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Hyperlite Mountain Gear 20 Degree Quilt Review

Hyperlite Mountain Gear 20-Degree Quilt Review

The Hyperlite Mountain Gear 20-Degree Quilt is an easy-to-use ultralight backpacking quilt insulated with premium DWR-treated 1000 fill-power grey goose down. It’s a basic quilt with a closed-foot box, neck drawstring, 2 pad attachment straps, lightweight fabric, and baffled construction. It’s unique in that it uses 1000 fill power down, but is significantly more expensive than comparably specced 900 and 950 fill power quilts such as the Enlightened Equipment Enigma, the Hammock Gear Premium Burrow, and the Zpacks Solo Quilt.

RELATED: 10 Best Ultralight Backpacking Quilts

Specs at a Glance

  • Temperature Rating: 20F | -7C
  • Weight: 20.10 oz. | 570 g
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Shoulder Width: 58″
  • Length: 72″ (66″ and 80″, also available)
  • Footbox: Sewn
  • Zipper: No
  • Draft Collar: No
  • Pad Straps: 2
  • Colors: Silver w/ black liner
  • Down Fill Weight: 14 oz
  • Shell and liner: 7D Micro Ripstop Nylon

The Hyperlite Mountain Gear 20 Degree Quilt is a backpacking quilt that’s insulated with DWR-treated 1000 fill-power grey goose down. It’s made with a very lightweight and breathable 7D micro-nylon ripstop shell and interior liner that feels silky against the skin.

the 20-degree quilt has a sewn footbox
The 20-degree quilt has a sewn footbox

Down Insulation

Fill power measures the lofting power of goose down which is its ability to trap air. To measure fill power, one ounce of down is compressed in a small glass cylinder. When the weight is removed, the down’s ability to spring back can be measured.  Down with a higher fill power rating is more resilient to compression, lofts better, and can trap more air.

That said, 1000-fill power is the best fill power down money can buy. But how much better is it than 900 or 950 fill power down? The difference is pretty negligible in terms of warmth, compressibility, and weight at these fill powers, besides the obvious wow factor of having a 1000-fill power-down quilt. When shopping for quilts, we recommend weighing other performance factors such as features more since they’re likely to have a more serious impact on performance and comfort.

For example:

  • foot box – sewn or drawstring
  • draft collar
  • differential cut
  • side elastics (also called dynamic tension control)
  • box baffling vs sewn through
  • pad attachment system – ease of use, reliability
  • width – regular or wide
  • overstuff (good for humid climates)
  • fabric weight
  • fabric colors
The 20-degree quilt comes with two pad attachment straps.
The 20-degree quilt comes with two pad attachment straps.

Quilt Features

The 20-degree quilt has vertical baffles over the chest and horizontal ones over the footbox to keep the down where you want it. The footbox is sewn shut, which means you can’t vent it if you get too warm. People commonly get drawstring foot boxes at this temperature rating so they can use the same quilt in warmer weather or open it up like a blanket, but if you sleep cold a closed footbox is the way to go because it eliminates any chance of cold leakage.

You can slide the sides of the quilt closer to you so your body has to heat up less air.
You can slide the sides of the quilt closer to you so your body has to heat up less air.

The quilt comes bundled with two optional pad attachment straps that loop around your sleeping pad (inflatable pads work best with quilts). The sides of the quilt attach to the top of the pad attachment straps to keep the quilt on top of you at night. You can also slide the sides of the quilt closer along the pad attachment straps so they lie closer to your body: this helps reduce the amount of dead air under the quilt that you have to heat up so you stay warmer.

The top of the quilt closes with a buckle which lay under your neck
The top of the quilt closes with a buckle that lies under your neck

The neck of the 20-degree quilt has a small low profile buckle that snaps closed behind your neck and a drawstring at the neckline above your chest so you can cinch it tight and prevent heat from escaping. I usually just slide in and out of the quilt from the top rather than releasing any of the pad attachment straps lower down.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear 20 Degree Quilt

Warmth
Weight
Comfort
Features
Versatility

Premium Three-Season Backpacking Quilt

The Hyperlite Mountain Gear 20-degree quilt is an ultralight backpacking quilt that is insulated with DWR-treated 1000-fill power goose down. It has a solid but basic feature set making it ideal for first-time quilt buyers who want to switch from a sleeping bag to a quilt because it is lower weight, easier to pack, or more comfortable for side sleepers.

