I'm currently using an Enlightened Equipment ProdigyX TQ with a Hennessy double-bubble pad in a Hennessy Expedition Asym Zip.
At 30° I wake up with painfully cold feet and am shivering all night. I feel warm on top but it's cold underneath me. I think it's time to go for an under quilt. JrB seems like a popular choice and I've got a couple Qs:
1) given my cold feet, I'm thinking about going full length. It gets cold in Arizona at night. I'd like to be comfortable to 20°. Am I crazy to go full length?
2) which full length JrB UQ fits a Hennessy zip best? Nest or Mt. Washington?
Any advice would be welcome.
Background: I'm a scouting father with a base weight in the 25+ pound range doing one/two night trips walking 1-8 miles. No thru-hiking.
With regard to cold feet, I've been using 1 of Shug's options (watch his 'NOOB' videos on YouTube....search Shugemery)) to prevent it until my UQ was purchased. Place a single or doubled up layer of CCF in the foot end of your hammock. Then a half (or less) inflated Exped pillow inside the footbox of TQ or SB. The CCF can be augmented with a pc of reflectix.....or use it wherever you need for cold spots. The system works really well. You can go the down bootie route, too, for more $ of course! Good luck!
If it's just your feet that are cold, you could opt for some down booties which would be cheaper than a UQ.
I can't say enough about full length UQs though. Well worth the investment.
I use the Shug method of a part inflated sit mat under my feet inside the foot box and a 3/4 JRB quilt with my Hennessey. I have been comfortable to about -5C with that. To be clear I have not been uncomfortable beyond -5C as I have just not been out when it is colder than that, I will just go for more or thicker merino layers to sleep in. If it is that cold at night I will probably be wearing them already during the day and not take them off.
Since you are warm on top, seems very likely your bubble pad is not enough for 30F. I think it is only rated for 40F, and at least one has reported poor performance even at 40F compared with CCF.
Originally Posted by clean
I would not bother with a Nest with a zip hammock, and a JRB MW is a superb quilt with it's dual differential cut, body contoured design and constant height radial baffles. I don't remember ever seeing a thread where someone was cold in one of these at or above rated temps.
As for full length vs shorter, several folks have reported cold feet using leg pads with a short UQ which was well cured with a full length UQ. But, there are a few here who have taken a short WB Winter Yeti or others of this type to well below zero and been fine.
While you are deciding and waiting on delivery:
1: consider adding a WM blue or other closed cell foam pad. Even a short torso sized will give you a huge boost in the all important back/kidney/butt area. Your main problem might be staying on the pad with no pad pocket on your hammock, just read up on pad use and various tricks to overcome this. But there are people here- Ducttape for ex- who sleep to colder than minus 20F with nothing but CCF pads. I have been toasty(feet included) at 18F on top of 2 light summer weight pads stacked in a Speer SPE, one full length and one torso length pad, no UQ at all.
2: since your feet are painfully cold, a major intervention is needed there. Again while waiting for your full length UQ, and maybe even after you get it, get one very thin set of synthetic liner socks. Even nylon dress socks will do. Put one more or less waterproof bread sack over each foot, over the thin sock. Then maybe also put a very loose set of socks or booties over the bread bag, although it is possible to go sockless inside the quilt foot pocket. Main thing is to keep it all loose on the feet. This right there might give you an extra 20F warmth, plus keep the foot area of your TQ drier and loftier and warmer. Plus see the recs already given by others about CCF under your feet plus small pads inside the foot box of your TQ. Though you might not need all of that with these Vapor Barriers(VB). If this helps, buy some very inexpensive Stephensons Warmlight VB socks, and you won't need the liner socks.
3: since you are not inside a mummy bag, make sure your head has plenty of insulation, like with a JRB hood. A really warm brain will signal your body to route warm blood to your feet, theoretically, and I believe it. We loose a lot of warmth when we go to TQs and give up those mummy bag hoods and neck collars. Sometimes folks forget to account for that when going from a 20F bag to a 20F TQ. It is way important for overall warmth. If your head or core is cold, the first thing the body sacrifices is the extremities, like feet.
4: Consider, and read up on, a hot water bottle, maybe placed by your feet, or most anywhere.
One of the first things I would try while I am waiting on my full length UQ is a hot water bottle in a zip lock freezer bag, stuck inside a wool sock at my feet. If you add in 1 or 2 of the other ideas here, you should conquer your cold feet.
I have lost 65lb in the past year and found that the cold really, really bothers me now where before it did not so I have started taking a hot water bottle to bed with me and placing it on my groin area. It is amazing how well it works all night long.
I have a great, warm partial length UQ. I also have a great, warm full length UQ. In cold temps there is never a question which I will use, the full length wins every time.
Even with a full length quilt my feet were getting pretty cold. I started putting them in the sleeves of my fleece when I sleep. They stay toasty all night long.
BillyBob, thanks especially for your in-depth response. I've not tried the VB method on my feet nor a blue closed cell pad in my TQ on my feet although I have tried reflectix in there which seemed to help. I forgot that pad on the last trip. I did have a couple hand-warmers in my foot box that painfully cold night along with one in my groin next to the femoral artery.
I keep my head very warm with a thick merino hat and a fleece hoodie. I use a stuff sack with some clothes for a pillow. I was almost too warm up there.
I did not mention it but my butt was a little chilly. Not horribly but noticeable. I think it's time for an UQ. Thanks for the info on Nest vs MW. I was leaning towards a MW already. I'll start saving up and probably get one for myself for Xmas. In the mean time I'll save a couple bread bags and cut up a blue foam pad for our next trip. And maybe boil some water. ;)
@BillyBob: I just checked and you are right, the bubble pad is only rated to 40°. That helps explain why I get cold below that temp...