Its been very warm here too... By now we're usually into heavy frosts etc.. but instead its been 40-50 at night and 70-80 in the days...
As others have posted here, staying warm in the 40s with a relatively thin pad is usually pretty easy. Of course there are always varibles not the least of which is how the individual hammock hanger responds to cold and what that night's weather is (windy? wet?). But given the Hennessy Super Shelter costs $130-$140 and weighs 13-14oz I would expect/demand better performance than, when on a 40F-low night, the tester "...started to ((feel)) a bit of chill through the bottom of the hammock and I decided to put my 3/4 length REI brand self inflating pad (1.5 inch thick) under the supershelter pad, inside the undercover." On top of everything, and according to what I see at rei.com, adding that self-inflating REI pad added another $65 and 18oz to the system.
I wear insulated clothing for my hammock sleep system and I realize that may skew the results from what others achieve. But I 'feel cold coming through' after the temp drops below 25F. And I'm using the Oware, 1/4" thick pad @ $27 and 7oz ($24 and 6oz for the new 3/16" thick version). That, in my mind, is a huge disparity in price, performance, and weight. And not much motivation to use the Super Shelter. Especially so when here in this region we get very few summer nights with lows above the 40s.
Last edited by Fiddleback; 10-10-2007 at 18:31. Reason: format
This probably the area to improve. I bet it did not help much used like that. You need to have good contact with the pad to get the insulation value from it. My buddies have slept into the 20's with this pad and a good sleeping bag. I would try laying on it in the hammock just to see if it improves quite a bit. I know that using the pad in hammock can be a pain but I bet you could have stayed warm. JMHO, and my wife says it's not worth muchI started to fill a bit of chill through the bottom of the hammock and I decided to put my 3/4 length REI brand self inflating pad (1.5 inch thick) under the supershelter pad, inside the undercover.
Last edited by hangnout; 10-10-2007 at 18:45.
But obviously people vary greatly in how these various things work for them.
On the outside chance you should find yourself using this again ( if all your quilts are used by someone else), put a garlington insulator under the pad. Cheap, light, much help. Or if you have light clothes you are not wearing, put them on top of the pad. Heavier clothes, under the pad, but make sure it's not heavy enough to pull the UC down, or adjust suspension accordingly.
The first time I ever tried to use mine, I put my 3/4" thermarest ultralight under the pad. I nearly froze ( violent shivering) at 23*. I didn't do that again and was fine. All it did was pull the UC down making a big gap. I later learned that TH specifically warns us NOT to put a pad either in the UC or on top of the pad.
You need light weight, very flexible items in the UC or on top of the HH pad. A stiff pad will just mess things up. Though some say the very flexible Gossamer Gear pads can be used. But if you think about it, that thermarest should have kept you more than warn enough in the hammock, all by itself, without the SS, at 40* or lower. I think I did 37* with just a Ridgerest in an SPE and was fine. The fact that you were cold with pad AND SS should tell you that something is wrong.
I also love the kidney/torso pads. They don't weigh or cost much, they compress small, they stay put, and they REALLY warm things up right where you need it, under your butt and kidneys.
Using some of the above combos, I have done the high teens OK. Last Easter, with 25-40 MPH winds that rocked my hammock and pushed my tarp against the hammock side all night, high humidity and 27* actual (wind chill?), I was nice and warm with the regular and kidney/torso pad, space blanket and a Garlington insulator under the pad at butt/legs, a down vest under upper body. Again, sorry to hear it's working so poorly for you.
But, like FB says, all you need is a pad of adequate thickness and NO SS or quilt. Much cheaper, works, and an SPE makes pads very manageable in a hammock. Of course, lot's of folks don't like laying on a pad, feeling it takes away from hammock comfort. Though I think Slowhike feels the opposite.
Last edited by BillyBob58; 10-11-2007 at 00:21.
Thanks everyone for the advice. I'm trying. I'm really trying.
BillyBob: I don't have the kidney/torso pads and I suspect that is my problem. I thought I could use my heavy, stiff (by comparison) inflatable pad under the Hennessy pad but inside the undercover. That didn't work which is good to know. When I get the chance, I'll experiment with lighter, thinner pads on top of the Hennessy pad. I have an extra one now because one ripped and Anne sent me a new one. I'll try doubling them to see if that makes life better.
