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Turning a sleeping bag into a quilt. Possible? Anyone tried?

Yngla

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances sept (2018)
I got the idea from a Facebook forum to modify my sleeping bag. I am 165cm tall (or short, depending on whom you ask) and my sleeping bag measures a whopping 235cm(!)
My idea is to cut off the superfluous part in the bottom of the sac and to add a drawstring making it possible to use both as a sleeping bag and as a quilt.
Has anyone tried this adaptation? Any ideas or recommendations?
 
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Carmen Yates

New Member
Past OR future Camino
The Francis Way - April/May 2018
I got the idea from a Facebook forum to modify my sleeping bag. I am 165cm tall (or short, depending on whom you ask) and my sleeping bag measures a whopping 235cm(!)
My idea is to cut off the superfluous part in the bottom of the sac and to add a drawstring making it possible to use both as a sleeping bag and as a quilt.
Has anyone tried this adaptation? Any ideas or recommendations?
Hi Ungla,
When walking the Camino (depending on the time of year), you need the lightest, most condensable sleeping bag as every ounce matters. I took a silk rectangle the length of my body (incredibly warm)and the sleeping bag whichwas only 500 grams. This sleeping bag unzipped to be a quilt as well as many Albergue and hostels provide a blanket.
Hope this helps
Cheers Carmen
Buen Camino
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I got the idea from a Facebook forum to modify my sleeping bag. I am 165cm tall (or short, depending on whom you ask) and my sleeping bag measures a whopping 235cm(!)
My idea is to cut off the superfluous part in the bottom of the sac and to add a drawstring making it possible to use both as a sleeping bag and as a quilt.
Has anyone tried this adaptation? Any ideas or recommendations?

When you talk about modifying, are you speaking of removing both the underside of the bag which gets compressed when you lay on it, as well as removing some of the length? Doing both will work fine, and is the idea behind backpacking quilts, of which I am a fan. You not only significantly reduce the weight of the bag because the stuff that is useless is removed, but it reduces the volume of the bag so that the quilt will pack down to a much smaller size.

If your bag is down, the trick is how to keep the down contained in the bag. In my mind, since most down bags have baffles, either internal or sewn through externally, then cutting the bag down next to an existing seam would do the trick. Or, if no seams are present, then sew you own seam next to the place in which you will make your cuts.
 

Yngla

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances sept (2018)
When you talk about modifying, are you speaking of removing both the underside of the bag which gets compressed when you lay on it, as well as removing some of the length? Doing both will work fine, and is the idea behind backpacking quilts, of which I am a fan. You not only significantly reduce the weight of the bag because the stuff that is useless is removed, but it reduces the volume of the bag so that the quilt will pack down to a much smaller size.

I guess I will have to explore the world of the backpacking quilts... I can totally see how getting rid of some of the underside of the bag will reduce both weight and bulk, but how does it work to sleep in a backpacking quilt? Is it just like a very narrow quilt? My original plan was to create something like the Sea to summit quilt but your idea might be even better!
 
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Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
There is a possibility that your bag will be too warm for the Camino even after modifications. You may do well selling the bag to a taller person and using the money to get a quilt with the right amount of loft.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I guess I will have to explore the world of the backpacking quilts... I can totally see how getting rid of some of the underside of the bag will reduce both weight and bulk, but how does it work to sleep in a backpacking quilt? Is it just like a very narrow quilt? My original plan was to create something like the Sea to summit quilt but your idea might be even better!

Below is a video that will help explain things. If the width of the quilt is sufficient, velcro can be applied to draw the opposing edges of the quilt's length together to make it into a sleeping bag if need be. Me, I just tuck the edges underneath as needed, and lay it out as a quilt if I ge to warm.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I don't know where you live, but Costco has very lightweight down quilts. Less than a pound. At this time of year, in the US, they are only available online in a two pack for $40.
 

Penbaysail

Member
Past OR future Camino
2017
A single $20 Costco quilt makes a nice top quilt with a bit of sewing & seam ripping. Look for online videos that explain the process clearly. Not sure that I’d bring one along (I relied on blankets), but the Costco quilt would be about your lightest option.

