An ultralight backpacking quilt perfect for side sleepers or for tossers and turners.
Have you ever thought about how sleeping bags were just not for you? If you’ve ever found yourself feeling claustrophobic in your sleeping bag, or like you can’t move around enough, it might be time to consider an ultralight backpacking quilt. There are many types to choose from, so we have compiled the 11 best lightweight backpacking quilts for you to choose from.
That’s a pretty typical thought, and you may want to start looking into a lightweight camping quilt instead! They’re also great for people who are looking to save weight and pack light on their backpacking trips.
You may not have ever heard of it, but a backpacking quilt is a great alternative to sleeping bags! They’re great for people who like to have a bit of extra space while sleeping and are usually more of a side sleeper.
At a Glance Top Picks from Our Staff:
- Best Overall Camping Sleeping Quilt: Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20
- Best Quality Sleeping Quilt: Katabatic Flex 22
- Most Affordable Sleeping Quilt: OneTigris Featherlite Ultralight Sleeping Quilt,
- Best for Packability: Therm-a-Rest Vesper 20
- Hybrid Backpacking Quilt: Outdoor Vitals LOFTTEK™ Hybrid 0 – 15 °F Top Quilt Sleeping Bag
- Best Warm Hybrid Sleeping Quilt: Feathered Friends Flicker 30 UL
- Most Ultralight Backpacking Quilt: REI Co-op Magma Trail Quilt 30
- Best Lightweight Backpacking Quilt with Extra Warmth: Big Agnes Fussell UL (850 DownTek)
- Most Versatile Lightweight Backpacking Quilt: Featherstone Moondance 25 850 Fill Power Down Top Quilt
- Best Sleeping Quilt with Warmth to Weight Ratio: Thermarest Hyperion 20F Sleeping Bag
- Back Packing Quilt with No Frills: Western Mountaineering Astralite Quilt
What You'll Learn
- At a Glance Top Picks from Our Staff:
- Best Lightweight Backpacking Quilts
- Best Overall Camping Sleeping Quilt
- Best Quality Sleeping Quilt:
- Most Affordable Backpacking Quilt:
- Best for Packability Backpacking Quilt
- Best Hybrid Sleeping Quilt:
- 5. Outdoor Vitals LOFTTEK™ Hybrid 0 – 15 °F Top Quilt Sleeping Bag ($209.97)
- 6. Feathered Friends Flicker 30 UL Wide Quilt Backpacking Bag
- 7. REI Co-op Magma Trail Down Quilt 30
- 8. Big Agnes Fussell Quilt (Price not available)
- 9. Best Camper Quilt: Featherstone Moondance 25 850 Fill Power Down Top Quilt ($209.99)
- 10. Sierra Designs Nitro Quilt 20 and 35 degree ($279.95)
- 11. Western Mountaineering Astralite Baffled Quilt ($420.00)
- Comparison Table
- Buyers Guide and Advice
- Ultralightweight Sleep Systems
- What is a Backpacking Quilt?
- Why you need an insulative sleeping pad
- Why Choose a Lightweight Camping Quilt?
- Benefits of a Backpacking Quilt
- How Much Weight Do Quilts Really Save?
- What Features Should I Consider When Looking For a Sleeping Quilt?
- Duck Down vs Goose Down Warmth
- Types of Baffles
- Shell fabric and Liner Fabric
- Final Tips: Ultralight Backpacking Quilts
- Need More Advice on Gear and Footwear?
Best Lightweight Backpacking Quilts
Best Overall Camping Sleeping Quilt
A few other specs about the Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20:
- Fill: 850 fill power
- DWR finish for water-resistance
- Drawcord neck closure
- Includes a cotton storage bag
- The largest option weights 16 ounces
This is one of the best backpacking quilts, because of the overall ratings for versatility, weight, and price. Also, you can get this sleeping quilt in various sizes, from short to long and regular to wide.
The Revelation is a quilt, not a sleeping bag, which means it’s designed to be used with a sleeping pad to provide insulation underneath you, between you and the ground. Additionally, the Enlightened Equipment Revelation doesn’t have a full-length zipper or a built-in hood, saving weight and space in your pack.
An area of improvement would be to add a strap to the bottom of the stuff sack, to make it easier to pull the quilt out. Also, the placement of the drawstring cord near the head is a bit awkward. It’s right in your face and moving it off-set from the center would be a big improvement
There is an optional foot box that you can use. This will shorten the sleeping quilt, so just keep that in mind. But, that being said, this feature allows you to stick a leg out if you get too warm.
If you’re looking for something that is an overall high quality quilt, then this one is worth every penny.
What We Do Like:
- Excellent customer service and support
- Great craftsmanship
- Low weight and volume
- Packs down small
- Good warmth to weight ratio
What We Don’t Like:
- Feels cold on 40-50 degrees nights
- The upper drawcord gets into your face
Best Quality Sleeping Quilt:
A few other specs about the Katabatic Flex 22:
- Pertex Quantum gives the lining a silky feeling
- Water-resistant material
- Unique pad attachment system
- 850 and 900 FP
- Duck and goose down options
- Hydrophobic down
- Down Filled Collar
- Pertex Quantum and Ripstop material
- Elastic Binding Around Bottom Opening –
The Katabatic Flex 22 is a blanket-style sleeping bag that will keep you The Katabatic Flex 22 is a blanket-style sleeping bag that will keep you warm wherever you go backpacking. What makes their sleeping pad attachment systems unique is the simple design of their Cord Clip system, made for maximum versatility.
