Do you appreciate having the freedom to roll around and spread out at night?
Do you appreciate the simplicity of a quilt over a sleeping bag?
Quilts are the latest sleeping solution for backpacking and camping. And, they make so much sense, they might just stick around.
I’m about to list 16 of the best backpacking quilts for 2019, with something to fit every style and budget and a few pointers on what to look for and how to stay warm at the end.
- TOP 16 Best Backpacking Quilts 2019
- Therm-a-Rest Corus Backpacking Quilt
- Big Agnes Kings Canyon UL Quilt
- Horizon Hound Down Camping Blanket
- Rumpl The Original Puffy Camping Blanket
- Rumpl The Down Blanket
- Snugpak Jungle Blanket
- Paria Outdoor Products Thermodown Sleeping Quilt
- One Tigris Black Orca Featherlite Sleeping Quilt
- Go Outfitters Adventure Top Quilt
- Outdoor Vitals Down Top Quilt
- Therm-a-Rest Ramble Down 2-Person Blanket
- Double Black Diamond Packable Throw Down
- Sleephi Collection Multipurpose Blanket
- The Big Blue Mtn Synthetic Puffy Camping Blanket
- Sorison Puffy Blanket
- Leisure Co Ultra-Portable Camping Blanket
- What’s the Deal with Backpacking Quilts?
- Tips for Staying Warm in the Backcountry
TOP 16 Best Backpacking Quilts 2019
Therm-a-Rest Corus Backpacking Quilt
Review: This quilt is designed specifically for backpacking, so unlike the literal blanket style quilts on this list, the foot box is sewn into shape for cozy feet, then the quilt opens out with attachments to hook together underneath your sleeping mat.
This means that the sleeping mat effectively becomes the bottom layer of your sleeping bag.
The overall design is lightweight, compact, warm and mostly draft-free depending on how you set it up.
- 650 fill hydrophobic down insulation.
- Weighs just 1 lbs. 4 oz.
- Packs down to 7” x 10”.
- Available in ‘long’ size.
- If you know what you’re buying, there’s nothing to fault with this top-of-the-line backpacking quilt.
Big Agnes Kings Canyon UL Quilt
Review: This is an ultralight backpacking quilt that’s probably one or two season in warmth, but it depends on the rest of your sleep set up.
It’s a simple design with a sleeve for slotting in the bottom of your sleeping mat to keep the quilt in place, or you can just use it for your feet and keep the whole thing on top of your mat.
- 80” long and 60” wide at the widest point, tapering to 21” at the feet.
- Includes webbing loops and shock cord to lace the sides of the quilt together underneath the mat.
- Lightweight – 1 lbs.
- Insulated with Primaloft Silver synthetic insulation.
- Like all lightweight quilts, it needs to be paired with a good sleeping mat to truly do its job.
Horizon Hound Down Camping Blanket
Review: This camping blanket is a simple rectangular shape with no foot box sewn in. But, it is so lightweight and compact when packed away that it definitely ticks all the boxes for backpacking.
It’s also insulated with responsibly sourced down that it very warm, and it is machine washable which is a huge plus for convenience.
Finally, its 20D ripstop nylon outer is treated with DWR coating for water resistance.
- 50” x 77” is a good-sized single.
- Lightweight (1 lbs. 1 oz.) and compact to pack away.
- Well-suited for hammock use as well as backpacking.
- Surprisingly warm for its weight and size.
- Some quality control issues with the stitching in places.
Rumpl The Original Puffy Camping Blanket
Review: Rumpl blankets are pretty well known in the world of camping blankets. The Original is insulated with synthetic insulation together with the standard 20D DWR-coated ripstop nylon outer.
Its full dimensions are 50” x 70” and it packs down into a reasonably compact 6.5” x 14”.
- Also comes in 2-person and throw size options.
- Machine washable and dryer safe.
- Impressively warm for synthetic insulation.
- On the pricey side.
- Not as light or compact as its down counterpart when packed up.
Rumpl The Down Blanket
Review: This is the down alternative to the synthetic original above. This results in a lightweight, more compact, and potentially warmer package.
It’s still not the most affordable option on the list, but you’re paying for reliable Rumpl quality.
The Down Blanket has the same dimensions as The Original but weighs in at less than half the weight and packs up into tiny 5” x 6” compression sack making it a great option for backpacking.
