Home / Quilt Reviews / REI Magma Trail Quilt 30 Review

REI Magma Trail Quilt 30 Review

REI Magma Trail Quilt 30 Review

REI Magma Trail Quilt 30

Weight
Insulation Value
Shell and Liner
Pad Attachment System
Quality Construction
Availability

Ultralight Backpacking Quilt

The REI Magma Trail Quilt 30 is a fully featured ultralight backpacking quilt that is compatible for ground or hammock use. Weighing 19 oz, it's insulated with water-resistant 850 fill power good down and has an easy to use sleeping pad attachment system.

Shop Now

The REI Magma Trail Quilt 30 is a lightweight alternative to a mummy sleeping bag, weighing just 19 oz. It’s insulated with 850 fill power goose down and rated for temperatures down to 30 degrees. The Magma Trail Quilt 30 saves weight because it doesn’t have a hood, a zipper, or a back like a sleeping bag, chopping 10 or more ounces of weight compared to a similarly rated sleeping bag.

Specs at a Glance

  • Temperature Rating 30F / -1C
  • Weight: 19 oz
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Insulation: 850 fill power grey goose down
  • Water Resistant Down: Yes
  • Insulation weight: 10.5 oz
  • Baffle construction: Sewn-thru
  • Sizes: Regular (Short and Long, also available)
  • Fits up to: 72″
  • Shoulder / Hip/ Footbox Girth:  56″ / 52″ / 44″
  • Stuffed volume: 3L
  • Exterior shell: 15d Pertex Quantum
  • Lining: 15d ripstop nylon

Besides reduced weight, many people find sleeping under a quilt to be more comfortable than a sleeping bag, because its less confining and more easily vented. It’s easier to sleep on your side because you’re not constrained by a mummy hood and you can pull a quilt back like blanket if you’re too hot at night. You can also get in and out on the right or left sides, since the quilt doesn’t have a zipper.

The REI Magma Trail Quilt 30 does not have a back
The REI Magma Trail Quilt 30 does not have a back

The REI Magma Trail Quilt 30 isn’t fully enclosed in back, but hugs the sides of your sleeping bag to prevent drafts from blowing up under the sides and chilling you. It’s held in place by a pair of sleeping pad cords that attach to the quilt’s sides with plastic dowels that slip through loops sewn in the quilt. It takes a little practice getting used to these cords (called a pad attachment system), getting into the quilt  or detaching one side so you can get in and out at night.

There are three positions on the quilt where you can attach the sleeping pad cords: the two shown above and or at the top of the quilt, just below the collar. The collar closes with a snap in back. This pulls the sides of the quilt together, so you don’t need a cord there. But it’s something you may want to experiment with. Quilts do require practice and some adjustment to get used to, unlike sleeping bags which are pretty idiot-proof. Do yourself a favor and take the REI Magma Trail 30 Quilt on a shakedown test trip close to home before you bet the farm on it.

Closeup of plastic dowels that connect quilt to pad attachment system
Closeup of plastic dowels that connect quilt to pad attachment system

In warm weather, you can often just drape the quilt over your pad like a blanket and ignore the pad attachment system. But when it gets cooler, you’ll want the quilt’s sides locked in place over the sides of your sleeping pad. I find this is easier to do with a reasonably thick inflatable sleeping pad like a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir but quilts are compatible with self-inflating and foam sleeping pads as well, provided they have solid backs for insulation.

The Magma Trail 30 has a trapezoidal footbox like most sleeping bags to keep your feet warm. It’s not vented at the end with a drawstring, but fully enclosed. It can be used in two ways: you can slide your sleeping pad into the foot box if you have enough room under it for your feet to fit, or you can put your feet in the footbox and lay them on top of the quilt. If you do the latter, the weight of your legs will keep the top sides of the footbox flush with your sleeping pad so drafts can’t sneak in. Whichever way you choose is a matter of personal preference. I normally keep mine on top, for what it’s worth.

The REI Magma Trail 30 Quilt has a closed trapezoidal footbox
The REI Magma Trail 30 Quilt has a closed trapezoidal footbox

While can buy a quilt with a vented footbox that closes with a drawstring, it’s a nice-to-have in warm weather but not a necessity. It’s just as easy to kick your feet out the sides if you’re too warm. Using a quilt is similar to sleeping under a blanket or a duvet in this respect.

The REI Magma Trail Quilt 30 has a draft collar
The REI Magma Trail Quilt 30 has a draft collar

The REI Magma Trail Quilt has a feature called a draft collar, which I consider far more important on a quilt than a vented foot box. This is a down filled collar that wraps around your neck, insulating the blood flow there, and blocking any heat from escaping out the top. It’s the puffy orange tube, wrapped around my neck above. The collar is tightened using a drawstring at the top of your chest, which makes it very easy to adjust while you’re in/under the quilt.

While the Magma Trail 30 is lighter weight than a comparable sleeping bag, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Sleeping with a backpacking quilt is less fool-proof than using a sleeping because you’re not fully enclosed by draft-proof fabric. The quilt’s 30 degree temperature rating requires that you use a warm sleeping pad (an R-value of 4 or more is recommended), you wear long underwear, socks. and a fleece hat or down hood (See backpacking quilt temperature ratings). I’ve slept with the Magma Trail 30 Quilt down to 25 degrees this way and believe its temperature rating is conservatively rated by REI.

