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  1. #1
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    Definitive guide for top quilt sizing?

    Greatings. I am new to hanging and in the process of putting together my gear. I am most likely to go with a DIY top quilt, but maybe not depending on time. Regardless of which option I go with, I need to determine what size quilt. I have read and searched through all of the posts in top quilt section the DIY section and BPL and while there are some good recommendations, I can't find anything definitive on how to size a top quilt. To further complicate matters, recommendations appear to vary across manufacturers. How do we figure out the size of a quilt that is "just right" (not too big and not too small).

    I am going to use my body size as an example, but I am hoping that out of this comes a reference for future newbie hangers like myself. My specs:

    • Height: 6' 0" (72"); 63" to my chin
    • Weight: 175 lbs
    • Body type: Slim / Athletic build
    • Chest and arms: All around- 50"; On back - 33"; On side - 39"
    • Shoe size: 11.5"
    • Sleep Style: Side and some back; Occasionally change positions through the night, but not a thrasher

    Quilt Length
    There seems to be two schools of camp here: Short and Long.

    Short camp
    Hammock Gear Burrow (74" - up to 6'0")
    http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com...roducts_id=133 (74" - up to 6'1")
    Tee Wa (74" - 6'0" (note:extrapolated from standard size)

    Long camp
    LytW8.com (78" - 6'0")
    http://kringlelight.files.wordpress....in50_guide.pdf (77" - 6'0")
    Enlightened Equipment Prodigy (78" - 6'0")
    Jacks R Better (86" - over 5'10"

    I have read some rules of thumb were you add 6-8" to your height to get the length if you are using draw strings. Also that body shape can take some inches off. Using this would put me in the long camp (78").

    Question 1: How should the quilt fit? Should it go to my chin, over my head, or somewhere in between? How loose should it be? Does it matter on the season?

    Question 2: Are there better guidelines for length that takes into account design (sewn vs cinched), foot size, body type?


    Quilt Top Width
    For the top width I have read that the dimensions depend on whether you are a back or slide sleeper, how much "wiggle" room you need, and whether you plan on going to the ground. There have been some other rules I read based on total chest size and coat size, but the below rules makes the most sense to me.

    Back sleepers: Lay flat on the floor and have someone take a measurement from the floor by one shoulder, across your chest to the floor on the other shoulder. Also measure at the elbows and at your wrists down by your sides. Add several inches to drape your body and prevent drafts.

    Side sleepers: Lie on your side, one shoulder on the ground, the other up. For minimum width you definitely want the edges touching the ground. Add another 6 to 12 inches for "wiggle room".

    Question 3: What is the appropriate adders for draping and wiggle room? Does it make a difference for hammock or ground?

    Question 4: Are there better guidelines I should use?

    Quilt Bottom Width (foot box)
    It appears that the bottom width is driven by foot size and that we want the bottom of the quilt to wrap around our feet comfortably when cinched or sewn.

    For a cinched foot box, I think it makes sense to calculate the width based on the circumference of a circle that uses your foot length as the diameter. We can use the formula C = 2πr = πd, or use an online calculator. Based on my foot size of 11.5", I need a minimum bottom width of roughly 36.25".

    For a sewn rectangular box, I am guessing that you would make the height of the rectangle the length of you foot plus some for wiggle. The length of the would probably be based on how far your feet spread when laying plus some room for wiggle. To get the width of the quilt bottom that would be sewn to the box, you would simple add the lengths of all four sides of the rectangle.

    Question 5: Do the above guidelines make sense?

    Question 6: How much extra should we add to allow for comfort, wiggle, cinching and so the insulation isn't overly tight?

    Taper
    It seems some quilts are full taper, others are half taper while others are 2/3 tapered.

    Question 7: How do you determine which taper is right for you?

    Testing the size
    Unfortunately, we can't just go to the store and try a quilt out (hence our original problem). Also we don't want to figure out the fit by trial and error by ordering or sewing different sizes. So it seems the best advice I have read is to mock up a quilt using a bed sheet folded to the dimensions figured out above. The folds can be secured with safety pins or binder clips. Experiment until you find dimensions that provide enough wiggle room for your needs.

    Question 8: Any specific guidelines on determining best overall fit?
    Last edited by mrstop; 02-13-2012 at 20:36.

  2. #2
    titanium_hiker's Avatar
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    I'll have a go

    sorry-- that was lost in the glitches.