I took an old sleeping bag and made the modifications that you’re contemplating, and it was a tedious job. The resulting quilt was bulky, and I wouldn’t do it again. The Costco quilts, by contrast, are fun to do, and I’ve made them for a few friends.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
It seems that you are basically trying to shorten a sleeping bag and be able to open it fully, to lie flat. I have a few questions... Is the bag down or synthetic? Does the zipper currently go all the way around, i.e. down one side and across the bottom? If not, how far does it go? Is the zipper plastic or metal?
 
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Yngla

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances sept (2018)
It seems that you are basically trying to shorten a sleeping bag and be able to open it fully, to lie flat. I have a few questions... Is the bag down or synthetic? Does the zipper currently go all the way around, i.e. down one side and across the bottom? If not, how far does it go? Is the zipper plastic or metal?
Exactly! Plastic zipper, synthetic bag. Like this: 0EC0E673-A6DE-4692-8491-E941A34F2FA3.jpeg
 

Yngla

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances sept (2018)
A single $20 Costco quilt makes a nice top quilt with a bit of sewing & seam ripping. Look for online videos that explain the process clearly. Not sure that I’d bring one along (I relied on blankets), but the Costco quilt would be about your lightest option.

I took an old sleeping bag and made the modifications that you’re contemplating, and it was a tedious job. The resulting quilt was bulky, and I wouldn’t do it again. The Costco quilts, by contrast, are fun to do, and I’ve made them for a few friends.
I will check up this as well. Costco is unfortunately not an option in Sweden, but I might find something similar.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
I personally prefer to have the zipper go around on the bottom. But it looks like you don't have a long enough zipper to wrap around the bottom.

If you cut off all the excess length at the top, including cutting the zipper which you would need to fasten well at the cut ends, you would not have the opening at the bottom.

So, I think your solution would work. But you might use snaps at the bottom, or even ties. That might be easier than a drawstring.

It would not be difficult, but only you know if it is worth the effort, to save maybe 10-15% of the weight and get a bag that opens.
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I cut the hood and the zipper off of my down sleeping bag and now it is a wonderful down quilt with a foot box. I suggest you leave the foot box in the sleeping bag as it is very convenient and warm
 

Yngla

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances sept (2018)
I did it! As usual did not take a before picture, but started with generic cocoon style sleeping bag.
Used my trusted serger and serged off hood and bottom. The bag is still long enough to tuck under feet in case of cold night and I think I will keep it like that.
The possibility of turning it into a backpacker quilt is still there.
Saved 170 grams and got a more versatile bag! Thank you all for input! 7EA56DB3-A16C-4653-BAAF-70607EBF4D20.jpeg 32D44D39-94DA-4DEF-8F90-593E300AA51C.jpeg
 
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I tho
I got the idea from a Facebook forum to modify my sleeping bag. I am 165cm tall (or short, depending on whom you ask) and my sleeping bag measures a whopping 235cm(!)
My idea is to cut off the superfluous part in the bottom of the sac and to add a drawstring making it possible to use both as a sleeping bag and as a quilt.
Has anyone tried this adaptation? Any ideas or recommendations?

I too thought to shorten my sleeping bag especially the pillow/head section but was talked out of it. Cutting the bottom makes more sense gven it’s a mummy shape and I feel restricted in it. Thanks!
 
Last edited:

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
I got the idea from a Facebook forum to modify my sleeping bag. I am 165cm tall (or short, depending on whom you ask) and my sleeping bag measures a whopping 235cm(!)
My idea is to cut off the superfluous part in the bottom of the sac and to add a drawstring making it possible to use both as a sleeping bag and as a quilt.
Has anyone tried this adaptation? Any ideas or recommendations?
Thought my collection of sleeping bags is extensive, I have one that I use for short camping outings and as a qult pon my bed at home during the Winter. It just makes sense to find as many uses for things as possible. Hmmm, sounds familiar from somewhere.
 

susanawee

susanawee
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
I removed the zip from mine, cut off the hood part and made the whole thing into a very lightweight quilt.....worked very well indeed amd, the bonus was, it was so much lighter without the h eavy and bulky zips.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2021
Past OR future Camino
2016
I like packing quilts though they can be expensive. I have a full zip mummy bag that I use as a quilt. Completely unzipped ( I like a foot box) I use a Therma Rest Neo-lite pad which reflects the body heat back to the bag which I lay across me. with a 40 degree bag and wearing a under-layer I have slept in 25 degree temperatures while back packing. I used the pad on some of the colder albergues in the winter of 16.
 

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