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  1. #31

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Selma, NC
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    I'd like to take the time to disagree with most of what has been written here in favor of underquilts, as the suppositions made don't take one huge factor into consideration. The learning curve of a Hammock and where you are on that curve.
    If you are considering this set of choices you are just starting out and there are many things you will slowly learn over time. But the question is being put to a highly enthusiastic and experience audience. Many here are experts. Some forget or discount the impact of their earliest days hanging.

    I think it is an excellent choice to buy your first hammock in a double layer first of all, and one that is designed for the option of a mat between the layers. It opens up choices, it can mitigate problems. I've now been to five state parks where they told me "no hammocks" (looking at you state of Virginia and especially Florida) A pad and tiny tent saved the day, though there was nothing comfortable about it. Given the choice between sleeping on a mat under a tart or sleeping on hard ground - a mat is disaster relief of sorts.

    Some people prefer double layer for insects, though I personally find single just as good and saving the last grams of weight is also a specialized approach, that takes dedication and experience to do well. Perhaps you will do all sorts of camping instead of long hikes, and may find (like myself) that weight savings is low on the list of priorities, far below reliability. Nobody has ever been stopped by extra weight. It's simply a nice thing to get into if that's your sort of thing. People have frequently been stopped by equiptment failure.

    So start with the double layer and what you already have. After a while you will know more about hammocking in general and start to gear up according to your particular preferences, born of personal experience. You will know better for example if you are a warm or cold sleeper, and maybe save some money by getting the right gear the first time around.

    And the best part will be at some point down the line, which each of us reach differently. That day, after your first trip with an underquilt, where you get to say "why on earth did I wait so long!.

    It's a yourney. Skipping steps can be expensive.

  2. #32
    Rolloff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Leveland
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    Bonefire Whisper
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    You get what you get at SPs. I never camp there. Horrible places for horrible people IMO. Sort of like a Zoo of another type.

    HF starter advice has always been to use what you have and just get out there. Use the pad you have, but don't go spend 100-200 dollars on the end all be all for a hammock pad unless you plan on getting most of it's use on the ground.

    The number of hangers that try an UQ and go back to their pads is about the same as the number in this thread.

    Which makes that basically the exception that proves the rule.

    It's always good to ask questions. It's up to you to decide who to listen to. You don't have to like what the answer may be. Most of all don't let any of it or anyone discourage you from simply getting out there HYOH.

    Pavel may be correct in assuming nobody has ever been stopped by weight, he's not, but do I know of several people who went UL just to extend their outdoors fun. I stopped backpacking because I was in an accident and my back simply wouldn't take all the hands and knees and crawling around on the ground, to set up and tear down. When I started with hammocks again, it was using kits that still flirted with 20lb+ and it was causing an old sciatica injury to keep flaring up at around 8-10 miles. UL put me back in the game for a third time and so far w/o pain.

    I am enjoying myself more. I don't have to cut trips short. I always disliked packing all that "stuff" back up fitting it in around the things that never came out of my pack, just to get back out on the trail every morning. I've gone from a full length 50-60lb pack in the winter to 20lb in shoulder season and now to just under 11lb. I've always enjoyed the journey but going UL and sleeping in a comfortable hammock every night in the woods is simply better than it ever was.

    Back to pads...I can't ever go back to a pad. It's not a question of insulation, or weight. For me it's simply volume. 14L does not allocate the room to carry one. I can remember the first time I barrel rolled a blue CCF pad and put it inside my Golite Pinnacle I could tell this wasn't going to work. Once I'd finished stuffing my synthetic SB inside the pad, there was simply no room left for anything else. It was a good thing. I learned to find gear that would fit my needs and in my pack.
    Signature suspended

  3. #33
    hutzelbein's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Germany
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    WBBB SL 1.7
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    Most beginners try to use a pad. I did so, too. The two main reasons are that pretty much everybody already owns a pad and a comparable underquilt is usually expensive, and there is always the worry of "what do I do if I cannot find two trees?"

    Generally, it's not wrong to try using what you already have. But the big question is, should you spend more money on a double layer GE hammock only to make your pad work? My advice would be don't.

