Keeping warm is essential and no other backpacking quilt does that quite as well as the Therm-a-Rest Corus.
Need some extra leg room? Check out the Sierra Designs Cloud which has a total length of 6'6ft.
When it comes to those long multi day hikes, I am a huge fan of the Outdoor Vitals Down TopQuilt. It is ultra lightweight and made from down which makes it super easy to squeeze in a tight pack.
Below is a list of the top 5 outdoor quilts, so you can choose which one is best for you. We've also provided a complete buyers guide to make your decision easier.
Best Backpacking Quilts (Top Picks)
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Top Quilts For Backpacking (Detailed Reviews)
We reviewed over 13 backpacking quilts for this article. Below are the best backpacking quilts that made our short list.
- Outdoor Vitals Down TopQuilt - Best Ultralight
- Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree - Best Value Quilt
- Sierra Designs Cloud - Premium
- Therm-a-Rest Corus - Best For Cold
- OneTigris Featherlite Quilt - Best Affordable Quilt
Read our complete buyers guide for backpacking quilts.
1. Best Ultralight Quilt
The Outdoor Vitals Down TopQuilt quilt has a mummy shape to it suitable for three-season travel. It provides great lightweight practicalities: weighing 600 grams, warmth and insulation is not sacrificed.
This quilt is quite versatile and is suitable for mountaineering, camping, backpacking and climbing. In order to easily attach to a sleeping pad the quilt is constructed with a lacing system underneath it with an insulated collar.
With a fill-power of 850 down the warmth is ensured on your adventures. This kind of layer of insulation makes the colder conditions more bearable and what’s more - the neck and shoulders are also protected from unsightly gusts of wind. The coating of durable water repellent (DWR) also repels water rather well.
What we like
What we dislike
The lightweight Outdoor Vitals Down TopQuilt is perfect for for three-season backpacking and camping. It's an upgrade from the 30 Siren Ultralight with the new more practical and useful for insulation vertical baffles. This quilt feels like a bed which you managed to pack with you on a trip!
2. Best Value Quilt
The Kelty Cosmic 20 quilt is a great option for three-season travel and cold weather. Useful for backpacking and sleeping in hammocks while camping. The performance of the quilt is quite durable with its 20-denier ripstop nylon that keeps it light, yet tough.
The lower temperature limit is at 20 F (-10C) and this making it more suitable for colder weather, while a 700 fill-power gives it significant comfort. Thermodown can be easily adjusted and is versatile so it can be closed and used as a hammock.
It is easy to store as it comes with a stuff sack and can be secured to a sleeping pad to provide greater comfort. One can move around easily with this quilt without feeling constricted.
What we like
What we dislike
The Kelty Cosmic 20 is a great lightweight quilt that will keep you comfortable on chilly nights outdoors. As it allows more freedom of movement it feels more comfortable than a sleeping bag.
3. Best Quilt for Bigger Backpackers
The Sierra Designs Cloud is an option for bigger campers to have a comfortable quilt. The zipperless design makes it a fan favourite. The 800 fill power down contributes to the unique design that has a wide cut and hood at the top.
At 35oz it is heavier than the other quilts available and may make travelling long distances a bit of a challenge. It does however provide great comfort because there are not many straps and buckles that require fastening. The quilt is big enough to be wrapped around you, contributing to a restful sleep.
It is incredibly versatile and functional and suits a variety of activities, including hiking, mountaineering, backpacking and climbing.
The footbox is tight-fitting which allows for significant insulation, not to mention additional pockets for your hands, so that you are able to maximise the comfort and warmth in cooler temperatures. There is a degree of resistance to abrasion in the 20-denier nylon shell.
What we like
What we dislike
The Sierra Designs Backcountry Cloud is a good down quilt rated at 35F. It combines all the benefits of a down quilt with a hood and pockets, and therefore works well in colder weather conditions when you need more reliable protection for your neck and shoulders.
4. Best Quilt for Colder Conditions
The Therm-a-Rest Corus is a great alternative for camping conditions when you don't need those heavy-duty sleeping bags, leaving enough room for other gear in your backpack.
It is extremely small when packed down and weighs less than a pound, while keeping the highest insulation rating of 900 which ensure a good level of warmth when needed on cooler nights or sleeping under the open sky.
It seems to also work well in humid and dumper conditions (after a rainy day or at down) thanks to an effective Nikwax hydrophobic down treatment. It also offers ThermaCapture lining to pile up your body heat for better warmth regulation.
To avoid slipping around, Corus is equipped with SynergyLink connectors which secure a sleeping pad underneath you. To avoid draft getting into the quilt, it has the snap neck closure, perimeter side baffles and even an insulated footbox.
