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  1. #1
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    Sleeping Bag and Quilt

    This is a combination top/bottom question but theres no general insulation forum so I guess it fits best in top insulation

    I am thinking of re-doing my insulation here. What I have currently is a 0deg down bag for winter, a cheap rectangle synthetic bag I've had for years for summer, and I recently (well last christmas or the year before) got a synthetic cooler weather bag (I think its ~30 or 35, but I wouldn't trust it down there).

    I got my hammock early this year and have used it a couple times. I wish I could get out and use it more, or just go backpacking more in general (work sucks, doesn't it?). When I have hung I have used my sleeping pads between the layers on the hammock. This has worked, but it is a bit of a challenge to keep on top of the pad through the night. I'd like to be able to go without the pad. Although, the pad would likely still come along for the occasional need to go to the ground.

    I would like to get a sleeping bag that is better quality for the between temps. I have used my 0deg bag to about 40 or 45deg and have it unzipped to air out. So I am thinking of a bag around 20deg to bridge the gap.

    Over on another forum one of the members suggested I go to a quilt instead of a bag. For the warmer months it would work by itself. I would also be able to use it as an under quilt for the hammock. I could even use it in conjunction with my 0deg bag as added protection even colder.

    That having been said, I found the WM Sycamore bag. Its rated to 25deg and it unzips all the way through the toe box to open up as a quilt. What do you think about this?

    I am thinking versatility here. I also will not only be using my hammock. I have a nice tent too that would likely get some winter use or be taken on some more "extreme" trips.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Trooper's Avatar
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    Any sleeping bag that unzips fully is fine in a hammock. But, you'll be swimming in fabric, and it may be warmer than its rated temp because it is all on top of you. Most of the warmth in a hammock comes from the underquilt, so a lighter and smaller quilt is what most hammockers prefer. Mummy bags work too, but they aren't going to give you any more warmth and it is a frustrating gymnastics performance to use them.

    Many folks use quilts on the ground with a pad because it saves weight. The insulation below you is compressed anyway. I'm sold on the quilts for hammocks and on the ground. They are lighter and I think they are just as warm.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Raul Perez's Avatar
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    Check out my blog in my signature. I go over the insulation in my hammock camping page and have video of the difference between a mummy and top quilt.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Beast 71's Avatar
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    As long as your pad is wide enough you should be fine with just that, under you. Some have good luck useing sleeping bags and poncho liners as underquilts but I'm not one of them.

  5. #5
    Mule's Avatar
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    When I first started I converted a couple of sleeping bags to underquilts and used mummy bags for top quilts. The top is fine, but for me, the worse thing about using a sleeping bag for the bottom, even if you cut it down and make it rectangular or whatever, it weighs much more than a quilt. I had some minor problems getting a bungee suspension to pull them up against me all night. It works, but not the greatest. The last one I did a gave to a friend and I had some hefty bungee on it. It will work, but the tension is tricky.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
    When I have hung I have used my sleeping pads between the layers on the hammock. This has worked, but it is a bit of a challenge to keep on top of the pad through the night.
    Sounds like you are moving to where I would like to be by next year; Nice underquilt and top quilt with potential for multi-function. In the meantime, I'll mention that if you use a 25" wide sleeping pad, it is much easier to stay on than the 20" standard with. That one tip, from several forum members, helped me out a lot. I bought one of the cheap 26" Walmart pads to experiment with (the price is right for that) but any wider pad should make it easier to keep coverage.

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trai...g-Pad/16783661

    At just under 26" wide, it has been easy to keep full coverage underneath me between the double layers of my WBBB and so far, I've used it down to 40 degrees and I've been totally comfortable using this little pad, my 30 degree down mummy bag (unzipped until I just have a footbox) used as a top quilt, and usual cool weather sleeping attire (poly long underwear and good socks).

    That said, I am looking forward to the day that I can afford an underquilt. That is next on the list.

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