Over the past few years I’ve started to move away from sleeping bags on my 3-season backpacking trips. I really dislike the feeling of being constricted in tight-fitting ultralight mummy bags, so I wanted to see what other options were out there. Switching over to backpacking quilts has been a huge game changer for me and I’m getting some of the best trail sleep of my life.
I recently had the chance to review Therm-a-Rest’s new Corus HD Quilt, and I think it has a lot of fantastic features. For starters, it’s extremely light and compact, which is important for any backpacking trip. It also has one of the best pad attachment systems of any quilt I’ve ever tested, which is critical for eliminating chilly drafts. And to top it all off, it comes at a very reasonable price, especially for down sleeping bags/quilts.
The Corus HD is rated to 35°F, which makes it a better choice for warmer spring, summer, and fall trips. While it’s not an ideal fit for cold sleepers or frigid nights, the Chorus has some features that make it an excellent option for ultralight comfort. If you’re in the market for a new warm-weather sleeping bag or quilt, I highly recommend taking a look at the new Corus HD.
CORUS HD QUILT SPECS
PRICE - The Corus HD is priced very affordably, especially when you compare it to other down sleeping bags and quilts. I consider it a high-quality budget-buy. Current prices can be found here on REI and Amazon.
WEIGHT - The regular size Corus HD weighs only 1lb 6oz, which is very light for sleeping bags and quilts. It’s not the lightest quilt on the market, but it’s not far off either. The Corus also has a few convenient features that most quilts lack, making it worth a few extra ounces.
WARMTH - This quilt is rated to 35°F for men and 45°F for women. So, if you often backpack at times when temperatures dip near freezing, this quilt probably isn’t for you. That said, many backpackers go overboard with the temperature ratings of their sleeping bags. If you mostly trek in warmer spring, summer, and fall weather, this quilt could be a great choice. Also, it’s important to remember that you can always boost the warmth of your quilt on chilly nights by wearing extra layers (or even a puffy coat) to bed. Check out the warmth section of my sleeping bags guide for more info.
BAFFLE CONSTRUCTION - One of the reasons the Corus HD has a higher temperature rating is because its baffles (insulation tubes) are sewn through. This is an uncomplicated way to construct baffles that cuts down on weight (the outer-layer of the quilt is sewn directly to the inner-liner, which creates tubes to hold the down). The main downside with this method is that it reduces overall warmth because there is no down loft at the seams of the quilt. Still, as a warm weather bag, the baffle system on this quilt works quite well.
PAD CONNECTION - Sleeping pad connection is an area where the Corus HD delivers big time. In fact, I think it has the most secure pad connection system of any quilt I’ve ever tested. There are 8 snap loops sewn around the Corus (two on the bottom and three along each side). These snap loops pair with the stick-on mattress patches that comes with the quilt or a Therm-a-Rest Universal Sheet (sold separately). When the weather is warm, you can leave your quilt unclipped and use it like the comforter on your bed at home. When the temperature drops, snap the quilt to your mattress for excellent heat retention, even if you tend to toss and turn throughout at night. The snap loops also allow the Corus to connect with other Therm-a-Rest quilts, sleeping bags, and blankets.
LOOP KIT - The Corus HD comes with a loop kit that contains 8 stick-on patches. Just peel off the back of these patches and attach them directly to your sleeping pad. Line up the patches with the snap loops of the quilt and you’ll be good to go. These patches are the lightest and easiest way to connect your quilt, though some hikers don’t like the feeling of sleeping directly on their pads. My only concern with these patches is that the glue might wear off over time and with lots of use. The adhesive seems to be holding strong for now, so hopefully they’ll last a long time.
UNIVERSAL SHEET - The other pad connection option is to buy a Therm-a-Rest Universal Sheet (available in mummy and rectangular shapes). This is the more comfortable way to go, but it will add a few extra ounces to your pack. I really like the secure loop connections on the Universal Sheet and it feels very soft against the skin. I personally don’t mind sleeping directly on my pad, but I think most hikers will prefer the feel of the Universal Sheet. My wife, for example, loves the universal sheet and wouldn't use this quilt without it.