REI Magma Trail Quilt 30 Review logo

Sizing

The REI Magma Trail Quilt 30 is available in three lengths that fit people up to 66″ (short),  regular (72″), or long (78″) in height. When sizing the quilt, it’s best to pick the length that corresponds best to your height, sizing up if you fall in between two sizes. Don’t try to size down to save gear weight.

The Magma Trail Quilt is generously sized with shoulder / hip / footbox dimensions of 56″ / 52″ / 44″. The 56″ shoulder girth will fit most adults with a regular sized torso or those packing a few extra pounds. The footbox is sized for large feet up to about size 13-14, although how much room you experience will depend on whether you insert your sleeping pad into the footbox or on top of it instead. The footbox is also large enough to work with both 25″ and 20″ wide sleeping pads.

Comparable Backpacking Quilts

Make / ModelWeightDraft CollarFootbox VentPrice
REI Magma Trail Quilt 3019 ozY-$299
Therm-a-Rest Vesper 3215 ozY-$330
Therm-a-Rest Vesper 2019 ozY-$380
MassDrop UL Quilt 2022.1 oz-Y$219
Katabatic Gear Palisade 3018.2 ozY-$350
Enlightened Equipment Enigma 3017.9 oz--$290
Nunatak Arc UL 3019.3 ozY-$375
Zpacks Solo Quilt19.5 oz--$359

Recommendation

The REI Magma Trail Quilt 30 is a quality backpacking quilt insulated with 850 fill power water-resistant goose down, a silky liner fabric and a Pertex Quantum exterior shell. It has an easy to use pad attachment system if you’re sleeping on the ground, which can also be easily removed if you want to use it as a hammock top quilt. I think the Magma Trail Quilt 30 is a great value and it’s nice to see REI getting behind quilts to educate the market and provide more options for their members.

Of course, the nice thing about buying a quilt from REI is that you can try it and return it if you decide that a quilt is not for you. If that’s the case, I’d encourage you to consider a quilt-style sleeping bag instead. These are hoodless sleeping bags with a full length zipper that provide the same venting and the weight savings of a quilt, but provide the draft protection of a regular sleeping bag. They’re quite comparable in weight to backpacking quilts, but easier to use. (See Quilt-Style Sleeping Bags: Pros and Cons for more information.)

Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support SectionHiker's unsponsored gear reviews, articles, and hiking guides.

Disclosure: The author purchased this product with his own funds.

Most Popular Searches

  • rei duvet
  • rei magma quilt
  • REI quilt

18 comments

  1. Nice review, thanks as always for your work.

  2. Is this their first quilt? It looks like they did a nice job with it, but more expensive than I would have expected. That could be mostly chalked up to using 850 over 800. I figured it would be cheaper for this temp rating, you can get a customized EE quilt at this price.

    • But you can’t demo an EE quilt in a brick and mortar store. This quilt will be a good product to assess if quilts can go prime time beyond the enthusiast market.

      • I agree it is good to see REI — America’s biggest outdoor gear retailer — keep up with lightweight trends with respect to camping and hiking. I have been worried that REI has been too busy making money from the mainstream shopping mall set by selling things like yoga clothes and prestigious name brand fleeces which never get used in the mountains. If these quilts sell well, REI will make more and overstock will go on sale and “cottage” manufacturers will also bring down their prices. I just ordered trekking poles yesterday from REI at 60% off.

      • There’s also the 20% discount to factor in and the fact that you get 10% in rewards on REI purchases. It adds up, let me tell you!

    • I get that

  3. Not at all clear to me what you mean by a 20% discount when purchasing the Magma Trail Quilt. Nevertheless, the review was very informative. I’m seriously considering giving a quilt a try on my next backpacking trip. Thanks.

    • REI gives their members a 20% off discount coupon to spend several times per year. It costs $20 to become a member (a one-time fee) and you also get 10% back on the purchase price when you buy something from them. That 20% off discount is a great way to save major bucks.

  4. Nice review as allways,

    Some of us are allergic to down. Do you ever evaluate synthetic quilts.

  5. Nice review. Thanks. Keep in mind, however, that members don’t get 10% back on discounted purchases, so you can’t stack the 20% coupon with member dividend to get an effective 28% off. It’s one or the other.

  6. It seems pretty exciting to see a quilt offering that ticks so many boxes while still keeping the weight down to be competitive with the UL cottage vendors. Since these quilts will be mass produced, I am somewhat surprised and disappointed that the price tag is so high–but with REI’s warranty and the option to guy in and actually try something out immediately instead of buying sight unseen and then waiting for 2+ months. Everything has its trade-offs I suppose. Plus, that neck baffle is an especially welcome touch.

    P.S. You noted it has a sewn through construction while most of those aforementioned vendors seem to use baffle boxes with internal mesh tubes to avoid cold spots at the seams. Did you notice any cold spots along the seams in your testing?

  7. Baffles are not sewn threw.

Leave a Reply

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

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive our weekly newsletter. No spam. Just honest gear reviews and backpacking articles. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!