synthetic quilt recommendations for winter?

Discussion in 'Sleeping Bags & Quilts' started by tommydog, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. tommydog

    tommydog Trekker

    I can't say I have ever slept really well in sleeping bags, as I tend to sleep on my side and also wriggle about like a crazy animal all night! Consequently I end up tying myself up in a bag. This is why I thought I would give quilts a go, plus the added bonus of being lighter.

    Being a vegan I will only consider synthetic, so wondered what the best option would be for winter use inside a bivvy bag? I plan to only use a bivvy and not bother with a tarp or tent. I am planning a hiking trip to the Scottish highlands in November, so it needs to be something that will cope with the cold. Also don't know what sort of size I would be looking at? I am about 5 foot 8 tall and 90kg.
  2. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

  3. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    Are you familiar with the Scottish Highlands in November ? Camping High or Low ?
    Munro277 likes this.
  4. tommydog

    tommydog Trekker

    I have never camped in the Scottish highlands in November. In fact I have not been camping in the winter for a while. My last winter trip was to Russia and kazakhstan about 10 years ago in early November. I enjoyed the trip, but I took some seriously heavy stuff and don't want to make that mistake again!
  5. Lady Grey

    Lady Grey Thru Hiker

    I bought an Enlightened Equipment 'Prodigy' on the Forum.
    Climashield Apex 5.... 2 layers.
    Was just getting fed up with down bags getting damp all the time and having to take a cover.
    Never imagined what warmth they provide as no heat escapes due to the, 'flat sheet' structure of Climashield.
    Haven't used a down bag since buying this.
    I am a shortie but have the Large size.... Even XL would be great.... More options.
    I take my OMM Synthetic hooded jacket to wear if gets cold.
    The quilt is 750gm.
    I never stuff synthetic, fold and roll into a largish stuff bag.
    Once inside the Pack, can be compressed then.
    Would never stuff into a small bag.
    Compresses brilliantly.
    Graham likes this.
  6. Graham

    Graham Thru Hiker

    Hesitate on this as we don't really know what you've got planned. But just thinking about winter synthetic quilts:

    There's also the MLD 28 Degree Spirit. The 200 gsm As Tucas (see @Shewie link) is what I'd recommend and the EE quilts have a good reputation like @Lady Grey says, I'd go for the 20F version.

    All of the above are in the 0 to -5C range. You'll get a degree or two from the bivvy itself. Much depends on how warm you sleep and also clothing.

    Cold is one thing but there's the wind and rain to contend with. If you use trekking poles, a really lightweight shelter will likely weigh the same as your bivvy bag...worth considering?
  7. Graham

    Graham Thru Hiker

    Regarding size, all of the above three quilt makers have good size charts/information.

    At -5 and below you'll need something comfortable enough to sleep in that'll insulate your noggin...then there's your mattress to consider, your question really is the 'thin end of the wedge'
    Lady Grey and Munro277 like this.
  8. Munro277

    Munro277 Thru Hiker

    bivy in November in Scotland,if you get the weather ! might be ok but cant see it being any fun if its norm cold and wet that you catch a lot of in November in scoltand,think id take at very least some sort of tarp,to move wind away from me and to make camp life/cooking more fun.....sure it can be done but ive seen some right ***** weather in Scotland in November,saem here in the lakes not often a good month November.....safe travels peter
    Lady Grey, Graham and cathyjc like this.
  9. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    Ditto ^^^^

    November - occasionally good patches of settled weather - but more likely wet and windy ……continuously.
  10. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    A 5oz/yd quilt is only rated to 40F (4C).

    You'll want an 8oz/yd quilt for 20F(-6C)

    And a very warm mat.

    Enlightened Equipment have good info

    Butvas Munro says, bivvying in Scotland in November! Rather you than me. ok for a choice overnighter I suppose.
    Graham likes this.
  11. Graham

    Graham Thru Hiker

    8 hours of daylight.
    cathyjc likes this.
  12. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    I'm sure i read somewhere that the better quality (850fp) down is sourced from feathers than naturally drop off eider ducks.

