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  1. #1
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    Down Underquilt Questions

    Not a lot of talk about DIY down underquilts. Seems to be mostly topquilt work. I'm headed toward a down UQ. A couple of questions.

    I have rectangle UQs(synthetic) that I'm happy with and contour to the hammock fine. Is rectangle OK for down too? I've never seen a "commercial" one, so I don't have a lot to go on. If I've missed a thread on down underquilt construction, feel free to point me in that direction.

    Second question: I'm in Georgia so 99% of my winter hanging will be 20-50 degrees. How thick should I make it to have a little bit of insurance against slightly lower. I'm thinking 3.5" with a little overstuff, but I'm also thinking that's possibly overkill. I don't want to invest the time/effort/money in down and not make it warm enough. I'd rather have it a little overkill than a little overkill.

    Thanks.

    Jbo

  2. #2
    Senior Member G.L.P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbo_c View Post
    Not a lot of talk about DIY down underquilts. Seems to be mostly topquilt work. I'm headed toward a down UQ. A couple of questions.

    I haveUQs(synthetic) that I'm happy with and contour to the hammock fine. Is rectangle OK for down too? I've never seen a "commercial" one, so I don't have a lot to go on. If I've missed a thread on down underquilt construction, feel free to point me in that direction.

    Second question: I'm in Georgia so 99% of my winter hanging will be 20-50 degrees. How thick should I make it to have a little bit of insurance against slightly lower. I'm thinking 3.5" with a little overstuff, but I'm also thinking that's possibly overkill. I don't want to invest the time/effort/money in down and not make it warm enough. I'd rather have it a little overkill than a little overkill.

    Thanks.

    Jbo
    i know i have a few post on UQ i have made...

    yes you can make one in the shape of a rectangle all the ones i made were make like that...now if you make it really wide you might want to put darts in it or it may not snug up against you like you wan it to

    max i would go without darts is 42 inch wide
    now my UQ i mad was 44x40 with 1 inch baffles and a differential cut ..
    i have about 2.5 inch of loft i would say that would be good to 30 degrees

    i think for a good all round 3.5 season quilt i would make it
    48L x 40W with 2 inch baffles and a differential cut..maybe only .5 inch on the Diff cut not much but some...
    now at that size i come up with 4.8oz of 800 fill down to fill the airspace L x W x H / 800(down fill power)...so i would put in at least 6oz of down (this will give a nice full feel ) ...
    make 8 5inch chambers ...and put in .75ox of down in each chamber...
    this should give you 2.5-3 of loft...
    and a temp rating of at least 20-25 degrees ..if your a warm sleeper...amybe alittle lower

    i would get the down from Stormcrow...he has the best price per oz and he will pack in anyway you like ...and he is very good to work with
    It puts the Underquilt on it's hammock ... It does this whenever it gets cold

  3. #3
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    Thanks, GLP, but now you've confused me. You say yours is 2.5 inches and would get you to 30 degrees, but you suggest 2" for me and I'd like to get to 20 degrees. Are you trying to reduce the hammocking community one at a time?

    Maybe I misunderstood. . .

    My synthetics are 48x56. That's pretty much what I'm planning to make this one.

    Maybe I misread your posts or maybe I just assumed they were about top quilts since they are rectangular. I've been very happy with my rectangles down into the low 40s and don't really see any reason to dart.

    Thanks for the response.

    Jbo

  4. #4
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    Make it to fit you.
    Measure yourself from shoulder to shoulder, and from neck to knee or mid thigh. If you can lay in the hammock and have someone measure, even better.

    What works for one may not work for you, we are all built differently, and have different insulation needs.

    Two ways to look at the amount of insul./down you need...
    Overstuff it and leave some adjustment for venting.
    Stuff it with just enough and have the option of adding a pad for extreme cold.

    Me, I'd overstuff and vent. I made mine 50 x 60, but I'm big and wide.

    Custom build to your needs and size.
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  5. #5
    Senior Member G.L.P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbo_c View Post
    Thanks, GLP, but now you've confused me. You say yours is 2.5 inches and would get you to 30 degrees, but you suggest 2" for me and I'd like to get to 20 degrees. Are you trying to reduce the hammocking community one at a time?

    Maybe I misunderstood. . .

    My synthetics are 48x56. That's pretty much what I'm planning to make this one.

    Maybe I misread your posts or maybe I just assumed they were about top quilts since they are rectangular. I've been very happy with my rectangles down into the low 40s and don't really see any reason to dart.

