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  1. #1
    Senior Member SteelToe's Avatar
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    All Right, Let's do this! UCH Underquilt

    I'm through dancing around my underquilt design; I'm just gonna go for it, and see how this turns out.

    I've ordered a pound of down from Wilderness Logics, and a few yards each of Impetus 1.0 and 1.1 from Backwoodsdaydreamer. I've previously been fretting over material choices, but I've come to the conclusion they'll all work equally well for my purposes. I finally realized Impetus and Momentum weigh about the same, cost exactly the same, are made of the same polymer, do the same things, and have practically the same name . But Impetus comes in green, and that works better for the quasi-stealth look I'm going for

    After a couple tailoring iterations of my muslim mockup, I've nailed down the liner surface of the quilt, and now I need to figure out how to offset the outer face so as to not compress the loft. Since my loft requirement is in the 3.5-4.0" range, the cut differential on the inner/outer surfaces will be pronounced. My "guesstimate" will be the fabric width will be 30% higher on the outer than the inner (this also includes the extra ripples from the baffles). Unfortunately, the curvature of my quilt changes a lot over its length, so calculating the differential will be very difficult without a ton of measurements (I'll try, though).

    My baffle arrangement will be somewhat unique; a hybrid of interrupted Karo-Step style, and the typical longitudinal method. There will be several longitudinal baffles that are very long, and have a slight overlap where they meet (but which is not sewn). Between them will be the typical grid of short Karo baffles with gaps at the corners. When stretched out on the hammock, the long baffles will be "taught" enough that the gaps between them will close and prevent down shifting towards the middle. When unloaded, the baffle gaps may open and allow down to be shifted to where it is needed.

    The underquilt will resemble a mummy bag with the top portion removed, but still covering the feet and corners of the shoulders. I'm unsure exactly how the baffling will work in these highly-contoured areas, but they will be baffled off from the rest of the quilt and overstuffed a bit to ensure I get the loft I need at these extremities. It will attach to the hammock floor along the spine with Velcro or button-snaps to eliminate gaps, and be pulled taught by shock-cord in channels along the sides. Because it wraps over my feet and shoulders, there will be no need to seal the ends with draft tubes. I will make a separable hood to insulate my head/ears.

    I've got a fair bit of work ahead of me, but hopefully having the materials staring at me will light the fire to get this done. I've found it's really hard to be productive while lying in a hammock , which is why it's taken so long to get the quilt design/fitting nailed down. I lay back to take notes on where fabric needs to be added/removed/adjusted, and just sorta forget what I was supposed to be doing...

    TCB
    "We sit together, the mountain and I, until only the mountain remains."
    -Li Po

  2. #2
    Senior Member SteelToe's Avatar
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    The down package from Wilderness Logics showed up, but there was nothing inside but packing material

    Just kidding ; although there was a brief moment as I ripped the box open where I thought "Gee, I hope they put the down inside something?"

    My Backwoods Daydreamer Momentus fabric should be here in a day or two, and I'll be able to get down to business. I'll try to get a photo of my Muslin Mockup quilt uploaded (hard to take pictures when you're inside the hammock) since it will better demonstrate exactly what I'm trying to make.

    TCB
    "We sit together, the mountain and I, until only the mountain remains."
    -Li Po

  3. #3
    Senior Member SteelToe's Avatar
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    Muslin mockup of the underquilt (the inside layer, at least)



    It's held on to the hammock with basting pins (those with a fear of needles need not apply) at its edges from the ankle area up to my waist. The quilt wraps over the top of my feet to form a loose footbox from my ankles down. Not visible is a wide strap in the bottom of each foot box that ties back to the main hammock body, which will support my feet enough to keep them from hyperextending. The quilt wraps over the top of my shoulders starting from my waist, and continuing until it wraps behind my neck.

    After one more iteration of tailoring the mockup to eliminate some excess fabric at the shoulders and footboxes, I should have form close enough to proceed. I'll then determine how the outside shell needs to be differentially cut along each axis to maintain a 3.5" baffle height throughout. Except where the baffles will wrap over the top of my shoulders and over my feet, the quilt will be more or less "typical" as far as having baffles running its length. I will intentionally leave some openings in the baffles (which will close when taut) so I can adjust down dispersal during testing.

    I think I can get away with a fairly conventional (if narrower than usual) Karo-Step top quilt that velcros onto the underquilt to stay in place and seal gaps.

    Here is the hammock body itself, showing both the armrests (temporarily) attached for fitting, as well as the head basket. I'm still not quite happy with the headrest, but the arms are basically where I want them. It can't be seen in the quilt photo, but my elbows/shoulder blades set about 2" below my spine, and is (for me) very comfortable. This contour will require that the quilt attach to the hammock at the spine (button snaps, or something) and be pulled up the sides by bungees or buttons & elastic. To cover my head, I will use an insulated hood attached to the quilt, that connects to the head basket to stay in place.



