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  1. #1
    New Member compman2's Avatar
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    Help Adjusting Underquilt

    So I have been hammock camping now for several years. All DIY gathered end Hammocks. My camping takes place strictly 2-3 season. I have two Underquilts one DIY IUX underquilt and a Jarbride from Arrowhead. I am still wrestling with getting my adjustments right on the my underquilts. When nights are in tthe 50-60f range adjustments aren't quite as important. On a recent section hike I had a night where my 25f degree jarbridge was giving me a hint of CBS at about 40 degrees. The following night was a warmer but I also deployed a bugnet with shockcord around the bottom. That seemed to make the Jarbridge seem so much warmer. The shock cord may have helped the UQ seal up better to the bottom of my hammock.

    I am a cold sleeper and thought maybe I need something with more insulation like a Hammock Gear Phoenix 20f but looking back it seems that maybe I am still having adjustment issues. I have used the UQ with the triangle thingies and without. It definitely seems better with the triangle thingies. I have also found out that there are two sizes of triangle thingies I have the ones that are roughly 12" on each side.

    I slept out again the other night with temps around 40f and experienced the mild CBS, my backside getting just slightly cool. It wasn't uncomfortable but I was a bit worried. This was without the triangle thingies and just dutch quilt hooks on the stock suspension. I am using a hammock 10.5 ft long and 63" wide so maybe the suspension was loose. I was hoping that I could take this UQ to about 30f and maybe into the twenties with a sheet of reflectex.

    Is there anyone else with a Jarbridge that can give me some tips or general advise on getting the UQ setup optimally?

    I have intentions of hiking the AT sometime in the next couple of years and really want to do it with a hammock setup as it is just so much more comfortable for me at 61 years old. I am planning a 2 week section hike for 2021. I don't mind purchasing more gear if necessary but don't like to purchase something that I don't need. I also want to figure this out so that when I backpacking with my adult sons I can help them with their hammock setups. I am the gear junkie/supplier.

    With my homemade UQ I had a really cold experience when the 40f under quilt was used in an unexpected 30f night. Till morning I was about frozen. I tried to get as much as possible of me onto my foot pad. I really don't want to spend another night like that it was truly miserable. I didn't know how cold I was till I got out and began hiking. My son was sleeping on a blue walmart pad in his hammock and was comfortably warm. After that experience I purchased the Jarbridge. I haven't pushed it into the 30's so I don't know exactly how it stacks up but I know it is significantly warmer.

    Well so much for all my rambling. I am a frequent lurker here and have used ideas from Hammock Forums to make 7 gathered end hammocks and a cowboy bridge hammock. I have also made and IUX UQ and 2 hammock tarps (one silnylon and one silpoly). I have gained much valuable information here and thank everyone who contributes and helps us newbies.

  2. #2
    unionmanbirch's Avatar
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    Help Adjusting Underquilt

    I have a Jarbidge and found that I had the ends cinched too tight. It looked like it was adjusted perfectly but I kept getting cold. Then I had my wife get in the hammock with the quilt adjusted as I normally had it set and realized there were gaps on the ends. I loosened the suspension with her still in it until it fit nice and snug. It's been great since.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Most likely you have already watched the video on how to adjust your UQ, but maybe not:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFzM...ature=emb_logo

    .................................................. ............

    You are joining the ranks of a whole bunch of folks who have trouble getting their UQs ( all brands it seems) dialed in, adjusted just right. I have not had much trouble, but a lot of people do. There seems to be two most likely possibilities: the main suspension of your UQ is not tight enough, allowing a gap that cold air can sink into. Or, the main suspension is too tight, causing the insulation to be compressed at the tightest point, most likely the butt/low point. A 3rd likelihood is that the drawstrings on the end, which draw the quilt closer to the hammock on the ends to counter a tendency for the ends to gap down, are too tight. It seems that pulling these too tight will cause a gap somewhere else.

    Tricky business, these UQs. I don't think it is the amount of insulation in the JB, because I have known some to easily use that amount of insulation into the 20s and be plenty warm. That is 6 oz/sq yard thickness of Climashield. I once used a mere 2.5 oz and was plenty warm enough down into the high 40s. But this was with an original style WB Yeti, which has a differential cut which allows you to pull the main suspension toght enough to lift the unoccupied hammock a good bit, but NOT compress the insulation. I'm not sure if that JB has a differential cut or not. If it doesn't, you need to be more careful to adjust it just tight enough to contact your body, but not tight enough to compress the insulation. But 6 oz/sq.yd should easily keep you warm somewhere under 30F, assuming it is tight enough to contact your body WITHOUT also compressing the insulation. Is there some one who could lay in the hammock while you adjust it? Or you in the hammock while they adjust it?

    For emergency solving of the problem, take a small square of WM blue pad or any other closed cell foam, and place it under your butt. This should not noticeably decrease comfort, but should give you an extra 10-30(depending on pad thickness) before your butt gets cold. One other trick that always works great for you- but warning, not every one likes this approach- is to place a cheap, light space blanket between the hammock and UQ. This always gives me another 15-20F of warmth, but again, some don't like this approach. Some complain of too much condensation. But there are a few of us here that do this with no problems, and it for sure boosts warmth.

