Friday, August 17, 2012

Make Your Own Gear: Backpacking Quilt

A few weeks ago I decided to try my hand at making my first backpacking quilt for those warm nights where having my 20 degree down filled sleeping bag might be too much.

My current down bag weighs in at 2 lbs. 14 oz. and my goal was to make a summer quilt that would weigh at 2 lbs.  I know that 2 lbs isn't quite "Ultralight" but seeing how I didn't have any down, I had no option but to use synthetic insulation.

Loosely following the instructions found on, off to the living I went to begin the process of making my quilt.

The below picture showing the fabric being laid out so I can measure and cut the taper.  Fabric used for the top layer is 1.9 ripstop and the inside layer is 1.1 ripstop.

Completed quilt with sewn-thru baffles. Footbox has a draw-cord closure to keep your feet warm.

Backside/Underside view of the quilt.

A little over 2 inches height on the baffles.  Based on online estimates and research, this should keep me warm to 50 degrees.

Weighs in at under 2 lbs.

As of today, this quilt has been with me twice. However, I haven't fully tested this quilt on colder temps of around 50 degrees.  The lowest I have taken this quilt down to is around 65 degrees but at those temps, I have to say this quilt has done it's job and kept me nice and toasty.

Here's a picture of he quilt from a recent trip on top of my Z-Lite pad.  Total weight of my backpack from this trip including food and water was 17.4 lbs.


  1. Hey Angus,
    Quilt looks good!! Curious which insulation you ended up using? Looking at making a quilt myself similar to yours so I'm looking for a little info on insulation (downs just too expensive lol).


    1. It's the same insulation used on synthetic sleeping bags...hollow fill insulation. It's not the best insulation due to the weight but for this application, it worked.

      Since you want to go with a synthetic insulation, I would suggest going with Climashield Apex:

      It's light and easier to work with than hollow fill or down in my opinion. If you google "MYOG Climashield Quilt", you will find a lot of examples online from others who have made this...hope that helps.

      Thanks for reading and see you on the trails :)

  2. Have you tried it out yet? Curious to know how it worked.

    1. I've actually taken it three times already. Lowest temp I took it down to was 55 degrees @ Little Jimmy. Since then, this quilt has been stored since my current sleeping bag is a lot lighter than this.

      Future plan is to source some down and make a new quilt to be used for the summer. My goal is to make one that weighs less than a pound...possibly good to 40 degrees.