Especially easy to use, you can easily attach your Katabatic Flex backpacking quilt to any sleeping pad. All it takes is cinching cords around each side and securing them with clips- no knots or loose cords! The first attachment position allows you to slide the clip freely on your cord.
The loft was everything I expected and more! The warmth to weight ratio was perfect, ultralight quilt design that opens up flat so you can use it in warm weather too. Also, the down filled collar and baffled foot box really blocks out drafts at night.
The only critique would be with how difficult the pad attachment system seems – not ideal when hands are cold. A handwarmer may be needed.
Additionally, there is a foot box that will make sure to keep the draft out and keep your feet warm. However, if you feel like you need more breathability, you can unzip the foot box and turn it into a flat blanket.
You can choose between a height of 5’6″ to 6’6″ for the size. What’s more, there are two options to choose from, for your backpacking quilt: Goose or duck, and it ranges from 850-900 fill power.
The continuous baffles allow you to move the down around based on where you need more insulation to keep warm from the elements. What’s more, the toe section is also overstuffed to keep your toes extra warm!
The largest sleeping quilt size for this design weighs in at 27 ounces. Indeed, the Katabatic Flex has great warmth to weight ratio.
One of the best parts about this sleeping quilt is that the company sustainably sources its materials, so if you are worried about animal welfare or the environmental impact of making sleeping quilts, this is a great option for you.
Although this option is a bit pricier, you do get what you pay for in the quality you receive.
What We Do Like:
- Versatile as a quilt or sleeping bag
- Custom quilt options
- Duck and goose fill options
- Outstanding customer service
What We Don’t Like:
- Cord Clip system may be hard to attach sleeping pad when hands are freezing cold
- A bit pricey
Most Affordable Backpacking Quilt:
3. OneTigris Featherlite Ultralight Sleeping Quilt ($79.98)
- 20D Ripstop Nylon (Outer), 380T Polyester Pongee Lining (Inner)
- Weight: 35 oz (1000g)
- SEE Polyester filling
- Has Compression sack
- Horizontal and vertical baffling system
The OneTigris Featherlite Ultralight Sleeping Quilt is well-made, affordable, and great for warm-weather tent camping, backpacking, and hammock camping. While it isn’t the lightest backpacking quilt on the market, it’s a contender if you want to try a zipperless sleeping bag to see if it fits into your sleep system.
Indeed, many stock quilts are designed with versatility in mind and the One Tigris Featherlite The quilt can be used in two different ways. There are two straps that can attach to a pad or they can be attached to a sleeping bag.
In the first instance, you would use this quilt as a cover on top of you and your pad while you sleep. In the second instance, you would insert your sleeping bag inside the quilt and use it as a cover when you sleep.
The edges of the quilt have straps that allow you to tighten them around your body so that cold air cannot get into the quilt when you are sleeping. You can Velcro strap/loop to first close, then tug on the small drawstring to pull it tighter. Additionally, there are also straps on the bottom of the quilt that allow you to tighten it around your feet if needed.
With the loops fastened the “bag” created is quite narrow though. Anyone with wide shoulders is going to feel cramped.
The material is soft and comfortable during cooler weather (mid-40’s) but we wouldn’t consider it winter sleeping bag. I think one could easily adjust this so that it could be used in warmer weather as well although I did not try it in those conditions.
For ($79.98) you get a lot of quality stuffed into only 35 ounces! This is a great option for campers on a budget.
What We Do Like:
- Feather light
- Easy to wash
- Simple to pack and unpack
- About the size of a 1-gallon milk jug
What We Don’t Like:
- Foot box doesn’t open
- The rating is low comfort. An extra base-layer may be needed
- Straps to hold the quilt to sleeping pad have been know to break off
- Stuff sack cinch-cord sensitive to tearing
Best for Packability Backpacking Quilt
4. Therm-a-Rest Vesper 20 Down Quilt ($425.78)
A few other notes about this sleeping quilt:
- 900-fill-power Nikwax Hydrophobic down
- Stuff-size: 5 inches by 8 inches
- Temperature rating: 20F/-6C
- Responsible Down Standards met with the down to ensure that they meet quality and humane standards
- Optional connectors to connect the sleeping quilt to your sleeping pad
- Materials treated to be water-resistant
- Weight: 19 ounces
For fans of backpacking, there is nothing quite like the Therm-a-Rest Vesper 20F/-6C Backpacking Quilt. This ultralight down quilt is designed to keep you warm on colder nights and provide a comfortable sleep in all seasons.
Not only does this quilt do a great job of keeping you warm, but it is versatile enough to work for just about any type of camping. It can be used as a quilt or closed up and used as a sleeping bag. This makes it extremely versatile and one of the most popular options on the market today.
If you are worried about space and packing up your ultralight sleeping quilt, then the Therm-a-Rest Vesper 20 has a great packability rating!
