Gruezi Biopod DownWool Quilt | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Gruezi Biopod DownWool Quilt | Review

A comfy, compact and lightweight quilt that uses a clever blend of down and wool for insulation

Why We Chose It: DownWool insulation, cosy construction, RDS and OEKO-TEX certified

Though relatively new to the outdoor scene, we’ve had our eyes on Gruezi ever since they came up with the amazingly unique form of insulation that is DownWool. It’s essentially an insulating blend of down and wool that’s built specifically for outdoor sleep systems. Simple, yet incredibly effective.

Whilst in previous years we’ve looked at their more classic styles of sleeping bags, such as the DownWool Ice 185, this year we’ve gone for the Biopod DownWool Quilt to shake things up a bit. Aside from making for an – arguably – comfier night’s sleep thanks to the freeing build, it’s also a much lighter bag, at a better price point. There’s quite a few new features here too that are sure to come in handy on your next adventure.

What Is the Biopod DownWool Quilt Best Suited To?

The Biopod Quilt is rated as a three-season quilt, though Gruezi recommends using it more in the late spring up until the early autumn as it’s not closed all around. In this sense, it’s also more ideal for wriggly sleepers who prefer a less restrictive option than the likes of a mummy-style sleeping bag. 

In terms of activities, Gruezi suggests the DownWool Quilt for things like lightweight trekking and last-minute camping trips, as well as hammock sleeping in the midst of summer. 

Eco Credentials

Aside from the unique insulation that DownWool provides, it’s crucially also a natural form of insulation that reduces our dependence on synthetic materials. More specifically, it’s a blend of 70% RDS-certified down and 30% wool from the Alpine region, otherwise known as Almwolle (wool of mountainsheeps).The former provides the warmth, whilst the latter gives you a solid amount of breathability to keep the down nice and dry. 

This is also handy because down actually only works as an insulator as long as it remains dry and fluffy. Whilst some products rely on chemically harmful water-repellent agents to combat this, DownWool forgoes this problem by using PFC-free water-repellant impregnation (Bionic-Finish Eco with Ruco-Dry Eco Plus), and wool that’s naturally water repellant. Two thumbs up then in terms of eco credentials and effective thermo-regulation. 

As a side note, the RDS (Responsible Down Standard) is important here because it ensures that the down and feathers used in production come from animals that have been treated as fairly and compassionately as possible. Specifically, this means that force-feeding and live plucking is prohibited, and that the full supply chain is evaluated from the farm to the final product.

Construction and Performance

Moving on from the insulation, the outer fabric is made of a breathable and water-repellant 20-denier 380T nylon. While tough enough for most things three-season camping will throw at you, this fabric is additionally OEKO-TEX certified. This means that the materials used in the product have been tested for substances harmful to human health which, in turn, means that harmful substances are also less likely to enter into our eco-systems. Nice. 

OM tester Becky Angell putting the Gruezi Quilt through its paces in the Lake District.

What’s also great about this quilt is that you can attach it to your sleeping pad with the removable elastic fixing system that’s supplied. This is set up in an intuitive way where you simply wrap the elastic straps – accompanied with anti-slip nubs – around the mat to secure it in place. 

Related: Best Backpacking Sleeping Mats 

There are also multiple features in place to ensure a warm sleeping experience. Firstly, there’s a longitudinal side construction of chambers that prevents cold spots in the bag. Then there’s the zip at the end of the quilt that can be connected to form a toasty (drawstring closable) ‘footmuff’. And lastly, there’s the fact that the quilt can combine quickly and easily with a standard sleeping bag during the winter months. 

Other neat features include: a thermal collar placket to prevent heat escaping from your neck, double-sided elastic drawstrings for your head, a snap fastener at the top to fix the quilt as a cape, and an inner pocket for valuables and midnight snacks.

The volume of the bag is 7L (5L compressed) which translates to a pack size of roughly 16 x 35 cm or smaller if squished. The unfolded size of the quilt, on the other hand, is 190 x 135 x 100 cm.

Recent news from Gruezi is that they’ve developed a new line of jackets and other items of clothing that are insulated with their wool and down blend. All looks like nifty stuff – keep your eyes peeled for it.

“We all will remember that even when asleep we perspire almost a litre so having a combination of ‘natural’ waddings that can work together is great progress. Have no experience of how this will actually perform, but the theory is outstanding. Remembering back to the Test Lab boffins at Uni of Leeds – they have highlighted that a wool sleeping bag could be the most useful one as it pro-actively thermoregulates (cools you when hot, insulates you when cold), which is not a feature that any other wadding can do.

Gruezi Biopod DownWool Quilt

Selected for our Green Gear Guide 2023
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