Reviews You Can Rely On

Big Agnes Fussell UL Quilt Review

This small, lightweight, and minimalist quilt could be a perfect companion for warm nights
big agnes fussell ul quilt ultralight sleeping bag review
Credit: Big Agnes
Price:  $280 List
Manufacturer:   Big Agnes
By Justin Simoni ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 21, 2022
53
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#18 of 18
  • Warmth - 30% 4.0
  • Weight - 25% 7.0
  • Comfort - 20% 6.0
  • Versatility - 15% 4.0
  • Features - 10% 5.0

Our Verdict

The Big Agnes Fussell UL Quilt is designed and sewn for warm, comfortable temps and casual nights out underneath the stars. Bring it along when you need an ultra-packable blanket and super lightweight option and whenever you need a boost in warmth when the sun dips down. The Fussell probably won't be warm enough for a dedicated quilt on a long haul backpacking trip, but it may be perfect for casual car camping and spur-of-the-moment road trips to the desert and beyond. The premium materials, such as the 9 ounces of DownTek 850 fill and Pertex Quantum 10D fabric proves that Big Agnes wants you to take this quilt seriously, but you may be less than impressed by the admittedly innovative snap system used to attach the quilt to your sleeping pad: it just unsnaps too often to always be counted on.
REASONS TO BUY
Light
Minimalist
Great for casual camping trips
Quality DownTek and Pertex Quantum materials
REASONS TO AVOID
Not warm enough to be truly versatile
Sizing not very accommodating
Snap pad attachment system isn’t without issues

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Best Buy Award   Best Buy Award 
Price $280 List$320 List$389 List
$389.00 at Feathered Friends
$280 List$200 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
53
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59
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Pros Light, minimalist, great for casual camping trips, quality DownTek and Pertex Quantum materialsVery affordable, highly customizable, versatile, lots of featuresSuper simple and light, highest quality down, spacious and comfortableRoomy fit for an ultralight quilt, 800+ hydrophobic down fill, generous footbox, great priceVery inexpensive, versatile, good feature set
Cons Not warm enough to be truly versatile, sizing not very accommodating, snap pad attachment system isn’t without issuesLong wait for product to be custom made and shipped, foot box draw cord still leaves a little hole, lots of buttons and strapsNo zipper, hard to tell the difference between variable fill zones, must be paired with warm jacket, feet can get hot in warmer weather, not as versatile as other ultralight bagsNeck cinch strap gets in the way, pad attachment straps delicateNot as warm as similar quilts, doesn't seal at the bottom very well
Bottom Line This small, lightweight, and minimalist quilt could be a perfect companion for warm nightsOffers the versatility of sleeping under it as a blanket or fully wrapped up, with a huge range of customizable optionsA lightweight, variable fill, hoodless mummy without a zipper, designed to be used for alpine climbing in conjunction with a belay parkaA great starter UL quilt that's durable enough for long haul trips and perfect for those who run coldA quilt with good features at an unbeatable price
Rating Categories Big Agnes Fussell U... Enlightened Equipme... Feathered Friends V... Outdoor Vitals Stor... Hammock Gear Econom...
Warmth (30%)
4.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
Weight (25%)
7.0
4.0
7.0
2.0
2.0
Comfort (20%)
6.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Versatility (15%)
4.0
8.0
4.0
6.0
8.0
Features (10%)
5.0
8.0
4.0
7.0
8.0
Specs Big Agnes Fussell U... Enlightened Equipme... Feathered Friends V... Outdoor Vitals Stor... Hammock Gear Econom...
Manufacturer Stated Temperature Rating 40F 20F 25F lower half, 45F upper half 15F 20F
Measured weight, bag only (ounces) 17.3 oz 20.9 oz 16.4 oz 27.8 oz 25.0 oz
Stuffed Size 3.5" x 5.5" 7" x 12" 7" x 10" 7.5" x 10" 6" x 10"
Stuff Sack Weight 0.4 oz 0.6 oz 0.8 oz 0.2 oz 0.6 oz
Manufacturer Claimed Weight 17 oz 20.2 oz 16.7 oz 23 oz 22.2 oz
Fill Weight 9 oz 13.0 oz 9.4 oz 16.2 oz 13.2 oz
Shell Material 100% polyester ripstop 10D nylon fabric Pertex Endurance UL 10D Ripstop Nylon w/DWR 20D nylon taffeta
Fill Power 850 fill DownTek 850 Downtek 950+ goose down 800 fill down 800 fill duck down
Style Quilt Quilt Hoodless, zipperless mummy Mummy Quilt
Construction Box baffle consruction U-shaped baffled quilt No hood, no zipper and a variable fill Bottom: continuous horizontal baffles
Top: continuous vertical baffles
Box baffle consruction
Shoulder Girth 60" 55" 64" 56" 55"
Hip Girth 52" 55" 48" 48" 50"
Foot Girth 45" 55" 38" 44" 45"
Zipper Length No zipper 1/3-length at bottom No zipper No Zipper 1/3-length at bottom
Sizes One size Short/regular, regular/regular, regular/wide/ long/wide 62", 68", and 74" Regular, long Short, standard, long, wide-short, wide-standard, wide-long
Temp Options (degrees Fahrenheit) 40F 10, 20, 30, 40F 25, 45F 0, 15, 30F 0, 10, 20, 30, 40F

