If you're shopping around for a new summer sleeping bag, we're glad that you stopped by. We're here to argue that you should be looking for a backpacking quilt instead.
What is a backpacking quilt?
A quilt is a rectangular blanket made of very similar construction to sleeping bags. Picture a sleeping bag cut open and laid flat. Like sleeping bags, they also contain baffles of down or synthetic filling. Most quilts are widest at the top and taper a bit towards the feet.
Quilts forgo certain parts of a sleeping bag that are usually not needed. This includes the hood and the fabric and filling that ends up flattened underneath you.
To help them insulate during cooler weather, most quilts can close up to form a sleeping bag shape. They achieve this via a combination of snaps, partial zippers, and straps.
So, now that you know what a quilt is, here are the 7 reasons why they make the perfect summer sleeping bag.
1. Ideal for warm temperatures
By design, quilts are very versatile and can accommodate a variety of temperatures.
When it's warm, you can open the quilt to make a simple blanket. Cover up only what you need to stay warm and peel it back if you get too warm.
On the flip side, during cool nights you can close up the quilt to make it more like a sleeping bag.
Quilts make it easy to regulate your temperature in a variety of conditions. For example, a 30-degree quilt can keep you comfortable from 30 degrees up to 80 degrees. Few items in your pack can be so adaptable.
Our Thermodown 30-degree quilt is ideal for typical summer temperature ranges.
2. Lighter than a sleeping bag
Quilts are lighter than a comparable sleeping bag. They don't include a hood and are usually narrower. This cuts down the needed amount of material and filling.
During warm summer weather, a hood is not needed and usually gets in the way. Also, the 360 degree wrapping of a sleeping bag is also unnecessary.
A quilt is optimal for summer and doesn't include any wasted ounces or space in your pack.
3. More packable than a sleeping bag
Quilts also pack smaller than a sleeping bag. The reduced amount of material and fill will need less room in your pack. Combined with other space savings in summer, you can use a smaller pack during your summer trips.
TIP: To make a quilt even more packable, store it loose at the bottom of your pack. A loose quilt will confirm to your other gear, filling in the empty void space. If you're worried about it getting dirty or wet, place it in a black trash bag first.
4. Easy to share with a partner
Since quilts can open like a blanket, they are perfect for sharing with a partner. You can even clip two quilts together if needed. This is not as efficient as having your own quilt, but that's not a big deal during warm summer nights.
5. Perfect for kids
Kids sleep best with a loose blanket. In a sleeping bag, they tend to get too warm and sweaty, especially during summer. A quilt is the perfect way to allow kids the freedom they need to sleep well.
Since quilts are lighter and smaller, they also helps kids who carry their own gear.
6. Wearable during cool evenings
There's nothing nicer than wrapping up in a nice warm quilt during a cool summer evening! In fact, being able to use a quilt like this can help keep your jackets and warm layers are home during the summer. Why pack a down jacket, when your quilt can serve double-duty if needed.
7. Easy to dry
The fact that quilts can open completely helps them dry much faster than a sleeping bag. This can be very important during warm summer weather. Perspiration during the night can make a sleeping bag damp in the morning. The closed nature of sleeping bags takes them longer to dry.
On the flip side, an open quilt can dry in minutes.
TIP: First thing in the morning, lay out your quilt with the inside facing up. By the time you eat breakfast, your quilt will be nice and dry.
We hope the above has made a good case for why a backpacking quilt is the best summer sleeping bag. If you'd like to learn more about the specific quilts that we offer, come visit our online store or send us a quick email.