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  1. #1
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    Silnylon for bottom of underquilt?

    Hello,

    My name is Christian, this is my first post in these forums. I've recently gotten in to backpacking and learned two things on my first trip a few weeks ago: 1)sleeping on the ground doesn't work for me, and 2)carrying a 45 pound backpack sucks. My next trip will be a 7-10 day PCT section hike as soon as I finish making a new hammock, underquilt, overquilt, and backpack. I have lots of DIY experience, I'm pretty good with a sewing machine and I live within walking distance of Seattle Fabrics so I hope to have everything done in a month or so.

    I have been doing lots of research on materials and have been trying to find a balance between cost, weight, and durability. I want to go with down for insulation but the thought of ripping a quilt 3 days from anywhere makes me weary. By just feeling the different fabrics at Seattle Fabrics I think I would trust 1.1 silnylon more than DWR 1.1. Here are my questions:

    1)Should I be worried about the durability of uncoated 1.1 for a down quilt?

    2)Could I use silnylon for the bottom of my underquilt in case my hammock sags and it rubs on the ground, and have the top of the underquilt be DWR to allow water to escape?

    3)Am I just asking for trouble in western Washington's 8-month long drizzle every fall-spring by both using down and having a vapor barrier on the side with the most air exposure?

    Thank you in advance and I appreciate all of the info I have found here.

    -Christian

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum Christian. You'll find lots of DIY folks here that will be thrilled to help. I just wanted to chime in and agree with #2; a 45 pound backpack does indeed suck!

  3. #3
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    1 - Untreated nylon isn't generally downproof and would leak.

    2 - Unbreathable material for a quilt is a BAD idea, IMO. Others may disagree.
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

  4. #4
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    I am very weary of using sil as part of a hammock or insulation. Sil is not breathable. I sweat a lot. I notice a good amount of condensation when I use a ccp. I would not use anything that is not breathable.

    An issue with down and sil would be, what if water got in. There are still going to be small pin holes. If the water ever got in, it would be near impossible to get out.

    I have DIY down quilt instructions here if you need a reference. I tend to think that if you are worried about your sleep system getting wet while setup, then your tarp is not big enough or set up right. My tarp is big enough that nothing is going to get wet if set up right. It is 12'x10' with cat cuts and comes to 20.3oz with skins and guy lines.

    IMHO I think your insulation stands a higher chance of getting wet in your pack than setup. I have mine in a trash compactor bag, inside of a seatosummit ultra sil bag, inside of my pack that is protected using my ccp.

    You might want to consider synethic insulation if you are worried. www.kickassquilts.com has good DIY directions.

    Hope that helps. Let us know what you come up with and how it works out. Welcome to the group.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
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  5. #5
    hey, welcom to the forum, i'm the only one i know of that has use sil for an underquilt, heres what i've figured out so far. first, both sides have to be either breathable or not, you can't use both, if only the bottom is sil, water vapor from your body will be able to enter on the hammock side, but will not be able to exit through the sil, i would think your insul would get soaked in one night just from body vapor. now, if both sides are sil, it should keep the body vapor out on the one side and the rain out on the other. i was worried that if water did ever get in there, you would never be able to dry it, so i installed a 12-15 inch zipper on the side that faces the hammock fabric, this way, i can unzip and check for moisture, if there is any i can flip the thing inside out, and the raw synthetic insulation would be exposed, since it would be directly exposed it should dry just as fast, if not faster than a regular quilt. some might raise concerns about breathability. i will say that i used it at traildays in virginia in may, i believe it got into the thirties, there was condensation all over both sides of my tarp and the grass was covered as well. i detected zero condensation on the inside or outside of the quilt in the morning. what really convinced me that it was indeed the way to go, was when i was putting it on when i was ready to go to bed. like i said the grass was soaked, and it is **** near impossible to install a quilt without it touching the ground, with the sil, you can basically drag it through the wet grass without worring about the insulation getting wet, also dirt/mud will not stick to the sil either, it was so nice to install the thing in wet conditions and not have to worry about getting my insul wet, i cannot describe how good that felt. also, what if you are in windblown fog/mist, with a sil underquilt, your bottom insul would still stay dry. i would say you should have a way to flip it inside out, don't know if the inside could get under normal conditions, but you could always fall in the creek too. it was pretty easy to install the zipper, and 15 inches of #3 zipper doesn't weigh or cost much at all. although i've only had a chance to use mine a handfull of times, i've noticed zero condensation problems, and couldn't be happier with the sil shell. check out questoutfitters.com for sil, and owfinc.com for everything else including climashield combat synthetic insul.good luck, go for the full sil shell, i'm glad i did.

  6. #6
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    Brandon -

    Aside from the breathability issues I've mentioned elsewhere, I had a couple questions for you.

    1 - You say it's difficult to keep a quilt off the ground during installation. Have you tried a system that allows you to keep your quilt installed all the time? I haven't had a quilt touch the ground since I started using my BB sack.

    2 - I like the idea of being able to "gut" the quilt for quick drying, but how do you accomplish that? I assume there's some sort of quilting method used on yours (loops or stitching...otherwise it's not a "quilt")? With quilting in the way, I can't figure out a way to turn a quilt inside out....I'm probably just missing something obvious, though, as usual
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

  7. #7
    well, the insul is only attached to the seam that runs around the edge,edge stabilized (one seam attaches the two shell pieces together and the insul to them) this seems to be plenty of stabilization as the insul is continuous filament. even if i used quilt loops, i would only attach the insul to one of the shells via loops, thus it could still be flipped inside out, i don't gut the insul, when in use, it goes shell,insul, shell. when flipped it goes shell, shell, insul...Brandon haven't tried the larger stuff sac thing though, no need now, also, my quilt installs in well under a minute with no adjustments needed.


    Quote Originally Posted by blackbishop351 View Post
    Brandon -

    Aside from the breathability issues I've mentioned elsewhere, I had a couple questions for you.

    1 - You say it's difficult to keep a quilt off the ground during installation. Have you tried a system that allows you to keep your quilt installed all the time? I haven't had a quilt touch the ground since I started using my BB sack.

    2 - I like the idea of being able to "gut" the quilt for quick drying, but how do you accomplish that? I assume there's some sort of quilting method used on yours (loops or stitching...otherwise it's not a "quilt")? With quilting in the way, I can't figure out a way to turn a quilt inside out....I'm probably just missing something obvious, though, as usual

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the responses, I think I'm going to go with the 1.1 downproof dwf for my quilts, and probably momentum90 on the inside of the overquilt for comfort. The silnylon with zipper sounds like a nice idea for synthetic insulations, but if I put a zipper in a down quilt things would get ugly. If I have problems with dampness or durability with down and decide to switch to synthetic insulation I'll go that route though.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cptbjorn View Post
    Thanks for all the responses, I think I'm going to go with the 1.1 downproof dwf for my quilts, and probably momentum90 on the inside of the overquilt for comfort. The silnylon with zipper sounds like a nice idea for synthetic insulations, but if I put a zipper in a down quilt things would get ugly. If I have problems with dampness or durability with down and decide to switch to synthetic insulation I'll go that route though.
    I talked with AYCE att thru-hiker a lot when I made mine. I had the same idea. He actually said that if I were to chose one, but the mom90 on the outside. He said mom90 had better shell properites than DWR.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  10. #10
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Agree with everything said - I'd stay away from sil for a down underquilt. I guess you could use it for the side that touches the hammock, and it would work like a VB on that side, but I don't see much advantage to it. DWR and Momentum sounds like a better plan.

    Brandon - paragraphs are your friend, man!
    “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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