UGQ Bandit XL Quilt Review

I tested the UGQ Bandit XL quilt and this is my verdict.

August 08, 2023
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Quilt or sleeping bag. That’s an ongoing debate amongst backpackers which can lead to long, and maybe heated, discussions. However, if you want to switch to a backpacking quilt or maybe in the market for a new one, I suggest looking into the Bandit by Underground Quilts (UGQ).

Product Overview

UGQ Bandit XL

Price: $274.95 to $659.95

ugq bandit xl

✅ Many options that make it highly customizable

✅ Great customer service

✅ Temperature rating is the comfort rating, not survival

✅ Normally lighter than sleeping bags


❌ Could take a few months for them to make the quilt

❌ Too many options can be confusing

❌ Could be too pricey depending on what you are getting

❌ It can take some time to get used to sleeping with one


  • Weight: 1.89 pounds
  • Temperature Rating: 30* Fahrenheit
  • Outer shell fabric: MRS20 (Blaze Orange)
  • Inner shell fabric: M10T (Black)
  • Fill: 850 down
  • Fill weight: 15.67 ounce
  • Length: 78 inches
  • Width: 60 inches
  • Overstuff: 1-ounce footbox and 1-ounce body
  • Comes with: a storage bag and stuff sack

The Bandit Quilt is one of the most customizable quilts on the market. With choices ranging from fill weight to fabric type, to proprietary options like dynamic tension control, you have thousands of combinations to choose from.

Honestly, you might end up feeling a little overwhelmed by all the options. Don’t get frustrated if you have questions or aren’t sure if you are making the right choice. This is a big decision to make. Send UGQ a quick email and they’ll answer anything you’re worried about. If that doesn’t clear things up, you can schedule a phone call with them, and their expert staff will walk you through the quilt selection process.

To see reviews on other ultralight sleeping bags, see our post on the best backpacking quilts.

Performance Test Results

What We Tested:

How We Tested:

The UGQ Bandit XL Quilt has won my heart as a backpacker, so much I purchased a 40-degree version for use during the summer this year. Its innovative design, premium materials, and thoughtful construction make it a standout choice in the market. Whether you're a thru-hiker tackling long trails or a weekend warrior exploring the wilderness, this quilt is a reliable piece of gear that will keep you warm and cozy for years to come. 


Considering its exceptional performance and quality construction, the Bandit XL offers great value for money. Like most custom-designed backpacking gear, it will be more expensive than an off-the-shelf option. However, the quilt's durability ensures it will withstand many adventures, making it a worthwhile long-term investment. You know the saying in ultralight backpacking... buy once, cry once. It might feel like a big investment but once you break down the cost over the years of use, you’ll see it was well worth the money.

ugq bandit xl close-up feature

The UGQ Bandit XL ranges from $274.95 to $659.95.


Even though the quilt is comfort rated at 30 degrees, I have used it in the lower 20s in both the Smoky Mountains during my Appalachian Trail thru-hike and in the Rocky Mountains. I’ve found adding a base layer upper and bottom can greatly extend the temperature rating of the quilt. I would imagine if you used a puffy jacket and some type of pants, you could even go into colder temperatures if you needed to.

The bottom line is unlike other manufacturers’ temp ratings. You can count on UGQs to be accurate or even a little conservative. I would recommend testing out the limits of the quilt in a controlled environment, like car camping or a backyard, where you can bring additional clothing. It’s always comforting to know what your sleep system can handle just in case things go bad in the backcountry.

ugq bandit xl close up feature

I found that wearing a top and bottom base layer can significantly increase the quilt's temperature rating.


I decided on a black interior (to hide the dirt) and a blaze orange outer shell. The bright color could also act as a signaling device in a survival situation for aerial search and rescue. This color scheme allowed me to essentially have another piece of equipment in my inventory without adding any additional weight.


I opted for the zippered foot box instead of a sewn one to have more versatility in hotter weather. Being able to completely open the quilt offers better temperature regulation, allowing me to use it during warmer summer months. During colder times, I’ve wrapped the quilt around me after getting out of my tent in the morning, making that dreadful transition a little easier while waiting for the coffee to brew.

Now some people do not like zippered foot boxes because they are closed by a drawstring and there is always a very small hole at the end. Some say they feel a draft through it but if that is the case you can simply fill the hole with a sock or shirt, eliminating that concern.

ugq bandit xl close-up feature

Tension Control

Another option I added to mine was the dynamic tension control. This is a length of shock cord sewn into the side of the quilt which allows you to create a snugger fit along the length, lessening the chances of drafts when you are turning your body. Drafts are one of the biggest arguments against using backpacking quilts, however, I believe UGQ has just about eliminated that concern. I’m such a fan of this option, I would not consider another quilt without this feature.

The quilt is attached to your pad via straps. There are two styles and I opted for the ultralight version. They consist of an adjustable length of shock cord with two toggles. The toggles fit neatly into fabric loops sewn into the side of the quilt. There are several loops along the sides, so you have plenty of choices where to use the straps depending on your preferences. Once these are in place, you can sleep soundly knowing the quilt will not slide off during the night.

ugq bandit xl close up feature

I wouldn't use another quilt if it doesn’t have a tension control feature.

Draft Collar

Lastly, my quilt has the draft collar option at the opening. Personally, I would not recommend this on a new quilt. The draft collar is sewn horizontally, not vertically. This causes the down to shift to the sides of the tube while you sleep, ending up with lumps of down at the ends of the collar.

If UGQ changed the design of this piece to maybe pockets for the insulation, this might solve the issue. The neckline of the quilt comes with three drawstrings (one at each end and one in the center) allowing you to tighten it, reducing the chance for drafts.

ugq bandit xl close up feature
Greg Morton photo

About Greg Morton

Greg Morton hiked the AT in 2022 and currently plans to finish the Colorado Trail in 2023.  Outside of backpacking, Greg enjoys fishing, hunting, cooking, and telling really bad dad jokes.

About Greenbelly

After thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Chris Cage created Greenbelly to provide fast, filling and balanced meals to backpackers. Chris also wrote How to Hike the Appalachian Trail.

Stoveless Backpacking Meals
  • 650-Calorie Fuel
  • No Cooking
  • No Cleaning