View Full Version : Underquilt question

11-10-2004, 16:56
I am curious about those using underquilts: are you using an underquilt in tandem with an overquilt / sleeping bag or do you use an underquilt alone?

I suppose that this is often temperature dependent, i.e. if warm enough, one might use an underquilt or overquilt alone or neither. The thrust of my question is if an underquilt would eliminate the need for a thick overquilt or make it so that one could use, say a fleece throw instead.

I experimented during colder weather this spring with using clothespins and safety pins to attach a synthetic-fill comforter as an underquilt of sorts. While it was too big and heavy enough that it wouldn't really stay attached correctly, I could tell it (an underquilt) would provide a boost in warmth.

Any thoughts?

Hammock Hanger
11-10-2004, 18:22
I still use a quilt in the hammock to curl up with. Unless it is really cold I can get away with a lighter degree inside, ie:45 degree. If it gets colder I can put on a layer of fleece. If it is really cold I use my W/M 20 degree inside. It is actually lighter then my 45 degree bag. Sue/HH

11-10-2004, 18:36
To answer your question, we use an under quilt and a top quilt year round. There is no reason that a regular sleeping bag used as a top quilt would not be fine on top, except that there is generally a weight penalty and the potential zipper wear issue with the sleeping bag solution.

An underquilt will provide a warm nest like environment. Depending on the time of year, temperature, available clothing and caloric burn rate....some might not need a top quilt (but this is rare and a little risky if the temps drop unexpectantly). I would not try this below 70 degrees without a bale out or back-up plan. As to a fleece cover or quilt, do the math, fleece is heavier than light weight nylons and down can be quite light. A 48x 78 100 wgt fleece throw weights 22-23 oz. 200 or 300 weight fleece get considerably heavier. We have built superlight quilts at 16 oz and below each for top and bottoms. Cost gets prohibitive and the calendared 0.8 oz is not as comfortable as the 1.1 oz IMHO. Our standard quilts are 20 oz each. A US Gov issue poncho liner by comparision is 21.5 oz.

As a moderately warm sleeper, the fleece throw and the poncho liner each work for me to about 55-60. 54 is definately cold and a poor nights sleep with these items and all forms of pads that I tried along the way. Using these in concert with an under quilt is an improvement. But I would not plan on them being better than a 50-55 degree solution. NOTE, there are many ultralight sleeping bags between 16 and 24 oz that are typically rated at 40-45 for the 16 ozers to 30-35 for the 24 ozers. These are much better warmth/ weight than a fleece throw or a poncho liner. These quality sleeping bags and down quilts do cost more. But you get what you pay for.

11-10-2004, 21:21
Hi Peterpan,
Not only is this my first post, but its a plug for the JRB underquilt!
Mine arrived yesterday so I spent a night in my yard with the HH explorer, underquilt and a summer bag.
It was almost too warm from the heat rising, but so much more comfortable than using a pad.
I reccommend it to anyone!
(feel free to pay me commission Peterpan :D )

12-04-2004, 16:48
.... use an under quilt and a top quilt year round.

I was looking at your site's photos of the underquilt since it is down exposed to the elements, and wondered if you'd recommend a larger fly than what comes with the HH Ultralight A-Sym while using it. You may have answered it someplace, but....

12-04-2004, 21:06

Yes, we recommend larger flys. 8x10 or 8x8. There are 8x10s available everywhere for reasonable prices, get one with tabs not grommets. We make an 8x8 with the seam on the diagonal. Properly pitched over a hammock the ridge takes on the appearance of a catenary cut with a 2 inch drop but it is actually a flat tarp that is a true square. So it retains all of the classic tarp's flexibility. See pictures on our web site.

We are also about to introduce the JRB Weather Shied System. Made of microporous polypropylene, it is waterproof,wind proof and very breathable. It is light weight, The bottom is 7.7 oz and the top is 7 oz. It is a stand alone system that is excellent for the light and fast summer traveler looking for a minimal "taco like" answer that breathes to reduce the clammy bottom issues. It is also fully compatable with the Nest under quilt and No sniveler quilt to provide additional weather protection for those expecting hash conditions and not wanting to have to go to ground. It will extend the range of all JRB quilt options by 6-10 degrees. See the article, " So You Want To Be Warm" for a great summary of tricks to warmth with quilts and our "starting point" range summary. The JRB Weather Shield should be on our site in the next week or so. System cost will be very reasonable.