Best Ultralight Backpacking Quilts

Want to stay warm?

Check out our list of the best ultralight backpacking quilts.

Thanks to their backless, zipperless and hoodless surface, these quilts keep cold at bay. Also, when you compare them with sleeping bags, the top quilts are more compressible, lighter in weight and hence easy to carry around.

Don’t know which to buy?

That is where this article comes into play. Based on temperature rating, weight, insulation and of course price, we have selected the best hammock top quilts out there.

What is a Backpacking Quilt?

Top quilts are like blankets with a foot box. You put your feet in the foot box and lay the quilt over you. Top quilts don’t have a insulation around the head.

Pro’s of top quilts:

  • Weights less then sleeping bag
  • Is more comfortable in a hammock
  • No annoying zipper
  • Is also used in a tent

Con’s op top quilts:

  • It doesn’t fully wrap your body
  • No insulation around the head

Here is a list of the most used top quilts:

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Backpacking Quilt Reviews

Burrow Econ Series

Available in five outer shell colors – of which the Dark Olive is our favorite – the Burrow Econ Series has got everything you need. To gauge whether it justifies this claim, let’s look at its features.

Features

First things first, the Burrow Econ Series has five models to offer. They include the Econ 0, Econ 10, Econ 20, Econ 30 and Econ 40. The utility of all these models isn’t limited to hammock sleepers. Instead, provided they go for a wide width, even ground sleepers could find the Econ 10 useful.

Turning our attention to their fabric, and its manufacturer hasn’t left the Econ Series wanting in this case, either. A duck down fabric with an 800 fill power has been used in the construction of this model. All the models also have a DWR water-resistant coating which not only keeps water at bay but also helps the quilt shed weight.

What’s more, the series also features a half taper design which makes sure to provide you with proper hips coverage. Supplementing the same are its vertical torso baffles which, by providing a tapered footbox, make the quilt lightweight.

More importantly, the tapered footbox in all five quilts is available in two models; zipper and sewn. If you are going to camp in cold weather – and don’t need any venting – go for the sewn model. Conversely, if you want some passage of air through your quilt, the zipper model deserves your attention.

Finally, in case you are wondering that all the models are exactly the same, there’s a specific difference. For, all of these have different temperature ratings – with the Burrow Econ 0 leading the way with its 0*F rating.

User Critique

Despite all the plus points of this model – and there are plenty of them – the fact that all the models have a shipping time of well over a month might not sit well with some of its potential customers.

Pros

  • Ease of entry and Exit
  • Equally useful for ground and hammock sleepers
  • Durable water-resistant coating
  • Lightweight and ultra-portable

Cons

  • Delivery time of 4-weeks

Final Verdict

Regardless of whether you’re a hammock or ground sleeper – or whether it’s cold or pleasant weather out there – the Burrow Econ Series would serve you well. Go for it if you don’t want to break your bank for a decent quality quilt.

Revelation-H.E. Custom

Want a quilt which can keep you warm regardless of the weather out there? Able to pay over-the-odds for the same? If your answer to both these questions is in the affirmative, only then go for the Revelation H.E. Custom.

Features

First thing first, the Revelation differentiates itself from other top quilts by offering six different temperature ratings. Ranging from 50*F to 0*F – with four models in between – you can easily get a temperature rating which complements your needs.

Similar to its temperature ratings, the Revelation once again shows its versatility when it comes to its size range. It offers five different sizes – from extra short to extra-long – and comes in three width sizes as well. That said, unless you’re going to sleep on the ground, the Regular width size would suit you well.

What’s more, to give you more control over the quilt, it comes with a snap and drawstring neck. Provided you want more air on the inside, just draw it loose. Conversely, if it’s extremely cold out there – and you want to block out external air – just tighten the drawstring.

Turning our attention to its footbox, and two features deserve our attention. The first of those features is the foot pad toggles which keep the foam pad rightly in place. Next comes the 20’’ zipper which allows you to open or close the footbox on will.

Fortunately, in addition to having a water-resistant fabric, the usage of half taper design makes this quilt lightweight. Then there are the U-shaped baffles which keep the fabric’s bottom at its place throughout the night.

