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  1. #1
    Mouseskowitz's Avatar
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    Poncho liner addition

    I picked up some poncho liners a while back and have been working on making them into top and bottom quilts. I'm thinking they should be perfect for this weekend. However the next time I will be able to hand will be the beginning of Oct and it will be in Iron Mountain, MI. I'm thinking I should be ready for near freezing temps. So, I'm thinking of just adding something to my PL. I recently quit my job to start grad school so my budget is pretty small for this project.

    My thought is to slide something between the layers of my PLUQ and make a slightly smaller TQ to put inside my PLTQ. I found Thinsulate 150 for $8/yd and 400 wt fleece for $6/yd locally. I've read good things about Primaloft and Climashield but I'm not sure that they are worth the increased cost plus shipping.

    Anyone have any thoughts or experience with a project like this? I guess it might be helpful to add that I'm a fairly warm sleeper, but my wife, not as much.

  2. #2
    olddog's Avatar
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    Check out insulfleece, a perforated mylar sheet with fleece on both sides.
    Most of us end up poorer here but richer for being here. Olddog, Fulltime hammocker, 365 nights a year.

  3. #3
    Member snare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by olddog View Post
    Check out insulfleece, a perforated mylar sheet with fleece on both sides.
    Do you mean Insul Bright?
    "The essential psychological requirement of a free society is the willingness on the part of the individual to accept responsibility for his life." ~ Edith Packer

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  4. #4
    DivaB's Avatar
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    If you have any down throws that used to be quite popular a few years back, pin one of those to the top of the PLUQ (between the hammock and the PLUQ) Those are what we used with great success our first year. A couple of layers of insul bright could help, but that might be out of your grasp right now. You could also get the truckers window sun shade to lay on as a mat or the reflectix stuff at lowes or homedepot. If weight isn't an issue wool has great insulation values and will still help insulate if you lay on it...if you have any old wool blankets.

    Really anything you add inside the PLUQ will help. Just watch weight, as that will change how your shockcord will hold the PLUQ up under you. We were fortunate enough to have 2 down throws, and found a family member that had 2 others. We washed, and fluffed in the dryer with tennis balls and they were like new. The Poncho liner kept the wind from robbing any heat out of the throws.

    Practice at home, or close to home first.

  5. #5
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    I've used the InsulFleece, mentioned by olddog above. It was ~$10 at WallyWorld for enough to fit a single layer into the PLUQ.

    I've slept comfortably as low as 25 F with just that on the bottom, good top insulation (noted in the link) and an hot water bottle. I've slept survivably as low as 21 F, but didn't have some of the clothing mentioned in that thread and was very cold--not so cold as to not sleep, but cold enough that I only got ~5 hours or so.

    Also, note that I'm a pretty warm sleeper. Most folks would probably be good down to freezing, maybe the high twenties, with that set-up.

    It's heavy (~2 lbs) compared to most commercial underquilts, and it's definitely bulky. But, for the price (~$35 to $40 all told), it's hard to beat for comfort and temperature rating.
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
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  6. #6
    Mouseskowitz's Avatar
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    Just looked up some of the stuff mentioned and found Insul-Bright 45"x36" for $3.24. The next question is if one sheet is big enough for the UQ which is 63"x43"? Would seem like there'd be some cold spots with one sheet. Also, it there going to be any significant warmth difference between sow and no-sow PLUQ? right now I'm using the no-sow version.

    We've used sleeping bags with no UQ before down into the mid or lower 20's comfortably but they're a bit of a pain. If I remember right neither of us had type of heavy clothing on, all I had was boxers and wool socks. So, with top insulation it sounds like the 400g wt fleece will be the cheapest easiest solution. FLRider, do you know what weight that fleece throw you used is?

    Right now weight isn't a huge issue as we're pretty much car camping. Would like to start backpacking, but that's more than likely 3 years down the road when I have time and money to put into it.

    Another thought, one of my biggest cold spots is my heals. Would it work to throw a piece of that Insul-Bright between the fleece and PLUQ? Or do I need to find something more along the lines of a sleeping pad?

