What Is A Camping Quilt? It May Be Just What You Need

Camping outside of the summer season when it is cold outside can prevent its own set of challenges. If you have been researching ways to stay warm when camping in the winter, early spring, or late fall then you might have heard of a camping quilt. I too was interested in finding out if a camping quilt would suit me better than a regular sleeping bag if you have wondered the same thing then read on to find out everything you need to know about camping quilts.

So, what is a camping quilt? A camping quilt is an insulated blanket that is designed to be durable and keep you warm when camping. Camping quilts do not zip up like sleeping bags and so they can regulate your body heat without overheating your body and causing you to sweat.

If you are interested in getting a camping quilt for your camping trips then it is important that you learn the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of camping quilts when compared to regular sleeping bags.

By the way, If you are in the market for a new sleeping bag, then you should click hereOpens in a new tab. to see the one I recommend on Amazon.

What’s The Difference Between a Sleeping Bag And A Quilt?

Sleeping Bags

Sleeping bags are one of the first pieces of gear that you think of when you picture camping. That’s for good reason because sleeping bags are designed to insulate you and to keep you warm when you are sleeping outside. Sleeping bags do this by attempting to trap your body heat from escaping. Sleeping bags are typically shaped in a rectangular fashion or tapered to be smaller where your feet are and larger where your shoulders are. 

Sleeping bags are usually closed off by using a zipper. Sometimes they have a “hood” attached to the end so that you can keep your head covered. Sleeping bags typically come in three different general categories known as “summer sleeping bags”, “3 season sleeping bags”, or “winter sleeping bags”. Sleeping bags usually come with different “R-values” which means resistance values. The higher the R=value the better the sleeping bag is at keeping you warm.

Camping Quilts

Camping quilts are quilts that are designed specifically to be used outdoors for activities such as camping, backpacking, etc. Camping quilts are commonly found being used by lightweight backpackers because they can be lighter than sleeping bags. However, camping quilts can be very useful for regular campers. Camping quilts typically do not zip up as sleeping bags do. This helps them remain lightweight.

Camping quilts are just like blankets that are built to be a lot more insulating. The insulating materials that camping quilts are made of can help campers stay warm in cold weather. Camping quilts can be more comfortable than regular sleeping bags since you are not zipped up into a tight cocoon. Combining a sleeping bag with a high R-value is often required in order to use a camping quilt in freezing temperatures. A big reason why a camper may prefer a camping quilt over a sleeping bag is the level of comfort when sleeping.

How To Use A Camping Quilt

Camping quilts can be useful for a variety of camping situations such as car camping, backpacking, and hammock camping. There are different kinds of camping quilts that can be useful for each situation. Camping quilts are really easy to use, think of them as being sleeping bags without zippers. However, some camping quilts can snap into some special sleeping pads that are designed for that purpose. Many good camping quilts will also have a small pouch at the bottom where you can put your feet and keep them warm.

Car Camping

If you are car camping then the size and weight of your camping quilt do not matter much. Just use your camping quilt as a regular blanket and place it on top of your sleeping pad or air mattress. You may need to wear some clothing so that your skin does not come into direct contact with your sleeping pad because the texture could be uncomfortable if your skin sticks to the sleeping pad.


Camping quilts pair very well with backpacking because they are often lighter than sleeping bags since they do not have zippers. Use a camping quilt just like a regular blanket over your sleeping pad when you are backpacking. Ensure that you get a good quality camping quilt when backpacking since you are limited on what you can bring.

Hammock Camping

If you are sleeping in a hammock then you are going to need a special kind of camping quilt known as an underquilt. Under quilts are designed to wrap around hammocks when they are set up. They are made to insulate you underneath your hammock since a cold breeze at night can keep you cold when you are sleeping in a hammock without something to insulate underneath you. In addition to the special underquilt, you can use a regular quilt inside of the hammock with you.

What Are The Advantages Of Using A Camping Quilt?

Light Weight

Camping quilts are really lightweight. Some of them can weigh as little as one pound. If you need to keep your camping gear lightweight for any reason then a camping quilt might be a good option for you. They are especially useful for backpacking where going light on weight is essential for having a good time.


Camping quilts are extremely comfortable. Especially since you are probably used to sleeping with a regular blanket at home. Sleeping bags are simply uncomfortable for some people because they can make you feel restricted.

