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  1. #1
    Member Oquirrh's Avatar
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    How far below comfort rating have you gone?

    As winter hastens it's approach I'm getting ready to go out for my first winter in a top quilt. I have a 20F Diamondback & 10F Incubator, both with 2oz overstuff, and am excited to see how long I can go. I've already spent a night (on the ground ) in with the Diamondback that went down to 18F and I was still comfortable, albeit there was a moment when the zippered hole opened up and reaaaally let a draft in. Other than that it was quite a cozy night.

    I think the lowest I'll be camping in this winter will be around 10-5F (I have a 0F sleeping bag when it gets really chilly), and now I'm curious how low some of you more experienced hangers have gotten compared to comfort zones?

  2. #2
    GilligansWorld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oquirrh View Post
    As winter hastens it's approach I'm getting ready to go out for my first winter in a top quilt. I have a 20F Diamondback & 10F Incubator, both with 2oz overstuff, and am excited to see how long I can go. I've already spent a night (on the ground ) in with the Diamondback that went down to 18F and I was still comfortable, albeit there was a moment when the zippered hole opened up and reaaaally let a draft in. Other than that it was quite a cozy night.

    I think the lowest I'll be camping in this winter will be around 10-5F (I have a 0F sleeping bag when it gets really chilly), and now I'm curious how low some of you more experienced hangers have gotten compared to comfort zones?
    -3* in my 20* Zeppelin with 3z overstuff. 0* mummy bag for tq.
    Too subjective though for our experience to be much good to you. Get out with what you got, bring back-up and record your adventure, learn, repeat.

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    Be The light in Someone's Darkness - Change the World one Act of Compassion, One Act of Kindness at a Time - We are All Living on Borrowed Time

  3. #3
    OneClick's Avatar
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    -16° in a 0+1 TQ and UQ.

    3° in a 20°+1 TQ and UQ.

    Surprisingly there was no extra work needed to keep warm. I still wore my usual thin base layer "sleep clothes", medium weight wool socks, cap and buff. Tarp was pitched doors closed one end only with the usual ~18" gap between ground.

    I try to go to bed and not worry about "will I stay warm". I think the ratings are conservative. I'm glad the weather report for that -16° night was only something like -5° originally or else I may have chickened out. I question the exactitude of ratings; one of these days I want to try my 30° at 0° to see what happens. Cold spots? Cold everywhere? Just slightly chilled?

  4. #4
    cmc4free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oquirrh View Post
    As winter hastens it's approach I'm getting ready to go out for my first winter in a top quilt. I have a 20F Diamondback & 10F Incubator, both with 2oz overstuff, and am excited to see how long I can go. I've already spent a night (on the ground ) in with the Diamondback that went down to 18F and I was still comfortable, albeit there was a moment when the zippered hole opened up and reaaaally let a draft in. Other than that it was quite a cozy night.

    I think the lowest I'll be camping in this winter will be around 10-5F (I have a 0F sleeping bag when it gets really chilly), and now I'm curious how low some of you more experienced hangers have gotten compared to comfort zones?
    My PB was last winter, -16°F using a 0° TQ and a -20° UQ. My whole torso and my feet stayed warm, but I caught a very noticeable chill under the middle section of my legs due to a gap between the foot end of the UQ and the hammock. That's a pretty heavy UQ and I've learned that I need to really cinch up (significantly more than my 20° UQ) on the primary suspension to offset that weight. I also need to keep the end channel at the foot end relatively loose and rely on the draft collar to do its job. Next time I need to use that UQ, I may even try attaching the foot end's primary suspension upward to the hammock SRL instead of outward to the CL at the end of the hammock.

    Sidebar - I've noticed that Zip Footbox models of the Diamondback come with this tiny "pillow" attached. I know that's to cover the hole at the center of the drawn-closed footbox, but what is the technique for using it? Are you supposed to cinch the drawcord closed around that little pillow so that half of it is inside the quilt and half is outside?


  5. #5
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    20 degrees or more below ratings, but there are so many variables, plus I cheat. I am very quick to augment with vapor barriers and/or layered clothing. Either clothing worn or layered on top or below me. So, it is really hard for me to say.

    But, when it comes to quilts and things by themselves, I can't really say I have been below their ratings at all without throwing in some of the above mentioned help.

    I can say I have been toasty at 25F wearing just cotton PJs using JRB 20 degree rated TQ and UQ on a JRB bridge hammock. I was warm enough that I remember thinking I could go lower, but how much below 20F could I have gone? I don't know.

    But I am pretty certain that, using my tried and true tricks to boost warmth, I could take that set up right on down to zero or below. Like the time I was toasty warm using a Golight 20F TQ, a model that many people here always questioned if it would really be good for 20F. Many seemed to think 30+F was more realistic, and indeed the company later offered another 800FP down TQ of the same dimensions and weight that was rated at 40F. But between VB clothing and an extra layer or two such as I would usually sleep in anyway, plus a breathable nylon over cover(like a sock), plus a JRB down hood for my head, I was actually toasty at 6F, which tells me I could have gone below zero. So, that would be between a minimum of 20* and more likely 30-40* below a true rating for this TQ, and quite warm. (didn't even use a tarp). But most likely that quilt by itself would not have stood a chance.

    Another time about 0200 in that same long, wide about 20-21 oz TQ I was a bit chilly over all with a 0F UQ under me, at a mere 27F, snowing. Then I added a separate Marmot down hood to my fleece hat and thin jacket hood, and was quickly toasty for the rest of the night. The only thing I added was thicker insulation around my head.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 11-18-2019 at 15:29.

  6. #6
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    I use the 10* buffer rule - make sure your quilts are rated at least 10* lower than the expected low temps.
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. #7
    Senior Member rweb82's Avatar
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    I have no issues pushing my quilts to below their temp ratings. I've used my 20° Loco Libre Habanero at -13°F and was plenty warm, while wearing my wool baselayer, 2 pair of socks, and proper head covering. But everyone is different and requires different solutions. I sleep incredibly warm already; but I realize not everyone does. It also depends on the vendor. Some are more conservative in their ratings than others. And some use more/less down than others at the same temperature rating. So there are a lot of factors to consider other than just how warm/cold you normally sleep.

  8. #8
    Member Oquirrh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmc4free View Post
    Sidebar - I've noticed that Zip Footbox models of the Diamondback come with this tiny "pillow" attached. I know that's to cover the hole at the center of the drawn-closed footbox, but what is the technique for using it? Are you supposed to cinch the drawcord closed around that little pillow so that half of it is inside the quilt and half is outside?
    That's what I've done with mine and it worked very well until I had a big shift in position and popped it out or pulled it in with a toe... Next time I use it I think I'll bring either some cord or try to tie a small slip knot to really close off the end instead of just stuffing the pillow in there.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rweb82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oquirrh View Post
    That's what I've done with mine and it worked very well until I had a big shift in position and popped it out or pulled it in with a toe... Next time I use it I think I'll bring either some cord or try to tie a small slip knot to really close off the end instead of just stuffing the pillow in there.
    I do this with the excess drawstring cordage. Just wrap it around the hole like a balloon a few times, and tuck it back under itself. No more hole!

  10. #10

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    I've had my 30 degree Loco Libre Carolina Reaper to 2 degrees and was comfy as can be. I will say with conviction that not all quilts are created equally.

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