So, in continuing my quest to go lighter (I mean, finding my sweet spot with comfort, safety and light-weight) I decided to replace my current “warm weather” quilt. The quilt I currently have is a recycled synthetic-filled GoLite RS 1+ Season Quilt which weighs in somewhere right around 27 oz. At this point, I have successfully replaced almost all of my other gear with both smaller and lighter weight items and have found that I am much happier with the newer items. This is of course in thanks to the lighter weight and smaller packed size, but also due to the fact that the newer stuff is simply more comfortable to use! So, at this point, this quilt is an obvious place to save a little weight.
There are quite a few quilt makers out there, but I wanted something as light as I could get (however, without completely breaking the bank), and in the back of my mind I remembered a thread that a forum member posted about a sweet looking, super light-weight quilt. Come to find out that quilt was made by a guy named Javan Dempsey and under the label of “The Stateless Society.”
So, I contacted Javan and explained to him what I wanted. I included my height, weight and sleeping style. I also let him know that I am a ground sleeper and even let him know a few of the sleeping pads I use. He promptly returned my email and from there we came to a conclusion. He is building me a “variable tapered quilt” and using 900 fp down as well as a light-weight 0.9 oz Intrepid material. He believes that once the quilt will be done it will be +/- 13.5 oz total. He told me that we could drop a little more by using cuben fiber baffles and a lighter weight M50 fabric, but the weight savings would be very minimal and of course the cost would be a little more. I chose to suffer the weight consequences… 🙂 Regardless, even if the quilt is 14 oz, I will still be saving 13 oz from my GoLite quilt. Very nice.
So, now I must wait. At the moment he has about a 12 week waiting period (and I believe he may have stopped taking orders for a little while until he gets a little more caught up). From what I gather, he does all the work himself, so I figure if he is that booked up, he will be a very busy man for a while. But to me, 12 weeks will seem like an eternity I am sure. He will contact me whenever he gets ready to start making my quilt and at this time we will go over more details, so I am eagerly awaiting that email…
Until then, if you would like to see a quilt just like the one he will be making me, or even to get in contact with Javan about making your own quilt, check out this review on The Stateless Society Quilt over on Backpacking Light:
Or contact Javan via email:
Of course, once the quilt is in my hands I will do a more in-depth review of the quilt.
I have noticed that I have had a few hits on this page as of today, and I assume that it is due to the interest in Ray Estrella’s write-up on his Stateless Society quilt that he has released on BPL. So, I figured I would go ahead and update this page. (Oh, and as much as I would like to read Ray’s article, I cannot since I am not, and will not, be a paying member of BPL. Just my decision. However, if you are interested, this would be a report worth reading, IMO. Ray is a very experienced backpacker/hiker and offers lots of great insight on gear. In short, he da’ man!)
So, as I said above, I placed the order for my very own SSQ (Stateless Society Quilt) on January 21 of last year (2011). When I placed the order Javan told me the wait time was 12 weeks and that he was probably going to quit accepting orders after mine simply due to the back-up already. So, I was excited to get my order in time, but wasn’t sure if I would be able to wait a full 12 weeks for the quilt… 🙂
So, time ticked by. As time grew closer to the end of the 12 week time frame I made contact with Javan since I had not heard anything from him yet. He informed me that he was still behind schedule and that it would be a little while longer.
So, to make a long story short, at week 27 (on July 26th) I still did not have the quilt (or a time frame in which to expect it), so I asked Javan for my money back. Javan had no problem with this and was very quick to get my money refunded to me via PayPal. (I actually believe it was the same day, or maybe the next).
During this time, I had also spoken with another backpacker that had also purchased one of Javan’s quilts around the same time I did, so we kept each other informed when we made contact with Javan about our orders. From what I can remember, there were times that Javan had run out of inventory and would have to wait on stock to come back in. As well, at one time I had heard that one of his machines had gone down, and then his second one had also went down.
I can understand when materials run out, or machines break down, but one issue that bothered me was that from what I understood, he was filling orders that thru-hikers had placed ahead of my order. This is fine with me to a point, but when it put my order off by 15 weeks, after I had already waited 12 weeks was not fine, and to be honest it was the straw that made me ask for the money back.
There were a few times that it was hard for me to get in contact with Javan, but he explained that this was due to some internet problems that he was having at one point in time. However, this leads me to another thing that bothered me, and that was the fact that he did not contact me and let me know what was going on throughout the entire time. Each time I spoke with him I had to initiate it. This also put me in an uncomfortable situation as I hated to have to keep trying to get in touch with him, and wondered if I was bothering him.
I was really disappointed that I had to cancel my order. I was really looking forward to getting the quilt, and this was because of Ray’s initial response to his quilt (which is linked to in the first part of this post). But, at some point I had to make a decision, and at 27 weeks later I did.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not writing this to bash Javan. I have no reason to (nor do I) feel like he was trying to rip me off, or mess me over. From my end, it looks like he simply got too busy for one person, and got way behind. And getting behind is ok. But, where I do think he failed as a business man was in his lack of communication along with how far behind he actually was.
So, in the end, I am not bitter towards Javan. And to be honest, I would still like to have one of his quilts (especially after how much Ray rave’s about his). I am not sure if I will ever attempt to order another one from him, but to be fair, my needs are all met at the moment too. And, to be honest, I am not sure that he is even taking orders for them anymore. It seems like I remember him talking about how much he was getting into making knives so he may have moved on from quilts…
Anyway, I just wanted to update this post. If you have any comments or questions about this please feel free to post them below.
Thanks for your time.