FWIW I slept Sunday night on the back porch with the SOL thermal bivy I've ripped apart/re-taped as a blanket/emergency ground pad spread out between the layers of my WBBB 1.1 DL, BA insulated pad fully inflated + Marmot Helium bag just loaded into the top. Very minimal fussing beyond just getting in and everything zipped up, and slept fine until 3AM when I woke up comfortable but too cold to sleep... the moon was beautiful and I contemplated just staying there watching it for a while, but I had to go to work in a few hours so I retreated back to the house.
I was a little surprised then to note the thermometer said 26F! The EN women's comfort rating on the Helium is 27F, so with just a mid-weight smartwool base layer, wool socks, and a couple buffs for my head/neck I'd taken the bag right to it's stated limit in the hammock without any extraordinary maneuvers. If I had been in the back country on a night that cold I'd probably climb in with another pants layer and my nanopuff jacket anyway.
Husby has a DM 7 UL. His situation might require a little more work because his arms are getting cold, just hoping the SPE I picked up used on here will be the cure. We definitely want to keep the ability to go to ground... crap happens.
Exped Downmats are very warm in hammocks and on the floor. Its my goto for serious winter work where I don't know If I'll need to ground dwell at any time.
2 points to consider though;
1. The seals on the mat are awful at 10f and under. They still hold air but need warming with something to get the valves open again. I hate the mat for these valves but its still the best sleep option for flexibilty and comfort IMO. A chemical hand warmer or hot nalgene warms them up again, as does warm hands.
2. A shnozzle is essential if your using them in the cold too. 20f and lower and the pump doesn't self inflate fully. 30 mins of pumping needed-the Schnozzle solves this.
I made my own smaller Schnozzle from some PU coated nylon and an HDPE acrylic caulk nozzle. 7-10 fills and its inflated.
I heard on the Downmat 7 UL's that they fixed the valve problem. I've seen it's a common problem with users and often complained about in reviews. Also uses the Schnozzle bag which I think would be much easier to use in a hammock let al one the ground, plus double duty dry sack for your sb. That's rock n roll.
Anyway, can you confirm the valve issue being corrected on newer models at all?
RIP GORDIE HOWE
Exped replied to an email sent to my friend who has the issue. To summarise, they basically said that it was impossible to find a plastic that doesn't go stiff at low temps-this was the best they could do with it.
Using a charcoal heat pad to squeeze warmth into the valve worked the best. Breathing onto it for a couple of minutes also works.
I modified my ENO Double Nest with a pad pocket and have used my DownMat in it a couple of times. I only partially inflate it so that it conforms more to me and the hammock. Works well.
Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.
Ronald Reagan, President of the United States
Hello to everyone here in the forum! I'm a new guy here and I found this thread very informative and wished the discussion had kept going! I LOVE laying in my hammock after a long hike but I don't have a good setup I can sleep overnight in (down to 30-40 degrees). After reading this thread however, I think I'm one step closer.
I already own an Exped Downmat UL7 LW(77.5 x 26) I can use for insulation, but I don't know which hammock to buy for it. The two hammocks I have are not ideal. I currently have a Grand Trunk Nano 7 and an Eno Double Nest w/bug net.
I would like to lay as close to flat as possible and a pad sleeve/double layer seems ideal. I'm 6'3" 250lb. I'm considering the Bear Mountain Bridge-Deluxe and the Warbonnet Ridgerunner so far.
If anyone has any other advice or suggestions I would be very grateful for their shared opinion!
Last edited by MarDog; 07-11-2013 at 11:13.
Pulled the trigger on the RidgeRunner yesterday. Don't have the funds for an UQ this year. My only concern is getting cold shoulders with the exped only.