Equally useful is the optional 7D ripstop nylon feature which would further reduce the weight of this model. What’s more, if it’s cold out there, you can easily convert this quilt into a blanket by opening its footbox.

User Critique

Users have flagged two concerns about this model. First, unlike most top quilts out there, it doesn’t come with a hood. Second, some say that its down insulation might shift after some time.

Pros

  • Customizable Color, Insulation, Size and Temperature Ratings
  • Provides lifetime limited warranty
  • Baffled construction and an enclosed footbox
  • Optional 7D ripstop Nylon makes it even more lightweight

Cons

  • No hood

Final Verdict

For those of you who are primarily hammock campers, the Revelation H.E. offers a perfect balance of lightweight and high functionality. It is a decent choice for those who can pay its somewhat inflated price tag.

Enigma-H.E. Custom

Since it comes from the same manufacturer, the Enigma H.E. offers the same customizability as the abovementioned Revelation H.E. However, once you move past the size and temperature ratings, the Enigma comes across as an altogether different breed.

Features

Ever wondered why it takes so long for your feet to warm up, even in a quilt? That is, because, most quilts have dead-air spaces in their footbox which are extremely cold. These spaces, unless heated-up by your body heat, remain cold to keep your feet uncomfortable.

Fortunately, the Enigma H.E. has taken care of this problem by providing a sewn-closed 3D footbox. That means the dead air space – which requires more body heat to warm-up – has been reduced in this quilt. So you can get your feet warm in no time.

To reduce the weight of this quilt, its manufacturer has made three changes to its design. First, the pad attachment system – which is the main culprit for its predecessor’s heavy weight – has been done away with. Second, the width of the quilt has been trimmed down. And finally, the footbox has been shortened to 6’’.

Then there are the U-shaped baffles which keep the fabric’s bottom at its place throughout the night. Its half-taper design, meanwhile, lets the Enigma perfectly complement your body shape. Also on offer are the foot pad toggles to keep the foam pad perfectly positioned.

Finally, while it does come with a 10D fabric, the Enigma offers you some extras as add-ons. Take, for instance, the 7D micro ripstop nylon; which would further decrease the weight of this model. You can also get the quilt in 20D ripstop nylon fabric which offers better water resistance than its 10D counterpart.

User Critique

The only complaint which some users have about this model is its initial smell. To quote one of those disgruntled customers, it “smelled like a bird” at first.

Pros

  • Customizable Color, Insulation, Size and Temperature Ratings
  • Baffles won’t shift; hence maintaining the shape of the quilt
  • Temperature ratings are brilliantly accurate

Cons

  • Smells poor before the first wash

Final Verdict

For those of you who are looking for a quilt that can keep you warm without costing a ton, turn towards the Enigma. With a non-shifting baffle system, accurate temperature ratings, and loads of extras, it is certainly a worthy choice.

Ignitor

For those of you looking for a four season hammock top quilt, the Ignitor is a worthy option. To find out why I’m saying that, let’s check out its features.

Features

First thing first, you won’t have to worry about how the Ignitor would retain its shape. That is, because, it has a baffled construction which can withstand lots of abuse. So you can be sure that it will remain with you for years.

Acting like a double-edged sword is the 750 FP insulation of this model; which has its virtues and shortcomings. Starting with the former, you won’t have any problems to carry this quilt around as it is extremely lightweight.

On the other, however, the light weight of the quilt manifests itself in its temperature rating. For, while other models in this review can withstand 10 – 20* of temperature, this one is given a 30* to 40* rating. That means you cannot use it in extremely cold weather.

That, however, isn’t a shortcoming if you are going to camp in the south or during the summer. That said, if you are planning to use your quilt in extreme winter conditions, the temperature rating of this model might serve as a deal breaker.

On the flip side, it has a convertible footbox which allows you to open or close it at will. Similar utility is on offer by the DWR nylon shell which keeps both moisture and stains at bay.

User Critique

As suggested earlier, this isn’t a quilt for extreme weather conditions.

Pros

  • Comes with a 2-year warranty
  • DWR Nylon Shell keeps moisture and stains at bay
  • Convertible footbox

Cons

  • Low Temperature Rating

Final Verdict

The Ignitor­­­TM Top Quilt is for those of you who are going to camp out in summer or before the arrival of extreme winter. Provided you don’t belong to this category, scroll down.

