By two standards: EN (European Norm) and the newer ISO (International Organization for Standardization) Both create standardized ratings for sleeping bags and quilts. This standardized testing procedure allows for the comparison of different products across the market. For a given temperature, this results in three different ratings based on different criteria.
Types of Ratings
There are three different EN temperature ratings: Comfort, lower limit, and extreme. All three are measured using a base layers, a hat, and an insulated sleeping pad. The comfort rating is based on the temperature for an average woman to sleep through a night on their back. The lower limit range is established based on an average man in a curled-up position. The extreme limit is the temperature for an average woman to survive through a night without risk of dying of hypothermia.
How does Enlightened Equipment rate their quilts and why does it matter to me?
We have subjected our quilts to EN testing; however, it is crucial to note that the ratings on our website and specifications chart may not necessarily represent the EN test outcomes for a particular product. However, we evaluate our quilt temperature ratings by employing our own testing methods, incorporating customer feedback, and utilizing our design expertise of over a decade of building quilts.
Typically, the quilt temperature ratings we claim fall between the Comfort Ratings and the Lower Limit Rating for quilts that have undergone testing using the EN 13537 standard. We aim to declare temperature claims that are more conservative than the industry standard, ensuring that our customers feel comfortable in our quilts at the temperatures we specify. Our declared quilt temperature ratings denote the lower limit of a sleeping bag's intended warmth range when used correctly. "Correct use" entails proper care and maintenance, making sure that the quilt is positioned accurately throughout the night (with the top above you and the bottom below you), wearing proper sleeping apparel, and always using an appropriate ground mat or insulated sleeping pad.
Considerations in Choosing a Temperature Rating
Every situation is different, and you should consider your body and prior experience before deciding on a quilt temperature rating for any sleep system. If you are a woman or tend to sleep cold, consider buying a warmer sleeping quilt. Quilts also differ from sleeping bags in their lack of a hood and open nature. This means headgear is extremely important to maximize your comfort in a quilt. We recommend our Torrid Hood for maximal insulation.
It is important to consider your entire sleep system (link to sleep system article) when choosing a quilt temperature rating. The shelter, pad, and layers you will use while sleeping can significantly affect your experience. If you are a newer quilt user, drafts may make your experience feel colder as you adjust or learn to use pad straps. Dirty quilts may insulate poorly because of dirt impeding the loft.
Other individual circumstances can further affect your sleep experience, such as under-eating, altitude, and temperature before sleeping. Read more tips about staying warm at night here.