Jacks R Better Greylock Torso-length Underquilt: Initial Review
As some of you know, Jacks “R” Better announced their new torso length (52” long) underquilt “Greylock” Feb. 1 in their email newsletter. Their introductory price was $150 for the 3-season version which is rated to 15-20F. I don’t have an underquilt but had been watching the “For Sale” sub-forum for a few days when Jacks sent their newsletter.
I ordered the underquilt Feb 2 (Thursday) and it arrived today (Feb. 6, Monday). Twice I’ve ordered from Jacks and shipping was prompt both times.
The underquilt with suspension I received weighs 13oz to 13.5oz (my scales are not precise enough to get an exact weight), and the stuff sack appears to weigh about 1.5oz, so total weight is about 15oz. Workmanship seems excellent, and Jacks selected an optimal color for the outside fabric of the underquilt as you will seem from my pictures below (note how the underquilt matches my homemade hammock).
I’ve never hung an underquilt but the suspension system appears simple in design and seems to work well. (While the suspension seems simple enough, note that no installation instructions were included; instructions could be helpful for those new to underquilts and could help explain the various intalled tabs.) Temperature today in my location is 56F so I noticed an immediate benefit of the underquilt when I first tested it. I found it very easy to adjust and because I am only about 5’7”, it seems to cover me from neck to calves.
Overall I am very pleased with this product and it seems like a very good deal at the introductory price. I eagerly anticipate and hope for a bit of winter in Georgia so I can test it more fully. Unfortunately azaleas are blooming in Georgia now so that should provide some indication of the weather we’ve been having in 2012. Where’s our winter?
For those who are experienced with underquilts, I do have one question. I’ve included one image showing my legs and feet inside my hammock. Notice the black shock-cord of the underquilt suspension rising above my feet and hammock. Is this behavior normal for underquilts? I don’t think it will present any problems since it won’t compress my top-quilt, however, I’ve not seen other images showing underquilt suspension rising above the hammock like this. Note also this is the only area where the suspension behaves in this manner.
It seems most down-filled underquilts are made with 1.1oz ripstop nylon. Has anyone experienced any tears with this material as a result of brushing again thorny plants or twigs? I am concerned that the underquilt, given its location, may be susceptible to rips when installing or uninstalling. Obviously I should be careful to avoid this, but I wonder if perhaps a double-layered outside shell or maybe an outside shell made of Pertex would be better. I have a Golite quilt that has Pertex at the foot and face areas and this material seems rugged and is waterproof. Can anyone point me toward examples of supplemental protective layers for a torso-length underquilt? Given that this underquilt weighs only 13.5oz, I wouldn’t mind adding 2 or 3 more oz of protection, especially if this also adds waterproof protection.