What we like
What we dislike
Secured to your sleeping pad and reflecting your own body heat even in humid conditions, the Therm-a-Rest Corus is a well-packable quilt suitable for pretty much any backpacking and camping trip within its generous temperature rating of 20F (-6C).
5. Best Affordable Quilt
The OneTigris Featherlite Quilt is a lighter alternative to standard mummy sleeping bags. It offers quick entry and exit, and with a comfortable footbox which helps keep the heat in.
Weighing only 35oz (1000g), this lightweight quilt folds up to about the size of a 1-gallon jug. It's easy to put into your backpack and travel around and spreads out to 6.5ft by 2.8ft, offering plenty of sleeping space.
Made with a 20D Ripstop Nylon Outer Shell, a 380T Polyester Pongee lining and SEE polyester filling, the OneTigris is the ultimate in soft, breathable and wind-proof backpacking quilts.
What we like
What we dislike
The OneTigris Featherlite Quilt is a rather lightweight and well-designed backpacking quilt. It works well on cooler nights although it might not be ideal for higher altitude adventures.
Buyer's Guide (Key Features)
In order to understand quilt features that would provide the best experience, consider the following list of things to pay attention to before purchasing.
Natural Fill: The use of natural duck or goose down in the construction of quilts ensures the quality of your experience. This kind of fill translates into better warmth and insulation. Due to the nature of the down insulation and the fill-power thereof, natural fill quilts compress relatively well thus making storage and travel manageable.
Please note that the higher the fill power, i.e. 900, 850 and 800, the better it compresses. The more the air is trapped in a high fill-power quilt, the warmer and more comfortable your rest is going to be.
Water Resistance: Another benefit of down insulation is that it is by nature water resistant but a coating of DWR (durable water repellent) accentuates this desirable feature.
The quilts that have this kind of treatment have a shorter drying time, for your convenience.
Down insulation also contributes to a lighter quilt making the weight-to-warmth ratio more attractive.
Additional Insulation Features: Footboxes and sleeping pads that are in addition to the quilts maximise the warmth and insulation provided by the material and work to prevent cold drafts from impacting on a night’s rest.
The material needs to be treated with care in order for you to get the most out of your investment. Thus, airing it out and minimising exposure to unnecessary abrasive conditions helps see your down quilt through the long haul.
The temperature rating offered by quilt manufacturers helps one understand the lowest ‘limit’ to which one can sleep comfortably.
The quilts in this list have temperature ratings that give an idea of the coldest night that one can use them for.
It is, however, advisable, to pick a quilt with a warmer temperature than you would assume you need, to remain on the safe side.
Moreover, it is helpful to note that due to lower body mass, women have the tendency to sleep colder than men and would also need a warmer quilt. It is thus, helpful, to add 15-20F degrees of insulation in your search for the best option.
The way these quilts are designed points to a particular sense of innovation and ingenuity.
This comes across in the inner lining and outer shell of these backpacking quilts. The idea is to strike a balance between lightweight material and a fabric that is durable enough.
The conclusion lies in ripstop nylon, ranging in 10-20 denier. The element that ensures this durability extends to water resistance. If the shell is coated with a water-repellent substance this makes a variety of conditions more bearable.
It is of importance to consider whether the material of the shell remains breathable to maximise the comfort of your travel experience. If you know that the quilt is going to be used frequently, choosing one with a heavier outer shell will allow you to maximise the experience while increase quilt's durability.
It is helpful to be reassured that the backpacking quilt you choose works in a myriad of different ways.
The quilts that have a sewn-in footbox, which is designed for cooler conditions, have the tendency to limit how it can be used when in differing temperatures.
Quilts that can unzip fully provide you with more options. They can be used as blankets as well as an enclosed quilt.
When a quilt has a wider width it increases its application too. Wider quilts work well as hammocks.
If you are embarking on a variety of activities, it is helpful to note the degree to which your quilt is packable, to assist with transporting.
If you are a cyclist or through-hiker then packability may feature higher on the list of your priorities. However, it is important to be mindful of the fact that certain elements of the quilt’s usefulness will be sacrificed due to weight and size optimization, these include, warmth, economy and comfort.
See more outdoor equipment reviews and our detailed sleeping gear guide. Or check out these reviews:
I'm unclear from your review what experience you had with the Featherstone Moondance 25.
The quilt does open up flat like blanket (as shown on their website) and does not have a sewn footbox as described.
It weights 1.5 pounds (1 lbs 7 oz to 1 lbs 11 oz), not 1 pound as described.
As for it not being warm enough for three seasons is subjective and location dependent. I'd say it would be suitable for camping below 6000' feet most anywhere in the continental US from mid-April through mid-October.
Thanks Peter, we’ve updated the information.