So I've been thinking about how to make a new down underquilt...trying to maximize warmth and utility and minimize weight. Gonna try some things I haven't done yet, but I wanted to ask a few questions and get your comments on the ideas first.
1 - Length. I think it's gonna be a half-quilt so I can carry a sit pad/torso pad to use under my legs...maybe 40".
2 - Width. What's the narrowest underquilt you've used? I think I could get away with ~30" if I had to, but I want a little more comfort than that. But I don't think I want to go over 40". What have y'all used? Advantages/disadvantages?
3 - Shape. I'm gonna make it a bathtub shape since it's a single-use item. Might even put some shaping into the silnylon layer like the Speer Snug-fit has, but I'm not sure that's needed since it's only a half-quilt. The outer layer will be darted so compression shouldn't be an issue. It might even have an assymetrical shape...even on the DownHammock I see some extra space on the corners that could be trimmed off. Ideas?
4 - Thickness. Haven't figured this one out yet. I kinda want a 1-1.5" quilt for the warmer seasons here in North Cackalacky, but I also want a really thick one (3.5"?) for cold weather.
5 - Once I decide on thickness, I'll figure out the baffle pattern. I'd like 3 oz of down per chamber to make future models easier since that's what down comes in. What baffle pattern do you think will work well for a half-underquilt?
6 - Breathability. I've seen the effects of a simple layer of silnylon with no insulation in warming me up before (my first trip w/ the HH BULA)...I'm gonna make the layer that touches the hammock from grey silnylon to to see if that adds warmth. It'll also keep my body moisture from getting into the down...which means it'll stay in the hammock. Hopefully this won't give me the problems that laying on a CCF pad gives me...if it does, the next model won't use silnylon. I just want to give this one a try to see if sil adds any warmth over DWR - If I get the design right, I might make another from DWR on both sides to see how it works. (Can never have too many underquilts, right? Right?!) Opinions on using the sil like that?
7 - Elastic? I was thinking about putting some elastic around parts of the perimeter to snug it up, like the Potomac has, only lighter and not adjustable. And not around the whole perimeter. Where are the strategic places to put the minimum amount of elastic to have the maximum effect?
8 - How would you attach it to the hammock? I'm thinking about sewing small loops to the hammock's edges, then using shockcord/cordlocks to slip through the loops and tighten. That should minimize the length of the shockcord and eliminate heavy biners. Anyone tried this method, or have a better one?
So this is what I do at night when I can't sleep - lay in bed and think about this stuff. Now you can too!! Help me out here, folks!