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  1. #11
    Member ravenblack's Avatar
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    Jul 2019
    Great Britain
    HG Journey 12'
    HG Econ/Tiaga 360
    Straps and UCR
    Quote Originally Posted by hukka View Post
    I've understood that it's a bad idea even on warm days, but I had the impression that quilts are used mostly for the superior insulation, and that pads are still nice for a flatter feel even with the UQ. Good to know that it might actually compromise the feel, and UQ without a pad might work better.
    There are folk that are happy with pads, other cant stand them, and people like me that could get by with a pad the experience wasn't completely awful but not something worth sticking with. It also depends on the hammock style gathered end v bridge etc. a pad on a bridge is probably a better experience than, wrestling with a pad in a single layer ge. Lots of threads on here discussing pads.
    We will be years away from camping outside summer time, I think. But I'll keep that in mind. What would you say is the minimum quality / cost of the UQ, if not aiming for freezing temperatures, but say, around 10°C lowest?
    The first quilt I tried was a low end synthetic three season. It worked way better than the pad, and I used it in sub zero c conditions. I was wearing mid and base layers and there wasn't any wind to speak of. It was a little too short and narrow for me and it was too bulky for my liking. I settled on a hammock gear 20F incubator, I have used it down to -5C base and mid layers seriously windy NE winds. Top covering in all situations was a arctic synthetic sleeping bag used as a quilt not zipped closed.

    The synthetic was £50 and the Incubator was $200 or £150 ish before tax and shipping. I think there are versions of my budget synthetic under different brands from £25. Saving money there is possible at the cost of size and weight as well as adjust ability/comfort. If I were to buy a budget one again I would get the wider double version. This is a newer synthetic model afaik they ship world wide and you can find them on Ebay?amazon and I think re branded versions for less money.

    I cant say what is the best for you, but I'm real happy with the HG incubator. I would probably risk going a little lower than -5C in it. The Incubator is the HG economy down uq, and imho offers great value for money and functions really well. Import for US only though.

    I'll try to keep a positive look, and think that as a happy problem, compared to just wasting all the money even at the starter gear when the family is miserable sleeping outdoors . More seriously though, I was thinking that a modular system would help, and that the DD hammocks would be at least serviceable later with guests or something like that, as yours are. I was really considering the Draumr too, for myself, but managed to rein in my mania a bit.
    Modular is the way to go for sure but it comes at a cost and the learning curve increases. I cant give any first hand information on the DD hammocks. I'm sure they work fine for some while not so well for others, that can be said for pretty much any design or maker. The only real way to know is to try it and see how it works for you.

    With quilts it's far less likely that you would need to resell it if you buy once cry once, as you can use the quilts with various hammocks. If you go cheap go cheap on the tarp and hammock.
    I have no experience of the Draumr or any vertical hammocks they look interesting and lots of folk seem to really like them. It's not really something that appeals to me right now.

    Yeah, that is definitely the first option, if we manage to find big enough trees. I'm just not confident that there will be any, so I'm assuming that we will go with bunking or a triple tree triangle.
    If access to suitable trees is a serious issue then you need an alternative solution, otherwise you could have a rough nights sleep.
    Hadn't even considered the damage aspect. But yeah, component system seems more appealing. At least as long as the pitfall is not having the gear that matches the combined hammock, and not that I just can't set them up properly…
    There is a learning curve with any hammock gear. It's not that difficult if you understand the principles and concepts. Trial and error is the best way to learn just don't try learning in conditions where things could put you at risk.

    Speaking of, are there any comfort downsides on using our existing sleeping bags, apart from wasted weight when the downside compresses and isn't as insulating? Or is UQ + quilt just superior, no matter the weight?
    Top insulation is one area where things can be more flexible in my experience. It really depends on the sleeping bags you have. Fortunately my sleeping bag has a centre zip so using it as a sleeping bag or a quilt was easy. The sleeping bag hood was the only thing that cause any nuisence and to be honest that wasn't too bad. With a side zipped mummy bag things are a little more challenging if you want to zip it up. Most can be used like a top quilt relatively okay.

