When looking to strike the perfect balance between warmth and weight with your backpacking sleep system, quilts have some serious advantages over sleeping bags. More compressible than sleeping bags and boasting an excellent weight to warmth ratio, the best backpacking quilts will keep your pack light and still keep you warm enough to sleep comfortably in a hammock or tent.
The beauty of quilts is that they are incredibly versatile. You can open them up when too warm, and close them into mummy sleeping bags when temperatures plummet. With all these benefits, it’s no surprise that backpacking down quilts have become increasingly popular among backpackers, thru-hikers, and mountaineers.
For hot-sleepers, active sleepers, summer camping, warmer climates, and hammock camping, it doesn’t get better than a quilt. To help you find the best ultralight backpacking quilt, our backpacking quilt reviews will present the best quilts on the market while the buying guide further down will explain the key features to pay attention to in order to pick the right quilt.
How To Choose A Backpacking Quilt – Buying Guide
Weight and Packability
When considering ultralight sleeping quilts for backpacking, weight plays a very important role in your decision. Since they don’t have zippers, hoods, and bottom insulation, camp quilts are lighter than mummy sleeping bags. Backpacking quilt weights range from slightly over 1 pound to 2 pounds. While the lightest option will be the most attractive option when you’re counting ounces, making a wise investment requires finding the right balance between quality, comfort, and weight.
Packability is also an important consideration. Good backpacking quilts fold down and compress into a very compact package you can easily stow away in your backpack. To ensure the quilt you get won’t take too much space in your backpack, check the packed size or stuff sack dimensions. For ease of compressing, most quilts for camping come with a compression stuff sack.
Insulation and Temperature Ratings
In terms of insulation, it’s a choice between a down backpacking quilt or synthetic insulation. Down is a superior option as it provides more insulation for its weight. Due to this, a down quilt is lighter than a synthetic quilt with the same temperature rating. Down also compresses better than synthetic insulation.
Wet weather is where synthetic insulation shines. Unlike down, it doesn’t lose its insulating properties when wet. However, the best down quilts feature water-resistant treatments that prevent down insulation from clumping. As for the fill power, the higher the number the, the higher the warmth.
Another way to gauge whether a backpacking quilt will be able to keep you warm is to check its temperature ratings. The comfort temperature rating tells you the kinds of temperature conditions in which a sleeping quilt will keep you toasty and comfortable, while the lower limit is the survival rating.
Since you will be using your quilt in the great outdoors, you need a quilt that won’t get wet when it rains or due to exposure to dew. The shell and liner fabric should be made of a water resistant nylon or polyester fabric.
As for the insulation, synthetic insulation is water resistant and able to keep you warm even in wet conditions. If you opt for a down quilt, ensure the down insulation has a water resistance treatment so it will be able to keep you warm no matter the weather.
Material and Durability
Camping and backpacking is hard on gear. Your quilt should be tough enough to handle the rigors of outdoor adventures. Ripstop nylon and polyester with a high denier rating are the best materials for the shell and liner of a quilt. These materials exhibit impressive resistance to abrasion and don’t tear or puncture easily. The higher the denier rating, the thicker and more durable the material. A 20D rating strikes a good balance between weight and durability
Size & Shape
To make sure the quilt you choose will be long and wide enough to accommodate you and still offer room for movement, check the length and width dimensions of the sleeping quilt when open. Most camping quilts offer regular, long, and short versions. As for shape, some quilts have a rectangular shape while others have a mummy shape. The ideal shape to go for comes down to your sleeping position and whether you sleep in a hammock or on the ground.
Design and Features
Foot Box: The foot box is designed to keep your feet toasty warm. Most backpacking quilts have a drawstring at the bottom allowing you to open the foot box if your feet get too warm. Some quilt sleeping bags feature a closed foot box while others allow you to spread the quilt flat and use it as a blanket.
Pad Attachment: If you are going to be sleeping on a camping pad, make sure the sleeping quilt you choose has pad straps. These straps allow you to connect the camping pad and the quilt to ensure it stays in place throughout the night.
Draft Collar: A draft collar helps stop drafts from getting in from where you have points of weakness, such as a zipper. This seals out the cold and traps the warmth in keeping you toasty warm.
Q: What Is A Quilt?
A quilt is a warm bed covering composed of a down or synthetic filling sandwiched between a top and bottom material. When it comes to camping, a quilt is a versatile sleeping system that can function as a mummy bag, an underquilt, or a top quilt blanket. Ultralight backpacking quilts have an excellent warmth to weight ratio that make them attractive for backpacking and hiking.
Q: Why Choose A Camping Or Backpacking Quilt?
When you you want to keep your pack light and compact and still have a warm and comfortable sleeping setup, a camping quilt is the ideal sleeping solution. By dispensing with zippers, hoods, and bottom insulation, backpacking quilts manage to be extremely lightweight while still providing the warm and comfort of a mummy sleeper bag. Another advantage of choosing a camping quilt is the versatility. You can cinch it up when temperatures dip, open it up if you get too warm, or spread it as a quilt blanket.
Q: How To Clean And Store A Backpacking Quilt?
The best way to clean your backpacking quilt without damaging it is to follow the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer. We recommend handwashing or machine washing your quilt in a front-loading machine on delicate cycle. The proper way to store your quilt is in a breathable mesh sack. This will ensure it doesn’t lose its loft or get damp.
Globo Surf Overview
When backpacking, hiking, or climbing, you want the best bang for every ounce. That is where the best quilts for backpacking shine. Synthetic or down quilts for backpacking provide the same warmth ratings as the best sleeping bags but at a fraction of the weight. Hopefully, this guide has been able to answer all of your questions so you are able to pick the best hiking quilt for your needs.