    Might be worth looking into before deciding against down products
  13. kiltedpict

    kiltedpict Ultralighter

    Aye, a lot of time in the dark in November up here .. , even more further north... tent for me but best of luck if you get the weather..
    Graham likes this.
  14. widu13

    widu13 Ultralighter

    Another consideration that does not bother 95% of folk...if you are wide (broad shouldered) a standard quilt is unlikely to fit you. I recently ordered a quilt and had to sell it on as it only just touched my sleep pad in use i.e. there was no extra material to tuck under and there would have been cold spots. I am 5'9" and 95kg so if you are shaped like me beware! I have a bespoke Tucas quilt at 160cm (5'3") wide which is 40cm (15.5") wider than many quilts which are usually 120cm (47") wide.
    Shoarthing and Lady Grey like this.
  15. tommydog

    tommydog Trekker

    People seem quite surprised about taking a bivy, but I don't think it's that extreme? 10 years ago I did some hiking in November around Miass in Russia and later around Lake Balkhash in Kazakhstan. It did get very cold at times but I seemed to cope okay. In those days all I took was a high peak mt Rainier -29° C waterproof sleeping bag and an old army bivy.

    I am the type of person that likes to keep things simple. I like to walk until it's dark and then drop! I can't be bothered with configuring tarps / tents etc. I don't even bother with cooking gear etc. The only thing I will take is some homemade protein bars that I can eat anytime I want.

    Am I missing something?
  16. Graham

    Graham Thru Hiker

    Continental vs. Maritime climate?
    cathyjc and Mole like this.
  17. Graham

    Graham Thru Hiker

    I don't think anyone is saying it's not doable...just that given their experience of year round walking in Scotland, they'd approach it differently.
    Munro277 and Mole like this.
  18. kiltedpict

    kiltedpict Ultralighter

    Very differently... I personally wouldnt go out in the winter overnight without cooking gear, ... but maybe I'm a softie..

    Each to their own though and if it works for you then great. Wouldn't do if we were all the same
    Creamy, Munro277, Mole and 1 other person like this.
  19. tommydog

    tommydog Trekker

    Definitely going to go with the bivi, as I think it really suits me. It's all I have used for 25 years. It will be interesting to see how it works with a quilt, as I have no experience of quilts.

    As for the quilt, I like the look of the Sestrals Quilt Apex 200, as it seems to offer excellent weight to warmth ratio. Then I will be looking for a bivi to replace my old army one. Any suggestions there? So far I have been looking at the mountain laurel designs FKT CUBEN eVENT SOUL BIVY, but I need to do a lot more reading on the modern stuff.
  20. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    Am I missing something?

    Maybe. I don't know. A fire? ;)


    hovering around 0C is harder work than sub -5C. more chance of getting wet less chance of getting dry.

    I know that the few times I've slept out at -8 or -10, ( once bivvying) were actually a breeze (easy) compared to the usual damp winter misery.
    Teepee and cathyjc like this.
  21. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    Absolute cold is not the problem.
    WET + WIND => very rapid hypothermia, if you cannot get dry.
    Scotland is very wet and windy in November and it's dark by 17.00 and it's not light until 8.00 = 15 hrs (at best) cowering in a bivvybag ??? - I wouldn't.
    I suggest you know where all the bothies are as a backup option.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
    Graham, Mole and kiltedpict like this.
  22. paul

    paul Thru Hiker

    I wouldnt entertain any of the cottage manufactured bivy bags as a sole shelter. In my view none of the UL models are bivy bags. They are glorified sleeping bag covers designed for use in a shelter. In Scotland in November and presumably up high id want something substantial.
    Shewie, Munro277, WilliamC and 3 others like this.
  23. lentenrose

    lentenrose Trail Blazer

    good luck with your trip---let us know how you get on
    Munro277 and cathyjc like this.
  24. Graham

    Graham Thru Hiker

    Like @paul says. Also +5 to -5C is the range in which most WP/B fabrics struggle to 'operate'. If it is cold and wet, cumulatively your bivvy/quilt will end up the same.
    cathyjc and Munro277 like this.
  25. tommydog

    tommydog Trekker

    I think I have a difference in opinion to most people regarding taking a bivy, however given my stuberness :) what would people say is a good upgrade for my old heavy gortex army bivy for my trip in November?

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