Made to order ultralight down quilts

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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby carryless » Thu 03 Mar, 2016 11:04 pm

Are the baffle heights different for each temperature option?

Someone else suggested the use of Pertex endurance for the shell just on the foot end for protection against condensation dripping down and I would just like to second that idea. in a Duplex there is heaps of room and really shouldn't have the bag touching the tent walls but somehow I always do... And there were many a time on my last trip in Tassie when the rain left no option for any doors to stay open so condensation was fairly decent. We were using my homemade climashield quilt (thanks to Simon from tiergear!) and so the condensation was a non-issue but If I had had one of these then it may have posed as a problem, manageable for sure, but not having to even worry about it would be nice.

I can't imagine that a double quilt design will be too hard to come up with once you've got different widths down pat.
If anyone ever manages to make this work I would be very impressed. I suspect it would be almost impossible with your differential cut and no zip but another thought I had was taking the idea from 'mainstream bags' and joining two quilts together at the top to create a double quilt. Weight wise it may not be the lightest but for versatility and therefore economically it would be fantastic.

As for colours I am a big fan of practicality so if there is any warmth benefit of having a black lining then fine, but I my pick would be a sky blue shell with a Blaze orange lining. My partner just suggested a Lilac shell with pink sparkles paired with satin pick lining, and the lining material has to be silk. I'm not sure she has a grasp on your limitations...

on another note, who would like to buy a Zpacks 20°F long quilt green, original design... I need money for a new quilt...

Stry - curious to know who the "some quilt makers" are?
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby undercling-mike » Sat 05 Mar, 2016 8:06 pm

First of all, thanks for all of the support everyone! Orders have been rolling in steadily and keeping me busy so the size and style options I'm working on are taking a little longer to get ready than I hoped, but they are on the way! There will be a shorter and longer size as well as a drawcord footbox option!

I've neglected this thread for a little while so I'll try to respond to all the questions and comments now.

On the topic of double quilts there seems to be quite a bit of interest, so I'll be looking into these for sure. I think conceptually a double quilt isn't too difficult to design but the challenge with these things is in getting all of the details right. Certainly the pad strap system needs to effectively hold the pads together and the quilt in place, and I think there are designs that would do this. I also think the flap between the two people so so the 'inside' portion of the neck/face can be covered and each user can cinch down their neck cord independently would be a good feature. Other than that it'd be a matter of getting the width and shaping right, along with the baffle pattern and hopefully a design that gives efficient use of fabric.

To answer carryless' question about what experiences with other gear led me to my current design choices, well I've never used any commercial quilts, just the ones I've made. I used to use my previous mummy bag opened out like a quilt so decided to have a go at making my own and soon after sold the mummy bag. I previously used the standard horizontal baffles on my quilts but found that the down could shift to the sides during the night. I tried various ways to counteract this such as adding more overstuff in comparison to the baffle height, not spacing the baffles too far apart an adding small partial 'vertical' baffles inside the horizontal chambers. These design features were fairly effective but in the end just switching to vertical baffles made a lot of sense and I've been very happy with it.

As for colours, they shouldn't have any impact on the warmth of the quilt, however a darker colour heats up more in the sun and can facilitate faster drying out of the quilt mid trip. How much of a factor this is to you depends on how you tend to deal with your gear. Personally I feel that having one side of the quilt at least a mid-tone darkness gives acceptable drying performance.

The option of using Pertex Endurance is an interesting one but there are tradeoffs and I think it'd only really be a good option for a small percentage of people. First of all the DWR on the standard fabrics I'm using is quite good and I don't think a bit of rubbing against condensation on the inside of a tent fly or tarp would be enough to worry it, further we're probably talking less than 1ml of water and even if that got in the down you have to consider that the down will absorb 20ml or more from the air in humid conditions compared to fully dry, so the amount of water, even though concentrated on the foot section probably isn't enough to case real problems. Further the pertex endurance is much less breathable than the standard fabrics and this can cause moisture from perspiration inside the bag to get trapped in the down rather than be transported outside. So in my view you'd have to be getting a fair bit of condensation and quite a lot of contact with the walls to make the Pertex Endurance worthwhile. I suppose other possible reasons to go with the Endurance at the foot end could be to protect from rain spray under a minimal tarp or camping under an overhang, maybe use in a snow cave or more open bivy.

