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  1. #1
    Senior Member Buffalo Skipper's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Gear Report: a weekend in the 40s

    Not very impressive sounding, "a weekend in the 40s," huh. But for me it was a big deal, trying out some of my new gear.

    First I want to report on an old piece of new gear: KAQ Jarbridge River. Last spring Paul made me a "summer" Jarbridge River with 3 oz Climashield instead of the standard 6 oz. My goal was to use this during the spring, summer and fall, when I would have warmer temps, and when my 20º Incubator would be overkill. I have been very satisified with the JR. It is inbetween a full and 3/4 length, and at 13 oz, very easy on the back. As I often find myself stuck in a more humid environment, I wanted to consider an alternative to a down UQ. Since spring it has hung out under my hammock for nearly a 2 dozen nights, but never colder than the mid 60s. This is not a standard model quilt, so I was unsure of just how low I could take this extra-light version. Paul rates the original with 6 oz Climashild to 30º.

    I had also had delivered last week a 20º Burrow, which I was just itching to take out. Previously I used a 25º Kelty Light Year, or for wamer conditions, a fleece mummy liner. But I only had a bulky and uncomfortable Wally World square bag for inbetween temps in the 40s or 50s.

    This weekend I was out with the scouts; the forcast lows were to be about 47º on Friday night and 41º the overnight Saturday. Ths would be a first good push for the Jarbridge River; and though the 20º Burrow would be overkill for the upper 40s, it could easily be tested in the low 40s.

    I choose to test this only in my boxers and t-shirt. When I hit the hammock at 11:30 on Friday, it was still the low 60s. This was already the lowest I had taken the Jarbridge River, but I knew I would be able to push it well past this; and my back was warm enough. After 5 mintues under the Burrow, I declared rather matter of factly: "Well, this is too hot." I opened the foot vent and tried to loosly drape the rest over me, which was surprisingly easy to do with the TQ. I drifted off to sleep and woke up around 3 am to the need to do my business. I could tell when I got out, it was still only in the low 50s, but I had slept pretty good. I was back asleep in a minute and remained comfortable until I arose in the daylight. First test was a solid A for both UQ and TQ.

    Saturday was already cooler when I went down at about 10:30 pm. There were some gusty but not too strong breezes, so I knew this would be a great test for the Jarbridge River. I had also kept my tarp pitched just high enough to catch a bit of breeze, again trying to push the limits of the UQ; my trusty 20º Incubator within reach (yea to car camping ) just in case. It was probably in the low 50s, and I easily drifted off to sleep. I was up at 3:30 and again knew I was still 2 hours from the lowest I would reach, but it was easily 45º, and I was still comfortable. When I woke at 6:30, I found it still within my limits. With the Burrow, my top was great, but my back was sort of neutral; neither cold nor toasty. But I was thankful for no CBS.

    Conclusions:
    I never really pushed the Burrow. It would have been a disaster if it was cold at 41º. But I did find it really easy to get in and out of. And overall, it is a great piece of equipment, with 1 oz of overfill, I am confident I will be able to take down to 15º. I may or may not find myself in conditions this low over the winter, but it will be great to use in the 20s and 30s.

    The Jarbridge River was a surprising little gem. Taking a 13 oz UQ down almost to 40º is quite an accomplishment. I am 6' 1" and as a 7/8 length underquilt, I did not need any supplemental foot pad, but my Thermarest backpack pillow kept my neck and head off the uninsulated hammock. For comfort's sake, I will probably choose to take this when the forecast is 45º or higher, that way I have a reasonable cushion, knowing that 40º or prehaps even the upper 30s would be comfortable with only a light thermal clothing supplement.

    Very pleased with the Burrow.

    Unexpectedly surprised with the Jarbridge River light.
    “Indian builds small fire and stays warm, white man builds big fire and stays warm collecting firewood”—unknown

    “The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea”—Karen Blixen

  2. #2
    defsquad's Avatar
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    Outstanding gear field report!

    I too had some gear testing and tweaking going on this weekend. I went up to the Cheaha mountain area for an overnighter (I saw a low of 38 saturday night according to my thermometer the one time i checked). I had a 3/4 length 3-season crowsnest and a 3season JRB No Sniveler; lastly I had a 1/4" gossamer gear pad (my Ohm's back pad replacement) under my calves/feet. I have to admit, I was cold. I woke up at near 11pm shivering; and again at 3 and then 5 with the same results. Granted, I was only in my base layer, I truly thought I'd be fine. I had taken this same setup into the 20's with failed results (you'd think I'd of learned). I think I'm going to have to break down and spend the moola on a full-length incubator (prolly the 20deg like yours) and look at a warmer/better TQ; a burrow I imagine.