Our Analysis and Test Results

Weighing in just an ounce more than a pound, The Big Agnes Fussell UL Quilt is one of the lightest quilts we've tested and reviewed! The Fussell is best used on the warmest nights, given that the majority of its ultralight characteristics are due to its low 9 ounce 850 down fill weight. This may just be too low to be versatile for most people outside of summer months or sub tropic climates. Still, it may be found to be incredible useful as a supplemental blanket in just-in-case scenarios where you may not know you'd be spending a night out. The Fussell is a bit short, so anyone approaching 6' is going to feel a bit cramped.

Performance Comparison



big agnes fussell ul quilt ultralight sleeping bag review - the big agnes fussell quilt makes a great backcountry emergency...
The Big Agnes Fussell Quilt makes a great backcountry emergency option for unplanned bivvies due to it feeling almost weightless in your pack.
Credit: Drew Crittenden

Warmth


The Big Agnes Fussell UL Quilt doesn't shy away from the fact that it's made for warmer circumstances and even ships without a stated limit rating. Looking at the facts of the quilt: 9 ounces of 850 fill DownTek down, we approximate the limit rating to be around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, although quilt limit rating varies depending on the sleeping pad you pair it with. Quilts usually excel at milder situations, and if you're sleeping in even warmer temps, there's ample opportunity to ventilate the quilt by undoing some of the snaps that attach it to your pad, or even just use it as a blanket, without any attachments to your sleeping pad at all.

If you do find yourself in colder temps than the approximate 40F limit, you may struggle keeping comfortable. Although snapping together the quilt into sleeping bag-mode does work, the snaps will easily unsnap if you're an active sleeper. There is a cinch strap to allow the quilt to rest close and comfortable around your neck, no additional draft collar is present. The best way to boost this quilt would be with a warm winter hat and a trusty pad with a high R-rating. Scrunching down into a ball is also difficult to achieve given the smaller footprint of the Fussell.

What this quilt could come in handy with is adding additional warmth and insulation to another sleep system by being utilized as an additional top quilt. Then, 9 ounces of premium down would make a huge difference in your current sleep system limit rating.

big agnes fussell ul quilt ultralight sleeping bag review - if you're of smaller stature, it's realistic to curl up within the...
If you're of smaller stature, it's realistic to curl up within the Big Agnes Fussell on particularly colder days, but if you're near the 6' limit of the quilt, you may find the quilt not roomy enough.
Credit: Justin Simoni

Weight


Flyweight! Weighing in at only 17.6 ounces, the Big Agnes Fussell UL Quilt is one of the lightest quilts that we've tested and reviewed for this category. The weight savings come primarily from the simpler, square baffle construction, lack of superfluous features, the use of high-quality 850 fill DownTek down, and lightweight Pertex Quantum 10D fabric used throughout. Snaps are also used in lieu of straps, which saves a few more grams.

This svelteness does come at a compromise to the warmth of the quilt, and even overall comfort. But the no-nonsense design of this quilt makes it quite packable, to the point that you may not notice bringing it along on a long alpine hike as a useful item in your emergency overnight kit.

big agnes fussell ul quilt ultralight sleeping bag review - the big agnes fussell quilt is one of the lightest quilts we've...
The Big Agnes Fussell Quilt is one of the lightest quilts we've reviewed, but that lightness comes at a compromise of warmth.
Credit: Justin Simoni

Comfort


Being such a minimalist piece of kit, comfort may not have been the primary goal with the Big Agnes Fussell UL Quilt. The quilt itself is certainly comfortable enough with its box baffle design and down fill, but we found that the snaps holding it to the pad often snapped off when we rolled over to reposition ourselves. The small footprint of the quilt isn't what you'd describe as roomy, and the footbox is as tiny as it gets. Thankfully, the cinches for the neck are well out of the way of your face, and one of the few features that we found to be exceptionally thought out.

