A Better Backcountry Double Bed: The Accomplice from Enlightened Equipment
by Becca Moffat, Rokslide Prostaff
For couples who backpack, camp, and hunt together, it can be a real challenge to find a backcountry “double bed” that is as comfortable and warm, without weighing a ton. In the last seven years, Luke and I have tried out numerous double or zip together sleeping bags. While most served their purpose, none have worked as well as the Accomplice two-person quilt from Enlightened Equipment.
Most zip-together bags involve the coupling of two standalone sleeping bags, either square or mummy. With either type, you inevitably end up with too much area inside the bag (remember as circumference doubles, volume more than triples!) Excess space inside a bag means more area your bodies have to heat, and I found that we inevitably ended up with cold spots. Also, doubling the size of the head opening at the top makes for a much larger space for heat loss, particularly between our necks and heads.
Zipping together mummy style bags helped somewhat (in that each of us had our own hood) but having two individual foot boxes made that setup feel constricting. The Accomplice two-person quilt from Enlightened Equipment solves both these problems, and in a package that is considerably lighter than traditional double sleeping bags of similar temperature ratings.
The Accomplice functions like most single quilts in that you lay the quilt over you and secure it to your sleeping pad on the sides to keep drafts out. Designed for two people each on their own air mattress, the included two sets of elastic pad straps work to hold the two mattresses together as well as securing the quilt along the sides. At 86″ in width for the full length of the quilt, there is plenty of room for both people to move during the night without creating a draft, but without the extra dead space that can make a double bag so cold. The included elastic straps work to secure both pads together, as well as seal out drafts along the sides
The Accomplice features a double-width sewn foot box. This gives you get the warmth of wrap-around insulation without the constriction you would find in a traditional mummy-style bag. Since the foot box is shared by both sleepers, you get the benefit of two people’s body heat inside. My feet are always freezing, but I find the foot box on our Accomplice feels warm almost as soon as I crawl inside it. The foot box is sized just right, so there is enough space to move but not so much that you can’t keep it warm.
The perfectly sized footbox ensures both sleepers stay cozy
Another feature that impressed me was the innovative individual draft collars. A small down filled baffle is sewn into the top of the quilt and designed to pass between the necks and heads of the two users. Each person can choose to close the top of the quilt around their neck by securing a snap between the baffle and the edge of the quilt, and then adjust it tighter or looser with a cinch cord. In warmer temps, I find we tend to leave the draft collars unsnapped entirely, but when the mercury drops closer to freezing, it’s nice to have the ability to seal in the heat. Better yet, both people have control of their own side so if one user sleeps warmer they can leave hers open while the other snugs it up tight.
Individual draft collars allow each sleeper to control personal temperature
Enlightened Equipment offers a different options to customize your quilt (or double quilt in this case.) You can select anywhere from 40,30,20,10, and 0 degree temp ratings. I sleep on the colder side so Luke opted for the 10 degree model. I can honestly say I have yet to get cold in it, even with several night’s use when temperatures fell into the teens.
Aside from temp ratings, you can choose which down fill you want from 800, 850 to 900 down fill. The 900 fill makes for a lighter but more expensive quilt. You also have the option to purchase the 800 fill with Downtek, which ensures the down continues to work in damp, high humidity environments. Considering that Alaska weather can often be rainy, we opted for the slightly heavier 800 Downtek. It came within an ounce of its listed weight.
You can also choose the length of the quilt you want based on the users. With options ranging from short (which is sized for users up to 5’6″) to extra tall (which can accommodate folks up to 7’2″), Enlightened Equipment truly offers choices for all statures. Since I’m only 5’3″ and Luke is 5’9″, we opted for the Regular length (which is suggested for users up to 6′ tall). Our quilt is true to size, and it is definitely worth ordering the quilt based on the height of the taller person.
Given so many different available options, pricing and weight of can vary significantly. For example, a 40-degree Accomplice with standard 800 fill down in short length will be $320, while a 0 degree in long length with 900 down fill will be $830! There is also another 62 options in between these two extremes, so there is something for everyone.
By combining the proven assets of a quilt with the sewn double foot box and the individual draft collars, Enlightened Equipment really hit it out of the park with the Accomplice. Luke and I have used ours for around 30 nights since we got it four months ago. It’s by far the best solution we have found for couples to sleep together in the backcountry. For a lightweight double sleep system, the Accomplice really can’t be beat. Visit Enlightened Equipment for more information.
Becca and Luke Moffat reside in Wasilla, Alaska spending hundreds of days each year in the true backcountry.
You can discuss this article here: Rokslide Sleep System Forum
*Note: Accomplice Quilt tested was a preproduction model and may have a different appearance than current stock.
If you’re in need of a single person quilt, check ou the review on the Convert Quilt here