    In my opinion, the only reasons to get a double layer GE hammock are because you either need the weight capacity or you prefer less stretch. If you only get it to make your pad work, you will be wasting your money. I have tried pads in pretty much all of my GE hammocks, and they only work well enough in short and narrow hammocks, because they cannot move (much). Plus they improve the lay because they prevent the squeeze on your shoulders. With all longer and wider hammocks, pads simply slip around too much. Unless you want to move it slightly into a better position -- then the pad seems to be glued to the spot.

    However, the OP wants to invest in a Dream Hammock, which is neither short nor narrow. The ENO hammock seems to have worked well for them, so stretch is not an issue. Hence the only reason to go double layer seems to be the wish to use a pad. In this case, I'd say save the extra money for an underquilt. Or, if it's necessary to go to ground frequently, get either a bridge hammock or a 90° hammock. Both work really well with pads.

  4. #34
    New Member rjc149's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    North Jersey
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    web 'n beener
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    I started with a pad, went UQ (3/4) then went back to the pad. There are no cold spots within its coverage, it's not susceptible to insulation loss from wind, and I just find the structure and rigidity of pads more comfortable.

    I use a double-layer WWBB, which is designed for a pad. It keeps the pad in place, making the fiddle factor pretty low, and it puts an extra barrier between you and the condensation that develops on the pad overnight (if you use a Thermarest, condensation will collect in the divots, and the second layer of the hammock will keep it off of you).

  5. #35
    cmoulder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    Ossining, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolloff View Post
    You get what you get at SPs. I never camp there. Horrible places for horrible people IMO. Sort of like a Zoo of another type.

    HF starter advice has always been to use what you have and just get out there. Use the pad you have, but don't go spend 100-200 dollars on the end all be all for a hammock pad unless you plan on getting most of it's use on the ground.

    The number of hangers that try an UQ and go back to their pads is about the same as the number in this thread.

    Which makes that basically the exception that proves the rule.

    It's always good to ask questions. It's up to you to decide who to listen to. You don't have to like what the answer may be. Most of all don't let any of it or anyone discourage you from simply getting out there HYOH.

    Pavel may be correct in assuming nobody has ever been stopped by weight, he's not, but do I know of several people who went UL just to extend their outdoors fun. I stopped backpacking because I was in an accident and my back simply wouldn't take all the hands and knees and crawling around on the ground, to set up and tear down. When I started with hammocks again, it was using kits that still flirted with 20lb+ and it was causing an old sciatica injury to keep flaring up at around 8-10 miles. UL put me back in the game for a third time and so far w/o pain.

    I am enjoying myself more. I don't have to cut trips short. I always disliked packing all that "stuff" back up fitting it in around the things that never came out of my pack, just to get back out on the trail every morning. I've gone from a full length 50-60lb pack in the winter to 20lb in shoulder season and now to just under 11lb. I've always enjoyed the journey but going UL and sleeping in a comfortable hammock every night in the woods is simply better than it ever was.

    Back to pads...I can't ever go back to a pad. It's not a question of insulation, or weight. For me it's simply volume. 14L does not allocate the room to carry one. I can remember the first time I barrel rolled a blue CCF pad and put it inside my Golite Pinnacle I could tell this wasn't going to work. Once I'd finished stuffing my synthetic SB inside the pad, there was simply no room left for anything else. It was a good thing. I learned to find gear that would fit my needs and in my pack.
    ^^^^This^^^

    'Tis me to a T.

    If I had to grunt and strain under ponderous loads I simply wouldn't be backpacking any more. Doing a long hike and overnight with full hammock kit and TPW of 12-13 lbs is sheer delight.
    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

  6. #36
    New Member
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    Jun 2020
    Location
    duluth
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    14
    I wish underquilts weren't so expensive!

  7. #37
    New Member
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    Aug 2021
    Location
    Burlington, VT
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    13
    Thanks for the advice everyone. Appreciate it.

