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  1. #1

    idea for a modular down jacket / vest underquilt

    So I've been tossing around ideas how to make an underquilt out of the down vest or jacket I have , while still maintaining good functionality of both. Looking at the JCP down puffer mods people have done, I've decided I'm going to try and combine the two at the bottom with velcro, and instead of running channels for suspension on the sides, doing snaps. The snaps will mate up with webbing loops w/ snaps in them and hook up to the shock cord (so the whole thing is moveable). I drew up a diagram, the yellow are snaps and the red at the bottom hem is velcro. For the vest, I plan on modding the sleeves with zippers, and for the jacket just folding the arms up inside the jacket. Any input / suggestions would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    XTrekker's Avatar
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    Not a bad idea at all...If you think about it, your chest size is kind of close to the width of a what typical UQs are anyways. Depends on the individual of course. But if you made the arm holes snap shut when in UQ mode, I think it would work just fine.

  3. #3
    Senior Member dblhmmck's Avatar
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    I think it is a good idea. I have been experimenting with my Mont-Bell down Jacket underneath my bridge hammock. But I have not made any alterations to the jacket. Instead, I am using very small binder clips with elastic chord to attach it to the hammock. And I tuck the arms up around the suspension triangle.

    Also, instead of replacing my UQ, I am using this to compliment the coverage of a 3/4 length Warbonnet UQ. The jacket placed around the narrower foot end of a bridge hammock fits pretty well, although I have not tested this configuration in cold or windy conditions. And I think the attachment of the jacket would probably be more difficult on a gathered end hammock. But I guess that is why you were thinking of adding snaps.

    Please let us know how it turns out.
    "Better living through Hammockry"

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Look around for threads about the vest/UQ that Jacks R Better tried a few years back. I thought it was a brilliant idea, since I usually have a vest with me anyway. They only sold it for a short time though and I missed the boat. Finally got my hands on one a while back on the second-hand market. I like it! There are some issues with it, but with a little more development I still think it would make a great piece of gear.

    Find a few of those threads and it might give you some ideas for your project. I hope it works-out. I still think this is a good gear idea and really want somebody to make it work.
    Trust nobody!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by dblhmmck View Post
    I think it is a good idea. I have been experimenting with my Mont-Bell down Jacket underneath my bridge hammock. But I have not made any alterations to the jacket. Instead, I am using very small binder clips with elastic chord to attach it to the hammock. And I tuck the arms up around the suspension triangle.

    Also, instead of replacing my UQ, I am using this to compliment the coverage of a 3/4 length Warbonnet UQ. The jacket placed around the narrower foot end of a bridge hammock fits pretty well, although I have not tested this configuration in cold or windy conditions. And I think the attachment of the jacket would probably be more difficult on a gathered end hammock. But I guess that is why you were thinking of adding snaps.

    Please let us know how it turns out.
    I like the idea of using the binder clips until I get this dialed in (bonus - I can grab a bunch from the office ). I'll experiment with a few different configurations until I figure out what works the best, then make whatever works semi-permanent to try in the field... Also weighing the pros and cons of grosgrain tabs vs. snaps. Leaning towards the snaps right now because

    1) no sewing required
    2) nothing to snag while the items are in garment mode - although I'm thinking of a couple potential placements - might end up just putting them on the inside of the jacket and turning it inside out to use in underquilt mode.

    Anyone know what the best kind of velcro / omni tape for this application would be?

  6. #6
    Senior Member WV's Avatar
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    I used my Minima vest to supplement my summer insulated hammock earlier this week at Dolly Sods, and again last night at home because the temp went down to the low 50s. The hammock is quilted about every 15", and each loop of quilting thread ends in a button on the underside of the hammock. Ferret helped me locate positions on the inside of the Minima vest that lined up with the buttons, and I sewed small 1/16" bungee loops to hook over the buttons. This gives a second layer of insulation that clings to the insulated hammock without compressing the insulation in either the hammock or the vest. It's very warm, and there are no perimeter bungees or lines to the ridgeline, so the hammock shape isn't distorted, producing shoulder squeeze.

    I have a heavier vest that I made by cutting the sleeves off of a Cabelas parka. I put zippers in the new arm holes and sewed an extension flap on the bottom so I could also use it as an underquilt. It's going to get the button-and-bungee-loop treatment, too.

    Try putting snaps or velcro in the center, too.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by WV View Post
    Try putting snaps or velcro in the center, too.
    By center, do you mean running parallel to the hammock? So that I can run a third shock cord down the middle? Never thought about that, would probably help keep everything snug against my back though!

  8. #8
    Senior Member WV's Avatar
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    Don't use shock cord unless you need it. I meant snaps or velcro in the middle of the vest where it might sag away from the hammock.

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