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  1. #1
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    Big Agnes without pad

    Has anyone ever tried hammocking with a Big Agnes sleeping bag without a pad, but with an underquilt instead?

    I like the idea of winter camping, and I think this could be a good way to save weight (as the down under my back would just be compressed in an ordinary sleeping bag, which would just be a big waste of grams).

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ongs-Hat's Avatar
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    I had two Big Agnes sleeping bags while I was in transition from ground to trees. They work great...only problem is some people have difficulty getting into sleeping bags while in the hammock.


    I have since purchased a nice fancy top quilt because of the flexibility they offer.
    Last edited by Ongs-Hat; 09-11-2009 at 10:00.


  3. #3
    Senior Member Roadtorque's Avatar
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    I use one and love it. I currently dont have an underquilt but I put the pad in the hammock pocket not the bag's pocket and it works fine. To me it saves weight as you mentioned and is better than a top quilt in that you take out the possibility of any drafts.

  4. #4
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    I'm a bit sceptical to using a top quilt during winter, as I would imagine there would be a lot of convectional heat loss through the open back when rolling around during the night. It gets pretty cold here in Norway during winter. What's your experience?

  5. #5
    Sweeper's Avatar
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    I have two BA as well

    Quote Originally Posted by mpanbat View Post
    Has anyone ever tried hammocking with a Big Agnes sleeping bag without a pad, but with an underquilt instead?

    I like the idea of winter camping, and I think this could be a good way to save weight (as the down under my back would just be compressed in an ordinary sleeping bag, which would just be a big waste of grams).
    I use my Horse Thief pretty much all the time as a three season quilt down here in GA, works really well. I haven't used my Lost Ranger as a quilt yet, but I can't see any reason why it won't work as well...the only thing I wonder about with that is that it has the hood built in vs. a rectangular cut on the HT. When I was a ground dweller many years ago, I actually found that I slept better in the HT rather than the LR due to a snugger cut in the HT.

    Having said all of that, this will be my first cold season with my new double BB, so I plan on playing using a GG pad as well as my BA insulated Air Core's in the pad pocket to go along with various UQ's that I have.

    And like many others on this board, I have an addiction..... eyes a new BMBH since it now can handle 275lbs....

    -PH

  6. #6
    slowhike's Avatar
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    You can try the BA sleeping bag, using it as a "top quilt", w/o making any changes to the bag.
    Then if you find you like using a top quilt, you could do what I did to my BA Horse Thief, as well as 2 or three other sleeping bags.
    I removed the pad sleeve & zipper, reducing the bulk & weight that much more.
    Top quilts work great in the winter. I know I've slept comfortably in the teens (Fahrenheit) & others here, much, much colder!!!
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  7. #7
    Senior Member TinaLouise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpanbat View Post
    I'm a bit sceptical to using a top quilt during winter, as I would imagine there would be a lot of convectional heat loss through the open back when rolling around during the night. It gets pretty cold here in Norway during winter. What's your experience?
    This almost sounds like you're really asking not about using the big agnas as a top quilt but that you're wondering how the lack of insulation on the bottom will keep you warm??? Or how any top quilt will keep you warm from the convection heat loss coming from the bottom.??
    In a nut shell..... they wont!!! Neither the top quilt or the big agnas or even a reg sleeping bag will pervent the convectional heat loss that happens to the bottom of any hammock. YOU must have some kind of extra bottom insulation that is not compressed by your body laying on it. So that's why hammock people either use under quilts, pads or a combo of the two to stay warm. I've found that IF I've got my under-insulation correct, that my top insulation can be less. I can always put on more clothes to try and stay warm but if the bottom insulation isn't enough for the low temps, I'll still be cold.

    TinaLouise

  8. #8
    Senior Member sir_n0thing's Avatar
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    I have a BA bag that I have toyed with in my hammock. Many people report difficulty getting in and out of a bag inside a hammock, but I haven't noticed any problems with it. The thing I really like about using a bag in the hammock is the hood system not only kept my head warm, but also kept my little 12" pillow in place all night.

    I would assume the BA bag would work great in combination with a good underquilt, provided you are cool with using a bag versus a top quilt.

    Some people report using various pads for cold weather, CCF pads, self-inflating pads, etc. I've heard allot about the Exped Downmat being good in the cold. I would assume that any pad would work really well in combination with a BA bag.

    HYOH, YMMV, etc applies as always I like sleeping bags, but I think I'm a minority in the hammock world. I'm also pretty new, so I reserve the right to change my mind and convert to top quilts at some point! LOL

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinaLouise View Post
    This almost sounds like you're really asking not about using the big agnas as a top quilt but that you're wondering how the lack of insulation on the bottom will keep you warm??? Or how any top quilt will keep you warm from the convection heat loss coming from the bottom.??
    In a nut shell..... they wont!!! Neither the top quilt or the big agnas or even a reg sleeping bag will pervent the convectional heat loss that happens to the bottom of any hammock. YOU must have some kind of extra bottom insulation that is not compressed by your body laying on it. So that's why hammock people either use under quilts, pads or a combo of the two to stay warm. I've found that IF I've got my under-insulation correct, that my top insulation can be less. I can always put on more clothes to try and stay warm but if the bottom insulation isn't enough for the low temps, I'll still be cold.

    TinaLouise
    No, of course I would use an underquilt, as I said in the first post. I'm thinking of using my thick down jacket for that (I'm kind of a gram weenie. By convectional heat loss (ie. mass movement of warm air) I mean that when using a regular top quilt (with an open back) in the hammock, a lot of heat could be lost under the edge of the top quilt while the sleeper moves during the night. The Big Agnes (with a closed back when used like a normal sleeping bag) eliminates this gap through which the air can move.
    I just haven't seen people talk about using the BA like that (but it's probably not an issue until it gets cold).

  10. #10
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpanbat View Post
    I'm a bit sceptical to using a top quilt during winter, as I would imagine there would be a lot of convectional heat loss through the open back when rolling around during the night. It gets pretty cold here in Norway during winter. What's your experience?
    Sort of...two things to consider.

    First, when you roll around in a sleeping bag, you roll with the bag...e.g. your face stays in the face whole when you roll. But in a quilt, you roll inside the quilt. So the quilt itself stays in the same position and you just roll inside it...there's no loss due to the "open back" unless the quilt is too narrow and you get a draft...that would be the only convectional loss.

    Second, whether you're in a bag or quilt you'll still need bottom insulation...either a pad or underquilt. That pad or quilt will insulate the area you're calling the "open back" and it's needed whether you have a bag or quilt.

    My experience is that, as long as I have adequate head insulation to replace the sleeping bag's hood, I've been absolutely comfortable in top quilts down to single digits. My winter setup is a JRB Hood and Mt Washington 4 used as top quilt.

    I think a Big Agnes would work well as a top quilt...I'd consider cutting out the back so there's just a footbox and a hood if it's gonna be a full-time hammock kit.
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