Hey everyone this is my first post to this forum, and (un)fortunately its going to be a lengthy one. My name is Kyle Takeuchi and I just purchased my first hammock and have begun my new camping experience. REI recently had a sale and I purchased my new Hennessy Hammock Expedition A-Sym 20% off of the stock price. I purchased 4 rappel rings and use these with the stock suspension to hang my hammock. I am using the stock rainfly (for now) and have everything bundled up in my snakeskins #4. For 2 weeks (12 days) of June my friends and I backpacked along the AT. We started at Winding Stair Gap in Franklin NC and ended in Gatlinburg TN in the smokey mountains (a little over 60 miles I believe). Prior to my trip I extensively searched through these forums and found that many people need some form of under insulation when temperatures drop anywhere below 60* F (temperature varies from person to person). For my trip I wasn't too worried about temperatures dropping too far below 60 as my trip was during late June and it was HOT. Be it as it may, I decided it wouldn't be in my best interest to neglect bringing some form of under insulation, as it is always best to be prepared for the worst case scenarios. So, I decided to search through my house to try to find some form of temporary pad to use in the hammock that I didn't need to spend any money on, solely to use for this trip. While searching, I came across my moms old yoga mat. I cut the mat down to size and figured it would be ample under insulation for the worst scenario I might encounter on the AT during June. On the second night of our trip we were somewhere near Wayah Bald, and at about 4-5 pm, while still hiking, it started hailing. The pieces of hail were the size of GOLF BALLS. I RAN uphill for a little under a mile to get to the nearest shelter. I set up my hammock that night and thankfully managed to sleep comfortably and warm even though the ground was covered in hail.
With this being said, I will get to my first question. The yoga mat I brought weighed in at around 2 pounds even after I cut the mat down to the size I needed. So, I am now in search of a good SUMMER underquilt I could purchase (or make) to use with my new HH Expedition A-Sym. I am an avid camper/backpacker and thoroughly enjoy being out in nature, however, I do not enjoy being out in temperatures that get much below 45* F. Call me a sissy if you will, but my families heritage comes from Hawaii and I am rather warm natured and am not too fond of the cold. I am looking for some form of insulation system that I can use with my new HH for 3 seasons camping, most specifically during the summer. Please keep in mind that I am only looking for under insulation that will take me down to 45* F. Also, I would like to keep my purchase, or DIY project under $200 if possible. I've searched through various company websites such as JRB, Speer, and KAQ and found several options to choose from. Additionally, the Hennessy Hammock Super Shelter seems as though it would be a good choice as it meets the temperature rating and price requirements I am looking for.
My question to all of you experienced Hennessy Hammock campers is: Are there any good summer underquilts that would meet my temperature and price ranges? If so, could you point me in the right direction please? Or, if not, would I be better suited to use the Super Shelter? Or, maybe an SPE would be my best bet, however that would require a purchase of a thermorest or some other pad. Lastly, maybe it is easier to make myself an underquilt from say, an old sleeping bag (I am relatively good with a sewing machine).
Please let me know if you guys prefer underquilts, SPE, DIY underquilts, or the Super Shelter, and which one may be best suited for my use. I realize everyone sleeps differently, and what may be cold for one person may be blistering hot for another. I am merely looking for suggestions, and mostly to hear what my fellow Hennessy Hammockers are using that works for them.
Thank you in advance for any comments!