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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Thunder Bay On, Canada
    DH thunderbird, TTTG switchback
    pads, -25*UQ,0*TQ
    whoopies, straps

    insulation (quilts) for dummies

    so I have general questions on TQ and UQ. I have looked through a lot of this forum (it is huge), and vendors sites, but just need the basic information, or a link or 2 to explain specifics. I have asked about winter set ups and when "window shopping" I wrote down all the measurements etc., but realized I am not exactly sure on the "why" of the measurements.
    what are the benefits to the DIMENSIONS (width and length) to TQ, as well as UQs? I understand baffle height, fill etc., but haven't seen a TQ or UQ to fully understand, with a tutorial would be nice.
    TQ, snaps versus sewn end? 50" vs. 55" Is bigger better?
    UQ full length, standard versus long length and why can't it just taper more drastically at ends with long?
    just basic beginner stuff.

  2. #2
    Senior Member SteveJJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Minneapolis, MN
    DangerBird 72
    Kelty 12' for now
    UGQ Zeppelin 20°
    Whoopie Sling, DIY
    Short answer is to keep reading. Once you get where reading doesn't help, jump in and get something so you have some experience to better understand some of the options out there. There's lots of folks trying different things until they find what suits them, and there's lots of used gear for sale here at good prices to help you save some $ while you investigate. At least that's how it worked for me.

    read my recent post here on what I found about haning underquilts.

    Top quilts are like mummy bags with the 3/4 length zipper removed, you use it upside down over you. The bottom is a pocket or tube for your feet. Some like them snapped shut, but I'd rather not have hard snaps and voids between them for my toes to catch on, so I have sewn foot boxes. You won't know what you like until you try it.

    I am not a hiker, so size and weight are less important than comfort to me. I like a full length quilt so my feet don't get cold requiring additional bits of insulation that likely won't be in place all night. Width of quilts depends more on your own circumference. I go for more coverage so get tall TQs. If I don't have to wake up and adjust the edges so my scant coverage quilt keeps me warm, I sleep better, so to me, bigger is better. Someone hiking the AT will likely go for the bare minimum to shave a few grams and ccs. My motorcycle will carry what I want.

    So there are no better tutorials than jumping in and getting what you think you'll like. If it doesn't suit, sell it here and try another. Also look for hangers in your area and go see what they're using. I did that and it helped me comprehend what the conversations were about. I was a noobie stranger but they all welcomed me and answered all the questions I could think of. I think most anyone here will be eager to help if you show up to ask.

    I hope this helps a bit, it's hard to know what your 'better or best' will be, so I tried to give you some from my perspective. I'm pretty new yet and still learning, but my DangerBird is my main bed at home or on the road. You did very well in picking the Thunderbird, I've got my eye on my budget thinking about one.

    Hope this helps a bit

  3. #3
    Senior Member lostagain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Terrell, TX
    NX250, Envy, Appalachian
    one with doors
    UGQ down
    straps & Dutch's
    Ini a nutshell, witha TQ it's all about your body and its shape. Are you tall, short, medium height? do you sleep warm, cold, freezing in 70* weather, etc. Have you slept in a hammock before? If so, what part of your body got cold and what part stayed warm? A TQ is basically like a sleeping bag without hood that is zippered open. A sewn footbox is just like the foot end of your bag. Permanently closed in. Snaps means you can open it up to make the TQ like a blanket. The rest of it is simply tucked under/around you. So, take a tape measure, expand it out to 50 or 55", lay down and tent it over you and see how well that will cover you.

    An underquilt is your bottom insulation that is independent of the TQ. although in colder temps they work in concert to keep you toasty while sleeping or lounging, they can both can be used year round (depending on their temp ratings) to help keep either your top or bottom warm. The length of the UQ depends on what part of your body you want to keep warm the most. (Personally, I'm a warm sleeper, and right now I've got a 3/4 length UQ that will cover most of me while I sleep as I'm a side sleeper. I can keep my feet warm by simply putting a small pad under them. I may go with a full UQ later this year once I see how well the 3/4 works for me.) A full length is meant to cover a majority of the hammock, while the 3/4 covers the part you want it to. Both are generally adjustable along the length of the hammock where you'll be laying.

    As a general statement, most UQs are meant to be able to work with either a gathered end, or bridge end hammock interchangeably. You can use the same quilt on either one. That's not true of all UQs, but most of them (if you read the descriptions) will tell you which style hammock it will work with.

    That's basically it. Shug will maybe chime in with his videos (If not I highly recommend you do a search on YouTube for Shugmery) which are excellent in their information. matter where you go...there you are.

    "I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion". - John Steinbeck

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