Exped Hyperlite Sleeping System
A quilt with a built in down filled hood. A sleeping pad that attaches to the edges of a matching quilt. A quilt with no drafts. The Exped Hyperlite quilt and pad is a pretty cool (as in warm) combo.
Quilts have several advantages over sleepings bags, and several disadvantages. The advantages of a quilt are that:
- You can toss and turn side to side easier, with greater freedom of motion.
- 100% of the insulation is on the top side of the sleeper, so the quilt can be lighter and still be warm.
- Quilts have a foot box so your feet can be warm when its cold.
1. Turning side to side can result in drafts around the edges of the quilt. The sleeper can spend a lot of time tucking in the quilt to close off cold spots. Some quilts have straps which secure the sides together under the sleeper.
2. Most quilts don’t have a hood like a sleeping bag, so one needs a warm hat if it gets cold at night.
This sleeping system has three parts, an inflatable pad, a pad cover, and a quilt that attaches to the pad cover.
With this quilt there is a foot box and my feet never got cold at 20 degrees. I was wearing wool socks. One doesn’t have to secure all the toggles, and in warmer temperatures it makes sense to only secure them, from the foot box and work to the head, as the temperature gets colder. I feared that there would not be enough room in the quilt for side to side turning, because I can’t sleep on my back for long. I also feared that the built-in hood would feel confining, and would prevent me from hearing sounds outside the tent. I had the medium version, and I am 5'9", 180 lbs.
I knew it would be a cold night, but on this trip I decided to go all in and commit to the test of the sleeping system. I didn’t bring a spare quilt or blanket, but I did have a wool hat and a down coat, which I would normally have. I wore long underwear top and bottom. The fit was too snug for me to wear the down coat inside the quilt, but I could place it over the top. I got in the hot springs at 9 pm and it was wonderfully warm. I had to walk about .3 miles to our camp, so my feet were cold by the time I went to bed. I started off leaving the top two levels of toggles unattached, but soon I was cold enough to secure all the toggles. This had to be done with a flashlight.
To my surprise I could turn side to side, but I had to be awake and think about the turn. It worked out OK, but it was quite snug. My arms were largely locked down, so it was a project to find my pillow (an inflatable) and get it under my head if it escaped. A mesh pocket to secure the pillow would be nice. After a few hours of dozing, I woke up to my whole body shivering like crazy. At that point I put my down coat over the quilt, and I put my head in the built-in hood. To my surprise it did not seem confining, and I could hear sounds outside the tent, in case Bigfoot or a bear (or more likely a mouse) came around. I gradually got warm enough to stop shivering and get some sleep.
Other surprises: when I got in the quilt the center line of the tent roof was directly above me. As the night progressed, I noticed that the pad and quilt did not move at all over time. In the morning I was in the same spot in the tent, which was unusual.
With all the toggles secured, the freedom to stick feet and legs outside the quilt was not possible. But it was worth the tradeoff to not have any drafts. There is a draft tube around the edge of the quilt, which was pretty effective. The toggles around the perimeter of the quilt were totally successful at stopping drafts of cold air around butt, back and legs. The only draft I felt was on the back of the neck when I was laying on one side. I tried to put my down coat over that spot and was not successful all the time. I blocked the draft well enough that I got some good sleep in the cold air. Sleeping bags can also have drafts, because when you bring your knees up, the down over your butt is compressed, and you get a cold butt.
In the morning there was frost all over everything, like my shoes and gloves. I didn’t want to get out of the quilt but I finally did. To get out was a chore, because you have to squirm out like a worm, or release some toggles, or a combination of both. I put on my frosted shoes, pants and gloves, put on my down coat and hat, and ran in place FOR HALF AN HOUR just to get warm enough to start a stove and get some coffee! Dang it was cold.
Exped Hyperlite inflatable pad: 13.8 oz
Pad cover 3.7 oz
Pad air filler (which is optional to use) 1.9 oz
Exped Hyperlite quilt 1 lb 4.5 oz
This falls into the ultralight category, and seems like a great quilt option.