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Quilt Review: Undercling Mike -10C rated

PostPosted: Mon 24 Dec, 2018 12:54 pm
by wildwanderer
Brand – Undercling Mike
Size – Regular length, wide option. Sewn footbox
Weight – 655 grams + 50 grams down overstuff. 34 grams regular stuff sack/straps.
Total weight – 739 grams.
With 65 gram compression stuff sack – 770 grams.
Version – minus 8C rated bag. (minus 10C with overstuff)
Price - A$460


More pics of Undercling Mike's quilts can be found at his sale forum thread - ... 27&t=24995

I always found sleeping bags rather frustrating. As a side and stomach sleeper who turns frequently, Id commonly wake up during the night to find myself twisted up in my sleeping bag or worse Id turn over onto my stomach (the bag turning with me) and become cold due to the recently compressed down now being above me.
Quilts seemed a good solution to this issue as they don’t turn with you.. due to the straps underneath the sleeping mat. With reduced weight and bulk it seemed a win win situation.

Typically I spend 25+ nights sleeping in a tent/sleeping bag per year. Temperatures at night vary from mid teens to approx. -5C depending on the area I’m walking in.

Cold sleeper..
Im a notoriously cold sleeper and was concerned the -8 quilt wouldn’t be warm enough. My current sleeping bag is an older high end Fairy Down NZ model with a -8C comfort limit and -18 extreme level (600 grams of down fill) and I often wear a hooded down jacket with this to keep warm when temperatures are at or below zero.

On underclingmikes recommendation, I went with 50 grams overstuffing bringing the quilt to -10C rating in his temperature rating system. He mentioned that 25grams provide an allowance for sweat/dirt i.e. all quilts/sleeping bags loose a bit of loft/warmth over time as the body’s perspiration/and dirt stick to the down. Something I experienced with my Fairy Down bag. Washing fixes this up but you don’t want to be washing a bag/quilt too regularly. The remaining 25 grams boosts the bag by about 2 degrees.

I went with the wide version.
Id watched a few reviews on youtube of various quilts and it seemed to me a drawback of the standard width quilts was they worked very well sleeping on your back but as soon as you turned a draft of cold air could be let in due to the side of the quilt lifting. Im reasonably wide at the shoulders which would compound this issue. Speaking to Undercling Mike, he offers a wide version which I hoped would eliminate any chance of cold air sneaking into the bag via the sides. As well the wide option allows me sleep on my stomach without any feeling of movement restriction, which I found a problem with sleeping bags and occasionally impacted how quickly I fell asleep.

I went with the sewn in footbox as its lighter and is ‘possibly’ a bit warmer for weight. I have no need to fully open the quilt flat. For me this was the correct choice.

I use a compression stuff sack which made the quilt compress down to a 3 litre milk bottle size. Stuff sack weights 65 grams. Down still lofts fully when taken out. (I use the cloth bag undercling Mike provides for storage)


So how did the Quilt do?
In a word. Brilliantly.

Ive used the quilt for 12 nights so far in temperatures ranging from 12C to Approx. -3C. Dry, Damp and Wet conditions.

The workman ship on the quilt is excellent. Great stitching and the materials feel great next to the skin while remaining durable.

I use the matt straps provided and they worked well at keeping the quilt in position. Typically I didnt need the press stud at the neck as I just wrapped the quilt around me. I didnt experience any draft no matter how much i moved around. (most likely because I got the wide version which at 153cm width is perfect for me as a stomach/side sleeper.)

Most importantly Ive been sleeping really well as I no longer get twisted up in a sleeping bag when I turn at night or have to deal with crushed down insulation.

For the climates Ive slept in the quilt has preformed very well. Ive not been cold or felt any cold spots. The vertical baffles enable moving the down higher or lower depending where you feel the cold. For me this is my chest/shoulders so on negative C nights I move more down to the chest area and it works very well at keeping me warm. For warmer nights, simply opening/raising the sides of the quilt provides great temperature regulation. So much easier than struggling with a zipper in the darkness.

In wet or dewy conditions..
Ive camped in areas with heavy dew and woken up to the outside of the tent covered in frost with ice sheets flaking off the exterior tent walls. The quilt coped with wet inside tent walls quite well, the exterior quilt fabric didn’t wet out noticeably and the down maintained its loft.

On heavy dew nights I did get a bit of condensation on the outside of the quilt fabric (I assume from my body perspiration rising as gas and then condensing as it hits the cooler exterior fabric) The good news is that it wasn’t condensing inside the quilt or if some of it was, the loft wasn’t effected (perhaps the special water repellent treatment that is applied to the down was effective here?)

One night close proximity of avalanches caused me to move location just as it was getting dark. This was a rapid emergency pull down and move in pouring rain so the inside of the tent and my thermals(as I was in too much of a hurry to remove them) got a bit wet. (I made sure the quilt was packed away without getting wet).

At the new location, I was pleased that though even myself, inside tent walls and part of my mat was a bit damp, the quilt coped well. A sleeping bag in the same situation would have become a wet on the bottom side as the pressure of my weight and damp thermals transferred the moisture. With a quilt this is not an issue, as your laying on the mat and not down. Even so with wet tent walls, damp mat and thermals, it was a challenging environment and I was pleased the quilt down continued to loft fully and I was warm.

When I woke up the next morning everything was dry! (aside from the tent walls)

In conclusion.
Im very happy with my purchase. Mike was excellent to work with and he spent time making sure the specs were correct for my requirements. Would not hesitate to recommend Underclings Mikes quilts.

Re: Quilt Review: Undercling Mike -10C rated

PostPosted: Tue 25 Dec, 2018 2:46 pm
by South_Aussie_Hiker
Great review - thanks for sharing. I’ll be going to Mike for my next quilt.

Re: Quilt Review: Undercling Mike -10C rated

PostPosted: Mon 22 Apr, 2019 1:40 pm
by Tommy888
I just got back from my first hike with my quilt made by Michael from Maroubra. Was fantastic, super comfortable. The quilt suits me way more than a mummy bag.

I noticed macpac have also just released a quilt. A bit cheaper but not sure if its as light as Michaels...

If your thinking about a quilt, I say go for it. Love how small they pack up as well.