Tested the poor man's polar pod last night. It just seemed logical to me that the pod must be the most effective hammock insulation overall, although not minimalist.
- temp 18F all night, no wind, snowed 1-2 inches during night.
- blackbird 1.7 DL hammock with second ridge line for suspending UQs.
- shelf and entry side pullouts not staked
- no tarp
- wiggy's 20 degree UQ 42X 82, wiggy's 20 degree mummy bag
- mil spec poncho liner and wiggy's PL (twice as thick as mil PL) draped over
the hammock and tied at each end, covered nearly end to end
- hung for two hours, underside slightly cool but I could have slept (barely)
- air temp inside pod was 58F!!
- air was cooler above head and at end where had 12 inch long cone
shaped gap of exposed hammock netting and nylon had no UQ. This was
also the large area of dead air space due to the high right sidewall of the
BB design. This acted as a chimney, with warm air and condensation
escaping together. Snow all over topside and sneaking down into
crevasses between UQs but no condensation inside pod whatsoever.
Some dampness at ends from melting snow but none near me.
- added another 20 degree wiggy UQ to spend the night. This one wider, 54
inches foot end, 62 inches head end and 80 inches long. More coverage up
the sides of the pod now. Slept warm all night.
- air temp in pod 58 F again!! extra UQ made no difference. Hmmm...
- minor annoyance was netting being pushed down onto my face on left
side by droopy PL weight. Pulled side of hood up along there to fix.
This is pure luxury, a 58 degree climate controlled room with the i-pod in the shelf. I am sure that a full coverage polar pod with no exposed areas except a small blowhole would be even warmer. I could probably have been fine in my 35 degree bag or less, but the chunky footbox on my 20F bag is good to have.
I'm convinced that polar pod would work well on BB. My circumference including hammock, UQ and PL at largest point was 85 inches as measured by teenage son with my 235 lb body in hammock. PP is 90 inches around so room to spare. would need to decide where to leave blowhole, side or top. Not sure if the polar pod could be used on a simple gathered end hammock due to sag underneath, although I guess it could be suspended from a second ridgeline to fit well underneath. For most temps it would need very little bag or TQ inside, whatever gets you to 58f plus maybe a little extra around and underneath you.
I haven't bought a down item in 30 years, but I want a Polar pod. Maybe with a little overstuff.
16 lbs of synthetic insulation that will compress down into a small closet did the job last night so I'll have a spare for son.