This super light, packable three-season camping quilt fits snugly around your sleeping pad but leaves plenty of room for side sleepers
- Extremely lightweight and packable
- Comfortable, soft fabric
- Enough room for sleeping in all positions
- Fits snugly around your sleeping pad for cooler conditions
- Water resistant down
- Foot box is a little too snug
- Snaps hard to fasten once you’re inside
Therm-a-Rest Vesper 32F/0C Quilt: first impressions
The Therm-a-Rest Vesper 32F Quilt is constructed with ultralight backpackers and thru-hikers in mind. A zip-free alternative to your best sleeping bag, this quilt attaches to your sleeping pad via a foot box and two stretchy straps. For milder nights, you can leave it loose or if it’s chilly, tuck the edges of the quilt under your pad, or even fasten the popper around the neck for an extra snug fit. No matter which arrangement you choose, there’s enough room to move your limbs and sleep in most positions comfortably.
• RRP: £300 / $380
• Sizes available: Regular (75”), Long (79”)
• Unisex: Yes
• Materials: Shell: 10D Nylon Ripstop w/ DWR; Fill: 900 Fill Goose Nikwax Hydrophobic Down
• Weight: Regular: 15oz / 0.44kg; Long: 1lb 1oz / 0.49kg
• Fill weight: Regular: 8.5oz / 0.24kg; Long: 9.5 oz / 0.27kg
• Comfort rating: 41F/5C
• Limit rating: 32F/0C
• Colors: Ether
• Best use: Backpacking, thru-hiking
Constructed using a DWR treated nylon shell and hydrophobic down, this quilt doesn’t just become deadweight in damp conditions, instead continuing to keep you warm and drying quickly. With a comfort rating of 41F/5C, this quilt is ideally suited for spring to fall adventures, though with extra insulation in the foot box and the right clothing, you could use it closer to its limit of 32F/0C and Therm-a-Rest does offer a 20F/-6F version too. The quilt comes with a storage sack plus a stuff sack with lash straps that reduces it down to not much bigger than your water bottle.
Though the foot box is a little snug when you’re lying on your back, if you’re looking to minimize weight and maximize space in your pack, you’d be hard pressed to find a sleeping bag that’s smaller or lighter.
Therm-a-Rest Vesper 32F/0C Quilt: in the field
I’d been hearing about the merits of camping quilts vs sleeping bags for a while when I finally got my hands on the Vesper quilt, and I was eager to try it out. My backpacking sleeping bag is really light and packs down pretty small, but with more solo trips these days, I’ve been looking for space savers since there’s not always someone else to help carry the stove and tent.
I could barely believe how lightweight this camping quilt is. It’s definitely heavier than a feather but honestly not by much. Once I tightened the lash straps on the stuff sack, it was nearly as small as my nalgene, so I was thrilled with how little space it took up in my pack and how little weight it added.
Once I got to camp, I was thrilled by how easy it was to use. Just slide your sleeping pad into it where it’s held in place by the footbox and two straps and you’re ready to crawl in for a good night’s sleep. If you’re small enough, which I am, you can even fasten the neck snaps before you slide in, which is a bit easier than trying to fasten them once you’re inside. It’s remarkably comfortable, with really soft fabric, and I was pleased to see that I can sleep on my back, side and front and roll over without too much fuss, because I’m not swaddled like I am in my sleeping bag.
This version has a comfort rating of 41F/5C and I haven’t tried it out in conditions too much colder than that. When I’m camping, I do sleep in long johns, a long sleeved base layer and wool socks, so with that setup and the extra insulation in the foot box, I’ve been perfectly warm. I usually start out the night with the neck poppers fastened so I’m nice and snug and end up unfastening them once I warm up.
My main complaint is that I find the foot boot box a little too tight when I’m lying on my back, and I have tiny feet so I imagine this is worse if you have normal feet. I am certain they’ve done this to optimize warmth but you do sacrifice a little comfort there. That said, when I’m on my back, I often sleep with one knee bent and out to the side (like a yoga Tree Pose) so it doesn’t bother me too much, and I’m excited that there’s enough room to do that. I also need to take care to shove the sleeping all the way down, otherwise the top of the quilt only comes up to my shoulders (I have a regular length and I’m 5’ 4” tall), but that’s one of those things that, once you know, you know.
All in all, I’m totally sold on the idea of camping quilts for backpacking after trying this quilt out for a while, especially if you’re not looking at really cold nights. That said, if you are expecting cold temperatures, this quilt comes in a 20F/-6C version and for all it offers in terms of weight, pack size and comfort, you might want to check it out.
Here’s how it performed:
Super soft fabric and enough room in the middle of the bag that you can sleep in virtually any position.
900 fill power down is about as good as it gets and they’ve made sure to stack it up in the places you need it most. I’ve been comfortable sleeping in this wearing clothes with overnight lows close to freezing, though for colder than that I’d want a warmer version.
Ease of use
Just slide your sleeping pad in and you’re ready to go.
The DWR treatment on the shell works really well, plus the down is hydrophobic so even if you lose some of that treatment over time, it still insulates.
Because there’s no zipper to break, there’s not a ton that can go wrong with this quilt unless you’re packing it next to lots of sharp objects in your bag, but treat it like you would any other pricey piece of gear and it will last for many adventures.
Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.
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