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  1. #1
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Experience with new PeaPod?

    Jeff, I saw this post from you over on the pad thread, and I started to ask you a question over there, but decided I better start a new thread. I hope it's okay for me to use your quote from that thread and move it over here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jeff View Post
    On freezing nights when I have wet shoes, I've put them inside a sil bag, then hung the sil bag inside the PeaPod or TravelPod. Keeps them above freezing and much more tolerable when I put them on in the morning. Not sure I'd do this on a long trip, but it's ok on the 2-3 day trips I usually take.
    Jeff, have you been using the peapod much? If so, how do you like it? I've been on the verge of switching to that for a while, but I can't quite commit. The new version, at 35 oz. and a 20* rating(5" loft 900 fill), seems to be so close to the ultimate in efficiency, since it takes care of your bottom insulation plus top (to 20*) in one 35 oz package. I also love the idea of velcro rather than zippers. The fly in the ointment is the space between your top and the top layer of the peapod. As I understand it, that keeps it from actually reaching its 20° rating when used with a hammock. Though the 20° is the actual rating for the bottom, the gap on the top keeps it from being 20° unless you use some other kind of bag on top of you. Even though, 5 inches of loft would make it a 20° bag by ground standards, according to the way most manufacturers rate bags. So close but no cigar. So adding some kind of top blanket in order to reach the 20° rating ends up adding to both weight and cost and bulk. But that's also going by Ed Speers rating and feelings about it, and he calls himself a very cold sleeper.

    So I'm hoping there's somebody that reads on this forum who has a good bit of experience with the new Peapod with overfill rated at 20°. Or for that matter the lighter one rated at 30°.( or an older 750 fill rated not as warm) Because they only thing I'd really be interested in finding out is how close does the average sleeper come to being able to reach the rating of the Peapod without the use of some other kind of top blanket? How far off is the rating? Or are there are people for whom the rating is good to go without a top blanket? I can't help but think of Neo here! It sounds like he could sleep naked in the thing and take it to 10°, based on what he has used so far to keep warm! Or if you add a thick top blanket, do you then exceed the PeaPod rating? These are the sorts of questions only experience can answer.

    Bottom line, what are the thoughts on the Peapod, whether on the older ones or the new ones? I hope there are one or two people available who have tried out the newer one, or know someone who has. Because it seems really weight efficient, or at least it would be if you can get even pretty close to the 20° rating on top as well as on bottom, without need of a top bag. Or, if the use of the top bag actually took some folks elow 20.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 02-13-2007 at 11:44. Reason: typos

  2. #2
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    I have not used on yet. I thought about them. My question would be is the seal tight enough on the top and is there enough insulation there for you not to need a top blanket? I think that if I made a peapod I would think about putting the seal on the side. That way the user would have a full layer of insulation on top of them.

    Another question would be is a peapod (along with any needed top insulation) lighter than an underquilt and top quilt, taking into account any needed suspension systems?
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  3. #3
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    I got to see Tim's version of the Peapod on a trip not too long ago. Actually, it's kind of a cross between a Peapod and a top/bottom quilt. His bottom quilt was attached to the hammock (almost an insulated hammock) so no need for suspension. His top quilt was attached to the hammock on one side and was designed to allow either close draping or to leave an airspace like the Peapod. Seems like a good, flexible idea. Since it's permanently attached, the entire setup would be limited to winter use, but who doesn't have a couple extra hammocks laying around at this point?
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

  4. #4
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    First of all - I love the PeaPod. In my experience, the PeaPod works better than underquilts on a Speer-type hammock. But obviously it can't be used on a Hennessy, and it's much more cumbersome to wear as a robe than the NS is to wear as a poncho. They both have their places.

    Now the details.

    • The PeaPod is pretty easy to fit and adjust on most hammocks. A full width hammock (over 60" or so) can compress the insulation a bit when the Pod is closed, depending on how you hang the hammock. But other than that, you really just cinch it on.

    • The velcro works. It makes the Pod very adjustable...if you're warm, you can vent anywhere along the Pod. If you're cold, you can close it right around your head. The velcro is also more of a hassle to close than a zipper is...if the ends aren't lined up exactly, sometimes I end up with a "bubble" on one side and have to realign the edges. It's also a bit scratchy since it doesn't use omni-tape...which is why I made the PeaPod Hood. (This hood is much bigger/heavier than needed, but it sure is comfortable.)

    • You do need a top quilt for lower temps (see below), but since the PeaPod completely surrounds the hammock you can get away with a much thinner top quilt. So if you add up the top quilt and PeaPod, it'll weigh about the same as the JRB 3 season set with support system. (The overstuffed PeaPod+quilt might be just a bit heavier but I think it's also just a bit warmer, so it's really a wash.)


    Reasons you need a top quilt as the temp drops:
    • The insulation on top is kinda thin...if I crawl inside mine during the day, I can see spots where it doesn't look like there's much down. More reason a top quilt is needed.


    • At the very top where the velcro is, that's all the insulation above you...two layers of velcro.

