I recently sold my old but still viable Feathered Friends 20 degree mummy bag and other gear as I try to consolidate. I needed a solid 3+ season bag, but have found that when the temps drop I am not a good candidate for quilts. This was driven home in 2016 on a chilly but not below freezing open bivouac at 7,000 feet on Mt. Rainier. My sleep system for that evening was an Enlightened Equipment 30 degree Enigma quilt, a custom Borah Gear bivy bag (Cuben breathable top/Cuben bottom….before the change to Dyneema Composite Fabrics) and a Thermarest Neo-Air XLite pad. I’m a side sleeper, and the traditional quilt design does not seem to be a good fit for me. Every time I shifted position I would pump cold air into my little world, despite using the straps, buckles and cinching up the top. And yes, I was wearing warm head gear (a balaclava and the EE Hoodlum). In the wee hours I had to don my rain shells in an effort to trap more heat. To be clear I was not cold, I just wasn’t warm. There were no indications of freezing temps in the morning.
Upon looking at various options for a new bag, I turned to Nunatak for the solution. My past dealings with Jan at Nunatak have been outstanding. I have been packing and wearing my Skaha Apex Pullover since last year and it remains one of my favorite pieces. It’s always in my day pack and ski pack. I was also the “prototype” and launch customer for the Akula Half Bag. As Nunatak continues to improve and develop their designs, I sent my Akula back to have the bivy extension added….such a good idea, why didn’t I think of that? He only charged me $40 for this retrofit. And lastly, I have to point out that these products are meticulously constructed.
So I didn’t want a full mummy, and I didn’t want another quilt. I decided on Nunatak’s 3D Quilt, which fills a niche between these two. Like my EE Enigma the 3D has a closed foot box, and the zipper extends low enough for this piece to function as a quilt. However, when the temperature drops I can zip it all the way up, essentially becoming a mummy bag without the hood. It may seem trivial, but one of the best design aspects is the placement of the cinch cords. My Enigma had one on the interior, so when I cinched that puppy up to try to seal in the heat, I had cord dangling around my face the entire time. The 3D puts two cinch cords on the outside, completely eliminating this annoyance from the draft collar. Plus, I don’t have to “uncinch” to get out, I can simply unzip as is.
In typical Nunatak fashion, the pull down menus allow for numerous customization options. Here’s a rundown on my particulars:
2.75" loft (15 degree option)
Inside Length: 74" - Long
Shoulder Width: 62" minimum in quilt mode.
30" minimum with zipper closed.
Footbox Size: 40" diameter foot end
Shell Fabric: Breathable 15d Ripstop, Black.
WP/B Draft Collar and Foot Section (Robic 7D)
Liner Material: Breathable 10D Taffeta, Black.
Integrated Neck Draft Collar with Cord Channel
Zipper: #3 YKK Coil. One way. Inside/outside slider pull.
Dual Draft Tubes Along Zipper
900 Fill Power White Goose Down, Hyper-Dry
I prefer my bags in black to assist in drying, and opted for the WPB foot and collar options. I also chose the 15D for the fabric for just a tad more durability, as this bag will probably be with me for the duration. And performance? My example here is another open bivy at 7,000 feet on Mt. Rainier. Same bivy bag, same XLite. This time I felt a bit cramped in the bivy as this bag is so much puffier. I was letting my daughter use my other Borah bivy, a roomier and more robust eVent custom job. I again wore my EE Hoodlum for head warmth. In the wee hours my daughter had to wear my Nunatak Skaha to stave off the chill in her Feathered Friends 35 degree Rock Wren, along with most of her clothes. My 3D was zipped up all the way and the draft collar was semi tight, I was wearing minimal layers and my head was outside the bivy. I may have had a little trouble sleeping due to the spotlight in my face the whole night (A.K.A The Moon) but certainly not because I was chilly. So toasty with no cold spots! I believe that Nunatak is conservative in their ratings. And despite frost on my bivy, I had no problems with moisture in this challenging environment (open ridge). I have a history of going minimal and light, including sleep systems (and still do), but sometimes I want the comfort of a full, warm system, in this case hanging out with my daughter.
My package from Nunatak included the specs of this particular bag, right at 30.1 ozs including stuff sack. My total cost was $555 ($530 plus $25 shipping). This kind of quality doesn’t come cheap, but it’s worth every penny. I have yet to use the 3D in winter temps, but I have a synthetic 40 degree EE quilt which I will use as an over bag if needed. I’ve written this in a prior review of the Skaha concerning Nunatak, but I’ll repeat it here: If you want inexpensive look elsewhere. If you want to order extremely high quality, fully customizable pieces with an astounding number of options and choices, and don't mind excellent customer service from the owner and team that make up Nunatak, then spend the dough and take the plunge. Now here's the disclaimer, I paid full price for this product.