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  1. #1
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    Quiestion about Temp. Ratings when only using TQ

    Alright, hopefully I can translate my thoughts into words clearly here...

    Say a TQ has a given temp rating of 40*. That means that it would potentially keep you comfy to 40*.

    Now, is that assuming that you have no pad or UQ? Or is it given with the assumption that you have that covered as well.

    In other words, if I have a TQ good to 40*, and it is going to be colder, will adding a UQ help take that lower?

    The basis behind my question is that I am trying to plan my setup now. With where I live, I probably won't be seeing temps much below 30* (for the most part, cold snaps not withstanding), and I would love to make a flexible setup that will see 4 seasons. I'm good with adding a blanket or clothing to go cooler, but I want to understand how all this works first

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Shore08; 07-23-2010 at 12:16. Reason: Changing my numbers for relevancy...

  2. #2
    dejoha's Avatar
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    You'll be the judge on whether your 40F bag will work for you at that temperature. I've found that a 40F synthetic bag for me is warm to about 60F. A few years ago I was miserably disappointed when my Coleman 0 synthetic mummy bag had me freezing with temperatures at 35F.

    My new down sleeping bags and quilts are amazing and keep me warmer than their stated temperatures. With a synthetic bag, I would have called myself a "cold sleeper" but with down, I tend to be a "warm sleeper." I love down!

    That said, having good insulation under you is still vital. I did a trip in Virginia in February with an overnight low of 15F. I had my cool new down sleeping bag and closed-cell foam pads as under insulation. I almost froze to death and had to retreat to a car to warm up for the rest of the night. I thought my down bag would save me, but without the bottom insulation being up-to-snuff, I eventually got cold to my core. I was nice and warm on the top, but cool on the bottom. As the night wore on and got colder, so did I.

    Now I always bring good under quilts, especially when the temperature is going to be below 50F. Above 50F, I can use other types of insulation like closed-cell foam pads or fleece blankets, etc.

    In short, having an under quilt will help make your whole system warmer. Remember, the hammock is hanging in mid air and you are getting 360 convection -- the air is pulling away your heat in all directions. The miracle of the under quilt is heaven and hell difference in terms of warmth.

    Pads, mylar space blankets, automobile screens, and the like all work depending on the temperature you are facing at night, but an under quilt still reigns in my opinion in terms of ease-of-use, warmth, and reliability.

  3. #3
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    Warmth ratings are tricky and everyone is different. And in a hammock, you've got to think about both top and bottom insulation. I'm a cold sleeper and if something says 30 degrees, it will only be good for me for 40 to 45 degrees with proper under insulation. FYI, if you are using both a top and bottom quilt, most people want their bottom quilt to have the warmer temperature rating. Will keep you warmer overall.
    Last edited by HappyCamper; 07-23-2010 at 12:49.
    I intend to live forever, or die trying. -- Groucho Marx (1890 - 1977)

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shore08 View Post

    Now, is that assuming that you have no pad or UQ?
    It assumes that you have an appropriate pad or UQ in place.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Savage's Avatar
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    Allot about temperature is subject to the Temperature rating of the person. If you are a warm sleeper, you might be fine with a 40 degree bag at 40 degrees. If you are a cold sleeper, you will need a 30 or a 20 for 40 degree temperatures. I was always told that you should go about 10 degrees colder with your bag temperature than you expect to experience.

    I definately reccomend some type of under insulation when in a hammock. Like dejoha said, you will be giving off heat from all around you. If you cover yourself on the top with a sleeping bag or TQ, you will still be loosing heat underneath you. Some type of under insulation, pad or UQ is a good investment. I spent one cold butt night in a hammock and almost sold mine. I did some more research and found some good info for insulation. I tried a pad and it worked for me for a long time. I have now purchased a Crowsnest 3 season UQ and can't wait to get out this weekend to give it a thorough workout.

    John

  6. #6
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    Folks, you have no idea just how much help this thread has been, TYVM! It cleared up a bunch of things for me. Having it in one answer like this was great. Again, thank you!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Mustardman's Avatar
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    Top insulation is completely independent from bottom insulation. You need insulation that is adequate for the expected temperatures on both sides. This is different from sleeping on the ground, where you can often get away with very little bottom insulation, but when you're hanging in the air you're gonna have to pay a lot more attention to what's underneath you.

  8. #8
    Senior Member TinaLouise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shore08 View Post
    ..Say a TQ has a given temp rating of 40*. That means that it would potentially keep you comfy to 40*.

    Now, is that assuming that you have no pad or UQ? Or is it given with the assumption that you have that covered as well.

    In other words, if I have a TQ good to 40*, and it is going to be colder, will adding a UQ help take that lower?

    The basis behind my question is that I am trying to plan my setup now. With where I live, I probably won't be seeing temps much below 30* (for the most part, cold snaps not withstanding), and I would love to make a flexible setup that will see 4 seasons. I'm good with adding a blanket or clothing to go cooler, but I want to understand how all this works first

    Thanks!
    testing out your sleep system will help you figure out what temps you'll be comfortable in with your gear. That being said, temp ratings are just a general guideline. You will need to figure out if you're colder or warmer or right on those guide lines.

    Usually though, what I've found is that if it says for example, rated at 40 degrees. I'm usually comfy at 55 and starting to feel a bit chilly at 45 and cold but able to survive at 40. I've got about a 15 degree window that I have to add to all the ratings. I found this by testing!!

    Something else I figured out was that I needed more insulation under me than I needed on top. Meaning I could use a lighter rated top quilt if I used a warmer rated bottom quilt. I have to look at each trip and check out the projected weather.

    Top quilts are just on top, you will need something for the bottom. I've found I need something on the bottom for any temp colder than 75 degrees!!

    If you use a TQ rated at 40 degrees and a bottom quilt rated way warmer like say 20 degrees, you should be able to sleep comfortably in temps colder than 40 degrees. You wont really know until you test it though. I have tested it. I use a 5 degree rated down under quilt (I made it) with my 45 degree down summer top quilt and I can sleep well if the temps drop to close to about 35. I've also tested the same temps, was supposed to be about 45 at night and I packed my summer under quilt (rated about 40ish) and my summer top quilt. I froze but lived through the night.

    Testing your gear will be the key to figuring out what temps you can handle. Oh, and even where I live, coast of NC, and during the summer when it's supposed to be warm, I've slept cold because the weatherman said one thing and the "weather" decided to do another. I've been surprised at how cool you feel because of a breeze or due to mist coming off of the river. Things like this will change the temps that your gear will keep you comfortable in.

  9. #9
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    Hmm... going points. Most of my camping growing up was under a tarp and in MS, so cold is relative. Being in a hammock really changes it. It sounds like when it comes time to make a quilt, I'd best make a warmer UQ first, then go with a TQ. Thanks!

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