Warbonnet Diamondback Quilt Review

Warbonnet Diamondback Quilt Review

The Warbonnet Diamondback Quilt (stock model, sewn footbox, 0 degree model) is a very lofty quilt for use either in hammocks or on the ground. It has a 15D shell and liner, comes in a number of sizes, and several color configurations. With 19.36 oz of 850-fill down inside, it should be good for winter use or three-season use for cold sleepers. Personally, I have found it to be quite warm in temperatures ranging from 34 degrees F to 12 degrees F. The quilt’s pad attachment system left me wanting but is somewhat forgivable due to its excellent side-elastic system. It costs $375, which is significantly less than some comparable premium quilts.

Specs at a Glance

  • Product: Warbonnet Diamondback 0 Quilt
  • Temperature Rating: 0 degrees, F.
  • Insulation: 19.36 oz (g) of fill power goose down
  • Fabrics: 15d Shell, 15d liner
  • Weight: 29.26oz (g) claimed; 30.4oz (g) measured
  • Dimensions: 73” length, 55” shoulder girth, 43” footbox
  • Differential Cut: No
  • Footbox: Closed, box-baffle.
  • Attachment: Side elastics and Removable pad attachment straps
  • Extras: stuff sack, mesh storage bag, two sleeping pad attachment straps
  • For complete specs visit the Warbonnet website

Quilt Shell and Liner Fabrics

The Warbonnet Stock Diamondback Quilt is offered with a 15d nylon shell and liner and seven different color configuration options. Check out their website to see the color options. In my opinion, 15d is the sweet spot for both shell and liner fabrics. 10d seems a bit fragile and 20d seems overkill for the most part. 15d fabrics strike that perfect balance between light weight and longevity. Additionally, some 10d liners I’ve tried have been a bit clammy. 20d taffeta always feels amazing, but the 15d liner used by Warbonnet feels just as nice as anything else I’ve tried. The fabrics they’ve chosen for this quilt are perfect.

The Diamondback is stuffed with over 19oz of 850-fill down.
The Diamondback is stuffed with over 19 oz of 850-fill down.

Down Insulation

The Warbonnet Stock Diamondback comes stuffed with 19.36 oz of 850-fill goose down. This is enough down to qualify this quilt as winter-worthy.

Sizing and Dimensions

The Warbonnet Stock Diamondback Quilt comes in nine size options: short, regular, and long lengths, and 50, 55, and 60” widths. All of these have a 43” circumference footbox. I have been using the regular length, 55” width quilt and it fits my 5’ 11”, 160lb frame nearly perfectly.

I must say I’m confused by footbox measurements; they seem to be fairly inconsistent between manufacturers. For example, the 40” footbox in my Nunatak Arc UL 20 feels larger than this supposedly 43” footbox in the Diamondback. The Diamondback actually feels closer to the size of the footbox in my Western Mountaineering Versalite which is supposed to be 39”. In any case, my feet are about size 10 and this footbox seems like the right size.

The diamond shaped baffles in the middle of the quilt are designed to keep the down from shifting
The diamond-shaped baffles in the middle of the quilt are designed to keep the down from shifting

Quilt Construction

Some of this sizing confusion could be due to this quilt not having a differential cut. What does this mean? This means that the pattern they use to cut the shell is identical to the pattern they use to cut the liner. When bags and quilts have a differential cut, the liner is smaller than the shell. This allows the down to loft fully and prevents knees and elbows from pushing through the liner to the shell and compressing the down. Differential cut quilts are more time-consuming to make and thus they are usually more expensive than non-differential cut quilts. I will refrain from saying one is better than the other; it’s really dependent a hiker’s need and preferences.

For example, the Diamondback 0 is only $375 whereas comparable quilts with a differential cut like the Katabatic Gear Grenadier 5 costs $545 and the Nunatak Arc UL 10 costs ~$495. These more expensive quilts will retain full loft when knees, hips, and elbows press into the liner, but they’re more expensive. I think a lot of people can get away with using non-differential cut quilts by being mindful not to compress the down during the night. If you know you need a differential cut and the extra $100-$150 it adds to a bag, then the Diamondback may not be for you. But if you want to save that money, be mindful of how you sleep, and find other ways to boost warmth if need be, then this quilt should be considered.

