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  1. #1
    Senior Member Heber's Avatar
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    Which should be thicker, UQ or top quilt?

    So I recently made an underquilt for my DIY bridge. No pictures (I know, I know, broke a cardinal rule) but it's not much to look at. It's rectangular (48" by 60") and uses 5osy Climashield from thru-hiker for insulation. For a top quilt you'd call that a 20 degree quilt.

    So last night I gave it a try. It was 25 degrees and I had a 20 degree down quilt on top and the 20 degreee climashield underquilt underneath. Definite cold butt syndrome (and shoulder when I slept on my side). Brr. The top insulation was plenty warm (slipped off my socks in fact during the night because I was getting too warm). I ended up putting my Ridgerest between the two layers of my bridge hammock and then I was fine of course.

    Now this isn't what I was expecting. I thought a 20 degree quilt above and a 20 degree quilt below would be fine. Instead I felt like I was fine on top but needed more underneath. Now there are several possibilities here.

    1. The climashield underquilt is not as warm as the down top quilt.

    2. Air leakage between the hammock and the underquilt. Certainly possible. I used clothespins to try to hold the quilt to the sides of the hammock but I'm sure it wasn't perfect.

    3. You just need more insulation under you than over you.

    Can someone with underquilt experience chime in? I've been a pad user so far so this was my first hang with an underquilt.
    Last edited by Heber; 01-12-2009 at 16:01.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    The Climashield should be fine; how many layers were you using? I use a synthetic UQ made with Climashield and use, almost exclusively, top quilts made of down. Other than weight, the two seem pretty comparable...to me.

    I (well, my girlfriend) have only one night's experience in a bridge, but that night wasn't a good one insulation wise. I'm sure there are tricks to be learned with them, but my girl wasn't warm that night. She now says that it was because of the cold air coming in the ends, but that doesn't make sense if you say you were fine on top. Could it be that there are gaps between the hammock and the quilt on the sides of the hammock or on the bottom (drooping)?

    I do think the underside is more critical than the top. In my case (I know I'm weird), the only top quilt I have that is lighter than my UQ is my summer quilt; my backside seems to have it's own heater.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Heber's Avatar
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    I was using 1 layer of 5 osy climashield.

    There could be a gap between the hammock and the quilt but not very major (from a visual inspection). Since the UQ is rectangular but the bridge is not rectuangular it's possible that the quilt sags on the bottom. But wouldn't that just be extra trapped air that should keep you warm?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heber View Post
    I was using 1 layer of 5 osy climashield.

    There could be a gap between the hammock and the quilt but not very major (from a visual inspection). Since the UQ is rectangular but the bridge is not rectuangular it's possible that the quilt sags on the bottom. But wouldn't that just be extra trapped air that should keep you warm?
    I know Thruhiker claims 20 degree rating for one layer of 5 ounce climashield, I'd say freezing would be more realistic.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Noooooo, air bubbles = bad. It's a fine line between snug and too loose or too tight. Once you get it right, try to not mess with your settings. Insulation works by trapping air, but we are talking microclimates, not pockets.

    OK, 1 layer isn't going to do much for you. My synthetic UQ has 4 layers (3 removable). I took it down to one layer for a few weeks in the summer and wished that I hadn't. If you can, add a layer or two and I think you'll notice a big difference, especially at 20F.
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    cannibal basically had twice, not 4 times what you have, his 4 layers are only 2.5 ea.

    yeah, 5.0 to 20 deg seems optimistic. anybody have a single layer 5.0 cs tq?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warbonnetguy View Post
    cannibal basically had twice, not 4 times what you have, his 4 layers are only 2.5 ea.
    Well there ya go. He should know, he made it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by warbonnetguy View Post
    yeah, 5.0 to 20 deg seems optimistic. anybody have a single layer 5.0 cs tq?
    I do, and have used it in the low 20s comfortably.

  9. #9
    Senior Member animalcontrol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warbonnetguy View Post
    cannibal basically had twice, not 4 times what you have, his 4 layers are only 2.5 ea.

    yeah, 5.0 to 20 deg seems optimistic. anybody have a single layer 5.0 cs tq?
    I have made the exact same TQ/UQ (1 layer of 5 oz Climashield) as the original poster...

    I used it as both a TQ and UQ at different times. My results may vary by user...
    TQ...temp rating was spot on...rated to 20* and I was "comfortable" (not warm or cold) at 19* I wouldn't push it any further...I made my mental limit of 25*
    UQ...not as warm...Cold Butt Syndrome and some shoulder coolness at 25*. I wasn't 100% comfortable with my UQ suspension setup but even if my theories had worked...I would have guess my limit would have been about 30* for the UQ alone. I was going to add an upper torso pad and use it to 20*

    IMHO, the UQ rating would be lower for any insulation for 2 reasons...
    1. heat rises. Hence, it is easier to trap it above you
    2. gravity. A TQ uses gravity to cover you. A UQ uses engineering (a suspension) to hold it against you. Many more things to adjust and can go wrong.

    Disclaimer - I'm a coldish sleeper...I normally exceed the temp rating of sleeping bags by 5-10*
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  10. #10
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    well, maybe it's not that optimistic then. probably for an uq though.

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