Quilt vs Sleeping Bag: Which is Ideal for Your Trip?

Last Updated on July 16, 2022 by Ecorf

Establishing the main differences between quilt vs sleeping bag can be challenging since they are both designed for backpacking. These two products also have benefits and disadvantages that make them different from each other. However, if you are uncertain about the main differences between a quilt and a sleeping bag, the following factors can help you distinguish the two.  

Quilt vs Sleeping Bag: Differences between the Two

The major notable difference between a quilt and a sleeping bag pertains to the elements of design.  A quilt is a half-sleeping bag that is specifically designed to be attached to a sleeping pad. In some instances, quilts come with built-in straps that help them to be secured to sleeping pads. 

On the other hand, a sleeping bag can be described as a complete quilt with a full zipper. It completely covers your body. However, a sleeping bag can also be used together with a sleeping pad so you might consider a quilt since it is smaller, secures to the pad and it is lighter. Both quilts and sleeping bags have advantages and disadvantages so your choice depends on the nature of your trip and how you want to use the product. 


Advantages of a Quilt

There are many advantages that you can get from using a quilt instead of a sleeping bag if you are backpacking. All the same, you must also bear in mind that quilts also have their own downsides that you should consider to be in a position to get the right gear for your next trip. 

A Quilt is Lightweight  

The main advantage of a quilt if you are backpacking is that it is lightweight. An ordinary quilt is about 30 percent lighter than a sleeping bag which makes it ideal for backpacking. A quilt is also easy to pack since it takes less space in your backpack. You can pack your quilt as filler in your backpack and you can easily move around with it.  

A Quilt Allows you Free Movement while Sleeping

Quilts have no zippers and this helps you to get in and out easily without issues of pulling a zipper at night. A quilt neatly attaches to a sleeping pad using a strap which helps you to get in and out easily. It also has ample space inside that also allows you to move freely while changing the sleeping side. This makes it a good alternative that you can consider if you want to sleep comfortably. 

No Moisture Build-up when Using a Quilt

A quilt is free of moisture buildup from respiration, unlike a sleeping bag. A sleeping bag retains warmth by trapping heat from your body which leads to moisture buildup since the heat cannot escape from the bag. There are less chances of moisture buildup when you are using a quilt since it does not trap heat from your body. 

On the downside, it can be observed that a quilt is expensive compared to a sleeping bag. A quilt costs around $300 so you must make sure that your budget is sufficient to purchase one. The price of a quilt is almost double that of a sleeping bag. 

On the other hand, a quilt does not cover your entire body which can leave you exposed to weather elements. Therefore, a quilt is ideal in areas with less humid weather conditions. In other words, quilts are appropriate for summer season and other environments with cool dry conditions.   

Advantages of a Sleeping Bag

The main advantage of sleeping bags is that they are affordable and they are also more popular with different campers. As such, sleeping bags are mass-produced compared to quilts which are viewed as specialty items that are only designed for ultralight backpackers. You can save money by buying a sleeping bag if you are working with a string budget. 

Sleeping Bags Give You 100 % Insulation

Another big plus for choosing a sleeping bag is that it covers your entire body and it gives you 100% insulation against wind and other unfavorable elements at night. While you can strap a quilt on a sleeping pad, wind can still blow underneath your back which can be annoying at night.  

A sleeping bag keeps you insulated and warm during the whole night and this can help you to enjoy your camping. The other advantage of a sleeping bag is that it can retain heat from your body which keeps you warm even if the temperature outside drops at night. On the other hand, the warmth of a quilt mainly depends on the quality of the sleeping pad that you are using.  

Quilt vs Sleeping Bag: Which is ideal for your trip?

Apart from the advantages that you can get from using a sleeping bag, this camping gear also has its disadvantages.  A sleeping bag has issues related to moisture buildup which can also cause discomfort in the event that you sweat at night. All the heat trapped inside the sleeping bag cannot easily escape and this can affect your peaceful sleep. 

You can also experience zipper issues if you wrongly pull it which can lead to damage of the fabric of your sleeping bag. It is not very easy to move out of the sleeping bag at night when the zipper is pulled to the top. This can inconvenience you but when you are using a quilt, you would not experience such issues. 


Now that you know the pros and cons of quilt vs. sleeping bag, making a choice between the two is a matter of personal preference. As a recap, you must always know that quilts are light and compact and they should also be used with a sleeping pad. If you want to cut back on weight, then a quilt is the best alternative. 

On the other hand, a sleeping bag is affordable, warmer and it is easy to set up. It is convenient and easy to pack despite the additional weight compared to a quilt. The large cost savings also make sleeping bags the best option for many people.