Quilt vs Sleeping Bag – Which Is Best?

Only dedicated travelers can fully appreciate and understand the value of a quilt or a sleeping bag. Spending the night without a warm bed or even a blanket to rest on is no laughing matter. You rely only on your quilt or sleeping bag to keep warm during the night. This raises the obvious question of whether a quilt or sleeping bag is more appropriate.

A quilt and a sleeping bag are designed for different climates and environmental circumstances.

In the end, several factors, including price, quality, elements, and personal preference, determine whether you should opt for a quilt or a sleeping bag for your expedition.

If you are on your way to camp or embark on a backpacking expedition and are caught between buying a quilt or sleeping bag, you’ve come to the right place. This article will discuss the differences, advantages, disadvantages, and other properties of a quilt and sleeping bag to help you make an informed decision before you make a purchase.

Wondering how to compare a quilt vs sleeping bag? Read on!

Quilt Vs. Sleeping Bag: Which Is Better?

The nicest gift you can offer yourself after a strenuous climb is a peaceful night’s sleep in a cozy bed. This is the pinnacle of luxury for hikers, and it pays off handsomely. Camping equipment varies from tents and hammocks to comforters, quilts, and sleeping bags.

You may rest well knowing that you have one of them before bed, which will provide you with a peaceful night’s sleep. So, when we compare a quilt and a sleeping bag to find out which of the two will suit your needs, there are many factors to consider.

Doing your homework thoroughly before you leave for your camping or backpacking expedition is best. The last thing you want is to realize you’ve selected the wrong sleeping gear upon arrival. The following factors are very important;

  • Design
  • Comfort & Convenience
  • Volume
  • Adaptability To Different Situations
  • Insulation (Warmth)
  • Weight
  • Set Up Time

To help you decide between a quilt and a sleeping bag, we will discuss these factors in greater detail throughout this article.

Making the perfect choice regarding hiking gear can be challenging, but we’re here to assist. Numerous options exist, and yearly, brand-new items hit the market. The same holds true for quilts and sleeping bags. Products are constantly changing as a result of the introduction of new technology.

Quilt Vs. Sleeping Bag: Design

A sleeping bag’s design is more straightforward than that of a quilt. A quilt is opened to its flat position, whereas a sleeping bag is tubular-shaped. It’s quite akin to blankets with ties and cords to secure the bottom to a bed or seal it completely.

Because it envelops the user entirely, a sleeping bag is an efficient means of sealing heat, warding off drafts, and guaranteeing a much more relaxing evening. Quilt designers are adopting and incorporating this design to compete with the sleeping bag.

Quilt Vs. Sleeping Bag: Comfort & Convenience

Using a quilt blanket instead of a sleeping bag gives you more room to move around in your sleep. Although the sleeping bag permits motion, it lacks a mat attachment to keep you from shivering if you move about too much. The freedom of movement afforded by the quilt, on the other hand, offers more comfort and makes it preferable.

Quilt Vs. Sleeping Bag: Volume

As an added bonus, a quilt takes up far less room like this SORISON, Ultra Warm, Puffy Camping quilt than a sleeping bag of the same weight. Since it contains less bulky fabric, it can be rolled up and stored with less effort. The compression force is reduced when there is less volume.

Regardless of the temperature, re-lofting won’t take long in the evening. When the day nears its end, you realize that all you want to do is sleep for a few hours. You should use the quilt if you want to do this task quickly.

The little fabric used in its construction gives the quilt a low weight and small footprint. A sleeping bag takes up room that may be utilized for other items.

Quilt Vs. Sleeping Bag: Adaptability To Different Situations

A sleeping bag provides more options and mobility than a quilt. No matter how you prefer to sleep, you won’t have to worry about exposure to the cold.

People who often sleep in an upright position benefit most from using a quilt such as the Get Out Gear Down Camping Quilt Blanket. You could wake up shivering from the cold if you’re tossing and turning all night.

Because of the versatility of a sleeping bag like the Coolzon Lightweight Backpacking Sleeping Bag, you may rest in whichever position you like. Because it is reversible, you may use it to keep you warm in any setting.

Insulation (Warmth)

The quilt and the sleeping bag both keep you toasty and comfortable. Use an insulating pad such as the WELLAX Sleeping Pad or a camping mattress like the SLEEPLUX Durable Inflatable Air Mattress with Built-in Pump. You may use a quilt to regulate the temperature.

Keep in mind that the weight and bulk of the user nullify the need for an underside to the blanket. Nevertheless, this disrupts your normal patterns of sleep.

The quilt is mostly rendered useless as a blanket if your sleeping pad does not provide enough padding. Because of this, sleeping under a quilt is no less comfortable. Without a proper sleeping pad, your quilt is not a viable option for a comfortable night’s rest.

Weight

Compared to a sleeping bag, a quilt is far more lightweight, like this ultralight ECOOPRO Down Sleeping Bag. Comparing them to sleeping bags revealed that they were significantly lighter, by as much as 30%. The lack of a hood on the blankets is likely a contributing factor.

In other words, it simply insulates the top where it’s needed. The difference between a sleeping bag, which encases your complete body, and a quilt is that the latter only has one side. Because of the backpacker’s weight, the quilt’s underside is rendered useless.

It’s important to keep an eye on how much your backpack weighs when you’re out on a hike. The more compact and lightweight an item of equipment is, the more likely buyers will choose it.

A quilt is similar to a blanket, such as this Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Quilt Blanket, in that it may be wrapped around the neck or the feet and fastened tight.

