When I was given the opportunity to review Kammok’s new Arctos 20 Ultralight Down Trail Quilt, I had no idea what an incredibly versatile piece I was about to test out.
Yes, it’s a quilt. But it can also be turned into a minimalist sleeping bag, a hammock underquilt, and even — I do not kid — a hands-free down poncho for wearing around camp.
Yet, for all those features and uses, the Arctos 20 is still very light — not to mention, incredibly soft, comfy, and warm. I’m genuinely excited to have it in my kit when I start the Pacific Crest Trail in a few weeks.
Temperature rating: 20 degrees F
Total weight: 26.25 ounces | 744 grams (not including stuff sack, sleeping-pad straps, or underquilt conversion kit)
Width: 55” | tapers to 40”
Stuffed volume: 14.2” x 7.1”
Fill: Downtek™ 850 FP 90/10 Goose down (Responsible Design Standard)
Lining/shell fabric: Aura UL 10D ripstop nylon, 100% recycled, Durable Water Repellent
Accessories: Stuff sack (Aura UL 10D ripstop nylon), cotton storage sack, 2 sleeping-pad attachment straps, underquilt conversion kit
Circumstances of Review
I slept in the quilt two nights in a tent with temperatures down to 32 degrees and have used it indoors every night for the last month.
As mentioned above, the first thing to talk about is versatility. Any time I can have a convertible piece in my bag, I’m happy about it.
I’m not a hammocker, so I didn’t test the Arctos 20 as an underquilt. But you can find a handy 2-minute setup video here.
However, the Arctos 20 works very well (and simply) in its three other incarnations as a:
- Traditional, open quilt (a big rectangle, like Grandma might have once knit for you)
- Hemi-sleeping bag with a zippered/cinched, 3-foot-long footbox (enclosed to my hip; I’m 5’7”, so your mileage may vary) and three easy snaps to hold the upper half together. The flipside of the enclosed footbox, of course, is that you can loosen the drawcord or unzip as far as needed when you’re too warm.
- Puffy, open-sided poncho that’s absolutely perfect for someone like me, who likes to stay warm in camp. I would not want to use it this way around an open flame, but for hanging out, it’s incredibly warm and comfortable.
A drawcord closes the bottom of the convertible footbox on the Kammok Arctos 20 quilt. Courtesy Kammok.
The Arctos 20 has two very light zippers, three snaps, and a drawcord for the footbox. Despite all that, it weighs in at just one pound 10 ounces. You can certainly find ultralight quilts that weigh less, but not by much. I also found it light “to the touch” – it’s barely perceptible on your body, and even feather-light on shoulders when worn as a poncho.
At 78 inches, this is a really long quilt, compared to my two sleeping bags (70 inches apiece), and even when buttoned/zipped up into sleeping-bag mode, I find it plenty roomy. I’m a “rotisserie-style” sleeper, rolling constantly from back to sides to belly, and I’ve not felt confined or trapped, as I do sometimes in a narrow bag. It’s tapered, from 55 inches at the shoulder to 40 inches at the bottom of the toe box, to save weight, but thankfully there’s plenty of room for bent knees (though I have short legs; sit next to me, I’m just as tall as the average 6’2” guy, but as soon as we stand up … it’s all in my torso).
The material is so incredibly soft and silky that when I’m feeling warm, sometimes I’ll drape a leg or wrap my arms around the Arctos 20, as if it’s just a big security blankie or funny looking, dreamy stuffed comfort creature (caterpillar, maybe?). Because it’s thick, wearing it as a poncho is not especially conducive if you’re doing anything that requires deftness, but it really is warm and hangs so lightly that it’s perfect for hanging around the campfire (watch for sparks, though).
At 78 inches, the Kammok Arctos 20 is longer than either of the reviewer’s full-sized sleeping bags. Jody Frank Evans photo.
There’s never a good way to gauge durability when first testing a product intended for long-term use. But despite its lightweight feel, a few tugs on the fabric gives me confidence that it will hold up. The two zippers (to close the side of the footbox and to open the hole for your head in poncho mode) are delicate little things, as befits a lightweight piece, so I plan to take good care of them.
The shell/liner material is woven very tightly. That’s a plus, in terms of warmth and, up to a point, moisture repellency. But it does mean you have to work a little to get it stuffed down to its advertised 14.2”x7.1” volume; I was able to ratchet it down a bit more using a compression sack. That’s not small, exactly (my Big Agnes Torchlight 20, with its multiple cool features, stuffs down to about the same size, though it weighs more), but it’s not bad. Honestly, this is a bit of a tough stuff. The quilt tends to balloon out during the process, but just a bit of patience and you’ll have it properly stuffed.
The Arctos 20 takes a bit of effort to stuff, and can be made more compact by using a compression sack (right; not included). Clay Bonnyman Evans photo.
Kammok Arctos 20 Pros
Cleverly versatile: Without a lot of added weight or components, it actually works as a near-sleeping-bag, open quilt and everything in between, and a camp poncho to boot.
Comfortable: Sometimes I wonder what, say, pioneers of the 18th century would have made of our modern materials: light, soft, and silky as any fur, incredibly tough, and most of all, genuinely pleasant to the touch. This quilt just feels good on your skin.
Weight: You can find quilts up to 6 ounces lighter, but the Arctos 20 is plenty light, considering all its versatility.
Kammok Arctos 20 Cons
Price: You’re going to pay for all those features in such a warm, comfortable, lightweight package (though you can certainly spend more for something even lighter).
Tough stuff: Getting this quilt properly stuffed is a tad more arduous than I’m used to, but again, the upside is the quality and water-resistance of the material.
Potential durability issues: Whenever you’ve got dainty little pieces like those two zippers, you do have to wonder how they’ll hold up over thousands of miles. Then again, that’s going to be true of any lightweight quilt.
Color: The Arctos 20 comes in just one color pattern.
The Arctos 20 is made with tough, silky Durable Water Repellent, 100% recycled, Aura UL 10D ripstop nylon. Courtesy Kammok.
As I mentioned, I’m looking forward to using the Arctos 20 during my upcoming PCT hike. I realize that a 20-degree rating is potentially a bit high for cold mountain and desert nights in spring and early summer, but I’m confident I can manage that with clothing as needed. And the other side of that coin is that it’s a convertible; I rarely sleep in a fully zipped bag, except in really cold weather, and I like the various cooling options this quilt offers. It’s a truly nifty design, warm and comfy as a baby’s blanket. I wish it packed a little smaller, but that’s a very small concern.
Weight: 21.5 ounces, regular (1 pound, 5.5 ounces)
Length: 70 inches (short) to 80 inches (long)
Width: 52 inches (regular) to 55 inches (wide)
Weight: 22.9 ounces, regular (1 pound, 6.9 ounces)
Length: 66 inches (small) to 78 inches (long)
Shoulder Width: 52 inches (small) to 58 inches (wide)
Weight: 23 ounces, regular (1 pound, 7 ounces)
Length: 66 inches (short) to 84 inches (long)
Shoulder Width: 50 inches (slim) to 64 inches (extra wide)