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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    NY
    Hammock
    SLD TL 1.6
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    ThunderFly SP 20D
    Insulation
    SLD UQ, Costco TQ
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    Becket
    Posts
    129

    Smallest, lightest, cheapest summer top quilt?

    I've been using my really beat up Costco Black Diamond down that I made into a top quilt for 3-4 years now. I've never owned a commercial top quilt before but I'm considering upgrading my DIY Costco TQ since the stitching is coming apart and it's leaking feathers. I do like how it's quite small and I carry a second unmodified Black Diamond down in case the temp drops a lot (which I only needed once when I decided to try camping in 0C).

    I think the Costco TQ is rated at like 40-50 so I'd be fine with something in that range. I'm also a cold sleeper (not sure if that's the term but I like it cold when I sleep).

    Are there any good summer options available that pack small (I motorcycle camp a lot) that are of good quality and would make for a worthy upgrade? If not then I may make a new Costco TQ out of a new Black Diamond down.

    For reference, my gear is a SLD hammock, Thunderfly, Costco TQ, SLD symmetric UQ rated at 40F. The largest piece is the UQ followed by hammock, then Costco TQ then Thunderfly.

  2. #2
    cougarmeat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Bend, OR
    Hammock
    WBBB, WBRR, WL LiteOwl
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    OES, WL BullFro
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    HG UQ, TQ, WB UQ
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    Python Straps
    Posts
    3,442
    uninjured, your location is NY and I have no knowledge of what the temperatures are for your location - or your hiking/camping areas. That would be handy to know. For example, In Bend, it might be 70 reported in the local newspaper (for town). But if you are camping at the top of Tumalo Mt (7700 ft) - about a 2 mile hike about 20 miles from town - it would be colder.

    Though you said the Costco TQ was in the 40 - 50 range, a hammock vendors TQ with the same rating might feel warmer because of design/construction quality.

    A "cold sleeper" usually means the opposite of your liking. It means someone who doesn't generate much heat. So they need more insulation to keep the heat they make in - gear rated for colder temperatures (like a 20 TQ instead of a 40 TQ). Of course someone could like it cold and still be a "cold sleeper" - the winter can be beautiful. Crisp, clean air, and no skeeters.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Saratoga NY
    Hammock
    Towns end, WBRR
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    Mini/thunder, ugq
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    AHE,zenbivy,JRB,HG
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    HG UL Daisy chain
    Posts
    133
    I can say I really like my JRB Shenandoah 40.
    I does offer sewn through construction vs baffles but it definitely has kept me warm in the 40’s.
    It weighs 15 oz for the long and is priced competitively. It’s on sale now for $169.

  4. #4
    jakev383's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Location
    Henderson, TX
    Hammock
    Blackbird XLC
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    11' WB Superfly
    Insulation
    SLD Trail Winder
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    Beckett and EVOs
    Posts
    106
    I'm not convinced lightest and cheapest are normally used in the same sentence
    I use a Sierra Madre 20F Puffle (in down) in the colder months, and have been pretty happy with it. They do make lighter versions for the 55F temp ranges.
    For warmer months I used to use a Costco throw like yourself but recently got a Horizon Hound Down Camping Blanket off of Amazon for like $67. It comes in a 17oz and says it's comfort rated to 41F but I've not tested that. I usually switch to my 20F blanket when it drops below 50F. I don't trust the weatherman
    I've only had a chance to use the Horizon Hound a couple of times since I got it just before winter but so far I've been pretty happy with it.
    Neither of those are probably the lightest on the market though.

  5. #5
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Jersey Shore, NJ
    Hammock
    Dutch PolyD
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    HG Winter Palace
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    HG 0, 20, 40
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakev383 View Post
    I'm not convinced lightest and cheapest are normally used in the same sentence
    Yeah, that word "cheapest" doesn't belong in any sentence about quilts. If you want "smallest, lightest" you have to pay more for lighter materials and fabrics. Your Costco quilt is probably 650 fill, but you can find 950 fill quilts that will cost a pretty penny.

    For example, the HG 40* Economy Burrow top quilt is $224.95, weighs 17.67 ounces, and uses 850 fill down. The HG 40* Premium top quilt is $259.95, weighs 14.82 ounces and uses 900 fill down. So lighter down costs money.

    Or you could go synthetic, which weighs more but is cheaper. An Arrowhead Equipment Owyhee Top quilt with Apex insulation rated to 45 degrees will cost around $179, and will weigh approximately 22 ounces.

    There are other reputable vendors that make quilts (Loco Libre, UGQ), but I don't think they sell economy or synthetic quilts. And then, there are the "Amazon" vendors - which I have never, and will never, buy from. For example, OneWind makes El Cheapo quilts, like their Hammock Topquilt Poncho at $59.90. Their website doesn't even list weights in ounces - a 40 or 50* F topquilt from OneWind will weigh somewhere between 1.9 lbs and 3.3 lbs. You might need a wagon to go hiking with that one!
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  6. #6
    cougarmeat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Bend, OR
    Hammock
    WBBB, WBRR, WL LiteOwl
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    3,442
    One economic perspective that might help those prices swallow a little better is to consider the price over their lifetime. A few of my quilts are now in their 10th year. I have down mountain climbing gear that is several decades old. Divide the buy price by those years and $240 becomes $24/year. Not so bad. But you also see many here have changed rigs over the years. There is no "school" for hammock camping/lifestyle. So I might buy something, try it out, learn about it, then sell it for a "loss" (We have a great For Sale Sub-Forum). But that "Loss" is actually a learning experience; an education.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  7. #7
    Randonneur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Lower Duck Pond
    Hammock
    Walahalla Monolite 1.5
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    Hammock Gear Quest
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    JRB Mt Washington
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    Whoopies slings
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    375
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    1
    I use a fleece sleeping bag liner I bought at Gander Mtn years ago during the warmer times. I think I paid around $15 for it.

  8. #8
    LowTech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    Nomadic, US SW at moment
    Hammock
    one wind 11' wide
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    one wind 12'
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    SLD, UGQ, LL, JRB
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    UCR
    Posts
    649
    I totally agree that that pretty much any Amazon quilts that I've been around, or owned, are low quality and heavy.
    Onewind quilts are low grade in my opinion (have a set that I keep at my mom's place in the humid swamplands and my lady still uses her's ) but I like their hammocks and tarps well enough.
    Best and lightest quilts, and the most expensive part of my entire gear kit, all came from our "local" venders. Been super happy w/ my UGQ 20 TQ. Nothing like that on Amazon.

    "Sent w/o me knowing"

  9. #9
    Senior Member Floridahanger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    SW Volusia, FL
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    Ridge Outdoor Gear Pinnacle 360
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    In the range of 40's to 50's, I would agree with you that for "smallest/cheapest" you really can't beat the CDT TQ. If going warmer than 50's, then go with synthetic to save money. I've taken my CDT down into the upper 30's but it's better with my Summer synthetic TQ I made for around $20. Stacked together I've been into the upper 20's with no hint of cold.
    Enjoy and have fun with your family, before they have fun without you

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Madison, wi
    Hammock
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    82
    A lot of times in the summer I only use a 40 degree UQ, I get to warm for a TQ. If anything I would just use a utility blankets, I don't want a footbox in the summer.

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