    Still, you should not need any of that with a properly adjusted Jarbidge above 25-30F, or even lower. Consider contacting Paul at AHE, he is very helpful.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 09-29-2020 at 14:57.

  4. #4
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unionmanbirch View Post
    I have a Jarbidge and found that I had the ends cinched too tight. It looked like it was adjusted perfectly but I kept getting cold. Then I had my wife get in the hammock with the quilt adjusted as I normally had it set and realized there were gaps on the ends. I loosened the suspension with her still in it until it fit nice and snug. It's been great since.
    Did you loosen the main suspension, or the cords that go left to right for the ends, or both?

  5. #5

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    Depending on how much work you want to put into, you might consider a clew suspension conversion.

  6. #6
    unionmanbirch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Did you loosen the main suspension, or the cords that go left to right for the ends, or both?
    The adjustment I was talking about was to the smaller shock cord on the end channels, but I did fiddle with the primary suspension too.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unionmanbirch View Post
    The adjustment I was talking about was to the smaller shock cord on the end channels, but I did fiddle with the primary suspension too.
    Thanks! One more if you don't mind: have you ever taken it to the rated temps and been warm enough, once you got it adjusted right?

  8. #8
    unionmanbirch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Thanks! One more if you don't mind: have you ever taken it to the rated temps and been warm enough, once you got it adjusted right?
    No. I haven't taken it below the mid-30s. I was cold at anything close to those temps before tweaking things. I have a 0quilt I use when it gets below freezing, but we're heading into October so I may get a chance to try it out.

  9. #9
    New Member compman2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Did you loosen the main suspension, or the cords that go left to right for the ends, or both?
    My best luck has been with the triangle thingies and I have been adjusting both the tension of the main suspension and the head and foot gathers. It seems that my best results were with the head and foot gathers fairly tight and the main suspension pretty tight. The absolute best was when I added my external bug net which has shock cord around the bottom. That seemed to bring the quilt up in to close contact. However that night wasn't as cold so it could have been just the temp difference.

    The thingies I have are 12" on each side. I ordered them from Arrowhead with the quilt. I now see that there are two versions one for full length and one for 3/4 length. I have made some simple rope thingies that are 16" on each side and 12" across the top. I will give those a try this weekend. I think my last hang had the quilt too loose as it was without the triangle thingies and I just used the default lengths on the underquilt. I also had trouble with keeping it in place.

    Thanks for all the helpful suggestions. I will be a bit more scientific in my approach to solving this issue. Adjust one thing at a time. We are having a colder stretch this weekend so maybe I can get another test. I am encouraged that the Jarbridge should handle upper temps in the 30's which is what I bought it for.

    If all else fails I may give a clew suspension a go. It doesn't look to difficult and I could easily sew on the attachment points on the jarbridge and remove them later if not wanted.

    I will report back after this weekend. Maybe even some photos that may help diagnose the issue.

  10. #10
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    To compare, I believe you are saying the Jarbridge has two adjustments - the long suspension bungee and the cinches at each end. The HG UQ’s have three - the same suspension and end adjustments, plus another to provide more lift - what the triangle thingies do. There is controversy over cinching the ends tight - at least at the foot end. The thought is, though it looks good “on paper” and when you are out of the hammock, if you are in a diagonal position, your outward/sideways push on the UQ causes a gap on that end. I imagine that depends on how tall a person is or where their feet are relative to the end of the UQ.

    So some schools recommend the cinch at the foot end be looser as that allows the UQ to “form fit” the shape of the hammock when you are in it.

    In my case, because I usually have to set that stuff up alone, I use an UQP so I don’t have to be as precise with that setting. I am of the Loose end school but that doesn’t mean the UQ hangs down (the suspension bungee’s job). My suspension bungee is tight enough that it lifts the hammock a bit when I’m not in it. Another comparison - the HG UQ’s have a differential cut. When put on correctly - there is a top and bottom side - the top can be snugged up against the bottom of the hammock without worry of compressing the UQ loft. UQ’s without that style design need a little more attention to make sure you get them snug, but not so tight the loft is compressed.

    What worked for me was just using an inexpensive S-biner - or you can buy a specific plastic hook - to gather and hold the two suspension bungees at the end of the hammock to lift/clip the biner to the hammock ridge line. That provides the lift right at the end of the UQ. There are numerous ways to pull/lift and attach - even a paperclip would work.

    The advantage is you can slide/move that S-Biner (some kind of hook) along the hammock ridgeline to change the lift angle.

    If you have someone who will lie in the hammock so you can see what is going on, that’s the best. The person usually can easily tell when the UQ is providing the insulation you are looking for. If they are not familiar with hammock sleeping, make sure they are in about the same diagonal position you would use. Then you can see just where you need lift to seal off the ends without making it too tight.

    Given that the foot end might be configured differently than the head end, and that the Jarbridge is symmetrical, you might want to put a different connector at the head end so you can easily tell them apart - like and S-Biner to connect the suspension foot end and a mini-biner to connect the head end - just something different to tell them apart (different colored hardware; red is head).

    To … wrap it up … I’d leave the end cinch a bit loose, especially on the foot end, but I’d augment the suspension bungee lift by lifting up with some hardware connected to the hammock ridgeline. Note that you don’t have to lift all the way to the ridgeline. You could have a short cord going from the ridgeline to the hardware that is lifting the bungee. Don’t compress your loft.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

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