GramXpert eLite quilt

Discussion in 'Reviews & Previews' started by JKM, May 31, 2017.

  1. JKM

    JKM Thru Hiker

    I though I would put down my first impressions of my new GramXpert eLite quilt and hope others who have ordered will share their experiences also. I intend to bring this to the LD meet in June so anyone attending who wants a look is welcome.

    I am a total quilt virgin, never even seen one except photos on forums and a couple of YouTube videos but I have wanted to try one for a while and have been waiting for them to become more mainstream (which may be on the horizon now that Rab and Thermarest have added them to their catalogues). I had looked at Cumulus down quilts, various EE ones and the As Tucas Sestrals but I had pretty much decided that due to the cost it would have to wait till I got to Christmas to think about getting one.

    Then, fortuitously @kamov posted about his new GramXpert quilts here http://www.trek-lite.com/index.php?threads/gramxpert-new-eu-based-cottage-gear-maker.3289/ and the introductory discounts available put one within my grasp and I just could not resist.

    I placed my order late on Saturday 20th for:

    eLite Quilt
    Size: L (-188cm) , rating:APEX 133 (5°C) , Inner color:Charcoal Grey , Outer color:Blaze Orange , width: X-Wide

    I like bright colours as they cheer up the tent :) and the grey interior lining I hoped would soak up sunlight if it needs drying. I took the advice of 'if in doubt, size up' and went for size large in XL width, I am quite broad shouldered and a wriggly side sleeper so I am glad I went for this option.
    I chose the eLite as I fancied having the zip and tbh I did not really understand how it all works anyway (Some diagrams of the fastenings on the website would be helpful.)
    so I figured go for the most feature rich option.

    My current bag is an alpkit sky-high 500 which is a too warm for summer though I was very glad if it just a few weeks back and I was hoping this would save me a bit of weight as well as being more comfortable and less restrictive.

    The small niggle of the UK not being available as a shipping destination on the website was quickly resolved the same evening. I received my dispatch email PM on Wednesday 24th (2.5 working days) and it arrived in the UK on Friday 27th.
    I Collected it from the PO today as it had been showing as out for delivery for a few days and it turned out they were hiding it in a corner to accumulate dust.

    Weights: on my scales 585g in the stuff sack versus the 569g quoted so 16g for the stuff sack would make sense and obviously a small tolerance would be fine anyway.


    Tags and labels a nice touch. All looks very professional.
    IMG_20170531_123607.jpg

    Wondering how I will ever get that back in there again! It does fit, but I will never get it that neat again.
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    Seams seem straight to me
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    Poppers at the top
    IMG_20170531_205013.jpg

    All the stitching detail is very neat
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    The fabric is translucent. It feels nice against the skin.
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    5 sets of poppers down the back as well as the zip and drawcords top and bottom.
    IMG_20170531_205834.jpg
    To release the cord cinching the bottom of the bag closed you just pull the tape
    IMG_20170531_205954.jpg

    You can just see the draw cord running in a channel hidden inside the quilt. Not sure what I was expecting but this seems a nice touch.
    IMG_20170531_210124.jpg
    I am very impressed with the workmanship and can't wait to test this out, at which time I will update this thread. The ordering process was simple and I am very happy so i wish Kajo all the best with his new venture :)

    :thumbsup:

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    test start
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    surgery early in the year and a trip to asia taking most of my holiday ment i did not get out as much as i may have liked, but 10 nights is pretty good going for me anyway. i only started wild camping in 2016 anyway having normally base-camped of waled between organised sites.

    April
    started the year with what is rapidly becoming my favorite 24 hour micro-adventure.
    its a couple of hours in the car after work to get to north norfolk (the closest bit of wilderness to me). dump the car, walk for an hour or two out into the vast dune system and pitch up for the night. cook something delicious, sleep, cook something delicious, walk on the beach for 3-4 hours towards civilization, eat something delicious, bus back to the car then home.

