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  1. #1
    New Member 8Crow's Avatar
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    0 Deg Synthetic UQ?

    This may go against the DIY'er grain, but what I'd really LIKE to do is give Stormcrow $300 to make me a top-notch, custom length down UQ. The problem is the $$$, of course. So my question for the DIY gang: if you were using synthetics (to keep cost down), what would it take to make an underquilt that would keep you toasty down to 0? And how much would something like that weigh? Or maybe I'm off-base on materials and 800-900 FP down can be had for a reasonable price?

    I'm also a complete novice behind a sewing machine, so level of difficulty is a concern. My DIY basic double layer is almost done...if that thing doesn't dump me on the ground I'll feel a little better about my sewing ability.

  2. #2
    Senior Member PuckerFactor's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I have a wonderful DIY Primaloft UQ that I'd rate roughly 5F-comfortable. It's got 9 oz/Sq. Yd. of insulation: a layer of 6oz, and a layer of 3oz. I got the insulation from The Rainshed. They have really good prices and selection, and they're really nice to deal with. I bet with a 6 and a 4, you'd be toasty to a few degrees below 0F.
    And the best part of it all is that synthetic UQs are dead simple! The only finnicky part is the insulation liking to scootch around, but just mark the insulation and fabric every so often, and make adjustments. I'm usually OCD about alignment, but found the insulation to be extremely forgiving.
    Here's some pictures of my UQ:

    and a diagram showing a cross-section of the edge. This made it easy to keep the Primaloft out of the feed dogs and presser foot.
    quilt_layers.jpg
    It's weight is 38 oz. with shock cord suspension and a DWR 1.1 oz. shell.

    PF
    Last edited by PuckerFactor; 12-30-2011 at 03:17. Reason: Just weighed it and it's 38.0 oz.
    It's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

    Formerly known as Acercanto, my trail name is MacGuyver to some, and Pucker Factor to others.

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  3. #3
    New Member 8Crow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PuckerFactor View Post
    This made it easy to keep the Primaloft out of the feed dogs and presser foot.
    I was re-reading the posts here and it made me think of a question. On the OWF website, they say the Climashield HL 11.7 has 2-3.5" of loft. Is that stuff going to be a nightmare to sew b/c it's so thick? I guess you sewed your 6 & 3 oz together so maybe it's not not so bad?

  4. #4
    Senior Member PuckerFactor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8Crow View Post
    I was re-reading the posts here and it made me think of a question. On the OWF website, they say the Climashield HL 11.7 has 2-3.5" of loft. Is that stuff going to be a nightmare to sew b/c it's so thick? I guess you sewed your 6 & 3 oz together so maybe it's not not so bad?
    I wouldn't say it's a nightmare, it just takes more care and attention as things are feeding through. When I did mine, I sewed the 6oz. to one side, and the 3oz. to the other, then sewed the shells together, so I never had to fight the two layers of insulation at the same time before they were stabilized by the shell.
    As far as compressibility, Primaloft is much more compressible than CS. My 5F Primaloft UQ is about the same size, compressed, as my 30F CS UQ. Also, for what it's worth, CS requires more loft to get to the same temp as PL.

    PF
    It's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

    Formerly known as Acercanto, my trail name is MacGuyver to some, and Pucker Factor to others.

    It's not procrastinating, its proactively delaying the implementation of the energy-intensive phase of the project until the enthusiasm factor is at its maximum effectiveness. - Randy Glasbergen

  5. #5
    New Member 8Crow's Avatar
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    That's exactly the sort of feedback I was looking for, thank you! Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics sells an 11.7 oz Climashield HL...do you know anything about that? Seems like that might get the job done given what you used and the temperature you used it to.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dudorino's Avatar
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    Attached is an image that shows the weight comparisons for designing synthetic quilt. It gives you an approximation of how much insulation you will need for a particular temperature and an estimate of how much it would weigh depending on what weight ripstop you use.

    If you want a copy of the full spreadsheet, PM me and I'll send it to you.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PuckerFactor View Post
    I have a wonderful DIY Primaloft UQ that I'd rate roughly 5F-comfortable. It's got 9 oz/Sq. Yd. of insulation: a layer of 6oz, and a layer of 3oz. I got the insulation from The Rainshed. ..............
    PF
    Quote Originally Posted by 8Crow View Post
    That's exactly the sort of feedback I was looking for, thank you! Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics sells an 11.7 oz Climashield HL...do you know anything about that? Seems like that might get the job done given what you used and the temperature you used it to.
    Quote Originally Posted by TinCanFury View Post
    I've been looking into this as well.
    What I'm actually looking to do is get into the -15F range, with either down or synth.
    I have the original WB Yeti style torso UQ, which layered 4 layers ( 3 removable) layers of Climashield XP. ( OK, mine is probably actually 1 layer XP and 3 layers of Combat, long story) Each layer is ~ 1 sq yd.