    • The hammock holds the Pod up off your body, creating an air gap that your body must heat...unless you fill the gap with more insulation (like a quilt). So you're correct about the space above your body...a top quilt is needed to get to low temps.


    Personally, if I wanted the warmest system for the lightest weight, I'd base the decision on what kind of hammock I use rather than the insulation for it. If you're comfortable in the HH, JRB is the way to go. If you're more comfortable in the Speer, the PeaPod+quilt will work great.

    Something to keep in mind is the multi-use aspect of the JRB quilts (NS and Stealth). I save the weight of a jacket in my pack by carrying the JRB...so even though the weights are similar, my pack is ~15 oz lighter if I use the JRB.

    BUT if the wallet allows (and you prefer a Speer-type), I bet a Stealth + PeaPod would be a **** versatile system temperature-wise, and still give you the benefits of wearing your quilt as a poncho around camp. (I haven't gone camping w/o my No Sniveler since I bought it, even when I use the PeaPod...the Stealth has the same head-hole.)

    So there are my opinions. Don't forget that I have a business relationship with JRB...it has nothing to do with the quilts and (IMO) doesn't color my judgment on ways to insulate hammocks, but it's a relationship nonetheless. And I have some info on the Staying Warm page and the Winnemucca trip page on the website, if you haven't seen it yet. (I just saw my page for the first time w/ IE7...looks like crap!! The colors are all jacked up, so I'll have to fix that when I get a chance.)
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
    - Designer, Jeff's Gear Hammock / Pack Cover by JRB

    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

  5. #5
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackbishop351 View Post
    I got to see Tim's version of the Peapod on a trip not too long ago. Actually, it's kind of a cross between a Peapod and a top/bottom quilt. His bottom quilt was attached to the hammock (almost an insulated hammock) so no need for suspension. His top quilt was attached to the hammock on one side and was designed to allow either close draping or to leave an airspace like the Peapod. Seems like a good, flexible idea. Since it's permanently attached, the entire setup would be limited to winter use, but who doesn't have a couple extra hammocks laying around at this point?
    yep, it is actually an insulated hammock (hammock/insulation/shell) & the top quilt is a lot like the top of the pea pod in that the sides of the hammock tend to hold it up off you a little... at least at the sides.
    the insulation is synthetic.
    it's way heaver than i'd like but if i made another synthetic i could cut the weight & bulk a fair amount.
    but i do like the hood w/ insulated collar... very effective.
    http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery...5/PB120146.JPG
    ...tim
    Last edited by slowhike; 02-13-2007 at 19:22.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  6. #6
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jeff View Post
    First of all - I love the PeaPod. In my experience, the PeaPod works better than underquilts on a Speer-type hammock. But obviously it can't be used on a Hennessy, and it's much more cumbersome to wear as a robe than the NS is to wear as a poncho. They both have their places.

    Now the details.

    • The PeaPod is pretty easy to fit and adjust on most hammocks. A full width hammock (over 60" or so) can compress the insulation a bit when the Pod is closed, depending on how you hang the hammock. But other than that, you really just cinch it on.

    • The velcro works. It makes the Pod very adjustable...if you're warm, you can vent anywhere along the Pod. If you're cold, you can close it right around your head. The velcro is also more of a hassle to close than a zipper is...if the ends aren't lined up exactly, sometimes I end up with a "bubble" on one side and have to realign the edges. It's also a bit scratchy since it doesn't use omni-tape...which is why I made the PeaPod Hood. (This hood is much bigger/heavier than needed, but it sure is comfortable.)

    • You do need a top quilt for lower temps (see below), but since the PeaPod completely surrounds the hammock you can get away with a much thinner top quilt. So if you add up the top quilt and PeaPod, it'll weigh about the same as the JRB 3 season set with support system. (The overstuffed PeaPod+quilt might be just a bit heavier but I think it's also just a bit warmer, so it's really a wash.)


    Reasons you need a top quilt as the temp drops:
    • The insulation on top is kinda thin...if I crawl inside mine during the day, I can see spots where it doesn't look like there's much down. More reason a top quilt is needed.


    • At the very top where the velcro is, that's all the insulation above you...two layers of velcro.

    • The hammock holds the Pod up off your body, creating an air gap that your body must heat...unless you fill the gap with more insulation (like a quilt). So you're correct about the space above your body...a top quilt is needed to get to low temps.


    Personally, if I wanted the warmest system for the lightest weight, I'd base the decision on what kind of hammock I use rather than the insulation for it. If you're comfortable in the HH, JRB is the way to go. If you're more comfortable in the Speer, the PeaPod+quilt will work great.

    Something to keep in mind is the multi-use aspect of the JRB quilts (NS and Stealth). I save the weight of a jacket in my pack by carrying the JRB...so even though the weights are similar, my pack is ~15 oz lighter if I use the JRB.

    BUT if the wallet allows (and you prefer a Speer-type), I bet a Stealth + PeaPod would be a **** versatile system temperature-wise, and still give you the benefits of wearing your quilt as a poncho around camp. (I haven't gone camping w/o my No Sniveler since I bought it, even when I use the PeaPod...the Stealth has the same head-hole.)