    I'm a big fan of making a pattern.

    Are you a flopper/thrasher or an immobile sleeper?

    You don't want to put your face into the insulation, because of the moisture of your breath, especially in very cold situations.

    hammock does snuggle around you, so you can get away with a skinnier quilt.
    Last edited by titanium_hiker; 02-13-2012 at 17:32.
    my hammock gear weights total: 2430g (~86oz)
    Winter: total 2521 (~89oz)
    (see my profile for detailed weights)

    gram counter, not gram weenie!

  3. #3
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    Great compilation of TQ data. I hope others chime in.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Corncob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwk10 View Post
    Great compilation of TQ data. I hope others chime in.
    I second this. I'm gathering materials to give my first DIY UQ a go and will hopefully start on a TQ after I finish. I'm pretty close to the same size and this info would be a great help.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the support. I read through the current 22 or so pages here and the 240 or pages on the DIY section. I thought I would create a repository of all that I captured as well as ask questions on what I felt was missing.

    In regards to how much I move, I have only limited hang experience. I tried hanging last year in an old small rope hammock I had (definitely not comfortable nor recommended) and I only moved occasionally as one body part or another would cramp. In a normal bed, I am usually pretty prone and might shift just a couple of times during the night. I edited my sleep style to include this 'movement factor.'

  6. #6
    MAD777's Avatar
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    I am 6'-1" tall and weigh 195 pounds. I've made several top quilts, all 40" wide by 78" long. Those are finished sizes, I allow for 5% shrinkage from cut material.

    The length could be a few inches shorter for me and I would still be happy. The width is perfect for me in a hammock. If you are going to use this quilt on the ground, it needs to be wider, 50" in my opinion.
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by titanium_hiker View Post

    Are you a flopper/thrasher or an immobile sleeper?
    So let's expand on this thought. How would sleep movement affect quilt sizing? Is it the top width, foot box width/size, length? If so, how much should be added to the non-mover dimensions?

  8. #8
    Needs more Hang time Catavarie's Avatar
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    For my recent TQ project I made my quilt 74x50, pretty much just copied hammock gear's measurements. Now for myself I actually find this too big for me. I'm 5'9", 220lbs, 11.5 shoes. I made it a drawstring closure at the footbox so that if I get hot foot at night I can vent the footbox (I have a tendency in bed to sleep with me feet out from under the blankets.) For my next TQ I will shorten the length to probably 70 inches even and bring the width in to 44 inches while leaving the three inches on each side as draft stoppers for tucking under me. As it is currently I can wrap myself fully in my TQ and standing in the footbox can pull it nearly completely over my head.

    I did not taper the bottom of the quilt at all leaving it as a fully rectangular quilt. Next time I will likely taper the footend 4-6 inches on each side bringing the width in the footarea down to 38-42 inches. I did sew the sides of the quilt together in the footend and I stiched enough to come just above my knees (approximately 20 inches). I did this because my UQ ends at mid calf for me and I wanted to have a bit of overlap.

    Also I will be changing the karo step pattern I used, was a serious pain to stuff the down in it.


    If all of this sounds daunting give Adam and Jenny a call at Hammockgear.com they have excellent customer service and are more than willing to work on special orders of items. If you order a regular burrow and then decide that you need a few more inches or a few less they will work with you. They want all of their customers to be 100% satisfied, no that's not the right word, overjoyed with thier purchases. (I feel I should add here that I have no products by hammockgear nor any of our other many outstanding cottage industries, crazy me I've DIYed nearly every piece of gear I have.)
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

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  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    I like seeing the DIY dimmensions.
    Useful info is
    Height
    Weight
    Shoe size
    TQ length
    TQ width at shoulders
    TQ width at footbox (when laid flat, not when cinched or sewn)
    Side or back sleeper
    Are you UL

    The last I added bc I get a lot of useful info from MAD77 but I have learned he is UL and I generally add inches and oz.s to his DIY projects.

    Then somebody else can compile it into a chart

  10. #10
    titanium_hiker's Avatar
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    as a thrasher/rolller, I like my quilt to be able to go around three sides of me- front, back and one of my sides.
    my hammock gear weights total: 2430g (~86oz)
    Winter: total 2521 (~89oz)
    (see my profile for detailed weights)

    gram counter, not gram weenie!

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