The neck opening has a secure snap, an effective baffle, and easy-to-use cordlocks for adjusting the diameter of the opening
The neck opening has a secure snap, an effective baffle, and easy-to-use cordlocks for adjusting the diameter of the opening

Draft Collar and Closure

The Warbonnet Stock Diamondback comes stock with a draft collar. It is essentially a tube of down sewn to the head opening and can be either tucked inside or pulled outside of the quilt and around one’s face. I have found it to seal out drafts most effectively when tucked inside the quilt even though that’s not how it’s advertised to be used according the photo on their website.

The draft collar on the Diamondback is pretty large compared to some others I’ve used and I highly approve of this. Simply put, the large size allows it to work really well. The neck opening closes with a small but secure snap. No complaints here. It’s easy to use and doesn’t pop open when tossing and turning in the middle of the night. The neck opening can be cinched using a cordlock on either side of the snap. It works just fine and its placement underneath your head means the cord won’t be dangling in your face. This is a nice feature, but I find it a little challenging to access in the middle of the night. I think the ideal placement for the neck opening cordlock would be on the side of the opening so that it’s not dangling in your face and you can easily adjust it while laying on your side.

The Diamondback's side elastics are a feature I think every quilt should have.
The Diamondback’s side elastics are a feature I think every quilt should have.

Sleeping Pad Attachment System and Side Elastics

The Warbonnet Stock Diamondback utilizes a side elastic system similar to UGQ’s Dynamic Tension Control System and the ETC (edge tension control) found on Nunatak quilts. Shockcord runs through a channel along the edge of the quilt. A cordlock at the top of the foobox allows the user to cinch the edges of the quilt under one’s body. I love this system and it partially negates the need for pad attachment straps. This is good because the straps that come with the Diamondback have left me wanting.

The Diamondback's pad attachment system
The Diamondback’s pad attachment system

The Diamondback’s pad attachment system consists of a 2mm cord, line tensioners, and a cordlock. Four grosgrain loops are sewn to the edges of the quilt to accommodate the line tensioners. The line tensioners themselves are actually great; they slide easily but hold well. Unfortunately, they don’t hold very securely in the grosgrain loops. When I was rolling around one 12-degree night in the Utah desert the tensioners kept popping out of the grosgrain loops. I was able to reconnect them without having to sit up, but I was pretty annoyed nonetheless. The simple clips used by Enlightened Equipment, Nunatak and several other companies work much better than this system. These clips are ubiquitous for a reason: they work.

The toggles don't hold securely inside the loops sewn to the edge of the quilt
The toggles don’t hold securely inside the loops sewn to the edge of the quilt

Additionally, the cordlocks used to hold the Diamondback’s straps to the pad do not hold. So, as the night wears on, the cord slips through the cordlocks and the straps become looser and looser, letting drafts in more easily. Like I said, the side elastic system cancels out this shortcoming to some degree, and in temperatures closer to freezing I have been happy to rely on it and ditch the straps altogether. That said, this pad attachment issue is something I don’t want to deal with if I’m actually going to take this quilt to its advertised temperature of zero degrees.

The cordlocks that hold the straps to the pad often slipped when I would toss and turn during the night
The cordlocks that hold the straps to the pad often slipped when I would toss and turn during the night

Temperature Rating

Zero degrees is an interesting temperature rating for a quilt. A lot of people start veering towards mummy bags at temperatures below about 15 degrees, myself included. I’ve been using a Western Mountaineering Versalite 10-degree mummy bag when I’m anticipating temperatures around 15 as I’ve been hesitant to risk the draft potential of quilts in the middle of winter. Although rated to 10 and not 0, the Versalite is actually a pretty good bag to compare to the Diamondback because it has about the same amount of down and weighs only about 4 oz more. I’ve taken the Versalite to 10 degrees very comfortably, so I was excited to see if the Diamondback could do the same.

On a Therm-A-Rest Neo Air All Season, wearing socks, baselayers, a fleece and a puffy jacket with a hood, I was able to take this quilt to about 12 degrees. I was sleeping out under the stars and it was an exceptionally dry night resulting in very little frost on the bag in the morning. I was warmest laying on my back because my body held down the gaps between the edge of the quilt and the pad. On my side, even when I managed to reconnect the straps, I was still feeling some drafts here and there.