Quilt Vs. Sleeping Bag: Set Up Time

In comparison to quilts, sleeping bags need less setup time. Get inside the sleeping bag and get some rest.

To make a quilt, though, you’ll need more time. They’re more difficult to put up because of all the necessary wires and knots. By the time the person with the quilt is done setting everything up, you’ll already be fast asleep.

The Pros & Cons Of Sleeping Bags

There are several varieties of sleeping bags, and they’ve been around for quite some time. However, sleeping bags have numerous substantial benefits over camping quilts, irrespective of brand.

The Pros Of A Sleeping Bag

  • They have hoods to keep your neck and head warm so that your whole body can keep warm during those freezing winter months.
  • Their operation is quick & easy, and they require virtually no setup time.
  • They reduce cold air drafts.
  • For the most part, they offer superior comfort.
  • They insulate the earth to some degree.

The Cons Of A Sleeping Bag

  • They are heavier & bulkier than quilts – The single most significant disadvantage of using a sleeping bag. You’ll have to cope with the heavier weight of sleeping bags which could be a big problem, especially if you’re backpacking.
  • There’s a chance it’ll be too hot – This one is highly context-dependent. If you plan on traveling to warmer areas, the sleeping bag’s inherent tendency to keep you warm may be detrimental.
  • They’re occasionally discomforting – A sleeping bag can make it difficult to get into your preferred sleeping position, especially if you like to move about in your sleep or favor certain leg positions.

The Pros & Cons Of Quilts

There’s been a recent interest increase in the use of camping quilts among hikers due to the advantages listed below.

The Pros Of A Quilt

  • A quilt compresses smaller than sleeping bags taking up much less space in your backpack.
  • A quilt may make it simpler to get into and out of bed because it isn’t enclosed all the way around.
  • Quilts are hassle-free because they do not have zippers, which eliminates zipping.
  • A quilt may be used in various ways, such as a blanket or wrap-around when it’s chilly outdoors while you’re cooking,
  • Generally, quilts are lighter and more portable than sleeping bags.
  • Quilts are more affordable than sleeping bags.

The Cons Of A Quilt

  • Colder – Quilts are notorious for letting drafts through.
  • Without a hood, your only option is to sleep with your hat on.
  • Sleeping bags eliminate the need to fuss with attaching a quilt to a sleeping pad.
  • There’s a learning curve; you must figure out the best way to fasten your quilt and arrange your bedding to eliminate drafts.
  • Due to the majority of quilts being made to order, the delivery time might range from 4-8 weeks.

FAQs

Let’s answer a few of the most frequently asked questions about sleeping bags and quilts below;

Is There A Sleeping Bag/Quilt Hybrid?

One small but notable subset of quilt/sleeping bag hybrids combine the best of both worlds. A great example of a hybrid quilt/sleeping is the Featherstone Moondance 25 850 Fill Power Down Top Quilt Mummy Sleeping Bag; a “hoodless” sleeping bag featuring a full-length zipper and roomy enough proportions to keep the elements out completely.

How Do You Keep Your Quilt Warm While Camping?

One of the greatest ways to keep your quilt warm during camp is by investing in Therm-a-Rest blankets that snap right onto the pad, sealing cold air and maximizing your comfort and warmth level.

Because the blankets don’t come with a hood, you should bring your own means of keeping your head toasty. On the other hand, overheating throughout the night in camp may be just as uncomfortable as being too chilly.

Which Sleeping Gear Is Best For The Various Seasons?

A sleeping bag has exceptional insulation properties and is a much better option for camping or backpacking in the year’s colder months (end of autumn, winter, and the beginning of spring).

Backpackers and campers alike advise that during the warmer months (end of spring, summer, and the beginning of autumn), a quilt is the best choice because you can open it up completely and sleep partially covered when it gets too hot.

How Do You Pack A Sleeping Bag While Backpacking?

Putting a sleeping bag in the main compartment of a backpack is the most logical packing choice. If your bag has limited space, you may choose to attach it to the pack. 

Is it Better To Use Light Sleeping Gear When Backpacking?

Yes. Due to their reduced bulk and weight, down sleeping bags are the perfect option for lightweight backpacking. This is, of course, subject to the specifics of your intended hiking destination.

You won’t need a heavy sleeping bag if you plan to do most of your camping in warm climates, which is when a lighter quilt becomes the better option.

How Do You Make Your Sleeping Experience Even Better?

If you are camping in winter and you are cold, whether you use a quilt or sleeping bag, the best thing you can do is to make your tent warmer. There are also some very clever ways how to stay warm in a tent. Trying these suggestions will allow you to use a sleeping bag or a quilt and be warm in both.

Should You Choose An Ultralight Sleeping Bag Or Quilt? 

Ultralight sleeping bags and quilts are a no-brainer for backpackers, thru-hikers, and anybody who wants to travel quickly and lightly. However, choosing between the two approaches can be challenging because each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

And The Winner Is…

Both. A quilt and a sleeping bag are equally effective depending on the environment and climate you are sleeping in. A backpacking quilt is a great option when hiking in warmer regions but still wanting to minimize pack size.

You should use a sleeping bag if you are sleeping in cooler temperatures or if your vacation does not need you to pack lightly. However, as an added note, a sleeping bag may be useful year-round if you tend to become cold throughout the night, regardless of the season.

Author at Wilderness Redefined camping website

James has been escaping to the outdoors for as long as he can remember. This first started in family camping trips but soon turned into adventure camps and hiking through the Scottish Hebrides. Now he has turned towards trying to make camping more comfortable and accessible.