View Poll Results: If you use both a top and an under quilt, where do you put more insulation?

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  • More on the top.

    4 30.77%
  • Same top and bottom.

    3 23.08%
  • 50% more on the bottom.

    4 30.77%
  • Twice as much on the bottom.

    2 15.38%
  • More than twice as much on the bottom.

    0 0%
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  1. #1
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    top vs. bottom loft

    I am currently using a pad with homemade SPE, but I plan on making a down underquilt in the near future, and I am wondering how much loft I will need. For what it's worth, I have been comfortable with a single layer of 5 oz/sqy Climashield XP for top insulation in the low 30s wearing a smartwool base layer.

    Since temperature ratings are very subjective, I thought I'd ask a different question. What is the ratio of loft between your top quilts and your underquilts? In other words, do I need more insulation on the bottom or on top?

    I apologize if this has been asked and answered before. I've tried to search but didn't really find a good answer.

  2. #2
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    i believe the consensus is that you would want more loft under you, as wind can suck away the warmth beneath you. and it is also much easier to add extra insulation above you then below you (putting clothes between the hammock and quilt make uncomfortable bumps).


    so bottom line is more loft below you is more effective, but you need both to stay toasty.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by skar578 View Post
    i believe the consensus is that you would want more loft under you, as wind can suck away the warmth beneath you. and it is also much easier to add extra insulation above you then below you (putting clothes between the hammock and quilt make uncomfortable bumps).


    so bottom line is more loft below you is more effective, but you need both to stay toasty.
    Thanks, skar578. I thought that was probably the case, more underneath. I am trying to quantify it, though. Is it 50% more, twice as much, or even more?

  4. #4
    Senior Member pure_mahem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schneiderlein View Post
    Thanks, skar578. I thought that was probably the case, more underneath. I am trying to quantify it, though. Is it 50% more, twice as much, or even more?
    I'm going to use the 2 to 1 formula for my set up using 2 layers of 5.5 climashield xp for my under quilt and 1 layer for my top quilt. However I have yet to make and test this configuration. My thoughts are that by simply making another top quilt with 2 layers it would create a winter set up. and to switch between the 2 I only would have to switch out the top quilt. If needed I could always add a vapor barrier to the Under quilt by adding my poncho to the exterior but i don't think I would have to really.

  5. #5
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mahem View Post
    If needed I could always add a vapor barrier to the Under quilt by adding my poncho to the exterior but i don't think I would have to really.
    if you added a non breathable layer to the exterior of your under quilt, i'm guessing that you would also add a non breathable layer between you & the insulation of your under quilt as well?
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  6. #6
    Senior Member pure_mahem's Avatar
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    Probably not, lol! I don't think I would add the poncho! If I get cold after all that insulation I'm going home, lol!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mahem View Post
    I'm going to use the 2 to 1 formula for my set up using 2 layers of 5.5 climashield xp for my under quilt and 1 layer for my top quilt. However I have yet to make and test this configuration. My thoughts are that by simply making another top quilt with 2 layers it would create a winter set up. and to switch between the 2 I only would have to switch out the top quilt. If needed I could always add a vapor barrier to the Under quilt by adding my poncho to the exterior but i don't think I would have to really.
    I love my Climashield XP quilt, but I made it with a fixed footbox, so it is no use as an under quilt. Your setup sounds like it would get you to pretty low temperatures, but I would be concerned about the bulk. My single layer quilt takes up one third to half the space in my pack, but I admittedly don't compress it very much. I think the four layers of XP you plan on using for your winter setup might make it pretty bulky. That's the reason why I want to make down quilts.

    I was hoping the ratio would be closer to 1:1.5. My idea was to make three quilts with 6oz, 9oz and 15oz of down, respectively. The 6oz quilt would be the summer top quilt and the 9oz the summer under quilt. For colder whether, I would go to 9oz top and 15oz bottom. Then, when it get's really cold, I would go with 15oz top quilt, 9oz bottom quilt and the 6oz quilt doubled-over as a 1/2 under-quilt for where it's needed most. Any thoughts on this setup?

  8. #8
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    with adding more underquilts, make sure they snug up to the hammock when occupied, but not too much. it would stink to either have the folded up quilt be too lose or snug and compressing the insulation. and the XP is really bulky, my primaloft sleeping bag (shingle construction, so double layered) packs quite small without fear of over compressing. when i need to, it can compress to 5x9.

  9. #9
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    I have added a poll to this thread in hopes of getting more feedback.

  10. #10
    New Member BIG-E's Avatar
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    Living in upstate New York - I hang in temps. ranging from upper 90's to around 0. Obviously the amount of quilts I need vary by season. In the winter I have gone down to 0 degrees with a 4" homemade down underquilt and a 20 degree sleeping bag, with a 3/8" wally world ccf pad. I should mention that when it gets this cold I also use a hammock sock. Even @ 90 degrees, I still use a fleece bag liner between my body and the hammock.
    yis,
    Erin

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