So, you want the lightest of the light but still need to stay warm in the backcountry? You may want to take a look at this Zpacks Solo quilt review. The Zpacks Solo Quilt is the lightest of the Zpacks sleeping bags offered, and for that matter, the lightest weight quilt I’ve found to date. These things flat out define the term “feather light.”
This 30 degree Solo Quilt comes in at just 14.1 oz. and compresses down so small it’s ridiculous. Pair this Solo Quilt with one of the Zpacks tents like the Zpacks Duplex (see our review of the Zpacks Duplex here) or the Zpacks Plexamid, and you could easily find yourself under 4lbs for your entire camp setup. I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty dang appealing to me!
Zpacks Solo Quilt Specs
Zpacks Solo Quilt Sizing
The Zpacks Solo Quilt comes is three different temperature ratings, a 10 Degree, 20 degree, and 30 degree. The Solo Quilt also comes in three different widths (slim, reg, and wide), along with three different lengths (short, reg, and long). I found the Solo Quilt to run on the wide side, as a regular size fits me more like a wide in other quilts I’ve tested. Most of the time I opt for a wide version with quilts, but that wasn’t the case with the Zpacks Solo Quilt. The reg width was perfect and gave me plenty of room to move freely.
Zpacks Solo Quilt Weight
You’d be hard pressed to find a lighter weight sleep system than the Zpacks quilt lineup. I haven’t been able to yet. You’d expect to give up a lot to get that crazy light weight, but that simply isn’t the case. We’ll talk more below about what you DO give up to achieve this weight, but the Zpacks Solo Quilt ranges from 12.6oz for their slim/short 30 degree quilt, up to 26.2oz for their 10 degree long/broad quilt. As you can see, even at 26oz, that’s an incredible weight savings that can keep your legs and back fresh in the backcountry.
Check out how each model from the 10 degree up to the 30 degree Zpacks quilt models are sized and how much each of the variations weigh here.
Zpacks solo Quilt Warmth
You’re probably expecting that here is where the Zpacks Solo Quilt will suffer given their ultralight weight, however in my testing, it didn’t give up much. While the Solo Quilt isn’t the warmest quilt I’ve tested, it does hold pretty true to its temperature rating. I found the 30 degree model that I tested kept me toasty warm down to the low 30s. Of course, as with any quilt, you’ll need to make sure you use a good, high r-value pad appropriate for the temps you will be in. It’s always a good idea to use a little higher r-value pad than you’d use with a sleeping bag when using a quilt.
Zpacks Solo Quilt Pad Attachment System
Here is one of the areas that the Zpacks Solo Quilt saved a little weight. While most quilts utilize a two or three strap system to attach your quilt to the pad, the Solo Quilt uses just one strap. Initially, I was concerned that this might lead to a more drafty night’s sleep, but I didn’t find the one strap setup to be a problem at all. I also found that I really liked the ease with which the strap attached to the pad.
Some quilt pad attachment systems use an elastic system which I’ve found can tend to flex too much and potentially cause drafts. This Zpacks Solo Quilt doesn’t use elastic, which allows you to cinch down the quilt where you want it on the pad, and it stays there.
Solo Quilt Drawstring
The draw cord used around the neck of the Solo Quilt is another area weight is saved. The draw cord is elastic and extremely thin. I was a little concerned that I’d break the drawstring when cinching it down around my neck, but so far so good, and I found the thin draw cord to be very comfortable. I couldn’t feel the cord around my neck like some others I’ve tried, but was able to seal out the drafts perfectly.
The top of the quilt is closed off with one clip to keep the quilt closed off at the neck. The built-in drawstring is then tightened down to seal off drafts. I did find that this was an area that took a little care to make sure drafts didn’t get through as the one clip tended to leave room just below it for drafts. I found that I did have to pay attention to this area of the quilt to make sure this didn’t occur.
I’m sure Zpacks could add a 2nd clip and/or a 2nd pad attachment point to solve this, but those things just add weight. Given that the purpose of this Solo Quilt is to be the lightest of the light and is a highly technical quilt, this is a sacrifice made to keep the weight down. Depending on your personal goal and preferences, this may or may not be a big deal. I got used to the system pretty quickly and love saving weight wherever I can, so it was a win for me.
Zpacks Solo Quilt Down / Material
The Zpacks Solo Quilt uses a super plush, responsibly sourced DownTech water resistant 950 fill goose down. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of trying out a 950 fill down sleeping bag or quilt, you know how awesome it is!
The Solo Quilt does not have any sewn through areas, and uses vertical baffles on the upper portion of the quilt and horizontal baffles for the footbox. The vertical baffles located on the upper portion of the quilt help keep the down in place when tossing and turning.
Zpacks uses a proprietary material called Ventum Ripstop nylon that is DWR coated to be water resistant, cuts wind while allowing for excellent vapor transfer and breathability, and weighs in at just .59oz per square yard. To top it all off, it’s super soft to boot!
