View Full Version : question for all hammockers

10-10-2003, 01:24
since I am exploring all hammocking possibilities I have recently been looking at the Speer PeaPod...I like it but since I have 30 years of gear collected I was thinking of using existing material and a small purchase...here's the plan I want you all to comment on.
I bought a Crazy Creek Crib-24$ and I have a Western Mountaineering Ponderosa (2lb.14oz. rated to 15degrees)...now since this is a big bag that has two zippers I can unzip partially the foot zipper (this allows you to completely open it up into a big flat comforter if you want too), through this opening I will send the hammock support rope.
The upper end of the Ponderosa has no hood to get in the way but does have a draw cord to cinch down the bag around the Crazy Creek Crib...that leaves my head exposed but a balaclava should do the trick there.
I looked up the girth of the Ponderosa at the WM site and it should be big enough to emulate the PeaPod...
This would be a cold-cold-cold weather setup with maybe even a closed cell pad or thermarest adding even more insulation.
Your thoughts please.

10-11-2003, 03:28
sounds intriguing but the only way to know for sure is to test it... make sure you have a good bail out nearby.

10-11-2003, 04:46
backyard for starters but if i carry a light closed foam pad then I have the ground option assuming a tarp in carried and I know the Ponderosa will do fine there.

10-11-2003, 16:02
Medicine Man,

No Peapod huh? That must be one of the few pieces of gear that you don't have... what's the problem? :)

Youngblood, who doen't have one either!

10-11-2003, 19:32
one idea that this discussion has prompted is the idea of designing a sleeping bag that one could hang as a hammock - the load bearing fabric would be the inside fabric of the sleeping bag. This idea seems to me to have some merit as an approach not yet tried but that looks to be a good light weight choice for colder weather hammocking.

10-11-2003, 21:41
HOI, that does sound good especially for the extreme cold weather apps, the taco with stuffed insulation has worked well for me so far but I'm thinking that from 15-25F something else is needed. I will proceed with the attempt at wrapping the WM Ponderosa around the Crazy Creek Crib and report back with results...I see no problem feeding the hammock support line throught the bottom of the Ponderosa since it has a separate zipper for the foot box...the upper end is the question mark but maybe the sleeping bag's drawstring will cinch down enough...I'm hoping this works because I'm thinking with a thin closed cell foam pad (thin enough to act as a circular pack frame inside the pack) on the Crib I can actually hammock with little fuss at colder temps....I say little fuss because the taco/underquilt is some fuss-that's why the integral sleeping bag/hammock is very intriguing so I hope someone is pursuing it.

10-12-2003, 05:36
Actually simva my underquilt is semi permenantly attached to my hammock with bungee cord (for stretch). I pack it all as one into a sleeping bag sized stuff sack...

squirrel bait
10-19-2003, 01:35
Please keep us informed this sounds VERRRRY INTERESTING.

10-19-2003, 11:16
I've done something similar with an old polarguard sleeping bag. It should work fine, assuming the ends aren't too drafty and stay in place. Something like binder clips on the ends may help seal out drafts and keep the sleeping bag from slipping down on the hammock. Are you planning to use another sleeping bag inside the hammock, or only the bag around it? I've used a thin bag outside the hammock and another bag inside. Otherwise there would have been a big air gap above my body.

steve hiker
10-19-2003, 13:54
But what if you're wrong about the weather and a rip roaring storm starts blowing rain against your down bag?

10-20-2003, 10:05

I made a down underquilt last winter http://iemedia.ca/dk/home.htm and have now used it in quite a variety of weather.

I used DWR (Durable Water Repellent) treated rip-stop on the outside because of my fears of "undersplash" - ie: that cracking storm that you mention that would blow rain under the tarp and soak the down. Undersplash has not been a problem and I have had no trouble at all with the underquilt getting wet.

One of the beauties of a hammock is that you can set it up in protected areas easier than a tent (one recent set-up was on the side of a ravine, protected from a storm, with the fly staked to the side of the ravine in such a way that the wind blew up and over). My chances of staying dry in a hammock through a storm like that are better than being on the ground trying to keep water from finding it's way in to a tent or under a tarp.

10-22-2003, 00:24
First Pics of the CrazyCreekCrib + Ponderosa are posted in my section here at Whiteblaze.
OK, some good news mostly. The CrazyCreekCrib arrived, we set it up in the backyard using a Walmart hammock stand (great for sizing up underquilts and testing for temp ratings before going into the wild), then we applied the Western Mountaineering Ponderosa...the result is outstanding.
Never fear Jumble Jows, the tarp (a Golite Cave2 in my case) will be on every trip to keep rain at bay.
After I got into the CrazyCreekCrib (simply crib from now on) I zipped up and asked La Aqua Na to 'pad' me down, looking for any part or place where the down was compressed, she reported that no where was the loft compromised.
My Ponderosa fits up to 6'6", I'm 6'1" so there is room to play with as far as how far down into the bag you can go.
As mentioned in my first post, the Ponderosa has 2 zippers, in the pics you can see where the hammock support strap exits the sleeping bag-the egress hole is luckily very small and could easily be protected with a sock on the inside or the usual clothes you put in your bag at night being pushed down to the foot end.
The head end has a gap between your chest and the sleeping bag itself, this gap is created by the hammock material itself. Clothes could be used to fill the gap, or in my case I ordered a down balaclava from Nunatak Gear (should be here in 6 weeks) to fill the gap.
The sleeping bag is easily zipped when in the hammock.
As mentioned in the original post a closed cell pad could be placed in the crib first (or a thermarest) for additional warmth.
The Ponderosa is open channeled and the down could be 'shakened' top-bottom bottom-top depending on conditions.
So until the mercury drops it looks like the taco/underquilt will be my way Spring-Summer-Fall and the Ponderosa wrapping a hammock for Winter use.
I mentioned a touch of bag news, here it is: the crib was advertised as weighing 16 oz. On my scale it weighed 1 lb. 12 oz. So I am looking at the Speer hammock alone to see what it weighs---anyone know?

