Originally Posted by Owl
I'm going to disagree. The HHSS underpad and UC are not that tough to get back into the original bishop bag it ships in. There's a "trick" to it, but once you learn it, you'll find it's relatively simple to do.
1. Remove the underpad from the hammock.
2. Turn the bishop bag inside out, leaving one end fully open, and the other closed.
3. Fold the underpad in half length-wise, and then again width-wise.
4. Roll the underpad up, with the strings being gathered into the roll.
5. Take the bishop bag, and place one end of the rolled pad against the closed end of the bishop bag.
6. Roll the bishop bag down over the rolled up pad, turning it rightside-out as you go.
7. Disconnect the UC from the hammock (if you want to store it in the bishop bag, rather than just store it on the hammock).
8. Ball up the UC, and stuff it into the open end of the bishop bag, on the end of the underpad.
9. Cinch closed the open end.
Voila! Works for me every time.
The HHSS is a system that's worked very well for me so far. My youngest son and I have both used this system down to about 18F, with some pretty strong gusty winds. Neither of us have actually used the overcover yet, although we both have it. We've NOT used a topquilt with it yet, but used it with sleeping bags in the hammock, and with the space blanket on top of the pad as recommended by Hennessy.
I do have an OWL UQ that I've bought, but not yet had a chance to test it out in really cold weather. I plan on testing it out this fall with a TQ that I'm about to place on order today.
Thanks for the tips, Owl! I may try that someday just for fun. And if you get the UC + pad back into the original sack, you will save some significant volume. I doubt any similarly warm full length down UQ plus UQP could pack down very much smaller! But I have not put it to the test.
I have also got the entire system back into the original sack, but without the benefit of your technique. So I have been able to do it, but personally have never bothered, especially on my backpacking trips. I have either removed the pad, and put into a larger compression dry sack often along with other must keep dry items, while wrapping the hammock and UC into snake skins, or just shoved the entire system into a large compression sack. This has worked fine for me, but getting it back in the sack it shipped in would probably get me some additional compression, in case I ever go to a really small pack.
I guess I have not really worried about volume ( unlike weight) as much as a lot of folks do, because I have never yet got down to the really small packs. When I started hammock hanging, I was still using my huge McHale pack. This led to me having to swap out some of my gear with other people in order to get the extra volume ( mainly food) they had no room for into my pack. Though we attempted to keep the weight swapped roughly equal, but I had plenty of room after adding all my gear including my brand new HH UL Explorer + HHSS, with back up ground pads and synthetic 20F bag. That was also my pack the following year when I had dropped even more weight and volume, but still had that HHSS + synthetic mummy bag. After that, I started using some packs that saved me a couple of pounds, but I still have so far had enough room, even using a PeaPod: a Golight 4000 ci 2 lb pack, and a MMP, whose volume is determine by how many and what sized stuff sacks you strap on it. So far volume has not been a huge issue for me, although I have mostly been using a Golight down TQ, or even just the PeaPod plus clothing, for top warmth rather than my big old synthetic bag.