Not very impressive sounding, "a weekend in the 40s," huh. But for me it was a big deal, trying out some of my new gear.
First I want to report on an old piece of new gear: KAQ Jarbridge River. Last spring Paul made me a "summer" Jarbridge River with 3 oz Climashield instead of the standard 6 oz. My goal was to use this during the spring, summer and fall, when I would have warmer temps, and when my 20º Incubator would be overkill. I have been very satisified with the JR. It is inbetween a full and 3/4 length, and at 13 oz, very easy on the back. As I often find myself stuck in a more humid environment, I wanted to consider an alternative to a down UQ. Since spring it has hung out under my hammock for nearly a 2 dozen nights, but never colder than the mid 60s. This is not a standard model quilt, so I was unsure of just how low I could take this extra-light version. Paul rates the original with 6 oz Climashild to 30º.
I had also had delivered last week a 20º Burrow, which I was just itching to take out. Previously I used a 25º Kelty Light Year, or for wamer conditions, a fleece mummy liner. But I only had a bulky and uncomfortable Wally World square bag for inbetween temps in the 40s or 50s.
This weekend I was out with the scouts; the forcast lows were to be about 47º on Friday night and 41º the overnight Saturday. Ths would be a first good push for the Jarbridge River; and though the 20º Burrow would be overkill for the upper 40s, it could easily be tested in the low 40s.
I choose to test this only in my boxers and t-shirt. When I hit the hammock at 11:30 on Friday, it was still the low 60s. This was already the lowest I had taken the Jarbridge River, but I knew I would be able to push it well past this; and my back was warm enough. After 5 mintues under the Burrow, I declared rather matter of factly: "Well, this is too hot." I opened the foot vent and tried to loosly drape the rest over me, which was surprisingly easy to do with the TQ. I drifted off to sleep and woke up around 3 am to the need to do my business. I could tell when I got out, it was still only in the low 50s, but I had slept pretty good. I was back asleep in a minute and remained comfortable until I arose in the daylight. First test was a solid A for both UQ and TQ.
Saturday was already cooler when I went down at about 10:30 pm. There were some gusty but not too strong breezes, so I knew this would be a great test for the Jarbridge River. I had also kept my tarp pitched just high enough to catch a bit of breeze, again trying to push the limits of the UQ; my trusty 20º Incubator within reach (yea to car camping ) just in case. It was probably in the low 50s, and I easily drifted off to sleep. I was up at 3:30 and again knew I was still 2 hours from the lowest I would reach, but it was easily 45º, and I was still comfortable. When I woke at 6:30, I found it still within my limits. With the Burrow, my top was great, but my back was sort of neutral; neither cold nor toasty. But I was thankful for no CBS.
I never really pushed the Burrow. It would have been a disaster if it was cold at 41º. But I did find it really easy to get in and out of. And overall, it is a great piece of equipment, with 1 oz of overfill, I am confident I will be able to take down to 15º. I may or may not find myself in conditions this low over the winter, but it will be great to use in the 20s and 30s.
The Jarbridge River was a surprising little gem. Taking a 13 oz UQ down almost to 40º is quite an accomplishment. I am 6' 1" and as a 7/8 length underquilt, I did not need any supplemental foot pad, but my Thermarest backpack pillow kept my neck and head off the uninsulated hammock. For comfort's sake, I will probably choose to take this when the forecast is 45º or higher, that way I have a reasonable cushion, knowing that 40º or prehaps even the upper 30s would be comfortable with only a light thermal clothing supplement.
Very pleased with the Burrow.
Unexpectedly surprised with the Jarbridge River light.