0

Your Cart is Empty

March 17, 2020 10 min read

By Kris Diers (Female Kris.  As in Kristen.)

Alright, Ladies.  Let’s address the age-old question of how to choose a temperature rating on your next quilt-style sleeping bag  so you can keep cozy in the great outdoors.  Because, even if you are the type of gal who loves a challenge, nobody loves a suffer-fest, and everyone loves a restful night’s sleep.

When considering a new piece of outdoor gear, we all rely heavily on reviews written by folks who have personally used that gear.  Doesn’t it seem like the majority of those reviews are written by men? Since we’ve all been told that women sleep colder than men, we’re not sure if we’ll have the same experience as those male reviewers.

Grace Shattuck and her sister-in-law Monica with a Sawatch and a Flex 22

Katie Gerber on the Oregon Desert Trail (Flex 15)

Sara Dhooma taking in the Antarctic views with her Sawatch

Franzi Wernsing climbing out of her Flex 15

To save you from hunting down individual female feedback all over the internet, we’ve gathered data from some long time female Katabatic sleepers so you can see how women feel about our temperature ratings. The hope is that you’ll be able to use these ladies’ experiences to help you determine which Katabatic quilt-style sleeping bag will serve YOU best.  Some are ultralighters, some are more traditional.  Some sleep warmer.  Some sleep colder.  The bottom line is that we are all different.  As you look through the list below, keep in mind that ground insulation and head insulation can make a big difference in your warmth, and these ladies use a variety of different options.

 

Name Naomi Hudetz Katie Gerber Sara Dhooma Grace Shattuck Liz Thomas Franzi Wernsing
Instagram / Facebook profile @naomihudetz /
Naomi Hudetz
@katiegerber /
Katie Gerber
@scifi_sara /
youtube.com/saradhooma
@mrsgraceshattuck> @lizthomashiking @talesontyres /
Tales on Tyres
Approximate number of nights spent outside per year 75 60 275 200 ~75, averaged out; includes some longer thrus. 250 (if sleeping in the van counts as outside too? 350)
Compared to other women, do you feel you are a warm, cold or typical sleeper? Warm Typical or slightly on the colder side, especially when thru-hiking because I’m often (unintentionally) dehydrated or have salt on my skin which doesn’t allow me to thermo-regulate as well. Typical Typical Typical Warm
Compared to many men, do you feel you are a warm, cold or typical sleeper? Cold Cold Cold Cold (especially hands and feet) Cold Typical
My sleeping pad REI Flash Insulated Air Sleeping Pad Thermarest Neoair Xlite, short Thermarest Neoair UberLite Short Thermorest Xtherm Neoair Xlite. For summer or very fast and light: Gossamer Gear Nitelite Torso Pad Exped SynCellMat 5M
Its R-value 3.7 3.2 2.3 5.7 3.2 2.9
Supplemental clothing beyond thin base layer Montbell UL down jacket, Patagonia Capilene lightweight bottoms I usually start in base layers plus my down jacket and have found myself removing my jacket in the night when sleeping in the Sawatch 15. Usually only base layers, will add a puffy jacket and thick, warm socks if necessary If the temperature is about 40 degrees or above, I normally just wear my base layers. If it’s any colder, I wear my synthetic Patagonia micro puff jacket with hood, and my MontBell down booties in addition to my base layers. Usually just the baselayer, but sometimes a windshirt and/or puffy Merino Base Layer if cold, otherwise just underwear and thin shirt.
Hat or hood? Katabatic Windom Hood fleece hat on most nights Fleece hat Usually fleece cap. Will add my micro puff jacket’s hood if the cap isn’t enough. Fleece hat or sometimes a synthetic puffy balaklava Merino Wool hat
My Katabatic Gear quilt Palisade Sawatch Sawatch Sawatch Palisade Flex 15 + 2 oz. overfill
Katabatic’s temperature rating (°F) 30° 15° 15° 15° 30° ~ 10°
With my usual set up (see above), I stay comfortable down to approximately this temperature (°F) Low 20’s I believe the coldest night we had on the ODT was in the low 20s and I had no trouble staying comfortable in my quilt that night in my base layers. In similar temperatures, in previous quilts with similar ratings, I would’ve been cold. Mid 20’s Near 0° Low 20’s I stay comfortable to -10C (14°F), that means really comfortable without any additional fuss. I used the Flex to -17C (1.4°F) and that’s when my feet started to get a bit cold at night and I wrapped them in my down jacket for additional warmth. I would also wear my synthetic jacket in this kind of temperatures for some extra comfort.
Tips, Comments, Additional Considerations When it is really cold, managing drafts is key with a quilt. Katabatic’s strap system is ingenious and what makes a quilt possible for me. Watch the video for the strap system, learn how to use it, and practice before you go. Also, the R-value of your sleeping pad is critical. Don’t skimp on it if you sleep cold. I have used my Palisade all the way down to 12° F. I wore every piece of clothing I had, including wind shirt and rain gear. I was only slightly uncomfortable. I used the Sawatch each night on the ODT and I was impressed by not only the warmth, but by the comfortable feel of the fabric, the loft, and the fit of the bag. As a side sleeper, I appreciated that this bag had plenty of room for me to move around without creating big drafts. As a female with hips, I also appreciated that there was enough space that the down didn’t compress at my hips, causing a cool spot there (like I’ve experienced in other bags). I also found that the cord attachment system really helped keep in the warmth on particularly chilly nights. When it is cold, limit the time sitting still outside at camp. Get underneath your quilt immediately to avoid becoming chilled after hiking. Read, listen to music, or chat with friends through the tent walls. You’ll have a more comfortable night if you fall asleep while feeling toasty warm. I normally have really cold feet at night and that affects the quality of my sleep—I’ve discovered that wearing down booties in addition to my quilt keeps me very warm and comfortable! I often pair my quilt with a bivy. This prevents against splash and moisture from condensation or accidentally rubbing against the side of a shelter, but also adds a bit of warmth. It also adds some flexibility and versatility to my system for the warmer nights, too (sleep on top of my quilt but in my bivy). On my late season thru-hike of the Great Divide Trail in the Canadian Rockies, temps were in “perfect hypothermia conditions” so wet and in the 30s-40s every day for pretty much the entire thru-hike. My Palisade quilt was my place of solace and happiness after a long day in the cold. When I get cold at night, I wake up and toss and turn and look at my watch and pray for the sun to finally come up. I didn’t do that once on that trip, even as freakin’ cold as it was! If the night is cold, eat something before you go to bed, that gives your body fuel to stay warm. It’s like throwing another log into the fire 🙂
Name Naomi Hudetz
Instagram / Facebook profile @naomihudetz /
Naomi Hudetz
Approximate number of nights spent outside per year 75
Compared to other women, do you feel you are a warm, cold or typical sleeper? Warm
Compared to many men, do you feel you are a warm, cold or typical sleeper? Cold
My sleeping pad REI Flash Insulated Air Sleeping Pad
Its R-value 3.7
Supplemental clothing beyond thin base layer Montbell UL down jacket, Patagonia Capilene lightweight bottoms
Hat or hood? Katabatic Windom Hood
My Katabatic Gear quilt Palisade
Katabatic’s temperature rating (°F) 30°
With my usual set up (see above), I stay comfortable down to approximately this temperature (°F) Low 20’s
Tips, Comments, Additional Considerations When it is really cold, managing drafts is key with a quilt. Katabatic’s strap system is ingenious and what makes a quilt possible for me. Watch the video for the strap system, learn how to use it, and practice before you go. Also, the R-value of your sleeping pad is critical. Don’t skimp on it if you sleep cold. I have used my Palisade all the way down to 12° F. I wore every piece of clothing I had, including wind shirt and rain gear. I was only slightly uncomfortable.

