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Thread: What's better.

  1. #1
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    What's better.

    what will keep you warmer a 20* under quilt with a 40* top quilt or a 40* under quilt with a 0* top quilt? I am trying to see if you can mix and match quilts to keep yourself warmer and save money then going and buying a 0* top and under quilt. I'm going off the thought that heat rises. I hope this makes some sense to what I have written above.

  2. #2
    Bubba's Avatar
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    From past threads that I have read I believe that most people prefer a warmer underquilt than top quilt. I feel I lose more heat from convection from my back especially when using a bugnet since it helps keep in a little more heat on top.

    IIRC from another thread, heat does not rise, hot air rises. Heat transfer still occurs all around your body. There was quite a lot of discussion on thermodynamics in that thread.
    Last edited by Bubba; 05-19-2015 at 06:30.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  3. #3
    Administrator octothorpesarus's Avatar
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    It's much easier to supplement or improvise top insulation than bottom insulation. That is to say a 0 degree UQ can generally be used comfortably from 0 degrees up to room temperature (~70 degrees) whereas a 40 degree UQ will leave you cold at 30 degrees regardless of the temp rating on your TQ.

    Honestly assess your usage scenarios. I see you are in MA. Do you camp in the shoulder/winter seasons? If not a 40 degree UQ is likely your best choice. If you camp in the shoulder season a 20 degree UQ is in order. Winter? 0 degree.

    If you do your hiking in the summer you do not want the bulk/weight of a 0 degree UQ in your pack. Likewise a 0 degree TQ in July is not going to be comfortable.

    Quilts are much like seasonal clothing. You wouldn't wear a tank top in December nor a down jacket in July. Most people will not find one quilt set satisfactory for all four seasons.

  4. #4
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    If I were you, I would get the 20* uq. It's the most versatile quilt you'll use. Most people prioritize the bottom insulation more than the top.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Boston's Avatar
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    If you want to be comfortable both items need to be rated appropriately. A 40*F TQ and a 20*F UQ wont keep you warm into the low 30's and 20's. Generally there is some amount you can "push" insulation lower than it's rating, but it depends on the quilt and the person.

    When people refer to using warmer underquilt's, usually it's concerning warmer temps. For instance, A 20*F UQ with a 40*F TQ is still comfortable into the 40's and 50's, where-as my experience is a 40*F UQ with a 20*F TQ would be too warm - I'd be throwing off or venting the TQ.

  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone for the great info! New hammocker just trying to figure it all out. This site is great you are all so helpful.

  7. #7
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    I had a 20* incubator and just switch (well waiting for it to be delivered) to a 20* phoenix underquilt. I also have a 20* top quilt and plan on making a 2.5oz climashield top quilt for warmer weather.

    I'll use the 20* underquilt all year, even in the summer and go with a lighter top quilt.

  8. #8
    Country Roads's Avatar
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    I often use a 3-season Yeti UQ and a 40 degree burrow TQ. Have used to the mid-30s regularly. So, I would rather use a lower rated UQ and save weight on the TQ.

  9. #9
    tramos55's Avatar
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    Even if hanging indoors, any top insulation warmer than your bottom insulation will cause you to feel colder on the bottom whatever the rating. At least this has been my experience. Always go lower rating on bottom if mismatched. IMHO

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