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  1. #1
    Registered User Patrick's Avatar
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    Default You people are fueling my obsession

    Okay, after all of the great talk about the pad in the hammock, I'm thinking maybe the under-quilt on the outside and a quilt over me on the inside are the best way to go (great to be worried about this in August).

    My current tarp set-up is a Cat's Meow sleeping bag, eight sections of Z-Rest, and a large 2-mil plastic groundsheet. The sleeping bag is three pounds on the dot, nine ounces for the pad, and ten ounces for the groundsheet.

    That's about four and a quarter pounds. I figure with two quilts I won't need a pad (for normal three-season camping) and I obviously don't need the groundsheet anymore.

    I figure the quilt on top of me will be closed off at the feet, so I won't need the underquilt to be full length, say just from my shoulders or head down to my butt, maybe a bit farther.

    Also, I don't do down, so this all has to be Primaloft or 3D or whatever.

    Can I get away with this for four pounds or less? I know there are a zillion plans online for quilts that are light, but all the under-quilts I've seen have been down. I'm guessing it's maybe not that hard to make one. I have plenty of equipment sewing experience. I'm guessing I can possibly just make a quilt that clips to the four points of the hammock with a slit for the entrance. I'd probably rather buy one though, or at least make one from a kit.

    I have a trip the first week in September. I'm guessing no solution will be done before then, so I'll test out just using a pad

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    There aren't any synthetic underquilts for sale. If you don't want the down JRB one, you'll have to make your own. Not tough at all, though. I made two for my kids: http://www.geocities.com/jwj32542/Ho...dsHammock.html

  3. #3
    Registered User Patrick's Avatar
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    Jeff, that looks fantastic. So, the quilts are just rectangular with drawstrings at either end? Do you find that stays close enough to the bottom of the hammock to be effective? No gaps or anything? Did you use Polarguard? If so, did you use yarn loops a la Ray Jardine to keep the insulation in place?

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    Yes...just rectangles. Just like the JRBs, depending on the sag of your hammock you might have to fidget a bit to keep a nice snug fit. I don't have a problem with the JRB on my HH, but when I put it on my homemade ones I sometimes get gaps under my legs. Not tough to fix, though. That's why JRB puts the ladder loops for the HH tie-outs. So if you get a HH that'll help.

    You have to play around until you find the right tension...too tight to the hammock and you'll compress the insulation, too loose and you'll have gaps. Same with any underquilt.

    I used .8" Primaloft on one and 1.3" Primaloft on the other, and used thinner yarn than Jardine recommends for the quilting. The DWR and Primaloft came from thru-hiker.com (great service) and the yarn was in a $.90 roll from Walmart.

    I think it would help to sew the drawstring channels before you stuff the insulation in. I did the channels after the insulation was sewn inside and it made the process a little tougher.

    Why are you set against down? Because of the performance when wet? It was a big jump for me, but I'm glad I did...no more worrying about compressing it as much, much lighter/smaller for the same loft/warmth, etc. I'm just careful with it.

    If you can afford it, you might look into buying/making a down one. Or start with the JRB Summer quilt, then upgrade to a Nest or No Sniveler if you like it. (I have no financial interest in their quilts, I promise!) But I know that not everyone is comfortable with down, so it's your call.
    Last edited by Just Jeff; 08-18-2005 at 15:24.

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    Registered User Patrick's Avatar
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    That sounds great. What about using elastic on the attachment cords? Do you think that would help keep the gaps low without compressing the insulation?

    I have a Hennessy UltraLite Asym now. I just ordered a Jardine quilt for over top of me inside it. I figure I can make that for some quilt experience and then order another and modify the plans for an under-quilt or just buy the materials from Thru-Hiker. I do know the site well. Paul is about the best internet merchant I've ever dealt with.

    I'm not crazy about worrying about down getting wet and having to deal with washing it on a thru-hike, but the main reason is that I'm vegan. They'll take away my card if they see feathers on me.

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    You can use elastic cords to attach the hammock...that'll accomodate for hammock stretch when you get in. But if it stretches too tight it'll still compress the insulation.

    You can add darts to the bottom layer of the hammock, and that'll help. But I think that if you pull that tight you'll still get a gap under your legs because the quilt would be pulled tight from your butt to your legs. The JRB ladder loop addresses this issue pretty well, as does the velcro opening on the Nest...but that gets a little more complicated lining up the pattern and all.

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    Registered User Patrick's Avatar
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    Yeah, dealing with the opening will require some planning. I think an overlapping opening in the quilt is probably the way to go. I ordered a quilt kit from Ray Jardine. I figure when I'm done with that, I'll use it to get a better sense of the size and shape needed for the under-quilt.

    I'll definitely have side loops to tie out to the hammock. I think that'll help a lot. I'm also considering buying a cheap but decent kid's bag somewhere and cutting it up to use as the under-quilt just to save myself some work.

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    You can make the underquilt without an opening and just push it aside to get in. That's what you have to do when you double-up the Nest and NS anyway. Elastic attachments make it easy.

    Kids bags are generally heavy for the loft you get...most are about 3lbs because kids aren't into lightweight hiking, so most parents don't want to spend the money to get quality gear. You might be better off making one from scratch. It's easy.

    Or check Sgt Rock's site for the poncho liner underquilt. IIRC, they're about $65 for the newer insulation (Thermalite?), and pretty easy to attach based on his instructions. Not sure how much loft it gives, though.

    If you do find a lightweight kids bag, let me know. I couldn't find one, so I made them quilts.

  9. #9
    Registered User Patrick's Avatar
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    I didn't find a kids bag, but I did see The North Face Dolomite. Green/Black, proprietary synthentic insulation. Twenty degree bag at three pounds seven ounces.

    Man, I can't decide what to do. Just sleeping bag, quilt and under-quilt, sleeping bag and pad, quilt and pad. So many choices. I want the simplest, lightest thing I can get that will sleep me down to 40 degrees or so.
    Last edited by Patrick; 08-18-2005 at 21:18.

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    Tough call when you're spending that much money, huh?

    For me, it was the JRB 3 season set and I've been happy. I test other stuff as I get the chance, but just because I like to.

    If you want synthetic, Ed Speer makes a synthetic PeaPod. You can't use them on a HH, but I find my Speer-type hammocks more comfy than my HH BP UL Asym, and a bit warmer to boot. Speers are a bit heavier when you add the velcro and bugnet, but you can remove the bugnet for cold weather and make up the weight.

    The underquilts are super simple to make, though, and quite a bit cheaper than the PeaPod (or JRB) if you know how to sew.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jeff
    Tough call when you're spending that much money, huh?

    For me, it was the JRB 3 season set and I've been happy. I test other stuff as I get the chance, but just because I like to.

    If you want synthetic, Ed Speer makes a synthetic PeaPod. You can't use them on a HH, but I find my Speer-type hammocks more comfy than my HH BP UL Asym, and a bit warmer to boot. Speers are a bit heavier when you add the velcro and bugnet, but you can remove the bugnet for cold weather and make up the weight.

    The underquilts are super simple to make, though, and quite a bit cheaper than the PeaPod (or JRB) if you know how to sew.
    Don't be too quick to forget your ground cover. If you do not have time to sew a quilt, roll up the corners or your ground cloth to be just a bit wider than the hammock, tie the ends to the hammock with shock cord. That might be the only underneath protection you need for September. This was one of the original methods Hennessy used. It worked well for me, but I used a piece of Ultrex or light nylon. To keep a pad underneath check out the Zhammock. http://imrisk.com

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