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  1. #1

    Rookie question here: Why not get a 0 degree underquilt for all seasons?

    I noticed it is common for many hammock campers to have several underquilts, each rated for different seasons. But wouldn't it make more sense to get a fully insulated uq rated for 0 F and simply loosen it a little if it gets too toasty? This would seem to cover all temperatures, or am I missing something?

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  2. #2
    cmc4free's Avatar
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    The biggest downsides to having only a 0 quilt would be:

    - cost: a 0 underquilt uses more down and is therefore a good bit more expensive than a 20 or 40. Granted, a 0 is cheaper than having multiple quilts for different conditions, but if 0 weather represents a tiny fraction of your usage, a 20 or 40 would be a better investment.
    - weight: a 0 quilt is heavier than a 20, though the weight difference between a 20 and 0 quilt is probably pretty negligible for most people (probably less than 6 oz).
    - bulk: a winter underquilt can be pretty bulky and take up a lot of space in a pack. If you have a lot of extra pack space or if you're car camping, etc. then this may also be negligible.

    For the 2nd and 3rd points, one reason many people own multiple quilts is so that they never have to carry a heavier/bulkier quilt than needed for a particular outing. You can use a 0 quilt without roasting when it's 60 at night, but it's definitely overkill in terms of temp, weight, and bulk compared to a more appropriate choice.

    To maximize all three of these advantages, a lot of people like partial length underquilts, and this seems especially so for quilts warmer than 20. A partial length is cheaper, lighter, and less bulky than a full length equivalent. Someone might, for example, want to own a 30 - 40 partial length UQ and a 0 - 20 full length UQ. To buck this trend though, 0 partial length quilts also have fans, for example the Greylock 4 from Jacks R Better. Shug has been a long time supporter of this quilt.

    Finally, a lot of people (myself included) just like buying gear and having options so they always have the right tool for the job.
    Last edited by cmc4free; 07-30-2019 at 13:53.

  3. #3
    Senior Member jeff-oh's Avatar
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    Depends on your budget.

    Oh, yeah I remember you from you intro. Howdy, neighbor. 20* is about all we need. 0* is overkill unless you plan on traveling far to winter camping in areas that need it.

    I have found that a 20* bag (TQ & UQ) meets 99% of all needs and did exactly what you suggest for 30 years. I have since picked up a 35*-40* UQ & TQ for summer use just to save weight while backpacking. I find the 50*+ bags to be rather pointless.

    I can use my 20* year round. In Jan of 2018, I did a -6F trip and added a inflatable pad as an extra layer to the 20* UQ. But, as you know, that Temp is super rare around here.

  4. #4
    alifeoutdoors's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff-oh View Post
    Depends on your budget.

    Oh, yeah I remember you from you intro. Howdy, neighbor. 20* is about all we need. 0* is overkill unless you plan on traveling far to winter camping in areas that need it.

    I have found that a 20* bag (TQ & UQ) meets 99% of all needs and did exactly what you suggest for 30 years. I have since picked up a 35*-40* UQ & TQ for summer use just to save weight while backpacking. I find the 50*+ bags to be rather pointless.

    I can use my 20* year round. In Jan of 2018, I did a -6F trip and added a inflatable pad as an extra layer to the 20* UQ. But, as you know, that Temp is super rare around here.
    Who was making under quilts and top quilts 30 years ago?
    Once you're lost in twilight's blue, you don't find your way, the way finds you.

  5. #5
    TrailSlug's Avatar
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    Yep, if weight, space, and cost isn't an issue then 0 is the way to go. Those of us who backpack try to limit our weight and bulk which is why we get different rated quilts.

  6. #6
    michigandave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailSlug View Post
    Yep, if weight, space, and cost isn't an issue then 0 is the way to go. Those of us who backpack try to limit our weight and bulk which is why we get different rated quilts.
    What he said. Anything I can do to shave weight while backpacking is a plus. For example, my 40 degree TQ and UQ weighs the same as my 0 degree UQ. Plus, I'd be a huge sweatball in 70 degree weather with 0 degree gear. IMO, a 20 degree set should be fine for your part of the country. Come on up to Michigan and join us for a group hang sometime!

  7. #7
    Senior Member jeff-oh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alifeoutdoors View Post
    Who was making under quilts and top quilts 30 years ago?
    Coleman, SlumberJack, JanSport and many others... Were simply called sleeping bags in the olden days.

  8. #8
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Weight and bulk are the primary reason you wouldn't want 0* quilts year round. The furthest I ever hiked with my 0* quilts was four miles in one day. However, I've hiked 20-22 miles with the 40* and 20* quilts.
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  9. #9
    alifeoutdoors's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff-oh View Post
    Coleman, SlumberJack, JanSport and many others... Were simply called sleeping bags in the olden days.
    Ah gotya, sorry, now I see how you phrased it. My apologies, my bulls**t sensor went on high alert but false alarm. I have the settings set way too high these days. :P
    Once you're lost in twilight's blue, you don't find your way, the way finds you.

  10. #10
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    A feller know what a feller wants to carry tempwise. Don't think a few more ounces will slow you down or limit your miles.
    Yes a 0 is bulkier, more expensive but wonderful if you camp a lot below 15F or lower.
    A 20 is a very versatile option and still easy to vent.
    Shug

    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Secure in Sector Seven

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