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  1. #1
    dejoha's Avatar
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    DIY, No-Sew, 2-layer, 2/3 Poncho Liner UQ

    I was reading other threads about using a US Army poncho liner as an underquilt (UQ), so I thought I'd give it a try. I went down to the Army/Navy surplus store and picked up two brand-new poncho liners for $15 a piece (your mileage may vary). At first I was going to do a full-length UQ, but after reading about 2/3-size UQ and looking at how large the army poncho liners are, I considered making a smaller UQ that would also have twice the insulation!

    SUPPLIES NEEDED

    1 - US Army Poncho Liner, standard size
    20 ft - 1/8 in (3.175 mm) shock cord, black

    TOOLS NEEDED

    Scissors
    Lighter, or a few matches
    Small gauge wire for threading the shock cord

    INSTRUCTIONS



    This project is actually very easy. First, lay the poncho liner out so you see three sets of tie-outs on the left, three sets of tie-outs on the right, and a tie-out set on the top and bottom. Next, fold the poncho liner in half, like a hamburger bun, so you end up with the fold on your left and the open side on your right.

    Going clockwise, you should now have one set of tie-outs on the top-left, two on the top-right, two on the right, two on the bottom-right, and one set on the bottom-left (see attached illustration).

    The tie-outs on the right side can be tied together to keep the poncho folded and create the two layers of insulation.

    Next, cut the shock cord into four (4) equal lengths of 5 ft (1.5 m) each.

    The next step is to thread the shock cord into the edging on the poncho liner. Each length of shock cord will thread through the edging on the poncho liner and pull in opposite directions to gather the ends of the poncho. Using the scissors, cut small slits on the left and rights sides in the edging. To prevent the fabric from unravelling, optionally melt the nylon ribbon with a lit match or lighter, being careful not to ignite or melt the entire poncho liner.



    Next, thread the shock cord through the holes and the fabric channels on the poncho liner. One shock cord threads through the right, another cord through the left. Tie off one end of the shock cord to one of the tie-outs on the poncho liner. The free ends of the shock cords will attach to each other and the hammock.



    Pull the shock cord to gather the fabric of the poncho liner. Tie off the shock cord to the hammock, adjusting the length of the shock cord for a custom fit.

    Optionally, you can use cord locks to tie off the free ends of the shock cords.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by dejoha; 11-08-2009 at 10:12.

  2. #2
    New Member Cowboy's Avatar
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    Sounds good. have you had a chance to try it out?
    Last edited by Cowboy; 11-07-2009 at 18:38.

  3. #3
    dejoha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cowboy View Post
    Sounds good. have you had a chance to try it out?
    Nothing serious; I just made it yesterday. I tested it today in the 'ol Coconino National Forest, which happens to be my back yard. We've had unseasonably warm temperatures the last few weeks, today topping 70F. The wind was gusting to probably 20 MPH. The hammock was perfectly warm in those conditions, but that's not saying much. I'm hoping to take it out soon for a serious overnight test in the coming weekend.

    I'll post my results then.

    The other thing about this design is that it provides a double layer where extra insulation can be added, if needed. I'm considering putting my down jacket between the layers during my testing.

  4. #4
    optimator's Avatar
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    How much does it weigh?
    It's only an addiction if your trying to quit

  5. #5
    dejoha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by optimator View Post
    How much does it weigh?
    23 oz (652 g), which includes shock cord and six (6) cord locks.

    I tested it last night on a S24O, but the temperatures were too cold (28F/-2C). I used a small torso-sized CCF pad under me too, but after about an hour, I was feeling cold spots. I took my down bag and wrapped it around my hammock instead and used the poncho liner inside as extra top insulation. I was toasty after that change.

    I'll have to wait until the weather warms up to test this poncho UQ by itself. I am hopeful it will be good for 50-60F weather.

  6. #6
    Senior Member hikingshoes's Avatar
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    Thats the way i did my poncho liner(UQ).only did one hang with it and i got hot.temp.was around 40ish,but i think i was overkill-i had the Poncho liner as my UQ,under that i had a light waterproof soft tarp and it was Raining like crazy all night.Being my first hang i was warm all night after i unzip my down bag.

  7. #7
    dejoha's Avatar
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    Updated DIY Instructions

    After playing with this underquilt for some time, I made some modifications to the design. The problem with the gathered end also acting as the attaching point to the hammock is that I wasn't able to get a good, snug fit around the ends since they were continually being pulled taut. The tweak I made was to separate the gathered end from the attach point so both could be modular. I think this is similar to how professional UQs are made.



    This design loops some shockcord through the ends so they gather and flex. I put fixed line (550 cord in this case) along the long sides. On one side, I was able to thread the cord through the hem channel. On the folded side, the cord just hung between the two sides. I attached this new fixed cord to the ends of the hammock with a bowline, which also gave me loops. Through these loops, I passed a section of doubled-up shock cord which was then attached to the hammock.

    This new design provides a much more workable fit.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    Looks good, nice graphics. How cold are you taking a poncho liner uq?
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  9. #9
    dejoha's Avatar
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    The photos in my last post were in northern Utah just after Christmas during three days of snowfall. The low temperatures were upper teens and low 20s F. I didn't use the UQ alone, so I can't yet tell its lower comfort zone. During the day with highs in the 40s F, the quilt seems fine. My best guess, until I can test in the spring/summer/fall is that this is a mid-40F quilt.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ShadowAlpha's Avatar
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    That looks awesome.
    I was undecided about getting a pocho liner
    being I need to carry a poncho with my gear
    looks like an ideal solution for me -- it will have a dual purpose

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