Solo Quilt Footbox
The Zpacks Solo Quilt features an oversized footbox designed to give your feet the space needed so your feet don’t push against the down, causing a cold spot. I found the footbox to be extremely comfortable, an extra feature not expected in such an ultralight quilt. The footbox features horizontal baffles rather than vertical baffles which transitions about mid shin. The footbox appears to have some added down as my feet never even hinted at getting cold even when temps dropped to the lower limit of the quilt.
Zpacks Goose Hood
When using any quilt, you’ll need to have a way to keep your head warm. I’ve used a hooded base layer for those times when the temps aren’t too terribly cold, and that worked really well. However, if you want something a little warmer, the Zpacks Goose Hood is flat out AWESOME! Made of the same 950 fill goose down and weighing less than an ounce, it’s more than worth its weight and keeps your head toasty warm. In fact, it can also be used to keep your head and neck warm while glassing etc. Once you wear one, you’ll likely not go back.
I tested the Zpacks Goose Down Hood down to the low 20s and I’ll absolutely be taking this thing with me every single time. The small draw cord (similar to the one around the neck of the Solo quilt) can be drawn around your face to seal out the cold. This is a must if you tend to get a cold head or maybe don’t have a full head of hair.
Zpacks Solo Quilt Review: What I Liked
The Zpacks Solo Quilt is so incredibly light weight and is sufficiently warm in comparison to its temperature rating. Coming in at a mere 14.1oz for the standard length and width in the 30-degree model it keeps the weight to an absolute minimum. I really liked the footbox and the pad attachment strap system. The Ventum material is silky soft and the 950-fill goose down is amazing. The Solo Quilt is so light it’s hard to believe it actually keeps you warm into the mid to low 30s, but it did for me.
- Pad attachment system
- Ventum material
- Roll top compression bag included
Zpacks Solo Quilt Review: What I Didn’t Like
No Draft Collar
While there wasn’t a lot to dislike about the Solo Quilt, it is a minimalist style quilt, so there were a couple things that I felt could possibly be improved. An added draft collar, or possibly offering a model with a draft collar, would improve the Solo Quilt’s ability to keep out drafts around the neck and make it even better.
Additionally, I think having a 2nd snap button or clip up around the neck would be beneficial. This could aid in keeping the top of the quilt closed off making it less susceptible to the quilt picking up a draft point in the middle of the night when tossing and turning. This would add a fraction of an ounce, but personally I think it would be worth it.
Lastly, a little more warmth would be welcomed on the Solo Quilt. While it performed well down to its temperature rating for me, it wasn’t the warmest quilt I’ve tested (vs. its temp rating). I started to feel slightly cool in the low 30s in my 30 degree Solo Quilt, but again all of these things add to the total weight, so I completely understand why these extras were left off. Zpacks built the lightest quilt out there (at least that I’ve found so far), so there has to be a few luxuries left off to obtain the weight savings. The price point was also about on par with the other quilts we’ve tested.
- No draft collar
- 2nd button/clip around neck
- Little more down
- No large storage bag included
Check out the Zpacks Solo Quilt Live in This Video!
How to Store a Down Sleeping Bag
Zpacks doesn’t give you a mesh storage bag with the Solo Quilt, but gives you an awesome dyneema compression dry bag to make sure your Zpacks Solo Quilt stays dry and compact for the trail.
It’s easy to get home from your final adventure of the season, unload your gear and throw it all in a storage bin for the winter, but make sure you properly store your down sleeping bag as well as your insulated sleeping pad. Don’t leave that high quality sleeping bag in its stuff sack long term as it could reduce the effectiveness of the down. Down needs to be lofted, not compressed when stored, and should be stored indoors if at all possible. Here are a couple of storage options to keep your down sleeping bag at its peak performance.
- Hang in a closet
- Lay under your bed
- Store in the storage sack provided (shown above)
Hanging a down bag is my first choice, but not everyone has the space for that. Most bags come with sewn in loops to stick on a hanger. Second to that, I prefer to store the bag lying flat under my bed. This allows the down to be fully lofted. Finally, storing in the provided storage sack is perfectly acceptable as well. The down is slightly compressed in those storage sacks, but nothing that will cause any damage to the down in your bag.
Pick the Right Sleeping Pad
Selecting the right sleeping pad is even more critical when using a quilt, so make sure you get one that’s warm enough. Generally I like to add around 1 point in R-Value when using a quilt vs a sleeping bag to make sure the cold air from the ground isn’t the cause of a cold night’s sleep. Check out our sleeping pad reviews for some great options with a quilt! Not digging a quilt? We’ve tested a ton of sleeping bags as well. Check out our sleeping bag reviews!
My ratings for the Zpacks Solo Quilt
Zpacks Solo Quilt Review: Conclusion
So, after doing this Zpacks Solo Quilt review would I recommend Solo Quilt? If you are looking for the lightest weight minimalist style quilt that’ll still keep you warm, then absolutely! If you are someone looking for a quilt with more comfort features, then I’d recommend taking a look at a Katabatic Quilt or a fully custom Enlightened Equipment quilt. Ultimately, it’s tough not to love what this Zpacks Solo Quilt offers.
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