    My arctic synthetic bag is huge, so I upgraded to a -5C down top quilt, and I have to say it's much nicer to use. I could have stuck with my old bag longer without a problem other than the extra weight and volume. I went for a Cumulus top quilt but mine is the older model, which has a similar design to the Hammock Gear Economy Burrow. I.e. horizontal baffles at the foot end and vertical at the head end. I think the new models all have horizontal baffles only. I like the split direction baffles because it seems to be better for controlling down migration.

    Correction: I just checked the design of the latest hammock quilts and they still have the mixed baffle direction. I have the Taiga 360.
    Yeah, if it were available, I would get the Frontline XL right away to test. I'm just shy of 180cm, but I'm sure that rest of the family has no problems with short hammocks. But it's ok. If I'm discomforted, but the kids love it, we are on a good path. I'll just get the XL, or something more expensive altogether when we expand from two, to first three, and then four hammocks.
    At 180cm you fall in the sweet spot for standard length gear which will save you a few bucks.

    Well, it doesn't have to be quick. I'll keep on learning, and just hoping that I haven't missed something crucial.

    If you want to avoid unnecessary costs it maybe better to just buy one system for you to experiment with in the backyard of local park etc. Once you have some experience you will be able to make much better informed decisions.

    Hadn't tried looking for those at all, thanks for the tip. I'll check their line, and google for some resellers in EU.
    If we end up liking camping so much that it will be more than a summer holiday activity, I'll happily pay for the gear again, and thrice too. A single spa holiday, or a cabin trip turned into a camping trip will pay for the gear right away. Trip abroad will cover deluxe gear for the rest of our lives, I guess. Though I still personally will goad the kids into visiting Legoland someday

    Thanks again for all the tips!
    Not only would the cost of a holiday pay for the gear once you have the gear you will probably take more breaks, which aren't going to be too expensive when you're kitted out. You will also get quality time in nature with your family, free from electronic devices and other modern distractions.

    infrastellar seems best equipped to give you more specific advice for camping as a family.
    Last edited by ravenblack; 06-16-2020 at 17:24.

  2. #12
    I have a family of 4 and the cost of converting to hammocks is daunting. I started cheap and have been happy.

    First step was to get hammocks. I picked up camping hammocks from Amazon. I think it was Ridge Outdoor Gear. They were asym kind of like Hennessy and worked great. I've since upgraded and my new hammock is better, but the Amazon was still world's above a tent.

    Next purchase was under quilts. I used a pad for a few nights, but part of what I love about the hammock is the feel of the fabric. The pad completey takes that away. So, I'd consider the hammock and under quilts a bare minimum purchase.

    Tarps can be had cheaply fro the hardware store. I'm still using an old blue one that works just fine. I've never shared a hammock with a kid, but can't see that working out! I'd opt instead for trying to get two hammocks under one tarp.

    I'm still using sleeping bags unzipped as top quilts. Would love a true top quilts, but this is probably last on my list to purchase.

    Don't stress about all the misc assecories. You'll get those in good time along the way as you figure out what you want and need. I like to see a need then make a purchase to fill it rather that buying everything based on the comments here. Each person experiences it differently.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a XL using Tapatalk

  3. #13
    New Member
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    Jun 2020
    Quote Originally Posted by bwharper78 View Post
    I used a pad for a few nights, but part of what I love about the hammock is the feel of the fabric. The pad completey takes that away. So, I'd consider the hammock and under quilts a bare minimum purchase.
    Even with a double layer hammock, where the pad goes between the layers?

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by hukka View Post
    Even with a double layer hammock, where the pad goes between the layers?
    Well, I don't have a double layer so I can't speak personally. But, I couldn't imagine that really making a difference. I think the double layer holds the pad in place and keeps it from moving around, but part of the comfort of hammock is just being wrapped in the fabric as it conforms to you. The pad takes that aspect away.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a XL using Tapatalk

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