- Lightweight and compact.
- Rated down to a comfort temperature of 40˚C.
- Outer is standard 20D ripstop nylon with DWR coating.
Snugpak Jungle Blanket
Review: This highly popular blanket uses high loft, lightweight synthetic insulation and has a water-resistant and windproof outer layer.
So, if you were looking for something to sleep under the stars with – this is your quilt.
It’s an excellent option for hammock camping but is also an excellent backpacking quilt for summer camping.
- 76” x 64” dimensions.
- Low-temperature rating of 36˚F (but this is highly subjective).
- Compresses into a tiny 6” x 6” package.
- Moisture-wicking and antibacterial treated material.
- Not quite long enough for taller people.
- No attachments for cinching to a sleeping mat or around you.
Paria Outdoor Products Thermodown Sleeping Quilt
Review: This is another customized quilt that is more like a sleeping bag-quilt hybrid in practice.
The foot box zips up a short way before the whole thing opens out into a quilt to be cinched around your sleeping mat.
The down isn’t treated to be water-resistant, but the jury’s still out on how effective hydrophobic down is anyway. It’s also not as lightweight as some, but it’s very warm.
- Rated down to 15˚F.
- 700 fill power down.
- Can clip up the whole length to cinch around the neck with a cord in cold weather.
- Not quite as lightweight as you’d hope for a quilt (2.3 lbs.).
One Tigris Black Orca Featherlite Sleeping Quilt
Review: This quilt finds the middle ground between backpacking quilts with foot boxes and the simple blanket style quilts on this list.
Its foot box comes much higher up the legs which is great if you get cold legs and don’t move around much at night but not so great if you appreciate the freedom of movement of other quilts.
As a result, it’s also heavier than the ore minimalist quilts, but it’s warm and cozy and could be the best backpacking quilt for the money.
- Side loops for linking up the quilt underneath your sleeping mat.
- 3 season rating to 41˚F.
- Comes in goose down or polyester filling.
- The sewn-in foot box comes quite high up the legs which not everyone will appreciate.
- Not as lightweight as the name suggests – 2.2 lbs. And pretty bulky when packed.
Go Outfitters Adventure Top Quilt
Review: This synthetic backpacking quilt is a little heavier and bulkier than the quilts above, but it is very, very warm.
You probably wouldn’t want to take it on a multi-day backpacking trip, but it’s ideal for car camping.
It has a sewn-in foot box which can be cinched tighter with a drawcord and it’s 7’ long which makes it ideal for taller people.
- Side release handles can be used to make a kind of hood in really cold conditions.
- Larger than most single quilts at 7’ long and 53” wide, means you can roll over in the night and stay covered.
- Rated to 20˚F.
- Heavy (2 lbs. 15 oz.) and a little pricey for a synthetic quilt.
Outdoor Vitals Down Top Quilt
Review: This ultralight top quilt is really made with minimalist backpackers in mind. It compresses into a truly tiny package and weighs just 1 lbs. 7 oz.
Both the inner down and the outer shell are water repellant so you can be sure that you’ll be warm and dry even if the tent leaks.
- 800 fill power responsibly sourced, hydrophobic down.
- VitalDry DWR coated shell for water repellency.
- Extra down in the enclosed foot box for extra warm feet.
- Some quality control issues.
Therm-a-Rest Ramble Down 2-Person Blanket
Review: If you’re after faultless quality, this is another reliable choice from Therm-a-Rest. It is filled with certified responsibly sourced down that fluffs up to an incredibly cozy 3-inch thickness.
The down has also been given a hydrophobic treatment to make it water repellant for extra peace of mind in camping situations.
This is a large 2 person quilt so if you’re traveling with your special someone, only one of you has to carry the quilt!
- 650-fill certified responsibly sourced, hydrophobic down.
- 88” x 88” provides plenty of coverage for you and your significant other.
- Lightweight for a 2 person quilt (2 lbs. 14 oz.).
- No hooks or loops for attaching to the bed roll.
Double Black Diamond Packable Throw Down
Review: No, your eyes are not deceiving you… this is actually a 700 fill power down throw at a very affordable price.
It’s 60” x 70” which is a little shorter but wider than most quilts which makes it ideal for tucking under your sleeping mat to prevent drafts.
