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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by leiavoia View Post
    There is no “best”. There are basically 5 underquilt suspension styles with pros and cons:

    Side channel: well documented. Heavy. Taco blanket. Reduced visibility. Foot annoyance.
    Wookie: light. Easy. Floppy sides.
    4-corner: simplistic design. Not very adjustable. Reduced visibility
    Clew: self adjusting. Complex design. Light.
    Spandex / stretch mesh: like Speer Snugfit. Heavy. Self adjusting. Lots of cool fabric options.

    The easiest to make is probably the 4-corner design. The easiest to hang would be the Wookie, clew, or spandex designs, with clew and spandex design being self adjusting.

    I did write-ups on the clew and spandex designs:

    Clew suspensions

    Spandex underquilts

    Thanks so much for the breakdown--this is quite helpful.
    I have a few follow-up questions:

    1) Would one of these lend themselves better to a 3/4 length UQ than the others?
    - I am wary of designs like the Spandex since it would require so much additional fabric to stretch to the ends of the hammock (negating the weight advantage of a 3/4
    length?), although it otherwise looks great.

    2) Would it be possible to do the clew suspension with sewn loops as opposed to the KAM snaps?
    - Once again, with 3/4 length, would this be problematic? I have read that it may cause problems for my feet.

    3) Last, insofar as I can tell the wookie is more often just a product rather than a common DIY project, is this correct?

    The 4 corners is appealing because of the ease of construction, although with this being my first UQ and first real DIY project I do not know how annoying the 'fiddly bits' and 'adjusting' would be and don't mind putting in a bit of extra work on the front end if it will help significantly when I am out sleeping..

    This is a 3/4 length quilt with ~2 inches of loft. Primarily intended for summer, although I would love if it could get me started on shoulder season as well. I just needed an affordable way to try out quilts / get out camping with my hammock!

    Thank you SO much for the advice! It is quite priceless to me since these differing suspension systems have seemed quite overwhelming!

  2. #12
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    UQs are the make-or-break of hammock camping.
    I'll include a video for your perusal if you want. In it I show 4 corner suspension and channel and 3/4 and full UQs.
    Shug

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  3. #13

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    For a 3/4 quilt, probably wookie or spandex is the way to go. Clew suspensions are really best on full length quilts.

    Wookie-style is based on the Warbonnet Wookie quilt. Conceptually, its an underquilt with carrier fabric run out to the ends of the hammock. The commercial product has many finer points, of course. There are several examples of people that have made their own.

    Spandex is the same concept, except that the carrier fabric is stretchy. The renowned Speer Snugfit quilt uses this design. The wookie does not use stretch fabric, but uses a rubber band at the end instead. Not quite the same effect, but much easier to manufacture, i'm sure.

    You can mix the two and use a light carrier fabric and small band of stretch material.

    Because your are making your own gear, you don't need to be limited to commercial design concepts. These products, while decent, need to have a reasonable limit on labor involved. Otherwise they would cost a fortune (more so). For MYOG, the sky's the limit.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    UQs are the make-or-break of hammock camping.
    I'll include a video for your perusal if you want. In it I show 4 corner suspension and channel and 3/4 and full UQs.
    Shug

    Hey, thank you so much! I have found your video content incredibly helpful. Out of your experience, is there a specific suspension technique you might recommend for a lightweight-backpacking 3/4 length?
    Right now I am leaning towards the 4-corners or Spandex since it seems like the "taco-ing" purportedly caused by channels would be the most obtrusive to a good night's sleep.

  5. #15
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FleetOfFeet View Post
    Hey, thank you so much! I have found your video content incredibly helpful. Out of your experience, is there a specific suspension technique you might recommend for a lightweight-backpacking 3/4 length?
    Right now I am leaning towards the 4-corners or Spandex since it seems like the "taco-ing" purportedly caused by channels would be the most obtrusive to a good night's sleep.
    I personally like a channel suspension and it has always worked for me. A secondary suspension can be added to a 3/4 UQ.



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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by leiavoia View Post
    For a 3/4 quilt, probably wookie or spandex is the way to go. Clew suspensions are really best on full length quilts.

