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  1. #1
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    Underquilts questions

    I've got a couple of newbie questions for the group. So far I've been using a 24" wide ccf pad. Its worked ok so far, but I feel like I have to sleep with my arms folded across me and me legs straight to stay warm. I'm considering making my own SPE type thing or a DIY 3/4 underquilt. I can't afford one from the cottage guys as they are almost $200 or more.

    I know some of the 2/3 underquilts like the yeti don't insulate the head area. Are there others that do? Is it that there is a problem sealing up the end? I ususally don't carry a pillow. I just fold over my sweatshirt once and use that. I'm not sure that would be enough if the head area wasn't insulated.

    Qustion 2. Do folks have to adjust their underquilts much if they lay in a position other than on your back. If you roll over onto your side or lay semi-fetal, do you open up air gaps at the ends? Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    You won't save much money with a DIY UQ over one from the cottage guys. Look at Arrowhead Eq. for synthetic ones...they're a little cheaper than down.

    If you want to save money, a pad/SPE is probably the best way to do it.

    But most of the cottage guys do make full-length UQs that insulate the entire body. Tradeoff is more weight and bulk to pack.
    “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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  3. #3
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    I bought a cheap rectangular bag from walmart, cut it half.

    stuffed one half with MORE fiberfill batting ( also from wally world)

    then sewed them back closed.

    added loops on all 4 corners of each.

    I use about 18 " of 550 paracord to hang them from my hammock.

    full length coverage, one is good down to mid 20s ( the overstuffed one)

    the other is good to 30.

    cost about $25, and an hours time.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Festus Hagen's Avatar
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    Tell us more about what you are looking to do with your UQ.

    For example I have a DD Underblanket which according to the website would cost $119 shipped from the UK, I like it a lot but I would not recommend it to most backpackers. It's just too heavy and bulky. It IS a full UQ though and for me it works very well.

    http://www.ddhammocks.com/products/underblankets

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I always wear a hat on my head anyway, since I'm using a top quilt. Not having insulation in the head area hasn't been a problem. The other thing you can do (with a double layer hammock) is put a sit pad in there. CCF should stick in place pretty well.

    And, hmm, seems to me the yeti gave a little coverage there... maybe I had it pulled higher on the hammock than it should be?

    I flip around and move quite a bit in my sleep - haven't had problems with the quilt slipping. Yet. Usually start on my side, eventually end up on my back. One of the reasons I like it over the pad system, actually.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lonely Raven's Avatar
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    If I remember correctly, the Yeti fit from my neck to about the backs of my knees, and I'm about 5'10". They pop up in the forums lightly used for between $150-$170 on occasion, but they don't stay long.

    So far, of the half dozen or so quilts I've played with, the Yeti fit the best on my Blackbird (go figure), but I went full length quilt as I'm a side sleeper and I toss and turn a bunch. If I was a back sleeper, I would have absolutely kept the Yeti, it's great kit!

  7. #7
    Senior Member G.L.P.'s Avatar
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    you could dirtbag it and look for the cheapest stuff you can find to make an UQ...but in the end you might not be happy with it...

    i would look into a UQ from AHE...he is probly the cheapest your going to find new.. he also has DIY kits now...might want to look into that
    and keep an eye out in the "For Sale" section.....sometimes you will find good deals there
    It puts the Underquilt on it's hammock ... It does this whenever it gets cold

  8. #8
    Pro Vagabond's Avatar
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    If you have the time, you may want to consider DIYing what you want/need. That way, you can make it to your specs. I am finishing up both an UQ and a TQ this weekend and probably saved 50% doing it myself. Of course, I like curved stitches, as oppposed to all those straight lines that the pros make . There is a ton of info on here for you make all the equipment you want, if you have the patience and desire. since I've got more of those than money, I've chosen that path.

    All that being said, there is nothing like placing an order and it showing up in the mail one day all done. While I can't talk from experience, the quality you can get from the vendors here seems to be second to none.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    New Member
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    Thanks for the responses guys. I've been reading threads about making a DIY underquily like the Red River Gorge quilt and Sclittlefield's DIY IX underquilt. I figure I can probably save about 50%. My wife sews well and will help me. I keep thinking I would like to change a few things like make the Red River Gorge quilt 3/4 length to save in materials. But I have the problem of trying to design an underquilt without ever having seen one in person or used one for that matter. Its hard to recognise why things have been done a certain way when you've never experienced the problems yourself. For instance I've read a thread where a person had trouble keeping a seal on the head end of one of Mac's IX underquilts and the answer was the person had the quilt at the top of the head instead of the shoulders. Is that a problem particular to that UQ or is that typical of others as well. I notice that most of the 3/4 UQ don't cover the head either, but that might just be a weight savings thing. I think Brandon reccomends venting the yeti by pulling it up higher towards your head. I see that there are full length UQs that do go to the top of the head. Is there anything I need to understand about the head area if I want to design an UQ to go to the top of the head?

    Lonely Raven, tell me more about your troubles because of tossing and turning. What was happening? I toss and turn a lot in bed, less so in a hammock. Was the only solution for you a full length UQ or is there something else you might have done if you could start from scratch? Thanks.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Festus Hagen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenlespaul View Post
    you could dirtbag it and look for the cheapest stuff you can find to make an UQ...but in the end you might not be happy with it...

    i would look into a UQ from AHE...he is probly the cheapest your going to find new.. he also has DIY kits now...might want to look into that
    and keep an eye out in the "For Sale" section.....sometimes you will find good deals there
    The DD Underblanket I mentioned earlier in the thread and the Molly Mac stuff available at tree-to-tree trailgear are two that are cheaper than KAQs from AHE that come immediately to mind. Just strictly from a price tag standpoint, I'm not throwing value or features in there. I've had a couple dealings with AHE, TOP NOTCH, and the KAQ quilts are quite reasonably priced for what you get imo.

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