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  1. #1
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    Whats the cheapest/lightest/most-compactable 3-season top insulation?

    I recently invested a good amount of dollars getting myself/wife/son hammocks and under-insulation. I got a Blackbird XLC 1.1 DL w/ 3 season yeti UQ and they got HH Expeditions with the HH Insulation system (half price at the time ).

    I have everything else about lined up to take us out for a night but I have no idea what to do for top insulation. A sleeping bag seems excessive as we already have quality bottom insulation but blankets don't seems very compactable/transportable.

    I'm tired of spending money. What is the best/cheapest way to keep us covered at night for most of the year (mostly summer). I live in NE Iowa. Expected temps throughout the night we would go out are probly min40-50 to whatever the hottest summer nights get down to around here.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Two Tents's Avatar
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    Cheapest, lightest, most compactable, hmmmm! When I did carpenter work for a living I told people I did three types of work; Good, cheap and fast. They could choose two of the three choices and would not get the third. Cheap and fast would not be good. Fast and good would not be cheap and good and cheap would not be fast. It is kinda the same thing you ask for with the top insulation quest. I'm not certain those three choices exist as one that includes all three wishes. Sorry and good luck.
    I like refried beans. That's why I wanna try fried beans, because maybe they're just as good and we're just wasting time. You don't have to fry them again after all.

  3. #3
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    lol. i heard that joke about women. pick 2:

    smart / sane / sexy


    i have found this to be fairly reliable...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Two Tents View Post
    Cheapest, lightest, most compactable, hmmmm! When I did carpenter work for a living I told people I did three types of work; Good, cheap and fast. They could choose two of the three choices and would not get the third. Cheap and fast would not be good. Fast and good would not be cheap and good and cheap would not be fast. It is kinda the same thing you ask for with the top insulation quest. I'm not certain those three choices exist as one that includes all three wishes. Sorry and good luck.
    +1

    lightest and most compactable, without question, is down

    down is not and never will be the cheapest

    cheapest is probably a synthetic quilt from a yard sale or discount retailer or your closet that you cut down and hem into the shape of quilt you want.

    this might not be that heavy (though probably twice the weight of down or more) but will not be very compactable
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Two Tents's Avatar
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    Yea it is the holly grail this thing you seek. I hadn't heard the version you mentioned. Pondering that one I am. Seems plausible.
    I like refried beans. That's why I wanna try fried beans, because maybe they're just as good and we're just wasting time. You don't have to fry them again after all.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Rolloff's Avatar
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    I believe a spreadsheet exists, that was created to avoid this problem. If someone can link it would provide enough data, to not only prove the above, but allow for the OP to come to his own conclusions as well.

    Good luck! The field is much narrower than you might imagine.
    Signature suspended

  7. #7
    8Daddy's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the cheapest/lightest/most-compactable 3-season top insulation?

    Underquilts.com builds the top quilt and you fill it with down and seal it up. You get what you want at minimal cost and effort. You can buy down from wilderness logics or other diy outfitters or buy some down pillows on sale at your local department store and you're in it for as little as possible without building the whole unit yourself.
    I made my own tq with Apex and 1 oz ripstop and it works great but not so compact in pack.
    Life is short and then it's forever..

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8Daddy View Post
    Underquilts.com builds the top quilt and you fill it with down and seal it up. You get what you want at minimal cost and effort. You can buy down from wilderness logics or other diy outfitters or buy some down pillows on sale at your local department store and you're in it for as little as possible without building the whole unit yourself.
    I made my own tq with Apex and 1 oz ripstop and it works great but not so compact in pack.
    I like this idea. How much down stuffing should I need for each TQ?

  9. #9
    Senior Member bowl-maker's Avatar
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    Or go the underquilts.com shell and buy a down garment at the thrift store...just check the tag for down quality and content.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Gravity's Avatar
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    Still not cheap, but http://www.hammockquilts.com/apps/webstore/ has quality 30* topquilts on a "going-out-of-business" sale, at $170. These are good quality quilts.

    And yes, this hiking-camping hobby/passion/obsession is frustrating at times, because you always seem to need one more (expensive) piece of equipment, specially when you are starting out. And you seem to have jumped in with both feet, and have triple the amount of expenses.

    But think about this: What good is to have what you have purchased so far (hammock, etc.), if you are going to be cold at night? So my advice (easy to give, since it is not my wallet being affected) is that you bite the bullet one more time, and get yourself and your family good TQs that will keep you warm, so that you can have a good camping experience, instead of a miserable one. Money is important, but the time spent with your family is priceless. As Monk used to say, you will thank me later.

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