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Thread: chilly night

  1. #1
    Senior Member hacktorious's Avatar
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    Smile chilly night

    So I decided to camp out last night, yes, on a work night. The temps went down below freezing. However, I have made a few discoveries.

    1) The heavy-duty space blankets (more expensive) don't work worth a darn in combination with an underquilt.

    2) The inexpensive, thin space blankets seem to work pretty well. At least much better than the heavy-duty versions. I think this might have something to do with the weight; compresses the loft.

    3) The JRB Nest works much better when you shake the down to the center of the quilt before you get in.

    4) The JRB Nest as a UQ, in combination with a No Snivller, as an overquilt is only warm down to about 45 degrees F. After the temp starts getting much below 45 it is time to put in the space blanket. The space blanket only seems to add a few degrees.

    I did order a JRB Weather Shield for my Nest and am hoping this add's a few degrees to my warmth. I am also considering getting a 3rd quilt to use for colder seasons. I could use my Nest, and No Snivller as a combo UQ, then use a heavier quilt as a oq.
    Scott
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  2. #2
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    It had never occurred to me that a heavier space blanket might be a problem. But it should have. Like you said, it might be heavy enough to compress the loft. But experience has shown me an even likelier problem: the extra weight might cause a gap. With the SS, even the smallest gap between your back and the pad is going to leave me feeling the cold. It needs to be just snug against your back once you are in. I think compressing the loft is much less of a worry than it is with 800 or 900 fill down which compresses if you breathe on it. I have mostly found that if I push down on the pad with my hands, the suspension cords stretch before significant pad compression occurs.

    But, as much as I like my SS( and I still do consider it a viable option to all other approaches- though with some negatives), I have finally figured out that things can be simple when it comes to keeping warm and comfy. Really simple. A top loader and a PeaPod=warm, first time every time. The adjustment phase seems minimal, since you can reach around once you are in and feel to make sure that you don't have a big gap and that if you have no gap you also have no down compression. If you have either, one simple adjustment seems to take care of it. And if you have only a small gap, unlike my SS, it doesn't seem to make much difference. Or if you have a gap, you can ignore it and throw your jacket or vest or whatever in there to fill the gap, and now you have a bunch of additional loft.

    Even more simple and better is a narrow hammock like the Claytor No Net hammock, which works even better with the PeaPod, since it does not hold the pod up off of your body very much, if at all. Either way, wide or narrow, I have yet to have any pod user tell me they were not warm in the PeaPod at or below rated temps. And I certainly have not yet been cold while using it. Of course, Turk ( from Canada) also raved about the JRB "pod" style quilt as being the hands down best approach he had yet tried.

    Even simpler (and much cheaper), just like Neo always said, the Claytor hammock and a pad. I spent yesterday afternoon having a lovely nap in the Claytor with a full length Ridgerest under me. Except for my obviously warm back, I really couldn't even tell the pad was there, even when I would go on my side. I can actually sleep on my side in this Claytor, and side sleeping comfort may actually be a tad better with the pad in place. Now, that is simplicity indeed. I did not notice any sweat issues.

    And a PeaPod plus a space blanket plus a pad will likely be super toasty way below 20, maybe below zero. Considering I was able to do 10* OK with no pad, just a space blanket. Again, I would call it pretty simple and and highly likely to work every time. ( of course, if Neo used the above combo, he would be good for at least minus 40! Some people are just lucky! )

    I just hate it that there is not going to be any more really cold weather ( before next Sept) for me to test the Claytor and pad only. Because now that I can be comfortable on a pad, I will once again have to revisit the "pad only" option for September's long, high altitude hike, with lows in the 20s, possibly down to 15. You know, since I always take a pad anyway, should I take a ( thick enough) pad only? Previously, comfort issues convinced me to not go with only a pad. But, since the Claytor works so much better with a pad, I will have to again rethink this. So many options, so little time!

    Though my SS has always kept me warm enough and is more comfortable than using pads ( with a HH), and is still a top choice for me if cold rain ( 35-40* and above) is more likely than below 20*, I will also have to rethink this vs just using the Claytor and a pad for temps above 30 with likely rain. After all, you never have to worry about getting your CCF pad wet. So to increase closet space, I may end up selling my HHSS if I continue to be impressed with this Claytor/pad combo. Time will tell!

    PS: Of course, the above temp results for me might be totally dif for someone else. You know how people vary. I am surely no Eskimo like Neo. I can't imagine doing 8* with only a 3/8" pad without freezing. But, compared to my wife I am a very warm sleeper ( and a warm awaker for that matter!). Even if I am noticeably more cold natured at age 59 than I was at 35.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 04-16-2008 at 12:47.