    Cannibal finally got cold in this at minus 5, but only on top using an old 40F Coleman bag. He felt he was still OK on the bottom. Also, I think it had a sil-nylon cover functioning as a vapor barrier.
    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ead.php?t=2682
    There were some neat pictures that are gone now!

    We( my son or me) have only used it into the 20s, but using only 3 layers and NO VB, have been toasty. Mine (with Combat)weighs about 20 oz, I think Cannibals(all XP) weighed about 17.

    The thing about this design is: no reason in the world not to add 1 more layer of CS if it is going to be below zero. I get about 20*F protection(maybe a little more) from the 1 layer of 2.5 oz CS (OK into hi 40s).

    Or you could put some IX between layers. How ever many layers you use, if you add a space blanket on top of the quilt, or a VB, or use VB clothing, you can probably pick up and extra 10 to 20F, and more importantly help keep the quilt dry. All for an oz or so(torso length) It is worth experimenting with.

    Don't know for certain about any of the newer types of CS. You might want to check out thru hiker:
    http://thru-hiker.com/materials/insulation.php

    Looks like this Apex has about the same insulation value (CLO .82 oz ) as the XP did. Wonder what the dif is?

    Quote Originally Posted by 8Crow View Post
    Dudorino, the spreadsheet is great, thanks!

    RE the vapor barrier...there is a thread in the overcover section where someone was saying NOT to use a vapor barrier below 20 deg or so, I think basically because it would cause condensation and condensation at sub-20 could really get you into trouble. Anyone else see that?
    Nope, not me. Well, yes, in an Overcover, where you might be breathing into an covered space. In that case you can expect a lot of condensation with any fabric, and even more with a VB. Just look what happens to the breathable Shug type "bibs" that folks hang in front of their faces (hanging from the Ridge line). It collects major condensation though fully breathable, keeping it off of your sleeping bag.

    I have not yet had any issues using a VB under and close to me(down to 10F or higher) except the expected benefits. I always keep the VB as close to my skin as possible, to keep it warm. So this will be a space blanket hanging right under my hammock either on top of my HHSS pad or right under my hammock inside of my PeaPod. Or more recently VB clothing. Always dry, warmer, insulation kept dry. But, admittedly, I'm only speaking for me. Some others have had the same results, but others have not. But do not use a VB as an overcover on top of insulation. That won't work out well.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 12-30-2011 at 10:50.
    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

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    I have the original WB Yeti style torso UQ, which layered 4 layers ( 3 removable) layers of Climashield XP. ( OK, mine is probably actually 1 layer XP and 3 layers of Combat, long story) Each layer is ~ 1 sq yd.

    Cannibal finally got cold in this at minus 5, but only on top using an old 40F Coleman bag. He felt he was still OK on the bottom. Also, I think it had a sil-nylon cover functioning as a vapor barrier.
    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ead.php?t=2682
    There were some neat pictures that are gone now!

    We( my son or me) have only used it into the 20s, but using only 3 layers and NO VB, have been toasty. Mine (with Combat)weighs about 20 oz, I think Cannibals(all XP) weighed about 17.

    The thing about this design is: no reason in the world not to add 1 more layer of CS if it is going to be below zero. I get about 20*F protection(maybe a little more) from the 1 layer of 2.5 oz CS (OK into hi 40s).

    Or you could put some IX between layers. How ever many layers you use, if you add a space blanket on top of the quilt, or a VB, or use VB clothing, you can probably pick up and extra 10 to 20F, and more importantly help keep the quilt dry. All for an oz or so(torso length) It is worth experimenting with.

    Don't know for certain about any of the newer types of CS. You might want to check out thru hiker:
    http://thru-hiker.com/materials/insulation.php

    Looks like this Apex has about the same insulation value (CLO .82 oz ) as the XP did. Wonder what the dif is?
    I believe Apex is slightly lighter than XP, up to 10% from what I've read. So warmth by loft is the same but weight per sqyd is slight lower.

    PolyEthyleneFoam is IX without the wrapping (I forget what material it uses). MacIntyre has a thread about his discovery of this. It's cheaper and slightly lighter, and if being "sewn" into a quilt no need for the "wrapping".

