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  1. #1
    Otter1's Avatar
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    Condensation on pad: Hammock vs. Ground

    I use them when on the ground with no condensation issues.

    When I first started in a hammock I used a pad because that's what I had. Had condensation each time.

    My question is: Why condensation in the air, but not on the ground? NOTE: I use a Top Quilt wherever I sleep.

    Thank you!
    Last edited by Otter1; 06-03-2019 at 22:27.

  2. #2

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    Just guessing: probably you are using an enclosed sleeping bag on the ground and an open-backed quilt in the hammock, thus exposing the moisture inside.

  3. #3
    Otter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leiavoia View Post
    Just guessing: probably you are using an enclosed sleeping bag on the ground and an open-backed quilt in the hammock, thus exposing the moisture inside.
    Aha! I should have specified that I use a top quilt in both.

  4. #4
    cmc4free's Avatar
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    Here's a similar thread (with links to even more threads), though I read through it and didn't find any of the arguments thoroughly convincing.

    https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...ds-in-hammocks

    The most satisfying argument I found in those threads is that in a hammock, the pad is forced into a curvature that more closely matches the coutours of the body. On the ground, the pad will lie flat (or as flat as the ground happens to be). Particularly in warm weather, the moisture on top of the pad isn't so much from condensation, but from collected perspiration, and in the hammock where the pad is curved with your body, that collected perspiration will not have as much airflow to allow evaporation.
    Last edited by cmc4free; 06-03-2019 at 22:59.

  5. #5
    4estTrekker's Avatar
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    I use a pad exclusively in my DIY bridge hammock. Could never get a decent nightís sleep in any hammock until I experimented with my Klymit Static V. Regarding condensation, Iíve found that, because the pad curves under me (unlike when on the ground) AND because I literally donít move all night long (again, unlike the ground), condensation is an issue. However, I came up with a solution that, while not uber lightweight, solves the problem completely and makes my hammock even more comfortable: I put a piece of thin lambskin fleece on top of the pad. Say what you will, but due to my poor back, I canít sleep on the ground, and the bridge with a pad is the only hammock thatís worked for me after years of experimenting. So, in order to keep backpacking, I carry this goofy piece of kit. Iíve actually trimmed it to a tapered width and just the length I need (shoulders to upper thighs) then sewed it to a sleeve made of the same fabric as my hammock. The result is, the lambskin stays in place and the sleeve allows me to position myself in the hammock without the pad writhing around. It also keeps me from laying directly on the wool fleece. I use it year round, indoors and out, and donít mind it in the summer and appreciate the extra warmth in the winter. Feels better than my mattress and I donít wake up clammy from condensation.

    Iíll take a few pictures and post them tomorrow. It weighs just a tad under one pound (GASP!) but itís worth it for me, because it keeps me in the woods. My base weight is still 17 pounds, so Iím a happy camper...literally. I enjoy my hikes now more than ever, even as a fella who used to rock a 9 pound base weight. Problem was, it always felt like I was sleeping on a rock!

  6. #6
    Otter1's Avatar
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    Thank you gents!

    The curvature part sounds plausible.

    If one pound made the difference in me getting out there vs not, I'd carry it too!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otter1 View Post

    The curvature part sounds plausible.
    definitely seems like a reasonable assumption

    another possibility is that most folks don't have their air pads fully inflated in their hammocks, so again, more body conforming, rather than having natural vented channels (would only apply to certain types of pads likely tho)

  8. #8
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    I am thinking I have more curve around my shoulders in most of my gathered end hammocks than I do in my Hammock Tent 90 or in most of my bridges. I am not reading many- if any- complaints of condensation problems from users of the 90* hammocks. With 4estTrekker's post just above being an exception, I have not heard a lot of complaints of condensation for folks using pads in bridge hammocks. For example, see the recent thread by 509-T203-KG where he used a Neo Air pad in a bridge hammock at about minus 11F. He specifically said "The only observable condensation I could find was within about a 1-foot radius from my mouth. Not enough to bother me. I did not weigh the gear or measure loft before and after to test for condensation inside.".

    So, do these 90 degree hammocks and at least some bridges have less left to right curve than the GE type, and is that why there are few complaints of condensation for those hammocks with pads? Or is it something else?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    So, do these 90 degree hammocks and at least some bridges have less left to right curve than the GE type,

    way less

    like, no comparison at all. it's much more akin to sleeping on a floating cot, than a gathered end hammock

    no idea if it affects the condensation issues for some?

  10. #10
    4estTrekker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tikker View Post
    another possibility is that most folks don't have their air pads fully inflated in their hammocks, so again, more body conforming, rather than having natural vented channels (would only apply to certain types of pads likely tho)
    For what it’s worth, I inflate my pad fully and still experience condensation.

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