  7. #7
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouseskowitz View Post
    Just looked up some of the stuff mentioned and found Insul-Bright 45"x36" for $3.24. The next question is if one sheet is big enough for the UQ which is 63"x43"? Would seem like there'd be some cold spots with one sheet. Also, it there going to be any significant warmth difference between sow and no-sow PLUQ? right now I'm using the no-sow version.

    We've used sleeping bags with no UQ before down into the mid or lower 20's comfortably but they're a bit of a pain. If I remember right neither of us had type of heavy clothing on, all I had was boxers and wool socks. So, with top insulation it sounds like the 400g wt fleece will be the cheapest easiest solution. FLRider, do you know what weight that fleece throw you used is?

    Right now weight isn't a huge issue as we're pretty much car camping. Would like to start backpacking, but that's more than likely 3 years down the road when I have time and money to put into it.

    Another thought, one of my biggest cold spots is my heals. Would it work to throw a piece of that Insul-Bright between the fleece and PLUQ? Or do I need to find something more along the lines of a sleeping pad?
    I bought two yards of the IB and folded over the PLUQ (it was still a no-sew when I started) to get an idea of fit. I cut it to size (about two inches in from the edges) and sewed it to the "top" panel of the quilt (the one that was going to be against the hammock after I was done sewing it up). I honestly don't remember the exact dimensions, but they were within two to three inches of the edges of the PLUQ.

    I don't know for certain what weight the fleece was that I was using as supplementary insulation to my poncho liner top quilt. It was probably 100-wt, from the feel of it, but it was a WallyWorld $3 special, so it wasn't exactly clearly marked. My sweatshirt is probably 300-wt, by the way, but--again--I got it through work as a Christmas gift from the owner, so...

    If you do decide to go with a fleece for a top quilt, I'd highly recommend a good wind blocking tarp or sock. Fleece doesn't really do anything to cut wind chill, and you'll feel a lot colder with one versus a proper nylon-shelled sleeping bag or top quilt on windy nights.

    As to your heels, what kind of pack do you use on car-camping trips? As long as it's not an old-school external frame, you can shove it underneath your calves and heels to keep them warm on the bottom; the padding in the pack acts as insulation. Otherwise, a small square of blue CCF or Reflectix seems to do well for most folks on the cheap end or a dedicated sit pad (there are multiple manufacturers out there) for a slightly more expensive option.

    Also, that hot water bottle trick? It'll keep your toes from freezing, for sure. The hot water sits right by your femoral artery, and so all of that blood running down into your legs gets a nice heat boost right when it enters the most exposed portion of your body. Just make sure you stick it inside of a sock or hat or cozie to keep it from burning you (and, to retain extra heat all night so it stays warm until the morning).

    Edit: Oh, and if you decide to keep a candy bar handy for cold nights in case you need extra calories? Skip the Snickers; they freeze solid enough to break a bicuspid on. Reeces PB cups do really well frozen...
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
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  8. #8
    Mouseskowitz's Avatar
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    So, is putting the fleece inside the PLTQ sufficient for wind blocking or do I need to add something more? If I need something more, would this polyester lining work?

    I don't have a pack right now, we have a big plastic tote for our gear. Might have to start looking at the military surplus stores for a good deal on a sleeping mat.

    Found out that if you take a printout of their online price Jo-Ann Fabric will give you that price in the store and ship it to the store for free. Saved me $6 on the IB.

  9. #9
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouseskowitz View Post
    So, is putting the fleece inside the PLTQ sufficient for wind blocking or do I need to add something more? If I need something more, would this polyester lining work?

    I don't have a pack right now, we have a big plastic tote for our gear. Might have to start looking at the military surplus stores for a good deal on a sleeping mat.

    Found out that if you take a printout of their online price Jo-Ann Fabric will give you that price in the store and ship it to the store for free. Saved me $6 on the IB.
    Yep. Fleece inside of the poncho liner top quilt works just fine for wind blockage. Be aware, though, that if you're not a fairly still sleeper (I am in an hammock, just not in a bed), the fleece can be a bit of a pain to manage. Some safety pins or something like that would go a long way to avoid shifting of the fleece.

    WallyWorld sells blue CCF mats for ~$8, if memory serves. One of those would be more than enough for two folks' legs.

    Cool note about JoAnn! Thanks!
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
    --Floridahanger

  10. #10
    Mouseskowitz's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the help everyone!!!

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