It packs down into a pretty compact package which makes it ideal for backpacking and camping alike.
- Very affordable.
- 700 fill power down.
- Durable nylon cover.
- Lightweight and compact.
- The quality of the down (and therefore warmth) is unlikely to be as warm as a 700 fill power equivalent from a higher-end brand.
Sleephi Collection Multipurpose Blanket
Review: This is another almost disturbingly affordable down quilt. It’s 54” x 80” when opened out, 5” x 5” x 11” when packed, and weighs just 1 lb. which is pretty much as light as it gets.
It’s designed very well for traveling with a stuff sack that conveniently clips to the outside of your backpack. It’s also machine washable and can be air-dried and then tumbled on low heat.
- Blanket has buttons down one side so that you wrap it around you like a shawl.
- 650 fill power down insulation.
- Water repellant outer.
- Very lightweight and compact.
- Not responsibly sourced down.
The Big Blue Mtn Synthetic Puffy Camping Blanket
Review: The Big Blue Mtn camping blanket rivals more expensive options for quality and performance.
It is very lightweight, weighing less than 1.5 lbs. and provides plenty of space to snuggle with 74” x 50” dimensions.
It’s made of water-resistant synthetic insulation with a durable ripstop nylon shell and it comes with a small nylon pouch for packing away.
- Impressive quality and warmth.
- Water-resistant and hypoallergenic synthetic insulation.
- 20D water-resistant ripstop nylon outer material.
- Lightweight and compact when packed away.
- No hooks or attachments for sleep system options. The outer material may be a bit slippery.
Sorison Puffy Blanket
Review: This is a synthetic down quilt with a water-resistant ripstop nylon outer.
This combination makes it a pretty ideal choice for camping in unpredictable weather or just camping in general when things can get awkward and messy.
Spillages will wipe right off and leave you with a quilt that will still keep you warm and cozy once the temperature drops.
- Stuff sack is designed like a backpack for easy transportation.
- 54” x 80” makes for a very large single which will cover you completely.
- Machine washable and easy to wipe off surface dirt for quick cleans.
- Not as lightweight as it could be (2.8 lbs.) and not particularly compact when packed.
Leisure Co Ultra-Portable Camping Blanket
Review: This quilt is so ridiculously affordable it’s almost concerning. But, that means you won’t be afraid to take it camping and let it experience the rougher elements of backcountry life.
It uses synthetic insulation and water-resistant polyester but still manages to pack into a very compact and lightweight package.
Consequently, it won’t be as warm as a down blanket of equivalent size and weight, but it’s perfect for hot weather camping trips.
- Machine washable.
- Buttons up so can be worn like a poncho.
- 4’ x 6’ dimensions are ideal for one person.
- Lightweight (1.4 lbs.)
- Not warm enough for cooler weather.
What’s the Deal with Backpacking Quilts?
Backpacking quilts make a great alternative to a sleeping bag in hot summer weather.
The argument in favor of quilts over sleeping bags is that generally in a sleeping bag, the portion of the bag that you are lying on gets squashed (especially when the insulation is duck or goose down), and therefore does little to keep you warm.
Consequently, you’re carrying extra weight and bulk unnecessarily.
Furthermore, in the summer, most people may end up sleeping with their sleeping bag open or just flung loosely on top of them anyway.
Guys, you may as well be using a quilt and saving on all that extra weight and space!
But How to Choose?
As you can see from the list above, there is a wide range of styles to choose from when it comes to backpacking quilts.
Choosing the best option for you really comes down to how far you’re going to be hiking and the kind of weather conditions you’re likely to be facing.
If you’re going to be hiking for more than an hour or two, choosing a lightweight quilt is going to pretty important when it comes to the overall enjoyment of your trip. A heavy bag will weigh you down and wear you out, together with contributing to potential foot problems like blisters.
On the same note, you’ll also want a quilt that packs down into as small a package as possible so that you can leave plenty of space for other equipment and your all-important food supply.
On the other hand, if you’re car camping or not hiking far, you can afford to carry a heavier, bulkier quilt.
This leads us to material…
Down Versus Synthetic
As a general rule, synthetic insulation tends to be bulkier and heavier but will cope with more repeated washes over time and won’t put an end to your camping trip if it gets wet.
