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Thread: top quilt-less

  1. #1
    Senior Member titanium_hiker's Avatar
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    top quilt-less

    I slept out in my hammock the last two nights, and I was reminded of the elegance of the Nest as underside insulation. (I hadn't slept out since last year)

    Now, I dislike my sleeping bag. It's nice and warm, and soft and cosy, but it's also big, bulky and heavy. (I'm a quite small person- my pack is only 50 litres or 4500ci) On a groundsleeping trip earlier this year (in the summer) I dumped my sleeping bag out of my pack and just took the nest and CCF pad, and it was great how light my whole sleeping system was! So, I was going to live with a pad in my hammock and use the nest as a top quilt.

    But I've been spoilt- pad wrestling isn't for me.

    So, I need to find a light, low-pack-volume top quilt.

    I'm seriously considering getting a No-Sniveler to complete the set. This could be considered financially irresponsible... LOL. But I'm saving up... (I'm not impoverished... just... stingy.)
    (light , packable , easy , expensive )

    I could make a down quilt, but I'm living with my Grandma, it's not really my house and I can't really make an unholy mess (like down does... right?)
    (light , packable , not easy price? )

    I could try to make a non-down quilt, but material sourcing is an issue. (I'm in Australia, if you didn't glance at my location) What should I look for?
    (light packable (not as good as down?) not easy (better than down) price )

    I don't want to butcher my sleeping bag- it still is nice and small for car-camping.

    Am I ignoring options? Am I completely wrong about something (say the complexity of down?)

    thanks!

    titanium_hiker

    (PS- slowhike- this thread's re this post )
    my hammock gear weights total: 2430g (~86oz)
    Winter: total 2521 (~89oz)
    (see my profile for detailed weights)

    gram counter, not gram weenie!

  2. #2
    Senior Member titanium_hiker's Avatar
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    I'd like a solution!

    not sure if that's possible... LOL

    TH
    my hammock gear weights total: 2430g (~86oz)
    Winter: total 2521 (~89oz)
    (see my profile for detailed weights)

    gram counter, not gram weenie!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Arkwater's Avatar
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    What temp range? ie how much loft?

  4. #4
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    Save up for the No Sniveller. For around $40 less, you could look at getting a Speer Top Blanket.
    Last edited by FanaticFringer; 11-10-2006 at 22:30.
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  5. #5
    slowhike's Avatar
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    one possibillity is to buy another sleeping bag (if you don`t want to do this to the one you have), & remove the zipper... leaving the foot box intact.
    i`ve spent most of my time under one of two quilts that i made this way.
    there are a couple ways to do this. one is to remove the zipper by cutting along beside the zippers teeth... cuting the fabric that is part of the zipper & was used to sew it to the bag. simple,quick quilt.
    if you want to go to a little more trouble, you can sew all the way around the out-side of the zipper (sewing through the inner & outter shell of the bag as well as the insulation).
    if the bag is filled w/ down, shake the down away from the edge before you sew. this way you will lose very little down.
    if it`s filled w/ synthetic insulation, just sew through the whole thing.
    after the new line of stiching is done, carefuly cut the fabric/insulation between the new stich & the edge of the zipper, leaving a 1/2" or more of fabric outside of the new stich. this can be folded over (toward the inside) & sewn down to give it a more finished look.
    if you don`t want to put much cash into your 1st bag-to-quilt make over, mabey you can find a used one.
    if you want to try this & have more questions, i & others here will be glad to try & help. ...tim
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  6. #6
    Member nigelp's Avatar
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    Hi Making a top quilt in this way do you sew close to the original zipper location or come in a little to reduce the size (and weight) of the original bag? Would you also remove the 'head' section? My old winter bag is ready for some chopping and the down in the head section of particularly compressed and useless anyway!!

    Nigel

  7. #7
    Senior Member Risk's Avatar
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    I came up with a pretty easy way to work with down that does not make any mess at all.

    It takes a cardboard box the size of a "book box" (about 1.5 cubic foot) a shop vaccuum and a small piece of no seeum netting.

    I take one of the pieces of tubing that make up the straight handle of the shop vac system and tape a piece of noseeum over the end with a piece of duct tape.

    I put some down in the cardboard box - a couple ounces at a time is about right.

    I turn on the shop vac and put the end of the hose up to the noseeum and then use the other end of the tube to suck up some down. It gets clogged against the noseeum in the tube after a few seconds.

    I put the end that I was just sucking the down up with into the compartment I want the down in (a tube in the quilt) and forcibly blow the down away from the noseeum with my breath. It takes quite a puff, and I have used one of the smaller shop vacs, not a large one.

    The half ounce or so of down is deposited into the quilt tube with no fuss or mess. A couple hours of this gets 12 ounces of down from plastic bags or old down projects into the new down quilt.

    If a down feather falls on the floor or begins to float away, the vaccuum is used to suck it up and it gets deposited into the quilt instead of being wasted.

    Maybe that will help.

    By the way, my winter quilt has 12 oz of down in it. The present version of the warm hammock has about 6 oz of down. I have been thinking of building a warm weather quilt with about 6-8 oz of down as the couple inches of insulation of the quilt is always overkill from May to September.

    Rick

  8. #8
    Member nigelp's Avatar
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    Hi Risk

    Yes that may be good way to retrieve the better down from the old bag. The down in the neck and zip baffles could be used again for the main body of the bag. I have 2-3 old down bags all of which have some good down in them that could be used again. The box would be good to sort some of the old down out to discard the bits that are clumped and useless.

    Nigel

  9. #9
    Senior Member Risk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nigelp View Post
    Hi Risk

    Yes that may be good way to retrieve the better down from the old bag. The down in the neck and zip baffles could be used again for the main body of the bag. I have 2-3 old down bags all of which have some good down in them that could be used again. The box would be good to sort some of the old down out to discard the bits that are clumped and useless.

    Nigel
    It depends on whether the old down is oily or broken. If it is oily, it can be cleaned (while it is still in the sleeping bag) with some mild soap like ivory flakes (wash by hand in machine and use the machine spin cycle to spin out the soapy water and rinse water)

    Dry in the sun and wind if you have any, or in a dryer if you have to.

    If the feathers are broken down into small pieces, then nothing will resurrect them.
    Rick (Risk) Website: http://www.imrisk.com
    I cook. I sew. I walk. I lead. I hang. I write. I play.
    Author of "A Wildly Successful 200-Mile Hike"
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    I used something close to Risk's method on my last DownHammock and almost no down hit the floor...probably 10-12 clusters. Very simple and clean.

    Just thinking out loud here. Get a cheap down summer bag. But you don't need the full width if you're making a quilt, so shake all the down into one side of the bag...then sew a line so all of the down is in about 48" width of the bag. Sew another line about 1/2" from the first and cut between Now you have an overstuffed quilt that may be good enough for a pseudo-winter bag. It'll only be baffled to the summer loft but will be overstuffed inside the baffles, so it may improve a 40F bag to 20-30F maybe.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

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