This is a follow up on a discussion on Speer tarps that was starting here:
OK, here is what I am getting at. Most of us agree that the Speer Ppod, while it has a few drawbacks of it's own, and will not work on every hammock and is not for every one any way, (I know at least one person who hated it) the pod is a very efficient approach to being warm in a hammock. Almost every one who has tried one has been successful on first try, being warm at least to rated temps, seems to me. I am convinced that the main reason for this success and efficiency is the near total "seal" at the hammock edges, which greatly decreases the effect of any gaps under you(IMHO) AND the big and roomy semi-mummy bag approach. Which greatly lessens draft problems, no doubt in my mind. BUT:
There seems to be an idea that the PPod is not the lightest approach. For one thing, it is BIG, big enough to engulf an entire hammock top to bottom, end to end. And I personally agree that it is not ALWAYS the lightest approach for top insulation. For two main reasons: 1:you have to insulate all of that area in the foot end on one side of the hammock where your feet are not if laying diagonal. It only seems natural that a TQ, only big enough for your feet, would be more efficient for the weight. And 2: the other reason is the tendency of (especially wider) hammocks to raise the top layer over your body by several inches. Resulting in a bag that can not match it's 20F rating on top, despite OVER 2.5" of top loft.
But things are not always as they seem and not always that simple. I do agree that, for most folks with say just a pair of long Johns will not be warm enough on top, in a wider hammock, at the rated temp. In fact, super cold sleeper Ed Speer only rates it to 50 on top by itself! That is not very impressive for this kind of weight, though I think that rating is WAY conservative.
Once you start adding even very light TQs on top or below, it is easy to exceed the 20F rating, by a lot. Even just adding enough clothing can help with that. But what about just using the pod by itself and with maybe the clothing you might have for a trip with forecast lows in the upper 20s worse case? Or what worse case in the 30s or 40s? How does the PPod stack up then, with just clothes to augment, for top warmth? The 20F on the bottom rating does not vary unless you start adding stuff. But what about on top?
Going byMacEntyre's report from above for many people, the 30s or low 40s would seem not out of line at all, along with some amount of warm clothing. In my case, 27F first night using warm clothing mainly to layer on top to fill the gap and to block heat leaking around the breathing hole. Just barely warm enough 1st night, toasty on each following night in low to mid 30s. Snow, wind, rain. (Yay JRB 10x11 tarp!)
The newest PeaPods weigh ~38 oz. Lets say lots of folks will be OK mid to high 30s with Pea Pod alone and at least some good long Johns. Does that sound like a reasonable guess? OK, 38 oz for a TQ and full length UQ rated to mid 30s on top. Keep in mind that a more narrow hammock, like a Claytor, will tend to push the PPod closer to it's top rating of 20*F, the rating that would normally be expected from it's 2.5 plus inches of top loft( 5" plus total).
What should be the weight of two separate LONG/TALL quilts that would be warm enough in this range with a hammock? I'm thinking a minimum of 34-35 oz., and that would be for probably ~ 1.5" single layer loft. So, is the PPod really very much heavier than something else as warm over all? Or say if you are only expecting temps to the high 30s-low 40s, is the Pea Pod, by itself, really all that heavy to take on such a trip? Although, you could save a couple more oz if you didn't need long. What do y'all think?
Folks with experience using the Pea Pod by itself, or with just some warm clothing already carried, please chime in with your results. People want to know!