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  1. #1

    Default OverQuilt vs. sleeping bag?

    Total noob her to hammocks but considering one to cut down on volume, weight, and flexibility over current set up. I get the quilt idea especially for underneath since you are suspended. I already own a very nice lightweight 20 deg bag and these quilts seem to be quite pricey. What's the advantage or reasoning of an overquilt vs. a good sleeping bag? Input appreciated.

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    A top quilt is going to pack down better I think. Esp. if it's down.

    FWIW, this is about ground sleeping but Shut talks about the difference between quilts and bags: https://youtu.be/Eyt3h9PaOrg

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    Individual results will vary, but I would say if you are switching back and forth between hanging and ground then go with a bag. If you are exclusively going to hang then you will find nothing more comfortable than TQ/UQ. Using a bag in a hammock is always a little inconvenient and a compromise. It took me a couple of years of switching from tent/tarp to hammock to decide that hammock is best for me. I have since sold most of my tents and have TQ/UQ set up and am a much happier sleeper.

    Before I got UQ I used Z-rest and one of the wing extender type of product along with a 20 bag and could comfortably take it down to the upper or mid 20's. Even now as an exclusive hanger I take 3/4 z-rest pad along to sit on, supplement my quilt, and as a just in case I end up in a shelter or on the ground.

  4. #4

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    I have a TQ that I use for hammock sleeping. I recently converted to using it on the ground. I love it. I never liked true mummy bags as I am generally a side sleeper. At 6'5", I also have to try a sleeping bag out because although it is a "long" it often fits from head to toe but the cinch on the shoulders are often too low. My quilt is used similar to a comforter at home with the addition of a foot box. Turning over, curling up, etc. is so much easier. There is no restriction like a bag and no zipper to fuss with or lay on. This is especially important in a hammock. I even use my quilt when car camping on a cot now.

    IMO, you will see more and more people offering quilts and you will see the cost come WAY down when that happens. Cost to build a quilt SHOULD be less than cost to build a zippered bag with hood. HYOH

  5. #5

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    Two problems with a sleeping bag in a hammock. 1) they provide very little, if any insulation under you due to your weight crushing the insulation. 2) it's very difficult to position them and be able to zip up because once you lay down you can't move it. I gave up on hammocks because of the above two reasons and wasn't willing to invest in quilts.
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  6. #6

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    Many folks who are new to hanging make it work with a ground pad and a sleeping bag. No need to invest tons of $$ in gear you may not use, so use what you have. If you use an inflatable pad you will want to let a little air out compared to sleeping on the ground. You can unzip the bag so it just forms a foot box and drape it over you like a quilt, and still have plenty of bag to tuck in around your shoulders, etc. That said, Big Agnes makes bags that work in conjunction with ground pads, and those quilts will work fine in a hammock as well. Nice compromise, as it were.

  7. #7

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    A sleeping bag in a hammock is doable, but not ideal. It is still much more comfortable than laying on the hard ground.

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    If you like your 20 bag you can certainly use it. When I used my bag before I got a top quilt I would just use it like a top quilt and not try to zip it up. Usually a top quilt will be lighter than the same rated sleeping bag and this is why so many people switch. You should still use something for under you, either an under quilt or pad. So to answer the question what's the advantage: I would say the same 20 rated top quilt will be lighter than a 20 sleeping bag. As for the reasoning: I would say you don't have to worry with a zipper, although I didn't worry about it anyway. If your bag is light enough for you, use it and just get an underquilt!

  9. #9

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    Hasn't been mentioned yet in this thread but if you don't have a hammock yet, it is considerably easier to use a pad under you in a double layer hammock than in a single layer. It will stay put between the layers much better.

    Also, you mentioned you want to go lighter with less volume. If these are your main motivations for hanging, you might be disappointed. If you add up the weight of hammock, suspension, tree straps, tarp, TQ, UQ, and maybe a little pad to go under your feet/legs on those cold nights, you may find that a UL tent, sleeping pad and sleeping bag might weigh less and use less volume in your pack. I'm not saying it can't be done but to get a hammock setup to be ultralight, it is going to co$t you.

    i still go with the hammock mostly for comfort reasons and ease of finding a place to setup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orthofingers View Post
    Hasn't been mentioned yet in this thread but if you don't have a hammock yet, it is considerably easier to use a pad under you in a double layer hammock than in a single layer. It will stay put between the layers much better.

