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  1. #1
    New Member SoftServe's Avatar
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    DIY Peapod Idea... ?

    So, I know all my questions here tend to be along the same lines... I'm still trying to figure out a way I can afford to keep my wife and I warm in a hammock without breaking our tiny bank.

    Do you think I could modify this sleeping bag into a peapod sort of device?

    I imagine It'd go around the hammock but under the ridgeline. Like this:



    I'm about 5'11", and have relatively broad shoulders... but I'm not a huge guy.

    I'm also considering making my own KAQ, or making an UQ/TQ system out of down sleeping bags if I can find used ones for >$60. Going to be making a lot of gear through the winter... And the cost and effort of anything is going to be doubled since I'll be making one for the wife as well.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    It doesn't say anything about the zipper, & whether it unzips from the bottom, but since you're going to be modifying it anyway...

    I've got one of the $10 wallyworld bags, and I think I'm going to try putting a velcro slit at the foot & try it. You might try this, too, although the zipper doesn't go all the way to the bottom. Of course, if you're going to be modifying it anyway...
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Everest-Mu...ndingMethod=rr
    One for $25 or two for $45. Looks like you'd need to make a new compression sack for it, though.

  3. #3
    Seņor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    If you want a peapod, don't modify a mummy bag. You'll want the girth of a rectangular bag to go around an occupied hammock. If you get a wide enough rectangular bag with two way zippers, you're pretty much done.

    You might take a look at this. It is big enough to go around you, has two way zippers, but does way close to six pounds. Warm, light and cheap; you only get to pick two.
    Last edited by wisenber; 10-16-2010 at 12:37.

  4. #4
    Kanguru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wisenber View Post
    Warm, light and cheap; you only get to pick two.
    Sound wisdom...

    Don't know if one of these http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___40070 would fit in your budget, but it is about as big as a peapod and doesn't weigh much more. Already has the drawstring at one end. I used one for several projects...finally wound up making a 3/4 UQ out of part of it. I found it on sale a couple of years ago. Will likely not be on sale now...but you might search for "Campmor coupons". I actually made a synthetic peapod early on from Wally World fabric and quilt batting. Sorry...no pictures. Sold it to a friend.
    Gentle raindrops and mighty oceans...neither can exist without the other.
    Time heals all wounds...but it usually leaves a pretty big scar.

  5. #5
    I've been thinking on this too, as I'm so broke I can't afford to pay attention. I think I've got my plan worked out, just need to get some materials.

    I'm going to make a bottom half using the technique seen here,

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=19547

    I'll make it just longer than the hammock, and shaped right up to the top edges. Then fit a flat piece across the top with a zipper or lacing down the middle.

    I'm thinking make the top so the insulation sags down on top of me.

    I think I'll scavenge a yard sale cheapo bag or two to prototype, then maybe invest in some down and silk or similar for the finished item.

  6. #6
    Senior Member slackmacker's Avatar
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    I have tired the mummy bag pee pod thing and in my experience it is drafty at the top because the sides of the hammock at your neck keep the bag from closing. Also I hate mummy bags on the ground because they fit too tight for me and I am 5'8', 170#. When I put it around a hammock and hung in it, I had a tough time with my knees because the hammock banana'd on me. I went back to a closed foam pad in a 20* bag, then laid on that in my other 20* bag this past weekend and was too warm and too comfortable in 33* weather with at light wind. Too warm means that I had to wake up and vent and too comfortable means that I never wanted to leave my hammock!

  7. #7
    silentorpheus's Avatar
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    Another option is to think slightly smaller. For $80 you can get the DIY kit for synthetic quilts from AHE which gives you 8' of either 2.5 oz XP or 6.0 oz high loft Climashield. The 6.0 oz. Climashield comes in a 64" width, last time I checked. That means if you cut the piece in half and turn it sideways, you end up with two pieces that are roughly 64"x48" - more than enough for TWO 3/4 length+ underquilts, and even a single layer of 6 oz Climashield should get you down to decent temps. You may need to supplement the kit with a few miscellaneous items (an extra cordlock or two, some extra grosgrain, etc.) and you'll need to make sure you have a design that works for you in mind, because you won't have any material to waste on experimentation. But with that kit, it's possible to make UQs for two people if you get creative.

  8. #8
    X-Lem's Avatar
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    I'm pretty much in the same boat as you. Trying to gear up for hammock backpacking for 2 to 3 people without breaking the bank.

    I've been trying the "cheap cocoon method" (not the official name, just what I'm calling it today) on my past 4 trips out into the mountains. I'll share my un-scientific, newbie observations. Your test results may vary.

