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  1. #1
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    Homemade UQ from Walmart quilt

    I usually go to ground in the winter using a bivey, Big Agnes insulated pad and a down sleeping bag.

    However, I have a some car-camping or short backpacking camp outs on the calendar for this fall, where temps will generally drop into the 40's.

    I'm not ready to buy a quilt - when I do it will be a high quality down that I can use for extended backpacking trips.

    So I was looking for ways to rig up an old sleeping bag as a quilt, then I found these quilts in Walmart for $16 (twin) and $22 (full/queen): Mainstays Reversible Microfiber Bedding Comforter

    Either could easily be cut into desired dimensions, then have the open cuts sewn up. My plan, however, is to simply fold them in half, then use gator clips in place of loops to test them out as quilts.

    Folded in half, the twin makes a 66 x 43 inch quilt. The full/queen is a bit too big folded in half - either 86 x 46 (which might work) or 92 x 43 (which would be better to cut down the length to 72).

    I can get loops sewn on for less than $10 total if I decide to go that route so I can ditch the gator clips. If I cut the quilt, my seamstress will sew on the loops and sew up the ends for $15.

    I can stuff the twin sized quilt into a medium sea-to-summit stuff sack. It weighs 44 oz (2 lbs, 12 oz). Using the full/queen would be limited strictly to car camping - more because of the bulk rather than the weight.

    My next thought was to buy two of the twin sized quilts, have them each cut into 44 x 72 (or perhaps less), then have grosgrain loops sewn in each corner, then add snaps along the edges so that I could snap them together for colder temps, but just use one single layer for warmer temps. That would drop the weight of each layer to 24 oz (1lb 8oz) (sans the weight of the loops and snaps).

    For about $60 (includes quilts and sewing) I think I'd end up with a usable under quilt system, albeit not ideal and not as good as what I'm looking to eventually purchase.

  2. #2
    Klaussinator's Avatar
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    Too funny --- for the past several weeks I've been looking at the very same thing at our WallyWorld, and my wife keeps asking "Why do you need some big blanket? It's still summer!"

    I really think it could be made to work well, perhaps using half rigged as an underquilt and the other half as an overquilt or just plain "blanket" as my wife would call it.

    Guess we'll which which one of us jumps first . . .

    -Klauss

  3. #3
    in it for the naps oldgringo's Avatar
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    I have one of those quilts that I use in the house when I snooze in my recliner. It is perfect for that application, but not terribly warm. Maybe if doubled...
    Dave

    http://www.uark.edu/misc/xtimber/rna/pattonsbluff.html

    It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming.
    John Steinbeck

  4. #4
    DivaB's Avatar
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    Just to let you know a poncho liner folded in half works very well, is cost effective, and in colder weather you can pin a down throw on top of it....you can also add other things inside it to aid in insulation. We did the no sew version and that is what we used our first year of hammocking, until I could get the down to make us some decent UQ.

    With the no sew version, you'll have full use of the poncho liner for other things when you get around to a better UQ. You could use it as an over cover, under cover, keep with the UQ version and so on. It's a win, win situation.

  5. #5
    Senior Member zukiguy's Avatar
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    Save your pennies

    I think DivaB hit the nail on the head. $60 for a heavy DIY UQ that you're pretty sure you're going to replace when funds become available seems like a waste. For just a little more you could get a synthetic quilt from some of our cottage vendors or be half way to that down quilt you really want.

    Yes, I caught hell from my wife when I dropped the money on a down UQ. In the long run it was worth it though. I've since made a PLUQ as a loaner or for my kid to use. They work fine and the no-sew version can be put together for around $30.

    I've got a pile of gear I bought over the years because it was on sale or met the "for right now" need. And in typical fashion I ended up having to re-buy other stuff later. It's not as comfortable but you can survive with the $5 walmart pad for quite a while and set aside the cash for your dream quilt.

  6. #6
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    Well, $60 is only if I cut two of them up. $30 if I just use one folded in half.

    In any event, I rigged it up folded over on it self an attached with gator clips. Instead of setting everything up in the park behind my house I just used the backyard hammock stand which is not ideal for hanging but worked to try this out.

    I can probably take care of the open foot end with a differential cut.






    The quilt I would buy will be closer to $300, so $30 is a good deal to try out colder weather hammocking. I've toughed it out down to 30 F with a wally blue pad and lots of clothing on, so I'm guessing this will get me down the mid 40's without all the extra clothing - which should get to me to Dec 1 (maybe all winter if the weather pattern doesn't change. )

  7. #7
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    Differential cut is when the inner layer of fabric is smaller than the outer layer. It allows for a snug fit, yet the insulative loft is not compressed.

    Dart is where you do a tapered (or small triangular) cut and sew to create a better fit.

    Aside from those details...., I'd recommend adding a small drawcord channel to both the head and foot ends and cinching them up with some thin shock cord and cordlocks. Skip the darts.
    The drawcord will seal it better.

    But do something to seal up the ends.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gargoyle View Post
    Differential cut is when the inner layer of fabric is smaller than the outer layer. It allows for a snug fit, yet the insulative loft is not compressed.

    Dart is where you do a tapered (or small triangular) cut and sew to create a better fit.

    Aside from those details...., I'd recommend adding a small drawcord channel to both the head and foot ends and cinching them up with some thin shock cord and cordlocks. Skip the darts.
    The drawcord will seal it better.

    But do something to seal up the ends.
    Thanks for the info - I'll probably go with the drawcords.

    My tailor does all my sewing for me. He hasn't yet master the English language so I have to physically show him what I want rather than describe it, but thanks for the details on the cuts anyway.

  9. #9
    DivaB's Avatar
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    +1 with the needed drawcord. I'd also fold down the foot end a bit more and run a double line stitch to run your draw cord threw (leaving about 2" over your stitching) so that you have a bit of a draft tube. You'll find most of your leaks will be at your foot end. Did that make sense?

  10. #10
    old4hats's Avatar
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    I bought a twin size last year marked down to $10 at WalMart, my wife folded it in half, sewed it together with grosgrain ribbon all around. Some shock cord in the grosgrain channels and it is a perfect fit. It is double thickness, and too bulky to pack, but for car camping it works very well. So for $10 and a couple bucks for grosgrain, and for shock cord, it wasn't to expensive.

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