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  1. #1
    Senior Member digrat's Avatar
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    Down UQ? "I'm Not Stopping You!"

    I go camping with the Scouts usually once a month or so, and have been hammocking for the last 3 or 4 now. My gear has come in fits and starts, here a piece there a piece. About a year ago, I switched from a Zrest pad and a Eureka Cimmaron 15* bag to a DIY UQ/TQ combo that I made from a synthetic quilt I had laying around. The UQ seems to be working okay, but the TQ is a bit narrow and my feet are often chilly. Also, they're horribly bulky, and have cotton shells instead of nylon.

    So I brought up the subject of down to my wife last night. I mentioned that most commercial TQs or UQs would set me back as much at $250 each, but I could probably DIY for closer to $60 each. She said, and I quote, "Great. I won't stop you if you want to make a set."

    I've got some sewing skills, so that's not a problem. My issues are:

    What is a baffle and what does it do? Does it attach to both the top and bottom of the quilt?
    I've looked at the Red River Gorge quilt plans and it seems to be a good UQ, but where can I find good TQ plans? What should I look for in a TQ to keep my feet toasty warm?
    I'm 6'4" tall. What am I going to wish I'd done differently to accommodate my height in a TQ or UQ?
    How do I figure out how much down I need? Should I overstuff? What exactly is the definition of overstuffing? What's a great place to get down?

    Thanks in advance. I've tried to review the forums for TQs and UQs, but I'm in information overload right now, and have had trouble sifting through for the info I need.
    -Digrat
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  2. #2
    Fronkey's Avatar
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    Here are a couple.
    Top Quilt
    Underquilt 2

    Fronkey

  3. #3
    sr1355's Avatar
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    Howdo.... Baffle is attached to both the top shell and the bottom shell. It allows the down to loft up and creat a uniformed thickness across the entire quilt. Most summer quilts can be sewn through, no baffle, 3 season usually has about 1 1/2 to 2" baffles and winter around 3 1/2 to 4".

    I personally would make the quilt 6" long than you height, as for width that would depend on your waistline and shoulder line...

    Amount of down is easy, figure area in inches of quilt multiply by desired thickness. Divide by fp of down and then multiply by 1.15 for 15% overfill of 1.2 for 20%. Example

    50X80 quilt is 4000 s.i.

    4000 s.i. at 3" loft is 12000 c.i.

    using 800FP down 12000/800 is 15 oz

    15 oz X 1.15 17.25 oz of 800FP down needed...

    Hope that helps...
    Happy Hangin'

    Paul - SR1355
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  4. #4
    Senior Member BodhiKnight's Avatar
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    This fella made out like a bandit by getting the down from my luxe pillows.
    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=38247

    And there are some on ebay right now to boot.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/BLOOMING-My-...-Medium-Firm-/

  5. #5
    Senior Member G.L.P.'s Avatar
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    the easy formula is

    LxWxH/fill power it's the same thing as above with less math
    than do the math for your overfill i pretty much just add 1-3oz of down to the number i get from above ...

    a TQ with at least 15oz of down will cost about
    15oz at $6.50 an oz from HG.com $97.50
    5 yards of 1.1 ripstop from BWDD around $25
    odds and ends $10
    Total $132.50 + shipping cost so around $145 for a nice 20F TQ

    UQ will be around $75-115 mark

    so say around $250 total ..about the price of just a TQ from a vendor
    Making your own gear is great but you really don't save much in the long run

    you can do Synth TQ/UQ cheaper
    maybe $75-100 for the TQ and around $70 for the UQ if you use 5oz Climashield
    It puts the Underquilt on it's hammock ... It does this whenever it gets cold

  6. #6
    Senior Member digrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sr1355 View Post
    Howdo.... Baffle is attached to both the top shell and the bottom shell. It allows the down to loft up and creat a uniformed thickness across the entire quilt. Most summer quilts can be sewn through, no baffle, 3 season usually has about 1 1/2 to 2" baffles and winter around 3 1/2 to 4".
    I was wondering about that. So the baffle just makes it so you don't have to stitch the top directly to the bottom.

    Quote Originally Posted by sr1355 View Post
    I personally would make the quilt 6" long than you height, as for width that would depend on your waistline and shoulder line...
    Length was my next question. Maybe I could take my sleeping bag, add about 4-6 inches, and make my TQ that wide?

    Quote Originally Posted by sr1355 View Post
    Amount of down is easy, figure area in inches of quilt multiply by desired thickness. Divide by fp of down and then multiply by 1.15 for 15% overfill of 1.2 for 20%....
    What will overfill do for me? Will adding 20% more down make it 20% more...warm? I would imagine that there's a point of diminishing returns on packing in the down.
    -Digrat
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  7. #7
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    baffles are to keep the loft from shifting inside the quilt, making it so it can only move within that chamber. they are also done so that the top and bottom of said quilt do not touch, which would result in a cold spot from lack of loft there. all in all, makes it so that the loft stays consistent throughout the whole quilt.

  8. #8
    sr1355's Avatar
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    What he said, its a lot of work getting the baffles sewn in versus a sewn through but worth the effort if this will be used in cooler temps...

    Overfill helps add density to the down in the chamber helping control down movement, 15 to 20% is the norm, does add to warmth of quilt...down actually insulates with air in between all the clusters so too much down may have a negative effect on warmth, I wouldn't recommend anymore than 20%...
    Happy Hangin'

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  9. #9
    WV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by digrat View Post
    What will overfill do for me? Will adding 20% more down make it 20% more...warm? I would imagine that there's a point of diminishing returns on packing in the down.
    You are certainly asking all the right questions. That bodes well for your project.

    I added 8 oz. of down to my JRB No Sniveller, making it much warmer, but with its new overfill it is better as an underquilt than a topquilt. That's because the added down makes the quilt's tubes somewhat stiffer, so it doesn't drape as well; there are more air gaps between the underside of the quilt and my body. I usually pull the quilt down so it makes better contact, and I can feel that it warms me faster when I do.

    Both Demostix and Puckerfactor have noted the importance of drape in a top quilt, so I got out an early top quilt I made using Primaloft insulation. It's true! The primaloft quilt was much better than I remembered, and I believe that its flexibility (inherent in the Primaloft insulation) is what makes it work so well. Of course, a down top quilt can drape well, too, but as you overstuff it, that quality is lessened.

  10. #10
    Senior Member digrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WV View Post
    You are certainly asking all the right questions. That bodes well for your project.

    I added 8 oz. of down to my JRB No Sniveller, making it much warmer, but with its new overfill it is better as an underquilt than a topquilt. That's because the added down makes the quilt's tubes somewhat stiffer, so it doesn't drape as well; there are more air gaps between the underside of the quilt and my body. I usually pull the quilt down so it makes better contact, and I can feel that it warms me faster when I do.

    Both Demostix and Puckerfactor have noted the importance of drape in a top quilt, so I got out an early top quilt I made using Primaloft insulation. It's true! The primaloft quilt was much better than I remembered, and I believe that its flexibility (inherent in the Primaloft insulation) is what makes it work so well. Of course, a down top quilt can drape well, too, but as you overstuff it, that quality is lessened.
    Ah. See, that's what I wasn't seeing in my research. Thanks, WV.
    -Digrat
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