Adventure Top Quilt

Most of us love to get something extra without having to pay for it. Fortunately, it is to satiate this instinct of ours that this quilt offers something extra without charging for it.

Features

In case you are wondering, the thing which the Adventure Top Quilt offers as an extra is its 2-in-1 utility. That’s right; for it serves both as a top hammock quilt as well as a sleeping bag. All you have to do to convert one into another – or vice versa – is to just pull down its zipper.

Though not as highly rated, equally important is the built-in foot pocket of this model. Since it comes with cord locks and built-in shock cord, you can adjust the foot pocket by cinching it up. That, in turn, would keep your feet in place all night long.

Look closely at the side of this quilt, and you’d notice two little side release buckles. The reason they are there is that you can connect both of them to create a quasi-hood. Or, if you want some outer breeze, these buckles can be connected to keep our quilt in place.

More importantly, the quilt is made from premium, high-quality fabrics. Take, for instance, its liner which is made of Breathable 210T Polyester. Or the outer shell which boasts calendared 210T Ripstop Polyester. Both these fabrics are water resistant and block the wind on their own.

Lastly, since you’d be sleeping out in the open, you’d need a quilt that makes the most of your body heat to keep it warm. Fortunately, the Adventure Top Quilt does just that with its Max Loft insulation. Made up of 100% polyester, it is hypoallergenic, washable and dries quickly.

User Critique

As the savvy eyed quilt users among you might have guessed by now, the usage of loft foam has made this quilt heavy. Not too heavy, mind you, but heavier still as compared to other models in this review.

Pros

  • Has hypoallergenic, washable, Max Loft insulation
  • Provides the Quasi Hood feature
  • Converts into a sleeping bag
  • Built-in foot pocket

Cons

  • Slightly heavy

Final Verdict

It goes without saying that the Adventure Quilt is a top-of-the-line, premium hammock quilt. Go for it if you are going to have your car around to carry it.

Sierra Sniveller

In case you were left unimpressed with the weight of the Adventure Top Quilt – and wished for something lighter – your wish has been granted with the Sierra Sniveler.

Features

Starting with the best this quilt has to offer, and its temperature control feature comes into play. Yes, you heard it right; this quilt has vents which allow you to easily control its temperature to complement your needs.

Moving on, since this quilt was designed with ground sleepers in mind, it is wider and the shoulders and its foot end is tapered to 42’’. To ensure better tuck control, the length of the foot box has been increased. What’s more, if you want, you can secure the side of the quilt around a pad with its six lacing labs.

Furthermore, its manufacturer has given this quilt a hydrophobic down treatment to keep the drier down, warmth up, and fill power optimum. Despite this treatment, however, the manufacturer recommends that you keep it protected from direct exposure to moisture.

Finally, this model gives you three styles to choose from; the first of which is the standard sewn-in-foot-box model. However, if you don’t like it, you can choose either the 1-ounce over-Stuff or the 2 Ounce Over-Stuff model.

User Critique

Users have voiced complaints that on direct exposure with moisture, the insulation capability of this quilt reduces considerably.

Pros

  • Best for ground sleepers
  • Provides better tuck control
  • Allows venting to control the temperature
  • Given a hydrophobic treatment to keep the insulation dry

Cons

  • Insulation reduces on direct contact with moisture

Final Verdict

One of the lightest top quilts in this review, the Sierra Sniveller does well to justify its otherwise inflated price tag.

Mamba Topquilts

Coming in two sizes – the regular 48’’ and XL 55’’ – Mamba is one of those quilts in this review which has a ridiculously fast delivery time. Our review of this product concerns itself to the 2-season regular size.

Features

Regardless of which size you choose – regular or XL – both of them come with a round-bottom footbox.  The 2 season regular, meanwhile, has a temperature rating of 40*F; which is pretty low when you compare it with other models in this review.

To further increase the heat efficiency of this model, Mamba has seen some changes in its design. Previously, it had baffles from side to side. Currently, however, the baffles run from head to toe – with the obvious advantage of better heat efficiency.

