The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Sierra Designs Backcountry Quilt 700 Review

The largest quilt design is great for bigger people and is possibly the most comfortable bag we tested.
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Price:  $250 List
Pros:  Very comfortable zipper-less design, spacious and large, made with DriDown
Cons:  Heavy, low fill power down
Manufacturer:   Sierra Designs
By Ethan Newman ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 1, 2018
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63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 14
  • Warmth - 30% 6
  • Weight - 25% 2
  • Comfort - 20% 9
  • Versatility - 15% 9
  • Features - 10% 8

Our Verdict

Sierra Designs discontinued the Backcountry Quilt 700 in 2019.

The Sierra Designs Backcountry Quilt 700 is one of the most unique designs we've seen, with an extra wide cut and innovative hood that makes this the most comfortable quilt we tested. Unfortunately, the wideness and the low fill power down also contribute to a relatively high weight. Still, the 700 FP down keeps the price at a reasonable $250, which is quite affordable for this category of gear. We loved the roomy, blanket feel to the quilt, and it's big enough to either wrap around yourself or cover two people. If you always wished you could reasonably bring a snuggie into the wilderness, this might be the closest you'll come.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award  
Price $250 List$364.00 at Feathered Friends$300 List$410.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$379 List
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Pros Very comfortable zipper-less design, spacious and large, made with DriDownHighest scoring ultralight sleeping bag, best features, and most versatileVery affordable, highly customizable, versatile, lots of featuresWarmth-to-weight ratio, excellent fabric, Made in the USAWarm for an ultralight bag, simple and versatile design, box baffle construction, waterproof stuff sack
Cons Heavy, low fill power down40 degree not as warm as others, neck draw cords loosen over timeLong wait for product to be custom made and shipped, foot box draw cord still leaves a little hole, lots of buttons and strapsTight fit, shallow hood, expensiveA little constricting, small foot box, not the best neck draw cord design
Bottom Line The largest quilt design is great for bigger people and is possibly the most comfortable bag we tested.The highest scorer because of its versatile design that allows it to be a fully opened blanket or a fully zipped hoodless mummy.Offers the versatility of sleeping under it as a blanket or fully wrapped up, with a huge range of customizable options.A stellar choice for those looking for a warm, lightweight, fully hooded mummy.A top-scoring bag that's warm and versatile enough for full three-season use, while weighing impressively little.
Rating Categories Backcountry Quilt 700 Flicker 40 UL Revelation 20 Summerlite ZPacks Classic
Warmth (30%)
10
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6
10
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6
10
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8
10
0
8
10
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8
Weight (25%)
10
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2
10
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6
10
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6
10
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6
10
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6
Comfort (20%)
10
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9
10
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7
10
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6
10
0
6
10
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6
Versatility (15%)
10
0
9
10
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10
10
0
8
10
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8
10
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9
Features (10%)
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8
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10
10
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8
10
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7
10
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5
Specs Backcountry Quilt... Flicker 40 UL Revelation 20 Summerlite ZPacks Classic
Style Quilt Center zip mummy bag or unzipper to be quilt Quilt Hooded Mummy Hoodless mummy
Manufacturer Stated Temperature Rating 28F EN Comfort rating, 17F EN Limit rating 40F 20F 32F 20F
Measured weight, bag only (ounces) 30.9 oz 19.1 oz 20.9 oz 19 oz 20.3 oz
Claimed weight from manufacturer (ounces) 30 oz 20 oz 20.19 oz 19 oz 19.8 oz
Stuff Sack Weight (ounces) 0.8 oz 0.8 oz 0.6 oz 1 oz 0.9 oz
Stuffed Size 7.5" x 15" 7" x 10" 7" x 12" 6" x 12" 6" x 12"
Fill Weight 17.6 oz 8.4 oz 13 oz 10 oz 13.1 oz
Fill Power 700 fill 950+ Goose Down 850 Downtek 850+ goose down 900 fill
Construction Box baffle consruction Continuous baffles U shaped baffled quilt Continuous baffle Vertical upper baffles and horizontal lower baffles, box baffle construction
Shell Material 20D polyester nylon Pertex Endurance UL 10D nylon fabric 100% nylon ripstop .70 oz/sqyd (23.7 g/m2) Ventum Ripstop Nylon w/ DWR
Shoulder Girth (inches) 58" 62" 55" 59" 61"
Hip Girth (inches) 58" 48" 55" 51" 61"
Foot Girth (inches) 42" 39" 55" 38" 35"
Zipper Length No zipper Full length center zip 1/3 length at bottom Full length 3/4 length
Sizes One size Regular, long, and wide Short/regular, regular/regular, regular/wide/ long/wide 5'6", 6', and 6'6" Slim, standard, and broad (girth) short, medium, long, x-long and xx-long (length)
Temp Options ( degrees Fahrenheit) 20, 35F 20, 30, 40F 10, 20, 30, 40F 32F 10, 20, 30, 40F

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


We opted to cowboy camp in the Zion National Park Backcountry one night with the Sierra Designs Backcountry Quilt 700. We liked that it felt more like a big duvet than a sleeping bag  but the weight reflected this too.
We opted to cowboy camp in the Zion National Park Backcountry one night with the Sierra Designs Backcountry Quilt 700. We liked that it felt more like a big duvet than a sleeping bag, but the weight reflected this too.

