After much research here on HF and elsewhere, and careful consideration of the numerous under-quilt/UQ options available, in light of my personal needs and preferences I opted to go with an Underground Quilts Zeppelin; full-length; 20*F; 850-fill DWR goose down; with +2oz. overfill.
While I don’t have any real need to be camouflaged, I like being as unobtrusive as possible in the back country, thus my original intent was to obtain a UQ with the aforementioned specs and a DWR outer shell in woodland camo (ideally matching that of my Clark NX-250). This turned out to be a tall order. Enter Paul and Missy of UGQ…
I’m really grateful for, and indeed knocked-out by, the patience and effort that UGQ afforded me. They answered myriad questions to help me reach a much better understanding of what I really needed; they worked with me for over a week to try and find an appropriate shell material (lightweight, breathable, ripstop, DWR, down-proof, woodland camo); and ultimately helped me arrive at a much better and more versatile arrangement that I am really pleased with. That “perfect” outer shell material simply wasn’t available, but we did arrive at a solution and I now have a woodland camo under-quilt-protector/UQP which UGQ custom-made for me to fit the Zeppelin. I can now use this UQP with or without the Zeppelin. A far better approach in hindsight.
The UQ itself is a really good fit on the NX-250. I was concerned that using the NX-250 pockets would negatively affect the loft of the UQ, but this seems not to be the case. The adjustability of the Zeppelin is considerable, its suspension is pretty intuitive (simply pull on this or that cord and watch what happens), and I was able to get it dialed-in without much fuss. The draft collars at the ends are substantial and thus afford forgiveness adjustment-wise. The build on the quilt is really professional – stitching, seams, symmetry, the fill lofts well and stays put. Time will of course tell, but I’m feeling really confident given the apparent quality and workmanship.
Ultimately, I’m very glad we couldn’t find the aforementioned “perfect” outer shell material, for I now have a UQP that I can use separately in warmer weather. UGQ used a 1.3oz. woodland camo ripstop nylon that we did find, and custom-built the UQP to fit the Zeppelin. I’ve treated it with spray on Revivex DWR for Soft-Shells, and I’m pretty confident it’ll more than fill the bill, especially in tandem with the DWR of the Zeppelin’s outer shell. The UQ and UQP on the NX-250 (pockets and all) are supremely adjustable. Here again the fit and finish on the UQP is impressive. Fine custom work, and reasonably priced.
I included the under-quilt triangles in my order, but haven’t used them yet. It didn’t seem immediately necessary, but am glad I have them and am looking forward to playing around with perhaps dialing the fit in even better. Stay tuned.
Temps only got down to 53* Sunday night, and with an open 15* sleeping bag I was uber toasty, actually having to vent a bit, and I’m a cold sleeper. First impressions; I’m very pleased and satisfied with this addition to my rig. Some photos follow below, hopefully illustrating how the UQ/UQP rides on my rig and connects to my (previously re-tooled) NX-250 suspension.
UGQ kindly threw in an official UGQ Outdoors sleeping beanie, gratis (thanks!), but it’s really their exceptional customer satisfaction and their quality workmanship that’s the icing on this cake. Thanks again to Paul/Missy/UGQ!
Under-Quilt Installed (with NX-250 mosquito net deployed - looking very Batman-esque)
Under-Quilt Protector Installed (with NX-250 weather shield closed - all camo now)
Tarp Deployed (thus completing the package)
Close-up of the UQP/UQ (notice the spreaders lift the hammock up slightly out of the UQ/UQP when unoccupied, but things settle in and seal perfectly on the sides and at the ends once you get in it)
Close-up of Attachment Points (the UQ/UQP s-biners clip easily to the 10" climbing slings, biners, and kammok python straps I used to replace my stock suspension. I flip the straps over the biners to keep them properly oriented as drip rings. DemostiX's spreader-hoop-lifter mod is also visible.)