Stone Glacier developed a down quilt designed specifically for backpack hunting.
A quilt might not be the first thing you think of when making a gear list for backcountry hunting. It’s certainly never been on mine.
Quilts for backpacking and camping have been around for ages, but when it comes to hunting-specific quilts, there aren’t nearly as many options. Of course, a lot of backpacking and camping gear is fairly universal. I know much of my trusted hunting camp gear is old, multicolored hiking gear from college.
That said, the Stone Glacier 32-degree Chilkoot Quilt is a piece aimed specifically at backcountry hunters.
From appearance to use, the Chilkoot Quilt draws many design cues from sleeping bags. But the big difference is the lack of a back or bottom. It is completely open on the back side, with straps to hold it in place over an insulated sleeping pad. The concept is that compressed down doesn’t insulate you much anyway, so why carry it?
So, is an open-backed sleeping bag something worth adding to your backcountry kit?
I took it out in the wild to see for myself.
In short: The Stone Glacier Chilkoot Quilt might change what I’ll pack for early season and for ultra-lightweight backpack hunts. It cuts weight in all the right places, and the increased comfort level over my previous sleep system was the real clincher. I dig it.
The Stone Glacier 32-Degree Chilkoot Quilt Review
Stone Glacier has offered sleeping bags in its Chilkoot collection of sleep systems for a while, but this is the first quilt in the lineup. Known more for hunting backpacks, Stone Glacier has slowly expanded its offerings, including tents, sleep systems, and apparel.
The Stone Glacier 32-Degree Chilkoot Quilt ($425) is an open-back sleeping system with straps designed to hold onto your sleeping pad.
That said, you must have a high-quality sleeping pad to make this a functional system. Stone Glacier does not offer a sleeping pad (as of yet), but any high-R-value sleep pad will do.
The quilt weighs in at 1 pound 6.6 ounces. If we’re to compare it to one of Stone Glacier’s full sleeping bags, the Chilkoot Quilt weighs 12.4 ounces less than the Chilkoot 15-degree sleeping bag.
Filled with 12 ounces of 850-plus-fill gray goose down, the Chilkoot quilt is lightweight and incredibly insulating. The shell is made of Pertex Quantum material that is quilted with vertical baffles to keep the down in place.
What sets this design apart from many other backpacking quilts is the footbox and neck seal. The Chilkoot quilt has an enclosed footbox, giving it a sleeping bag feel. It also has a neck seal system that cozies up around the top, keeping the heat in and cold out.
The elastic straps allow for secure attachment to your sleeping bag and also offer adjustability. You can tighten the straps to retain more heat and loosen them to allow some breathing room.
A nice addition to the quilt is the inclusion of both a stuff sack and a storage bag. This allows for tight packing as well as loose storage to keep your down lofty.
Putting It to the Test
I was excited to get my hands on this for a few reasons.
First: I would never have considered going out of my way to add this to my gear pile. The idea of what equates to an open-backed sleeping bag just didn’t appeal to me. I understand the weight and space savings, but I didn’t feel like it was solving any problem I currently have.
Second: I do tend to get excited about products that cut weight. I don’t particularly appreciate carrying more than I have to.
My first impressions were lackluster. The Chilkoot quilt felt like a high-quality sleeping bag, which I expected. The lack of zippers was nice, but the strap system seemed odd. Both the stuff sack and storage bag were pretty minimalist and straightforward, keeping in line with Stone Glacier’s feel.
As soon as I inflated my sleeping pad and started to configure how this attached to that, those lackluster feelings started to glow a bit. Once I got it all hooked up and wiggled my way in — I got it.
With the straps loose, it’s more bed than a sleeping bag. There’s wiggle room to vent without unzipping. The footbox keeps your feet enclosed the same way a sleeping bag does, with the ability to easily slip a foot out and toss a leg into the cool air.
Cinching the straps tight makes everything sealed up and cozy. The neck seal build stops unwanted drafts to your chest and core while not feeling claustrophobic.
I spent a 45-degree night in it and was absolutely comfortable. It had all the ability of my light-season bag without that extra, unnecessary weight.
I also spent a 65-degree night in it, and that was the game changer for me. The ability to use it loosely and have the draftiness I wanted when I got too hot without having to unzip, meant a more quality night’s sleep. I didn’t have to reconfigure to find that perfect temp.
- It packs small and light.
- It allows you to customize your sleeping environment between warm and cool.
- It’s comfortable.
- A sleeping pad is required.
- If you don’t have a high-quality sleeping pad, you may not enjoy sleeping directly on it.
- It’s a bit pricey.
Not necessarily a con, but it’s worth noting: there are some ultralight sleeping bags in the same temperature class that are lighter than this quilt. If you’re counting ounces, it’s an important thing to know.
Testing tip: I found that using a thin sleeping bag liner over my pad made the whole situation more comfortable. I also learned that they make sleeping pad sheets, which would be an easy lightweight upgrade to make to this system.
Is the Stone Glacier Chilkoot Quilt Worth It?
Is it a necessary item that everyone needs? Probably not. At $425, it’s quite the investment for a quilt that you really can’t use all year. For a slight increase in price, you can get one of the Chilkoot sleeping bags from Stone Glacier and use it year-round.
Is it a valuable addition for someone who backpack hunts in variable early-to-mid season conditions? Absolutely.
As someone who hunts a lot, this will find its place at eye-level, front and center on my gear shelf. I can see this being an asset during early-season archery hunting when the sun can be brutal, but there’s still the threat of a chill in the early morning hours.
I also see it receiving use in wall tent deer camp, when the stove makes the tent either too hot or too cold. And I’ll use it in the back of my truck for late-season fishing.
One bonus surprise was it reminded me how much I loved hammock camping. I cannot wait to get this into my old hammock for ultra-lightweight trips in deep.
It may not be a necessity, but it is something I’m stoked to have in my gear pile.