    Also, you mentioned you want to go lighter with less volume. If these are your main motivations for hanging, you might be disappointed. If you add up the weight of hammock, suspension, tree straps, tarp, TQ, UQ, and maybe a little pad to go under your feet/legs on those cold nights, you may find that a UL tent, sleeping pad and sleeping bag might weigh less and use less volume in your pack. I'm not saying it can't be done but to get a hammock setup to be ultralight, it is going to co$t you.

    i still go with the hammock mostly for comfort reasons and ease of finding a place to setup.
    This is a true statement. But many people, myself included, sleep so much better in a hammock than on the ground, and if that is you then the pound or three difference wouldn't matter.

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    FWIW, my hammock setup vs my tent setup weight-wise is within a few ounces of each other. I want to say like 3lbs5oz vs 3lbs7oz give or take.

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    I used a cosmic down 20 for a while, as a top quilt. I just left it unzipped...put my feet in...pulled it up over my shoulder. Worked just fine. Then,Santa brought me a real, down, tq. It is lighter...more compressible...and is a little more comfy. However... if I had not received it as a gift...probably still be using the sleeping bag.

  13. #13

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    I used a sleeping bag in my hammock before I invested in an underquilt and can say that there is much more freedom of space using it. I'd never go back to my bag. That said, you have to buy both if you plan on tent camping and hammocking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Two problems with a sleeping bag in a hammock. 1) they provide very little, if any insulation under you due to your weight crushing the insulation. 2) it's very difficult to position them and be able to zip up because once you lay down you can't move it. I gave up on hammocks because of the above two reasons and wasn't willing to invest in quilts.
    Two reasons to ignore everything said above... 1) sleeping bags don't insulate underneath in a tent for the same reason, and 2) there is no reason, ever, to zip up in the sleeping bag while in a hammock; form a footbox by zipping it up a foot or so on the foot end, and drape the rest on top of you.

    Hate to see that this minor issue caused someone to give up on hammocks. I think its a case of thinking they knew what they were doing and not asking for help when things didn't turn out. Happens a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigring1 View Post
    ...I already own a very nice lightweight 20 deg bag and these quilts seem to be quite pricey. What's the advantage or reasoning of an overquilt vs. a good sleeping bag? Input appreciated.
    No reason you can't use the bag, but again, don't try "getting into" the bag and zipping it up - you can use it just like a top quilt. But in terms of weight and bulk, no question you save a lot with a TQ over a bag. Hammockgear.com has come out with a new line of economy quilts that are a bargain IMO. Anyone on the fence about getting a quilt should have a look.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigring1 View Post
    Total noob her to hammocks but considering one to cut down on volume, weight, and flexibility over current set up. I get the quilt idea especially for underneath since you are suspended. I already own a very nice lightweight 20 deg bag and these quilts seem to be quite pricey. What's the advantage or reasoning of an overquilt vs. a good sleeping bag? Input appreciated.
    The advantage is comfort (which is highly subjective and varies a great deal by person) and (potentially) weight and volume reduction. I would absolutely use your sleeping bag and inflatable or CCF pad at first. Give the hammock a couple tests and make sure that you like it first! If you dig the hammock thing the go look at getting quilts later.

  16. #16

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    Hammock w.bug net and tarp vs tent on weight its about even, It's more about comfort than weight for me. I went back and forth for a few years and now its all hammock. In the early days when I was bouncing back and forth I used a pad for bottom insulation and a sleeping bag, it works great with a little fussing getting into the sleeping bag. Now its an under quilt and a top quilt, warmer and less fuss. this is were you save on weight and volume. I would recommend sticking with the pad and bag for a year or so until your convinced hammocks are for you. then if you decide to go full hammock then get the best quilt system you can afford, always keep used gear in mind.

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