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  1. #11
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    I've used both as a top quilt and I like the sleeping bag better. I move around a lot and the top quilt gets drafty in cold weather. I have a full zipper bag and I like being able to zip the bag up to whatever degree I need to keep warm depending on the weather. My sleeping bag is constructed in a way that allows me to shake most of the down to the top of the bag and what is underneath me is mostly material. So I'm making best use of the down too.

    From answers so far, looks like it comes down to personal preference.
    Exercise, eat right, die anyway -- Country Roads bumper sticker
    Fall seven times, standup eight. -- Japanese Proverb

  2. #12
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    pull bag around the hammock

    If your bag has a zippered footbox, pull it around the bag like a cocoon. I sleep so comfortably and wonderfully that way in my Grand Trunk Nano 7, with a Kelty Lightyear down bag pulled around it. 20 degree bag in winter (was toasty at 8 degrees this winter!!) and 40 degree bag the rest of the year. The bag and hammock all compress easily in the Kelty compression sack for the bag. I love this system. Slide the bag way down to the foot end. GEt in the hammock. Pull up the bag all around yourself. Zip it up. Voila.

  3. #13
    Senior Member plaunius's Avatar
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    I guess the main reason I use my down sleeping bag is because it's paid for. I've got a nice set of 0 and 20 down bags and figure that a TQ will be my last upgrade. I am pretty still at night and don't have a problem getting out of the sack. It's just hard to spend a couple hundred when I have something that works 90% as well.

  4. #14
    Senior Member thecrumb's Avatar
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    I'm cheap. I'll admit it!

    I picked up a cheap mummy bag at Wally World. The zipper drove me nuts at first but what I've done that seems to work well is I sewed a loop below the zipper so I can't completely unzip the bag. This leaves me a nice foot well to stuff my feet into - then I pull up the rest of the bag more like a top quilt. If it gets really chilly I can still zip up the bag around me.

    Jim

  5. #15
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motorapido View Post
    If your bag has a zippered footbox, pull it around the bag like a cocoon. I sleep so comfortably and wonderfully that way in my Grand Trunk Nano 7, with a Kelty Lightyear down bag pulled around it. 20 degree bag in winter (was toasty at 8 degrees this winter!!) and 40 degree bag the rest of the year. The bag and hammock all compress easily in the Kelty compression sack for the bag. I love this system. Slide the bag way down to the foot end. GEt in the hammock. Pull up the bag all around yourself. Zip it up. Voila.
    There ya go, make your own PeaPod using what you already have!

    I think the quilt approach is far more pleasant and comfortable in a hammock. But, I personally have no doubt that using the sleeping bag as it is designed and taking advantage of a draft free experience as well as the benefits of the very efficient mummy bag hood and neck collar is the warmer way to go. More than once back in my starting days in a hammock, I used to try and use my mummy bags as quilts. That was fine until I approached the rating of the bag. And more than once, I would be cold, then get in the bag and zip up including the hood( even though I already had on warm hats and Balaclavas). It would be like instantly going from either too cold or just not warm enough to sleep-- to toasty warm. And, the above principle is why a PeaPod works so darn well just about every time. It is nothing but a sleeping bag long enough and wide enough to completely engulf a hammock and "seal" up along the middle and both ends. So that if you desire, you can be closed up mummy style, and just as warm. However, you will be much more comfy than inside a mummy bag in a hammock, pretty much as comfy as in a separate TQ/UQ approach. Or maybe even more comfy, as you are not going to have to worry about drafts no matter how you place your arms or how much you flop around.

    Now, having said all of that, I have done some really cold nights in a quilt and been comfy enough. Both a dedicated quilt and a winter bag used as a quilt. The key for me seems to be if the quilt is wide enough for the size of the person so that you stand a good chance of staying covered, with no drafts along the sides or around the neck/shoulders, after you fall asleep. If you can't, you are not going to be warm no matter how thick the quilt or bag is. Even if the quilt is large enough, you will still have problems if you thrash much after you fall asleep. Any draft is game over when it is really cold. No drafts with a mummy bag or PeaPod. But if you can over come draft issues and keep your head/neck as warm as with a mummy bag, then you will be about as warm with a quilt as with a bag of similar thickness.

