Quilt rating for Victorian colder months?

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Quilt rating for Victorian colder months?

Postby butter-nuts » Wed 16 May, 2018 10:10 am

Hi All,

I am fairly new to backpacking, and have not spent much time out during the colder months. I went for a 3 day hike in the Grampians 2 weeks ago and found my 40F (5C) quilt lacking. Even when sleeping in my down puffy and thermal leggings + rain pants I was freezing. I am now looking to get a better quality quilt with a lower temperature rating. Based on reviews and talking to the manufacturer I have settled on a UGQ quilt (they appear to be great quality at a great price with very helpful staff). The only thing I can’t decide on is rating. I was hoping an experienced hiker in the Victorian climate could help me out. For general weekend hikes (typically 1 to 2 nights) around Melbourne (say within 3 hrs drive) does a 20F (-6C) quilt sound appropriate? I have no problem sleeping in my puffy/leggings to add a little warmth or would you recommend a 10F (-12C)? I like the idea of the 20F as it adds a little year round versatility, however I don’t want to freeze and I do have my current quilt for the really warm months.

I know a full sleeping bag may be warmer, but I find quilts far more comfortable/versatile.
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Re: Quilt rating for Victorian colder months?

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 16 May, 2018 1:28 pm

If winter and snow is part of the equation I have advised for years to use a lower system temperature rating of -18C, so adding clothing to a -6C quilt will work but just leggings isn't enough so think about adding a layer of fleece there as well as thick warm sleeping socks. Second thoughts tho would you be prepared to layer quilts?
Adding an UL synthetic quilt over the down one provides extra warmth and protection from condensation etc and for a lower cost than a new -6C down quilt
Also note that when it gets cold you will need a much warmer mat so if the one you own now is comfortable think about adding a CCF pad as well
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Re: Quilt rating for Victorian colder months?

Postby butter-nuts » Wed 16 May, 2018 2:02 pm

Moondog55 wrote:If winter and snow is part of the equation I have advised for years to use a lower system temperature rating of -18C, so adding clothing to a -6C quilt will work but just leggings isn't enough so think about adding a layer of fleece there as well as thick warm sleeping socks. Second thoughts tho would you be prepared to layer quilts?
Adding an UL synthetic quilt over the down one provides extra warmth and protection from condensation etc and for a lower cost than a new -6C down quilt
Also note that when it gets cold you will need a much warmer mat so if the one you own now is comfortable think about adding a CCF pad as well


Thanks for the reply mate, much appreciated!

I am pretty keen to get a new quilt anyways as mine isn't the best quality (aliexpress). I really only bought it for a bit of summer camping and to see how I liked a quilt (which I found out I do).

Keeping in mind I do want to buy a new quilt, of the two quilts I’m considering (UGQ bandit 20F or bandit 10F) there is around a 57g weight difference and $10 price difference (neither of which seem all that bad to me). I don’t have any immediate plans to hike/camp in the snow; however I would very much like to get out on the trails during the winter months so we will see how I end up.

With the above in mind can I ask your thoughts on the following:
- Would you expect the 10F to be sufficient during the winter months (with the addition of thermals + down jacket + sleep socks on really cold nights)?
- Would you expect I lose too much versatility by going 10F instead of 20F (i.e. 10F will be too warm for spring/autumn, when I do the bulk of my hiking/camping). I’m a little worried I am buying a quilt suitable for 10% of my trips when it’s very cold and will be too warm for the 90% of trips that aren’t so cold.

Thanks again for your input, I really apreciate the help!
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Re: Quilt rating for Victorian colder months?

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 16 May, 2018 2:33 pm

Well my own quilt is rated -20C/ 3F and it was only just warm enough at Pretty Valley this week when it was only 0C overnite so a lot depends on the rest of the gear. will you always be inside a good double skin tent? If not add 10C to the bottom line, will your mattress be warmer than the rating of your top insulation ? [ essential IMO] then add another 5 or ten degrees to that bottom line. I wasn't in a tent or a hut and I was sleeping on a cot, if I had used my overquilt I would have been toasty because the overquilt has a Robic shell which is windproof.
I can't answer the specific question, far too many variables but I find a quilt much less warm that a full sleeping bag
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Re: Quilt rating for Victorian colder months?

