Cumulus Quilt 350

Discussion in 'Sleeping Bags & Quilts' started by Dave V, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    I bought a synthetic quilt last year and was glad to have it on a couple of occasions over the winter months.
    A high camp in Wales in heavy clag, snow and wind meant everything inside my Duomid was saturated, if I’d had one of my down quilts it would’ve made for an even more miserable night than it was.
    In hindsight the sensible thing to do would’ve been to drop a few hundred metres and find an alternative camp.

    It does take some pretty extreme conditions to render a down bag/quilt useless but it can happen, more so with single skin shelters imho.
    Given the fabrics and insulation available nowadays, synthetic insulation isn’t the pack filler and weight it used to be, my -5c quilt packs much better than I thought it would when I ordered it.
  2. ZenTrekker

    ZenTrekker Section Hiker

    As I said, only a personal view!
    Shewie likes this.
  3. oreocereus

    oreocereus Section Hiker

    Unsure how things compare statistically, but I’ve woken up with wet footboxes in both down and synthetic quilts.

    With the down I woke up from my feet feeling cold. With the synthetic I didn’t realise the footbox was quite soaked until I started packing my bag (it was 1-2c that night - both quilts I had are rated for -5c).

    There could be other things at play here - I believe the shell fabric as tucas uses on my synthetic is more water repellant than the previous enlightened equipment quilt I had, so perhaps the insulation itself didn’t get as wet.

    But, anecdotally, it seemed as though the synthetic loss less loft when wet.

    It also dried within minuts when the sun came out. Drying and looking after down is a lot more work.

    Good quality synthetic is a lot cheaper than good quality down. Also a diy synthetic quilt is a very easy (and cheap) job if you can sew a bit.

    If you’re unsure about this hobby, buy gear second hand as much as you can :) it’ll lower the entry price into good quality gear, and you lose less on resale. Generally the resale price is quite good on the kind of gear people on these forums use have is. So even if you end up not really getting into it, you shouldn’t end up too out of pocket.
  4. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    Just chucking my tuppence in fwiw, it wasn’t a direct response to your post :)

    I spent a good wad of cash replacing my synthetic bags with down years ago, granted they were only Alpkit Pipedreams but still pretty spendy at the time. Then quilts came along and I went the down route again, I dismissed synthetic out of principle but glad I’ve dipped my toe again with the Sestrels
  5. ZenTrekker

    ZenTrekker Section Hiker

    No I realise it was a general comment. I thought that synthetic didn't wear as well as down i.e. looses its insulating ability fairly quickly?
  6. oreocereus

    oreocereus Section Hiker

    It does. Apex is significantly better than other popular synthetics, but it looses a decent chuck of its lifting power early in its life. After that it sort of plateaus.

    I can’t find the graph, but there was some testing by Richard Nisly over on bpl, if you care to dig. From memory, it lost 10% fairly quickly can but didn’t continue rapid decline.

    It can be mitigated somewhat by not compressing it aggressively, and being careful with pulling it out of your bag (yanking at it roughly surely damages “pulls” the insulation apart quicker).

    The benefits are well documented.

    Down will always be lighter for its warmth, but significantly expensive, more vulnerable in damp conditions, issues of down migration/cold spots, harder to clean, and reliant on many other variables in design (I get headaches reading about baffle design). I’ve found the simplicity and minimal fuss of apex rather nice.
  7. Muiriosa

    Muiriosa Hiker

    Thanks all, loads to think about.

    @oreocereus yes, I'll keep an eye out for second hand gear. Paying 250-300 for a quilt does seem a bit of a crazy cost when I've only camped a couple of nights in total so far!
  8. oreocereus

    oreocereus Section Hiker

    GramXpert are a reasonably budget friendly synthetic option you mightn’t be aware of :)
  9. Muiriosa

    Muiriosa Hiker

    Thanks, I've been pretty obsessively researching so I had heard of them but I'm not sure I can resist the temptation until Oct or Nov... I suppose I could get a lighter down for the summer months and then see about a synthetic later in the year but that feels like a slippery slope ;)
  10. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    A down summer quilt combined with a synthetic over quilt for colder months is a good option. It works out a little heavier for the winter set up (though probably lighter than a winter synthetic quilt) but has the advantage of moving the dew point out of the down quilt and into the synthetic one on cold nights.
    FOX160, jack4allfriends and Enzo like this.
  11. Muiriosa

    Muiriosa Hiker

    Placed an order for the cumulus 350 just now, thanks for the help guys. Will report back once it's received and tested!
    Tartanferret likes this.
  12. Fabian.

