Tuesday, 26 April 2011

PHD Ultralight Quilts, a missed Opportunity?

I bought a 2nd hand PHD Ultra Minim sleeping bag last year and have been really impressed with it, more so than my Minim 500 bag. The Ultra Minim uses 900 down and has neither zip nor shoulder baffle as you'd expect on such a lightweight bag but comes in at an unbeatable, as far as I'm aware 364g.

After using it a few times I wondered what they could achieve if instead of making it a sleeping bag they made it as a quilt or top bag. With no insulation on the bottom it would be lighter or if they retained the same fill weight it would be warmer.

I just received an e-mail from PHD with the heading "PHD launch 2 Ultralight Quilts" so I was pretty excited to see what was on offer. Looking at them they aren't what I imagined at all, rather than being quilts in the form usually associated with ultralight backpacking they're quilts in the regular use at home form. I'm not sure that they haven't missed an opportunity here to be honest although what the intended market is would dictate the form that the quilt takes.

As stand alone insulation the lightest of the 2 is heavier than the Minim Ultra and at this end of the market weight is probably more important than outright warmth. That said it may well be a useful way to upgrade a lightweight bag.

As far as I'd be concerned it's something of a missed opportunity but of course I may be missing the point, I'd be interested in the views of others.

How light and how compact could a Minim Ultra Quilt have been?


  1. I agree Richard.
    I emailed PHD a few times around 4 or 5 years ago, asking them to make me a quilt, and i sent a design. They never replied.
    This seems like a half-hearted effort, with no input from an actual quilt user. No straps, no neck snap or drawcord, and i don't understand their footbox option.
    Definately a missed opportunity imo.
    Mike fae Dundee.

  2. Not sure they've got this one quite right. They need to be more shaped to fit over a sleeping bag or used as a conventional sleeping quilt.

  3. Richard, I received this e mail today. On first glance it looked interesting, but the weight and the design put me off. I think I would rather have the Minim Ultra as I am sure it would be warmer for the weight. I guess it would be fine if you do not like the confines of a sleeping bag and want to keep the weight down.

  4. hi Richard.
    PHD are a strange company. They can be brilliant, very helpful and all that and then they can be anonymous and unhelpful.
    You want to go down and visit them. Its a real eye opener.
    It doesn't surprise me one bit that they miss the boat on quilts.