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' and 'Vector' monikers stand for?
It's a signifier for the two choices in foot box design available for our quilts. The Arc is a traditional closed footbox, and also a name that has been in the catalog since the beginning. An openable, fully adjustable blanket style design called the Vector is also an option. 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 20° 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 translates into a slightly more taut inner fabric, which in turn makes it less likely for bony body parts to poke through and compress the insulation. This is 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. As always, a shelter that reaches the ground all the way around is the warmest.
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, most breathable fabrics. 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. A wider quilt is easier to seal, but adds weight and bulk.
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. For comparison purposes, our site wide ratings reflect a person wearing long johns and a light zipneck top, who is well fed and hydrated, and using a ground hugging single wall shelter. With these parameters fulfilled the temperature is a 'comfort' 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.