Last night we had a chilly forecast so I took advantage of the opportunity to put my 3S HG Phoenix out to the range of its (20F) comfort rating in the wilds of my backyard. It was 22F and dead calm when I crawled in my hammock. My though was to go conservative with my clothes and top insulation so I could feel how the UQ was performing. I wore jeans, (1 pr) high pile socks, a cotton tee and a 100 wt fleece pullover. For my headwear I went full on face cover and down hood because head warmth has such an impact on overall comfort. For my feet, I used a 1/8” ccf pad. Top insulation a synthetic sleeping bag rated around 32F.
So the Phoenix did really well initially but did develop a couple of cool spots. I was surprised to discover it wasn't quite pulled up tight against my back side so I attached a couple of binder clips midway on the side channels and ran a cord over the ridgeline for more support which helped a lot and I also added a 2nd pair of high pile socks. Comfy and warm I was off to sleep, about 6 hours later when I got up for a nature call it was 15F. Then I just couldn't get warmed back up to fall asleep again. I wasn't really cold, just a bit cool which I was totally expecting because of the SB rating. However, I was prepared with another summer weight bag which I layered on top and solved my comfort issue.
I think this says some pretty good things for the 3S Phoenix's capabilities and the importance of proper adjustment. Ordinarily I wouldn’t try to take the 3S gear this low without more substantial clothing and top insulation but I gained familiarity with the limits of my gear and some valuable experience identifying problems and making adjustments. But the "Duh moment" came in the morning when I realized how loose the shock cord on my UQ was. All the adjustment that I had made in mid 30’s F conditions had gone slack in the frigid 15F temps. Another detail I missed during my setup was that the linelock on the foot end closure of my UQ had released completely but I don’t think it hurt me too awfully much as it turned out.
I had a good experience with keeping my foot pad in place but I would like to experiment with the pad inside vs pad outside the sleeping bag to find my preference. I'll save that for another night.
Something I want to look into a little further during daylight hours is how the shelf on my BB effects my UQ suspension. I hadn't staked it out and I noticed a few weighty items in it seemed to be pulling the suspension downward creating an air gap underneath. More on this to follow...