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  1. #1
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    Going to try a DIY Sleeping Bag to UQ Conversion

    I have an el-cheapo Sleeping Bag from Walmart that has a busted zipper, I'd like to turn it into an UQ.

    I'll be putting it on a Hennessy Explorer Deluxe Zip.

    I can do some Hand Stitching, but I do not know how to use a Sewing Machine, so that limits my options. (My wife owns one, but other than a few GS Patches, It has never seen much action.)

    Here's my Plan, tell me if this sounds workable.

    Open the Sleeping Bag Up
    Sew Grosgrain Loops onto the Foot and Head of the Sleeping Bag every few inches. (Similar to the 4th pic at the following link : http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=86090 )

    Some sort of drawstring/elastic something will be threaded thru those grosgrain loops, allowing me to tighten it up around the head and foot of the hammock. (Suggestions wanted)

    I'll sew some larger Grosgrain Loops to the 4 corners, and use that to attach the Sleeping bag to the main line of the Hammock. Not sure what I'll use to attach it, but something simple like Bungee Cords would be ideal.


    I realize that this will be a limited use item. It's not going to keep me toasty in sub freezing temps or anything... But as a Cub Scout Leader in NC, I'll probably very rarely be going out in sub freezing temps anyway. Also, no backpacking, so weight and compactability are not huge issues for me. I'm going for Cheap and Easy.

    The one thing I'm not certain about is how much more complicated this will make it to get in or out of the Hammock.

  2. #2
    Senior Member redhawktx's Avatar
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    I have done this mod, successfully. First suggestion: TAKE THE ZIPPER OFF!. Sorry to yell, but the zipper will damage your hammock. I used my pocket folding knife for that job. Be careful to cut only the threads and not the sleeping bag material. Lots of patience on this step.

    For the cord through the loops I use shock cord. I use enough cord to tie to the same points where the hammock ties to the suspension line. Adjust the length of the cords so the sleeping bag (now an UQ) hangs low enough that as you settle in to your hammock it rests lightly against the UQ. The shock cords will keep the UQ nice and snug against you all night long. Bungee cords will pull with too much force and flatten the loft of the UQ. Bungee cords = CBS, shock cord = nice and toasty.

    I reach over the side of the hammock and pull the UQ around my shoulders and behind my head.If the original sleeping bag is long enough you will also have your feet warm all night long. The effect is you have two hammocks ... the one you are lying in and the nice warm one under it.

  3. #3
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    Ok, another stupid question - What's a good place to find Grosgrain Fabric and Shock Cord?

  4. #4
    Pag's Avatar
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    Diygearsupply.com

    I'm surprised he doesn't need a waiver page that you have to acknowledge DIY is more addictive than drugs, you have a lenient spouse, and you understand your spare time will be gone.
    --If a cow laughs hard, does milk come out its nose?

  5. #5
    Senior Member redhawktx's Avatar
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    "a lenient spouse ..."

    Did I mention the sleeping bag I converted was my wife's? That did not go well.

  6. #6
    Senior Member redhawktx's Avatar
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    For the grosgrain I used old compression straps from other equipment. This can also be found in WallyWorld in the the camping section.

    Since there is very little strain placed on the UQ, you will be fine using whatever strapping material you can find.

  7. #7
    harrellt's Avatar
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    This is EXACTLY what I've been mulling over today in my head. I have a lost and found "Sleepcell" sleeping bag that is begging me to be an underquilt.

    Quote Originally Posted by CubmasterTony View Post

    I can do some Hand Stitching, but I do not know how to use a Sewing Machine, so that limits my options. (My wife owns one, but other than a few GS Patches, It has never seen much action.)
    This is my exact situation with DIY. All I've done so far is make some aluminum toggles out of knitting needles. The bag has a center zip down to about your knees. I'd like to use channels for shock cord instead of loops but that's all I have figured out. Can I piggy back on this thread and ask for guidance on how to go about this? Something more like a diagram or video on how bag transformations have gone for others? Sorry, I'm a visual learner.

  8. #8
    Senior Member JohnSawyer's Avatar
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    I made 2 uq's from sleeping bags... sewing a premade bag is a pain. Given most cheap bags weigh a ton, I ended up using small bungee cords for suspending the uq. It works... I found a kid sized rectangle bag works well...
    "Do or do not, there is no try." -- Yoda


  9. #9
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    Ok, here's what I'm thinking of doing. See Attachment.

    I want to have something that I can throw on or take off while the Hammock is in the air.

    Will two Grosgrain Straps + buckles be enough to support the weight of the sleeping bag? Am I over Engineering it? Would I be better off to just let the 1/4 inch Shock Cord itself (Plus Shock Cord Hooks) support the weight of the Underquilt?
    Attached Files Attached Files

  10. #10
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    I have never seen an UQ much less made one; so keep that in mind.

    But, I think you want a short length of cord running thru a channel at the head end and another at the foot end. This cord will have a cord lock so you can tighten up and help shape the UQ. The UQ is basically flat. Cinching the ends will help it become more boat shaped or actually hammock shaped.

    Post pics when done.

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