The UGQ Bandit is a highly-customizable sleeping quilt offered in a variety of temperature ratings, fills, and colors. In addition to being one of the go-to quilts in my quiver (what is the proper term for a collection of quilts?), it’s also one of the top five highest-rated and most common quilts among Pacific Crest Trail hikers according to the PCT Hiker Survey.
It is available in temperature ratings ranging from 0°F / -19°C to 40°F / 4°C, offers fill-power of 800, 850, or 900, comes in four widths and four lengths, offers overstuffing, and UGQ has over 50 different exterior fabrics to choose from (and 11 interior fabric colors). In addition to all this, you can also customize the draft collar, foot box, taper, and pad attachment. It’s a lot.
Here’s everything you need to know about the UGQ Bandit to decide whether you should include it as part of your next outdoor adventure.
Pros and Cons
+ Highly customizable options to fit every need
+ Dynamic tension control works well to keep quilt secure (optional)
+ Versatile designs allow for use in varying temperatures
+ Awesome colors available
– Drawcord footbox can be drafty
– Lead times can be over a month
– Options can add up quickly (i.e. can be expensive)
The following information in this review reflects a 950-fill, 20°F / -6°C UGQ Bandit in regular width, regular length, no overstuff, no draft collar, with dynamic tension control, with a full taper, and with the ultralight pad attachment. As noted above, you can customize a bandit with a variety of fill powers, temperature ratings, lengths, widths, fabrics, and colors. To see all the available options, check here.
- Weight: 21.67 oz / 615 g (varies greatly based on configuration)
- Temperature Ratings: 0°F / -19°C, 10°F / -12°C, 20°F / -6°C, 30°F / -1°C, 40°F / 4°C
- Fill Power: 800, 850, 950
- Widths: Slim, Regular, Wide, Extra Wide
- Lengths: Short, Regular, Long, Extra Long
- Overstuff: 1, 2, or 3 oz available
- Footbox Overstuff: 1 or 2 oz available
- Inner Shell Colors: Various
- Exterior Shell Colors: Various
- Exterior Shell Fabrics: MRS20, M10T, OD-INK, PRYM1, HEXCAM
- Available Draft Collars: Neck Line, Foot Box
- Foot Box Styles: Drawcord, Flat Sewn, Insulated
- Dynamic Tension Control: Optional
- Taper Style: Full Taper, No Taper
- Pad Attachment: Ultralight or Deluxe
- MSRP: $204.95 to $708.95
The Customization: A standout (and potentially overwhelming) feature of the UGQ Bandit is how customizable it is. You can have an ultralight quilt for summer temperatures or a significantly heavier shoulder season (or even winter) quilt with overstuff, a sewn footbox, and a draft collar. I am partial to the incredible array of fabrics and colors available and am very pleased to now have a bright pink quilt (with a robin egg blue interior); it’s beautiful.
The Weight: If you’re wanting a 20°F / -6°C you can easily customize a UGQ Bandit that weighs in the neighborhood of 23 oz / 652 g – incredibly lightweight for quilts with similar specs. You’ll have to opt for the 900-fill down to get the weight down, but even with 800-fill power down, you’ll only be adding around 2 oz / 57 g to your build. This is all to say, that if you’re interested in an ultralight quilt, you can be sure that you’ve found one with the Bandit.
The Dynamic Tension Control: The Bandit comes with optional dynamic tension control at an additional cost. The dynamic tension control system (DTCS) has two adjustable elastic bands that run lengthwise from the top of the quilt down to the top of the footbox (or the footbox zipper). Fully loosened, the sides of the quilt are limp (as you would expect the edge of a quilt to be), but when tightened the system compresses the edges of the quilt and draws them further beneath you. If you’re getting a quilt to use in colder climates (i.e. anything other than a 40°F / 4°C quilt), I recommend adding this to your build.
The Pad Attachment: The UGQ Bandit offers two different pad attachment systems – actually three if you count “no attachment” as a system – an ultralight version and a deluxe version. The ultralight version (the version I have) works well despite my reservations at first. It’s essentially two straps with two oval pieces of plastic that go around your sleeping pad and can be cinched down. The two plastic pieces can be passed through loops on either side of the quilt (at two spots along the length of the quilt). I might opt for the deluxe pad attachment if I had to do it again.
The Price: The price of the UGQ Bandit can vary wildly depending on your desired temperature rating and features. At its most expensive, it’s over three times the price of the least expensive build. Not necessarily a bad thing as there are huge differences between these two builds, but it still means that your quilt could end up costing more than you had hoped.
The Customization: Wait, I thought the customizations on the UGQ Bandit were a good thing? They are – depending on who you are. If you’re new to the ultralight or the quilt game, looking at the UGQ builder on the website may seem incredibly overwhelming. Beyond all the options, the website leaves a bit to be desired. That said, there are tooltips that explain a lot of the features available to help guide you through the process. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
The Website: This is something a lot of smaller companies struggle with, but the webpage where you customize your UGQ Bandit leaves something to be desired. As with all the available options, the site itself can be quite overwhelming and it can leave you confused as to how exactly your quilt is going to end up looking once you’ve finished with your build. That said, there are depictions of what each of the quilt builds looks like with each of the exterior fabric options.