    So there are my opinions. Don't forget that I have a business relationship with JRB...it has nothing to do with the quilts and (IMO) doesn't color my judgment on ways to insulate hammocks, but it's a relationship nonetheless. And I have some info on the Staying Warm page and the Winnemucca trip page on the website, if you haven't seen it yet. (I just saw my page for the first time w/ IE7...looks like crap!! The colors are all jacked up, so I'll have to fix that when I get a chance.)
    I'm interested to hear your thoughts on why the Peapod provides a better fit to the Speer-type hammock. Reference my recent issues with underquilt fitting under the thigh-to-knee area.

    I've thought about trying a synthetic Peapod (synthetic for price and ease of DIY) but kept coming up with flexibility issues. Not necessarily the wearability problem you mentioned, but more general. With top/bottom quilts, you can use the same piece of gear in different ways for different seasons. For warm trips, either nothing underneath or 1" insulation on bottom and something very light (clothing or a poncho liner) on top works for me. Down to about 30*, 1" on top and 2" on bottom. Below that, 2" on top and 3" on bottom. That's accounting for clothing but not for my hammock sock (right off the bat I add 10* to the ambient temp for the sock, especially after Rogers). Anyway, all this could be accomplished with a 2" dedicated top quilt, a 2" dedicated bottom quilt, and a convertible 1" quilt that could be used either way. And unless I'm mistaken, that's a flexibility the Peapod is missing out on.
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

  7. #7
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    I can't really say why mine fit better...I just never had that problem under my knees like I did with underquilts. Maybe I'll set it up again and see if I can figure it out. I did notice that, like underquilts, more sag makes it more difficult to get a good fit. (For underquilts used w/o side tie-outs, at least.)

    Re: flexibility, here are some examples of how to change the warmth:
    - Pod closed on top, snug on bottom, top quilt
    - Pod closed on top, snug on bottom, no top quilt
    - Pod vented on top, snug on bottom, top quilt or no top quilt
    - Pod completely open on top, snug on bottom, with or without top quilt
    - Or you can hang it loosely so there's a small air gap underneath, but with all the options above. It'll keep you warm like the Hammock Sock does, only it works better b/c it's insulated.
    - Or you can lay the top quilt under you in the Pod for more bottom insulation, and another bag on top.

    So it's not flexible in the sense that, with three quilts, you could leave one home. But you can still adjust for temps, and you don't have to carry the extra DWR layers of a whole 'nother quilt.

    But like I said, this is just my experience with how I hang my hammocks. I use a lot of sag. If someone uses less sag, their gear will fit differently.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
    - Designer, Jeff's Gear Hammock / Pack Cover by JRB

    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

  8. #8
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jeff View Post
    I can't really say why mine fit better...I just never had that problem under my knees like I did with underquilts. Maybe I'll set it up again and see if I can figure it out. I did notice that, like underquilts, more sag makes it more difficult to get a good fit. (For underquilts used w/o side tie-outs, at least.)

    Re: flexibility, here are some examples of how to change the warmth:
    - Pod closed on top, snug on bottom, top quilt
    - Pod closed on top, snug on bottom, no top quilt
    - Pod vented on top, snug on bottom, top quilt or no top quilt
    - Pod completely open on top, snug on bottom, with or without top quilt
    - Or you can hang it loosely so there's a small air gap underneath, but with all the options above. It'll keep you warm like the Hammock Sock does, only it works better b/c it's insulated.
    - Or you can lay the top quilt under you in the Pod for more bottom insulation, and another bag on top.

    So it's not flexible in the sense that, with three quilts, you could leave one home. But you can still adjust for temps, and you don't have to carry the extra DWR layers of a whole 'nother quilt.

    But like I said, this is just my experience with how I hang my hammocks. I use a lot of sag. If someone uses less sag, their gear will fit differently.
    Thanks for the explanation. I guess I was really referring to the weight issue of being able to leave a quilt or two at home, although it's helpful to hear your thoughts on using the Pod in different conditions. I hadn't thought of some of those.

    I don't know that the under-leg gaps are strictly an issue with a lot of sag. You saw my homemade hammock at Rogers - I don't have much sag at all in that one, but I still get the gap problem. Not as much as I do with the new wider (60") one I made, but it's there nonetheless.
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

  9. #9
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    Here's another question. How does the peapod interfer with bug netting? I guess I am thinking from a limiting standpoint. I think that to fully close or open the top you would need a bug netting that goes all around the hammock.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  10. #10
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammock engineer View Post
    Here's another question. How does the peapod interfer with bug netting? I guess I am thinking from a limiting standpoint. I think that to fully close or open the top you would need a bug netting that goes all around the hammock.
    I wouldn't plan on using a Pod in conditions warm enough to need a bugnet. My experience has been that when it's time for the bugs to come out, I don't need bottom insulation at all. In fact, if it gets much above 70* at night, I've gotten overheated with no insulation at all. I'm really warm-blooded though.
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

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