|Rating:||8.2 / 10|
|Weight||1.7 / 2|
|Value for Money||1.6 / 2|
|Durability||1.6 / 2|
|Warmth||1.5 / 2|
|Versatility||1.8 / 2|
Sea to Summit makes a range of quilts to suit just about everyone’s needs and while quilts have a reasonable degree of market penetration with the USA, they are not so common in Australian hiking but are starting to make inroads. The best way to think of a dedicated camping quilt is as a hoodless sleeping bag with a section of the back removed; but why? With sleeping bags the bit you lie on is compressed and you aren’t actually getting much warmth out of that section.
A sleeping bag is part of a sleep system that relies on having the appropriate insulation (R-value) underneath your body to provide the warmth and usually that comes in the form of a sleeping pad or mat but quilts do away with the section underneath the hiker altogether along with the hood. You do need a sleeping mat of some type with a quilt and ideally one with a suitable R-value. Typically this means an inflatable/semi inflatable sleeping mat unless you are camping in very warm weather.
Many quilts including the Sea to Summit Ember EBI have as series of straps, clips or catches of some type that keep the quilt in the right position and minimise air movement across the body keep you warm. The big advantage here is that because the mat and the quilt are joined, you are less likely to roll off your mat if you turn over often during the night. The downside for foam mat users is that will need to upgrade to a new mat when using a quilt in cold weather which can raise your costs. Quilts are reasonably versatile – you can lay a quilt flat, cinch it up tight as you like when it’s cold or if you feel like it, you can join two Ember quilts together by means of press studs. If its really cold you will need to wear a beanie or buff of some type given the lack of a hood and the need to keep your head warm.
The Sea to Summit Ember EBI quilt is rated down to 4º Celcius for men and for females down to 10º Celcius. It can be used in the warmer months of the year which means that this quilt can best be considered a three season (Spring-Autumn) option. Alternatively you can always add this quilt as a layer to a lighter weight sleeping bag to achieve an extra level of warmth.
The insulation in the Ember EBI is 850+ Goose down which means that you get more bang for your buck with the warmth being provided in a more compact package and as such this quilt weighs only 420 grams. Having said that, the Sea to Summit Spark I sleeping bag has a comparable warmth, also has a hood and weighs in at 360 grams but isn’t as versatile as it can’t open up fully into a quilt option.
The shell of this quilt is a 10 Denier shell and 7 Denier lining fabric which is similar to the Ember II but and while these two quilts look the same the ember 1 is really a striped bag version not having any of the baffling to improve the warmth but that is to be expected given this quilt is really meant for warmer weather. The footbox also has a cinch cord to minimise airflow at the feet and holds onto the corners of the mat. This quilt comes in a regular and long size and even though I’m above the recommended height for the regular, I found the length to be quite a good. If I needed the additional warmth because it was cold I would be inclined to use an additional layer or a warmer quilt or sleeping bag.
One thing that does surprise me is that when this quilt is in its stuff sack it’s bigger than I would have expected and in fact when I compare it to my Sea to Summit Spark II Sleeping Bag which is a much warmer (and more expensive) alternative, this quit is much larger. Having said that when you compare the Ember EBII online price as a direct comparison to similar options, it is very compact.
Warmth wise I have used this quilt and sleeping bag down to 10° Celcius as both a hammock under quilt as well as a top quilt and found it did the job quite well although I wouldn’t want to use this quilt in cold weather as a stand alone layer. Price wise this quilt sits at AUD $499 RRP but is very often on sale and can be sourced at a much cheaper price if you look around.
Now, will I change over to a quilt or will I stay a sleeping bag user? If I was going to use just one item then a quilt would be a good option but given I already own a number of dedicated summer and winter sleeping bags, I’m unlikely to change anytime soon. I am starting to do more car camping as I travel further afield and I do own an older Sea to Summit quilt that has been a firm favourite. So for car camping, a quilt is a versatile option and if I was looking to replace it, the Ember 1 would be my choice either as a standalone layer or as a top up layer on colder nights.
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If you have used the Sea to Summit Ember EBI Sleeping Quilt Regular or if you have questions, we’d like to hear from you. Post your comment or questions below
AUD $499 RRP. Keep an eye out for the regular sales and you may get a great deal
Sea to Summit Ember 1 Quilt regular
Sea to Summit Ember 1 Quilt with the bottom wrapped around a sleeping mat
Sea to Summit Ember Quilt 1 straps around sleeping mat
Sea to Summit Ember EBI Sleeping Quilt Regular temperature ratings. This quilt is for warmer weather and will suit the ‘average female’ down to 10° Celcius and the ‘average male’ down to 4° Celcius
1 litre water bottle comparison with the quilt in its compression bag
Translucent inner shell
Translucent outer shell
Sea to Summit Ember EBI Sleeping Quilt in its storage bag
This review was done with product provided by Sea to Summit for testing