The Ember Ultralight Sleeping Quilt is a curious camping accessory for those who have never seen one. Most will ask the question, why is it better than a sleeping bag? It’s hard to answer other than just noting that it’s different and offers another type of sleeping experience in specific types of camping conditions. It is lightweight and packs down to the size of a large water bottle so it’s a good accessory for ultralight packers, hunters, hikers, and bikepackers.

It encloses over the sleeping mat, turning the mattress into a source of insulation rather than a cold air liability. There are 4 quilts from Sea to Summit with different cold ratings. We tested the EbII, which has a basement temperature (functional limit) rating of 25F and a comfort rating at 35F.

In the late spring, summer, and early fall the Ember Eb II will be comfortable to use as a blanket over your sleeping mat. It has some decent features like an easy to cinch up footbox, hand pockets, with 850+ Premium, Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified down filler.

Sea to Summit’s trusted brand quality is at the forefront of this premium camping quilt. With its RDS certified down filler, it’s well constructed box baffles, and its convenient snap and strap system to use with the Spark and Flame Down Sleeping Series, it is easily one of the lightest and most packable outdoor sleep accessories available. But there are some questions as to improvements that should be made on future versions.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.8

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Super lightweight and packable
  • check-mark
    Materials feels silky smooth
  • check-mark
    QuiltLock system makes it easy to attach to sleeping pads
  • check-mark
    850+ Loft goose down is super fluffy and provides reliable heat retention
  • check-mark
    ULTRA-DRY technology and DWR gives the down extra water protection
  • check-mark
    Cinching the ends into a footbox provides extra warmth
  • check-mark
    High-quality construction you can count on
  • check-mark
    Box baffles eliminate cold spots

Things we don't like:

  • check-markFootbox doesn’t close completely, can be drafty
  • check-markStraps unsnap easily
  • check-markDon't expect to stay warm at the lowest temperature rating without additional layers.

Where to buy:

Sea To Summit Ember II Ultralight Down Quilt Product Image

Sea to Summit Ember II Ultralight Down Quilt

Specs & Features

  • Materials: 10D Nylon Shell, 7D Nylon Liner, DWR Coating
  • Insulation: Ultra-Dry Down 850+ Loft
  • Seasons: 2 Seasons
  • Comfortable Temperature: 35°F
  • Weight: 1 lb. 5.2 oz.
  • Fill Weight: 12 oz.
  • Compressed Vol.: 3.7 liters
  • Compression Bag: Ultra-Sil Compression Bag
  • Max. Height: 6 ft. (Reg), 6’4” (Long)
  • Also available in: 25°F, 50°F
See the complete list of the best Sleeping Bags here!

A Good Night’s Sleep 

The Sea to Summit Spark and Flame Down Sleeping Series efficiently works with the Ember Ultralight Sleeping Quilt to give you comfort and much needed rest while camping, perhaps in a Sea-to-Summit Telos or Alto tent. It can snap into a Sea to Summit sleeping bag for added warmth during winter or snowpack camping.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t use it with your other favorite gear. Drape it over your sleeping mat in warm weather or close it up like a mummy bag and slide into your cold weather sleeping bag for camping comfort.

The Ember II comes with 850+ loft RDS certified goose down, providing excellent heat retention in low temps without any extra weight. It’s also packable, so you can carry it anywhere without needing too much space inside your bag. Clip it outside, and you won’t even notice it’s there!

Construction and Design

The Ember II has a uniform colorway that blends in with the Sea to Summit Spark Sleeping Bag family– with gray shades on the shell and a yellow liner. The baffles differ depending on the variation, but for this particular camping quilt, it’s a combination of vertical and horizontal baffles (we’ll dig deeper into these in a sec).

Ember II has a gray shell and yellow liner. 
Ember II has a gray shell and yellow liner. 

This outdoor quilt was made to work with the Spark and Flame Down Sleeping Bag Series. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use it with other brands. It has a 10D nylon shell and 7D nylon liner. It’s not the most robust, but for camping in dry environs, it is proven to be one of the best. It’s lightweight, comfy, and breathable. Generally, nylon possesses a better strength-to-weight ratio than polyester. For polyester to equate to nylon’s durability, it needs a higher denier, which means additional weight. If you’re interested in a polyester sleeping bag, we recommend Vango Nitestar 350 and Marmot Trestles 30.

The seams of this outdoor blanket from Sea to Summit are sturdy. The shell won’t rip away from the liner while moving inside your camping quilt.