Name Katie Gerber
Instagram / Facebook profile @katiegerber /
Katie Gerber
Approximate number of nights spent outside per year 60
Compared to other women, do you feel you are a warm, cold or typical sleeper? Typical or slightly on the colder side, especially when thru-hiking because I’m often (unintentionally) dehydrated or have salt on my skin which doesn’t allow me to thermo-regulate as well.
Compared to many men, do you feel you are a warm, cold or typical sleeper? Cold
My sleeping pad Thermarest Neoair Xlite, short
Its R-value 3.2
Supplemental clothing beyond thin base layer I usually start in base layers plus my down jacket and have found myself removing my jacket in the night when sleeping in the Sawatch 15.
Hat or hood? fleece hat on most nights
My Katabatic Gear quilt Sawatch
Katabatic’s temperature rating (°F) 15°
With my usual set up (see above), I stay comfortable down to approximately this temperature (°F) I believe the coldest night we had on the ODT was in the low 20s and I had no trouble staying comfortable in my quilt that night in my base layers. In similar temperatures, in previous quilts with similar ratings, I would’ve been cold.
Tips, Comments, Additional Considerations I used the Sawatch each night on the ODT and I was impressed by not only the warmth, but by the comfortable feel of the fabric, the loft, and the fit of the bag. As a side sleeper, I appreciated that this bag had plenty of room for me to move around without creating big drafts. As a female with hips, I also appreciated that there was enough space that the down didn’t compress at my hips, causing a cool spot there (like I’ve experienced in other bags). I also found that the cord attachment system really helped keep in the warmth on particularly chilly nights.

