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  1. #1
    Senior Member Steve D's Avatar
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    Extra Insulation for a Sew-Up PLUQ

    Mornin' Y'all,

    I posted this question on another thread but thought it might be worth its own separate thread.

    I'm about to start making 3 sew-up PLUQs for my daughters and a friend's son. I bought the poncho liners off of fleabay and they seem a bit thinner than the one I bought last spring in a local army surplus shack. With that in mind, I want to add an extra layer of insulation for a bit of extra warmth. My intent is to sandwich the insulation between the layers of the PLUQ.

    In the other thread Insul-Brite and Insul-Fleece were discussed. Since both of those materials appear to be an aluminized mylar with a fleecy coating I'm a bit concerned about their durability, not so much when in use but when they're folded, rolled or just stuffed into a stuff sack. Durability probably wouldn't be all that big of a deal is I were making a No-Sew PLUQ and had the ability to change out the insulation relatively easily but since I'm making a sew-up version, I'd like an insulation that I won't have to be too concerned atour it pulling loose inside the PLUQ or simply disentigrating.

    I know there are other great insulation materials out there like Thinsulate, Primaloft, climashield and even Insultex. However I'm looking for something thatcan be sourced locally (as in at a Hancocks or Joann's) that I don't have to order.

    Suggestions?

  2. #2
    L.D. Cakes's Avatar
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    This thread goes over what Insultex (High Density Polyethylene Foam) is made of and how you can essentially salvage it for free if you know what to look for. Hope this helps.
    Love many, trust few & always paddle your own canoe. American Proverb

  3. #3

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    Different approach. Look at the open cell foam Hennessy uses. If you use the PLUQ as the outside cover you can maintain that as a base layer for warmer weather. Slide a slab of open cell foam in between the hammock and PLUQ when it gets cold. Could also toss in a space blanket.

  4. #4
    Senior Member dejoha's Avatar
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    As others have said, you can throw just about anything as insulation between the layers. I most often use my PLUQs with my kids when car camping since we don't have to worry about weight and bulk (and I don't have to worry bout wear-and-tear and cost!).

    I made three PLUQs for my brother and we used quilt batting from the fabric store.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Steve D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejoha View Post
    As others have said, you can throw just about anything as insulation between the layers. I most often use my PLUQs with my kids when car camping since we don't have to worry about weight and bulk (and I don't have to worry bout wear-and-tear and cost!).

    I made three PLUQs for my brother and we used quilt batting from the fabric store.
    For the most part these will get used car camping. I'm pretty sure they'll get used for an overnight or weekend backpack trip now and then but nothing more significant than that.

    I noticed some quilt batting at WallyWorld that was light compared to the rest they had and fairly inexpensive. Couldn't help but wonder if it might work reasonably well.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Steve D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejoha View Post
    As others have said, you can throw just about anything as insulation between the layers. I most often use my PLUQs with my kids when car camping since we don't have to worry about weight and bulk (and I don't have to worry bout wear-and-tear and cost!).

    I made three PLUQs for my brother and we used quilt batting from the fabric store.
    Another question...

    Regardless of whether I use quilt batting or some other material (Insul-Fleece, Insul-Brite, etc.), is it better to sew the material in place or let it 'float' between the layers of the PLUQ?

    I'm kinda wishin' I'd bought an extra PL...just had an idea for leaving one end of the PLUQ open (closed with velcro or omni tape) to allow use of different types and amounts of extra insulation or none at all...

  7. #7
    Senior Member dejoha's Avatar
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    My first PLUQs were of the no-sew variety. I thought having the versatility in the poncho liner would be a good thing. After a while I decided to sew them up and I like it that way much better (for me, less hassle with inserted insulation, less air leakage, etc.). I've also tweaked mine to run shock cord along the entire long edge, similar to how other cottage manufacturers build their under quilts. This not only allows me to easily adjust and slide the UQ back and forth for a good fit, but it provides a little more gripping on the sides of the hammock that I like.

    Sheet batting or other synthetic insulation that comes on a roll can "float" in the middle, but it should be nailed down on the edges if you sew up your PLUQ on all sides. In other words, you don't need to quilt the insulation in the middle, but you should attach it to the sides, otherwise the batting could fall down or shift inside the layers over time.

    If you leave one side of your PLUQ open, where you can slip in an extra pad or insulation, it can float around without a problem. This is because you are positioning the insulation by hand each time and probably remove it when you pack up.