    A dedicated quilt which is designed to cinch around your neck and close down like a mummy bag collar can be a real help for stopping drafts. It is not as easy to do that using a mummy bag as quilt, but can be done. However I did learn to use a bag as quilt very effectively when side sleeping. I just pull the hood over my head and arrange a little breathing hole. Works like a charm, and probably adds 20*F.

    I found there is a learning curve for me and quilts. I am much better these days with a quilt or using a bag as quilt than I was at first. It also helps to develop the ability to roll over in a quilt without blasting your self with cold drafts. Or just to be still while sleeping. Much more likely in a hammock than a bed, for me anyway.

    Even the hammock seems to make a difference. There is something about a JRB bridge that makes it very easy for me to stay covered with a quilt, not really sure why. With some other hammocks it often seems to be a greater challenge to keep the quilt "sealed" around my left shoulder, especially used in combo with certain UQs. But this problem seems to never come up for me when using a JRB MWUQ with a quilt.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  6. #16
    Senior Member Roadtorque's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comment BillyBob58. I have switched over to quilts in my hammocks which is why this concept started me wondering if I need more insulation in a tq to provide the same amount of warmth as a properly used sleeping bag. I think drafts is one aspect of warmth when using a tq but the room I'm in is a pretty draft free environment (I would think anyway). I think the sleeping bag used traditionally leaves less "dead" airspace which my body has to try and warm/keep warm as compared to when used as a quilt but I'm not completely sure on that. I get what you are saying about the peapod but unfortunately neither of my hammocks are compatible with one.
    "The only rule to survivialin is NEVER GIVE UP"
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roadtorque View Post
    For the last month or so I have been on the road and sleeping in my sleeping bag (on a bed). I have been playing with the bag and find it most comfortable when laid out like a top quilt and partially zipped up to form a foot box. I have mostly slept like this although I have used it in typical sleeping bag mode too. I have consistently been finding that I sleep warmer when it's used in its traditional method vs unzipped like a tq. This has started me wondering about quilts vs sleeping bags while out hammock camping. Would a sleeping bag be warmer than a tq? Would a sleeping bag be warmer when zipped up vs used as a tq? I dont recall ever reading about this on hammock forums but I'm sure others have experiences with this as well.
    I started "quilting" years ago with an unzipped down bag (Long Campmor 20* Mummy). I was on the ground and I tended to roll back and forth from one side to the other. This worked fine for me until the temps got into the 20's where the draft would wake me up pretty good. I don't intentionally backpack when it gets that cold - but sometimes it happens.

    The problem with the standard mummy for me was the width - 48". Just not quite wide enough when wearing extra clothes to extend the range. An annoyance was the hood - in my face when laying on one of the sides.

    Much gear today is sized for munchkins, (and built by munchkins), and that makes finding a good bag hard for someone with 50+ shoulders and over 6' tall. A quilt was a revelation to me, as I grew up with the idea that you had to have a mummy bag to stay warm.

    Yes, being zipped up is warmer than laying out. But "warmth" alone doesn't cut it. I'm pretty keen nowadays on overall sleep comfort, which is more than just warm.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Roadtorque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dla View Post
    I started "quilting" years ago with an unzipped down bag (Long Campmor 20* Mummy). I was on the ground and I tended to roll back and forth from one side to the other. This worked fine for me until the temps got into the 20's where the draft would wake me up pretty good. I don't intentionally backpack when it gets that cold - but sometimes it happens.

    The problem with the standard mummy for me was the width - 48". Just not quite wide enough when wearing extra clothes to extend the range. An annoyance was the hood - in my face when laying on one of the sides.

    Much gear today is sized for munchkins, (and built by munchkins), and that makes finding a good bag hard for someone with 50+ shoulders and over 6' tall. A quilt was a revelation to me, as I grew up with the idea that you had to have a mummy bag to stay warm.

