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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Underquilt plus pad or stacked quilts?

    My wife is interested in winter camping this year. We have a 0 with overstuff, a 20 and 40 and two zero TQs. Since I don't have two 0 UQs does adding a pad like a zlite add much for warmth or should I stack the 20 and 40?

  2. #2
    Grumpy Squatch's Avatar
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    Sep 2015
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    Adding a pad or stacking underquilts both add warmth. For me the main difference is condensation - I always had some condensation with pads when the temps got below freezing. Don't have that problem with quilts, stacked or not. Not sure exactly how much warmth a Z-Lite will add. I'd expect it'd be about the same as the 40 degree UQ but others might know.

    Men hang out their signs indicative of their respective trades; shoe makers hang out a gigantic shoe; jewelers a monster watch, and the dentist hangs out a gold tooth; but up in the Mountains of New Hampshire, God Almighty has hung out a sign to show that there He makes men.
    - Daniel Webster

  3. #3
    johnspenn's Avatar
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    Jan 2016
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    It seems to me a pad would not be optimal.

    1. It would create gaps in your UQ protection.

    2. Plus, an UQ traps the heat from your body, but the pad reflects the body heat up, so you wouldn't be getting the full potential from your UQ.

    3.Then of course there's comfort and pad slippage.

    I'd stack quilts before I added a pad to my setup... just one man's opinion!

    Don't forget alternative methods of adding heat like hot hands/feet and a hot water nalgene bottle.


    Good luck, let us know what you did and how it works!

  4. #4
    Wanderlost's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
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    I always prefer stacking quilts. Pads will work, but they will slip. You just need to be careful with stacking the quilts so you don't compress the down too much on the inner quilt. If you stack synthetic and down, put the synthetic as the outer quilt for condensation reasons.

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    73 de W4BKR

    Not all who wander are lost... - J.R.R. Tolkein
    ...Besides, if we get lost, we just pull in somewheres and ask directions - Captain Ron

    The ever striving gram weenie...always updated with the next trip

  5. #5
    New Member
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    Oct 2014
    Location
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    I have a 3-season Jarbridge River Underquilt from Arrowhead-Equipment. The website says most users use it comfortably down to 25%. I am a very cold sleeper, so any time I've been expecting temps much below 30, I bring along a very cheep closed-cell foam pad from Kmart, cut in half. Unlike most in the forum, I also use a sleeping bag, rather than a top quilt. I think both the shorter length of the foam pad (it covers from my hips to my shoulders) and because its very thin (and therefore flexible) I have never had issues with slippage, nor with creating gaps between it and my underquilt. I have experienced slight condensation on occasion, but minimal and I didn't notice it until I looked at the pad in the morning. I've been comfortable down to 10 to 12 degrees. But without the sleeping bag between me and the pad, it would probably be less comfortable since I would probably feel more of the condensation. For me this is the cheaper solution than a 2nd underquilt. If I were doing a very long outing in nighttime temps below 30, I might make the investment, because after a few nights, my sleeping bag might get more and more damp on the bottom side.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pennsy Camp and Canoe's Avatar
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    Jan 2016
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    I'll just say kudos to your wife for winter camping!

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