Still Warm at 17 F with Modular Sleep System
I just purchased my first Hammock a couple months ago, and have been trying to get out camping as much as possible. However, its getting colder here in Maine, and I am still waiting to get cold in my hammock.
I do not have a tarp. I do not have quilts.
All I use is a Therma-rest mat between the layers of my WBBB DBL 1.7, and a USMC modular sleep system with goretex bivy. I have camped as low as 17 F, and wake-up uncomfortably warm, though not sweating.
The upside to the modular sleep system is of course that it is modular. You can use different sleep bag combinations based on the conditions. Secondly is price (compared to purchasing more than one sleeping bag...or quilt(s)).
The modular system when combined is waterproof and rated at -40 F. The two individual bags are rated above 30 F, and 10-30 F. When I do not use the combined system, I use the extra sleeping bag as padding/insulation beneath me.
The downside is the size and weight, though I do not know the difference in weight versus carrying a top-quilt and under-quilt. The complete modular sleep system in the compression sack is 8-10 lbs.
I am hoping to get down to 10 F with this set-up, but am not holding my breath. I should also add that I have been fortunate not to have encountered high wind (so I just picked up a Superfly).
Modular Sleep System - Thanks for information/suggestions
My thanks to Wisenber for the temperature rating information. I was not aware of the differences between commercial and military temp ratings. However, I did find some sources stating weights in the 8-9 lb range, and temperature ratings did not specify what constitutes field gear. Although it probably doesn't matter as warmth (not temp rating) can be somewhat subjective based on the individual.
In regards to individual weights of the modular system, Wisenber is correct again. I have seen different combined weights from different web sites (8-10 lbs), but I would not be surprised if the complete system is 11-12 lbs. I will have to put mine on a hanging scale to get to the bottom of this.
Estimates (west.loadup.com/military/surplus/13218.html) suggest the following:
Goretex BIVY outer cover bag 60 F (1.5 lbs)
Patrol Sleeping Bag 30 to 50 F (3 lbs)
Intermediate Cold Weather Sleeping Bbag 30 to -10 F (4 lbs)
Compression Sack (?)
Completely integrated system rated to -30 F when the user wears the expedition weight polypropylene shirt, drawers and issue cushion sole woolen socks. To obtain lower ratings, additional layers of Extreme Cold Weather Clothing articles are required.
A decent overall review of the modular sleep system can be found at:
Again, for me the upside is price. I was able to pick up a complete modular system (new) for $150.00. This provides me a great deal of versatility year round. I am not sure how much a 20 degree peapod, 3 season Phoenix and No Sniveler would cost (still new to hammock camping). If it is in the ballpark range of $150.00, then count me in.