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HomeCampingQuilt vs Sleeping Bag - Which Is Higher For Backpacking?

Quilt vs Sleeping Bag – Which Is Higher For Backpacking?

Sleeping luggage have been protecting backpackers heat for over a century.

However increasingly ultralight backpackers are ditching their sleeping luggage and choosing a quilt as an alternative.

So, is a quilt actually a more sensible choice?

Or does a sleeping bag nonetheless have an higher hand in sure conditions?

We’ll take a detailed have a look at each sorts of camp bedding, to find out which one comes out on prime.

With out additional ado – quilt vs sleeping bag – let the battle start!

Quilt vs Sleeping Bag – A Fast Comparability


Nonetheless confused? Let’s dive into the entire particulars and weigh this out level by level…

All About Backpacking Quilts

The primary thought behind a tenting quilt is a lighter, extra compact sleep system that doesn’t sacrifice heat.

You see, once you sleep in a down crammed sleeping bag, the insulation beneath your physique is basically ineffective. Down retains you heat by trapping warmth within the air pockets that you just get when it’s fluffed up. While you compress it beneath the burden of your physique, these pockets are flattened.

So principally, by eradicating all of the insulation and cloth from the underside half of a sleeping bag, what you’re left with is an ultralight backpacking quilt. It weighs much less, and it packs right down to a smaller dimension, so it’s simpler to hold round with you on the path.

You connect the sleeping quilt to your sleeping pad, and it retains you simply as heat as you’ll be in a sleeping bag on the identical pad.

That being stated, if there’s a chilly draft blowing, you’re extra more likely to really feel it than you’ll be when you have been wrapped up in a sleeping bag.

Not like most sleeping luggage, quilts don’t have a hood. To maintain your head heat, you’ll must put on a hat to mattress.

Some quilts do have a foot field, although. Not solely does a foot field assist preserve your ft good and heat – it additionally helps you retain the quilt in place all through the evening.


  • Lighter and extra compact than sleeping luggage, making them extra moveable
  • A shorter zipper or no zipper means much less or no points with snagging and zipper failures
  • Might be connected to a sleeping pad for a closed sleep system


  • No hood means you want to put on a hat to maintain your head heat
  • Gives much less safety from chilly drafts than a sleeping bag

All About Sleeping Baggage

blue mummy sleeping bag and stuff sack

If you happen to’ve ever been backpacking, likelihood is you’ve slept in a sleeping bag.

Fairly than insulating you from above like a quilt, a conventional sleeping bag goes all the best way round your physique, masking you from all sides. Additionally they usually have a hood, to maintain your head lined as effectively. That is particularly helpful if there’s a chilly wind blowing at evening.

Due to all the additional cloth and insulation, an ultralight sleeping bag weighs greater than an ultralight quilt. And so they’re bulkier, too – even with a compression sack.

Like I stated, this further insulation does little in the best way of trapping warmth. Nevertheless, being wrapped up like a burrito in a sleeping bag provides you higher safety from chilly drafts.

Sleeping luggage are available all sizes and styles. You’ve received mummy luggage, rectangular luggage, semi-rectangular luggage, double sleeping luggage. A mummy bag is the best way to go in relation to backpacking, as they’re lighter and extra compact. Plus, they preserve you hotter whilst you sleep.

The factor about sleeping luggage although is that they’re not as versatile. When you’ve got a winter sleeping bag, you’ll solely have the ability to use it in chilly climate. If you happen to tried utilizing it in the summertime, you’d prepare dinner. As a result of you possibly can select to totally or partially cowl your self with a quilt, you should use it in a wider vary of climate circumstances.


  • Higher safety from chilly drafts, because it’s wrapped round your total physique
  • Normally characteristic a hood that retains your head good and heat
  • Are available in every kind of various kinds, sizes and styles


  • Heavier and bulkier than a backpacking quilt
  • Suited to a smaller temperature vary, so not as versatile

Quilt Vs Sleeping Bag: The Final Showdown

two men and a boy folding a sleeping bag

So now that we’ve taken a detailed have a look at each choices, let’s see how they evaluate.

A number of the most essential standards we have to have a look at are:

  • Heat
  • Consolation
  • Portability
  • Versatility
  • Ease of use
  • Affordability

Let’s take a look at how sleeping luggage and quilts carry out in every of those classes.


Now, let me simply begin by saying that each quilts and sleeping luggage can preserve you completely heat.

