Pads work fine! I took a a Thermarest pad down to 35f with just a 40F top quilt. If you have decent pads or sleeping bags you could use them in your hammock with little difficulty. That way you can put your cash into your hammock and tarp, instead of insulation. You can always upgrade to quilts latter. Also it is possible to use a pad with an underquilt to extend it's range. I'm doing that tonight for a test hang to prepare myself for the MN Frozen But Hang, my theory is that I should be able to get to -0F, I'll let you know how it goes.