    Thanks for the response.

    Jbo
    no i was talking about UQ
    i say 30 degrees because my 3 season quilt only has 4oz of down
    in it...thats why i said i would only take MINE down to 30 degrees (now my UQ i made was 44x40 with 1 inch baffles and a differential cut ..
    i have about 2.5 inch of loft i would say that would be good to 30 degrees)

    now if i had 6oz of down i would feel better taking it down to 25 degrees
    the size i stated is just a starting point to give you an idea
    i also stated that this is how I would make it
    you can make it any size you wish ...thats the best part of doing a DIY UQ

    48L x 40W with 2 inch baffles
    when i say 2 inch baffles that not the finished size of the UQ ...that just the size of the baffle walls
    with the overstuff and Diff cut your loft should be 2.5-3 inch as i stated (this should give you 2.5-3 of loft...) at that loft you should be good down to 25 degrees...give or take (depends on if you are a cold or warm sleeper)
    please don't take me breaking it down like this the wrong way...just wanted to point out what i was trying to say

    it's really just to give you an idea on how i go about making a UQ
    sorry to confuse you

    also i will add that when you start to get down in temps the darts will help with draft control ...if your quilt gets all crunched up at the ends this can leave voids that cold air can get into..thats why darts are needed...sometimes
    It puts the Underquilt on it's hammock ... It does this whenever it gets cold

  6. #6
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Look at the tables on the WesternMountaineering website that show the thickness vs temperature of their down sleeping bags. Remember that these are bags so 5" of loft means 2.5" top + 2.5" bottom. Their temperature ratings are well know for being conservative (unlike many manufacturers), so that should give you a good idea of the thickness you will need.

    As Gargole said, measure yourself. One big advantage of DIY is that everything is custom made ... for you! I am 6'1" tall and weigh 195 lbs and my last underquilt came out to be 38" wide by 49" long and it was perfect for me. It couldn't have been any smaller, which means, I didn't waste any materials nor am I carrying a heavier item than I need.

    Good luck with your project and don't hesitate to ask more questions as they arise along your journey to becoming the proud owner of your very own, custom made underquilt!

  7. #7
    Senior Member G.L.P.'s Avatar
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    Here is one as well that will help you out

    http://www.jacksrbetter.com/Quilt%20...on%20Chart.htm
    It puts the Underquilt on it's hammock ... It does this whenever it gets cold

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the clarification GLP. After I posted, I thought that must be what you meant.

    I was calculating 12oz of down. I was gonna do six baffles eight inches wide each with 2oz of down.

    Jbo

  9. #9
    Senior Member G.L.P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbo_c View Post
    Thanks for the clarification GLP. After I posted, I thought that must be what you meant.

    I was calculating 12oz of down. I was gonna do six baffles eight inches wide each with 2oz of down.

    Jbo
    it's no problem buddy

    you mean chambers i would make your chambers smaller...don't forget the wider you make them the more the down will shift...better to make smaller chambers that way the down will not shift as much on you
    since your going 48 inch wide i would make 8 chamber 6 inch wide...this way
    your down won't shift around as much

    i use LxWxH / fill power to come up with a starting point for how much down to use... so 56L x 48W x 2 inch baffle height / 800 (fill power) will give you 6.72 oz as a starting point ...this just tells you how much you need to fill the space you have at the fill power you are using...it's really just a starting point
    i would shave off 2 oz and go with 10oz of down that would give you 3.28oz of overstuff thats about 50% over stuffed
    if you split that into the 8 chamber...if you go with 8 thats your call ...that would give you 1.25oz in each

    i think that would make for a really warm quilt
    It puts the Underquilt on it's hammock ... It does this whenever it gets cold

  10. #10
    Senior Member nacra533's Avatar
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    I'm making a few down items for North GA and upstate SC usage. I'm planning on everything with a 20-30 degree low. I'm a cold sleeper so a 20 degree rating is more like 30 degrees for me. In reality, if temps are forecasted much lower than 28, I'm going to take a tent and pad. I also figure I can add some clothes if temps drop unexpectedly.

    For my UQ, I'm planning 2" baffles overstuffed a little.
    For my Winter TQ, I'm planning a 2" or 2.25" Karo step quilt.
    For my spring/fall TQ, I'm planning on a 1" baffled (possibly even sewn through) for 45 degrees.

    I currently have a 45 degree down bag that is pretty true to its rating for me and use it most of the year. I use it as a TQ with a DIY KAQ style UQ.

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