We have sleeping bags in our main guide if the Ember II doesn’t satisfy you. 

Features

The Ember II camping quilt doesn’t have a draft collar and drawstring to help trap heat and keep you warm when the temperature drops. For this reason, it makes sense to get the Long version so as to have a bit extra material at the neck. The long makes sense for taller sleepers too, because having too little real estate to crawl into isn’t desirable.

The draft collar has a generous amount of down, and a drawstring to cinch it.
The draft collar has a generous amount of down, and a drawstring to cinch it.

Inside you’ll find corner pockets that seem strange at first, awkward even, but they’re nice when crawling into the quilt in the frosty night. They don’t quite have the greatest functional value, but it’s somehow nice they’re there.

Use the corner hand pockets to wrap the quilt around yourself.
Use the corner hand pockets to wrap the quilt around yourself.

You’ll also find another drawcord at the end of this camping quilt to create a footbox. Just snap the ends together, pull the cord, and you’ll have your feet covered. Unlike a sleeping bag, the Ember II cinched footbox is not entirely closed so you could end up with a draft. It’s a plus if you like some ventilation and don’t want to overheat, but this will annoy you if you are trying to stay warm. The lower temperature Ember III comes with a sewn footbox to fully cover your feet.

Cinched footbox.
Cinched footbox.

There are box baffles throughout this outdoor blanket. Vertical ones on the body and horizontal ones on the legs. Box baffles are a great construction feature in the Ember Ultralight quilts, preventing cold spots that are prone to sewn-through baffles. Unlike a sewn-through baffle where the shell and liner are seamed together, the liner and shell fabrics in box baffles are not touching each other. Instead, there’s a wall to create chambers, giving the down some extra space to expand completely.

The box baffles create room to allow the down to loft properly.
The box baffles create room to allow the down to loft properly.

In hot and warm weather you can simply use the Ember Ultralight II as a blanket. If you need to be warmer, you can strap the Ember II camping quilt to your sleeping pad with the QuiltLock flat elastic straps and snaps. You can adjust it accordingly to the size of your sleeping pad. The straps can be fiddly to adjust so try to do it before it gets dark and cold. Also once you have the straps set up around your sleeping pad they are not easy to change. You actually have to get out of the quilt completely if you want to loosen or release anything.

QuiltLock allows you to strap your quilt to a sleeping pad.
QuiltLock allows you to strap your quilt to a sleeping pad.

Fill Power and Warmth

Another contributor to its lightweight and thermal performance is the highly-rated 850+ Loft goose down.The Ember II camping quilt manages to keep you cozy without added weight.

Generally, natural down fill still provides better thermal performance than the synthetic fill you find in the Nemo Forte Sleeping and the Sierra Designs Frontcountry 35 Degree. This Sea to Summit outdoor blanket is supposed to keep you toasty during 35F temps. But the possible draft entry point from the footbox make it unlikely to deliver in near-freezing temperatures.

The Ember II camping quilt is ideal for spring, summer, and fall nights when used on its own. It’s great as a quilt you can wrap around yourself when sleeping on top of your sleeping mat/pad. It will also be a great addition to your cold weather sleeping bag if you need extra insulation for snowpack and winter camping. For integrating into your sleeping system or as an outdoor blanket while resting inside your tent, it works well.

If this model doesn’t meet your needs, you can click here for sleeping bags. 

Water Resistance

With non-PFC Ultra-Dry technology on the the down, the filler will not absorb much water and can dry quickly. A DWR coating protects the shell, too, causing the water to bead and roll down as soon as it touches the material.

This outdoor quilt is not waterproof, but it will repel moisture and it dries quickly. It will not be comfortable without a tent in a downpour. The VERZEY Portable and Nemo Disco sleeping bags might suit you better if you are prone to get stuck sleeping out in the rain.

All in all, the Ember II camping quilt is equipped with just enough water resistance that early morning condensation or a short light rain in warm weather won’t be a problem.

Portability

The Ember Ultralight II lives up to its ultralight claims. At only 1 lb. 5.2 ounces, this outdoor blanket almost feels like carrying nothing compared to a heavy model like Coleman Green Valley at 4.5 lbs. and VERZEY Portable at 4 lbs. For you all passionate light packers, the Ember II will pass your ounce-per-ounce demands.

