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  1. #1
    Senior Member kitesurfer's Avatar
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    underquilt questions?

    i've been reading up on thes things. i want to make one. weight is not a problem but packed down size is. not hiking but riding a m/c--not much xtra space.

    1. why is the length 60" ? won't head and feet get cold?

    2. i have a couple old sleeping bags. if i cut and sew them to DIY specs, will they work just as well sa made from scratch?

    3. if the bottom quilt works out, should I use a top quilt or sleeping bag?

    4. i haven't seen much on the top quilts compared to bottomquilts. do top quilts keep you as warm as a sleeping bag ?

    thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    1. Do you sleep stretched out straight and you are more than 60" long? (My feet have socks on and my head have a warm hat on - this is standard since I have been using quilts.)

    2. Depends on the sleeping bag. Many are not warm as the makers would expect you to believe.

    3. YES. Tho you will find that a very warm bottom quilt is going to help you more than a warm top quilt, and you can get away with a lighter top quilt if you are adequately insulated underneath.

    4. In my experience - warmer. I was using a cheap sleeping bag. The top quilt I bought was MUCH MUCH warmer than the sleeping bag. Warmth is related to quality of materials and proper usage, NOT the design of the item. A nice 800 fp down top quilt trumps any number of cheap sleeping bags in the warmth department.

    I wear a fleece hat with a top quilt in the hammock and on the ground. Warmth! Try it, you'll like it.

  3. #3
    MAD777's Avatar
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    the idea behing the short under qyuilt is that it covers you from knees to neck. A closed cell foam pad keeps your lower legs & feet warm underneath. I am a side sleeper & therefore use a small inflated pillow (Montbell), which along with my hat, keep my head warm.

    A top quilt is certainly necessary except in mid-summer. I don't think simple flat top quilts are talked about as much because they aren't as interesting as under quilts, which are built on a curve & have a suspension system.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JohnSawyer's Avatar
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    What they said...

    My UQ is 44x48.. covers from neck to knees...

    Most cheap sleeping bags make poor UQ's as they're heavy and hard to suspend.

    That said, Chocolatier took a decent Down bag and made a useable UQ... I tried the cheap sleeping bag trick... Didn't work so well...
    "Do or do not, there is no try." -- Yoda


  5. #5
    Knotty's Avatar
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    Full length quilts, like the ones from Jacks-r-Better, are 78".

    Top quilts require less acrobatics than a sleeping bag in a hammock. I like them but admit it's not for everybody.

  6. #6
    dejoha's Avatar
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    If space is a premium you might seriously consider a down-filled bag and UQ as they pack down the smallest. Depending on what season you go out you could get away with a synthetic bag system but they are bulkier.

    You can convert a sleeping bag into an UQ but has been said, some of the cheap bags can be bit heavy. I converted a child bag for someoneand that worked good.

    I think the reason behind the "short" quilts is because you don't need as much insulation for your head and legs to keep warm, so it is a way to reduce weight and bulk with the insulation. Full length quilts exist and so it is in part a matter of preference and comfort.

    I really like top quilts now that I've used them, but my kids don't have a hang on them yet so an enclosed sleeping bag works to keep the insulation contained. I think top quilts are the perfect match for hammocks in terms of ease of entry.

  7. #7
    Pro Vagabond's Avatar
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    As a bike guy, I had the same concerns since that is the way I travel most of the year. To conserve space, you'll want to use down. It compresses really small. You can convert sleeping bags, but usually they take up more space.

    Good luck and have DIYing!

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