When you're thinking like Ed Speer, you're doing some top tier thinking.:)
Understood on the support/weight/loft issues. The UC would be sealed (sewn) on all sides and would be on the deep side. My plan is to have perpendicular channels with light shock cord and toggles, so the depth could be adjusted. Using Garlington Insulators or variants would be easy. Down would need some suspension from the bottom of the hammock so it could hang freely. I think synthetic fills could be used for a big flat quilt and just sit in the UC. Getting high up the sides is the challenge.
I'm thinking super light stuff like Pertex for the UC-- it really is a windshirt for the hammock. It needs to support it's own weight plus a couple space blankets. From there it needs help with suspension from the hammock body.
Did any new, innovative, modular designs ever come of this thread? It came up in a search I did, and I must say, it was a great thought provoking read and I thought it was worth reviving a year and a half later...
I must say, our passtime of hammocking has really evolved into something cutting edge. Hammocks used to just be a length of whatever fabric was on hand gathered at the ends and tied to two trees in warmer weather. Now, we can sleep comfortably with all of our gadgets and gizmo's down to -26F.
I believe this thread indicates that we are at a crossroads when it comes to hammock gear, technology, and innovation. There is a demand for simpler, easier to use, "idiot-proof" designs, and this seems to go against the mind-set of the man Do-It-Yourselfers that we have on this forum. I must say, I've always been amazed by the resourcefulness of the members here. I'm sure that we will come up with something that will work for most.
Great thread, thanks,
Separate components = flexibility
Separate components = complexity
Lots of great thoughts and insights in the thread, here. I know this is slightly necro ("Arise, Ancient Thread! Arise!" *cough* *hack* *cough*...durned booming hollow voice always hurts my throat...:laugh:), but I'm in the midst of hacking at modular quilts (both top and bottom) right now. My first layer, full-length IX, is just about done and has been tested recently.
I've been musing on draft skirts, and I think it's hard to beat Youngblood's design for the ends. Requires no modification to the hammock proper and will add only ~1-2 oz of weight at most to the quilt.
I've tried a Velcro attachment, differentially-cut IX underquilt layer, and it works pretty well so far. Not quite what I was hoping for on temperature range, but I think part of that is air intrusion at the ends; there're slight gaps at either end between the quilt edge and the bottom of the hammock. So, draft skirts.
The next layer (down) should be pretty easy to engineer; it's 2/3 length at most (torso and upper thigh) and should get me down to 20-ish. Building draft stoppers onto one that length should be easier than with the full length; the IX layer is pretty smooth on the outside. We'll see...
One issue that all underquilts must deal with is having them fit against the bottom of the hammock all the way across - not just at the edges. Air gaps under the knees have been a problem for many who use full length underquilts. I like full length quilts, myself, but I recognize that they're not perfect. Note, if you DIY, remember that the heavier the quilt is, the harder it is to make it fit tight evenly.
However, that's resulted in a slight change in the hammock lie; it's become a little more like an "hard" bed rather than a "soft" one. Since the first layer is IX, though, and there's ~2 inches of play in the side attachment points, total, this matters less than if I was compressing down in the first layer with no play in the suspension.
A bigger issue is the air intrusion at the ends; this is where I think I currently need to put effort forth. We'll see if a wind-blocking piece of skirt with some shock cord here will do the trick...here's hoping...