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Thread: DIY underquilt

  1. #1

    DIY underquilt

    Hi, guys. Newbie here. I have a gathered end DIY hammock and I'm working on a low cost underquilt. Found a polyester comforter at Wally World for $5.00- good for an experiement. I've been experimenting with just doubling it and tying it up under the hammock and it works well. The idea I had was to leave a pocket between the layers to insert a blue pad or something else. Something else I thought of was to let the bottom layer hang below the top layer by an inch or so to create a dead air space. Any thoughts?

    I'm not concerned too much about weight or bulk because I normally camp out of a boat.

  2. #2
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Welcome to HF Joe.
    I think it would work just fine. I have used the cheap, poly, sheet type insulation from wallyworld to make an insulated hammock, & it did fine.
    I think some of the more expensive synthetic insulations will give you more warmth w/ less weight & bulk, & I suspect they will hold up better over time, especially if you are cramming them into a stuff sack & pulling them out often. But cheaper options can work fine.
    BTW... you probably know this but, you don't want to store insulation stuffed in a sack for longer than necessary.

    Once when car camping, I used an acrylic blanket as an underquilt so a friend could sleep warm in an extra hammock. Worked fine.
    You'll just have to experiment to see how cool of temps that set up will keep you warm in.
    The ccf pad will add warmth for sure, but instead of putting it between the layers of the folded comforter, I would put it between the comforter & the hammock. That way, the ccf won't stop moister evaporating from your body, trapping it in the inside layer of the comforter.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  3. #3
    Thanks for the reply, slowhike. I figure it will work fine, too. Not as light and compact as down, but not as expensive either. On the subject of a vapor barrier. My hammock is made of ripstop nylon with a waterproof coating (silnylon?). Does that suffice as a vapor barrier?

  4. #4
    I figure I could cut it down some( it's 100" long now) to save some bulk and maybe spray a little Scotchguard on it to turn away moisture. I realize it's a $5.00 experiment, so if it doesn't work out I will have learned a lot. I do like the feeling of laying on the hammock instead of fighting one of those blue pads.

    J.

  5. #5
    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    Welcome!

    See if you can think of a dual purpose aboard your boat, so that UQ will be more useful.
    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
    www.MollyMacGear.com

  6. #6
    Senior Member JohnSawyer's Avatar
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    Check the sewing videos. RamblinRev mentioned he has cut cheap comfortors into working underquilts.

    My first cheap DIY-quilt (other than a sleeping bag mod) was made with $1.50 WW fabric, some high-loft batting with grosgrain tie-outs, and elastic drawcords. It didn't work too well until I washed it. (the batting was too stiff.) It doesn't compress like climashield, but for $10 in materials, it proved the concept.

    Size: 48"x60".

  7. #7
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    Good idea. It gets you hanging, and that's all that matters. I've hung quite a bit in Louisana in the winter and was suprised how cold the nights can get, even if the days are always beautiful.

    I'd love it if you could post some bayou camping photos. There's not enough water to putter around in an outboard for 80 miles in any direction of me.
    .. truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. - Herman Melville

  8. #8
    I was surprised that it kept me warm to 50* with just a fleece throw over me. In my 25* bag, with stocking cap and neck gaiter and a couple of light layers, I was comfy down to the mid 30's. I did add a torso sized piece of blue pad between the layers to protect my butt and shoulder area. Wind affects the comfort level so I'll need some kind of under cover.

    Here's what I camp out of. Homemade pirogue.





    The quest continues.

    J.

  9. #9
    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bayou joe View Post
    Homemade pirogue.
    That is a sweet looking stitch and glue vessel!
    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
    www.MollyMacGear.com

  10. #10
    Thanks, Mac. It is actually built the old way - 1/4" douglas fir marine plywood nailed and glued to bottom chines. LOTS of nails. I originallly built it with no fiberglass or resin, but have since glassed the bottom to protect from the odd cypress knee. She's got well over 300 miles on her.

    J.

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