Name Sara Dhooma
Instagram / Facebook profile @scifi_sara /
youtube.com/saradhooma
Approximate number of nights spent outside per year 275
Compared to other women, do you feel you are a warm, cold or typical sleeper? Typical
Compared to many men, do you feel you are a warm, cold or typical sleeper? Cold
My sleeping pad Thermarest Neoair UberLite Short
Its R-value 2.3
Supplemental clothing beyond thin base layer Usually only base layers, will add a puffy jacket and thick, warm socks if necessary
Hat or hood? Fleece hat
My Katabatic Gear quilt Sawatch
Katabatic’s temperature rating (°F) 15°
With my usual set up (see above), I stay comfortable down to approximately this temperature (°F) Mid 20’s
Tips, Comments, Additional Considerations When it is cold, limit the time sitting still outside at camp. Get underneath your quilt immediately to avoid becoming chilled after hiking. Read, listen to music, or chat with friends through the tent walls. You’ll have a more comfortable night if you fall asleep while feeling toasty warm.
Name Grace Shattuck
Instagram / Facebook profile @mrsgraceshattuck
Approximate number of nights spent outside per year 200
Compared to other women, do you feel you are a warm, cold or typical sleeper? Typical
Compared to many men, do you feel you are a warm, cold or typical sleeper? Cold (especially hands and feet)
My sleeping pad Thermorest Xtherm
Its R-value 5.7
Supplemental clothing beyond thin base layer If the temperature is about 40 degrees or above, I normally just wear my base layers. If it’s any colder, I wear my synthetic Patagonia micro puff jacket with hood, and my MontBell down booties in addition to my base layers.
Hat or hood? Usually fleece cap. Will add my micro puff jacket’s hood if the cap isn’t enough.
My Katabatic Gear quilt Sawatch
Katabatic’s temperature rating (°F) 15°
With my usual set up (see above), I stay comfortable down to approximately this temperature (°F) Near 0°
Tips, Comments, Additional Considerations I normally have really cold feet at night and that affects the quality of my sleep—I’ve discovered that wearing down booties in addition to my quilt keeps me very warm and comfortable!
Name Liz Thomas
Instagram / Facebook profile @lizthomashiking
Approximate number of nights spent outside per year ~75, averaged out; includes some longer thrus.
Compared to other women, do you feel you are a warm, cold or typical sleeper? Typical
Compared to many men, do you feel you are a warm, cold or typical sleeper? Cold
My sleeping pad Neoair Xlite. For summer or very fast and light: Gossamer Gear Nitelite Torso Pad
Its R-value 3.2
Supplemental clothing beyond thin base layer Usually just the baselayer, but sometimes a windshirt and/or puffy
Hat or hood? Fleece hat or sometimes a synthetic puffy balaklava
My Katabatic Gear quilt Palisade
Katabatic’s temperature rating (°F) 30°
With my usual set up (see above), I stay comfortable down to approximately this temperature (°F) Low 20’s
Tips, Comments, Additional Considerations I often pair my quilt with a bivy. This prevents against splash and moisture from condensation or accidentally rubbing against the side of a shelter, but also adds a bit of warmth. It also adds some flexibility and versatility to my system for the warmer nights, too (sleep on top of my quilt but in my bivy). On my late season thru-hike of the Great Divide Trail in the Canadian Rockies, temps were in “perfect hypothermia conditions” so wet and in the 30s-40s every day for pretty much the entire thru-hike. My Palisade quilt was my place of solace and happiness after a long day in the cold. When I get cold at night, I wake up and toss and turn and look at my watch and pray for the sun to finally come up. I didn’t do that once on that trip, even as freakin’ cold as it was!
Name Franzi Wernsing
Instagram / Facebook profile @talesontyres /
Tales on Tyres
Approximate number of nights spent outside per year 250 (if sleeping in the van counts as outside too? 350)
Compared to other women, do you feel you are a warm, cold or typical sleeper? Warm
Compared to many men, do you feel you are a warm, cold or typical sleeper? Typical
My sleeping pad Exped SynCellMat 5M
Its R-value 2.9
Supplemental clothing beyond thin base layer Merino Base Layer if cold, otherwise just underwear and thin shirt.
Hat or hood? Merino Wool hat
My Katabatic Gear quilt Flex 15 + 2 oz. overfill
Katabatic’s temperature rating (°F) ~ 10°
With my usual set up (see above), I stay comfortable down to approximately this temperature (°F) I stay comfortable to -10C (14°F), that means really comfortable without any additional fuss. I used the Flex to -17C (1.4°F) and that’s when my feet started to get a bit cold at night and I wrapped them in my down jacket for additional warmth. I would also wear my synthetic jacket in this kind of temperatures for some extra comfort.
Tips, Comments, Additional Considerations If the night is cold, eat something before you go to bed, that gives your body fuel to stay warm. It’s like throwing another log into the fire 🙂