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The quilt does not have a draft collar or the option to add one which is a highly desirable feature at this temperature rating. A draft collar eliminates any gaps between your neck and upper chest and the top of a quilt, much like a scarf at the top of a winter coat. The assumption is that you’ll wear a warm puffy when using the 20-degree quilt in cooler weather to compensate for the lack of a draft collar, as it will fill in any gaps around the neckline.

The quilt has a simple drawstring at the neck to close off the top of the quilt
The quilt has a simple drawstring at the neck to close off the top of the quilt

The 20-degree quilt is available in one color: silver with a black liner. Both are made with a very lightweight 7d micro-nylon ripstop which is comfortable against the skin but is very easy to tear if it comes into contact with a zipper. You’ll want to pack this quilt in a stuff sack like the side release stuff sack it comes with and not one of Hyperlite’s packing pods, which do have zippers.

Recommendation

The Hyperlite Mountain Gear 20-degree quilt is an ultralight backpacking quilt that is insulated with DWR-treated 1000-fill power RDS-certified grey goose down. It’s designed for 3 season backpacking with a solid but basic feature set making it ideal for first-time quilt buyers who want to switch from a sleeping bag to a quilt because it is lower weight, easier to pack, or more comfortable for side sleepers. Make no mistake, this is a premium quilt that will keep you cozy, warm, and comfortable but it lacks some of the features and options that other quilt makers, who specialize in making backpacking quilts offer. Those features offer more flexibility across a wider temperature range, more sizing options, and more color choices.

While the 1000 fill power DWR-treated down that the 20-degree quilt is insulated with is nothing to sneeze at, it’s really not significantly better than the high-end 900 or 950 fill power down used by other backpacking quilt manufacturers. When shopping for a backpacking quilt, we recommend carefully considering the features that are most important to you as these will most likely have a more significant impact on performance and ease of use.

Disclosure: Hyperlite Mountain Gear donated a quilt for this review.

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15 comments

  1. Nice balanced review. I like how you focus on what it has and what feature it’s missing .

  2. Nice review! I’m in the market for a new pillow, who makes the pillow in the pictures?

  3. What minimum r-value would you recommend to obtain the 20-degree performance of this quilt?

  4. I recently bought this quilt and found it a significant step up in quality from my EE Revelation. I think it’s important to note that this quilt has the equivalent of a wide cut when comparing it to EE or other manufacturers and the down and the silky soft 7D fabric are significantly more comfortable than other nylons I’ve used including EE. The pad straps and neck straps are also noticeably higher quality.

    • I’m glad you like it. The width is actually about half way in between EE’s regular and wide widths and EE also offers a 7D fabric – just to clarify. Functionally, its more equivalent to the EE Enigma with its closed footbox than the Revelation with its ventable footbox and optional draft collar.

      • Also, it is the exact same width as my regular/wide EE revelation (58″ shoulder width). So it is indeed the same as a wide from EE. It also has the same size footbox (42″).

  5. Yeah it feels nicer than the EE 7D which I have. That’s interesting it’s functionally a semi-wide. It feels super wide compared to my regular wide EE, maybe it’s the cut. Thought it was worth pointing out. I got a deal on this quilt based on being a conservation professional. I wasn’t expecting anything special. But the quality difference really jumped out at me on a recent extended river trip in Montana. Just my 2¢ for those considering this vs other popular models. Materials, fill, straps and cinching ability were very nice.

  6. Shouldn’t a “review” include a discussion of the performance of the quilt vs. other similar quilts. It will keep you warm is not very detailed. Maybe a discussion of the cut of the quilt (i.e,, whether it is roomy for its claimed width)?

    • The quilts he’s listed are so low tech that would be of little value to be honest . They’ll all keep you warm at 20 degrees. More importantly, he’s dehyped this quilt which is as basic as they come except for it’s fill power . I thought this review was great. Told me exactly how this quilt works and it’s features, while pointing out everything it doesn’t have. If you want a backpacking quilt, buy one from a company where it’s their specialty, not fromHMG.

  7. Looking for bag for hunting thanks for the great review.

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