More Breathable

Camping quilts are more breathable than sleeping bags. Sleeping bags can work so well at keeping you warm that they cause you to sweat. Sweating when its cold outside is not a good thing. Your sweat could cause you to become cold and not be able to get warm since your body and clothes are now damp from your sweat. Camping quilts do not zip shut and therefore can allow more airflow and better temperature regulation.

Good Price

Camping quilts are priced very well and competitively compared to sleeping bags. These are one piece of camping gear that won’t break your budget. Especially when you need something lightweight for backpacking. Lightweight backpacking sleeping bags can be high in price compared to similar lightweight camping quilts.

Great For Couples

Camping quilts can be large enough to accommodate a couple sleeping together under one quilt. A similarly sized double sleeping bag is usually much more expensive and it could cause overheating since both body heats would be combined and stuck in one bag. The camping quilt helps alleviate this by allowing proper airflow.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Using A Camping Quilt?

Not Suitable For Freezing Weather

The disadvantage of a camping quilt is that they simply cannot keep you as warm in really cold weather as a highly rated sleeping bag could. Sleeping bags can be designed for extremely cold temperatures because they zip together to keep your body heat from escaping. Camping quilts do not perform this task as well since they are more open like a regular blanket.

No Bottom Insulation

It would be difficult to sleep without bottom insulation like a sleeping pad if you are using a camping quilt. This is because a camping quilt does not wrap completely around you as a sleeping pad does. This shouldn’t be a problem since you should always be using a sleeping pad in conjunction with a sleeping bag or camping quilt.

When Would A Camping Quilt Be Ideal For Camping?

A camping quilt would be ideal for camping when you are camping in weather that is not too cold. This is because camping quilts do not zip up tightly and do not have R-values that are as high as some sleeping bags. If you are camping in temperatures that are below freezing then you are probably better of going with a winter-rated sleeping bag. If you are camping in temperatures above freezing then a camping quilt could be perfect for you.

If you are backpacking or are walk-in caping and you need to keep your equipment on the lighter side then a camping quilt might be better for you since they tend to be lighter then most equivalent sleeping bags. If you do not like being wrapped up in a regular sleeping bag and you tend to overheat and sweat in regular sleeping bags then consider trying out a camping quilt instead.

There are many camping situations where a camping quilt can be ideal for you. Camping quilts are great for all kinds of camping including car camping, backpacking, and hammock camping as long as it is not below freezing in temperature. So if you prefer to sleep comfortably with a traditional blanket then consider getting a good camping quilt for your next camping trip.

What’s The Difference Between A Camping Quilt And A Regular Quilt?

The primary differences between a camping quilt and a regular quilt are size, weight, and materials. Camping quilts are usually smaller than regular quilts because the camping quilts need to be more versatile and portable. Camping quilts are often much lighter than regular quilts. Camping quilts can weigh as little as 1 pound, whereas regular quilts are often 8 pounds or more depending on the size and thickness. The materials that each are made out of is why they are different because they are designed for different types of use.

You could use a regular quilt when you go car camping, but they usually cannot keep you as warm as a camping quilt will. If the temperatures are going to drop below 50 degrees then a regular quilt probably is not the best option for car camping. Regular quilts would be a nightmare for backpacking since they are heavy and do not compress well into a backpack.

Related Questions:

Are sleeping bags better than blankets?

Sleeping bags are better for camping than blankets are because they are better insulated to keep you warm when you are sleeping outside. For household use, a sleeping bag may keep you too warm than a regular blanket.

What should you wear in a sleeping bag?

You should wear clothing that is designed to keep you warm enough for the weather that you are sleeping in. In colder weather, you will want to wear a sweatshirt, pants, and perhaps a beanie. In the summer you might only need to wear shorts and a t-shirt inside of your sleeping bag.

My Favorite Camping Gear

  • Air Mattress: click hereOpens in a new tab. to check out my favorite on Amazon.
  • Tent: click here Opens in a new tab.to see my favorite tent available on Amazon.
  • Sleeping Pad: click hereOpens in a new tab. to check out the one I love on Amazon.
  • Sleeping Bag: click here Opens in a new tab.to see the one I recommend on Amazon.
  • Camping Stove: click hereOpens in a new tab. to see the best camping stove on Amazon.

Zachary Smith

Zach is an avid outdoorsman that loves going camping with his Prius every chance he gets. He also regularly enjoys hiking and fishing. When he's not outside you can probably find him writing about it on this website. See his full bio here

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