Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: $605
Pros: SUPER DUPER LIGHT, SUPER WARM.
Cons: Comfort depends on who's sharing the bag with you.
Best Uses: Ultalight anything.
If saving weight is your top priority, the ZPacks Twinn Quilt is the best sleeping bag available for three-season use. We tested the 20 degree model in Long, which weighs 28.5 ounces, and found the bag to be insanely warm. We have yet to use in in winter, but we suspect it will perform very well. For the truly committed, the Twin Quilt is a game changer. However, the bag is not very convenient to purchase because it is only available directly from the manufacturer, often involving a significant delay in delivery.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Twin Quilt is the first double bag that offers lightweight three-season enthusiasts top-tier performance. Many other double bags are designed primarily for car camping or are not warm enough for backpacking in mountains where the temperature drops close to or below freezing. This bag is like a Formula One race car in that it achieves very low weight and impressive warmth without sacrificing comfort; you can travel comfortably and quickly through the mountains. The Feathered Friends Spoonbill is the only double bag competes with it, but that bag is best for full on winter conditions and high altitude mountaineering. The Twin Quilt is our testers' favorite sleeping bag for weight conscious three-season trips of all types. It's a complete game changer because it chops so much weight from your pack.
The quilt has an enclosed foot box, one removable strap that goes underneath your back, and a velcro neck and toggle closure for the neck area. Each person has their own elasticized shock cord adjustment to pull the bag in close around the neck. You can choose from either 900-fill down or 850-fill hydrophobic treated down. We choose 900-fill. The bag comes with a cuben fiber dry bag style stuff sack, which is the best sleeping bag stuff sack we've used a very nice bonus.
Weight and Packed Size
The bag is available in 10, 20, 30, 40 degree versions and three different lengths. Our Long 20-degree model weighs 28.5 ounces and packs down to the size of a standard top-tier 15 degree down sleeping bag.
The bag has a lot of surface area and the 900-fill down is very lofty. One person picked the bag up and exclaimed, "Wow, this weighs about 1/5 as much as I expected!!" 28 ounces is, after all, about the same weight as the lightest 15-degree traditional style (hood + zipper) sleeping bags.
Packing the Twin Quilt into its tiny package and stuffing it into a backpack is marvelous. It's low weight and compact size are extremely impressive.
At least six people have used OGL's bag in the past two months and they have all reported that the bag is extremely warm. Jess said, "I was surprised at how warm we stayed in the double sleeping bag. I am usually cold at night, even in a zero degree--but not so with this bag."
The most important part of the Twin Quilt is its girth. It is actually wide enough to tuck underneath two people. This is critical for both warmth and comfort.
The author and OGL Editor Chris Simrell used the bag for a hiking and packraft traverse of Washington State's Olympic Peninsula and found the bag to be too warm. We woke up covered in sweat despite temperatures in the mid 30's and we didn't even close the neck area!!
We are confident that the bag will be fantastic for fast and light winter trips when used with a jacket like the Montbell Mirage. We recommend using a hooded fleece or insulated jacket and/or a down hood for really cold conditions.
ZPacks suggests going with a longer length than normal, which adds around 2 oz. Our 6' 1" testers haven't had any problems with the Long size but, through testing many other hoodless bags, we concur that longer is better, particularly if you plan to use the bag in below freezing conditions.
Comfort depends, to a large degree, on whom you share the bag with. Our tests show the bag is very comfortable for snuggling with your honey but it's not as large as Nemo Tango Duo, which is like the queen-sized blanket and is intended to be used with two 25" wide sleeping pads, as opposed to the standard 20" width. We've found the bag to be fine for sleeping with someone that you aren't comfortable spooning with. The bag is easily wide enough for two people to lay on their backs without touching. When the strap underneath is fastened it's possible, but not ideal, for two people to be on their sides facing out in the opposite direction. We've found the bag to be warmest when both people are facing the same direction. If you get too hot simply untuck the sides and/or poke your feet out.
Sharing the bag is not as comfortable as having your own, but if you can get past the idea of snuggling up with your adventure partner the Twin Quilt can be phenomenal. Climbers have been sharing sleeping bags for decades, but this practice has yet to catch on fully with hikers. The Twin Quilt might change this.
Versatility is the primary reason to choose a quilt over a traditional style bag with a zipper. We suspect that the 20-degree Twin Quilt will be comfortable well below freezing when coupled with a lightweight down jacket or parka. Possibly well below zero. Sleeping by yourself in the bag is also wonderfully comfortable. The bag is supremely versatile.
ZPacks is relatively new to making sleeping bags and their construction has yet to be proven over the long-term. The ultralight materials used in this bag are not as durable as others (such as Western Mountaineering's Extremelite fabric) and construction appears to be good, but not fantastic like Feathered Friends and Western Mountaineering. See the photo below for a peek at some imperfect stitching.
We would like ZPacks to offer the bag with an option of Pertex Endurance fabric, which is more water resistant, more durable, and would be better for use in winter and wet conditions. Something like the Feathered Friends "Pertex UL" could work very well.
Fast and light backpacking, climbing, or any activity where low weight is a top priority.
The bag is very expensive, but it's also at the very forefront of cutting-edge sleeping bag designs. Nothing else provides this much warmth and comfort for so little weight.
Which Temperature Rating Is Best?
We believe the 20-degree model is the most versatile. We do not recommend the 10-degree model; if you want something for full-on winter use consider the Feathered Friends Spoonbill, which weighs only 41 ounces, has two hoods, and is about as warm as a -25 degree sleeping bag.
How To Get It
The Twin Quit is only available from the manufacturer.
— Chris McNamara and Max Neale
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Most recent review: July 14, 2013
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