quilts meet our expectations and those of our customers.

5. Horizontal continuous baffles - we chose this design for its versatility, allowing the user to move the down as needed to the sides or on top depending if you require more or less warmth. The density of our down fill helps minimise any unwanted down movement. Versatility of design plays an important role in much of what we do.

6. Back straps and pad straps - we provide two types of straps. One you can use to attach the quilt to your sleeping pad, the others simply pull the quilt edges underneath you without attaching to the pad. Personally I don't use either unless is is brutally cold but the option is there to use both, a combination of the two or none.

7. Static flat foot draw cord - we use a specific flat cord at the foot end draw cord as it minimises the gap that is present when you cinch closed the footbox. We tested a number of cord options and this worked the best making it easier to close and producing the smallest gap so that it is almost non-existent. It's a small detail but one worthy of consideration. I like the small stuff.

8. We use high quality German made poly cotton corespun thread. This thread has a cotton outer cover which creates an almost furry appearance and this can help negate any down leakage through the stitch holes. I have yet to see any down leakage from my quilt.

9. 800fill power hydrophobic duck down as standard. Ethically sourced and RDS certified (Responsible Down Standard).

10. Stuff sack - made from silicone coated fabric for added weather protection when in your pack and a quilt storage sack - made from breathable ripstop nylon to keep your quilt uncompressed when stored at home.

11. We make these to order here in Tasmania, Australia, with the best materials we can source and with an eye on the details.

To date we have people using our quilts in the USA, and all over Australia. They have been tested in the snow of the Victorian High Country over winter, through to North Queensland, and in hammocks, tents or under tarps.

You can find more details on our website - http://www.tiergear.com.au/11/products/quenda-top-quilt.

Follow us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/TierGear/ and Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/tiergear_tasmania/.

Also you can use the member discount as mentioned in this post - http://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=24803 to get 5% off using code: Bushwalk5.

Thanks everybody. Let me know if you have any questions.

IMG_20170124_105927 1.jpg


Quenda 180 -1c reg - 588grams with over stuff.jpg
Quenda 180 -1c reg - 588grams with over stuff.jpg (62.91 KiB) Viewed 5370 times


Trapezoidal baffle on a Quenda Top quilt.jpg
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Re: Australian made down top quilts - Tier Gear

Postby neilmny » Sun 20 Aug, 2017 9:30 am

They look really well made Simon and the Argon will be hard to beat.
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Re: Australian made down top quilts - Tier Gear

Postby simonm » Sun 20 Aug, 2017 12:13 pm

neilmny wrote:They look really well made Simon and the Argon will be hard to beat.


Thanks Neil - Argon is a very nice fabric that is for sure. The new fabric does have some appeal though, especially with added durability. The feedback we are getting from our customers is that they are less obsessed with weight and instead are seeking durability without too much weight added, so they are keen to see the Robic fabrics in action. Lightweight and durable gear is what we are aiming for, rather than ultralight.
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Re: Australian made down top quilts - Tier Gear

Postby simonm » Thu 11 Jan, 2018 6:16 pm

Just some belated feedback on the Robic fabrics as mentioned above - we haven't progressed with this yet and the minimum order from the supplier was larger than we could manage at this point in time. Also our testing of the Robic didn't show any great advantage over our current fabrics, with regards tear strength anyway.

We have however just received a large shipment of 850FP DownTek Down and this is now standard in all our quilts, and available for DIYers. It has cost us a small fortune getting here but it will be worth it I am sure.

This is the first quilt off the line with the new 850FP down 617grams, -7c, with 10 denier inner and outer. Plus a graphic showing the trapezoidal offset baffles we utilise.

Quenda 180 -7 10d inner and outer.jpg


Quenda dual cinch cord adjusters..jpg


Trapezoidal Offset Baffles.JPG
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Re: Australian made down top quilts - Tier Gear

Postby ofuros » Thu 11 Jan, 2018 6:59 pm

Looks the goods simon...and business wise, hope you have a great 2018.
Mountains view are good for my soul...& getting to them is good for my waistline !
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Re: Australian made down top quilts - Tier Gear

Postby simonm » Fri 12 Jan, 2018 6:11 am

Thanks ofuros - hope you have a great 2018 as well.
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Re: Australian made down top quilts - Tier Gear

Postby Zapruda » Fri 12 Jan, 2018 9:57 pm

Thank the hiking gods for horizontal baffles!!! these look great Simon!!!
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Re: Australian made down top quilts - Tier Gear

Postby simonm » Sat 13 Jan, 2018 6:11 am

Zapruda wrote:Thank the hiking gods for horizontal baffles!!! these look great Simon!!!


Thanks Zapruda.

We have also just been asked by one of our suppliers to provide one of our quilts for the July 2018 Outdoor Retailers Show held in Colorado USA so that is very cool.
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Re: Australian made down top quilts - Tier Gear

Postby Moondog55 » Mon 15 Jan, 2018 7:12 am

Simon have you ever rethought the idea of making custom down clothing?
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Australian made down top quilts - Tier Gear

Postby simonm » Mon 15 Jan, 2018 9:18 am

Hi MD - we have spoken about it but it's not quite in my skill set at present.
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Re: Australian made down top quilts - Tier Gear

Postby simonm » Thu 08 Feb, 2018 7:08 am

One of our latest quilts.

Quenda 180 -12c orange and charcoal.jpg
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Re: Australian made down top quilts - Tier Gear

Postby GPSGuided » Thu 08 Feb, 2018 11:24 am

Trapezoidal offset baffle? Pretty neat and seemed to be a lot more work. Nice going!
Just move it!
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Re: Australian made down top quilts - Tier Gear

Postby simonm » Thu 08 Feb, 2018 7:48 pm

GPSGuided wrote:Trapezoidal offset baffle? Pretty neat and seemed to be a lot more work. Nice going!


Thanks. The baffles do take a tiny bit more time. With the way we do the trapezoid baffles on average our baffle spacing is about 11cm so the extra baffle or two adds time, but helps with down control.
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Re: Australian made down top quilts - Tier Gear

Postby GPSGuided » Thu 08 Feb, 2018 8:13 pm

simonm wrote:Thanks. The baffles do take a tiny bit more time. With the way we do the trapezoid baffles on average our baffle spacing is about 11cm so the extra baffle or two adds time, but helps with down control.

Yes, can definitely see the performance benefits of such a design. Impressed.
Just move it!
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Re: Australian made down top quilts - Tier Gear

Postby simonm » Sat 17 Feb, 2018 5:58 am

GPSGuided wrote:
simonm wrote:Thanks. The baffles do take a tiny bit more time. With the way we do the trapezoid baffles on average our baffle spacing is about 11cm so the extra baffle or two adds time, but helps with down control.

Yes, can definitely see the performance benefits of such a design. Impressed.


Thanks. It certainly provides our quilts with a point of difference.
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