    Anyway, I've so far had bad cold weather experiences

  3. #3
    Senior Member lazy river road's Avatar
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    Great Gear report and sounds like a fun trip. Glad you enjoyed your Burrow and Jar Bridge.

    Quote Originally Posted by defsquad View Post
    Outstanding gear field report!

    I too had some gear testing and tweaking going on this weekend. I went up to the Cheaha mountain area for an overnighter (I saw a low of 38 saturday night according to my thermometer the one time i checked). I had a 3/4 length 3-season crowsnest and a 3season JRB No Sniveler; lastly I had a 1/4" gossamer gear pad (my Ohm's back pad replacement) under my calves/feet. I have to admit, I was cold. I woke up at near 11pm shivering; and again at 3 and then 5 with the same results. Granted, I was only in my base layer, I truly thought I'd be fine. I had taken this same setup into the 20's with failed results (you'd think I'd of learned). I think I'm going to have to break down and spend the moola on a full-length incubator (prolly the 20deg like yours) and look at a warmer/better TQ; a burrow I imagine.

    Anyway, I've so far had bad cold weather experiences
    So are you feeling cold from underneath like a draft or CBS or is the cold coming from on top? A 20 phoenix should easily take you down to 38 with wearing long johns and a light weight long sleeve T. I would also ask how you had your tarp set up. If wind was blowing right or underneath it could easily steal your heat away from you. You could try tightening up the UQ against the hammock to the point where the UQ is lifting up the hammock while you are not in it.
    Sometimes I like to hike and think, And sometimes I just like to hike.

    Hiking is'ent about waiting for the storm to pass its about learning to hike in the rain.

  4. #4
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by defsquad View Post
    Outstanding gear field report!

    I too had some gear testing and tweaking going on this weekend. I went up to the Cheaha mountain area for an overnighter (I saw a low of 38 saturday night according to my thermometer the one time i checked). I had a 3/4 length 3-season crowsnest and a 3season JRB No Sniveler; lastly I had a 1/4" gossamer gear pad (my Ohm's back pad replacement) under my calves/feet. I have to admit, I was cold. I woke up at near 11pm shivering; and again at 3 and then 5 with the same results. Granted, I was only in my base layer, I truly thought I'd be fine. I had taken this same setup into the 20's with failed results (you'd think I'd of learned). I think I'm going to have to break down and spend the moola on a full-length incubator (prolly the 20deg like yours) and look at a warmer/better TQ; a burrow I imagine.

    Anyway, I've so far had bad cold weather experiences
    Quote Originally Posted by lazy river road View Post
    Great Gear report and sounds like a fun trip. Glad you enjoyed your Burrow and Jar Bridge.



    So are you feeling cold from underneath like a draft or CBS or is the cold coming from on top? A 20 phoenix should easily take you down to 38 with wearing long johns and a light weight long sleeve T. I would also ask how you had your tarp set up. If wind was blowing right or underneath it could easily steal your heat away from you. You could try tightening up the UQ against the hammock to the point where the UQ is lifting up the hammock while you are not in it.
    Ditto all of LRR's questions/comments. I don't think a full length UQ is the answer if a 3/4 model that should easily get you to 30 or so, and a TQ rated at least that warm, leaves you shivering at 38. First I would be sure to figure out exactly what the problem is. I mean, shivering is definitely a major failure.

    Is it just that you are a super cold sleeper? Is it a draft problem with the TQ? Was it inadequate head insulation, UQ adjustment problems causing a gap?

    We were out this weekend at ~ 37/38. I was very toasty at ~37/38 with a MW UQ on a BMBH ( yes, way over kill) with a Golight 20 ounce TQ, wearing only a mid-weight Merino wool top and my nylon hiking pants, a fleece cap and wool socks. But, I had a few moments cold at certain spots during the night when my TQ was not perfectly tucked. TQs can be tricky that way. The smallest break in the "seal" where it is "tucked" along the edges or around your neck will let cold air rush into that spot. Plus, if you move much while sleeping you have to make sure you don't open up a small area letting in a draft. Any significant draft and your 25 degree TQ is now a 60 degree TQ.

    In the meantime, my son was toasty using his NF Cat's Meow with my torso length WB Climashield "Yeti" with 3 layers of CS on my WBBB and a leg pad.

    I would think what you have should have been at least nearly OK at those temps, and FOR SURE not shivering. Shivering with that equipment indicates something is quite wrong/malfunctioning( unless you are just a super cold sleeper. I would figure out why it isn't before assuming a full length model will solve the problem.

    Good to hear about such good results with the 3 oz insulation model Jarbridge, though!
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 10-03-2011 at 09:12.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

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