The first thing that you will notice about this quilt is how lightweight it is. It weighs just 1 pound 3 ounces, so it is perfect for backpacking trips or other outdoor adventures where weight is an issue. Additionally, the high-quality materials make it incredibly lightweight without sacrificing durability or warmth
Another unique feature of this quilt is its size. At 6 feet long and 48 inches wide, it offers plenty of comfort for most campers, even those who are taller than average.. Both the long and regular lengths of this sleeping quilt come in at just over 1 pound. You won’t even notice that added weight on your backpack as you go hiking to your camping spot!
The material of this sleeping quilt is made with a box baffled construction to minimize any cold spots around you, but it is still only recommended for temperatures above 32 degrees. Also, the Vesper is insulated with 900-fill Nikwax Hydrophobic Down which repels water and maintains loft 60 times longer than untreated down. This means you can use the Vesper in damp conditions and it will provide equal warmth even after exposure to moisture.
If you’re looking for a sleeping quilt that is truly light and ultra-packable, you’ve found the one for you.
What We Do Like:
- Packs down super small think Nalgene bottle
- Large foot box space
What We Don’t Like:
- Filling has gaps and not equally distributed
- If you wiggle around in your sleep, you’ll be tugging the quilt downt to keep warm
Best Hybrid Sleeping Quilt:
A few other specs about this hybrid quilt:
- The inside and outside materials are lined with water-resistant materials
- Footbox offers versatility for all types of sleepers
- Cinch cord at your neck to keep out any cold drafts
- Lifetime warranty
See prices and size options on Outdoor Vitals
If you aren’t sure whether you are sold on the sleeping quilt idea over the sleeping bag idea, then this sleeping quilt is the perfect option. The Outdoor Vitals Hybrid Topquilt Sleeping bag is a hybrid between a sleeping quilt and a sleeping bag.
These ultralight synthetic topquilts are the best in the world! LoftTek™ insulation is what allows you to have complete confidence, no matter the moisture or weather. Additionally, it looks just like down and has a siliconized coating that drains all water from it.
The wide shape, which is great for sleeping on the ground or in a hammock, keeps you covered and toasty while also allowing you to be adaptable with your setup! Clips and a pad strap secure the topquilt on a sleeping pad, keeping you warm even if you move about while sleeping!
If it’s cold at night, then you can cinch the top cord to keep the heat in. If you get hot, then you can add more breathability by loosening up the cord of the bag and making it a down sleeping quilt. Also, the fully baffled design with stitched footbox securely seals the insulation into place to keep you warm at night so you can have a good night’s sleep!
Whether you keep it as a quilt or turn it into a sleeping bag, the 800 fill power with goose down will be sure to keep you cozy and comfortable while you sleep.
Not sure whether you’ll want a sleeping bag or a sleeping quilt in your tent or hammock? This hybrid quilt will satisfy both needs!
6. Feathered Friends Flicker 30 UL Wide Quilt Backpacking Bag
There are many other great features to the Feathered Friends Flicker 30 UL:
- Can be used as a hammock underquilt with the webbing loops that are included
- Stuff stack included
- Lightweight at 26 ounces for the lowest temperature rating but the largest option and 19 ounces for the highest temperature rating and largest option
- Continuous baffles to position the down where you want it
- Draft collar
See 30 degree color options and lengths on Feathered Friends
Another hybrid sleeping quilt that can turn into a sleeping bag is the Feathered Friends Flicker 30 UL. However, this one is meant to keep you warmer on those really chilly summer nights on your alpine camping treks.
Feathered Friends Flicker 30 UL comes in a variety of colors and lengths as well. With a 950 fill power down rating, it is sure to keep you very warm if needed. If you want to stay the warmest as possible, then it is best to zip it into a sleeping bag to maximize the efficiency of the down. However, if you don’t need the warmth, look for a double sleeping bag that can cover two people.
This is perfect for those cold summer nights, whether you want to use it as a sleeping quilt with your partner or your own sleeping bag. It is on the higher end of pricing and costs $459, so it is definitely an investment on your end.
- Optional attachment to your sleeping pad to maximize your warmth and comfort with pad cords to adjust
- Includes stuff sack
- Comes in regular length at 72 inches, long at 78 inches, and a shorter length at 66 inches
- Certified responsible down standards
- Temperature rating: 30 degrees (F)
- Water-resistant 850-fill-power
- Weight: 9.6 -11.5 ounces
The REI Co-op Magma Trail Quilt 30 comes in weighing at a minuscule 11.5 ounces for the longest option. If you go with the shortest option, then it only weighs 9.5 ounces. The 30°F Magma Trail Quilt is a great choice for three-season camping
Although similar to a sleeping bag, the Magma Trail Quilt is solely a quilt but offers both hood and bottom insulation to keep you warm, similar to a sleeping bag. It comes with an 850 fill power goose down with a water-repellent finish.
The trapezoidal foot box keeps feet comfy and warm without feeling constricted. Perfect for side sleepers and larger folks. Added bells and whistles include an insulated draft tube, which insulates your neck area, plus pad cords that let you adjust fit and warmth and keep you centered on your sleep pad throughout the night.
More? You get two storage bags for easy packing and storage—a stuff sack for use on overnight trips and a mesh bag so your quilt can breathe in between adventures.