From a practical point of view doing the foot end oval piece in another fabric such as Endurance would be very easy, extending it up a bit from the foot end would be more time consuming getting everything to line up given that the shell is made up of three main fabric panels.

stry: Glad to hear the quilt is going well for you and meeting expectations. Also good to hear that you've been able to get out and test it a bit.
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby undercling-mike » Wed 09 Mar, 2016 4:31 pm

Eye Candy: Some pictures of recent quilts.

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A -8C quilt with Burnt Orange shell and Forest Green inner. Giving an idea of the loft of the -8C quilts.

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Quilt as above.

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A colourful pair of -2C quilts. Dark Olive with Olive Yellow and Moroccan Blue with Burnt Orange.

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Quilts as above.

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For the first time I had a few quilts on hand at once so I decided to make a stack of downy goodness! From bottom to top: -8C Lime Green with black, -8C Burnt Orange with Forest Green, -8C Burnt Orange with Charcoal and on the top is my prototype -2C Lime Green with Navy

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From the foot end we can see that one is a little different...
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby DanShell » Wed 09 Mar, 2016 6:26 pm

The second from the top looks great, I can't wait for it to arrive :)
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby Strider » Wed 09 Mar, 2016 7:20 pm

What's the grey piece poking out the end?

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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby DanShell » Wed 09 Mar, 2016 8:38 pm

Strider wrote:What's the grey piece poking out the end?

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I'm best to let Michael say what's going there as he may want to announce it himself, but it certainly doesn't look like a sewn foot box ;)
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby Strider » Wed 09 Mar, 2016 8:42 pm

I can see that it is a drawcord footbox Dan but is that grey piece a draft tube, of sorts?

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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby DanShell » Wed 09 Mar, 2016 8:44 pm

Strider wrote:I can see that it is a drawcord footbox Dan but is that grey piece a draft tube, of sorts?

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Oh I'm with you now. I have no idea, I assumed from the pics Michael sent me that it was just the inner bulging from all my down!
But now that you mention it yes it may be something I'm not aware of.
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby undercling-mike » Wed 09 Mar, 2016 9:28 pm

Strider wrote:What's the grey piece poking out the end?


It's a plug for the hole left by cinching the footbox closed. I decided it would be more efficient than a draft collar type arrangement and it does seem effective but maybe it looks a bit weird, what do you guys think?

Anyway, Dan contacted me a while back saying he wanted a quilt with a zip and drawcord footbox. I had been working on the design and was planning to make one to verify the design before making templates and Dan said he'd be happy to have that be his quilt. FWIW I'm not planning on making any changes, although I do still need to make the templates so I'm not quite ready to take more orders for drawcord footbox quilts yet. I've also been holding off making the templates for the shorter and longer quilts till I'd verified the drawcord design so I can hopefully include that in those templates as well.

Now pictures!

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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby undercling-mike » Wed 09 Mar, 2016 9:37 pm

I also took some photos during the construction so you can see a bit of how they're put together:

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these fabric panels that form the shell, if you look closely you can see the marked lines for where the baffles will be sewn. The liner is constructed in a very similar way.


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The shell pieces sewn together.


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The baffle strips sewn to the shell.


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The baffles are then sewn to the liner and the sides are sewn up with the zip, snap and pad strap clip attachments inserted into the seam.


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Same as before but looking at the shell.


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Filled with down ready to have the top sewn up.

And then we get to the images of the finished quilt in my previous post!
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby DanShell » Wed 09 Mar, 2016 10:06 pm

Is that not the prettiest thing you've ever seen. I have my own foot pillow, I think I might name him. :)
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby undercling-mike » Wed 09 Mar, 2016 10:38 pm

Indeed, a foot pillow! Maybe I should put them in the middle in future rather than off to the side because nature loves symmetry as they say.
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby stry » Thu 10 Mar, 2016 12:28 pm

undercling-mike wrote:
Strider wrote:What's the grey piece poking out the end?


It's a plug for the hole left by cinching the footbox closed. I decided it would be more efficient than a draft collar type arrangement and it does seem effective but maybe it looks a bit weird, what do you guys think?


