Just before Outdoor Retailer, Mountain Hardwear offered to send me a Hotbed Ember Camp Quilt (MSRP $79) to test out. Since I was planning on sleeping in the Lawson Hammock (both as a hammock and a ground tent) for UintasHike16, it seemed heaven-sent. Also, if you haven’t noticed, quilts are the hot new item, so of course I was intrigued.
The quilt boasts a proprietary, vertically welded Lamina™ construction, which enhances loft and eliminates cold spots, while their Thermal Q insulation has outstanding compressibility and maintains excellent loft. This unique camp quilt is designed to be used as a blanket or one can use the snaps in the foot-box to create a warmer, closer fitting quilt. The included microfleece-lined stuff sack doubles as a pillow, which reduces how much stuff you need to bring along.
While initially a scoffer, I’m now a quilt believer. This Hotbed Ember Camp Quilt worked like a champ on our backpacking trip. While it’s rated to 45 degrees Fahrenheit, I’m pretty sure we dipped below that during our backpacking trip in Utah and the quilt performed admirably. Conversely, the temps on a recent trip were in the upper 50’s at night and the quilt worked then as well. Good to know it’s comfortable across a broad range of temps. I really appreciated being able to roll over and not get tangled in a bag – I move a lot during the night, so having the freedom means a lot to me. The only negative I could find was that the length is on the short side at 76″ (I’m 6’0″), so if it got really cold, I wouldn’t be able to duck my head inside for warmth without pulling it off my feet.
While meant to be used as a standalone product, it’s versatile enough to bring along as an extra layer inside a sleeping bag, on top, or extra insulation below. On our recent camping trip I brought the new Lamina Z Flame 22 sleeping bag, knowing it was probably way too warm for the conditions. It was and I ended up sleeping on top (cozy) and used the Hotbed Ember as my blanket (comfortable).
At about 2 pounds, bringing along the Hotbed Ember Quilt is a no-brainer for car camping (use it by the fire or in the morning for extra warmth at breakfast). Unless you’re a serious ultralight backpacker, it’s a worthwhile product to bring along then as well, as it takes care of your sleeping cover as well as pillow.
*This quilt was provided for editorial purposes – all opinions are my own.