The Mid-Atlantic Mountain Works (MAMW) Marcy 20 is a 20 degree 850 fill power down top quilt with an innovative side cinching system that blocks side drafts without the awkward and easy-to-lose strap systems used by other quilt makers. Owned by Jared Bebee, MAMW makes a variety of quilts ranging from a 0-degree winter quilt up to a 50 degree summer quilt that can be used in tents or hammocks. All of their quilts are hand-made and customizable depending on your needs.
The Marcy 20 is filled with 850 fill power HyperDry Water Resistant Down and made with an ARGON 67 ripstop nylon shell, a highly breathable, ultralight, down proof fabric that has a silky feel to it and is ideal for making top quilts. MAMW also offers ARGON 90 if you want a bit more durability at the cost of a bit more weight.
The complete specs of the quilt I tested are shown below:
- ARGON 67 Forest Green Outer Shell
- ARGON 67 in Black Inner Shell
- 430 grams/~15 ounces of 850FP HyperDry Water Resistant Down
- 198cm/78in length
- 137cm/54in wide at head end
- Half Taper
- 112cm/44in wide at foot end
- Weight: 658 grams/23.2 oz
The Marcy 20 has a footbox that can be vented open with a drawstring so you can use it in warmer weather. The footbox is held closed with a 20 inch length of omni tape that provides a tight seal in colder weather that prevents warmth robbing drafts.
The footbox also comes with an attached “down plug” (so you can’t lose it), that fits into the hole at the end of the footbox to prevent any drafts from leaking in – a pretty unique feature – that rocks!
But what sets the Marcy 20 apart from other top quilts is the unique shock cord system that runs along the long sides of the quilt, starting at the footbox and running up a side channel to the top corner where it shares a toggle with the neck drawstring. When this side shock cord is tensioned it pulls the sides of the quilt in towards your sides, snug against your body and minimizing side drafts, especially when you lie on a sleeping pad.
For example, if you’re a side sleeper and you roll on your side under your quilt, the shock cord pulls the edges of quilt up around your sides to conform to your body shape and prevent any drafts from entering between the quilt and your sleeping pad. Jared has a good video of the side shock cord system in action (better than I can make) that I recommend you check out here.
As a side sleeper myself, I can verify that the side cinch works nicely in cold weather, especially when you’re on a sleeping pad in a tent. (It’s less necessary in a hammock when sleeping with a underquilt, which will insulate your sides.) I also like the fact that the cinch system is a permanent part of the quilt and not an easy-to-misplace adjunct strap, especially since I frequently switch between tent and hammock shelter systems.
If you can only afford one backpacking quilt, I’d recommend getting one rated for 20 degrees like the Mid Atlantic Mountain Works Marcy 20. Whether you sleep on the ground or in a hammock, a good rule of thumb is to get a quilt that’s rated for 10 degrees colder than the lowest temperature you can expect since quilt temperature ratings are not as standardized or uniform across quilt producers as sleeping bags. I’ve taken the Marcy down to 20 degrees myself and feel it could go lower, but your metabolism and mileage may vary.
Disclosure: Mid-Atlantic Mountain Works loaned Philip Werner a Marcy 20 quilt for this review, but he had to send it back. :-(