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    May,
    LD trip, solo friday then joined an organised group for canoeing / rock climbing / nav training then solo again.

    keswick (camp 1)-canoe down derwent water, climbing on sargents crag, watendlass, great crag (camp 2) , stonethwaute, greenup gill, greenup edge, far easdale gill, grassmere. bus back to keswick then drive round to martindale and camp on hallin fell (camp 3) at @el manana suggestion.


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    MSR Hubba Trail 3 was slightly overkill for one person but i did get the biggest rucksack to compensate...
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    supper of kings. i was pretty ecstatic at this point.
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    hallin fell to myself
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    June
    LD Trip 2, keswick - black moss (camp 1) - keswick, honister, drum house (camp abandoned…run away to keswick (bus) to collect car and then drive to the wasdale head inn (camp 2) where i met @gixer & scott, - gt gable, kirk fell (camp 3) where it was great to meet so many of you, mosedale horsehoe, Wasdale NT site (camp4) cars to buttermere with @NEEpps and @gixer haystacks, blackbeck tarn (no room at the inn), grey knotts (camp 5) warnscale bottom, buttermere.

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    i still cannot believe how foul it was when crossing great gable only for it to be so lovely on kirk fell.
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    October
    ending the year where it started, back to norfolk to repeat aprils trip, this time with a friend who had never camped before.
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    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  2. FOX160

    FOX160 Thru Hiker

    Looks really nice and tidy workmanship.
    What was the cost in Sterling?
  3. Lady Grey

    Lady Grey Thru Hiker

    Impressed to see it rolled into it's stuff sac...:thumbsup:..Prolongs life of Climashield.....luvly stuff.:biggrin:
    fluffkitten likes this.
  4. kamov

    kamov Trail Blazer

    @JKM Thanks for review! We could make a little larger stuff sacks but I rather make sacks that can compress the quilt a bit, so you save on weight and volume. Hope it will still work well for you.
    @Lady Grey Quilt is rolled just because it is more appealing :) Otherwise its called stuff sack for a reason:D I stuff all my climashield quilts for few years now and didn't notice any difference in loft...It is different with other synthetic fillings such as Primaloft.

    @FOX160 Prices for APEX 133 with current discount start at 154 GBP
    Graham, FOX160 and JKM like this.
  5. JKM

    JKM Thru Hiker

    The stuff sack size is fine as it is. Personally I would not want to compress it any more for packing. If I really wanted to reduce the volume I would use a dry-bag so I could kneel on it to force the excess air out, however I have space in my pack for it without resorting to that.

    In the future a larger storage bag (so it can be stored lofted) would be a nice optional extra.
    I will need to find myself one anyhow but the option of a light cotton or mesh bag, perhaps screen printed with your logo would be a nice touch.

    I can't work out how you managed to get it in there rolled, must be magic.........or a funnel/sleeve to aid packing.
    kamov likes this.
  6. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    Excellent preview JKM

    I don't own any synthetic quilts yet, how do you find the pack size compared to a 5*c down bag?
  7. JKM

    JKM Thru Hiker

    I don't have a 5° down bag to compare to but it's about the same size as my down bag which is a full mummy 1° comfort / -4° limit / -20° extreme

    I think it will fit in the same 10L dry-bag I transport my down bag in.

    When I have a chance to go in the loft I will get the down bag out an do some side by side photos.
    Meadows and Shewie like this.
  8. kamov

    kamov Trail Blazer

    2 pairs of hands ;) not so easy to roll it alone but it's possible:)

    Good idea, we will consider this as an option.
  9. Lady Grey

    Lady Grey Thru Hiker

    Sorry but stuff down sleeping bags but never Climashield or cuben fibre....
  10. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    I'm interested in this. I roll cuben fibre (it seems to pack smaller that way) but I'd never heard about stuffing Climashield. Is it supposed to last longer?
  11. Lady Grey

    Lady Grey Thru Hiker

    I was advised to roll up as I do with Cuben, just helps prolong its life....so I do that.
    Reeeeespect Ur Kit......:D
  12. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    If you roll your CF be careful you fold it along different lines

    Folding in the same spot is likely to cause that area to fail worse than if you stuffed it
    kamov and JKM like this.
  13. paul

    paul Thru Hiker

    Wiggy says this

    All Wiggy's gear may be stored in their compression stuff sacks indefinitely" - APEX

    He even vacuum packs them for USAF rescue teams.