The bottom line is that there is enough down in the quilt for it to potentially qualify as a 0-degree quilt, but the drafts resulting from the finicky pad attachment straps sort of nullify this rating.

Comparable Top Quilts

Make / ModelDown Fill PowerTemp Rating (F)Price
Enlightened Equipment Stock Revelation850`20$280
Enlightened Equipment Stock Enigma85020$290
Enlightened Equipment Stock Convert85020$350
Enlightened Equipment Stock Conundrum85020$325
UGQ Outdoor Fast Track Bandit800, 85020$280
Hammock Gear Economy Burrow80020$140
Zpacks Solo Quilt95020$313
Warbonnet Diamondback Stock Quilt85020$305

Recommendation

The Warbonnet Diamondback Quilt is a very warm, reasonably priced, very light winter quilt with a draft collar and effective side elastics. The construction and materials are top-notch. I slept in this quilt under the clear desert sky in temps around 12 degrees F and was warm enough, but I was annoyed by the attachment system popping open every time I rolled over. In warmer temps I have been happy to use the quilt without the straps. If it weren’t for the questionable pad-attachment system I would give this quilt a highly recommended rating. If they update this quilt in the future to have a wafer clip system used by UGQ or Enlightened Equipment, then I’d bump this rating up to highly recommended.

Disclosure: Warbonnet provided a quilt for this review.

About the author

Ben Kilbourne has been backpacking at least once a month every month for the last twelve years. His explorations have taken him all over the west, but especially the canyon country of the Colorado Plateau. The geography of the west has become familiar to him. He has developed a rudimentary understanding of its geology, and an awareness of the subtle changes in flora and fauna due to soil, elevation, aspect, and precipitation and how these elemental things interact with both ancient and modern humans. His experiences on the land, whether triumphant or thwarted by events either in or out of his control, have provided the foundation for the work he does. Find Ben’s paintings, songs, and essays here http://benkilbourne.com/.

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8 comments

  1. I’ve owned this quilt and, for ground sleeping, found it lacking. For reference, I’m 6’1″ and weigh 210lbs. First let’s discuss the cut. I ordered the 60″ width but this varied from 55″ at the collar to 60″ in the mid section, tapering down to the footbox. As a side sleeper, I found this cut to be problematic. Due to the narrow collar, almost every time I changed positions it caused a draft. Next up the footbox. I have size 12 feet and the footbox can only be described as tight. As a side sleeper this did not bother me but back sleepers will find their toes squeezed. Next up is the ground pad attachment system that can only be described as a joke. The loops sewn to the quilt are too long and don’t seal the quilt properly. This does not really matter, however, since the cord that goes around your pad constantly slips causing additional drafts resulting in a leaky mess. Really, compared to other quilts on the market WB is way behind. Finally, the side cord collar adjustments were difficult to adjust without undoing the collar and adjusting individually. You really have to do this a couple of times before you get the fit right. The good part is that you don’t have a cord hanging in your face, but I think the fiddle factor outweighs this benefit.

    Summing up, I was impressed with the build quality of this quilt and think it would be a fine choice if you’re a hammock camper. For sleeping on the ground, my recommendation would be to look elsewhere.

    • Size 12 feet…
      Did you buy a stock model or a custom?
      How long ago did you own/use your quilt?
      Did your quilt have the “dynamic tension control” to narrow the back opening?

      • I had a custom with the sewn footbox, no tension control. I owned the quilt for around six months but only used on two trips. It was apparent this was not the quilt for me so I sold and put the proceeds towards a Katabatic Flex.

  2. You can fix the issue with the pad attachment toggle slipping by pulling a loop of cord through the middle of the toggle, giving it a half-twist, and looping it over the outside (towards the pad) edge of the toggle. The toggle will then be unable to slip outwards.

    The top toggle in the top picture demonstrates what I mean:

    https://imgur.com/a/gGql7zo

    • Ben – I actually didn’t have a problem with the toggle line tensioner or whatever it is slipping. It actually held quite well. For me, it just wouldn’t stay inside the loops sewn to the pad. Popped out pretty easily.

  3. Do the diamond baffles in the middle actually stop the down from shifting ?

    • I found that this worked really well. It takes a bit of doing but you can position the down where you want it and it stays put.

  4. Is the price right on that Hammock Gear Economy Burrow?

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