Modification on the Quilt 350 straps

A little over a year ago I took the plunge and bought myself a quilt. A Cumulus Quilt 350. Cumulus is a Polish sleeping bag and quilt maker, that makes high quality gear at an affordable price. For a few extra euros you can get your quilt or sleeping bag with hydrophobic down.

I had a hard time deciding on whether to go with a quilt or with a sleeping bag. The main contender was the Cumulus Liteline 400, but eventually I went with the quilt instead and bought it last spring. I already had a Panyam 600 from Cumulus that I really liked.

I’ve really tried to like the quilt. I do like how easy you get in or out of it, by just pushing it down, since there’s no fabric under your back, and it is lighter than a sleeping bag. But I haven’t found a way to get the strap system on the Cumulus quilt to work good, without getting drafts.

I toss and turn a lot when I sleep. If I secure the quilt to the sleeping mat the way it’s intended, the quilt follows me when I turn,  which leaves me with the gap in the back when I sleep on my side. Every time I turn I have to readjust the quilt. This could also have to do with the quilt being quite narrow.

I’ve searched the web for solutions, and I know some people don’t use the straps at all. This is something I’ll try, if my modification doesn’t work as intended.

What I did was to untie the shock cord on the quilt, tie rings to the quilt in four places, put mitten hooks on the shock cord and separately strap the shock cord around the sleeping pad and secure the rings on the quilt to the shock cord with the mitten hooks. Kind of a DIY version of the Enlightened Equipment strap system.

I can move the mitten hooks closer to the center of the sleeping mat, or out to the sides, depending on how tightly I want the quilt to be.

I did these modifications last night, and haven’t tried it outside yet. If it doesn’t work I’ll try it without straps, and if I still keep getting cold drafts I’ll probably buy a Litelite 400 instead.

Seam sealing the backpack

I’ve had my Exped Lightning pack for over a year now, and I really like it. Lightweight, waterproof fabric, comfortable and able to handle somewhat heavy weights. My main concern with it though is that it isn’t seam sealed. Even though the fabric is waterproof water still gets in through the seams.

I sent an e-mail so Exped last spring, asking them if it was possible to seam seal the backpack. They responded and said that I could use seam grip to seal the seams.

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The backpack turned inside out, and put on the backrest of a child car seat

I turned the backpack inside out, and put seam grip on all the seams on the inside. It wasn’t a pretty job, but since it’s on the inside of the back I really don’t care. I hope I got enough seam grip on the seams to make sure no water comes through. I did do this process last summer, but that time I didn’t use enough seam grip, and water still came through.

I always use dry bags for my sleeping gear and for my spare clothes / extra layer. But I still want the backpack to be waterproof so I don’t have to deal with the added weight of getting water inside the backpack. With the seams sealed I think I’m starting to get close to having a perfect backpack.