Those of you who hammock in cold weather: Have any of you used a vest to boost your sleep system, and if so, how helpful was it?
I think we are all familiar with using our camp clothing to boost our sleep system, allowing us to use a lighter bag. For instance, I use some light weight Polarguard clothing( 14 0z "parka" and 8 oz pants) that I have with me any way, in which I have been able to sleep down to about 50 by itself in my Super Shelter, no bag. When I have used it in my Pea Pod and Speer hammock, I have been OK down to about the mid to high 20s, even though the Pea Pod is only rated to about 50 on top ( for me, probably about 40-45 with jeans/cotton shirt) due too the air gap created when the Speer's high sides raise the pod top off of my body. So, it seems I get about 20*F or more by adding these clothes to my sleep gear.
But I am about to use the Pod on a potentially cold trip, but with a Claytor No Net. This narrow hammock allows the PeaPod to drape down mostly right on top of my body, leaving very little to no gap above me. Now it just seems to me that this should give me another 10 or 20*F on top ( I'm not worried about my bottom warmth). Or, about the same as a sleeping bag with over 2.5" single layer loft, which is normally a 20*F rating. Call it 25* to be conservative, and since the Pod is so big. That plus my PG clothing should carry me below 20 with some room to spare, it seems to me. And I might see temps in the teens.
But here is the rub: I have not been able to test this. By the time I got the No Net, winter was over. So I am a little paranoid about it, since Speer recommends a summer weight top bag for temps below 40 or so. Though of course, that is for use in his hammock which lifts the pod off of you.
So I have been thinking of carrying some more weight for insurance. I have been thinking of a JRB Stealth or a Speer top bag, even though I feel they would be a good bit more than I need, unless I took the Speer hammock instead. In the meantime, I have remembered this Patagonia down vest I have. It weighs 9 0z, and has an incredible 3.75" of total dual layer loft, at least in the thickest areas. It has a good seal around the neck and waist and pretty good at the arms. I can wear it under my 14 oz PG parka without compressing it's loft, or over the parka, or drape it on top of me around my neck and shoulders where it will loft up to contact the Pod and help seal off drafts if I have the pod breathing hole open. Or, I can just layer it under me down in the Pod to boost the warmth from below which should also help on top. Etc.
At least that seams to be my theory of how it would or could work. Does any one hear have experience using vests for making a bag or quilt or pod warmer, and if so, how helpful was it? Do you feel that it is a lot of warmth for the weight, or not so much?