    So what my plan is, is to do 1/32" PEF with Climashield in between, to act as both the separation barrier between PEF and as added insulation. The plan then is 3 layers of PEF with two of Climashield. I could also do three of a thinner Climashield if that makes it easier to pack. Then the hammock side fabric will be a reflective 30D ripstop that is also non-breathable, which will both reflect heat and act as a vapor barrier. I've seen Apex in 3, 5, 6, and 11oz/sqyd weights. Ideally I'd like to find the lightest weight combination I can get away with and still be comfy down to at least -15F.

    At first I thought about using velcro to attach to the bottom of a WB traveler I just purchased, but then I realized the 30D should be plenty strong to be the hammock itself for my body weight, which saves a lot of weight and brings the vapor barrier closer to my body. I plan to use tape for the entire setup.

    I almost want to just make it with 11oz/sqyd (4" loft total?!) just to see what I can get that down to...


    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Nope, not me. Well, yes, in an Overcover, where you might be breathing into an covered space. In that case you can expect a lot of condensation with any fabric, and even more with a VB. Just look what happens to the breathable Shug type "bibs" that folks hang in front of their faces (hanging from the Ridge line). It collects major condensation though fully breathable, keeping it off of your sleeping bag.

    I have not yet had any issues using a VB under and close to me(down to 10F or higher) except the expected benefits. I always keep the VB as close to my skin as possible, to keep it warm. So this will be a space blanket hanging right under my hammock either on top of my HHSS pad or right under my hammock inside of my PeaPod. Or more recently VB clothing. Always dry, warmer, insulation kept dry. But, admittedly, I'm only speaking for me. Some others have had the same results, but others have not. But do not use a VB as an overcover on top of insulation. That won't work out well.
    VB thread: probably this ?

    I think the thing is with vapor barriers, most people don't realize going into it that condensation management is important. You need to have some place for it to escape or it builds up, but you don't want so much space for the vapor to escape that you also loose too much warm air. it's a tricky balance, but when done properly can work quite well. One trick in using a VB over is to have an opening for condensation to escape, a "blow hole" so to speak.

  9. #9
    New Member 8Crow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Nope, not me. Well, yes, in an Overcover, where you might be breathing into an covered space. In that case you can expect a lot of condensation with any fabric, and even more with a VB. Just look what happens to the breathable Shug type "bibs" that folks hang in front of their faces (hanging from the Ridge line). It collects major condensation though fully breathable, keeping it off of your sleeping bag.

    I have not yet had any issues using a VB under and close to me(down to 10F or higher) except the expected benefits. I always keep the VB as close to my skin as possible, to keep it warm. So this will be a space blanket hanging right under my hammock either on top of my HHSS pad or right under my hammock inside of my PeaPod. Or more recently VB clothing. Always dry, warmer, insulation kept dry. But, admittedly, I'm only speaking for me. Some others have had the same results, but others have not. But do not use a VB as an overcover on top of insulation. That won't work out well.
    So is there any reason you would advise against some sort of synthetic UQ and my Thermarest Ridgerest inbetween the layers of my hammock? It's hard to say what the temps will be, but the last time it got down to 10-15 pretty much every night.

  10. #10
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    I've been looking into this as well.
    What I'm actually looking to do is get into the -15F range, with either down or synth. Weight is obviously a concern at this level, and to some extent packed size.

    I haven't seen any quilts rated to this temperature range though, the lowest I've found is 0F (like the Incubator). My thinking is I'd need probably 5" baffles with 850/900fp down and a reflective layer + VBL, if I was to go that route.

    I'm also thinking, based on what I've read here, that a PEF>Climashield>PEF>Climashield>PEF layering with a reflective 30D Ripstop/VBL top layer. If I go 6oz climashield it's ~45oz total weight according to my calculations, 11oz ~63oz. If I can cut the coverage area down from my base calculations based on my actual lay patterns, I can save some weight as well. The plan will be to have it velcro all around to the bottom of the hammock. I may even just extend the reflective Ripstop layer to be the full gathered end hammock in and of itself to save even more weight.

    That said, this won't necessarily be cheap, probably still about $200 in materials. Also, I don't see anyone that's done this yet, though PuckerFactor's quilt weight and temp confirm some of my calculations I was going through in designing mine on paper.

    PuckerFactor: did you do a writeup on your quilt? I'd love to see more information on what you did. thanks!

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