Outdoor Activities
The Best Quilt for Overlanding Doesn’t Sacrifice Comfort for Performance
The Best Quilt for Overlanding Doesn’t Sacrifice Comfort for Performance
Jul 24, 2024 2:16 AM

  Most quilts designed for the outdoors are created to be used as either throw blankets, or seriously ultralight insulation for backpacking. The former prioritize low prices over performance, while the latter sacrifice versatility in order to save a few ounces. But the traditional sleeping bag also brings limitations, mostly to your ability to spread out, get comfortable, and share a sleeping space with a partner. Surely, there must be a better way. At least that was the thinking that led to the Aeronaut Hoverquilt.

  The brainchild of Laura and Brandon Davey, the $500 Hoverquilt sets out to be a no-compromises pursuit of comfort in those casual camping situations most of us probably seek out. Scaling a mountain in sub-zero temps? Give me a mummy bag. Spending a night on a beach in Mexico? I’d rather spread out, and sleep without a bunch of nylon and down between me and my wife.

  Brandon has been designing sleep systems for brands like Marmot, Nemo, Patagonia and more for 15 years. “My wife and I actually like to sleep together,” he tells Outside. “And fussing with zippers just isnt the best way to do it. After designing high end, highly technical sleeping bags, it was time to change things.”

  In creating the Hoverquilt, the Daveys have applied the materials and construction used to create the best sleeping bags to a 90-inch-long, 80-inch-wide quilt. The result is lightweight and compressible, but also entirely comfortable down to about 30 degrees, and remains just as useful hanging out around a campfire, or even at home, as it does while spooning inside a rooftop tent.

  The Hoverquilt is constructed using 750+ fill power, responsibly sourced goose down insulation housed inside a 20 denier ripstop nylon shell. Critically, it uses box baffle construction, versus the stitch-through arrangement you’ll find on cheaper lofted insulation camp throws. Where sewn-through construction creates cold spots in between pockets of warmth, box baffles allow high-end sleeping bags and the Hoverquilt to achieve a uniform level of insulation.

  “We maximize the efficiency of the down through careful three-dimensional box baffle locations to create the best warmth to weight ratio we can get,” Brandon explains. “This thing really is that warm in freezing temps.”

  With 21 ounces of that 750+ fill down inside, the Hoverquilt is constructed identically to how the Daveys would design a sleeping bag with a 15 degree comfort rating. Just with larger open spaces underneath the quilt, and the potential for more air ingress, it doesn’t sleep quite as warmly. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use one in sub-freezing temperatures.

  “Combine it with your 15 degree sleeping bag and youll extend your comfort down to just below zero,” Brandon says. He also claims the quality materials and construction should, “last decades,” just like a good sleeping bag.

  The Daveys originally designed the Hoverquilt to use with their kids and dogs inside their GoFastCampers rooftop tent. And I’ve been using mine inside my GFC camper for the last couple of years. I’m writing this at the tail end of two-week camping trip, through which my wife and I used nothing else but a couple of pillows inside that camper, while traveling to Todos Santos, Baja Sur from our other home in Bozeman, Montana. The weather on this trip has seen everything from intense atmospheric river storms and temperatures in the high 30s, to relaxed nights on beaches with temperatures in the 60s. And we’ve been comfortable in the Hoverquilt throughout. In fact, the only night we’ve been cold was inside a hotel in Loreto, which didn’t provide bedding beyond a simple top sheet. And I was able to fix that by going outside to my truck, and grabbing the Hoverquilt.

  Less serious, but more frequent use cases like these are exactly what the Daveys had in mind when they created this thing. In applying the kind of experienced insights and trained attention to detail they’re able to charge major brands big bucks for, they considered things often overlooked like the size of the included stuff sack. That’s big enough that shoving the quilt inside remains easy, and the end result stays soft and flexible. And that allows you to fit the packed quilt into all sorts of small awkward spaces, like under the seat of a truck, or into the hull of a kayak.

  “Were giving folks the freedom to sleep,” says Brandon. “Anywhere, and any way they want.”

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