  8. #38
    Rolloff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Leveland
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom-o View Post
    I wish underquilts weren't so expensive!
    Not as fruitful as it once was, HF's For Sale thread still has some good deals going through there. Here are a few tips to have on hand before hand.

    1. Know exactly what it is that you are interested in.
    2. Know exactly how much it should sell for used.
    3. Know exactly how much you are willing to pay.
    4. Considering the above and you still have a few questions for the seller? Post "I'll Take It" immediately.
    You can then PM the seller to work out any details. If it's not what you want and it's still a good deal, someone will usually have already posted 2nds on the item and it automatically becomes their turn.

    Although not as busy as in the past, the good stuff and best deals still go really fast. I've seen 0 insulation sets go in minutes. My first purchase a JRB SS TQ was posted @2am, and my claim 15mins later. Next morning there were several posts. A couple "seconds" and the rest commenting on the time of post and how fast it was snatched up.
    Signature suspended

  9. #39
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Berlin, VT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pavel View Post
    ... Given the choice between sleeping on a mat under a tart or sleeping on hard ground - a mat is disaster relief of sorts.
    I'll take sleeping under a tart any day of the week

  10. #40
    cougarmeat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Bend, OR
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    WBBB, WBRR, WL LiteOwl
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    deadeye, you beat me to it. Which is good because I’m sure “some people” are making sure my posts don’t offend. An my posts have plenty of typoes too.

    I started with a Hennessy but also used parts of their “super shelter” which was essentially and underquilt protector. I put my Guide Therm-a-rest in that and it was fine for the summer. My first couple of hammocks were double layer but I soon realized that if I had to go to ground, the pad would be under me just as it would be in a tent. If I wasn’t on the ground, I’d have a UQ and an under quilt protector. So no skeeter concern. At that point, the only use for the double layer was for more stiffness in the feel of the hammock - like a firm mattress vs a soft one.

    I am learning from Agent Moulder. The Truth is Out There - everything weighs something. But, for me, weight, the penalty of a DL is easily balanced against peace of mind (which can “weigh” heavy) and comfort - if you like a firm “mattress”. I’m guessing most of us have more than one hammock or are not using the one we started with - which doesn’t make our first choice wrong. You have to start somewhere. And once you see that most designs/decisions are compromises, then “best” is more a matter of personal choice and circumstances rather than some ironclad measure. My “best” setup in winter is different from my best setup in summer. At one part of the year a 40° UQ is best over a 2O° UQ.

    I am puzzled about putting a pad “in” the pack. All my hiking was done with the pad rolled and strapped to the top of the pack, under a top pocket/pouch, or sometimes anchored by bungee cord on the back.

    Long ago, in my early outdoor adventure years, I’d be looking for the latest/best gear. But then I met people with far more experience. And all their gear was old. And they didn’t care. And it worked.

    If you are going to jump in a pool of water. There is nothing wrong with asking poeple how deep the pool is before you leap. But once you determine that it’s deep enough for your plunge, trying to determine if 15 ft is better than 17 ft sort of postpones the going forward action.

    I can imagine starting out. You only have so much money. It’s a new experience. You don’t want to make a mistake. It’s difficult for me to suggest starting with the DL because, well, I did. And once I switched to an under quilt I never looked back. And the only time I went to ground, as a test case, the pad was under me just like in a tent - the hammock was setup as a netted bivi bag - so it wasn’t shifting around.

    Do you like a firm mattress or one with more give? If you like firm, at least start with a DL. If it will be a while before you invest in a UQ, like the need to determine the VT temperature range during your hiking season and such, then you can start with a DL just to get going - assuming you already have a pad. But pads these days have an amazingly high price for what appears to me to just be a fancy air mattress. So if you don’t have a pad and you don’t have the bucks for a UQ and/or want to wait for more outdoor time with your hammock, then those blue CCF (closed cell foam) pads - that people used for decades and still lived - will work for less of an investment. Later, you can get a ¾ length UQ, and cut a short length of your CCF to use and a pad for sitting and, when needed extra insulation at the foot end of your hammock.
    Last edited by cougarmeat; 12-01-2021 at 12:51.
    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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