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Thread: Sleeping bags

  1. #1
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    Sleeping bags

    I'm not sure if this post will come across as more of a question or a suggestion. Am I the only one who genuinely prefers a sleeping bag to a top quilt? Like most I'm sure, I started with sleeping bags. It's what we had, and it worked. Over time as I tried different things, I ended up trying blankets and top quilts. It did not take me long to ditch a sleeping pad in favor of an under quilt. The pad worked, but you felt like you were laying on a pad. You can't even feel an underquilt, it's awesome. The top quilt, I'm not so sure. To be fair, I have only tried a single top quilt, the one from Arrowhead. I've also tried various blankets when car camping. All of them have the same problem for me, and that is gaps.

    I spend a lot of time in the cold and wind. I don't care how much you crank that underquilt, at some point it's going to shift a little, and that little 1" gap is going to be a stabbing chill. Especially when it's windy, and I mean real wind, there's only so much you can do. Even if it's only once every hour, that little blow that gets between the underquilt and hammock, you feel that. It can really ruin a night. I suppose you could get a bigger underquilt, but mine is already bigger than most people use. You can tuck a quilt under you enough to work for a while, but once you turn over its no longer tucked. Maybe a top quilt with all those elastic and other straps would help.

    I don't know, but what I do know is a sleeping bag fixes all those problems, and even solves some more. I don't mean zipped open like a top quilt, I mean zipped up inside the bag as it was intended. I'm not sure why some people struggle with this, I'm the exact opposite of a gymnast, and I have no issues. Just put your feet in, tuck it under your back, roll over, and pull the hood up. No more cold spots. You never feel the random gusts of air. It's even extra warm, you could use less of an under quilt to compensate for the weight difference.

    There also seems to be a this myth that the insulation being squished under you is worthless, and obviously it isn't as good as on top, but worthless? If the nighttime low is over 40 degrees, you don't even need an underquilt with a good sleeping bag. I'm not saying you can't use one, but obviously that sleeping bag works. A bare hammock with nothing under you is hardly tolerable with a breeze under 60 degrees, and yet it's toasty at 40 with nothing but a sleeping bag being squished under you. I don't even bother to use my underquilt for spring or summer.

    So don't automatically think something is better just because others use it. It might work for them, but it might not work for you. Sometimes the simpler solution is the better solution.

  2. #2
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    Good luck in your quest for comfort. If it works for you, that’s all that matters. Lots of variety in hammock camping choices, creating different solutions to the same goal…..creature comfort, ease of use, and pure fun!

  3. #3
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    All I use is a sleeping bag in my ridgerunner if it get's cold enough. Works perfectly, never had a cold spot.

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    Most people new to hammocks already have a sleeping bag and bed roll and both work pretty good in a hammock especially when it's cold out.

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    I don't get gaps in my UQ or TQ that allow cold breezes and CBS. Not sure what that says, but for me I'll stick with quilts. I still own a 30 degree REI sleeping bag, but I'll probably never even use it myself.
    Iceman857

    "An optimist is a man who plants two acorns and buys a hammock" - Jean de Lattre de Tassigny (French Army General in WWII)

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    Senior Member Crazytown3's Avatar
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    Glad it works okay for you OP, nothing wrong with that. I've used sleeping bags in various states of zip/unzip in hammock, and they're fine for the most part. I love, LOVE my top quilts though.

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    I have only recently converted from sleeping bag to top quilt, and I'm also not 100% convinced the top quilt is better... I've had good sleeps and bad sleeps with both bag and quilt, but haven't compared them in the exact same conditions so haven't been able to draw any final conclusions. The bag certainly stays in place better, and is less likely to get a flap untucked leading to a draft. I guess "researching" this will be a good excuse to go out and hang more.... For science!

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    Quote Originally Posted by matted View Post
    I have only recently converted from sleeping bag to top quilt, and I'm also not 100% convinced the top quilt is better... I've had good sleeps and bad sleeps with both bag and quilt, but haven't compared them in the exact same conditions so haven't been able to draw any final conclusions. The bag certainly stays in place better, and is less likely to get a flap untucked leading to a draft. I guess "researching" this will be a good excuse to go out and hang more.... For science!
    Yeah, sometimes no matter what you do things just suck. That's just part of living outdoors. If you stay in place for a few days you can work around it, but when you camp a different spot every night, you can't always predict everything.

    I'm certainly not trying to steer those who like top quilts away from them. I'm only trying to say those who aren't that impressed, or even those that don't have them, a sleeping bag is way better than the internet has you believe. It doesn't even have to be the top of the line either. My go-to car camping bag is my Wiggy's bag. Myself, I did not find one thing about a top quilt, or a zipped open sleeping bag that I liked. In theory its more room. In reality it's just a lot of tucking and staying rolled up.

    There's always going to be preferences, that the thing with hang your own hang. Don't feel bad if doing things the "wrong" way feels better.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceman857 View Post
    I don't get gaps in my UQ or TQ that allow cold breezes and CBS. Not sure what that says, but for me I'll stick with quilts. I still own a 30 degree REI sleeping bag, but I'll probably never even use it myself.
    In North Carolina, or surround states I can't imagine it's much of an issue.

  10. #10
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    Matted post # 7 ….For science!

    Down hear there are three ways to pronounce science
    Three syllables with eyelids fluttering
    Two syllables…way most normal people pronounce
    One syllable….only way to say it, if you was raised on a farm, a logging camp, or 18 wheeler.

    ….For science! Got a laugh outa that

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