    One thing to keep in mind is compression. I'm building a new PLUQ right now and I want it to have more loft. If the top and bottom layers are tight, it will compress any insulation you insert between them unless you make the outer layer bellow out more.

    A lot of double-layer hammocks work this way. They are designed so you can slip in some compressed insulation like closed-cell foam pads, mylar blankets, etc. If you shove a 1 in. open-cell foam pad, it will get squish down and be less-effective.

    I like the width of the PLUQ, but in order to "sag" the outer layer to get more loft I lose some of the width. I'm debating whether I should cut the liner in half and sew strips of fabric on the edges to create a three-dimensional cube shaped quilt of sorts. But I'm trying to minimize the extra sewing because the PLUQ is all about simplicity.

    I'm rambling now. Hopefully that helped (the nuggets, not rambling).

  8. #8
    Senior Member Steve D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejoha View Post
    My first PLUQs were of the no-sew variety. I thought having the versatility in the poncho liner would be a good thing. After a while I decided to sew them up and I like it that way much better (for me, less hassle with inserted insulation, less air leakage, etc.). I've also tweaked mine to run shock cord along the entire long edge, similar to how other cottage manufacturers build their under quilts. This not only allows me to easily adjust and slide the UQ back and forth for a good fit, but it provides a little more gripping on the sides of the hammock that I like.

    Hmmm, thats a possibility I was considering but haven't made a decision one way ot the other yet. Still haven't bought shock cord yet and adding another strip of grossgrain to form a channel on the folded side is no big deal. Makes everything a little more symmetrical (OK, I'm wierd, I like symmetry)

    Sheet batting or other synthetic insulation that comes on a roll can "float" in the middle, but it should be nailed down on the edges if you sew up your PLUQ on all sides. In other words, you don't need to quilt the insulation in the middle, but you should attach it to the sides, otherwise the batting could fall down or shift inside the layers over time.

    Makes sense. Will probably tack it to the top 'half' but tack it so there is a little sag/loft.

    If you leave one side of your PLUQ open, where you can slip in an extra pad or insulation, it can float around without a problem. This is because you are positioning the insulation by hand each time and probably remove it when you pack up.

    One thing to keep in mind is compression. I'm building a new PLUQ right now and I want it to have more loft. If the top and bottom layers are tight, it will compress any insulation you insert between them unless you make the outer layer bellow out more.

    A lot of double-layer hammocks work this way. They are designed so you can slip in some compressed insulation like closed-cell foam pads, mylar blankets, etc. If you shove a 1 in. open-cell foam pad, it will get squish down and be less-effective.

    I like the width of the PLUQ, but in order to "sag" the outer layer to get more loft I lose some of the width. I'm debating whether I should cut the liner in half and sew strips of fabric on the edges to create a three-dimensional cube shaped quilt of sorts. But I'm trying to minimize the extra sewing because the PLUQ is all about simplicity.

    I put a couple of 1-inch pleats in each end of the bottom 'half' of the last PLUQ I made to create sag. I was thinking about putting in a pair of 3/4-inch pleats on these - still creates some sag but loses a little less width.


    I'm rambling now. Hopefully that helped (the nuggets, not rambling).

    Yep, good info. Hope to get the batting tonight or Saturday (no way I'm going to WallyWorld on Black Friday ) then let the sewing begin

    Lots of good stuff to think about here...

  9. #9
    Senior Member DaleW's Avatar
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    You can add batts of any kind of polyester fill from a sewing store. Brands like Primaloft and Climashield deliver more loft for the weight and with repeated compressing for travel--- along with the higher price.

    IMHO, you can paint yourself in a corner by trying to get too much out of a PLUQ, At some point you might as well start sewing your own UQ from scratch.

    Adding a space blanket can help stretch a PLUQ, or you could try adding a Garlington Insulator to get more loft at low cost.

  10. #10
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Just added some InsulFleece to my PLUQ, and am in the midst of putting together the suspension and end gathers.

    I sewed the extra insulation around the edge, with the perimeter slightly smaller than the size of insulation called for, to ensure some lofting. It's right against the top layer of the PLUQ, and I'll be doing a build thread as soon as I finish with everything (hopefully some time this weekend). I'll post a link here when I get done.

    Testing will be either Monday next week or the Greater Gainesville hang coming up that weekend.

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