Also, while the size range of Mamba is restricted to 5’10’’ users, it gives you the option to extend its footbox. You can do that by stretching its tie-off point – which is located just below the knees. Consequently, even users approaching 6’ can find the regular model useful.

Apart from having a tie-off at the knees, the Mamba has another one closer to the top end. Supplemented with an elastic drawcord, this tie-off gives you the option to form a tight seal around your neck if you want to keep the cold breeze at bay.

Lastly, the Mamba is made of 20D Nylon fabric whose high thread-count imparts the fabric greater flexibility. If that wasn’t enough, this quilt has 850 Fill Power Goose Down insulation to protect you from chilly winds.

User Critique

Compare this quilt with others in this review, and one thing becomes crystal clear; its temperature rating of 40*F isn’t anywhere near high-end.

Pros

  • Available in three different sizes
  • Head to toe baffles provide it with greater heat efficiency
  • Meets new RSD certification
  • Extendable footbox

Cons

  • Low temperature rating

Final Verdict

The Mamba TopQuilt is an affordable option for those of you who won’t be camping in extremely cold weather conditions.

BANDIT

Available in 3 fill powers, 4 lengths, and six temperature ratings – the lowest of which is 0*F – the Bandit Quilt is the epitome of versatility.

Features

Starting with a glance at its shell, and the Bandit has down-filled chambers that run vertically from head to toe. This construction provides the Bandit with exceptional drape; which means the quilt will remain close to your body to provide better thermal performance.

More importantly, and as a result of top-down filled chambers, the gaps between the quilt’s inside and your body is reduced. This reduction of gaps has reduced the space which your body would have to heat otherwise. That means you won’t be experiencing the problem of “dead air” with this model.

Furthermore, in contrast to other quilts, Bandit DOES NOT recommend that you overstuff this quilt. Why? Because it’s already overstuffed to 130%. That means that even the cold sleepers among you would find the bandit toasty-warm.

Impressively, the bandit offers three-foot box styles: Insulated, Zipper w/draw and boxed flat sewn. You can go for the Insulated model provided you want full and continuous insulation for your toes. Otherwise, if you want maximum versatility, go for the Zipper w/Draw option. Or, if you are content with simplicity and additional warmth, the Boxed Flat Sewn option deserves your attention.

Lastly, this model offers two taper options; either a No-Taper or a Full Taper. If you want better thermal efficiency – but at the cost of less coverage – go for the Full Taper. Conversely, the No-Taper option is what might suit you.

User Critique

Although the basic models of this quilt are inexpensive – choose high fill power and temperature ratings and this quilt can become astronomically expensive.

Pros

  • Provides four different Foot box and two different taper options
  • Extremely versatile; available in different fill powers and temperature ratings
  • Available in 15 colors

Cons

  • High-end models can get expensive

Final Verdict

If you have got enough money to spend – and are looking for a premium, high-quality, top of the line quilt – only the go for the Bandit.

Stormloft 15

The Stormloft 15 Down TopQuilt is designed for both hammock campers and ground sleepers. That means that it is not only lightweight but also provides adequate insulation.

Features

First things first, the Stormloft provides an ultimate combination of adequate warmth and least weight; for it is rated at 15*F and weighs only 23oz. It does that by going for a combination of lightweight 10D fabric and 800+FP down.

Another reason why Stormloft has succeeded in keeping its weight down lies in its hybrid baffle design. Stretching from the head of the quilt to its toe, this system provides the quilt both the warmth as well as lightweight.

For those of you who intend to use an insulated pad, the Stormloft offers an extra incentive. For, it allows you to use the pad strap to keep the quilt in position; even when you move around. And while the quilt is extra-wide to cater all users, you can pull it drop button down to cinch it.

User Critique

Despite all of its useful features – and Stormloft boasts plenty of them – the fact that it comes in only one color leaves little room of choice for the picky customers.

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Temperature rating of 15*F
  • Inexpensive
  • Folds small

Cons

  • Available in only one color

Final Verdict

If you are content with the blue and black color design of this model – as will most campers – there is no reason why you shouldn’t choose the Storml

Best Hammock Top Quilts Buying Guide

It is important you consider these factors before purchasing a backpacking quilt. As they would help you in separating the best from the riffraff.

