‘D’ baffled quilts

 

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Right so, these have turned into something of a signature piece of mine after first playing with the design a couple of years ago and I thought I’d better explain myself a little.

First of all they don’t actually have baffles at all but rather a pseudo baffle created on the inside of the quilt by an excess of fabric there, they are actually sewn through in design. Regular sewn through baffles are really just a summer quilt or winter toppers  (going over a thicker main bag or quilt) affair and can’t be used in anything below about 10C. So while sewn through’s are limited is some ways they are very handy in others, primarily, toughness: the weakest link in a sleeping bag or quilts durability are the baffles that are mostly some form of mesh but sometimes fabric similar to the bag itself. As the baffles are sewn close to their cut edges this can create weaknesses in already lightweight materials and possibly failure. Once a baffle does go it pretty much goosed and good only for the bin.

 

So I thought up away of removing the baffles and the weakness of construction: the D baffle quilt. Having come from a largely bushcraft orientated background I like to see equipment that can be relied upon and even though I’m now very much into the ultralight backpacking side of hiking I still very much value the ‘built to last’ ethics of bushcraft. In doing so I came up with a tougher quilt that actually handles other issues that I didn’t intend to tackle: speedier drying, quicker and cheaper construction, a single continuous ‘baffle’ like a karo step quilt where more down can be added or removed as need through a single hole (I make some with zipper ports for this) and baffles can be fixed if they do break (using a machine or by hand)

So having made a fair few of these ‘D’ baffle quilts I’ve gotten fantastic feed back as there’s virtually no weight increase over traditional baffles and has allowed people to relax and worry less about breaking their essential backcountry kit. All seams are sewn through at least 3 layers of fabric which greatly improves the strength of stitching in lightweight materials as a sandwich of layers will spread loading. The beginning of each baffle is stepped back away from the ends on the quilts to make one continuous baffle to allow easy addition of extra down and acts as an extra thick end baffle to help reduce drafts, much like a draft excluder.

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top: cross section of’D’ baffles free to loft allowing faster dying times when hanging out to dry in the morning. Lower cross section shows the ‘Ds’ compressed enough to create pseudo baffles and reduced heat loss in sewn through area

 

 

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Plan view of baffles linking continually. The down stays put once the footbox is cinched closed 

I hope this helps some of you understand my ‘D’ quilts a little better. They’re available in various sizes and thicknesses, colours, fabric options and down fill options (650, 700 and 860fp). They mostly come in square cut (ie a rectangle) but can be tapered towards the feet (darts are used as these are stronger as baffles are kept in line with the fabric) and I can also do a modular quilt that as a 3 season and a 2 season quilt KAM snapped together as a winter quilt, couples double quilt (guys usually using the 2 season side) or hoodless sleeping bag, creating a single down bag for all year use . You can also buy just the shell with either a zip port or a section of stitching removed to feed the down in yourself, perhaps from a sleeping bag with a ripped baffle ?

Scotty

PS if there is  enough interest I’m happy to write up or video a MYOG/DIY for anyone who is interested in making their own ‘D’ baffle quilt