Typically, I’d want to get out with a new piece of gear more than a couple of times before dedicating a full post to it, but since I have several friends already asking about my experience with the High Sierra Sniveller and Jacks ‘R’ Better is also having a sale right now, I decided to post my first impressions of the quilt right away.
I’ll go into more detail in a future post, but one of the main advantages of a quilt over a traditional sleeping bag is weight. Quilts are significantly lighter than a similarly rated sleeping bag. When down is compressed, it loses it’s ability to insulate. That means when you are using your down sleeping bag, any of the bag that is underneath you is essentially wasted weight. A quilt cuts down on this wasted material and you end up with a lighter sleep system overall or a sleep system that weighs the same, but is rated for a lower temperature.
For comparison sake, here are some specs on the down bags/quilts I’ve bought or considered buying over the last couple of years, in no particular order:
|Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed||Kelty Coromell Sleeping Bag||Mountain Hardwear Phantom Sleeping Bag||Jacks ‘R’ Better High Sierra Sniveller Quilt|
|~$460 Retail||~$250 Retail||~$600 Retail||$345 on Sale|
|800 Fill DriDown||550 Fill Down||800-fill Q.Shield down||800 fill Activ-dri down|
|40 oz||72 oz||43 oz||32 oz (2 oz over-stuff)|
|15 degree||0 degree||0 degree||0 degree|
|Sleeping bag/quilt hybrid||550 fill requires more down than 800 fill to insulate. More Down = Heavier Bag||Overstuff gets the rating down to 0|
As time allows I will conduct more research and add items to the list above, focusing on items that are in a similar price range, weight or temperature rating with the quilt. This will show a more direct comparison.
In addition to being lighter weight, I’ve read that side sleepers tend to find them more comfortable than mummy bags. I am a side sleeper and I’ve never had a good nights rest in a mummy bag. For my HST trip back in June, I purchased a used Sierra Design Backcountry Bed. The Backcountry Bed is sleeping bag-quilt hybrid. While researching quilts, the Backcountry Bed popped up at an unbeatable price that I couldn’t pass up. After using it on my trip, I was fairly certain that I would like a quilt even more.
So far, I’ve used High Sierra Sniveller two nights on the trail and two nights car camping. The lowest temperature it’s seen so far is about 35 degrees.
- The Good
- I’ve never slept better while camping or backpacking.
- While the quilt is rated for 0 degrees, I’ve used it in temperatures as high as 50. Laying the quilt out flat, or leaving the footbox open makes the quilt a versatile piece of gear, accommodating greater range of temps more easily than a traditional sleeping bag. The High Sierra Sniveller also has a hook & loop re-sealable head hole, allowing it be worn as a serape style layer around camp.
- The High Sierra Sniveller compresses well. It compresses down to the same size as my Backcountry Bed 600, but is rated 37 degrees cooler! (pic coming soon). It also weighs 20% less!
- As time allows, I conduct more research and add more products to the table above, but the High Sierra Sniveller is competitively priced with quality sleeping bags of similar weight and ratings.
- Jacks ‘R’ Better has excellent customer service. When I inquired about the quilt, one of the owners took the time to talk about my sleeping style, sleeping pad and other issues to ensure that I was getting a product that would work for me. If you are just curious about buying a quilt, I recommend sending the company an email or calling them!
- The Bad
- Does not include cords or straps for attaching the quilt to your pad. I ended up using shock cord.
- The Bottom Line
- I am sold on using the High Sierra Sniveller over a traditional sleeping bag. I was honestly skeptical of the claims made by quilt companies, but I am a believer now.
Before publishing a full review, I need to test:
- the quilt in cooler temperatures to see how accurate it’s rating is and to see if it becomes drafty at lower temps
- the quilt’s durability
Please see the gallery below for photos of the High Sierra Sniveller, as well as an explanation of it’s features.
|Disclaimer: The product reviewed in this entry was provided to HikingGeek.com by Jacks ‘R’ Better.|