Quilt / Field Test / Sea to Summit Ember II / $379

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Quilt / Field Test / Sea to Summit Ember II / $379

Postby Auswalker » Mon 06 Jun, 2016 9:56 pm

This is a review of my own Ember II.

Quilts offer great versatility and you need to understand the various alternative configurations in order to make the best use of them. I have found that in temperatures approaching the Comfort Limit, some extra measures have to be taken to ensure a warm sleep. This also applies to some light weight sleeping bags. The Ember II is, I believe, the first quilt offered by an Australian associated company. At a total weight of 560 grams with a fill weight of 359 grams, it is very light and compact. The 15D nylon she'll and inner lining are more than adequate and feel very soft. The provided Ultra-Sil compression sack weighs an additional 60 grams. Also provided is a high quality storage sack which can be reduced in size if needed with the aid of a zipper.

The stitching is very good and the baffled construction works well. Sizes available are Regular (210 cm x 130 cm x 85 cm) and Large (233 cm x 160 cm x 100 cm). Some of the length is used to wrap the foot end under the sleeping mat. The quilt's ample width allows the side edges to wrap under the sleeping pad so that with appropriate adjustment of the straps, there should be no drafts.

I strap my quilt to a Sea to Summit Comfort Lite Insulated sleeping pad with an R Value of 4.2.

The attachment image.jpeg is no longer available
The attachment image.jpeg is no longer available

As with all quilts, especially when used in cold conditions, it is assumed that you have a good appropriately shaped sleeping pad with a warm R Value, you wear thermal underwear, you wear warm socks and you wear a warm beanie.

It is important that the down is appropriately distributed in the shell to avoid cold spots. The 750+ loft Ultra Dry 90/10 Premium Duck Down can easily be moved with your hand or by shaking. My first four nights in the Ember II were in the Victorian High Country during May. Overnight temperatures ranged between 3 and 5 degrees C. This is approaching the listed Comfort Temperature of the quilt (-4 to +2 degrees C). I am a cold sleeper, but by taking the above precautions and wearing a warm jacket or placing it over my shoulders and chest, I was comfortably warm. A subsequent trip was to Sealers Cove at Wilsons Promontory where we had an overnight temperature of 11 degrees C. The quilt kept me very warm. I also use a Sea to Summit Thermolite Reactor Plus liner.

Some websites advertise the Ember II as a 4 season quilt, but others (with whom I agree) describe it as 3 season.

There some different configurations in which the Ember II can be used. For example:
1. like a blanket in warm conditions,
2. With the quilt secured to your sleeping pad with the four straps. Be careful not to over tighten the straps, as this will restrict movement and compress the down, reducing insulation and warmth,
3. With the bottom one or two straps removed and the foot fastened with the press-studs. The top one or two straps are then used to secure the quilt to the pad.
4. With the top of the quilt rolled down for extra warmth around the shoulders. This assumes that your quilt is long enough.

1. Very light and compact.
2. Versatile.
3. Allows room to turn over or to sleep on your side.
4. I have experienced no drafts.

A cinch-clip and draw cord at the top will further enhance warmth on cold nights.

I am a cold sleeper, but by adapting the quilt and my clothing to the conditions, I can use it comfortably in temperatures down to about 5 degrees C. I purchased the Ember II because I am no longer young and need to reduce the weight I carry. The quilt will be my first choice on most hikes.
The Ember II strapped to a Sea to Summit Comfort Lite Insulated sleeping pad.
image.jpeg (74.49 KiB) Viewed 10347 times
The quilt inverted, showing the bottom press-stud fastened and the remainder of the straps used to secure the quilt to the pad.
image.jpeg (86.42 KiB) Viewed 10347 times
Showing the top of the quilt rolled down, providing extra warmth around the shoulders.
image.jpeg (76.49 KiB) Viewed 10347 times
Nothofagus cunninghamii
Nothofagus cunninghamii
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Re: Quilt / Field Test / Sea to Summit Ember II / $379

Postby Lones » Sun 18 Jun, 2017 11:51 am

Just came across this review - I've just purchased the same pad, and the Ember III - will be using it in a Freycinet for a couple of nights in two weeks time, can't wait to see how it all goes... will post a review after the trip!
Nothofagus gunnii
Nothofagus gunnii
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