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  1. #1
    Senior Member vtrek's Avatar
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    Can I use a sleeping bag as an underquilt?

    Here it is. I just don't have the money to buy a real underquilt. I currently have a -30 degree sleeping bag from the 70's that I am considering turning into an underquilt. I will be using my hammock in cold weather and I do tend to get cold. It is currently a mummy style bag. Can I make it work? Any insight on how to do it? Thanks
    vtrek

  2. #2
    Senior Member Giggity's Avatar
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    Yeah man. Thats what I use now. UQs are a whole lot better for hammocking but are extremely expensive.
    If a man loudly blesses his neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse. Proverbs 27:14

  3. #3
    gunner76's Avatar
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    Watch Arrowhead, they have been known to have sales on UQ at very low prices.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Underquilts are expensive only if you start with the expectation that the hammock frees you from getting cold underneath. It doesn't, anymore than a sleeping bag takes care of heat loss (and discomfort) from the ground. Look at the price of the very good pads for ground campers: $70-$120 for the self-inflating ones. The top end there is near the price of a serious, professionally made UQ.

    Your 70's sleeping bag, if that -30 rating is in Farenheit, might weigh 5 lb or more. Do you want to cart it with you?

    I'd suggest you look instead, for the least expensive option for underneath protection appropriate to a single layer hammock: the USGI poncho liner, which is a fully-synthetic blanket with polyester or nylon outer cover. I see them on ebay for <$20 delivered; but your local military surplus stores stock them, too.

    For proof of concept, don't sew: get yourself several bungee cords to hang it and a pack of clothes pins to clip it to the sides of your hammock. (Your choice about the pin design, plastic, spring, wood, passive, etc)

    If you are happy with the UQ warmth from your hanging and pinning, find excellent threads in HF DIY and other subforums on trimming and rigging the poncho liner. BTW, the operative acronym is "PLUQ".
    Last edited by DemostiX; 10-07-2011 at 21:03.

  5. #5
    Senior Member JalapeñoBen's Avatar
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    I think this falls into the hike your own hike category... do what you can with what you have! It took me a while to afford an UQ, I was using my old thermarest and my sleeping bag. If you have a thread injector I think there are some videos on how to transform a sleeping bag into a solid UQ. Just be sure to have fun with it!


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  6. #6
    BrianWillan's Avatar
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    You can certainly use a sleeping bag as an underquilt. There are many threads on this site on various ways to accomplish the task. One of the easiest I've see is to pickup a very cheap cargo net hammock that is close in size to your main hammock and place your sleeping bag in there. This is based on the premise that your subject sleeping bag will open up flat with the zippers. If it doesn't then use it as your top insulation and find something else for your bottom insulation. Given that your 70s era sleeping bag is likely not the lightest thing around, the cargo net hammock will provide ample support to keep the sleeping bag tight against the hammock.

    Once you know it's going to work for you, then you can begin the task to modify it to suit your needs. All of this testing work should be done in your back yard or in a car camping situation where you have an easy bailout option if the need arises.

    Cheers

    Brian

  7. #7

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    Sure you can. I made from an old regular bag, and even cut down it still weighs over 3 lbs. here what I did http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=37818

    Read around the forums, there's more than one way to skin a cat...

    Good luck and lets use know what you decide and how it turns out.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member vtrek's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great, and quick, feedback! I couldn't get the bag to hang right underneath so tonight (my first hang) I'm just going to try my insulated base pad. I'm hoping to try the cheap cargo net idea suggested by BrianWillan tomorrow night.

  9. #9
    REV's Avatar
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    heres a few ideas:

    1: yes, you can use a sleeping bag, as a friend of mine did. pic of blue thing at the bottom, issue is the ends, but you can figure something out if you need. pardon my head in the pic

    2: get what i have. $95 shipped, a UQ from wilderness logistics good to 35*. pics of the black thing at the bottom, almost full length and nice and wide (im a big guy too)
    http://www.wildernesslogics.com/Unde...-Quilt-SYN.htm

    3: make you a poncho liner UQ, for ~$25. you can see it in the pic with the canvas hammock, its the one i made and gave away at the raffle. the kid took it to the mid 40's that night.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member spidennis's Avatar
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    go for it!

    vtrek, you got the right idea, use what you got until you can afford more.

    I use a summer weight center zip mummy sleeping bag as an underquilt and use it in the summer and colder temps with the addition of a pad.

    I can still use it the converted UQ as a SB at any time! All my gear has to mix and match ......

    I sewed on a few loops on the head end, the foot end and about a 1/3 from either end and one in the middle. Then I use elastic cord that I found in the sewing dept and used that as suspension. I got three lines on the head end and three on the foot end. They go to an aluminum carabiner that clips to my hammock suspension. I also got a couple that goes over the ridge line of my blackbird. I can leave it loose for warmer temps, or snug it up when it gets chilly. It works out GREAT!

    I got pics of it somewhere here on the site .....

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