I think it's a *&%$#! good idea !! Counters my major objection to the doona style of quilt.

This is the sort of simple, but clever idea that keeps an already good product evolving.

(And no - I'm not going to buy a second one :lol: )
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby DanShell » Thu 10 Mar, 2016 12:37 pm

I named him Thomas in case anyone was wondering. Yes I am a grown man and yes I had too much time on my hands today.............

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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby north-north-west » Thu 10 Mar, 2016 1:02 pm

stry wrote:
undercling-mike wrote:
Strider wrote:What's the grey piece poking out the end?

It's a plug for the hole left by cinching the footbox closed. I decided it would be more efficient than a draft collar type arrangement and it does seem effective but maybe it looks a bit weird, what do you guys think?

I think it's a *&%$#! good idea !! Counters my major objection to the doona style of quilt.

This is the sort of simple, but clever idea that keeps an already good product evolving.

A cunning plan, m'lord.

I was thinking the sewn footbox would be best for me, but now I'm wondering again . . . good thing I can't afford one yet, and the shorter models aren't ready for manufacture.
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby DanShell » Fri 18 Mar, 2016 9:27 am

This is not a detailed report on my new quilt from Undercling Mike but it is my initial impressions having just come back from a few days in the mountains using it. Ill do a more in-depth review after easter when it should see some colder temps.

However I must say my first thoughts after seeing it were positive. It is very well made, the workmanship is exceptional. I wasn't convinced on the little foot pillow/draft blocker and Im still not convinced but Ill reserve that judgment after some further testing. A little more on that soon.

But just before I say too much its important to know that I am not a person to like something because of the cost (being forced to love an item because you paid so much for it for example!) and Im also not here to *&^%$#! in pockets. I tell it how I see it and regardless of who the manufacturer is or what the item is, if I don't like it Ill say so and why.
So just on that, I am one of the very few people who wasn't satisfied with my Enlightened Equipment Quilt. I don't want to be seen to be putting EE down in this thread but basically its -7 rating for me anyway, was an extreme rating, not a comfort rating. I had it down to 0 to -5 on a few occasions and I had to wear all my clothing to just keep myself from freezing.
I felt it was because when they had filled it they put way too much down in the very outer baffles (I ordered the 'wide' version) which pretty much tucked under me making them irrelevant and not enough down in the central baffles where I needed them the most. To EE's credit they did offer to take it back and redistribute the down but it was at my cost in regards to postage. I didn't bother, I ordered one of these quilts instead.

So back to Mikes quilt.

Build Quality is first class.
It lofted well as you can see in the previous photos and packs down small as you would expect. It came with its own stuff sack, a storage bag and the strapping system to use to hold it to your mat.
I didn't know enough about the materials that are used for the outer and inner to comment too much but they are obviously light, they feel fine to me and any condensation from my breath didn't seem to bother the down.

So the important part for me was the comfort. The first thing I noticed when I jumped into it on the first night was that its shape works well. The way these are cut and form to the body is very good. I am 6 foot tall and weight around 85kgs and I fit it well. Perhaps just a fraction of stretch pulling the quilt over my head once it was clipped up but I could overcome this by clipping it in front of me and simply turning it around if its a problem.

Because of its shape it stayed in place on the mat during the night and on one particular drafty night it didn't let any draft in even when I was tossing and turning all night as I generally do.

So the final thing and most important to me was the warmth. The coldest ambient temp I saw on my thermometer was 5 degrees (thats not to say it didn't get colder during the night) so as you would expect from a Quilt thats rated at around -7 I was very warm. In fact there was no way could I have the draft tube cinched up around me as I was just overheating. There was a breeze getting in around me and the wind chill factor was freeze the balls of a brass monkey rating so any time I hung an arm out it froze so it was a little tricky regulating my temps given the difficult conditions.
Ill reserve my judgement as to its warmth rating (well its rating for me, we are all different) until I have got it a little closer to its limits but so far I can easily tell that it far exceeds my 'other' quilt.
As for Thomas (the foot box draft blocker), I think I may have allowed him a bit too much room to move and I basically pushed him out of his hole each night! This is easily fix by cinching up the footbox a bit tighter but then I feel Thomas becomes redundant anyway. Although he is obviously providing more insulation by being there than by not being there.