The Fussell is on the smaller end of quilt size. The mostly rectangular shape is 60" across, and around 66" long, only tapering at the footbox. Our main tester was 5'11", and found the footprint of the quilt left a bit to be desired, just reaching above their neck when their feet are pressed to the end of the footbox.

big agnes fussell ul quilt ultralight sleeping bag review - the footbox of the big agnes fussell is one of the more minimal that...
The footbox of the Big Agnes Fussell is one of the more minimal that we've tested.
Credit: Justin Simoni

Versatility


There are a few situations where the Big Agnes Fussell UL Quilt really shines. Warm, summer nights, where you're not worried about getting hit by an errant cold front and the precipitation that often tags along being its bread and butter. The premium features, such as it's lofty DownTek Down and thin yet strong Pertex Quantum 10D fabric do help to keep the quilt warm even if things go a little sideways in the rain.

The quilt can also be utilized as a just-in-case blanket for FKTs or as part of a lightweight emergency hiking kit, given its exceptionally light weight and awesome packability. Big Agnes itself suggests taking this quilt along for things like casual car camping and music festivals. We ourselves are quite enjoying wearing it around our laps and legs, afghan-style while we type out this very review, and could see it as a worthy ally in similar seating situations around a dying campfire.

What the Fussell Quilt may not be great at is a dedicated, long trail backpacking quilt, which is what a lot of ultralighters are shopping for. The weight is certainly right, but the temp rating is just not warm enough for the less than ideal weather you're bound to run into in the weeks/months you're out on the trail. The cramped fit and futzy pad attachment system may lead to too many nights of broken up sleep.

big agnes fussell ul quilt ultralight sleeping bag review - the fussell is the perfect companion when enjoying watching a sunset...
The Fussell is the perfect companion when enjoying watching a sunset or sitting around a campsite.
Credit: Justin Simoni

Features


Snaps are used instead of straps to connect the quilt to your sleeping pad on the Big Agnes Fussell UL Quilt and this is probably its most distinctive feature. To achieve this, the Fussell actually comes with a set of ten adhesive-backed snaps for you to stick onto your pad. This works, but you'll lose out on being able to adjust how tight you can pull the quilt into the pad, as well as limit which pads you can pair the quilt to. Once you stick the snaps to your pad, they're not coming off, you'll have to buy additional snaps separately. Snaps on the quilt can also be snapped together, putting the quilt into, "sleeping bag mode". Unfortunately, we found these snaps fell short in their usability when compared to straps: any tossing and turning will certainly undo them for your pad and we found we would be constantly reattaching them through the night. If you're closer to the 6' height limit this quilt is designed to accommodate, this will be a bigger problem. The Fussell only comes in one size, so anyone larger will want to look elsewhere.

You won't find any interior pockets to stash important items like a headlamp or your phone, but there are small pockets at the top of the quilt to put your hands in, and allow you to wrap the quilt around yourself when using the quilt as a blanket. A simple cinch system works to minimize drafts around your neck, which works adequately, without putting the cinch straps in your face, something that we certainly appreciate. No draft collar is present. A very shallow footbox can be found at the other end of the quilt - just enough to keep your feet in, but don't expect too much heat retention from it.

big agnes fussell ul quilt ultralight sleeping bag review - the fussell attaches to your sleeping bad using a series of snaps...
The Fussell attaches to your sleeping bad using a series of snaps sewn into the quilt itself, which attach to its mate taped onto your pad.
Credit: Justin Simoni

Should you buy the Big Agnes Fussell UL Quilt?


If you're looking to pack along a "just in case" quilt/blanket for road trips, evening get togethers, spontaneous car camping missions, or even for back country emergencies, the Big Agnes Fussell UL Quilt is a great piece of kit, thanks to its light weight and simplicity. If you're looking for a do-it-all ultralight quilt for temperate climates, this just may not pack enough warmth for your entire trip, and the snap system to connect it to your pad may be a little lacking.

big agnes fussell ul quilt ultralight sleeping bag review - the snaps of the big agnes fussell work well to stop drafts from...
The snaps of the Big Agnes Fussell work well to stop drafts from seeping into the interior of your quilt, but can easily snap off if you toss and turn through the night.
Credit: Justin Simoni

What Other Ultralight Sleeping Bag Should You Consider?


If you're looking for a trustworthy ultralight quilt/sleeping bag for warmer temps, the Feathered Friends Flicker 40 UL is one of our favorites. Its full zip allows it to be both used like a quilt for warmer days when fully unzipped, while also allowing you to bundle up fully zipped when it gets colder. The Sea to Summit Spark SpI 40 is another warm weather sleeping bag, and is even lighter and packs down smaller than the Fussell. For a warmer quilt, check out the REI Co-op Magma Trail Quilt 30 which is sold at a reasonable price for someone's first ultralight quilt/bag. It packs more fill weight than the Fusell, so it's going to be a little heavier as well, but still a great all-rounder for most three-season activities.

Justin Simoni
 
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