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  1. #1
    Senior Member Frost's Avatar
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    Making a Mummy Bag Suck Less.

    So I've been hanging for less than a year now, and almost all in pretty warm weather, using a cheap rectangular bag as a sort of poor excuse for a top quilt. That worked fine, but I just did a test hang in my yard this week with a new 0F Swiss Gear Crevasse mummy bag, and while I was darn toasty, I immediately saw why most people abandon bags pretty quickly in favor of quilts.

    The analogies I could come up with to describe my bungling and struggling to get into and out of the bag without getting a face full of dirt (bridge hammock, little tippy ) are not fit for a family forum, but mostly involve higher order primates, mating rituals, and sporting equipment.

    But, I've got me an ideer, and I'm looking for some thoughts before I go hacking up my mummy bag.

    I'm thinking about removing the zipper and sewing up that edge (the huge draft tube will make that easy). I'll make a long slit down the back of the sleeping bag from about knee height, up to maybe shoulder height, and put a sort of large draft tube that can cover up the slit on the outside (I tend to toss and turn a lot at night, my back may end up exposed).

    This should let me pull the bag down on top of me, rather than trying to work it underneath me from the side. It will also let me keep the hood intact, and hopefully get me through the winter until I can get the funds together to work on my modular quilt system.

    Any thoughts on whether this might work? I'm half tempted to grab a $15 cheapy youth mummy bag and try it out first.

    If - if he stood! Enough of ifs!
    He knew a path that wanted walking
    He knew a spring that wanted drinking
    A thought that wanted further thinking.
    A love that wanted re-renewing

    "A Lone Striker" Robert Frost

  2. #2
    dejoha's Avatar
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    This is exactly what I do with my mummy bags in a hammock. You don't necessarily need to modify the bag to use them like a quilt; simply unzip them down to the foot box (leave about 1.5 to 2 feet zipped up) and *viola* you've got a top quilt.

    Position yourself in your hammock, slide your feet into the zipped-up foot box, and then tuck the "quilt" around your legs and shoulders. By keeping the bag intact, you can use it for other "less worthy" camping options if necessary. Cutting and sewing are great options too, so don't let me dissuade you.

  3. #3
    Senior Member HappyHiker's Avatar
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    Using a SB in a hammock is an art not perfected in a single try.

    I find it fairly easy. Open the SB, lay it out opened wide. Sit in the open SB, lift feet and rotate in. Lay back, lift rear end (by arching your back slightly lifting with feet and shoulders) straighten SB under you. Sit up a bit, zip up to your waist, lay back, zip up 'til comfy.

    Definitely takes practice, and not as easy as a TQ sounds - I've never used a TQ and am resistant for a number of reasons. But maybe just work at it a bit before doing any drastic alterations - or simply try using the SB as a TQ as suggested above.

    If you do make alterations, post them over in the DIY section, would love to see them.

    As always, YMMV, HYOH etc etc
    Experience is the worst teacher - it presents the exam first and the lesson later. - Unknown

  4. #4
    Senior Member JohnSawyer's Avatar
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    There are a few SB to TQ modification threads...

    Here's the one I did:



    It's just a mummy sans hood, draft tube and zipper...
    "Do or do not, there is no try." -- Yoda


  5. #5

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    assume you also have a bottom quit or pad. ;-)

  6. #6
    gunner76's Avatar
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    I use my mummy bag as a TQ. Like others have said, just unzipp leaving as much foot box as desired and enjoy.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Tendertoe's Avatar
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    +1 on gunner and dejoha's posts.

    No need to hack it up, just unzip it to just below knee level. you now have a slightly oversized TQ.

    This is assuming you have something under your body (pad, UQ, etc.). No need to squirm into anything. You have an item that functions in the exact same way as a TQ.

    You could also use the bag as a pod if it has a two-sided zipper. Zip it around the hammock and you have a TQ and UQ all in one.

  8. #8
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    You mentioned still being able to use your hood.

    Before you cut on your bag ( unless you just want to for fun and adventure ) try these options:

    1: ( an old standby) if you have something to stand on ( pad or pack or groundcloth) to keep your bag dry, just step into the foot of your bag and pull the hood over your head, zip up partly, sit down in hammock, lay down, zip up, done.

    2: using 2 way zipper or Velcro/snaps, leave your bag closed(but loose) at the hood/neck collar, and otherwise unzipped down to the foot box. Get into hammock, put feet in foot box, then slipping in through the unzipped area put your head through the neck collar area into hood. ( or you can reverse order, head in first, then feet)

    You now have some options. Either use the bag more quilt fashion, but you have the hood and neck collar to keep the drafts out. You can roll the open unzipped area slightly under you on one side or centered. Or, you can just roll into your bag and zip it up. Either of these approaches are real easy and preserve most of the draft free, heat sealed in function of a mummy bag, or PeaPod!

    3: If your bag is the right size and type, experiment with turning into a Pod. Search shug's videos on this. ( or just buy a PeaPod).
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 11-17-2011 at 16:01.
    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

  9. #9
    Senior Member Frost's Avatar
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    I tried unzipping it (The zipper ends at about my knee) but the hood and zipper were driving me nuts. The bag wasn't particularly expensive, only about $50, so I'm definitely not averse to just converting it straight to a TQ. I'm something of a cocoon sleeper though, so I'll need to make sure it's long enough to come up over my head once it's converted. I guess I could just split the hood and make it into a sort of flat extension of the bag if it isn't long enough, but it should be. It's an 88" long bag, and I'm only 5'7" (67").

    JohnSawyer, thanks for that photo. I had seen a number of conversion threads, but most of the mummy bag threads that I've found so far weren't particularly detailed. I wasn't sure just how much folks were cutting off their bag to do it.

    If I convert the bag to a quilt, am I correct in assuming the temp rating is going to go up a bit? It seems like no matter how you do it, a TQ isn't going to be quite as good at blocking drafts and such as a mummy bag with the same insulation thickness. I assume that depends to some extent just how much your UQ wraps around you.

    I did my test hang using a pad, but it definitely isn't going to hack it below 30F. I've got a fairly light weight but thick down throw that needs a little repair (**** cat) that ought to make a great winter UQ if I fold it over double. It won't quite be the monster full length down UQ I saw StormCrow using in one of Shug's recent videos, but I think it should be warm enough for hanging down to 20F or so.
    Last edited by Frost; 11-16-2011 at 10:05.

    If - if he stood! Enough of ifs!
    He knew a path that wanted walking
    He knew a spring that wanted drinking
    A thought that wanted further thinking.
    A love that wanted re-renewing

    "A Lone Striker" Robert Frost

  10. #10
    New Member MSG's Avatar
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    I had no trouble with the sleeping bag. In fact, I really liked that I could cinch the neck and use the hood to cover my head--especially my eyes when the sun came up. Gave me a little extra sleep time.
    I have a Marmot 15 degree bag-X Wide/X Long. I am 6'1", 240 with wide shoulders. I unzipped all the way and opened the bag. I am a ENO dbl, so the bag was completely contained within the hammock. Sat down in the estimated middle, took off my boots and lifted my feet in. I threw the top over me and lifted my knees, pulling the end of the bag towards me. I zipped as far as it would go in that configuration then straightened my legs and finished zipping. Viola, in and in position. No problem.

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