    APEX can handle a lot of abuse. Stuff it roll it fold it compress it. doesnt matter a jot
    Arne L. and kamov like this.
  14. paul

    paul Thru Hiker

    cuben looses apppox 5% structural strength when folded along the same line 1000 times

    same as above for me, do what you like with it, you wont hurt it to any great extent. UV will do far more damage than storage methodology
    edh, Chris2901, Arne L. and 3 others like this.
  15. Balagan

    Balagan Thru Hiker

    Stuffed or rolled, gas or alcohol, Paramo or Buffalo, tent or tarp, iodine or filter, freeze dried or dehydrated, silnylon or cuben, shaken or stirred... We're a right debating society ain't we? ;)
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
    tom, cathyjc and JKM like this.
  16. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Yeah, I stuff mine.

    But let the OCD reign.....
    JKM likes this.
  17. Balagan

    Balagan Thru Hiker

    The quilt I ordered last Sunday afternoon was shipped today! :D Now thay is some fast service!
    JKM likes this.
  18. JKM

    JKM Thru Hiker


    To give an idea of size, with a can for comparison.
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    Stuff sack is c 16cm diameter by 33cm long.
    It can then be compressed down by a further 30-50% if necessary however my current main pack is 50l so I am not worried about bulk personally.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
    Shewie likes this.
  19. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Sounds like you have already downed a couple..
    JKM likes this.
  20. Tartanferret

    Tartanferret Thru Hiker

    Jon jons, cathyjc and JKM like this.
  21. Tartanferret

    Tartanferret Thru Hiker

    Piggy in the middle.

    Alpkit Pd400 and 600.

    image.jpg
    Meadows likes this.
  22. JKM

    JKM Thru Hiker

    Purchased, cheers :thumbsup:
    Tartanferret likes this.
  23. Balagan

    Balagan Thru Hiker

    Got my hands on mine today and I'll second everything @JKM says: great quality, impressively fast turnaround, great comms and keen prices. Mine's an Apex 67 eLite for maximum flexibility since it will go from blanket to quilt to (almost) sleeping bag. It looks like a great solution for anything above 10 degrees and I may try it as an additional layer on top of my Cumulus 350 quilt to bridge the gap between that and a Panyam 600. The cyberian cord lock is nice, even better once you figure out how you are supposed to use it.

    My only experience with synthetic insulation is some old Decathlon summer bags and this is like apples and oranges (or watermelon and tangerine). The quilt is extremely light (precise weight to be added when I am reunited with my scales) and actually compresses very well. If Apex lives up to its warmth promises, I can see why some people are moving from down to synthetic.
    kamov likes this.
  24. kamov

    kamov Trail Blazer

    In my opinion summer (Apex 67 11°C) synthetic quilts are on par with down quilts when it comes to warmth/weight ratio. It's because shell vs insulation weight is almost 1:1

    Also:

    a) summer down bags have sewn trough baffles = cold spots.

    b) Small amount of down fill (usually 110-140g for similar temp. rating) requires more baffles otherwise down will shift = more cold spots

    c) summer down quilts are more susceptible to moisture as less down can absorb less water before it goes flat.

    Except for packing size I see no real advantages over Apex67 quilts
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017
    Dave V, Balagan and JKM like this.
  25. JKM

    JKM Thru Hiker

    After I received mine I was impressed enough to seriously consider getting a 67gsm one as well untill the financial reality check kicked in.
    Balagan likes this.

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