Who is it for?
The UGQ Bandit may be a bit intimidating to those new to the world of ultralight or the world of quilts. However, with some guidance, the Bandit can make a great and versatile piece of sleep gear for just about anyone. Just be sure that you’re customizing the quilt to meet your specific needs and that you aren’t trying to shave off a few grams at the expense of your warmth or comfort. If you’re complaining that your quilt is not warm enough or not wide enough, you’ll likely have only yourself to blame.
|QUILT||PRICE||WEIGHT||TEMP||SHELL FABRIC||FILL||FILL WEIGHT|
|El Coyote AlphaLite 900||$329||22.15 oz / 628 g||20°F / -6°C||15D Nylon w/ DWR||900 goose||15.13 oz / 429 g|
|Enlightened Equipment APEX Convert||$290||35.56 oz / 1.008 kg||20°F / -6°C||7 or 10D Nylon||CLIMASHIELD APEX||---|
|Enlightened Equipment APEX Enigma||$230||28.64 oz / 812 g||20°F / -6°C||7 or 10D Nylon||CLIMASHIELD APEX||---|
|Enlightened Equipment APEX Revelation||$220||30.14 oz / 855 g||20°F / -6°C||7 or 10D Nylon||CLIMASHIELD APEX||---|
|Enlightened Equipment Convert||$510||24.64 oz / 699 g||20°F / -6°C||7 or 10D Nylon||950 duck||16.05 oz / 455 g|
|Enlightened Equipment Enigma||$315||19.3 oz / 547 g||20°F / -6°C||7 or 10D Nylon||950 duck||13.8 oz / 392 g|
|Enlightened Equipment Revelation||$280||20.9 oz / 593 g||20°F / -6°C||7 or 10D Nylon||950 duck||14.4 oz / 408 g|
|Feathered Friends Flicker UL||$489||25.2 oz / 715 g||20°F / -6°C||Pertex Endurance UL||950 goose||14.7 oz / 417 g|
|Feathered Friends Flicker YF||$409||27.2 oz / 771 g||27.2 oz / 771 g||Pertex YFuse||900 goose||14.7 oz / 417 g|
|Hammock Gear Economy Burrow||$190||24 oz / 680 g||20°F / -6°C||20D Nylon||800 duck||14.5 oz / 411 g|
|Hyperlite Mountain Gear 20-Degree||$599||20.1 oz / 570 g||20°F / -6°C||7D Nylon w/ DWR||1000 goose||14 oz / 397 g|
|Katabatic Alsek||$430||21.9 oz / 621 g||22°F / -5.6°C||Pertex Quantum Eco||900 goose||13.4 oz / 380 g|
|Katabatic Flex||$410||22.8 oz / 646 g||22°F / -5.6°C||Pertex Quantum Eco||900 goose||14.3 oz / 405g|
|Nunatak Arc UL 20F||$450||22.4 oz / 635 g||20°F / -6°C||10D+7D Nylon||900 goose||15.3 oz / 434 g|
|Sierra Designs Nitro 20||$280||27 oz / 765 g||21°F / -6°C||15D Nylon||800 duck||14.8 oz / 420 g|
|Therm-a-Rest Corus 20||$300||26 oz / 737 g||20°F / -6°C||20D Polyester w/ DWR||650 duck||19 oz / 539 g|
|Therm-a-Rest Vesper 20||$430||19 oz / 539 g||20°F / -6°C||10D Nylon w/ DWR||900 goose||12.5 oz / 354 g|
|UGQ Bandit||$365||19.4 oz / 550 g||20°F / -6°C||5 Options||950 goose||13 oz / 369 g|
|Western Mountaineering AstraLite||$465||17.1 oz / 485 g||26°F / -3°C||12D Nylon||850 goose||10.5 oz / 298 g|
|Zpacks 20F Solo||$429||18.7 oz / 529 g||20°F / -6°C||7D Nylon w/ DWR||900 goose||13.7 oz / 387 g|
The UGQ Bandit can be as bare bones or as fully loaded as you like. It’s certainly worth a look if you’re in the market for an ultralight customizable backpacking (or outdooring) quilt. Personally, I was finally stoked to have a bright pink quilt (anything to make it easier for search and rescue to find/recover my body).
Just be sure that you customize your quilt to meet your specific needs. There are so many different iterations of the Bandit available that you could easily customize hundreds of unique builds without any two being the same.
Rating + Recommendation
If you’re looking for a lightweight and customizable quilt to meet a specific need or if you’re just picky about options, then the UGQ Bandit is a great option. Just be sure you choose the options that will best suit the environments you plan on using the quilt in.
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