Thermarest Vesper 32 Degree Quilt
I got the chance to try out the Thermarest Vesper Quilt, which is rated to 32 degrees. The occasion was a 2018 trip on the John Muir Trail. We left from Cottonwood on August 20, and camped at typically 10,000’ or 11,000’, and we had frost most nights.
My hiking partner Gary Fujino also had a quilt, his by another manufacturer and rated at 10 degrees. Gary’s quilt had a good deal more loft than mine, but I was warm every night, and Gary was cold. Some other things in play include Gary’s tendency to sleep cold, which I question because I tend to sleep cold also. My quilt had very efficient draft tubes along the neck area and the edges of the quilt.
I’ve been in a 20 degree quilt when it was 32 F, and froze my butt off. Every night of our 25 day trip, I remarked to my partner “This quilt is wonderful!”
As with any quilt you have to use additional clothes when its really cold. You start with socks and long underwear, so your bare skin is not on the clammy sleeping pad. As the temp gets colder you add a wool or pile hat, next you put a puffy jacket on a cold spot, and lastly you put on every piece of clothing you have: pants, gloves, shirt, and puffy. We had a few nights that I knew would be very cold, and for which I put on everything. On many nights our damp socks would freeze, and frost would be on the ground and grass.
This quilt weighs 14 oz!!! It has a closed footbox, which I loved because you know that you just put your feet in there and they will be warm. My feet were always warm, and it got to around 25 many nights on the 25 day trip.
This quilt has two closure strings on the underside of the quilt. You could put these around a sleeping pad, but I used them to close up the cold air gap that happened when I rolled over. They worked great for that purpose. These strings are easily replaceable, unlike some other quilts.