I hope that helps. It is an honest and fair assessment of my limited use of this quilt so far. Ill be sure to provide more feedback when I see its warmth limits. Which by the way, I am generally a hot sleeper. My wife often complains that I am a furnace. But I will admit that the older I get I tend to feel the cold a lot more now.
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby DanShell » Fri 18 Mar, 2016 9:32 am

Whoops forgot a pic of the quilt in its natural environment. And my "not a very detailed report" had quite a bit of ramble in the end...sorry about that!

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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby undercling-mike » Fri 18 Mar, 2016 2:59 pm

Great to see the quilt out in its natural environment! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Just a comment on the foot draft blocker, it's designed to work with the foot fully cinched up, otherwise it probably will pop out. Without the foot draft blocker there is still a small hole when the footbox is fully cinched up, so that's why I included it. I know EE don't have a draft blocker on the Revelation quilt so maybe it's not a big issue, but it doesn't seem right to me to leave a hole when you have so much loft everywhere else.
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby jimjim » Thu 24 Mar, 2016 7:07 pm

Another of Mikes quilts in its natural environment.

Pictured here after a bivvy on the chimney pots in the Grampians under a full moon.

The quilt was warm as toast despite a strong wind whipping around the shoulder of the pots.

(The old bag to the right is actually two bags in one... not much loft left there!)
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby TeaTreeTea » Tue 29 Mar, 2016 6:29 pm

These look amazing Mike. I want to order one as soon as i have the money (and a trip lined up to use it on), one question: Can you make a bag with multiple outer colours? I saw from the above photos that you make them from three sections of fabric... Would be happy to pay extra :)
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby Mark_O » Tue 29 Mar, 2016 9:11 pm

One of Mike's awesome quilts in use at the junction of the Collingwood and Franklin Rivers
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby DanShell » Wed 30 Mar, 2016 11:15 am

Just another quick update. I still haven't been 'lucky' enough to get my quilt down to sub zeros but just in regards to the out shells ability to handle some wetness.....yes I can safely say it does handle quite a lot of wetness. I wont say how I know but I stayed warm at around 7 degrees even with quite a damp outer shell. :)
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby Turfa » Wed 30 Mar, 2016 11:20 am

Yes, can't wait for some cold weather to really give mine a good run..... it's like getting a pair of skis for Christmas....... awesome, but frustrating !!!

Another fan here of Mike's workmanship. The quality really is first rate !
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby undercling-mike » Sun 03 Apr, 2016 10:10 pm

Great to see more photos of these 'in the wild' Keep them coming! The DWR on these fabrics does seem to be quite effective and can handle a bit of moisture, glad it worked ok for you in those conditions Dan. For the record Dan's quilt has the regular down, not the HyperDRY treated stuff. The fabric DWR will need to be refreshed eventually with use, I have an early DIY quilt that's seen around 130 nights of use so far and the DWR is still acceptable but not as good as new.


TeaTreeTea wrote:These look amazing Mike. I want to order one as soon as i have the money (and a trip lined up to use it on), one question: Can you make a bag with multiple outer colours? I saw from the above photos that you make them from three sections of fabric... Would be happy to pay extra :)


This could certainly be done, If someone else was willing to order a quilt with the reciprocal colours then it wouldn't be a big hassle, mostly just some extra thread changes. Did you have any colour combos in mind?
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby Anthonyo » Tue 05 Apr, 2016 2:18 pm

Hi Mike
Sorry I can't PM you as I've just joined and haven't participated enough to be allowed to do PMing.

Do to bad knees I enjoy cycle camping. My old Kathmandu Rumdoodle sleeping bag is too big, heavy (and too warm) to pack into a pannier ( my dog basket goes on the back rack) so I'm interested in a quilt for all year round use.

Hopefully I've thought this though properly but may have misunderstood some things. Have listed the aspects that I think affect the quilt decision below. Could you please give me a recommendation (and cost too).

Length • I'm 183 cm tall

Width
• sleep on side, using big pillow.(shoulder injury). shoulder width 56 cm.
• Don't toss and turn but do change sides a couple of times a night.
• use an Exped 7LW Sleeping Mat - 7 cm thick, 65 cm wide. Would I need longer straps?