DRAFT TUBES - In addition to a fantastic pad connection system, the Corus HD also has two large draft tubes (hanging down-filled flaps) that cover the length of the quilt on both sides. These draft tubes do an excellent job of keeping out any unwanted chilly air, especially when the quilt is snapped in. This is another great benefit that is rare among ultralight quilts.
COMFORT - I found the Corus HD to be very comfortable. I’m 6’2” and 185lb with wide shoulders, so I tested a large size quilt. I had plenty of room to shift around to different sleeping positions without feeling constricted, even with it snapped in. There is a good amount of width and length in this quilt too. I even had enough room to pull it over my head, which can be a nice option on truly frigid nights.
FOOTBOX - The Corus HD has an elastic footbox, which is also a nice feature. Sleeping with cold feet is the pits. This quilt has an elastic pocket that will hold your feet and your sleeping pad in place. That way your feet will stay warm, even if your pad isn’t attached.
NECK SNAP - At the top of the quilt, there is a sewn-in elastic cord and a snap on each side. That will allow you to snap the quilt together at the top on really cold nights. The elastic cord will help keep drafts from coming in and you’ll have enough space to poke your head out.
SNAP POCKET - This quilt also comes with a small snap pocket near the top. I keep a pair of foam earplugs in my pocket, just in case I encounter a lumberjack snorer somewhere along the trail.
SIZE - The Corus HD comes in two sizes: regular and large. Both have similar weights (1lb 6oz and 1lb 8oz), but the size large is 4in longer and 4in wider than the regular. The regular size is recommended for those with heights up to 5’10” and the large is recommended for those up to 6’2.” If you’re right on the edge, I would recommend bumping up in size for a little extra room. That said, I’m 6’2” and the large size fits me well.
PACKED SIZE - The Corus packs down really small, which is another great benefit. The quilt comes with a large stuff sack for storage and a small stuff sack for the trail (I usually just stuff my quilt into the bottom of my pack with no stuff sack though). If you wanted to, you could compress this quilt more with a compression stuff sack, but I don’t think that’s necessary.
STYLE - This quilt comes in one color: sulphur. While that’s not the sexiest name for a color, it actually looks pretty cool. I wouldn’t say this is the most stylish sleeping bag/quilt I’ve slept in, but it’s not ugly either. And functionality is what really matters anyway.
DURABILITY - Durability is one of the most difficult qualities for any reviewer to accurately assess. In order to really know a product's true limitations, you have to use it for years until it eventually breaks down. From all of my product testing and research, I expect this quilt to be very durable and last for a long time. Down sleeping bags and quilts can sometimes last for 20-30 years if treated with care and I would expect this quilt to function the same. It’s a well-built, high-quality product in my opinion.
SUMMARY OF PROS
- Affordable price
- Lightweight and compact
- Very comfortable
- Excellent sleeping pad attachment system
- Wide draft tubes keep out cold air
- Elastic footbox compartment
- Well-built with high-quality design
SUMMARY OF CONS
- Not a good fit for cold sleepers or chilly trips
- Sewn through baffle design limits overall warmth
If you generally backpack during the warmer weather of spring, summer, and fall, the Therm-a-Rest Corus HD Quilt could be an excellent choice for your treks. This quilt is incredibly light, comfortable, and compressible. It has one of the best pad attachment systems I’ve ever tested and it comes at a very reasonable price for down sleeping bags/quilts. The only real downside with this quilt is its 35°F temperature rating. That said, many experienced backpackers choose 30-40°F quilts these days, so it really does depend on your backpacking style and the weather you plan to hike in. If you're looking for a warmer option, check out my list of the 7 Best Sleeping Bags & Quilts of 2016. If you're looking for my personal favorite sleeping bag/quilt, check out my Top Gear Picks of 2016.
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