You could really put it through a test!
Shug, too bad you don't already have one, as you already have the temps to more than out it to the test! Are you going to be out in this cold blast( and blizzard?) that is about to hit you guys, according to the weather channel?
Originally Posted by Shug
BTW, what is the loft of the UQs you have been using when it is really cold?
Yay! No mud bog- replaced by frozen ground!
I planned to hang for a while yesterday (before Sun eve church) afternoon ( in the WBBB/MWUW combo) about 4:30 PM, with temps still in the 30s but plummeting fast, and huge winds. Then I was going to take the BB down, and hang the BMBH/MWUQ for the colder temps. So I attached the MWUQ to the BB, and could not get it to hang right! Every time I would get in, the foot end would end up on the left side with me trying to hang diagonal. ( I am wondering if there could be anything about the foot box on the BB that could contribute to this problem? Probably just my ignorance) Also, I kept ending up with a gap under my torso. I still don't know what I was doing wrong, I had no problems of this nature the day before( when it was warm!). But the wind was cutting me in half as I tried to adjust the set up. So I gave up and took the quilt down.
When I got back that night, the wind chill was even worse. But I put on my winter clothes, and tried it again. First, I rehung the suspension and paid careful attention to that. I finally got things where it seemed like the foot of the UQ would stay where it was supposed to be. I went to bed at 11pm, 23*F, heavy winds. (My backyard test area is very exposed, no trees to block wind or rain.) Wind chill was my main concern. I really didn't have much faith in being comfortable, do to my lack of skill with the foot end, and the wind. I wanted to minimize variables, so I took no chance on top warmth, and took a heavy synthetic bag with wind proof shell, plus good clothing and a balaclava, and a hot water bottle.
What can I say? I was surprised, and I was warm at temps that went well below 20*F plus whatever windchill, which was stout and probably about 0-5*F. I have a cheap tarp from Harbor Freight hung, but there was a lot of wind getting by anyway, past the ends or under the bottom edge of the tarp. I leave this tarp out because I don't want to rot my good tarps from constant UV exposure. The good tarps are for brief tests only, and my actual trips. On the strongest gusts, my hammock would be obviously in motion, blown sideways( I had disconnected the BB side tie outs). Other times the tarp would be forced into contact with my left side.
That is a lot of wind chill. Still, the only other time I remember being this warm at these temps was with two pads in an SPE under me, and wind was not a factor that time. Also this warm at 10*F in my PeaPod plus top quilt, but I added a SB below and winds were very mild. And the pod was closed, which isn't nearly as roomy as this approach, and a negative for claustrophobics. Pros and cons, as always.
I did get occasional cold spots on my legs when I moved or especially when I went to my side, but they were not bad enough to ruin my sleep, and it was sometimes maybe related to quilt positioning. But there was never a hint of cold on my torso. I think I still have a lot to learn as far as set up for the foot end.
Once again, I notice that a big advantage of this approach is my arm and hand warmth. I did not have my gloves on, but was able to keep an arm or hand out of the quilt, with one or both hands under my head/pillow, without a hint of cold. Plus the quilt did not move when I did. I never had to adjust it, assuming I got the foot end in the right position to start with. I had a pad handy ( lack of confidence in leg/foot warmth) but never had to resort to it.
So even though I was 5 or 10*F above the 0-10*F rating of this quilt, and thus not a max out test, I think the wind chill was the main factor to consider last night. That, plus my inexperience with non pod style full length quilts and foot end adjustments. Regardless, I was warm a bit below 20F plus wind chill. This seems to me pretty good results all things considered. I look forward to a good test with the BMBH, which I think will result in even better results.
making progress + BB58's mod
It was great to have some time today, during a lull in getting ready for all of the family coming for Christmas day dinner, to play around with the MWUQ and Black Bird, when it was not raining and bitter cold and windy, even a little sunny. So I could also get the tarp out of the way. All my previous attempts at initially setting up this quilt, as a JRB underquilt novice, were under trying inclement conditions. That is fine for practice before going in the field, but it's no way to break in new eqipment which might have a learning curve.
So I seem to have gotten rid of my problems withy the quilt pulling to the left on the foot end( I don't know if I have mentioned that problem here, or in other threads, but I did somewhere). I think I pulled this off by biasing the foot end suspension cords to the left side, and vice versa for the head end. Hard to put in words, but it seemed to help a lot. No more foot end pulling away from my feet to the right on the BB. Big improvement.
Next I kept experimenting with foot end tension. The Jacks said not to tension the foot drawstrings too tight, as it would cause the quilt to pull away from the hammock body. But when I left it with a foot or so between edges as recommended, it seemed to me I could see excess daylight down at the foot end when I lay in the hammock. Plus, I would still have a pretty good gap under my left lag and to the left side.
One thing I did was move the foot end closer to the middle, head end more towards the head. This still left my feet well covered, and with 8-10" separation between left and right, visible daylight seemed minimal and the left leg gap was smaller. Things were improving steadily.
Finally, I tried a mod I had been thinking about. I attached two grip clips to the quilt fabric edge on each side of the quilt ( l+r) on the foot end, about a foot closer to the middle from where the suspension connects. Then I attached some thin shock cord to one grip clip, ran it over the ridge line to the other grip clip, and moderately tightened it up. I got in and no more gap on the left side at all, and just minimal under my left leg. I now felt the heat dramatically radiating up into my left leg, as I had been from the get go under my back. It also seemed to cover my butt a bit better before the small gap under the legs started. I don't know if this made things better or worse on the foot end, since I could no longer see down there, because the quilt was now pretty much in contact with my legs. I will continue experimenting with these adjustments and this mod at colder temps. ( I got this idea from something WBG told me to do to get a better seal on his torso UQ) This all ended up making for a very comfortable, toasty 54*F nap, with nothing on top except my cotton shirt and blue jeans.
This is a very nice, warm quilt. Mostly, none of the above is needed with the BMBH, only with the BB. And I did already spend a cold windy night( <20*F) in the Black Bird without the above adjustments and tricks, and I was OK. But I felt like I was not reaching the quilts potential. I think I'm much closer to this potential now.