10-22-2003, 02:03
Darn. I was hoping this would work with a HH but by the looks of it I don't think so. Bummer.

SGT Rock
10-22-2003, 07:23
I got an idea playing out here to make a poncho liner/under quilt so you can use the liner as a layer of insulation in camp during cold weather, then convert it to an under quilt when you go to sleep. I have a lot of time to play with it and a Thinsulate liner on the way to do it with. Multiuse underquilt and a pad would probably be the way to go in really cold weather.

11-05-2003, 03:29
Sgt, I too have a poncho liner,,,,even found one using Thinsulate as the insulation...it will work fine with a taco, but as I have alluded to above I do believe there is a 'cold' limit to where the underquilt can perform (because of tweeking and idiosyncrasies)...hopefully you have looked at the pics of the Crazy Creek Crib/Ponderosa I posted into the member gallery section....this I believe is the solution for the really cold nights...granted not everyone has a WM Ponderosa laying around, and I'm def. not saying that anyone should buy a Ponderosa as a solution...as DebW has pointed out as well as HammockHanger----any sleeping bag might do, the trick is to find a hammock that the sleeping bag will envelope without compressing the loft to the point of not being loft and therefore not being insulative....for me I lucked out with the Crazy Creek Crib...at first I didnt like the 18oz. weight of the Crib, but then I looked at the weight of the plain Speer hammock and realized that the Crib wasnt that heavy.......the Crib/Ponderosa setup is a specialy setup for the Feb/Jan/early March hikes when I know the mercury will drop to between 15 and 20 degrees. When I know the mercury will drop below 15 degrees I will revert to the ground (arrrrggggggghhhhh!!!) ........ Now I know you like quilts (as do I) so please look into a quilt that will completely surround a basis hammock (such as the Bana, the Byer, and others) and see where this takes us.

SGT Rock
11-05-2003, 05:19
Well I'm not totally sold on the underquilt yet at all, I just figured I would play with it since I have lots of time, a free Hennessy, a poncho liner, a sleeping bag I can use like a quilt, and a foam pad trimmed just right. So far with just a foam pad I wake up sweating on my back and shoulders even though the top temps are cool.

I envision a system after playing with it for me like this:

60+ a wind barrier/ground cloth system I can suspend under the hammock to create dead space or use as a bivy and combined with just a poncho liner.

For 30-60 degrees a down quilt with a closed cell foam pad and the same wind barrier/ground cloth.

For 30 down to about 10 (theoretical limit) an underquilt that can also be jacket insulation, the wind barrier/groundcloth, and my down quilt.

I've made the groundcloth/wind barrier at a little under 4 ounces that attaches righ below the hammock where I sleep.

The current poncho liner also serves as a jacket liner and an under quilt. I think something better could be made using taffeta and 800+ down, but I don't have the means or ability to do it. The loft doesn't get compressed the way I hang it.

My down quilt weighs 26.6 ounces and works well down to about 15 degrees without needing a lot of clothing. If you have seen the Nunatack Backcountry blanket, it could possibly work as what you are looking for with a speer hammock since it opens on both ends and gives good loft.

I'll just play with what I have over here for now. A winter hammock and a seperate summer hammock may end up bing a good compromise, but I have nothing but time for now to see what else works.

11-29-2003, 21:19
Great thread! A few notes...

Let me see, I have tried several pads, the Garlington Insulator, a mod of the insulator which was done up for the Speer Hammock, a sleeping bag outside the hammock and now a fully enclosed bag around the hammock.

I got really cold with the bag outside the hammock even though I held the opening of the bag against the hammock with bungie cord. I had to add a little bit of pad to keep from shivering at 45 degrees. Even with my FroggToggs on, I did not sleep very well that night.

I got chilly with just a pad at 40 degrees in a 10-15 mph breeze with a down sleeping bag and earlier with a quilt. The wind makes all the difference.

I have slept comfortably at 5 degrees with a couple pads and a quilt and a garlington insulator without much wind.

I think the peapod with a quilt inside and with a pad inside would be super warm and probably good to below zero. However I can not bring myself to buy one, because I don't think I would carry it. Too bulky, too heavy, for me.

My recent interest has been in a peapod like pod without insulation (other than a pack and extra clothes and leaves if necessary.) I call this thing a TravelPod. It is a design still in evolution. It mainly works, like the Garlington Insulator, by creating a dead space under the hammock. I have spent a night at 39 degrees and more than 15mph winds in this thing. I was overly warm. I plan on a 30 degree night with it tonight with winds of 15-20 mph.

For details on the TravelPod see:
For cold weather experiments see:

We *will* crack this nut and be able to sleep in a hammock using only those things which are practical to carry (near ultralite) in every conceivable weather of the AT. Moreover, I think we will have a practical solution this winter.