    Wookie-style is based on the Warbonnet Wookie quilt. Conceptually, its an underquilt with carrier fabric run out to the ends of the hammock. The commercial product has many finer points, of course. There are several examples of people that have made their own.

    Spandex is the same concept, except that the carrier fabric is stretchy. The renowned Speer Snugfit quilt uses this design. The wookie does not use stretch fabric, but uses a rubber band at the end instead. Not quite the same effect, but much easier to manufacture, i'm sure.

    You can mix the two and use a light carrier fabric and small band of stretch material.

    Because your are making your own gear, you don't need to be limited to commercial design concepts. These products, while decent, need to have a reasonable limit on labor involved. Otherwise they would cost a fortune (more so). For MYOG, the sky's the limit.
    Thanks again for the reply!
    Prior to this morning I had not heard of either of these designs, but they are quickly gaining traction in my mind.

    To modify the design as you mentioned, what sort of fabrics would be good to consider as lightweight carrier fabrics?
    Is a stretch mesh such as polymesh still sufficient for the "small band of stretch material" or would a more elastic material be required to accommodate for the lighter carrier fabric?

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    I personally like a channel suspension and it has always worked for me. A secondary suspension can be added to a 3/4 UQ.
    I guess I cannot know if that would work for me without trying it out myself!
    Thank you -- I will be sure to check out both of those videos! I imagine a quick prusik would solve any issues with it sliding since my quilt isn't particularly weighed down to begin with.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by FleetOfFeet View Post
    what sort of fabrics would be good to consider as lightweight carrier fabrics?
    I'm not well versed on that. Look for the lightest nylon fabric you can find at RipstopByTheRoll or Dutchware.

    Quote Originally Posted by FleetOfFeet View Post
    Is a stretch mesh such as polymesh still sufficient for the "small band of stretch material" or would a more elastic material be required to accommodate for the lighter carrier fabric?
    look for something specifically called "stretch mesh" with 10-20% elastane weighing 2-4 oz/yard and having 2-way stretch. See here: https://spandexworld.com/c3/catalog/browse/category/5

    I would recommend something metallic, high-chroma, and with maximum glitter.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by leiavoia View Post

    look for something specifically called "stretch mesh" with 10-20% elastane weighing 2-4 oz/yard and having 2-way stretch.
    I see your blog post cited "Stretch Mesh. (AKA Illusion, Ombre Mesh, Polymesh)"; are all of these the same, or is one better than another?

    Quote Originally Posted by leiavoia View Post
    I would recommend something metallic, high-chroma, and with maximum glitter.
    But of course; how else would one do it?


    I am having a little difficulty conceptualizing how to guarantee proper quilt placement with the spandex suspension.
    I assume that in most circumstances you would want the quilt about-centered. Designs like spandex, wookie, and clews seem to be set in place so that they will only work well with a single-length of hammock. In your writeup, you list the "single banded" variation as being a decent choice for shorter quilt bodies. In this case, the quilt would not be centered, but it would still be "set" wherever it is sewn in. (ie. 12" extension + 12" spandex + quilt length +12" extension would place it starting 12" from your hammock end).
    How do you determine where you would want the underquilt to be? Do you just lay in your hammock, guess where you will want it, and then measure out the lengths of fabric accordingly?
    Apologies if I'm missing something quite obvious.. I would just hate to end up with something that doesn't work!

  10. #20
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    Maybe start off with a simple shock cord/channel setup?

    I use short quilts and long quilts in all kinds of weather and these work for me with minimal fuss. Perhaps they will perform similarly for you, so unless you've got a fair amount of experience with them and found them lacking, maybe you'll discover that the more esoteric solutions are not necessary.

    Another thing to consider is that you need to have your hang pretty 'dialed in' as far as foot and head height (with foot higher!) or you'll end up sliding toward the foot and off the sweet spot of your UQ. With a channel setup you retain considerable ability to simply tug the quilts around a bit to compensate when this happens and are not locked in to a single option.
    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter (not me... the great Cam Honan of OZ) Instagram (me!)

    To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art. ~ Horace Kephart, 1906

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