Have you ever been boiled alive in a sleeping bag that’s too heat? Have you ever ever been woken by a pesky draft when your slender quilt lifted an edge? Katabatic Gear’s versatile Flex collection of ultralight quilts makes an attempt to repair each these points with the power to open up or lock all the way down to deal with no matter situations you run throughout. Throw in hydrophobic ExpeDRY down, and you might be prepared for absolutely anything.

Over the previous 4 years, I’ve used Katabatic’s Alsek, the 22°F possibility from their Elite collection of quilts which all have a closed footbox. It has served me nicely, and I’ve loved discovering the extra options of the Flex collection.

Katabatic Gear Flex 22 At-a-Look

MSRP: $360-$465
Weight: 21-28 ounces (dimension and fill dependent)
Weight, my quilt: 25.2 ounces
Sizing: three lengths equivalent to consumer peak — 5’6″, 6′, and 6’6”. Common and Vast-width choices in all three lengths.
Measurement, my quilt: 6’6″ common width
Temp Ranking: 22°F consolation (additionally out there in 15, 30, and 40-degree variations)
Fill Kind: 900FP goose down, ExpeDRY handled (untreated 900FP goose down and 850FP ExpeDRY duck down additionally out there)
Packed Quantity: ~8L with included stuff sack
Materials: Pertex Quantum Eco (.85 oz/yd2) exterior, Pertex Taffeta (1.0 oz/yd2) inside

Supposed Use

With the flexibleness of the pad attachments and opening footbox system, this quilt might be comfy in a variety of temperatures. The decrease consolation restrict of the Flex 22 is 22°F when it’s clipped and closed up. I’ve additionally slept positive in temps as much as 60°F. Whereas the hydrophobic down and DWR helps with humid and moist situations, aquablazers and severe paddlers might need to give extra thought to artificial sleep programs.

READ NEXT — The Final Information to Backpacking Sleeping Baggage and Quilts

Circumstance of Evaluate

This quilt dropped onto my stoop within the midst of an intense coaching month for Skurka’s Wind River Excessive Route (WRHR). It noticed many miles and nights throughout Colorado’s Entrance and Elk ranges for fast weekend hits, culminating in an 8-day trek in Wyoming the place situations put this bag to the check. I rounded out the season with a fast 50-mile loop on the Colorado Path round Silverton.

Katabatic Gear Flex 22 Options

All of the attachment {hardware}: twine, twine lock (left), main attachment level (the ‘bread tab’), and the secondary attachment level (the ‘mitten hook’). Subsequent to the bread tab, the black grosgrain ribbon is for a distinct kind of strap designed for padless use.


Katabatic’s signature pad attachment system

That is typically thought to be the very best pad system of any UL quilt producer. Katabatic offers two 2mm cords to wrap round your pad of alternative and mates them with 4 clip-in factors (two every on the shoulder and hips) to maintain drafts out. The first twine clips (‘bread tab’) have two slots of various diameters that present completely different endurance. Use the bigger by itself for a bit mobility, or use the smaller gap with the extra secondary quilt clips (‘mitten hook’) to actually preserve out drafts.

Differential Minimize

The surface cloth of the quilt is bigger than the within, which means that when it’s wrapped tight in opposition to your physique there may be nonetheless room for the baffles to remain lofted

Blanket and Foot Vent Modes

Whereas most quilts are fully zipperless to save lots of weight, it normally means an inoperable footbox that will get steamy when temps rise. The flex collection places a zipper all the best way down the footbox, paired with a drawstring and snap closure on the finish. It may be opened totally right into a rectangular-ish blanket, or simply opened on the backside for the damp-footed.

Inner Pocket

New to their Flex collection of quilts, an inside stash pocket is now included to maintain freeze-sensitive tools heat on frosty nights.

Temperature Management

Most thru-hikers are going to make use of their sleep system of alternative throughout a number of seasons, which means they must be comfy in a variety of situations. Quilt producers usually present a solution to connect your quilt to your sleeping pad, sealing out drafts and preserving you lined on chilly nights. When heat, you’ll be able to all the time forgo the attachments to get extra airflow. The Flex collection takes the vent management even additional, permitting you to utterly unzip the footbox, or open the drawstring on the finish to stay a foot out.