Warmth


Sierra Designs lists this bag as a 20℉ quilt, but the EN Comfort rating puts it a little higher at 28℉. We found the comfort rating to be about right, as any night lower than around freezing would be pretty chilly in this quilt. To get the most warmth out of the Backcountry Quilt, one tester slid her head through the tuck-away hood and tucked either side of the bag under herself.

Diana testing out the Backcountry Quilt 700 in the highlands of Zion National Park.
Diana testing out the Backcountry Quilt 700 in the highlands of Zion National Park.

The Backcountry Quilt is filled with 17.6 ounces of 700 fill Dridown hydrophobic duck down. This is substantially more down than most of the other bags we reviewed, but this quilt has to compensate that it's using a lower fill power and duck down instead of goose down. Still, the quilt seems to be warm enough to temperatures just under freezing, if more due to it's construction than it's down.

Weight


Weighing in at 30.1 ounces, this bag squeaks in under 2 pounds, which is often regarded as a general benchmark for ultralight sleeping bags. With the included stuff sack, it is about 31 ounces, and we're hard-pressed to really consider this an ultralight quilt, especially given that most of the other bags in the review are more than half a pound lighter. We hope that in the future Sierra Designs continues to refine this cool design into a lighter version (and fingers-crossed for no big price jumps).

The Sierra Designs quilt is the second heaviest in the review  and doesn't pack down that well.
The Sierra Designs quilt is the second heaviest in the review, and doesn't pack down that well.

Comfort


We found the Backcountry Quilt 700 to be far and away the most comfortable quilt in the review. It really feels more like sleeping with a big comfy blanket than a piece of camping gear. Instead of a series of straps or zippers, the Backcountry Quilt is large enough to wrap around oneself, even overlapping itself below the sleeper. This way there aren't any straps or buckles to lay on, and nothing to come unbuckled or loose in the middle of the night. It even stayed on top of our more restless tester, who tends to sleep rotisserie style. The hood is also quite comfortable and stayed on our tester's face.

One tester enjoying how comfortable the quilt is. As he put it  the hood is "dreamy for us bald guys."
One tester enjoying how comfortable the quilt is. As he put it, the hood is "dreamy for us bald guys."

Versatility


This quilt is very versatile, easy to either sleep with it like a loose blanket on a warm night in the desert or wrapped like a burrito on a shoulder season trip around freezing. It's almost as versatile as the Feathered Friends Flicker UL 40, which can be fully opened or fully closed. It's mostly versatile because of its construction, with the extra wide blanket cut and the sewn foot box. It's easy to adjust in the middle of the night, just like your bed covers at home.

Features


This quilt doesn't have a ton of features, because it generally doesn't need them. The wide cut makes pad straps or other closures superfluous and is much simpler and more adjustable than something like the Western Mountaineering Astralite. The other two features are a hide-away hood and two hand pockets on the top corners. We found the hand pockets unnecessary and could be eliminated to save a bit of weight.

We loved the hide-away hood, which is unnoticeable until you put your face through it. It wraps over your forehead and under your chin but doesn't put pressure on your neck, and the back almost acts like a tiny pillow under your head. In fact, we preferred it over mummy bag hoods, as it stays with your face when you roll around. Because the opening can't close over your mouth, it also doesn't collect condensation. It's the first new hood idea we've seen, and frankly, it's great.

Best Applications


This quilt works well as a three season bag down to about freezing. While it's not the lightest bag, it still works well as a backpacking sleeping bag, especially for larger folks. It barely makes the cut for an ultralight bag, making thru-hikers potentially scoff at the extra ounces. But those who value comfort as much as the weight, this bag is pretty awesome.

Value


At $250, this is a relatively inexpensive bag. It's still $90 more expensive than the Best Buy on a Tight Budget Hammock Gear Econ Burrow 20, but its warmer, much more comfortable, and a bit more versatile. Both achieve their lower prices probably due to duck down, which makes them heavier. All things considered, this bag is worth its price.

Conclusion


The Sierra Designs Backcountry Quilt 700 is hands down the comfiest quilt we tested. It feels more like sleeping with a down duvet than a sleeping bag. It's also warm down to freezing, which makes it a good three-season choice. However, it is almost 2 pounds, and way heavier than most other bags in this review. The weight will probably turn off those looking for a real ultralight option, but for those willing to carry a bit more for a really comfortable option, it's worth looking into.

Other Versions and Accessories


The Backcountry Quilt 700 also comes in a lighter 35℉ rating, which weighs in at 24 ounces and is $30 cheaper.


Ethan Newman