The now widely accepted idea of backcountry quilts was, to some degree, pioneered by Nunatak Gear. We were there in the beginning, made a commercial success of marketing them and have sold thousands since 1999.
Creating a quilt like cover, by eliminating the zipper and hood of conventional sleeping bags, has proved to be the answer to both effective temperature control and a line of remarkably light, compact bags.
Here are answers to some of the issues a first time user might have:
What does the 'Arc" moniker stand for?
It's a signifier for our traditional closed footbox line of backpacking quilts, a name that has been in the catalog since the beginning. An openable, fully adjustable footbox design called the Vector is also available here. View a detailed comparison here.
What are the advantages of quilts?
Two things primarily: Ease of regulating sleeping temperature, with which comes a broader range of comfortable environments. And lighter weight; simpler, bulletproof design; more compact stowage.
These bags don't have hoods. How does that work?
It's definitely different from the standard mummy sleeping bag design. Sleeping without a hood is not a deal breaker if you have warm head wear along on your trip. And which savvy backcountry user forgoes bringing something warm for the head? The quilt will put that emergency balaclava or beanie to double use and will save you a few ounces, which is one of the benefits. You can also use our super warm down filled Balaclava for severe conditions, or carry a Skaha Hoodie, our ultralight hooded down sweater, designed to work with the Arc and Vector bags for added warmth and versatility.
What are the straps for?
They help regulating the users temperature by closing up the quilt on cold nights.
What is differential cut, the stock option on all quilts rated 25° and below?
The liner, or inner, layer of fabric is cut to a narrower circumference than the shell. In the 3D make-up of a sleeping bag or quilt this slightly more taut inner fabric makes it less likely that bony body parts will poke through and compress the insulation. Thus eliminating cold bridges and overall increasing comfort ratings.
What kind of shelter do the quilts work best with?
Anything you can come up with, from 4 season tents over tarps to hammocks and bivy bags.
What fabric should I choose?
Fabric choice is a compromise between low weight and durability, as well as balancing breathability with moisture control. Tarp and bivy bag users should consider leaning towards the water resistant end of the scale, since driving rain and condensation is more likely. If you mostly sleep in a tent, go for the lightest, thinnest fabric. This is our fabric page.
Are drafts a problem?
Under a tarp on a cold and windy night you might feel some, especially if you toss and turn without doing the slight readjusting of the fit that is sometimes necessary.
Are these strange bags really warm enough?
All the quilts and sleeping bags on this site have an estimated temperature rating. If pushed beyond this they will eventually feel too cold. But if used correctly and one is wearing adequate head gear, they are comparable to mummy bags of the same rating.
How many custom options do I have?
Nunatak Gear is making every product to order, and that also applies to the quilt line. If our stock dimensions and features are different from your needs we will build your bag the way YOU want it. Contact us to discuss the details.
What's the difference between all these models?
Even though they all share the quilt as their design foundation, there are very clear distinctions between the individual models. First, they differ in temperature rating, from the 40° to a dedicated winter bag, at 5°. Following this increase in loft there's also a change in fit. You have more room to tuck and seal in the warmer bags.