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Thread: Under-Pad?

  1. #1
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    Under-Pad?

    First post, so here's a brief intro (feel free to skip to the question below):

    I used to hammock camp as a teen 30-odd years ago (). Back then it was one of those lightweight nylon net hammocks with the sides pulled up and bungie-corded on top, a ccf pad under me, and a tarp wrapped around the hammock like a taco. Worked great, as long as I didn't care about moving. Still those were some of my best nights in the outdoors.

    Now I'm grown, have boys of my own, and have started backpacking with them. And these almost-middle-aged bones really hate the ground. So I'm turning back to my hammocking ways.

    So far I have:

    - Made my own top quilt
    - Made a hammock (5' x 10', single-layer 1.9 oz, whipped end)
    - Made a silnylon tarp (8' x 10') with self-tensioning lines
    - Made whoopie slings and treestraps for suspension
    - Made a whoopie-sling structural ridgeline
    - Made a bunch of nacrabiners

    And so far everything has worked great. And BTW, thanks to all of you for the wealth of knowledge on this forum. Indispensable!

    Now my question: Bottom insulation.

    I tried a 1/4" extra-wide ccf pad from OWare and fought it all night. Drove me nuts.

    In the morning, I woke up having visions of hanging the pad under the hammock underquilt-style. Let's call it an Under-Pad (no relation to urinary incontinence).

    This could, in theory, yield a lot of the benefits of an UQ without the weight penalty. Here are my thoughts:

    1. Sleeping right on the pad does compress it, making it lose some loft; getting it outside of the hammock retains more loft
    2. Hanging the pad could potentially create a dead air space between me and the pad; i.e. more warmth
    3. The pad is a natural wind barrier
    4. The pad could serve as a shelf for more insulation: dead leaves, clothes, etc.


    I know I could do a double-layer hammock and slip the pad in there, but for one thing, I don't want the extra weight if I can avoid it, and two, that's still going to compress the pad more than if it hung loosely underneath.

    The downside that I see is getting a decent seal around the top of the pad so I don't lose the pocket of warm air.

    Now I'm tossing it out to you all. Does this have any hope of working? Anyone tried something like this before?

  2. #2
    hppyfngy's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how you will keep an under pad snug against your body, or how easily it can be positioned or re-positioned if you move around. I can also see potential problems with the edges not conforming to your body allowing air to infiltrate.

    That being said, try it! I've never tried it but I guess it could work.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member dejoha's Avatar
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    I prefer the blue pads as they don't compress as much as the thinner ones. I believe this has been discussed before, but the challenge is getting a stiff pad to be "built" and conform under the hammock. The Insultex UQ design Mac came up with is ingenious, but the IX quilts also can pack up easily.

    For inexpensive, you could DIY with a PLUQ. Not as light, however.

    If you're going light weight, with maximum warmth ratio, I don't know if any pad can compete with an under quilt. I'd recommend looking into the IX quilts.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jvg3h View Post
    ...The downside that I see is getting a decent seal around the top of the pad so I don't lose the pocket of warm air....
    And that is a huge obstacle that the double layer hammock solves.

    The only way I see an "under-pad" working is if it was sculpted to an exact fit to you and the hammock. This would take a fair amount of cutting and gluing, etc and then you would have more difficulties packing it. Then you have to wonder if it would move with you or open gaps as you move around during the night?

    I would choose the versatility of a double layer hammock and the "extra" 6 ounces of 1.1 ripstop all day long if I was using a pad.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mattyg's Avatar
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    That's how the Hennessy super shelter works pad under the hammock and a cover. I suggest you look at using som Dutch quilt hooks attached to the pad so you can clip it to the sides of hammock and an under quilt protector similar to the 2qzq one

  6. #6
    Senior Member the_lorax's Avatar
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    yes, if you want to stick with pads I would make yourself a double layer hammock. putting together a DL will be a lot less hassle then trying to figure out how to rig the pad so it can hang below you and still be close enough and conform to you enough to keep ya warm.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcttr View Post
    And that is a huge obstacle that the double layer hammock solves.

    The only way I see an "under-pad" working is if it was sculpted to an exact fit to you and the hammock. This would take a fair amount of cutting and gluing, etc and then you would have more difficulties packing it. Then you have to wonder if it would move with you or open gaps as you move around during the night?

    I would choose the versatility of a double layer hammock and the "extra" 6 ounces of 1.1 ripstop all day long if I was using a pad.

  7. #7
    Member ReXwag's Avatar
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    The Hennessy hammock super shelter comes with an underpad and it has worked great for some of my friends. Like the_lorax said though you would probably have less hassle with a double layer hammock.

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