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Thread: Quilt taboo

  1. #1
    Senior Member T- Minus's Avatar
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    Quilt taboo

    I am a noob to the hammock world and quickly learned that I will need an under quilt to prevent "cbs" or some other insulation like a pad or poncho.
    after doing a lot of looking at under quilts and top quilts a few questions or ideas have developed... Hopefully someone out there can help me avoid the pitfalls of trial by fire and elevate me to buy once cry once. So here it goes.
    (1) Is there a set up quilt wise for all seasons (one top quilt and one bottom) if so what would it be?
    Looking at the two quilts the top quilt seems to be more expensive in general from most vendors. (2) Is this due to fit and finish? (2b) More material? (2c) or what? The under quilt seems to have more features like a dynamic cut, cordage, hardware, ect; (2d) so am I missing something?
    (3) Is different temp rate quilts are really the best way to dial in the perfect hang or is venting and being warmer with lower temp rated gear and saving a ton of cash the way to go?
    (4) Is it taboo to use a snap mod to a full length quilt to convert it into a top quilt and use it as a top quilt? (4b) or is there not enough material in a under quilt to do so? (4c) or does it come down to the fit and finish and entrapment in all the cordage that is the issue?
    Thanks in advance.
    I have a HG 20 incubator uq on order. And it snows only a few weeks out of the year where I live.

  2. #2

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    1. I use 20F quilts in south Louisiana year round. And it only drops below freezing a couple times a year.

    2. Topquilts are more because of more material, I think anyway

    3. I would love to have three different quilt sets. Unfortunately I could only afford one so 20F when first starting. Vent when warm, more clothes when cold. I just got 40F TQs for me and my sons. I don't see ever getting lighter UQs, maybe 0F UQs if we ever get to do some true winter camping.

    4. There are some UQs that also can be used as TQs. JacksRBetter makes one I believe.

  3. #3
    silentorpheus's Avatar
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    1.) a 20˚ set is probably the best all around temp rating, if you only have the funds to buy one. I've got a 20˚ TQ that i've taken down to 0˚ by wearing a down sweater, down booties, and a sit pad under my heels. And I have a 0˚ UQ that I've used up to temps as warm as 70˚ without having to 'vent' - I just didn't use anything on top and was perfectly comfortable. So a 20˚ set will cover most conditions just fine, unless you know for a fact that you're going to be camping in single digit temps a lot, in which case you should consider a 0˚ for those trips.

    2.) It depends on who you look at. If you check out Hammock Gear, their Burrow TQs are the same price as the comparably rated Incubator UQ, and have the same fill amount (12 oz of fill for both the 20˚ Incubator and Burrow, for example). A Warbonnet 20˚ Yeti has 6.5oz down, and is $200. Their Mamba TQ, same temp rating, has 10.5oz of down and is $275. That's likely where the price descrepancy comes in. UGQ also makes both top and bottom quilts, but between all the drop down menus and abbreviations, their website makes your head spin - so it's not as easy to do a direct comparison. But I'll wager that the price difference between their quilts has mostly to do with material cost (extra down, extra length, etc.)

    3.) See #1. In a perfect world, sure a separate set for every season is great. That's just not feasible for many. Heck, I've got a whole bunch of disposable income sunk in to Hammock Camping at this point in time, and I only have 0˚ and 20˚ quilts - I just never saw the need to spend extra money on a warm weather set. Maybe someday

    4.) Yes, sometimes. depending on the size of the quilt. As Nodust said, I think Jacks R Better make some quilts that can be used either way. However the HG Incubator is only 44" wide, and that's really not wide enough to use as a TQ, in my opinion. Plus you'd have all the suspension cordage to deal with. It would make more sense were the quilt a rectangular style quilt, with removable suspension.
    Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.

  4. #4
    Shroud's Avatar
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    Everyone is different. Notice how the guys above are telling you what works for them and people they know, but not giving you any hard and fast rules? There really aren't any. I'm a cold sleeper, and I live just south of Canada, so I always go for extreme cold weather gear. Even when nightime temps stay in the high 60's, I can use venting to stay perfectly comfortable. Of course, I am also carrying around a lot of extra bulk and weight. So sure, two different setups would be perfect for me, but finances preclude such extravagances. (Listen to me this morning! Don't I sound fancy?)

    In the end, you will find what works for you. But nothing is taboo, so experiment away and report back with your findings!

    The only thing I would watch out for, is TQ's are made to be snugger around your feet. Sometimes even with extra insulation. UQ's are often shorter and usually much wider on the foot end. That might make it hard to get a good fit that keeps your toes warm. I know my feet always get cold, so I would bring backup insulation the first time I tried it.
    "Be yourself. Everyone else is taken." - Oscar Wilde

  5. #5
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    The long and short of it is a 20* set is the most versatile thru most of the country. You'll seldom need to vent a 20* UQ in all but the warmest summer heat. You will need to open up (vent) and even kick off a 20* TQ as temps climb above mid 40's. In the 70's, a 20* TQ becomes an expensive blanket that you sort off only drape half over you. Above that, any TQ is not needed. Going colder, you can always supplement with more clothes and a sleeping pad.

  6. #6
    hk2001's Avatar
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    Here in Central NY, I typically use a 20 UQ and a 30 TQ from Mid/Late April thru Early/Mid November.. neither quilt is overstuffed, but the setup takes me to 25 comfortably.

    For winter, I have a MASSIVE down UQ I got from FLScoutHanger in a trade on here. It's got (approximately) 3lbs of unknown down in it.. (total weight of 4lbs) And I haven't found a low end for this quilt. I took it to negative 10 this past winter, and my back was warm. I can't justify a "winter" TQ.. If I go out in winter, it's either in my hammock stand, or car camping. So my 0 winter sleeping bag is it.

    I did just pick up a 50 TQ that I hope will be good enough for July/August use up in the Adirondacks

  7. #7
    slbear's Avatar
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    20* UQ (Phoenix torso length ) and a 30* TQ for me. I have been down to the low 30s with this set and it could go lower with more sleeping clothes.

    I will take this year round for SoCal, unless I'm snow camping at altitude. At that point I might wish I had a full UQ. I would use my 15* sleeping bag with my 30* TQ before buying another lower temp TQ.

    Someone has me the advice to get a 20* UQ, and it was spot on. Sounds like you are already half way there.

  8. #8
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    I have a 20 F UQ and a DIY that is very fluffy. I am a very cold sleeper, so I made my DIY with 3.5 inch baffles and a bit overstuffed. We only had about 4 days of Winter this year, I did not even get to try out my DIY.

    My experience has taught me to keep lots of insulation under me, the topping is not as important as bottom insulation.

    I do not like snaps, I always ruin them, or the fabric around them. I put a fitted bottom on my TQ, I just hang my feet out if I get too warm, one foot, still too warm second foot goes out, shoulders. Where we Hang even high Summer night temps are 53 F to 45ish.

    I think these purchases are so personal, it is very unfair to make suggestions, I think telling our personal experience is the best way to share. Even things like humidity and wind play a factor in comfort of quilts.

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