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  1. #1
    Senior Member Preacha Man's Avatar
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    Help with making a down hammock

    Hey guys, After tossing around the idea of getting a peapod or using a quilt system, I think I have finally landed on making a down hammock with a top quilt. I am a very cold sleeper so I think I would need more than the 6 ounces that Jeff used in his, and I would need it to go from my head to my toes. I know for weight savings this does not help, but I get cold .

    My current idea is to use 1.9 ounce DWR on the bottom, with darts to have around a 4-5 inch loft. I am leaning more to 9-12 ounces of ed speers 900fp down, and maybe one baffle near my shoulders and head.

    Are there any suggestions, or fatal flaws to my plan? Is there an easier way to stay warmer that I've never heard of? Are there better/cheaper places to get quality down?

    Thanks for all your suggestions and comments and I will keep ya'll posted with pics on how it is turning out.
    Psalm 19:1-3 "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard."

  2. #2
    Senior Member txulrich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preacha Man View Post
    My current idea is to use 1.9 ounce DWR on the bottom, with darts to have around a 4-5 inch loft. I am leaning more to 9-12 ounces of ed speers 900fp down, and maybe one baffle near my shoulders and head.
    You're gonna want more than one baffle. Down will move a lot and w/o the baffles, it will settle to the bottom. This will result in some pretty good cold spots. I would go with a baffle about every 6 inches.

    The fill number is the minimum space 1 oz of down will fill. The calculation (if I remember it correctly) for the amount of down you need is, oz=LxWxH/fp. Let's suppose you make your baffles 4'x7'. That would be 84x48x4/900=17.9 oz of down. If you go 5" loft, then you need 22.4 oz.

    Quote Originally Posted by Preacha Man View Post
    Are there any suggestions, or fatal flaws to my plan? Is there an easier way to stay warmer that I've never heard of? Are there better/cheaper places to get quality down?

    Thanks for all your suggestions and comments and I will keep ya'll posted with pics on how it is turning out.
    You can also get down at http://www.thru-hiker.com/insulation.html. Some will argue that 900pf down really doesn't exist. The difference between 800 and 900 isn't a whole lot. So buy where you can get the best price.
    Peace,
    Joe

  3. #3
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    I second the more baffles idea. My UQ has baffles every 7.8".

    I ordered down through www.featherind.com . It came to around $5 an oz, they have a 2 lbs min order, only take visa, and there may be an import charge (I did not have one) I started a thread somewhere on this.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  4. #4
    Senior Member Preacha Man's Avatar
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    Thanks, but some leave out baffles so that they can move the down where they need it. Jeff and I think Risk did this. Oh well thats why I posted this thing. My wife can sew anything, she just needs me to tell her what haha. I think I will use 12 ounces and then make the darts to fit it. Thanks also for letting me know about thru-hiker, I will look them up right now
    Psalm 19:1-3 "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard."

  5. #5
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    I'll let Jeff chime in on this. I think the reason he went without baffles is not to stress the bottom of the hammock. I forgot about that on my previous post. You may want to look into this before you sew anything.

    Also not to talk you out of it, but do a quick weight comparison for an underquilt vs a down hammock. I think the weight saving is only going to be around 6oz. Great for the ultralighter or single season use. But for me and my uses it takes away too much versitility. But if it works for you than it is the best option.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  6. #6
    Senior Member Preacha Man's Avatar
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    Thanks, It is so easy for me to make a hammock now that I will probably make an underquilt later for lighter temps, and still have the down hammock as well. I like to fiddle with things and today am making my own backpack. My current Gregory Acadia weighs 4.5 pounds, and the one I am making weighs around 1/2 pound.

    Joe, thanks for showing me thru-hiker's down, but for the same price I will go with Ed's. I already copy his hammocks, might as well throw some business to him.
    Psalm 19:1-3 "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard."

  7. #7
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    I don't use any baffles in the second version and it doesn't cause me any problems. I just squish some down up around my shoulders when I get in and I'm usually good. If I move around a lot and it's cold, I sometimes need to do it again in the middle of the night, but at Trail Days the low was 34 and I didn't wake up at all.

    But my insulation pocket also stops at my knees...if it goes all the way to your feet, you'll probably at least need one up near the end. Suggestions:
    - Don't sew the baffles to the hammock body. Sew them as a pocket on the shell.
    - If you always lay on the same side, you don't need the baffle to go all the way across or down the hammock. For example, my feet almost always go to the right side of the hammock, so I don't need any insulation on the left side of the foot end. That'll save a bit of weight, and cost of down.

    Even if you sleep cold, you don't need the insulated pocket to go to your feet...just carry a sit pad or torso pad. Condensation isn't much of an issue down there b/c you don't have a lot of body contact on the pad (for me, at least). And I like the idea of having a sit pad anyway. Plus, a small pad is lighter than the equivalent area of insulation+shell you'll need for the lower half of the hammock. But that's just the way I do it...doesn't mean it'll fit your needs.

    USE ZIGZAG STITCHES to allow the body to stretch w/o causing a hole in the fabric...since the shell and straight stitches won't stretch with the body.

    Minimize backstitching. Try to sew the shell to the body in one long stitch, putting the backstitch at a place that doesn't get much stretch. Mine is at the head end on the side I don't lay on. Just inspect the perimeter often to make sure the threads aren't getting loose.

    My homemade uninsulated Speer-type plus JRB and suspension system is about 34 oz. My down hammock is 19 oz. Add a ~6 oz torso pad and I'm good to the same temps...maybe lower, plus I have a torso pad that I use more often than I expected to just sitting around.

    So the weight will be similar, probably slightly in favor of the down hammock if you insulate it full length. Pro is you have a sit pad and no installation or fit issues, con is you need to spend another 15 minutes sewing an uninsulated hammock for summer. Also, most Speer-types can be folded in half to use as a chair, just like the HH. Putting the insulation pocket on there makes this uncomfortable...so you'll have to sit inside the hammock instead of in lounger mode.

    I used 1.9 oz untreated ripstop for the hammock body, and 1.1 oz DWR ripstop for the bottom shell. I think I've had 1-2 quills come through the untreated ripstop after...I dunno, 20 nights (?) in this one. Less leakage than I've had with my down bags and quilts.
    Last edited by Just Jeff; 05-24-2007 at 16:06.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Preacha Man's Avatar
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    Jeff, Thanks for all your help! I have got a lot of advice from your and risk's page. Making another hammock is no problem at all, it seems that making one comes naturally now lol. I really like the weight savings I should experience with making a down hammock. Thanks Again
    Psalm 19:1-3 "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard."

  9. #9
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preacha Man View Post
    Thanks, It is so easy for me to make a hammock now that I will probably make an underquilt later for lighter temps, and still have the down hammock as well. I like to fiddle with things and today am making my own backpack. My current Gregory Acadia weighs 4.5 pounds, and the one I am making weighs around 1/2 pound.

    Joe, thanks for showing me thru-hiker's down, but for the same price I will go with Ed's. I already copy his hammocks, might as well throw some business to him.
    I'm jealous. My pack weighs 10.5 oz.
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  10. #10
    Senior Member Preacha Man's Avatar
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    I used 1.9 oz untreated ripstop for the hammock body, and 1.1 oz DWR ripstop for the bottom shell. I think I've had 1-2 quills come through the untreated ripstop after...I dunno, 20 nights (?) in this one. Less leakage than I've had with my down bags and quilts.
    Can I just spray a good DWR on the same fabric as my hammock so that it matches? Or would it be better to get some actual DWR fabric?
    Psalm 19:1-3 "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard."

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