Katabatic makes use of horizontal baffles that help you (gently, and time consumingly) push fill in direction of the sting of the quilt to lower the quantity of insulation over your physique. I’ve solely exercised this feature as soon as, by chance, with my Alsek after washing all my down clothes in a machine. It’s a sluggish course of to regulate, however somebody with a 22°F quilt may respect it on a heat, humid evening on the East Coast.

General, I discover Katabatic’s temperature rankings correct, if not conservative. That mentioned, because it was summer time, I by no means fairly received this bag all the way down to 22°F even when tenting at 11-12,000ft on the WRHR. My previous expertise with their Alsek mannequin (additionally 22°F) leaves me to consider I can take down within the 20s comfortably. It helps that they overfill the footbox to stop chilly ft, a standard first zone of discomfort.

Down High quality

Katabatic sources their down from Allied Feather and Down, that are a part of the Bluesign and Accountable Down Commonplace applications. Allied Feather and Down even have a program to trace particular person numerous down utilizing Observe My Down, which means there may be nice transparency within the sourcing and environmental affect of your bag of feathers.

Ethics apart, the down used is tremendous excessive loft 900FP goose or 850FP duck. Selecting 900FP goose permits the identical loft with barely much less fill weight and subsequently a lighter total package deal. It additionally barely reduces the prospect of animal odor in comparison with duck, though I don’t assume this could be noticeable based mostly on previous duck down merchandise I’ve owned. Whereas 1000FP down does exist, I’ve by no means seen it in a sleeping bag. These items is just about the cream of the crop.

ExpeDRY Therapy

ExpeDRY is a chemical-free various to different hydrophobic down remedies, using gold particles to assist in moisture evaporation. Untreated down collapses closely when moist, decreasing loft and shedding its insulating properties. Whereas it’s not a full waterproof therapy, ExpeDRY will considerably mitigate the deleterious results of humidity and minimal water ingress previous the bag’s shell. For no weight penalty and solely $5 further versus untreated down, this can be a worthy improve.

Mix that with splash and dew-resistant DWR spray on the bag’s exterior Pertex Quantum shell, and you’ll survive fairly a little bit of unhealthy climate comfortably inside your quilt.

Condensation from touching the moist partitions of my tent after a stormy evening. Whereas this principally exhibits the effectiveness of the DWR-treated shell, the down was nonetheless at full loft

Hoodless / Draft Collar

Maintaining with the ‘reduce what isn’t wanted’ ethos of quilt design, Katabatic’s quilts are hoodless. Whereas this is usually a jarring transition for mummy bag customers, sleeping bag hoods are usually overly giant and inefficient. In addition they present extra insulation than wanted for the temp ranking of the bag. Most hikers will have already got a hooded layer or hat for nights when temps are borderline freezing. If you’re actually pushing temps, Katabatic sells separate down hoods, as do many different manufacturers.

Grosgrain Straps for Padless Use

If you’re a devoted hammock camper, occasional automobile camper, or sleeping on a hostel mattress, utilizing a quilt standalone could be troublesome. Katabatic consists of 2 grosgrain ‘ribbons’ to make utilizing it and not using a typical sleeping pad simpler.

Katabatic Flex 22 Professionals

Pocket Retains Filter Unfrozen

New to the Flex collection is an inside stash pocket to your freeze-sensitive gear. Having a number of nights slightly below freezing, I used to be completely happy to have a spot for my water filter in my quilt to guard the integrity of the filter factor. There wasn’t fairly sufficient room to comfortably retailer my cellphone in there on the similar time, sadly.

Blanket Mode for Nap Time

Whereas most individuals will unzip and unsnap the footbox for heat nights, I principally used it for noon naps and bedtimes that occurred earlier than sundown (It will get darkish at 10PM in the summertime, I can’t keep up that late!). This ‘blanket mode’ offers a pleasant, napping-on-the-couch-at-home really feel {that a} mummy bag doesn’t fairly match. Whereas this isn’t a 2 particular person quilt, I additionally deployed blanket mode on a couple of hotter nights to make canoodling with my associate a bit simpler.

Vent Mode Good for Drying Toes

After crossing a number of glaciers and snowfields, my ft have been well-pruned. I used to be completely happy to dry them out whereas staying comparatively heat within the quilt for an hour or two.