    My setup: Skeeter Beeter hammock, Kelty Lightyear 25* mummy bag.
    Pics in my album: http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/a...hp?albumid=679

    Using a mummy bag restricts most movement as far as laying diagonally. You're wrapped up snug so if you want to be able to move around then, as Wisneber suggests, a rectangular bag will be probably be better.

    The trick is to get a good seal both at the foot end and the head end. I think this is where quilts have a big advantage over the cocoon. Bottom quilts install snugged up against the bottom of the hammock, top quilts drop down inside the hammock which elimnates the cold air drafts. This is somewhat difficult to do and maintain throughout the night in the cocoon.

    In my setup I think I could safely say that I could consistently stay warm at 50 degrees and above. On my last trip, the 1st night temp dropped down to 40* and I stayed warm. The 2nd night temps were 5 degrees warmer but I got chilled and couldn't seem to get a good enough seal at the head end of my bag. I've been trying to figure this one out and the only thing I can come up with is the difference between the 2 nights was the distance between the trees I was hanging from. Huh?? Stay with me here, there is some logic to this. The first night the trees I hung from were quite a ways apart and since I don't yet have a ridgeline the hammock is stretched tighter prohibiting any kind of diagonal lay. This seemed to help with the cocoon method as it did a better job sealing out the cold air. The 2nd night the distance between the trees was at more optimal distance for allowing the sleeping bag/hammock to spread wider but it created a larger, more difficult area to seal.

    My wife's setup supports this thought process as she uses a Byers Moskito hammock (and Kelty 20* mummy) which forces the hammock/sleeping bag to be wider due to it's multi strand design. She was cold both nights.
    http://www.rei.com/product/736088

    So, with that in mind, a rectangular bag may work better for laying diagonal but may be harder to seal out the cold air. I haven't tried it so don't know for sure.

    I'm also kicking around the idea of finding inexpensive down bags and converting them to quilts but am finding that quality bags usually aren't inexpensive and lower end bags are on the heavy side. Adding weight goes against my goal of getting lighter as I edge into my mid-50s and wish to continue this hobby for years to come.

    For me, the long term goal is to acquire quilts from one of the quality suppliers who frequent this site. I'll probably either continue to play with my current cocoon setup or go back to the sleeping pad method and start a quilt fund. I'm trying to learn from past mistakes where I settle for less expensive options only to buy what I really wanted at a later date which only increases the overall cost. But, everyone's situation is different and you have to start somewhere. Half the fun of this hobby is tinkering with stuff and having goals of getting better gear.
    DanD76
    If all else fails, have fun!

  9. #9
    New Member SoftServe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wisenber View Post
    Warm, light and cheap; you only get to pick two.
    That increasingly seems to me to be the case... I'm still having fun working on the problem, though. I know whatever I come up with won't be as light as, say, a down UQ/TQ, but I'm hoping I can find something that is small *enough* to allow some other gear in my pack...

    Quote Originally Posted by weedeater64 View Post
    I'm going to make a bottom half using the technique seen here,

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=19547
    Thanks for showing me that! It goes on my list of definite possibilities... I may have to canibalize a cheapo bag too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kanguru View Post
    I actually made a synthetic peapod early on from Wally World fabric and quilt batting. Sorry...no pictures. Sold it to a friend.
    Shame there aren't pictures... How well did it insulate/compress? That would be a good cheap experiment... I might be able to throw it together before it gets too cold so I can try it out

    Quote Originally Posted by silentorpheus View Post
    Another option is to think slightly smaller. For $80 you can get the DIY kit for synthetic quilts from AHE which gives you 8' of either 2.5 oz XP or 6.0 oz high loft Climashield. The 6.0 oz. Climashield comes in a 64" width, last time I checked. That means if you cut the piece in half and turn it sideways, you end up with two pieces that are roughly 64"x48" - more than enough for TWO 3/4 length+ underquilts, and even a single layer of 6 oz Climashield should get you down to decent temps. You may need to supplement the kit with a few miscellaneous items (an extra cordlock or two, some extra grosgrain, etc.) and you'll need to make sure you have a design that works for you in mind, because you won't have any material to waste on experimentation. But with that kit, it's possible to make UQs for two people if you get creative.
    That's another definite option I didn't know existed... Once I get my design worked out, that is. Thanks! I wonder if it'd be enough to make two of the UQ design linked to above...

    Quote Originally Posted by dand76 View Post
    I'll share my un-scientific, newbie observations. Your test results may vary.
    And vary they do. I think there's quite a bit to be learned from your testing. Thanks for responding!

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