    TCB
    "We sit together, the mountain and I, until only the mountain remains."
    -Li Po

  4. #4
    Senior Member SteelToe's Avatar
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    My fabric arrived from BWDD. I must say this Impetus stuff is interesting--never got 6 yards of fabric in an 8.5x11" envelope before. This stuff is nearly zero-thickness!

    They both feel like a weird combination of silk and ripstop; if it was a heavier fabric, I'd call it "plastic" but it's so thin and flexible, there is no crinkle. The 1.0 and 1.1 appear to be the same; I'm guessing 1.1 merely has a thicker DWR on it (thus its exterior application). There is a lot more bias-flexibility to the fabric than I'd expected, in that respect it is quite different from calendared ripstop and will stretch over shapes much more in practice.

    The color, "Aspen Green" is what I'd call a fairly light forest green; a medium tone, but not super vibrant, with more browns than yellows in it. It will look attractive on my all-black-to-this-point project beneath a Foliage Green tarp. I just need to run over to Joann's now to find some small diameter nylon threads that more or less match the green and black fabrics

    TCB
    "We sit together, the mountain and I, until only the mountain remains."
    -Li Po

  5. #5
    Senior Member FLScouthanger's Avatar
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    Very interested to see how this turns out. Best of luck!

  6. #6
    Senior Member SteelToe's Avatar
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    I'm finally diving into my underquilt project. I got kind of burned out doing the bugnet, but I'm ready to knock this out, now.

    I had previously made a mockup of cheap muslin to work on the shape of the profile. The thin strips you see taped to the margins are the result of test-hanging mockup on the hammock with me in it. It still needs one last iteration of fitting, since the arm area still seems a few inches tight (pinning my arms to hammock body, rather than merely covering them)

    I just got done marking out the baffle locations. As you can see, it's actually quite similar to most UQ's with the exception of the split at the legs. I decided that the easiest way to approach this would be to make the main body a normal-type layout. That way, I'd only have to improvise for the extra stuff on the edges (where it wraps over my shoulders and feet). My thinking was that those areas are so small that baffles won't be needed. The baffles are spaced from 4" to 6" apart, with 5 total in the main center portion. They will ultimately be 2.5" tall. The UQ will contain up to pound of down (only 13-14oz is needed, but I'll probably stuff in the whole 1lb bag for convenience). All baffles are straight except for the one going behind my shoulders, which may need to be curved to keep from collapsing. The weird perimeter profile will mean I have to use a "side panel" on the edges as opposed to simple roll-hem.

    Here's the flat pattern, laid out on my Impetus 1.0 for marking:

    Pretty cool that this funky shape fits on a 60" roll (though I still have to sew in the inner-leg strips you see folded under, and the differentially cut outer layer will be a bit over 60" wide).

    I'm a bit unsure how to go about deciding how much down goes where with all the different sized and shaped chambers. Any suggestions, or should I just leave a few baffle-ends open so I can move the stuff around a bit if I have to?

    TCB
    "We sit together, the mountain and I, until only the mountain remains."
    -Li Po

  7. #7
    MDSH's Avatar
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    I'm missing the context and rationale behind this design, TCB.

    It looks very interesting but can you say more about its advantages?

    .
    Mike

    Learn to survive and thrive in any situation, for you never know what might happen. Love family and friends passionately. Suffer no fool. Know your purpose in life and follow it with all your heart.

  8. #8
    XTrekker's Avatar
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    Almost looks like you're making a bodysuit with strap hooks at each end and a few in the middle...hmmmm you may be onto something here...I can hear the UL crowd's brain-gears starting to turn. Reminds me of the bodysuits worn in the movie "The Cell" that were suspended in the air.

  9. #9

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    Too bad you weren't around to challenge Houdini...I'm guessing that rig would have defeated him where conventional straight jackets never could.

    Sorry....could not resist acting on my initial reaction. Carry on with the innovations.

  10. #10
    Senior Member SteelToe's Avatar
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    Almost looks like you're making a bodysuit with strap hooks at each end and a few in the middle
    Sounds kinky . It's also got whoopee slings and soft-shackles

    The underquilt is somewhat like a suit, with the front missing. The hammock itself is more of a hybrid of gathered-end and bridge designs. The flat lay of the bridge, the lack of side-sqeeze of the gathered-end.

    The arm cutouts eliminate all shoulder and rib squeeze, and the separate footboxes allow the legs to have a flat lay while keeping overall length down. It's also no harder to get out of than any other bottom entry hammock.

    TCB
    "We sit together, the mountain and I, until only the mountain remains."
    -Li Po

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