    Fabian. Hiker

    Just got my Cumulus 450 XL with some custom specs. Very satisfied so far. Needs to be tested though.
    qy_, Balagan and Tartanferret like this.
  13. Micksjoiner

    Micksjoiner Backpacker

    What extras did you get
  14. Muiriosa

    Muiriosa Hiker

    Cumulus 350 gets its first test tomorrow night, very excited!
    Enzo likes this.
  15. Muiriosa

    Muiriosa Hiker

    First outing was great with the 350. Don't have a thermometer but reckon it was 7-8c with a nice wind and lashing rain all night! Just draped it over me and was perfectly warm all night (I'm a pretty cold sleeper).

    Must try it in a colder night at some stage but first impressions are good.
  16. ZenTrekker

    ZenTrekker Section Hiker

    Depending on your sleeping mat, what you wear 'to bed', what you have on your head and how you fix your qult, you should find that the Cumulus 350 wiil be fine at around -2˚C/-3˚C
    Tricky, Muiriosa and Robert P like this.
  17. Muiriosa

    Muiriosa Hiker

    Oh absolutely, and at 5"6 I could bring it up to over my head as well!
  18. Fabian.

    Fabian. Hiker

    Sorry for the late reply.
    Extras: Quilt 450 extended by 13cm, widened by 22cm, outer fabric Pertex Quantum 29g graphite, inner fabric Pertex Quantum 29g burgundy, inner smartphone pocket at chest height with a zipper, 570g of down
    Couldn't test is yet because of a broken ankle :/
    But so far, I am really amazed about all the details.
    Besides having an extra down chamber at the foot box, which I really like because I alway have cold feet, there is an extra down chamber around the neck which feels pretty good.
    All in all, it weights in at around 880g. Pretty much for a quilt but I wanted one that could hold me warm in the German winter. For the summer, I use a Windhard Tiny quilt. Hence, the weight difference is totally fine for me.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    FOX160, el manana, qy_ and 3 others like this.
  19. qy_

    qy_ Summit Camper

    Sweeeet. Looks fantastic.
    Fabian. likes this.
  20. Bob-W

    Bob-W Summit Camper

    @Fabian. Might I ask how big you are? An extra 22cm width seems a lot.

    Hope the ankle mends soon as well.
  21. Fabian.

    Fabian. Hiker

    I'm 188cm and 105kg but have pretty wide shoulders and still a thick belly. Additionally, I have a somehow restless sleep and I do sleep on the side most of the time.
  22. Micksjoiner

    Micksjoiner Backpacker

    Hi has anyone else pulled the strip of material that holds the buckle out of the quilt ,there seems to be only one line of stitching for an area that is going to pulled about quite a bit.
  23. Bob-W

    Bob-W Summit Camper

    I've had my Cumulus quilt two and a half years and have yet to use the buckle. Well, I've gone: "Oooh! It's a buckle." and clipped and unclipped it, but never used it to cinch down the quilt.
    Micksjoiner, WilliamC and ZenTrekker like this.
  24. Micksjoiner

    Micksjoiner Backpacker

    Slept without buckles first night, then thought I'd try pulling buckles closer together but not connected to pad hence pulling buckle out of quilt when I turned.
    How does everyone else sleep with quilt?
  25. ZenTrekker

    ZenTrekker Section Hiker

    I have a Cumulus 350 (older version). I purchsed some 1 inch wide elastic which has button-holes every few inches (see attached image). I created 3 x elastic loops which go around my sleep mat. I then attached some mini-toggles to the quilt, 3 each side, using the fabric tabs already provided by Cumulus. Once my mat is inflated and the elastic loops are fixed, I button one side of the quilt into the elastic loops which keeps it fixed to the sleep mat. If its cold I can button up the other side and if it gets really cold I can button both sides underneath me like a sleeping bag.

    I can't remember ever using the top buckle.

    Button Hole Elastic.jpg

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