Now for the bad. It may be a design flaw or poor product instructions is with the toggles on the Magma’s quilt straps. If you try to fasten or unfasten the toggles by pulling the loops over the toggles, then you may struggle a bit. But, if you push or pull the toggles through the fabric loops, it will be much easier to use. Give enough slack on the strap to allow it and the toggle to slip through the loop.
The Magma quilt might be almost perfect if REI would improve a few things.
- Add one or two snaps above the foot box to close it up more
- Narrow and add another baffle in both directions so down doesn’t shift about too much
- Add straps or some form of adjustable elastic around the quilt edges to seal out drafts and create more tension
Look no further than the REI Co-op Magma Trail for one of the lightest options out on the market! It will easily fit into your hiking backpack so you don’t have to worry about any added weight or sizes.
What We Do Like:
- Packs small
- Warm into the low 40s
- Colors are nice
- Draft tube adjuster is easy to use and locks down and away
- Comes with stuff sack and storage bag
What We Don’t Like:
- Foot box too shallow and might tear
- Baffling spaced too far apart
- Toggles and lacing system require fiddling with to lock into the strap loops.
8. Big Agnes Fussell Quilt (Price not available)
- Weight: 1lbs
- Shape: Mummy
- Insulated with 850 fill DownTek
- It has a built-in snap system to turn it into a mummy sleeping bag for colder nights.
- Compresses to 3.5 x 5.5 inches
- Includes Storage and stuff sack and 10 3M snap patches.
Although we’ve gone over one of the warmest hybrid quilts, the Big Agnes Fussell quilt is solely a quilt and is rated highly for its warmth. You can choose to get a temperature rating of anywhere from 0 degrees to 50 degrees.
You can also choose to get the length anywhere from 65 inches to 85 inches long. If you go with a long wide for the 0-degree temperature rating quilt, the pack will weigh about 30 ounces because of the extra down inside. If you go with the short length 50-degree quilt, then your pack will only weigh 11 ounces.
It’s both give and take with what you think you will need to sleep comfortably! You are also able to choose the color of the outside of the quilt, inner shell fabric, and stitching color.
The standard price of the Big Agnes Fussell is Price not available Depending on the temperature rating and length you choose to go with, you will have to pay a little more. For instance, if you choose to go with the 0-degree rating and the longest option, you will have to add $84 to the final price.
However, if you choose to go with the 50-degree rating, you will actually be saving money on the original $340.
9. Best Camper Quilt: Featherstone Moondance 25 850 Fill Power Down Top Quilt ($209.99)
- Shell fabric: 10d Nylon
- Comfort rated to 36°F/2°C
- 850 Fill Power Duck Down Insulation
- Compression stuff sack
- Pad straps to connect with your sleeping pad
Amazon price for Regular: $209.99 Amazon price for Long: $209.99
The Featherstone Moondance 25 850 Fill Power Down Top Quilt is one of the best budget backpacking quilts for three-season use. The quilt is well made and offers a good amount of insulation, but it isn’t quite as light as the other backpacking quilts reviewed here. It is not the warmest quilt on the market, but it is also priced lower than some of the quilts with higher fill power down.
It has a baffled design that runs both vertically and horizontally (lower half of your legs) and opens up to be used as a top quilt for warmer nights. We were surprised by how much the collar that snaps around your neck kept the drafts out. It doesn’t feel too constricting but makes a big difference in keeping you warm if you are sleeping in cool weather.
Although it doesn’t have snaps or straps to keep the quilt attached to the pad, it has elastic loops at each end that you can use to attach the quilt to your pad so you don’t roll off of it in your sleep. What’s more, the Featherstone Moondance 25 also has multiple attachment points that allow you to directly attach it to your hammock or use it independently as an underquilt sleeping pad in cold weather.
The Moondance 25 is perfect for someone that wants a quality, lightweight quilt that can be used in temps down to 40 degrees or so. If you don’t want to break the bank yet, then this is a high-quality quilt, perfect for someone who is larger (go with the large option) or on a budget.
If you’re going to use it in the zippered footbox, your feet have to stay in the bottom of the bag and you can’t move them around much. However, one complaint is the continuous baffle designs allow the down feathers to move up and down the quilt. An area of improvement would be to add detail to prevent the straps from sliding up and down when attached to the sleeping pad. Perhaps rubber sticky dots?
All in all, we were quite impressed with this budget-priced quilt. At about 50% less than the “big brand” quilt makers, this is a great purchase. Featherstone offers a lifetime warranty on all of its products, which means it will repair or replace any quilt that is damaged (at no cost to you). Certainly, this is an awesome benefit that gives you peace of mind when camping in the backcountry. So what are you waiting for?
What We Do Like:
- Long enough for taller people.
- Roomy in the torso area
- Zippered and drawstring footbox
- Compresses down really well
- It doesn’t leak feathers
What We Don’t Like:
- Down compartments are pretty big so it bunches up badly after being compressed
- The placement of domes on the closures is a little off
- Cinch cord for the shoulder is right in the middle of the quilt
- Sleeping pad straps slide up and down at attachment points.