  3. #3
    Senior Member hacktorious's Avatar
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    Talking Claytor Comfort

    OK, I think you have me convinced to get a Claytor. How comfortable are they compared to the HH? I have concerns about my back, and not being able to lay very flat. I am only 5'-7" so I might be able to lay somewhat flat.
    Scott
    Never under estimate the wisdom of nature!
    www.ScottMacri.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member hacktorious's Avatar
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    OH, yeah, how roomy is it inside compared to the HH? I like the fact that the sides pull out on the HH. However, I like the idea of using a pad, having a removable bug net and the durability.
    Scott
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    www.ScottMacri.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member hangnout's Avatar
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    3) The JRB Nest works much better when you shake the down to the center of the quilt before you get in.
    Laying asym in the HH and shaking the down to the middle doesn't seem to match where your body is in the hammock?

    4) The JRB Nest as a UQ, in combination with a No Snivller, as an overquilt is only warm down to about 45 degrees F. After the temp starts getting much below 45 it is time to put in the space blanket. The space blanket only seems to add a few degrees.
    You need to really look at the bottom insulation. If you are not warm underneath any quilt will seem like it is not enough on top. I think most people would be fine at 45 with the No Sniveller IF the bottom was right. You are on a cycle of experiments that many have done before. The space blanket usually gets left behind in the end for either an SPE pad type setup on just an UQ of some type. I would bet that the Nest would perform better by itself when properly fitted.

    I would give your HH setup a chance with the quilts before jumping to a Claytor just because it has a double bottom. The zipper conversion that is being offered for the HH will make the HH easier for pad usage also.
    Last edited by hangnout; 04-16-2008 at 22:46.

  6. #6
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hacktorious View Post
    OH, yeah, how roomy is it inside compared to the HH? I like the fact that the sides pull out on the HH. However, I like the idea of using a pad, having a removable bug net and the durability.
    Well, I'm using a No Net, so I can't comment on the Claytor Jungle, though I am now very tempted to get one. So for the no net, there is actually no "inside". Since the hammock is narrow, you don't sink down in it like in a Speer. So there is a feeling of openness, and you can always see out real good. Since there is no net and you don't sink into it, it has a more roomy sensation than the HH or Speer 8.5, and way more than the HH with SS. Despite being more narrow. At least for me. No side pull outs are supplied nor needed.

    My HH UL Explorer, which is longer than the ULB or Expedition, was always pretty comfortable for me, and a bit more so than my Speer. But I don't think I was ever quite able to get really comfortable on my side in either, and pad use was always a challenge, more so in the HH. Even with an SPE, though that was a big help and doable. Also, sometimes the center entry ridge on the HH could be a challenge, pressing on my left calf side if I didn't get just right. ( I am just nit picking for comparison sake. I really like all of these hammocks and have spent many wonderful nights in the wilderness with my HH Exp UL, blissfully comfortable compared to my ground days! )

    This Claytor is at least as comfortable as my HH without a pad, maybe a tad more. With a lot of sag or without, either way. Very comfy laying straight or diagonal. The center ridge on my calf seems quite manageable while laying diagonal. I have no knee hyper-extension problems with this hammock, which was my main problem with other hammocks I have used. It is more comfortable than my other hammocks for side sleeping, and even slightly more so with a pad.

    For pad use, it blows my other hammocks out of the water. And it works great with the PeaPod, due to it's narrowness, I suppose. I'd say it is, over all, the most comfortable hammock I have used. I figure the JRB BMBH would have been as comfortable or possibly a smidgen more comfortable if I had not been too wide for it.

    Some Cons: 1: the suspension webbing was ultra thin (nylon?). I have replaced it with wider webbing. The Claytor webbing worked really great, using the knots Claytor recommended. It just didn't inspire much confidence. If some body who is heavy tells me they used it for a long time with no breaks, I might just go back to it.

    2: It is about 6 ozs heavier- even with it's skinny webbing- than my Speer with it's net removed. I don't know what materials it is made of, but it might be heavier duty than my Speer or HH Exp UL. That plus the double layer (that makes the pad so easy to use) equals more weight, I guess. Also, it is longer, but then again it is more narrow. Regardless, it is heavier.

    3: The extra length may cause tarp coverage problems. You will definitely need a longer tarp than you do with a HH Expedition. Unless you add a RL and shorten it up some.

    I am still a new user. Maybe some more experienced Claytor users can chime in.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 04-16-2008 at 22:55.

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