The Sierra Designs Backcountry Quilt 700 30 Degree is a great alternative for a sleeping bag, in particular for those who feel claustrophobic in sleeping bags, like me. This is a lightweight 12.1 ounces (0.72 kg) tool filled with Duck DriDown water-resistant insulation.
- Very packable.
The quilt concept – what is this about?
Insulating materials lose their properties when pressed. So the bottom layers of an ordinary sleeping bag will not save you from the cold in any case. It is the pad that plays the major role in the insulation.
These facts are behind the construction of a quilt, introduced by Sierra Designs several years ago. You actually do not need the bottom layer, so it is removed in the quilt construction. You can see the basic philosophy of it in this video by Sierra Designs:
There are several key features here:
- Freedom of movement.
- Weight is reduced.
- It allows for a variety of ways of using it, dependent a) on what kind of a sleeper you are (side sleeper, back sleeper, belly sleeper), and b) on the external temperature. This is depicted in the pictures below.
- This is a zipperless design so the weight is reduced by definition.
You will notice the hand pockets here, so you can put your arms there and have them insulated, and still maneuver with the quilt as you wish. If you have ever used an ordinary sleeping bag, then you know how annoying it can be when it is twisted around your body during the night and you get so restricted in it. I move and rotate a lot, so there is no a bag comfortable enough for me.
The Backcountry Quilt 700 is a hybrid structure, and by this I mean that below knees you have the foot pocket which looks like what you have in a mummy bag. So with this trapezoid-shaped structure, your feet will be warm and protected, but it is easy to get them out if it is too warm.
Above this foot section, the structure is fully open, with very wide wings on the sides and with the mentioned hand pockets. The hide-away hood is particularly nicely designed, very effective when it is cold, with an opening for the face and with a full coverage of the head.
See various ways of using this quilt:
The optimal temperature rating for this quilt is 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 ºC). This is achieved by its 12.1 oz (0.34 kg) of 700 fill Duck DriDown water-resistant insulation. The temperature range is some 10 degrees, see in the specifications below.
On the feet section, you have hang loops to be used for storage or to dry if it becomes wet. The quilt comes with a nylon stuff sack for transport and you can compress it to a really small size. Also included is a larger mesh sack for the storage at home, it is of the size of a pillow. Both are shown in the pictures below.
About the DriDown technology
If you are not familiar with this terminology, here are a few words. Down is always the best insulator, humans still have to get to the point of reaching what Nature has been able to produce. But down has an inherent weakness, when it gets wet, it loses much of its ability to maintain warmth.
This is where the humans’ technology steps in. The Sierra Designs uses a unique and innovative polymer application by adding a hydrophobic finish on each individual plume of down. You can see more in this nice video:
So with this, the performance of the DryDown is improved in several ways:
- It has 98% loft retention, which implies the bag (or jacket) filled with it feels 15 degrees warmer.
- It stays dry 7 times longer than an untreated down.
- It dries 33% faster than an untreated down.
The fabric is pleasant and durable for such a tool, this is the ripstop nylon, down-proof, and very packable. This is an overall lightweight tool, and to realize this you can compare it with the Sierra Designs Mobile Mummy sleeping bag with its 1.02 kg of weight. See also this Teton Sports Celsius bag with 2.27 kg (5 lb) of weight.
Specifications & summary of features
- Best use: hiking, camping, backpacking.
- Trail weight: 1 lb 9 oz (0.72 kg).
- Fill weight: 12.1 oz (0.34 kg).
- Packed size (L x D): 14 x 7 in (36 x 18 cm).
- Length: 80 in (203 cm).
- Shoulder width: 58 in (147 cm).
- Hip width: 58 in (147 cm).
- Footbox girth: 42 in (107 cm).
- Insulation: down.
- EN rated.
- Temperature rating:
– 30 Degrees F (-1 ºC).
– EN Lower Limit: 27 F (-3 ºC).
– EN Comfort Limit: 37 F (3 ºC).
– Shell: 20D Nylon Ripstop.
– Liner: 20D Nylon Ripstop.
– Fill: 700 Fill Duck DriDown.
– Stuff sack.
– Storage sack.
- Warranty: limited lifetime.
- Full-length hand and arm pockets.
- Insulated foot pocket.
- Hide-away hood.
- Oversized design.
- DriDown hydrophobic down.
Pros & Cons
My short summary is as follows:
This is a new tool on the market, and there are no customers’ reviews on Amazon at the moment of writing this text. But there are reviews on various sites, including the Sierra Designs site, and they are extremely positive. See my own rating below:
Rating breakdown of The Sierra Designs Backcountry Quilt 700 30 Degree.
User Review( votes)
If you are familiar with this quilt, please add your own rating here.
Who is it for
The Sierra Designs Backcountry Quilt 700 30 Degree is a 2-season tool, ideal for hikers, backpackers, campers, hunters, and for any 2-season emergency situation. This is not a winter tool and not for extremely low temperatures.
I see it as a nice tool to have at home for your children’s overnight guests.
To conclude this Sierra Designs Backcountry Quilt 700 review, this is a reliable and top-notch item from a renown brand. The Sierra Designs is well known for their quality outdoor equipment and many of their items are presented in this site, they are available in my Equipment Reviews page. So I can fully recommend this quilt.
If you need a 3-season option, please check this Sierra Designs Backcountry Quilt 700 15 Degree review. But if you still feel that you need something different, please visit my page with sleeping bags and pads.
Thank you for reading. In the case of questions and comments, please use the comment box below. I wish you a nice day.