10. Sierra Designs Nitro Quilt 20 and 35 degree ($279.95)
- 800 Fill Power Fluro-carbon free DriDown
- Integrated hood and Hand/arm pockets
- Differential cut for maximum loft
- Lightweight and compressible
- Shell and liner fabric: 15 d nylon ripstop
- Stuff Size: 15″x7.5″/38.1cm x 19.05cm
- Weight: 11 ounces
The Sierra Designs Nitro Quilt is an ultralight backpacking quilt that is great for people who like to have a bit of extra space while sleeping. It weighs only 11 ounces and one of the lightest backpacking quilts available.
The Nitro Quilt comes in two different temperature ratings: 20 degrees and 35 degrees. It’s made with 800 fill duck down, making it one of the warmest backpacking quilts on the market! In addition, the Nitro Quilt uses DriDown, which has been treated to keep you dry, 10x longer in wet conditions.
It can get chilly if you don’t use an insulated pad when it gets into the 20s at night. If you don’t run warm, then consider choosing base layers for extra warmth. If you don’t have an insulated sleeping pad, then this isn’t the quilt for you. You’ll need a pad that bounces heat off the ground and after you’ve got one of those, you’ll practically be sweating in this thing. It’s lightweight and comfortable; the head hole is an added bonus.
What we would love to see Sierra Designs add to the Nitro Quilt would be a larger wrap for bigger bodies and a way to secure the middle up more. Also, selling an option with more high fill power goose, say 950 would do the trick. These few changes would keep the drafts at bay and make for warmer nights.
What We Do Like:
- Hand pockets
- Hood head hole
- Less claustrophobic than mummy style sleeping bags
- Great for side-sleepers
What We Don’t Like:
- No sleeping pad attachment system
- Fill power not evenly distributed
11. Western Mountaineering Astralite Baffled Quilt ($420.00)
- ultralight backpacking quilt
- great for people who like to have a bit of extra space while sleeping
- 850+ fill power down
- Draft collar yoke
- weighs only 10.5-11.3 ounces
- made with high quality materials
The Western Mountaineering Astralite Quilt is great for thru-hikers who are looking for ultralight gear and want the lightest quilt possible. It is not as warm as some of the other options on this list and there are no zippered footbox options, but if you are not planning on winter backpacking and sticking 3-season gear, this is a great option.
The company has modified its product since it was first launched in order to make it more user-friendly. The quilt’s attachments, which were previously bungee/drawstring cords, are now adjustable and detachable straps. As a result, they are simple and quick to attach to your pad attachment system. What’s more, they work with any backpacking sleeping mat and can be left at home, if removed if you can’t spare an ounce.
There is also an insulating draft yoke and elastic closure for maximum heat retention, as well as a sewn footbox. Also, the Astralite quilt is meant to be used with an insulative sleeping pad. You’ll be cold if your sleeping pad isn’t well-insulated or inadequately insulated. Moreover, make sure your sleeping pad has the appropriate R-value for three-season usage.
Also updated is the outer fabric covering for 2021 to address the condensation problem. Western Mountaineering will replace fabric from prior quilts under warranty.
Because the AstraLite is hoodless, you may want to bring enough head insulation. If temperatures are expected to drop below freezing, then a hooded puffy would be useful. Although this has “quilt” in the name, the zippers on the bottom do not actually open into a blanket. The reason for this is that without allowing it to open, the weight to warmth ratio stays high and desirable.
IIf you are looking to transition into the backpacking quilts game, then this could be a great transition option. The AstraLite is available in two lengths: 5’8″ and 6’4″, with the former can cover the shoulders of persons at or below 6’0″ tall and the latter for people between 6’0″ and 6’6″.
What We Do Like:
- Good weight to warmth ratio.
- Buckle straps work with any pad attachment system
- Lighter weight
What We Don’t Like:
- No zippered footbox
|Fill & Material|
Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20
|No products found.||22.54 oz|
6 x 4.5 ft.
|20°F / -6°C|
5°C / 10°F
|10D nylon fabric
850 Fill Power duck down
Katabatic Flex 22
|No products found.||25.8 oz|
7.5 X 13 inches
|22°F / -5.5°C|
|900 Fill Power goose down
850 f.p. duck down HyperDRY™ hydrophobic down
amazon link="B07TX14FQJ" tracking_id="hikingadven0f-20" title="OneTigris Featherlite Ultralight Sleeping Quilt"/]
Add to Cart
6.5ft by 2.8ft
|41°F (5°C),||20D Ripstop Nylon (Outer), 380T Polyester Pongee Lining (Inner)|
Therm-a-Rest Vesper 20
90.16 x 57.87 x 1.97 inches
|to 26°F / -3° C||Ripstop nylon
850 Fill Power Duck Down Insulation
Hammock Gear Econ Burrow 20
|No products found.||20.3 oz||to 20°F/ -3° C||Ventum Ripstop Nylon
DownTek 900 Fill Power Water Repellent Goose Down
Feathered Friends Flicker 30 UL
|20°F / -7°C||950+ Goose Down
Pertex® Endurance® UL- Flite 15 denier ripstop nylon
REI Co-op Magma Trail Quilt 30
13 x 4.75 inches
|-1°C - 30°F||850-fill-power grey goose down
Pertex ripstop nylon
Ghost Pepper Topquilt
|No products found.||22 oz|
|10°C- 40° C||10D nylon fabric
850 Fill Power duck down
amazon link="B08H4P8RCF" tracking_id="hikingadven0f-20" title="Featherstone Moondance 25 Top Quilt"/]
Add to Cart
90.16 x 57.87 x 1.97 inches
|comfort: 36°F/2°C||850 Fill Duck down loft
Sierra Designs Nitro Quilt 20 Degree
Add to Cart
|15"x7.5"/38.1cmx19.05cm||ISO Limit: 21F/-6C | ISO Comfort: 32F/0C||800 Fill Hydrophobic DriDown
15D Nylon RipStop
amazon link="B07B4J4CV1" tracking_id="hikingadven0f-20" title="Western Mountaineering AstraLite Baffled Top Quilt"/]
|Add to Cart||10.5 oz|
6 x 10in
38° F / 3° C.
