Katabatic Palisade 30 Degree Quilt Review

While thru-hiking the Eastern Continental Trail this past year, I made a lot of gear changes. Until then, I had been using the same mummy-style sleeping bag — the REI Joule — for my entire thru-hiking career. That bag worked well enough for me for 7,000 miles of hiking. But between 2017 and 2023, I saw a lot of hikers switching over from mummy-style bags to quilts. It made me curious.

When I was about 4,000 miles into my thru-hike last year, I had the privilege of trying out the Katabatic Palisade 30-degree quilt. I was already thrilled before even seeing it in person. The quilt itself weighed just 19.8 ounces. That meant I was shaving over a pound off of my base weight just by switching to the Palisade. For comparison, my REI Jule weighed around 38 ounces. The difference in weight was stark.

teal katabatic palisade laid out on bed, top view

The katabatic palisade 30 degree quilt in color green.

Katabatic Palisade 30 At a Glance

MSRP: $349
Fill Power: 850 fill
Weight: 19.8 oz
Length: 6′
Shoulder Width: 54 inches (similar to 63″ mummy bag)
Hip Width: 46 inches 
Footbox Width: 40 inches

The back of the Katabatic Palisade 30. The quilt is open in the back but has a means to add straps if you want to enclose the back.

Intended Use

The Katabatic Palisade is ideal three-season thru-hikers who want a lightweight sleep system that can work across a wide range of temperature conditions. If you hate the idea of swapping out your sleeping bag over the course of a thru-hike, this quilt is a great choice.

Circumstance of Review

I tested the Katabatic Palisade as I hiked through Alabama and along the length of the entire Florida Trail. It turned out to be everything I had hoped for and more. It was incredibly light, but very high quality. As a 5-foot-6 individual, I found the 6-foot quilt spacious and comfortable.

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Katabatic Palisade 30 Features

Hoodless design: Unlike mummy style bags, this quilt does not have a hood or an enclosed back, which saves weight. Knowing this, I chose the longer version of the bag to provide a bit more coverage. Katabatic also makes a 5-foot-6 quilt, which might have just fit me, but I preferred the extra fabric.

Footbox: Despite the open-back design, the Palisade still has a footbox. The bottom 2-3 feet of the quilt are enclosed like a mummy bag. I really enjoyed that feature because it helped to keep warmth inside the quilt.

Katabatic gave the footbox a trapezoidal design rather than making it perfectly square, which maximizes comfort and warmth, and overstuffed the baffles in this part of the quilt to prevent cold feet.

Straps + Pad Attachment: You also have the option to use provided straps to enclose the entire back of the quilt. If it was below freezing, that would be a great way to stay warm. That simple feature helps make the quilt very versatile. In contrast, you can also keep the quilt open and use it as more of a blanket if you get too hot.

Alternatively, you can also use Katabatic’s pad attachment system to keep the quilt securely fixed to your sleeping pad, sealing out drafts. The pad attachment system wraps around your pad and connects to the quilt via the black clips pictured below.

Katabatic Palisade 30 Pros

sewn-in grosgrain strap on back of katabatic palisade

There are two straps sewn into the quilt itself toward the bottom of the bag. Also note the clips where the pad attachment system can be connected.

Detachable straps that come with the quilt, allowing you to enclose the entire back of the quilt if desired. When temperatures dropped below freezing, this was a great feature.

Versatile across a wide range of temperatures: The Palisade 30 was ideal when I was on the Florida Trail, where temperatures varied drastically. There were nights that temperatures dropped well below freezing and I woke up to my tent being completely frosted over. But only a week or two later, temperatures would again be much higher. I found that I was able to stay comfortable across that complete range of temperatures with this quilt.

On colder nights, I used the straps provided with the quilt to enclose it more. There are also buttons around the neck of the quilt. These allow you to cocoon yourself into the quilt and use it as more of a sleeping bag if you desire. On warmer nights, I removed those straps and used the quilt as a blanket.

Hydrophobic down: The quilt is also made with water resistant down, which was a great asset on the humid Florida and Appalachian Trail. Often my sleeping bag would accumulate condensation over night. The waterproof down resisted condensation and did not saturate as easily as my previous sleeping bag.

large reinforced snap closures on neck

There is a button up towards the neck of the quilt. Allowing you to button yourself in to help stay inside the quilt over night.

Conservative temperature rating: I think Katabatic’s in-house temperature ratings are much more accurate than most brands and reflect a realistic comfort limit.

I was very comfortable in the Katabatic Palisade 30 in below-freezing temperatures. The lowest it got while I was using this bag was probably around 25 degrees. The quilt maintained comfort even in these temperatures.

Katabatic Palisade 30 Cons

Enclosed footbox can get hot: Katabatic does sell quilts with an additional zipper in the footbox, allowing you to open the quilt completely flat. The Palisade lacks this feature. While that wasn’t something I personally missed, I could see why someone might desire that feature. The enclosed footbox can become very hot if the temperature is well above 60 degrees.

katabatic palisade showing open back with teal exterior and black interior

Another photo to show the back of the quilt and the adjustable straps which enable to quilt to be enclosed in colder temperatures.

Unsuitable for extreme cold: If I was expecting to be in temperatures well below freezing for a consistent period of time, I would likely choose a different quilt. (But for a variable trail such as the AT or the Florida Trail, where temperatures can change drastically, this quilt was ideal.)

If you are hiking in cooler areas, you must pack a hat or buff to cover your head. This quilt does not have a hood like a mummy bag. That said, because I got a slightly larger-than-necessary size, there was enough length to cover my face, just not the top of my head.

Overall Value

After switching from a mummy style bag to the Katabatic Palisade 30, I will certainly never go back. This quilt is relatively affordable and is priced similar to other quilts on the market. And the weight, in my opinion, is hard to beat. Weighing just 19.8 ounces, this bag is barely over a pound and can be comfortably used in both freezing temperatures and warmer.

I found it to be the perfect quilt as someone who does not like to repeatedly switch out gear over the course of a thru-hike. Having a quilt that can be enclosed to allow for freezing temperatures, but also can be opened up to be used in warmer temperatures, is a must for me. I think it’s the perfect design for one of the Triple Crown trails — especially if your goal is to carry only one quilt or bag for the entire length of the trail. 

Shop the Katabatic Palisade 30 Quilt

Comparable Quilts

Enlightened Equipment Enigma 30

  • MSRP: $340
  • Weight: 19 oz

Katabatic Alsek 22

  • MSRP: $369
  • Weight: 23 oz

Western Mountaineering AstraLite 26

  • MSRP: $500
  • Weight: 17 oz

The Katabatic Palisade 30 was donated for purpose of review.

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