If you are unfamiliar with my “Ask a thru hiker” series, the basic premise is that I attempt to answer some of the more common questions I receive from various hikers and backpackers. This week I am focusing on one, very frequently mentioned topic. Quilts. Although there are a myriad of questions that most people have about backpacking quilts, today, I’m going start simple and explain some of the advantages that backpacking quilts have over the sleeping bags you’ve probably been using. We’ll get to the deeper questions in future posts, though if you do have questions, please leave them on the video.


Traditional mummy cut sleeping bags have been the go to for lightweight backpackers for quite some time now. Their slim cuts and high tech materials allowed the bags to be some of the lightest available on the market. But times have changed and knowledge has been gained in the world of insulation, materials science, and what you need to be comfortable in the backcountry. Backpacking quilts strive to be lighter, more compact, and more comfortable than sleeping bags are. They achieve these lofty goals by using smart design, minimizing the use of extraneous bits and bobs that simply add weight, and by smartly distributing insulation only to where it is needed. Check out the video below for a quick rundown on quilts along with a comparison to traditional sleeping bags:

The main purpose of this video is to serve as an introduction to quilts and the benefits they can offer you in the backcountry. In future videos and posts, I’ll be addressing any questions you may have about quilts, as well as fleshing out some other fundamentals such as: how to actually use a quilt, what to look for/how to buy a quilt, and even how to make your own quilt! Check out the links below to see the Western Mountaineering  bag and Enlightened Equipment quilt that I mention in the video:

Western Mountaineering Alpinlite: http://www.westernmountaineering.com/sleeping-bags/extremelite-series/alpinlite/

Enlightened Equipment Revelation: http://www.enlightenedequipment.com/revelation/


Thanks for watching!