|850+ fill down
[face] 12D ExtremeLite nylon, [lining] 10D nylon taffeta
Buyers Guide and Advice
Ultralightweight Sleep Systems
An ultralight sleep system is one of the first places to start cutting pack weight, and one of the easiest. That’s because it’s the heaviest thing you carry, and there’s no way around carrying a shelter and sleeping bag.
In fact, you can eliminate everything in your pack except food, water and a few other critical items… but you still have to carry a sleep system.
So what makes up a lightweight sleep system? It varies based on whether you’re backpacking in warm or cold weather and how much you prioritize having the lightest possible pack weight at the cost of comfort.
Note that we’re not talking about ultralight tents here — this is focused on the sleeping bag and pad.
In order to stay warm and comfortable, carry a good sleeping bag or quilt, a sleeping pad for a good night’s rest, that fits your needs, and a pillow. And if you’re cold and uncomfortable, you won’t sleep well. Or at all.
To figure out which one is right for you, first know the differences between:
- traditional sleeping bags
- hybrid sleeping bags & quilts
- sleeping pads vs insulated sleeping pads.
Rectangular Sleeping Bags
The traditional sleeping bag is this, which is designed for people who want plenty of room to sleep. The rectangular design provides lots of area for tossing and turning, making it more comfortable if you like to move around while sleeping at night, than mummy bags or barrel shaped ones.
Because of the extra room, rectangular sleeping bags aren’t known for their insulating capabilities, and they don’t usually have a hood to keep the heat in.
In cooler climates, these are intended to keep sleepers warm. With a highly tapered footbox and leg section, they have a shape that is shaped to the body. There is more width through the hips and shoulders, as well as further tapering above the shoulders to connect a fitted hood that may be tightened with a drawcord.
While mummy bags are already quite streamlined (compared to more traditional rectangular bags), ultralight versions save even more weight thanks to thinner shell materials, higher-fill-power down, shorter zippers, and smaller proportions. In order to reduce weight, some ultralight mummy bags don’t have hoods or don’t have a full length zipper.
Hybrid Sleeping Bag/Quilts
Indeed, there are two types of hybrid bags. One version made by ZenBivy combines the warmth of a mummy bag minus the constricting feel at the lower half, with a quilt on the upper half. They’ve designed their own zipperless sewn footbox, opting to use hooks and loops. For warm nights, unhook to keep cool.
Also, weight is shedded by combining down and synthetic insulation in hybrid sleeping bags, which is considered a hybrid bag too. They’re not as popular as down-only sleeping bags, but they might provide a better balance of benefits for each type of insulating material than you may get with a pure down or pure synthetic bag.
What is a Backpacking Quilt?
A backpacking quilt is a sleeping bag made out of layers of goose down but without zippers and attaches to your sleeping pad or hammock with straps. Goose down is natural insulation that’s very light and compressible, so it’s a common choice for ultralight sleeping bags.
Ultralight backpacking quilts are a great choice for backpackers looking to save some weight from their traditional sleeping bags. The main difference between the two is that a quilt is an open bag that wraps around your body, as opposed to a traditional sleeping bag that has a full length zipper that zips up and fully encloses you.
An ultralight quilt isn’t a replacement for an actual sleeping bag. It’s intended to be a supplemental sleep system that you’ll use in warm weather conditions or combine with a sleeping pad attachment system when winter camping to get extra insulation.
Features of Backpacking Quilts
- Zipperless bag
- Sewn footbox or adjustable foot box
- Sleeping pad attachment system
Backpacking quilts are designed to eliminate all of the excess material found in traditional sleeping bags. The fit is snug and tight around your torso and shoulders with no padding underneath you (just like traditional backpacking pads). Also, they lack a full length zipper, which reduces the weight.
As a result, quilts may have cords/straps to close the foot box to keep your feet warm on cold nights. If you want your feet to breathe on warmer nights, then loosen the drawstring foot box.
This versatility makes quilts a great option for those who sleep warm or toss and turn at night. Additionally, the best backpacking quilts will often have well-designed sleeping pad attachment systems. But some brands take it up a notch and allow you to design your own custom quilt.