    Yes, being zipped up is warmer than laying out. But "warmth" alone doesn't cut it. I'm pretty keen nowadays on overall sleep comfort, which is more than just warm.
    Being 6'3'' I totally agree with you. I've never really gone the "standard" mummy bag route for the same reasons. Although I have never tried a quilt while ground camping I do love them in the hammock.
    "The only rule to survivialin is NEVER GIVE UP"
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  9. #19
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roadtorque View Post
    I have consistently been finding that I sleep warmer when it's used in its traditional method vs unzipped like a tq. This has started me wondering about quilts vs sleeping bags while out hammock camping. Would a sleeping bag be warmer than a tq? Would a sleeping bag be warmer when zipped up vs used as a tq? I dont recall ever reading about this on hammock forums but I'm sure others have experiences with this as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Roadtorque View Post
    Thanks for the comment BillyBob58. I have switched over to quilts in my hammocks which is why this concept started me wondering if I need more insulation in a tq to provide the same amount of warmth as a properly used sleeping bag. I think drafts is one aspect of warmth when using a tq but the room I'm in is a pretty draft free environment (I would think anyway). I think the sleeping bag used traditionally leaves less "dead" airspace which my body has to try and warm/keep warm as compared to when used as a quilt but I'm not completely sure on that. I get what you are saying about the peapod but unfortunately neither of my hammocks are compatible with one.
    As your own experience seems to show, a bag used as a bag - assuming loft and size(space to be heated) are the same- is warmer than a quilt or a bag used as a quilt. And I still suspect that, even in your case where you are in a room, that drafts are still a significant contributor. Not drafts in terms of a breeze or wind, but in terms of "warm air leakage". If you have even a small area where the quilt becomes poorly tucked or "sealed", with an opening from you to outside the quilt, then warm air will go out and cool air will come in. If you can notice bag mode is warmer than quilt mode in a room, then just imagine outside where you are near the lower limit of the bags rating. If a mummy bag is rated at 30f, that as you know means with the bag/hood/collar completely zipped up ( no warm air leaks to outside or cold air sneaking in). And hood and collar can make a huge dif. But even if not cinching the hood down, if the bag is zipped up there will tend to be a tighter neck area closure, keeping the warm air in. You can be pretty well tucked in with a quilt, but let an elbow or knee move while you sleep and un-tuck some area, and game over if you are already near the quilts limit.

    The dead air space you mention is a factor, but can be minimized by doing the "roll and tuck", getting some of the bag under you thus decreasing the interior size.

    I used to have a horrible time trying to use a bag as a quilt, and could not really even approach the bags rating using as a quilt. I have gotten much better with experience. I think I mentioned earlier the benefit of turning on my side and pulling the hood over my head. But I also finally learned another trick that every one else probably already knew!(I am a slow learner). I always did much better on my back with an actual quilt as opposed to my mummy bags as quilt. Because the hood was really in the way of maintaining a seal at neck/shoulders. But finally I used the 2 way zipper to keep things closed at the neck, and otherwise open to the foot box. Now I just stick my head through the neck area opening into the hood area and my feet into the foot box. Now I can be sealed around the neck( pulling the drawstring), use the hood as a pillow, even use the hood somewhat as a hood, etc. I have enough bag left over that I can even get some of it tucked under me for extra back warmth with my Polarguard bags. All of the above comes very close to matching the bag used in the traditional way, and is about as comfortable as a quilt. And if it all hits the fan, I still have a sleeping bag. Sadly, it is still just as heavy as a sleeping bag! But, as most folks already have sleeping bags, and if cash is tight, well then.............................................. ....................
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  10. #20
    gunner76's Avatar
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    I have been using my sleeping bags as TQs with no problems and I am 6ft2 and 275-290lbs. I will get a dedicated TQ one of these days simply to save on weight and pack space.

    I leave the foot box partially zipped and have not had any problems with either of my bags (one is a down mummy and the other is a rectangular synthetic).
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