Nevertheless, if there are any gaps between your quilt and your sleeping pad, all the warmth will escape, and a draft can get by means of. That’ll go away you chattering your tooth very quickly.

This could occur when you haven’t connected the quilt correctly, or the attachment system is defective. It might additionally occur when you transfer round in your sleep. Usually talking, it’s the primary evident draw back of a backpacking quilt.

Sleeping luggage are wrapped all the best way round you, so that you don’t have this challenge. Additionally they normally have a hood connected, so that you’re all tucked in from prime to toe.

Nonetheless, quilts have come a good distance over the previous few years, and their attachment techniques have gotten higher and higher. Some quilts in the marketplace at the moment undoubtedly come very near being simply as heat as a sleeping bag.

It’s additionally value noting that the temperature score of your sleeping bag or quilt and sleeping pad goes to make an enormous distinction in how heat you keep in the course of the evening.

The winner: sleeping luggage

sleeping bag on a bed in the back of a car


A sleeping bag – particularly a mummy bag – may be fairly restrictive. You don’t have a complete lot of room to wiggle round, and sleeping in your facet may be tremendous awkward.

This isn’t wherever close to as a lot of an issue once you’re utilizing a quilt. You’ve received way more room to maneuver round, and you’ll sleep in whichever place you want.

The opposite wonderful thing about quilts is that they connect to your sleeping pad, so you possibly can’t roll off the pad in the course of the evening.

In a mummy sleeping bag, you possibly can simply roll onto the chilly exhausting flooring in your sleep. And when you’re a heavy sleeper like me, you won’t even discover till your lips flip blue.

The winner: backpacking quilts


While you’re a backpacker, portability is certainly going to be on the very prime of your record of priorities. You’re going to be carrying all your stuff in your again, so you want to be sure that the whole lot is as mild and compact as doable.

That is the place backpacking quilts shine.

They’re principally half a sleeping bag, in order that they have rather a lot much less insulation and materials. Meaning they not solely weigh much less, however they pack right down to a a lot smaller dimension.

The superior portability of backpacking quilts is just about the complete cause that their recognition has risen. When each ounce counts, a quilt is a good way to chop down your load.

The winner: backpacking quilts

sleeping bags in a tent


A quilt can be utilized in a a lot wider vary of climate circumstances than a sleeping bag.

Sleeping luggage for chilly climate can solely be utilized in chilly climate, whereas a chilly climate quilt can even serve you in hotter climate. Simply open it up like a blanket, and you will get some airflow coming by means of to chill you down.

If you happen to’re going lengthy distance mountaineering, and you want to be prepared for an enormous vary of various temperatures, a quilt is a a lot better alternative. You’d want two separate sleeping luggage when you wished to be comfy all through the journey.

The winner: backpacking quilts

Ease Of Use

With regards to utilizing sleeping luggage, there’s actually nothing to it. Simply hop into the bag, zip your self up, and lay down in your sleeping pad.

That’s it.

With backpacking quilts, it isn’t fairly that easy. The reason being that you want to connect your quilt to your sleeping pad.

Now, this isn’t too sophisticated, however when you don’t get it proper, you’ll be susceptible to chilly drafts. Attaching your quilt and sleeping pad the appropriate means so that you just’re absolutely protected can take a little bit of follow. However when you get the grasp of it, it gained’t be a lot of a problem.

The winner: sleeping luggage


If we’re taking a look at the highest quality gear in the marketplace, backpacking quilts are extra reasonably priced than excessive finish sleeping luggage. It’s because they don’t use as a lot materials, and their design is less complicated, in order that they’re cheaper and simpler to make.

That being stated, when you’re taking a look at top of the range quilts and luggage on the upper finish of the value scale, the distinction in worth isn’t going to be big.

Then, on the decrease finish of the value scale, it’s a distinct story. Low to mid vary sleeping luggage are sometimes extra reasonably priced than backpacking quilts. You gained’t actually discover many backpacking quilts within the low worth vary, since they’re normally customized made.

The winner: backpacking quilts

The Last Verdict

Total, for backpackers seeking to lighten their load, switching to quilts is a good way to do it.

Quilts have gotten higher and higher as time goes on. They honestly do present excellent heat and insulation whereas taking over much less area, and never weighing as a lot.

Sleeping luggage are nonetheless a bit higher at protecting a chilly draft out. So when you’re heading someplace significantly chilly and you’ll afford the additional weight, you may nonetheless wish to persist with a sleeping bag.

Nonetheless, I’d say that normally a quilt can do the job simply as effectively.

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