Why you need an insulative sleeping pad
The foundation of any sleep system is a ground pad, which provides insulation from the cold ground and helps soften the surface of your tent floor. Non-insulated pads are lighter than insulated ones, but they don’t insulate as well in cold weather (and they’re less comfortable).
Why Choose a Lightweight Camping Quilt?
Now that you know the best camping quilts to choose from, you may still be wondering why these are better than sleeping bags and how we can compare them. There are many reasons you may enjoy an ultralight backpacking sleeping quilt compared to a sleeping bag. They tend to have more room because they act more like a typical blanket, you are better able to control the temperature, and they are often more affordable.
Benefits of a Backpacking Quilt
- Keeps you warm enough on cold nights that need warm insulation – Down quilts are best for conditions when the temperature is going to get down below 30°F / 0°C. If it’s going to be a bit warmer than 30°F / 0°C, a synthetic polyester sleeping bag will keep you warmer than a down bag.
- Slim and compact – You’re able to compress the down in a down bag down to a much smaller size than you would in a regular sleeping bag, so an entire quilt is smaller and takes up less space in your pack.
- Lightweight and affordable – At less than 5 ounces per square foot when fully compressed, a down quilt is one of the best ways to go ultralight in the backcountry.
- Comfortable – Down is an incredibly comfortable insulation option. It’s fluffy and soft to sleep on, and the minor elasticity of the down feathers means that it molds to the shape of your body, keeping you warm and comfortable throughout the night.
In a sleeping bag, you may feel trapped or uncomfortable, especially on a warmer night. If you tend to toss and turn a lot, you may feel all twisted when you wake up. Sleeping quilts do not give off the same feelings as sleeping bags and will not get twisted with your body.
They also give you more room to move, so you will feel less restricted during the night while sleeping. It’s also crucial to get a good night’s sleep and having more room may help you with that.
Adjusts to the Temperature
A typical sleeping bag does not give you much room to change how hot or cold you are during the night. With a sleeping quilt, you are able to regulate your temperature while sleeping much easier.
You can fold the quilt over double if you are chilly, or you can lightly drape it over your body if it is a warm night. That way, you can either bundle your toes up to stay warm or can stick them out from under the quilt to breathe.
These are great options if you need help regulating your temperature at night.
Sleeping quilts tend to be much more lightweight than a typical sleeping bag. There is no extra fabric or zippers to add extra weight to the blankets. They don’t usually have hoods either which saves on how heavy the quilt is.
Ultralight backpacking sleeping quilts tend to be more affordable than sleeping bags because it is more just a sheet of material than a sleeping bag. Sleeping bags tend to have a ton of different features, like hoods or zippers, that will automatically boost their price.
Easy to Carry
Since sleeping quilts are more lightweight than sleeping bags, they are easier to pack as well. They can usually press down to half the size of a normal sleeping bag, which makes it easier to carry or put inside your backpack! Many sleeping quilts come with stuff sacks so that you can get it as small as you would like.
How Much Weight Do Quilts Really Save?
There are a lot of claims about the weight-savings potential of ultralight backpacking shelters, and down ultralight quilts in particular. We don’t believe these claims. However, we are able to put these claims to the test and weigh how much weight a down quilt can save you in the backcountry.
First, we enlisted the help of some of our readers to test out their own down quilts. We had them use their quilts on a 5-day trip in the Pacific Coast Trail in the wintertime.
We weighed their sleeping bags, their quilts, their sleeping pads, and the food they brought for the trip. The results? On their 5-day trip, our readers saved an average of 9.7 pounds of weight with their down backpacking quilt.
Based on these results, we can say that a down quilt can definitely save you a significant amount of weight in the backcountry. However, how much you’ll save will depend on a few factors.
First, your individual situation will impact how much you save. If you’re carrying a lot of extra gear that’s mostly weight, you’ll likely lose less weight with a lighter quilt. That said, you should expect to lose a few pounds at the very least with a lightweight backpacking shelter.
Second, the degree of cold you experience on a trip will yield the biggest difference in how much weight you save. If you’re in the Adirondacks during the winter and experiencing temperatures that dip below freezing, you will lose a lot of weight with a lightweight backpacking shelter. If you’re camping near the equator, however, you’ll likely lose less weight with your ultralight shelter.
What Features Should I Consider When Looking For a Sleeping Quilt?
If you’re ready to go out and get a sleeping quilt, there are a few things you should take into consideration before making the purchase. You always need to think about the seasons you’ll be camping in as well as the size you need among other things.
Quilt Temperature ratings
If you plan to only go out for 3 seasons, a quilt with a temperature rating of 20F is good for you. This means that you should not be in temperatures colder than that.
There are not many quilts warmer than this, so they are better for 3 seasons. If you think you will be camping in the winter, it’s a better bet to grab a winter sleeping bag that is meant for 4 seasons.
It’s always better to go bigger with a sleeping quilt. You want it to be longer than you and also have enough material to tuck around you at night to stay warm if you need to add extra warmth. It is also important to note that some do cover two people, so keep this in mind as you look.
Duck Down vs Goose Down Warmth
The size and fill power of clusters distinguish duck down from goose down. Geese produce warmer down clusters with a greater fill power than ducks. This is due to the fact that geese are larger than ducks and their down clusters are generally bigger. Also, since geese live in cold weather, evolution required their down clusters to be large and fluffy.
