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Sleeping Gear Review - warning, very long

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:50 am
by Spinnister
We just got back yesterday from an 11-day trip. 3 tent nights, seven shelter nights. Good to be home. Sad to leave the Island (although the the door slammers and loud-talkers and trash-dumpers the closer you get to Rock Harbor sort of ease that transition :evil:

I was using some new gear - Enlightened Equipment Revelation quilt (my 50th b-day gift from hubby last fall - first chance to use it), Sea to Summit Aeros Premium pillow, and Thermarest Xtherm pad (Christmas gift). I never sleep well when camping, and in the past have always had trouble physically getting up in the morning, because I'm so stiff and my back is so seized-up by morning.

While I still didn't sleep like at home, and I still had a had achey mornings, it was by far the best I have EVER slept while camping. We had a couple cool nights, but I was pretty cozy once I figured out the quilt thing.

The Xtherm pad is wonderful. Warm, which I was slightly concerned about - you can actually feel the heat reflecting back at you - but it didn't seem to be a problem. And with the quilt I could just open it up or toss it off if I got too warm. It took a couple nights to get the inflation level right, because too hard and you sort of roll off if you lie on your side, and too soft you hit the hard ground, but let just enough air out and it supports you nicely but sort of cradles you. That was another concern I had, because I read some reviews where people complained about the edges collapsing. If you don't fully inflate it, that isn't a problem. It is noisier that I'd like, but not terrible if you are careful when rolling over.

The Xtherm worked much better for me than my Prolite Plus self-inflating pad. I like that one, and the women's has a pretty good R value, but I was much more comfortable on the Xtherm. R 5.7, 15 oz (17.2 with stuff sack and inflation bag) vs R 4.2, 25 oz.

The Aeros Premium pillow was awesome too - inflate it fully for reading, then push the little blue button to leak out just the right amount of air to keep you comfortable and keep your head from rolling off. It has a soft cover, so isn't like sleeping on a balloon. I had a Thermarest pillow, with the spongy self-inflating foam, which was lumpy, bulky, and heavy (StoS pillow, large: 3.8 oz, and rolls up with my sleeping pad. T'rest pillow, medium, 9.5 oz., and takes up a lot of pack space.)

The EE quilt is great! Open it, close it, close it part way off, cinch it down close,...... 30° quilt, 900 fill Downtek down, short length (do think I'd rather have the regular length, but it was fine. I'm 5'- 6-1/2", and the short is listed for 5'-6", maximum 5'-8", when closed up, my feet were pretty much at the end. Not constricted, but my feet hurt a lot from hiking and I would have liked them to feel totally free in the bag), regular width, with the 20d stripes on the ends: 15.7 oz including the 2 straps. I put it in a waterproof compression sack - the stuff sack it came with seems a bit big. It was never so cold at night that I wore a hat, although my face got pretty cold a couple times, but I just put my face by the opening at the neck and warmed it right up. Last summer I absolutely froze a few nights in my 40° Kelty Lightyear down mummy bag (28.5 oz), hat and all, hood cinched up with just my nose sticking out, with extra layers. The Revelation quilt is so light, but still warmer, and much more comfortable. Not sure how I'd do down to 30°, but I doubt I'll ever need to find out. I'm pretty sure I'd need to add fleece and maybe warmer long underwear, and a down hood (I took one, but never never even needed my light ski hat).

My husband also had a new Aeros pillow (small version, instead of the large), which he also liked a lot. Thermarest Xlite pad. He really liked that, but it was VERY noisy (and he denies it, but he thrashes around a lot when rolling over or getting up, so it was pretty noisy). They say they are quieter this year, so I don't know if in the spring REI still had the old ones, or if they were that much noisier. His bag is a Thermarest Antares - the mummy bag with no fill on the bottom, that has a band that fits around the pad, and the combination worked well for him.

Next big purchase will be a 3-person tent, probably the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3. We got the UL2 last year, which works and is a great tent, but we have little wiggle room (and he's 6'-5"). Thinking the weight penalty will be worth it, as it is still only 4 lbs. Keep the 2-person for solo excursions.

Re: Sleeping Gear Review - warning, very long

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:04 am
by conmcb25
great review! I have been thinking about going the quilt route myself, and am in the market for a new pad.

Re: Sleeping Gear Review - warning, very long

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:08 pm
by hooky
I've been eyeballing the Revelation and Prodigy quilts. Just trying to figure out if I want to go down or synthetic.