Down on the other hand tends to be warmer, lighter and more compact, but isn’t so resilient to being washed repeatedly and will be little to no use to you if it gets wet.
But, in saying that, rules are made to be broken – right?
Modern technology is bridging the gap between synthetic and down insulation.
So, while the above rules are still relevant to a degree, an expensive synthetic product will rival a good down blanket. And, water-repellant down seems to be becoming a thing.
Contoured Quilt Versus Blanket Style
As you can see from the list above, there are different styles of quilts available.
Broadly speaking, there are two main categories to be concerned with: there are the simple blanket style quilts that are literally just a flat square. Some of them have buttons or hooks so that you can wear the blanket like a poncho, but most don’t.
Then there’re the quilts that look like a sleeping bag done up halfway.
This is so that you can keep your feet warm and tucked inside the quilt without it sliding off, and also allows for the quilt to hook nicely around your sleeping mat.
A Little About Temperature Ratings
Unfortunately, backpacking quilts don’t have to adhere to the same temperature rating standards that sleeping bags do.
So, it can be hard to gauge how warm your quilt is really going to be.
You can use the manufacturer’s temperature rating to give you a vague idea, but at the end of the day, you’ll have to discern how ambitious they’re being.
I think most outdoor enthusiasts will agree that the trusted brands (and their albeit pricier products) are more likely to hit the accuracy mark when it comes to temperature ratings than their more idealistic entry-level counterparts.
But, as with everything, there are always exceptions to the rule!
Tips for Staying Warm in the Backcountry
Sleeping Bag Liners
If you’re not completely sure of the reliability of your quilt by itself, teaming it up with a sleeping bag liner could be a good option for multiple reasons.
Sleeping bag liners help to keep your quilt (and whatever you’re sleeping on) clean so you don’t have to wash it as often, they provide an extra barrier against carnivorous insects and they can be moisture-wicking to help with temperature regulation through the night.
If you’re interested in giving the sleeping bag liner-quilt combo a go, I’ve already made a list of the best sleeping bag liners to get you started.
What’s Underneath You Almost Matters More
You know the old survival adage, ‘one blanket underneath is worth *insert number here* on top’.
And it’s true.
No matter how awesome your quilt, if you’re sleeping on a mat with minimal or no insulation, the cold ground will suck away all of your body heat and your quilt will be rendered useless.
Teaming your quilt with a good sleeping mat or cot is essential for staying warm in all but the hottest nighttime temperatures.
Check out my article on the best camping cots if you’re interested in giving them a go over a mat.
Similarly, if you’re sleeping in a hammock with your backpacking quilt, you’ll definitely need an under blanket (basically a quilt that hangs just underneath your hammock to provide insulation from below.
I also have an article on the best hammock underquilts to save you searching!
Sleep with a Hat
Trust me on this, it’s not the most glamorous look, but wearing a hat to sleep in when you’re camping could just make your trip if the weather is chilly.
You lose a LOT of heat out of your head, so it makes sense to try and hold on to it!
Therm-o-Rest actually estimates that wearing a down hood increases the temperature rating of a sleeping system by 4 degrees, and a fleece hood increases it by 2. That’s a lot more than nothing!
Tuck in the Sides
Obviously this isn’t relevant if you’re sleeping in a sleeping bag. But if you’re using a quilt, you’ll want to make sure that there are no drafts.
If you’re buying a blanket style quilt that doesn’t have specific attachments for your mat, make sure you buy a quilt that is wide enough tuck under the edges of your sleeping mat so that if you roll over in the night, you’re less likely to be woken up by a draft.
The DIY Option
For the creative and frugal folks out there, there’s always the DIY option to consider too. Section Hiker demonstrates how to make a backpacking quilt out of a $40 quilt, saving bucks!
Last but not least, let’s not forget the all-important comfort factor. There’s nothing wrong with adding in a few lightweight luxuries like a camping pillow to make your night more enjoyable.
But of course, I get it, quilts aren’t for everyone.
If you think you might stick to sleeping bags, after all, be sure to check out my list of the best backpacking sleeping bags as your starting point.
Are you convinced? Are you going to give backpacking quilts a Go?
There’s definitely something on the list above for everyone so hopefully, you found the best backpacking quilt for your next adventure and are looking forward to giving it a go!
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