A versatile lightweight double quilt that can change opinions.

 By Ryan Hansen


When it comes to sleeping snugly, the debate of quilts vs sleeping bags is a divisive one. Most people seem to either despise sleeping bags and every feather of their existence, or they think they’re the; there don’t seem to be many people in the ‘meh’ camp. Admittedly, having exclusively owned sleeping bags, I haven’t felt strongly one way or the other; sleeping bags are just what I’ve always had. Until I got my hands—well, my feet and arms and everything else—under the new Sea to Summit Double Ember 1 quilt. Ooph, let me tell you, I no longer sit on the fence.
Where most couples have their own sleeping bags (or, for that matter, quilts), for the last three years or so—mainly in the interest of saving weight and space—my wife and I have been sharing a stock-standard down sleeping bag that we’ve unzipped and spread out like a doona. Besides, I’m a relatively warm sleeper, and we’ve used it predominantly for bushwalking in temperatures down to about -4°C. At these chillier temps, we’ve rugged up with the thermals and trackpants and down jackets we were carrying anyway. No biggie. Except for the occasions where someone (alright, it was I) would hog the bag and leave my wife more than a little frosty. Understandably, the pressure was on to try and find a decent two-person quilt that would not only keep us warm but would also prevent our marriage from coming to a cold and bitter end.
The thing is, compared to single-person bushwalking quilts, there aren’t that many affordable options for lightweight double quilts. Recently, though, Sea to Summit added the Double Ember 1 to their highly regarded Ember series of quilts. Although it’s designed for warmer weather (the estimated ‘Lowest Comfort Temperature’ rating is technically 10°C), we’ve regularly had it down to low single digits, and it’s been super toasty! We’ve found that using the adjustable four-strap system (which passes under your sleeping mats and pulls the quilt down at the sides, and also cleverly keeps your mats from separating), together with the drawcords at the shoulders and feet—enabling a foot box to be created—prevents heat from escaping. (Alternately, in warmer conditions, you can unclip some or all of the press studs to open out the quilt partially or fully, making it truly versatile.) The four-strap system also enables you to turn over without having to hold down the sides of the quilt or adjust it afterwards, improving comfort. And on the subject of warmth, while the sewn-through construction—which separates the down into small rectangular boxes—is designed to minimise weight and packed size (which, by the way, it achieves; it is remarkably compressible), in my opinion it also ensures consistent warmth, as the down can’t move freely and clump at one end of a baffle. To be honest, I’d comfortably use this quilt in the minuses and not be concerned about being cold.

But it’s not all about the warmth. The Double Ember 1 is, after all, designed as an ultralight quilt, and the 850 loft means that, for its warmth, its weight is minimal—our quilt weighs in at 650g. Despite being super light, it’s surprisingly spacious; even with the four-strap system in use, our movement hasn’t been restricted whatsoever. While the quilt is marketed as having a 90% down fill, the provided IDFL report indicates that our quilt actually comprises 97% Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified goose down. The Double Ember 1 quilt also features the PFC-free, Sea to Summit Ultra-Dry treatment, improving its water resistance. And, if you’re a Sea to Summit aficionado, the Quiltlock system makes it compatible with other S2S gear.

It’s light, compact, and deceptively warm when used cleverly. Two thumbs up from me.



Product Class:

Two-person ultralightweight down quilt