Thanks for the report.

Re: Sleeping Gear Review - warning, very long

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:26 am
by torpified
Thanks so much for this! My prediction about my future self is that my next big expenditure will be a quilt. I'm a side sleeper, and do best in my mummy bag when it's warm enough to use quilt-wise. I'm guessing you're a good model for my cold tolerances. What was the temperature rating for your Revelation?

Re: Sleeping Gear Review - warning, very long

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:12 am
by Spinnister
It's a 30 degree quilt. If you didn't gather this from the post, I'm a 50 y.o. woman.

Re: Sleeping Gear Review - warning, very long

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:21 pm
by torpified
I got that! (I'm a 51 yr old woman, 5'5", bad at staying warm if I'm not moving---all of which is why I thought you'd be a good model.) Now I see that you also said that it was 30* quilt in the first post, and I missed it.

Sorry, here's another quilt question: I feel like with my mummy bag, battening down the hood and neck yoke make a big difference to how warm it keeps me, even when I'm using it quilt-wise. I know you didn't use your down hood in the field, but do you have a sense of whether it extends the comfort range of the quilt as much as an integrated hood extends the range of a mummy bag?

Re: Sleeping Gear Review - warning, very long

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:00 pm
by Spinnister
My guess would be that yes, it would have the same effect if you wore a separate hood - actually the company sells one that I believe extends down to the shoulders, but I just swiped one off a winter coat, and a buff to cover my neck. But since I didn't ever use them, I can't say for sure. The quilt does have a drawcord at the top, so you can cinch it in between your shoulders and your chin. I never cinched it very far, because it didn't seem necessary for this trip. What little I did play with that, it really seemed to keep the heat in nicely. And when you cinch it it poofs out enough to sort of surround my neck and chin.

They do recommend sizing up one length if you want to be able to pull the quilt over your head. When I was looking at options, I figured I never really camp when it gets that cold, and I was looking at cutting my pack weight. At my height (since my feet are pretty much right at the end) I may have been happier with that extra length, and been able to confidently leave the hood and buff at home. Sounds like you'd have an extra inch or two wiggle room.

All that being said, the mummy bag I used last year during the same part of August is a 40 degree Kelty mummy bag. Full disclosure, I bought it for cheap from Sierra, and it has one baffle with very little down. Get what you pay for. I spent multiple nights with the hood cinched way down, all zipped in, more clothes some nights. I still froze several nights, some nights I was toasty. Granted, last August may have had colder nights than I just experienced. But I was concerned about not having the mummy option with the quilt, but I never missed it once. Meanwhile hubby used his hood every night (although not battened down). I also wondered if I might wish I'd gone for the 20 degree quilt (the 30 seems SO light!), but again, so far have seen no reason I'll regret that choice.

Re: Sleeping Gear Review - warning, very long

Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:58 am
by torpified
thanks, that's very helpful!

Re: Sleeping Gear Review - warning, very long

Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 1:23 am
by fonixmunkee
Well, this confirms it...time to buy a quilt instead of another sleeping bag. I was going to use my 2017 dividend on a new bag, but everyone's been "quilts, quilts, quilts." The temp I need in my new sleeping bag is right around 32*, so this works. Thanks for sharing.

Re: Sleeping Gear Review - warning, very long

Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:12 pm
by Stephen
I got a 30 EE revelation quilt for my May trip to the island. It worked great. I am 5'9" and a side sleeper. Ordered a extra wide and extra long. I like to cover my head completely. The mat I used was a klymit inertia X wave 3/4 length pad. Also used a liner for the quilt to keep the stink away from the quilt. It was a silk jag bag. I used all of this this past winter and found 30 degrees close to the lower temp I would use this quilt for. My opinion always use a bag liner, it was great.

Re: Sleeping Gear Review - warning, very long

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:40 am
by lellswo
Last year I picked up an Enlightened Equipment Accomplice quilt (for two sleepers) and an Exped SynMat Duo for my wife and me. What a HUGE difference this has made! It's the closest I've ever come to sleeping in the back country like I do at home! The gear is quite expensive but for me worth every penny. One big upside to this system is that the pad and quilt take up about the same space as one pad and sleeping bag did, so I can now carry these items and free up the weight and space in my wife's pack. Another upside is that on those really cold nights, we can keep each other warmer. This year we're adding the Exped Hyperlite Duo sheet.

We'll be out on Isle Royale next week for our first ever trip to the island and we're both very excited for it!