This Sea to Summit outdoor blanket compresses into a 3.7-liter sack, just a bit larger than a Nalgene bottle. Its sleeping bag equivalent, the Sea to Summit Spark II, takes up a little less space in a 2-liter stuff sack, so that may be your choice if you prefer a lightweight full sleeping bag. However the Ember Ultralight can serve the dual purposes of a summer sleeping solution and added insulation inside a sleeping bag during cold weather.

It's just a bit bigger than a Nalgene bottle, and you can compress it to size it down even more.
It's just a bit bigger than a Nalgene bottle, and you can compress it to size it down even more.

Conclusion

The Sea to Summit Ember II camping quilt is perfect during summer camping adventures. It’s a lightweight, outdoor blanket with easy portability for ultralight hikers and bikepackers. It can also provide an extra layer of insulation to keep you comfortable in your sleeping bag when the temp drops.

Its 850+ loft goose down fluffs rapidly once you take it out of the compression bag. The fill is also treated with Ultra-Dry technology to amp up its water resistance and ensure it dries quickly.

The QuiltLock system snaps and straps firmly around a sleeping pad. However, we found the straps difficult to adjust once you are in a sleeping position. If you are trying to stay warm it’s good news the straps won’t slip, but if you get too hot you’ll have to get out of the quilt completely to release or loosen any connections.

The box baffle construction keeps cold spots at bay. And you can create a footbox by cinching the bottom drawstring. Some missing features like a hood and full body coverage will affect your comfort if you’re used to a sleeping bag’s overall protection.

Although the fabric used on the shell and liner are not the toughest in order to keep the quilt as lightweight as possible, the construction of the Ember II possesses Sea to Summit’s trustworthy quality. Take it on your summer getaways, or use it as an extra layer in the winter.

For roughly $370, this outdoor blanket is a premium lightpacking quilt at a mid-range price. It’s a great addition if you already have a Spark Sleeping Bag and need more warmth when the temperature drops or are searching for a lightweight summer sleeping setup.

Don’t agree with us? Our main guide has many sleeping bags you can choose from. 

Buy this camping quilt if:

  • You need an ultralight sleeping solution in warm weather
  • Sleeping bags are too restrictive for you
  • You’re searching for a high-quality, lightweight camping quilt
  • You need extra insulation in cold weather camping

Related Reviews

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.8

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Super lightweight and packable
  • check-mark
    Materials feels silky smooth
  • check-mark
    QuiltLock system makes it easy to attach to sleeping pads
  • check-mark
    850+ Loft goose down is super fluffy and provides reliable heat retention
  • check-mark
    ULTRA-DRY technology and DWR gives the down extra water protection
  • check-mark
    Cinching the ends into a footbox provides extra warmth
  • check-mark
    High-quality construction you can count on
  • check-mark
    Box baffles eliminate cold spots

Things we don't like:

  • check-markFootbox doesn’t close completely, can be drafty
  • check-markStraps unsnap easily
  • check-markDon't expect to stay warm at the lowest temperature rating without additional layers.
FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Sea to Summit Ember II Ultralight

Can you use the Ember Down Quilt for camping?

Definitely!

If sleeping bags are too hot and restrictive for you, opt for this easy to carry outdoor quilt as an alternative. The Sea to Summit Ember Ultralight Down Quilt is an excellent model for summer camping and as an extra layer when the weather gets cold.

Are quilts better than sleeping bags?

It depends on your personal preferences, but here’s a general guideline to a few differences between sleeping bags and quilts:

  • Sleeping bags provide better heat retention since you’re covered fully.
  • Quilts are more packable and lightweight (typically).
  • It’s easier to set up sleeping bags if you need to stay warm. No need to lash it to your sleeping pad and make strap and drawstring adjustments.
  • Most of the time, quilts are cheaper (depending on the model) since there are fewer materials used.

See our buyer’s guide for more info if you’re still confused.

What are the best sleeping bags?

Here are our best recommendations:

Best Overall: Marmot Phase 20F Degree Down

Great Insulation: Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Down

Dependable: Sea To Summit Ascent Ac1

Great Durability: Coleman Green Valley

Great for Wet Weather: Nemo Disco Insulated 15/30 Down

Adventure Friendly: Vango Nitestar 350

Provides lots of Comfort: Western Mountaineering HighLite

Keeps Drafts Out: TETON Sports Celcius

Best No-Zip Design: Sierra Designs Cloud 20 Degree

Very Spacious: Nemo Forte Sleeping

Our main guide has more options as well!

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