Postby butter-nuts » Wed 16 May, 2018 2:45 pm

Thanks mate, and I definitely understand you can't answer for my specific questions, however what you have offered has been a great help (and pretty much convinced me to err on the side of the lower rating, i.e the 10F). FYI my tent is single walled (Big Sky Wisp), and my matt has an R-value of 4.4 (however I can supplement with a CCF pad I also own if required).
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Re: Quilt rating for Victorian colder months?

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 16 May, 2018 3:03 pm

Perhaps you could order the new quilt sized to go over your current one? If you did you would A/Have a spare B/ Be covered down to -18C / 0F perhaps
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Re: Quilt rating for Victorian colder months?

Postby butter-nuts » Wed 16 May, 2018 3:11 pm

Moondog55 wrote:Perhaps you could order the new quilt sized to go over your current one? If you did you would A/Have a spare B/ Be covered down to -18C / 0F perhaps


Great idea, I will order the widest they have (55") with a 10F rating. My current quilt is pretty compact (doesn't have a huge amount of loft) so I'm pretty sure it will fit inside nicely.

Thanks again for your help mate... now I just need to wait ~4 weeks for production (by the time it arrives I will really be able to test it’s low temp abilities).
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Re: Quilt rating for Victorian colder months?

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 16 May, 2018 3:21 pm

Don't forget to go longer by the same amount also
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Re: Quilt rating for Victorian colder months?

Postby butter-nuts » Wed 16 May, 2018 3:28 pm

Moondog55 wrote:Don't forget to go longer by the same amount also


Good point, cheers!

Also, what do you know about overstuff? Is it something I need to consider?
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Re: Quilt rating for Victorian colder months?

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 16 May, 2018 4:28 pm

Makers always stuff to maximum loft per gram of down but down filling warmth / Clo value actually goes up substantially with overfilling and an overfilled will last longer, 10% is good and 50% is the maximum I would ever go
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Re: Quilt rating for Victorian colder months?

Postby andrewa » Wed 16 May, 2018 9:13 pm

For me, 550g of 700 loft down in a quilt provides enough warmth for me for ski touring in winter, if I sleep in my down jacket and down pants...

A
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Re: Quilt rating for Victorian colder months?

Postby stry » Thu 17 May, 2018 7:51 pm

Something to keep in mind with overfill, is that, depending on make/model, overfill, although adding to the theoretical warmth, can reduce the "drape" of the bag/quilt. This creates more airspace inside and adds to the potential for drafts. Can enbd up a zero sum game, or in extreme cases, a backward step.

This won't happen with all makes/models, but it is a possibility. I have experienced it once.
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Re: Quilt rating for Victorian colder months?

Postby north-north-west » Fri 18 May, 2018 10:51 am

Also consider upgrading your sleeping mat. A good mat will make a big difference (depending on what you currently use).
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Re: Quilt rating for Victorian colder months?

Postby butter-nuts » Fri 18 May, 2018 11:43 am

Thanks for all the responses guys. My current mat is a Klymit Static V (Insulated) which I find super comfy so am not keen on changing, however adding a CCF mat under it on really cold trips is a possibility I’ll keep in mind.

I ended up adding 1oz overfill as the manufacturer advised it can help prevent cold spots on longer trips and between washes when the down may lose a little of its natural loft (worth it for the 28g IMO). I didn't think about "drape", oh well too late now, I will wait and see how it ends up.
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Re: Quilt rating for Victorian colder months?

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 18 May, 2018 1:08 pm

28 grams will not effect the drape.
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Re: Quilt rating for Victorian colder months?

Postby north-north-west » Tue 22 May, 2018 5:20 pm

butter-nuts wrote:Thanks for all the responses guys. My current mat is a Klymit Static V (Insulated) which I find super comfy so am not keen on changing, however adding a CCF mat under it on really cold trips is a possibility I’ll keep in mind.

From memory that has an R value of 4.4, and you're not going to get a masiively superior mat elsewhere so yeah, CCF for snow camping and upgrade the bag/quilt.
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