Along with blanket mode, the Flex collection has a gap on the ft that may be adjusted with a snap and a pull twine. This lets you preserve your legs wrapped up however your ft exterior. After a number of days of squishy late-season snow, paired with drippy glacier journey and vital stream crossings, my ft have been typically wrinkly and moist by bedtime. Having the ability to depart them exterior my bag within the night earlier than temps dropped was nice for drying them out with out soaking the feathers.

I used to be initially frightened in regards to the openable footbox being a supply of drafts even when shut. Nevertheless, with the positioning of the snap (which requires a half-fold to shut) paired with a drawcord, I by no means felt a chilly spot even on windy, chilly nights.

Katabatic Flex 22 Cons

Footbox Options Add Weight and Bulk

Whereas the flexibleness that the zipper, snap, and rope present is good in different situations, it’s simple they add weight. Eliminating the full-length zipper cuts a ton of weight. Nevertheless, reintroducing a shorter zipper on the footbox is a compromise. Between equally specified (6’6”, 900FP) Elite and Flex collection quilts from Katabatic, the additional options of the Flex add .9oz to the whole weight. Which may not appear to be a lot, however extra considerably, the Flex collection packs to a nominal 8L of area, whereas the Elite matches into 6.5L. That’s a big 23% distinction for somebody squeezing right into a 30L or 40L backpack.

Pad Straps are One other Night Chore

The attachment {hardware} is efficient, however annoying to do/undo every day in comparison with a sleeping bag. Proven right here is the ‘lock down’ mode with each clip-in factors used.

Whereas Katabatic’s pad attachment system is loads efficient, I do discover it annoying to arrange each evening. Whilst you may theoretically pack it together with your pad, I fear in regards to the abrasion from the plastic {hardware} damaging the delicate supplies frequent in UL tools. On lazy nights after I simply can’t be bothered to tinker with one other little factor, I’ve tried to go with out and have persistently regretted it. Individuals who go for a large mannequin can get away with it a bit extra as they’re extra draft-resistant.

Whereas this will likely appear to be an unlucky necessity, different manufacturers like Nunatak have circumvented it through the use of Edge Rigidity Management programs to maintain the again opening tight and fewer susceptible to air leakage.

Progress of a Liked Firm

There’s no query that Katabatic makes good quilts. A good friend who’s used various baggage in his 25,000 miles of mountain climbing as soon as described his Palisade as ‘the Ferrari of quilts.’ Sadly, to get baggage within the palms of everybody who desires one, they’ve needed to make some compromises.

Whereas all their gear was as soon as 100% made in Colorado, they’ve since moved a good portion of the labor (stitching the shells) abroad. High quality checks, filling with down, and remaining stitching continues to be executed in Colorado, nevertheless. Certified seamstresses are arduous to come back by within the US. Nevertheless, this alteration was actually a letdown to the ‘small, made within the USA’ followers nonetheless.

General Worth

I feel Katabatic makes a number of the greatest quilts in the marketplace. Their Flex collection is a superb possibility for these seeking to prolong a single quilt throughout a wide range of situations. The ExpeDRY therapy is a worthy improve to guard in opposition to the efficiency degradation of moist down.

At $440 (in my configuration), there are actually cheaper quilts round. Nevertheless, I fortunately paid full freight for my final Katabatic quilt and would accomplish that once more if I misplaced each of those. The considerate design and efficient pad system are price the additional price over a number of the cheaper opponents, for my part. Lastly, whereas the additional options of the Flex are useful, whether or not or not they’re price it for the .9 oz weight penalty over the Elite quilts will differ for every consumer.

Store the Katabatic Gear Flex 22

 Related Ultralight Quilts

Enlightened Tools Revelation 20°F
MSRP: $295-$525
Weight: 17-30 ounces

Nunatak Arc UL 20°F
MSRP: $445-$475
Weight: 19-28 ounces

Hammock Gear Econ Burrow
MSRP: $225-$290
Weight: 23-28 ounces

Katabatic Gear Alsek 22°F
MSRP: $360-$465
Weight: 21-27 ounces

Learn our overview of the Alsek right here.

READ NEXT — The Greatest Quilts for Via-Mountain climbing

Disclaimer: The Flex 22 was donated for the aim of overview



No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *