Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Welcome REI Co-op Members! We're glad you're here. If you can't access the Co-op Members section of the community, click here for instructions on how to join the section that's just for you.

Thoughts on Backpacking Quilt Temps?

I went on a backpacking trip last April (Wash DC area) with my new 20F quilt.  In the middle of the night, I got quite sweaty & clammy, which made it difficult to sleep.  But at the same time I could not stay uncovered too long because it was cool, I'm guessing it was in the low 50s or upper 40s during the night.  Now I'm considering a warmer temp quilt, but I'm torn on whether to get a 50F or a 40F.  I already have a S2S liner-bag which I "could" use with a (slightly cheaper/lighter) 50F quilt.  I'm usually a warm sleeper, but as the night goes on I cool off.

Looking for any insight to help me decide.  Thanks.

2 Replies

@JeffPPeters  Hi Jeff, sounds to me it's just a case of too much quilt for the temps.

My rule of thumb is a 20F is good for temps down to 40f or 30 (at the most), ....20f is the 'survival' temp, IMO.  But about 40 or just a tad lower for good comfort.

A 50f quilt, might be good for temps down to 60, but at night time temps of 60 and up you are getting into shoulder season or summer.

In my case, my warmest quilt is a 30f enlightened equipment, good to 40's-50f, but colder than 45f and I'm putting on hat/coats, long underwear, pants, everything I brought!

But, above 60  I'm going to be burning up in a quilt and use a 'poncho liner' in the summers.

One of the problems of backpacking now in VA or WV, even above 3500', the nights are getting warmer and warmer, so once super cool summer nights are getting rarer making it tougher to enjoy.

I'm now mainly doing shoulder season in VA, and go out west to higher elevations, for the views, and much cooler nights.

good luck

REI Member Since 1979

I think it s a common problem.  I don't use a quilt (yet) but find that often 20 degree bag can be too hot at the beginning of the night but comfortable in the very early hours.  I typically am in the Sierras where it can freeze at night in the Summer.  It seems counter intuitive but I have found wearing a merino base layer helps regulate the temperature better partly because I can keep the bag open longer and also partly because it wicks away any sweat.  Something to try anyway.

Of course if your 20 degree quilt is too warm through the night were you typically uses it then may makes sense to get a "summer" quilt that is better suited assuming it is in your budget and you have the storage space.