Fill power is a number that describes the relative quality of down. If fill power isn’t a term you are familiar with, important to know because it affects the overall temperature rating of the quilt. A higher fill rating means there is more insulation in the quilt, thus the warmer it is.
In summary, fill power measures how many cubic inches of loft one ounce of that down fill produces. Higher fill power numbers indicate greater loft and insulating efficiency. A higher fill rating means there is more insulation in the quilt, thus the warmer it is.
Most are filled with synthetic or goose-down insulation and then made to be water-resistant to keep any extra water away while you are sleeping.
Types of Baffles
Sleeping bags and quilts can be constructed in two ways:
- Box baffled
Sewn-Through stitching is less expensive and lighter than box baffling. A seam is created between the shell and liner, which are then sewn together to separate the down. The baffles are lightweight and easy to create since there is no fill at the seams. Heat can easily leak out between the baffles, however, because there is no fill at the seams
The more complex construction of a box baffle because a lightweight material is sandwiched between the shell and liner in order to make a box and box baffle. To eliminate cold spots and increase heat retention, this box eliminates any gaps. Box baffling, on the other hand, provides the greatest insulation efficiency while being more expensive and negligibly heavier.
Baffles are unique to quilts. They are the way that the seam is sewn on the quilt to keep the down from moving around too much. There are horizontal, vertical, and continuous baffles on quilts.
Many campers have said that horizontal baffles are the most comfortable option.
Continuous Baffle vs Boxed Baffles
All the quilts use baffling, whether it is continuous, boxed, or both. Continuous baffles are tubes of fabric that help keep down insulation distributed equally throughout sleeping bags and quilts. The baffling is sewn onto most quilts in a horizontal, vertical, chevron pattern.
To see a visual of baffling types, take a look at Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bag Fill and Construction
Sewn Foot Box
A sewn-closed footbox provides a bit more structure and eliminates any chances of your feet slipping out into cold nights, keeping them warm and toasty.
Closed Foot Boxes or Zippered footbox
If you aren’t sure what type of foot box, then we suggest picking one that you don’t have to choose. Most of the best backpacking quilts will have either a zippered footbox or drawstring footbox. This way, you can close it when winter camping or leave it open in warmer weather.
Shell fabric and Liner Fabric
One of the most popular ways to reduce the weight of sleeping bags and quilts is to utilize ultra-thin shell textiles (denier), high-fill-power down (which provides surprising warmth for its weight), thin or shortened zippers (or no zippers at all), and slim profiles.
Other types of bags have no hood or foot box, or they use less down fill along the body. Some quilts, for example, omit attachments or cinches (these are known as “top quilts”).
It’s worth noting that, while ultralight sleeping bags or even the best backpacking quilts, lighter weight packs, will almost always result in a sacrifice in durability, comfort, and warmth (or all of these features)
Ready to Go for that Zipperless Bag??
If you are willing to make a sacrifice or two, in order for weight savings, then buy yourself one of the best ultralight backpacking quilts you can find for your budget.
But before you do, make sure you have all of the other ultralight gear you need for your thru-hike or backpacking trip. And don’t forget your favorite camping snacks either! A happy belly means happy hiking!
We also have other lists to make sure you have everything you need. Check out some of our other posts on gear that you may need for your next backcountry adventure.
Final Tips: Ultralight Backpacking Quilts
Down is an extremely versatile and comfortable insulation option, but it does have a few drawbacks. It’s very sensitive to moisture and can lose its loft after just a few nights if you’re not careful. It’s also prone to breaking if you’re careless with your gear, so make sure to handle your gear with care and store it carefully when not in use.
When shopping for a lightweight backpacking quilt, you’ll want to find one that comes with a good warranty. If anything happens to your quilt, it would be nice to have the option to exchange it for a new one.
Finally, don’t forget to plan for the possibility of cold weather when planning your trip. It’s not a good idea to go unprepared for conditions like freezing temperatures, and you should definitely plan accordingly with a down jacket and plenty of extra food.
But before you do, make sure you have your backpacking tent, the best backpacking stove, Water purification system, and other important gear you need while you camp. And don’t forget your favorite camping snacks either! A happy belly means happy camping!
We also have other lists to make sure you have everything you need. Check out some of our other posts on gear that you may need for your next camping trip.
If you feel like you are ready to go camping with an ultralight backpacking sleeping quilt, get out there!
Do you prefer a backpacking quilt? or a hybrid sleeping bag? Let us know your opinions and what quilt you recommend below.
Need More Advice on Gear and Footwear?
Here are some links to our most popular articles:
- Winter Hammock Camping? How to Stay Warm in a Hammock
- Best Backpacking Packs: Fitting, Features, and Recommendations
- Arc’teryx Alpha SL 23 Backpack- What to Know Before You Buy
- Hiking Outfits for Men Guide
- Best Lightweight Tents for Backpacking
- Hammock vs Tent: Battle for the Best Night’s Sleep
- 11 Best Ultralight Sleeping Bags under 2.0 pounds
- How to Choose the Best Backpacking Hammock
- 9 of the Best Down Jackets for Men
Last update on 2022-02-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API