Insulation

There are two features which determine the insulation level of a quilt; the filling material and the fill power. You should look at both these factors when selecting the adequate insulation level

Starting with the former, there are two types of filling materials available in the market: Duck Down and High-Quality Goose. Undeniably, Duck Down quilts last longer and offer better compressibility than their High-Quality Goose counterparts. Also, if you want your Duck Down Insulation to have more shelf life, make sure it comes with a water-resistant coating.

As for the latter, quilts offer fill powers of 800, 850, 900, and 950. The higher the fill power, the more air your quilt can trap, and thus the better insulating ability it will provide. However, in case you are wondering, just because a quilt has high fill power doesn’t mean it will be heavy. That means that even the lightest weighing quilts can offer adequate insulation levels.

Temperature Ratings

One of the most difficult things to decide on while buying a quilt is the temperature rating. Get it wrong, and the quilt will be either too cold or too hot for your needs. Therefore, it is imperative that you get this decision right.

Remember, just because a quilt is rating 20* doesn’t mean it will be comfortable to wear at 20* outside. For, as quilt manufacturers tell us, temperature ratings are based on assumptions that you’d be wearing additional insulation gear apart from the quilt.

Therefore, if you ask me, I’d recommend following a rule of thumb which calls for choosing 5* less temperature rating than your outside temperature. For example, if you are going to sleep in 20* temperature wearing only shorts and a T-shirt, get a quilt with a 15* rating. That should be enough to keep you warm.

Weight

Generally speaking, many factors contribute to a quilt’s weight including its insulation, fabric, coating and inner shell fabric. Of all these factors – and in stark contrast to what most people believe – insulation contributes the lightest to the quilt’s weight.

Instead, it is the fabric and coating which make a quilt heavy or light.

Therefore, when deciding on the weight, consider your quilt’s fabric. The fabric should be breathable and – provided you are going to use it for years – should have an inner shell fabric. For, the absence of inner shell fabric exposes your quilt to wear and tear.

Fabric coating, meanwhile, is contingent on your needs. If you are going to sleep outside in sub-zero temperatures, an extra-thick coating is what you need. Conversely, if the outer temperature is going to be comfortable, merely the water-resistant coating would be enough.

Packed Size

Nobody knows how much space would be available in their backpack for the quilt; as there is no final limit to the number of items we may need during our journey. What we do know, thankfully, is the fact that we don’t want to fill our backpack entirely with the quilt.

Fortunately, you don’t need to make any calculations to determine a quilt’s packed size. For, the manufacturer would have done it for you. Just choose the quilt, read its packed dimensions and decide whether you could easily carry it or not.

Versatility

Let’s be honest; none of us would like having a quilt whose utility is limited to the hammock. Instead, depending on where we go, we’d like that quilt to be equally useful. It is for this purpose you need to make sure that your quilt is versatile.

For instance, if you want to use your quilt in a wide range of temperatures, it should be fully un-zip-able. Or if you are going to use it in cold environments all the time, it should come with closed foot boxes.

Also, if you are going to use them for ground and hammock sleeping, go for wider width quilts. Finally, if you want to use your quilt as a garment, it should come with a head-hole.

Price and Delivery Time

Compare them with sleeping bags, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a quilt which costs more. Therefore, on this front at least, top quilts are clear winners. As for the comparison between quilts, that is where the picture gets muddy.

For, there are many factors which decide a quilt’s price tag; one of which is the greed of its manufacturer. Others include the level of insulation it provides, whether it has a coating or not, the strength of the fabric, and versatility of the quilt.

As for the time a quilt will take to be delivered to your home, it varies. There are quilts – like the Burrow 10 – which would take a month to be delivered. Then there are also those – like the ENO Eagles – which take visibly less time. So it depends on the choice of your quilt.

Comfort

There are four factors which have a huge bearing on the comfort provided by a quilt. They include its warmth, temperature rating, breathability, and water resistance. These factors, however, aren’t static – which means they change with your requirements.

For instance, if you are going to sleep in a near-zero-degree environment, you’d want a quilt with minimum breathability, maximum water resistance, and sub-zero temperature rating. Conversely, if the weather out there is mild, the exact opposite would be true for you.

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