Temperature
• Undecided about temperature rating - probably get -2 degrees
• Hot lower legs and cold feet so prefer drawcord footbox (I think)

Shell Fabric
• Water resistant - My new lightweight tent has a low ceiling at the ends and I use a thick mat so feet likely to rub against tent wall.
• Like earthy colours for shell but also want 20 denier. This may restrict to Morocan Blue.
• I cycle instead of hiking so lean towards robustness and long life instead of lightweight.

Liner Fabric
• Do not like bright colours but like light enough to see any dark creepies.
• Based on the options listed in June 2014, would have to go with Argon 90 Dark Olive but would love a light grey.

Filling - •definately HyperDRY down

Postage to Melbourne?

Thanks
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby undercling-mike » Thu 07 Apr, 2016 10:52 am

Anthony was eventually able to PM me so I was able to reply to him in PM but I'll just respond to some of his general queries here in case anyone has the same questions.

On sizing, I've listed the regular for users up to 183cm / 6' and that the quilt should come up to the nose of a 183cm user when lying flat on your back. Now at a minimum the quilt needs to be cinched around your neck for maximum warmth so it would be possible for someone a bit taller to use a regular size quilt, perhaps up to even 190cm, however you'd be starting to get a fairly 'minimalist' experience. I chose 183cm / 6' as the point where users would still have good comfort and above that height most people would prefer a longer quilt.

For the width I don't think you'd have a problem, not sure exactly how you measured shoulder width but I measured my shoulder girth as 120cm and for me it feels quite spacious around the chest and shoulders. At a shoulder width of 56cm you are probably slightly broader than me but still well within range for the standard size. Considering the back hole the quilt liner has a shoulder girth of 158cm / 62" for comparison to other sleeping bags, the girth of the quilt can be reduced or expanded a bit from there by moving the clips on the pad straps in or out.

The pad straps are elastic and are sized to allow the use of wide pads so there should be no problem with an Exped wide pad, on narrow, thin pads the straps might be a little large as the elastic of the straps should be under a little tension for optimal use. If the straps are a bit long for your pad this can be rectified by tying off a bit of the strap with a knot (loosely) with the knot positioned on the side of the pad.

With respect to the water resistance of the shell fabrics, the DWR coating should be able to handle a bit of brushing against condensation on the tent wall, I wouldn't want to be in the situation with the tent wall consistently putting pressure on the footbox and compressing the down.

As for pricing, the prices listed in the first post of this thread are still relevant and I'm hoping to have smaller/ larger sizes and the drawcord footbox option available in the next few weeks (although it's been taking quite a bit longer than I initially hoped). Shipping within Australia has generally been $14 for flat rate postage within Australia, I can only seem to do a few dollars cheaper within Sydney.
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby undercling-mike » Fri 08 Apr, 2016 6:14 pm

I finished up a few more quilts this week and this afternoon sent out a very nice -8C quilt with HyperDRY down in Royal Blue and Blaze Orange. This one is going to be put into service pretty much straight away on the Appalachian Trail.

rbbo1.JPG


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Detail of the clip attachment.

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Detail of the rip-guard triangle.

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Detail of the neck closure.

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The main change since my initial quilts is in the top draft collar, which is now a separate chamber, closed off from the main chambers with an extra mesh baffle.

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Comparison with my Lime Green / Navy prototype quilt.

rbbo9.JPG
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby biggbird » Sun 10 Apr, 2016 5:47 pm

They look awesome Mike, well done. Loving the fact that everybody else seems to be picking blue/orange too, that was certainly the combo that jumped out at me when I looked at your fabric choices, and it looks pretty much as good as I thought it would!

Looking forward to you getting your long/short versions in order for a trip we have planned in 2018 :)
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby undercling-mike » Mon 11 Apr, 2016 4:45 pm

That is some advanced planning biggbird! The long/short versions have unfortunately taken me a lot longer to make available than I first hoped but 2018 is a pretty decent bet :)

The blue/orange combo is very nice and one I'm sure I'll be doing more of!
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Re: Made to order ultralight down quilts

Postby north-north-west » Mon 11 Apr, 2016 5:17 pm

The orange is fine but I'm not a fan of the combo with blue. I'll probably opt for red and a dark olive (if available).
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