Sea To Summit Ember Ultralight Down Quilt
A tiny packaway size and a plush warmth to comfort ratio makes the Ember an ideal ultralight companion for your next venture.
Size and Weight:
Tiny pack away size
Straps keep it from slipping off the mat
Plenty of wriggle room
Quite expensive

Mattie makes a strong case for the quilt life thanks to this Sea to Summit Ember Down Quilt. Nobody tell his sleeping bag…

I have to admit, I’ve been quilt-curious for some time now. Every time I head out bikepacking, one friend or another casually mentions they’ve brought their quilt. And every time they do, I’m left wondering what it’s actually like to sleep in. I probably should have just asked for a sticky beak instead of gazing curiously (kinda creepily) at their tent flaps as they retreat for the night. 

As a frequently cold sleeper, my major worries about the sleeping quilt revolve around staying warm. There’s something about sliding into a sleeping bag that offers a sense of warmth, even if that bag doesn’t make good on its warm promise.

In March this year, as I was preparing to cycle the Hunt 1000 (an epic 1000km bikepacking trip from Melbourne to Canberra) the opportunity to test out the Sea to Summit Ember Ultralight Down Quilt arose and I figured it was about time I put my curiosity to bed.

Size and Weight

I’m starting off with this criteria as it’s a major consideration for long distance bikepacking where space is at a premium. The Ember Quilt I tested was the Ember 2 EbII model which is rated to 2 degrees and is packed with Responsible UItra-Dry down.



However, they also offer an Ember 3 EbIII model rated comfort to -4 degrees or a warmer EbI model with a comfort rating of 10 degrees. 

Packing away into the provided Ultra-Sil compression sack, the Ember shrinks down to an impressive volume of 3.7 litres. In practice, this looks like the height of a small water bottle, or 15cm by 18cm if you want to be technical. Sticking with technicalities, it weighs in at around 560g. 

Personally, this tiny packaway size is a major plus point, meaning the quilt can be packed into my handlebar roll, or saddle bag, leaving plenty of room for other essentials. 


With a comfort rating of 2 degrees, this two season sleeping quilt was going to be pushed to the edge of its abilities as I passed the VIC High Country and Kosciusko National Park. I figured that it’d be ok as I was also packing thermals and a puffy jacket to top up the warmth. 

From the very first night, all through the trip, the Ember constantly surprised me with how warm and cosy it was. I went from cautiously over-layering, to sleeping in as little as possible. A real benefit of the quilt, as opposed to a bag, is that you can stick a limb out of the side to cool off, while keep warm everywhere else.



Adjustable straps keep the sleeping quilt wrapped around the sleeping mat, which stops the quilt from slipping off or around the mat during the night. This is one of my favourite aspects of the Ember as it gives a much wider area for sleeping, which is ideal for a side-sleeping toss-and-turner like me. 

The first night I also used the draw cord to cinch in the footbed of the quilt for added warmth. I quickly found that I was plenty warm enough without employing this feature and opened up the base to keep the quilt open.

When temperatures hit their coldest, around 4.00am, there was plenty of length in the quilt to pull it over my head and tuck the edges in a bit more to trap even more heat. If you were heading out in even colder weather, the QuiltLock system means you can couple the quilt with another sleeping bag.


The extra width of the quilt, even when strapped around your sleeping mat, means there’s plenty of shoulder and body room. I had plenty of room to snuggle under and read my book without exposing my arms and hands. Likewise, the option of having feet kept cosy in the cinched in footpad, or left with an open space adds versatility and options for personal preference. 

The lining material, 7D nylon, is soft to the touch and the baffle and down combo allows the quilt to puff up and look fluffy and warm before you even crawl under. 

Next time I head out in warmer weather, I’ll be looking into using a liner as it was a little unpleasant having bare skin against my sleeping mat – although this isn’t really a criticism of the quilt.


Final Thoughts

After eleven days cycling through the high country and further campouts closer to home, I’ve gone from quilt-curious to quilt-convert. 

Sure I’ll need to pull out a sleeping bag when temperatures drop beyond the reach of the Ember, but any other time I’m out camping and bikepacking, you’ll find me nestled under the comfort of the quilt.

At $649 for the 2 degrees version of the quilt that I tried, the Ember is definitely an investment worth considering. It’s $584.95 on Wild Earth right now.

As someone who rates small packaway sizes and lightweight materials on a par with warmth and comfort, this quilt ticks all the boxes in a big way.