Top 5 Ultralight 3-Season Backpacking Quilts of 2023

Man in the mountains holding an ultralight 3-season backpacking quilts

In this post, we'll take a look at:

Backpacking quilts have become popular among everyday backpackers.

When picking an ultralight 3-season backpacking quilt, consider key factors:

Check the temperature rating for warmth in different conditions, choose between down or synthetic insulation, and mind the weight for easy packing. Also, focus on features like straps, footbox design, and attachment points.

For further details, read the entire post.

Top Ultralight 3-Season Backpacking Quilt Picks

  1. Most Ultralight: Thermarest Vesper 45F/7C Quilt (14.39oz/408g)
  2. Best Overall: Enlightened Equipment Revelation APEX Quilt (17.77oz/504g)
  3. Best Value: Sea to Summit Cinder 50F Quilt (16.93oz/480g)
  4. Most Durable: Enlightened Equipment Enigma Sleeping Quilt (14.67oz/416g)
  5. Budget Option: ZenBivy Light Quilt 40° Synthetic (26.8oz/760g)

1. Most Ultralight
Thermarest Vesper 45F/7C Quilt

Ultralight 3-Season Backpacking Quilt: Thermarest Vesper 45F/7C Quilt

Key Specs

Weight: 14.39 ounces (408 grams)
Limit Temp Rating: 45ºF | 7ºC
Price: $$$


✅ Ultralight

✅ Hydrophobic down


❌ Down tends to move to one side

❌ Temperature rating a bit optimistic

Crafted for lightweight packing, the Thermarest Vesper 45F/7C quilt provides essential warmth for milder weather. With 900-fill insulation and quality materials, it ensures comfort during outdoor adventures.

However, maintaining warmth at the rated temperature might be a challenge. We felt chilly around 50°F (10°c), despite wearing layers and using a good pad. Also, while it’s comfortable, the quilt’s down shifts to the sides each night, resulting in thin coverage.

In summary, the Vesper 45 quilt offers ultralight convenience, but there’s potential for improvement in its performance and value.

2. Best Overall
Enlightened Equipment Revelation APEX Quilt

Ultralight 3-Season Backpacking Quilt: Enlightened Equipment Revelation APEX Quilt

Key Specs

Weight: 17.77 ounces (504 grams)
Limit Temp Rating: 40ºF | 4.4ºC
Price: $$


✅ Various specs available

✅ Good in damp conditions


❌ A bit bulky

The Revelation Sleeping Quilt with APEX Synthetic fill from Enlightened Equipment is a premier selection for ultralight hikers in search of versatility and a lightweight build. It excels in both warm and cold conditions, catering especially to active sleepers.

In our opinion, while there are design aspects to consider, such as insulation shifting and footbox design, they do not outweigh the quilt’s overall advantages. We appreciate its simplicity and synthetic fill for damp conditions.

To sum up, the Revelation Sleeping Quilt presents a clever and adjustable choice for hikers who prioritize both weight and versatility.

3. Best Value
Sea to Summit Cinder 50F Quilt

Ultralight 3-Season Backpacking Quilt: Sea to Summit Cinder 50F Quilt

Key Specs

Weight: 16.93 ounces (480 grams)
Limit Temp Rating: 50ºF | 10ºC
Price: $$


✅ Cinchable Footbox

✅ Good for active sleepers


❌ Not the warmest option

The Sea to Summit Cinder Down Quilt is a lightweight and packable choice featuring a waterproof shell. It’s well-suited for cooler nights due to its footbox drawcord and straps for securing to your sleeping mat.

If you frequently find yourself sweating during warm summer nights in your 3-season quilt or sleeping bag, the Cinder Down Quilt offers a wise solution.

The unique design, including an attached footbox and straps, ensures secure sleep, particularly for back sleepers or those who prefer snug covers. If you’re taller than 5’6″, consider the Long version for additional footbox space.

4. Most Durable
Enlightened Equipment Enigma Sleeping Quilt

Ultralight 3-Season Backpacking Quilt: Enlightened Equipment Enigma Sleeping Quilt

Key Specs

Weight: 14.67 ounces (416 grams)
Limit Temp Rating: 40°F | 4.4°C
Price: $$$


✅ Durable

✅ Various specs available

✅ Temperature rating is accurate


❌ Down has a mild odor

The Enigma Sleeping Quilt from Enlightened Equipment is the perfect pick for those desiring a lightweight and minimalist sleeping solution. Featuring a sewn-closed footbox, it provides remarkable warmth along with upper body mobility.

In our experience, its lightweight construction and sturdy fabric have held up impressively, remaining tear-free and without major down leakage. While the down has a distinct odor, it’s a minor drawback.

To sum up, the Enigma Sleeping Quilt is a practical answer for those ultralight hikers who value warmth and weight reduction.

5. Budget Option
ZenBivy Light Quilt 40° Synthetic

Ultralight 3-Season Backpacking Quilt: ZenBivy Light Quilt 40° Synthetic

Key Specs

Weight: 26.8 ounces (760 grams)
Limit Temp Rating: 40°F | 4.4°C
Price: $


✅ Durable

✅ Relatively affordable


❌ Relatively heavy

The Light Quilt by ZenBivy boasts a zipperless design that blends the benefits of closed foot box quilts and convertible ones. Its exceptionally soft fabric sets it apart from other ultralight quilts, offering both comfort and durability.

We can praise the ZenBivy for its convenience and versatility. However, a minor complaint is the rustling noise that the quilt can produce during movement, as observed by my fellow camper.

How to Select the Right 3-Season Backpacking Quilt

By switching to a quilt, you can significantly reduce the weight in your backpack, enjoy improved comfort, and save valuable space. Quilts also excel at temperature regulation, allowing you to stay cool in warm weather and cozy in cold conditions.

Choosing a quilt can be challenging, especially if you’ve never used one before. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Down Fill Power: Higher fill power indicates better quality down. Aim for 850 or greater fill power down for lighter weight and better insulation.
  • Water-Repellent Down: This technology is worth considering, as it maintains down efficiency in humid conditions. Many brands now use water-repellent down in their products.
  • Appropriate Sizing: While precise measurements can yield a snug, lightweight quilt, it’s advisable to go slightly larger for added flexibility and comfort. Consider the quilt’s length, aiming to cover your shoulders and allow room to tuck your head in on colder nights by adding 4-6 inches to your height. When measuring the quilt’s width, think about your sleeping style; wider quilts suit side sleepers and those who shift during sleep, while narrower ones work for back or belly sleepers. Adding 6-10 inches to your shoulder girth, depending on the quilt’s purpose, ensures a well-fitting and comfortable quilt.
  • Footbox: Quilts should have a footbox to keep your feet warm.
  • Pad Straps: Some quilts come with straps to secure them to your sleeping pad. However, these are often unnecessary and add extra weight.

If you find that a quilt with a temperature rating of around 40 degrees Fahrenheit isn’t warm enough for your needs, you might want to explore our guide on 4-season sleeping quilts.

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