View Full Version : another underquilt question

11-19-2004, 00:35
i am about to purchase a hennessy hammock and i have been reading lots on these underquilts. i understand that it is wise getting one for my thru-hike in march and have no idea how to get one. are you supposed to make your own? and out of what? is there no where i can buy one?
i am at a loss and will no doubt have more questions as my planning goes on, but for now i could use some help with underquilts.

11-19-2004, 00:41
There are places that you can buy them. They are a bit pricey. One that comes to mind right now is www.jacksrbetter.com (http://www.jacksrbetter.com).

11-19-2004, 01:37
I am surprised that PeterPan and Smee AND Hennessey Hammocks have not struck a deal by now!!!! that is a hint to both companies.

Do not hesitate to purchase The Nest underquilt for the HH platform. If for some reason you decide not to hammock you have gained a perfectly good down comforter--you cant loose. They are made to go together. The comfort and variability are perfect.
If you do get one know this:
every sleeps differently, some are cold sleepers and others hot...experiment before you hit the trail....it is very possible to be setting up your hammock in Georgia and see 15-20F....for me The Nest alone would not be enough, for others it would be plenty....so I carry an additional underquilt when expecting temps around 15F to use with The Nest.....

also know this, cold ground is hard ground, and hard ground jars the body, the joints. The hammock will take away all that jarring while you sleep at night, something the cold/hard ground (tenting) or the hard shelter platforms cannot do!

11-19-2004, 01:41
Can someone refresh my memory. Where is the web site for the NEST?

11-19-2004, 08:33
you had it right : www.jacksrbetter.com

SGT Rock
11-19-2004, 10:00
I think Tom Hennessy is sticking to the supershelter idea with the pad system he has added to it. Personally I really like the Jacks 'R Better system because its flexability for ground sleeping if needed in addition to the great insulation as an underquilt.

If I were making a recomendation to someone trying to start in clod weather and wanted a good system tailored around a hammock with the flexability to be used in shelters, hostels, etc - places where a hammock wouldn't always be used:

1. Hennessy Ultralight Asym with Snakeskins and two stakes. You can use it as a bivy on the ground with treking poles or tied between two trees or beams - it doesn't have to be supported if you need a ground set up. The weight is about 2 pounds, so it isn't that much weight. Offers plenty of room and comfort.

2. A small piece of emergency blanket or something to use as a groundcloth if you need one. Add to that a small pad which can be used for lounging under the hammock before bed and can also be use as a sleeping pad in a shelter if needed. The pad length would only have to be as long as from the base of your neck to the top of your legs and should be something like closed cell foam - very cheap stuff.

3. Get an underquilt from Jacks 'R Better. I prefer the No Sniveling Quilt design.

4. Get an overquilt. Nunatak, Jacks 'R Better, and I think some other companies are now making them. This system should take you below freezing and still be comfortable. The underquilt can also serve as camp clothing before bed or in the morning - so it reduces the amount of insulated clothing you need to carry. In super cold weather, you can use the hammock on the ground and use both quilts on top for even better insulation.

11-19-2004, 10:46

About the underquilt, I've never used one before so there are a couple of things I don't quite understand. First, how long does it take to put it on and make necessary adjustments(?). Once you install it, do you just leave it attached and stowe it attached to the hammock or do you take it off every morning?

Another thing I was curious about; it is not unusual for temperatures to vary a good bit during the night and it is uncomfortable if you are too hot or too cold. Typically, I partially open up my sleeping bag/quilt to cool off and tuck everything in to warm up. Hot does an underquilt play out in this senario, do you need to make adjustments during the night to it if you are too hot or too cold?


SGT Rock
11-19-2004, 10:56
Good questions.

It takes me about a minute to put the quilt on. I take it off when I stow my hammock. Jacks 'R Better makes a set of over-sized skins called pythons though, you can stow all the components at the same time using these.

As to the second - try to envision the under-quilt and top quilt as a complete sleeping bag. I find when I get warm, I just expose some surface area on the top to provide better cooling - sort of like what you would do with a sleeping bag on the ground.

11-19-2004, 11:21
You can always make your own...

While I haven't made an under quilt (yet), I was amazed at how easy it was to make a down quilt using the www.thru-hiker.com (http://www.thru-hiker.com) kit (aka Hungry Howie quilt). It was my first major sewing project. Sure it took maybe 10-15 hours of work, but I'm sure I could make another one in 1/3 that time now. Most of the reason why it took so long is the lack of good instructions on-line. But, ask a few questions here or on thru-hiker's forum and you can have one built in no time.

So, that takes care of the "over" quilt. The under quilt is actually eaiser, its just a square quilt with a velcro seem up the middle. Figuring out where to put the tie-outs is probably the hardest part.

Also, if you make your own you can probably save a bit of weight.

Just another option. Smee's and PP stuff looks great and quite fairly priced (probably a bit too low IMO).

SGT Rock
11-19-2004, 11:30
I agree, making your own is always a good option. I'm always amazed to find out how easy somethings really are.

11-19-2004, 15:02
Its digging up the courage to get started that holds everyone up. Now making something a bit more involved like an insulated jacket (like the Kennebec (http://www.thru-hiker.com/workshop.asp?subcat=4&cid=86) or the Whitney (http://www.thru-hiker.com/Detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=XX97&subcat=Kits)). That probably takes some skill.

But, then, if you screw up a bit, does it really matter? You're the only one the knows the stiching on the left cuff isn't straight. Does that affect the function? Probably not.

SGT Rock
11-19-2004, 15:48
I just got that Kennebec pullover kit. It's going tome my Christmas present from the wife.

11-22-2004, 11:28
Excellent. We'll expect a full report on its construction and fuction.

I'd like the Whitney, but it seems to be just too warm. 3" of loft? That's more than what I have in a 20F bag!