Friday, September 01, 2023

ZPacks 20 °F Solo Quilt Review

Article by Markus Zinkl 

Solo Quilt ($429.00)


Introducing the ZPacks 20F Solo Backpacking Quilt is a versatile companion for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a balance between warmth, weight, and flexibility. In this review, we'll delve into the features that distinguish the ZPacks quilt, its performance across different conditions, and the advantages it offers to ultralight enthusiasts looking for a lighter sleep system. I tested in on a 13 day trek on the Via Alpina in Switzerland in varied conditions including colder weather near freezing. Please join me as we take a closer look at how 20F Solo quilt performed, its features and how it is constructed.

Tech Specs

Size: Medium/Standard

Official Weight: 18.3 oz / 520 g 

Sample Weight: 19.6 oz / 557 g

Length: 74’’ / 188 cm

Shoulder width: 60’’ / 152.5 cm 

Hip width: 60’’ / 152.5 cm 

Feet width: 40’’ / 101.5 cm

Included Dry Bag: 6’’ x 12 ‘’ / 15 cm x 30 cm

Temperature Rating: 20 °F / -7 °C 

No official ISO Rating. 

Zpacks states its rating to be close to the ISO transition range. (ISO Transition Range is where a standard man is “in a situation of fighting against cold (posture is curled up inside the sleeping bag), but in thermal equilibrium” and not shivering.)


Main fabric: 0.51 oz/sqyd Ventum Ripstop Nylon                   

Filling: DownTek 950 Fill Power Water Repellent RDS certified Goose Down

Pad Attachment: Elastic Cord with Snaps



  • Length: Short, Medium and Long

  • Width: Slim, Standard and Broad

Colors: Black, Green, Orange and Azure Blue


At its core is the implementation of top-notch insulation – the quilt utilizes DownTek PCF-FREE water-resistant 900 fill power goose down. Sourced responsibly and certified under the 'Responsible Down Standard', this advanced down treatment ensures a longer-lasting dryness compared to conventional untreated down. This means that the quilt should remain effective in maintaining warmth even in conditions where regular down might falter. 

I’m writing “should”, because not all manufacturers are sold on treated down. Western Mountaineering for example states that high quality down, due to its natural oils, already has water repellant features. Down treatments wash out the oils and over the lifetime of the product could even inhibit the performance over its lifetime. They rather focus on water resistant shell fabrics. In my testing I didn’t have any problems with DownTek treated down, quite the contrary. In my last thru-hike of the Swiss Via Alpina with 13 days on trail and in conditions with quite a bit condensation and an overall damp environment due to inclement weather.

Beyond the insulation, the quilt design incorporates vertical baffles on the upper body to prevent the migration of down towards the sides. The tight spacing of compartments works to evenly distribute the down, eradicating the possibility of cold spots. An absence of sewn through seams further reinforces its insulation efficiency by creating more loft in those areas.

The quilt's rectangular foot box is intentionally spacious, offering comfortable accommodation for your feet whether you're lying on your side, stomach, or back. The interior features black fabric to expedite drying, while both the liner and shell are treated with C0 durable water repellent to resist rain spray and body moisture.

In terms of securing the quilt during use, a central snap prevents the sides from slipping off, while an optional strap permits fastening to your sleeping pad – aiding in staying firmly on the pad throughout the night.

Additional user-oriented elements include a snap at the top for secure closure, an elastic cord to seal out drafts around your neck, and a roll-top dry bag inclusion for enhanced portability.

Sizing and Fit

Zpacks offers a sizing chart on their site but which you can also find below. You can choose the length and width accordingly. I’m 6 ft / 183 cm with a slim build and I went with a medium long and standard width model. I recommend going with the sizing recommendation. For me the quilt fit perfectly.


Fits up to 5’ 6’’

Fits up to 6’ 0’’

Fits up to 6’ 6’’

Fits up to 50’’

127 cm







Fits up to 55’’ 

140 cm







Fits up to 60’’

152 cm







Height: The measurement extending from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet

Girth: Including your arms, the measurement around the widest part of your torso. Your arms should be loosely by your side when measuring. 


I used the quilt for the majority of my trips this year, including my last thru hike of the Via Alpina in Switzerland. For those unfamiliar with quilts, they are unlike sleeping bags which typically encase your entire body. A quilt is essentially a blanket-like cover that you drape over yourself. It's specifically designed to eliminate the insulation on the bottom, which is often compressed by your body weight when sleeping in a bag. 

Instead, a quilt usually has a strap or attachment system to secure it to your sleeping pad, preventing drafts and ensuring that the insulation on top stays in place. As someone who tends to feel the chill more than others, I was amazed by its very accurate temperature rating. Even on nights that dipped as low as 33 °F/1°C, this quilt kept me cozy and comfortable throughout the night being almost too warm. 

One of the standout features that contributes to its good temperature performance is the absence of sewn-through construction. This design choice undoubtedly played a role in maintaining the quilt's excellent thermal efficiency, making it a reliable choice for chilly adventures.

The high fill power down loft not only ensures superb insulation but also grants the quilt the ability to compress down to a remarkably small size. While I was cautious about compressing it too much to preserve the down's longevity, I was pleased with the quilt's ability to be packed into a compact form.

One feature that stood out as a savior against drafts were the side baffles. These nifty additions performed well in preventing any unwanted cold air from sneaking in during the night. What's more, the sleeping pad attachment system seamlessly complemented the side baffles, particularly on colder and windier nights when extra insulation was paramount.

I also appreciated the thoughtful inclusion of a hanging loop at the footbox. This simple yet practical addition allowed me to easily hang the quilt for drying or storage, showcasing Zpacks’ attention to detail. Moreover, the quilt comes with a high-quality Dyneema Composite Fabric (DCF) stuff sack, a luxurious addition that's often quite expensive when bought separately.

In terms of durability, I was relieved to find minimal loss of down during my trek, a testament to the quilt's solid construction. The generous dimensions of the footbox also earned a nod of approval, offering ample room for foot movement without compromising heat retention.

On the flip side, I would have appreciated a large storage sack for when the quilt is not in use. Unfortunately,  none is included. For the price I would have expected one. It's worth noting that the sewing quality isn't flawless – a snap on the pad attachment did come loose during my use.

However, a quick fix with superglue resolved the issue, and while a few loose threads were present here and there, they didn't significantly detract from the quilt's overall performance.


All in all, this backpacking quilt has certainly earned its place in my gear arsenal. Its precise temperature rating, clever construction, and host of practical features make it a standout choice for backpackers seeking reliable warmth and comfort on their adventures.

Available at Zpacks here Zpacks 

The products that are the basis of this test were provided to us free of charge by Zpacks. The opinions presented are our own.

Tester Profile

Markus Zinkl: I’m 33 years old and live in a small village in Bavaria, Germany. I started hiking and backpacking 5-6 years ago. Coming from trail running and with light and fast in mind, I started hiking and fast packing with ultralight gear . Over the years I tried and tested a lot of gear, always in search of weight savings. Although still trying to stay out of the ultralight rabbit hole. I spend most of my days off from work on the trail, with at least one 2-3 week thru-hike. Among the more well known trails I have hiked over the last few years are the GR221, WHR (Walker’s Haute Route), TMB (Tour du Mont Blanc), TC (Tour du Cervin-Matterhorn) and Via Alpina Switzerland. As you probably notice by now, I’m at home in the mountains. So if I’m not running or thru-hiking a longer trail, I’m probably somewhere in the Alps checking out some shorter trails.

We welcome comments and questions in the comments section below

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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