I've been avoiding the space blanket, but I'll have to try it. I hate the crinkle sound and I tend to move a fair amount.
By the way, my test reports are in no way meant to slander the Supershelter. I do like the system but I'm having trouble getting to colder temperatures. It is perfectly workable for most of the weather the average camper is going to see. It gets cold here, unpredictably, and so I get to try all kinds of different configurations. I have total confidence using the system as low as 50 F. Lower than that, and I have to start modifying my behavior which isn't bad, just something I need to work out.
Someone posted this not to long ago and I saved it to my favorites have been thinking about one of these because I too hate the crinkle that you got out of the other kinds so you might want to look at this
"Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it"
CLARK HAMMOCK HOW TOO VIDEO
Now that's a long way from cold at 40. I responded to your above post with:I have used the supershelter down to 36 F (recorded on thermometer) and somewhere around freezing (frost on the ground). Both times, I was wearing thermal underwear, socks, a hat, and I had the sleeping bag hood pulled up tight around my face so that only my nose and mouth stuck out. I did not have any extra insulation underneath. I had only the open cell foam pad and the undercover. In those cases, I was pretty comfortable.
So that was really doing pretty darn good, at least as good as rated by TH, particularly with no SB. So the mystery is: Why such poor results since then? I know you attribute it to a better sleeping bag and hood the first time, but that should really have little effect on a cold back, especially if the bag is down. Read my account in the ONP trip report of the night I did not run the side ropes thru the pad loop, so that it got pulled off to the right. My bag was plenty warm on top, as was the rt side of my back-- but the left side of my back was way too cold to get thru the night. Once I corrected my error in set up, I was once again pleasantly warm everywhere. No amount of bag was going to make my back comfortable if that pad was not right. I'm thinking that somehow, during your first testing, you got things inadvertantly adjusted correctly, but that has somehow gone awry sense then. And trying to use a thermarest pad underneath has just made it worse.OK, your 1st experiments listed above sounds closer to my experiences. Maybe even better if you were not using the 2 oz space blanket. If you got 32-36* from just the open cell foam and undercover, then you did about as good as can be done. I think I remember that during my "controlled experiments", the backs of my calves got a little cold at 38* with just the one OCF pad and no space blanket.
BTW, I finally got some official temp readings for my Sept Olympic NP trip. It turns out the first night was the coldest (temp wise anyway: fog and rain may have caused the last night to seem colder). It was 40*, coincidentally. We set up in the pitch black night, by headlamps. I did not use the space blanket that night, and I don't think I used the kidney/torso pads, but I'm not sure. Just some light weight long johns and sleeping bag as quilt. Zero sense of cold back or anywhere else, just toasty warm. Also, the SB is a noisy pain when getting it settled on top of the pad. But once I'm in the hammock, I never hear it.
It seems to be working better for you to just use an UQ, and a pad(s) and SPE would for sure get you as warm as you need to go, with or without UQ or SS. But you have paid for the SS, so I hope you figure it out enough to AT LEAST do you right to 40. Particularly as you started out OK to 32 without SB. Have you thought about calling Tom H. and describing your difficulties? He can be pretty helpful about how to use his designs.
Good luck and keep us posted!
When I ripped my pad, I did call Tom Hennessy to find out how to install it correctly so that I did not do it again. He recommended that I install the axillary hooks on the support lines where they enter the fabric covering the knot. This means that I no longer have the adjustability of the prussic fly attatchments. It is possible that I did not have enough tension on the pad, but once in the hammock, I did feel around to see if the pad was gapping. It is hard to tell, but it appeared to be snug against the hammock. I'll need to get someone to look at it when I'm in it.
Part of the difference might be the wind. It was really fairly windy on my last test. I was out in the backyard without any kind of tree block at all, although I did set my hex fly as low as possible. When I went down to lower temperatures, I was in the woods.
I think I will focus my energies on quilts now. As I said before, I'm don't want to give anyone the impression that this is a waste of money, but for me, at the moment, it doesn't cover enough of the temperatures I need. I'm glad that you are here to provide a counter to my experience that way anyone who is trying to decide between the two systems will have plenty of information to be confused by