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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Aug 2014
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    Kirksey, SC
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    Top quilt or under quilt first?

    I'm so close to jumping off the deep end. I'm pretty decided on the Blackbird xlc. My biggest questions are should I buy an under quilt or get a top quilt and use a pad. I can get one or the other. Also which suspension would be the best to purchase with this setup?

  2. #2
    New Member
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    Jun 2019
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    Passadumkeag, ME
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    My opinion as a newcomer to the experience, is to go for the underquilt. A pad doesn't remotely match the comfort of the underquilt, whereas you can still get similar comfort of a blanket or sleeping bag as a topquilt substitute. The pad won't wrap close to your shoulders as well, and defeats the entire "feel" and comfort that a hammock provides (the unencumbered freedom of lay without something shifting underneath you when you move around)

    As for suspension choices I'm not experienced with warbonnet suspensions - but I guess my question to you is:
    What are you going to be using your hammock for most of the time? Are you backpacking a lot looking to be super light, or are you only a little concerned with weight, but want easy adjustability? Is weight not an issue?

    There's a lot of suspension options out there, most of them are great, but everyone has a different opinion on what they like. I currently use whoopies with tree straps and a toggled Marlin spike. I love how easy they are too adjust, but I can run into issues with trees being too close to really get a good hang, whereas daisy chain style or cinch buckles might allow better adjustment for shorter tree distances.
    Or maybe having one daisy chain included in my kit with my whoopies so I can take one off and swap the daisy chain in when spacing is an issue.

    Watch some YouTube videos on different hammock suspensions and see which one fits your style best

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2015
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    MN
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    I'd pair a 20 deg Wooki with that XLC...

    The strap suspension from Warbonnet isn't a bad place to start. The only drawback from my point of view is having to unthread it to detach it from the hammock. No, it's not super light weight but it is simple to use and it really works.

    If you opt for suspension from another vendor or choose to make you own, order that XLC with just CLs.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2007
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    Essex, VT
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    Your choice, but mine has been to use a pad and a topquilt. Gives me all the comfort I want, and versatility to cowboy camp on the ground if I want to.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2007
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    Essex, VT
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    I didn't see the second half of the question. I use the Warbonnet strap & buckle system, works fine, and it's simple to learn - swing it around a tree, clip a 'biner, make an adjustment or two and you're done. I don't know what TominMN is referring to - I never remove the suspension.

  6. #6
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
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    Jersey Shore, NJ
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    Dutch PolyD
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    HG Winter Palace
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    My immediate reaction is: go for the underquilt. However, I've seen people do stupid things with that advice. One Thanksgiving we had a group hang in the Pine Barrens, and the overnight low was around 13* F. I woke up around 4 am to water the bushes, and saw a new guy shivering by a tiny fire. I asked him what he was doing, and he said, "I'm freezing to death." But how, I asked him, could he be freezing to death since he had just brought a brand new HG 0* underquilt?

    "That's all I brought." He did not bring a topquilt or sleeping bag at all. He thought he could wrap the underquilt around him and stay warm. That was obviously not the case. It was the first time I had ever heard of anyone trying to survive 13* F temps with just an underquilt.

    So my amended reaction, based on this experience, would still lean toward an underquilt, but only if you have a sleeping bag or topquilt already. The temp rating should be about the same as the UQ. There are some folks who believe that you can get by with a 40* TQ and a 20* UQ in 20* weather, but I'm certainly not part of that camp. I always carry matching temp ratings for TQ & UQ, and I believe in the "10* buffer rule -" always make sure your quilts are rated at least 10* lower than the expected lows. Sometimes even that's not enough (but usually it is). One night I went to a group hang in the Pine Barrens, and the Weather Channel's expected low was 18* F. Of course, when I got to camp at 6 pm, it was already 13* F, and the overnight low was -3* F. Thankfully, I brought my 20* and 0* quilts and stacked them, so I was warm. However, the Weather Channel doesn't always have a weather station where you're going camping, so it could be a heckuva lot colder than the nearest weather station is predicting.
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. #7
    Yarome's Avatar
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    Jul 2019
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    PNW
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    Jungle Explorer Asym
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    I'm only a couple months in so take it was a bit of salt in your eye, but I was using Hennessey's heat reflecting double bubble underpad and a snugpack blanket. It's hasn't been really all "that" chilly out, but my topside has been perfectly warm with just a light blanket... however, I was catching a little bit of chill on the down low. The pad shifts a bit and it crinkles, which of course, in the dead of night the sound just seems amplified and incredibly annoying. Not that whatever under insulation you might use would be any bother, but the surface area is limited, the pads quite bulky, and getting everything all positioned "just so" must be a talent all unto itself.

    Peppy was kind enough to sell me his LSOH Toaster UQ and the difference has been night and day. Packs incredibly well, simple to attach, quiet, no "positioning" required so I can bend and roll into any part of my hammock, wraps up all around you and warm as all get out.

    My point being, as a beginner, there have been other opportunity factors than just warmth that going with an UQ has completely changed the whole experience and made it all that much more enjoyable for me. I can "always" just thrown on another blanket. ;-) YMMV
    Last edited by Yarome; 08-29-2019 at 21:59.
    “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, cigar in one hand, whiskey in the other, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”

  8. #8
    Yarome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilvrSurfr View Post
    the Weather Channel doesn't always have a weather station where you're going camping
    Excellent point that many don't stop to consider. Or the temp drop factor per 1000m from the "known" weather station elevation.
    “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, cigar in one hand, whiskey in the other, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”

  9. #9
    Senior Member FLTurtle's Avatar
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    Dec 2018
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    Orlando FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
    I'm so close to jumping off the deep end. I'm pretty decided on the Blackbird xlc. My biggest questions are should I buy an under quilt or get a top quilt and use a pad. I can get one or the other. Also which suspension would be the best to purchase with this setup?
    Are you asking because you already have a pad? I tried the pad route because I already had one, a self inflating foam/air pad. Biggest issue was trying to stay on it when it was cool enough to wake me up if an arm or shoulder came off the pad. I did that maybe 2 or 3 times, then went with an underquilt (already had a synthetic tq). I cannot recommend it enough. I wish I had just done it sooner.

    And yeah, get a tq too. If you can only spring for one now, get the uq and use a regular sleeping bag. Just dont zip it up all the way and drape it over you.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2016
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    263
    As an alternative approach:

    If you already have a pad and sleeping bag, stick with that until you can afford to buy both quilts at once.

    If you combine an Underquilt with a sleeping bag, you’ll be carrying a lot of extra weight and volume with no added benefit.

    If you still want to proceed, get the Wooki UQ first - it is absolutely the best for your XLC.
    I’ve paired mine with an EE topquilt that I got via Massdrop (now Drop).

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