First impressions and preliminary testing:
Edit: Probably due to my constant whining about loving a BMBH, but not being able to use it in cold weather so far because I don't have wide pads and my PeaPod or HHSS won't fit, JRB wanted me to give the MWUQ a test. So I happily will do so. This will be primarily for the Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock, as I have no other good way to insulate that hammock. But I will also give it a try on some gathered end hammocks, time and temp allowing.
First thing noticed, quality seems impressive. Mine weighed in at 27 ozs on my less than precise scales, not counting stuff sack or suspension. I attempted to measure loft, which is always a bit imprecise for me at best. I shook the loft down towards the center, so that there was very little down in the upper couple of inches, which seemed to be where I would have no contact anyway:
This loft was measured the day after I received it and after it was hung out all night. My BMBH just happened to be hanging in the back yard, so I set up immediately. We had just had 8" of rain in 2 days, with temps in the 30s. So, it had been hanging all night over a swamp, and had a heavy layer of frost over it. By the time I took this pic, it appeared to have pretty much dried out. Please notice that the yard stick is laying on the UQ, compressing the loft by about 1/2". Still, the loft seemed to measure 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 inches, about 5" in this spot. That is a lot of single layer loft.
Within an hour of receiving it, I had it hung in my backyard, which resulted in paranoia over the fact I was hanging this shiny new down quilt over a mud pit and standing water. I probably should have waited for things to dry out, but that may be a while. Installation could not have been much easier or uncomplicated. I simply hung the quilt's suspension shock cords from the BMBH end rings as directed, then attached the quilt to the suspension, and tightened a cord on each end as directed. VERY CAREFULLY, due to much mud down below. I put my PG Cat's Meow in the hammock and crawled in for a short afternoon nap, pulling the bag over me very loosely.
It was not very cold, mid 40s with some wind. I was soon close to overheating, with a strong sensation of heat radiating from below. My back felt like it could almost start sweating. It did not, but just kept getting warmer the longer I laid there. Now, this was admittedly not very cold considering the 0-10*F rating of this quilt, but I had never before felt this much warmth on my back at these temps. So that was a good start, and about as minimal of a learning curve as I have ever seen. Just hang it up, and lay down and be warm.
I left everything out under the JRB tarp, but chose not to sleep out for various reasons. But I went to bed early, so when I woke up about 5AM, I got up and headed out, at 27*F. I was a little concerned about the quilt and bag having been out for 8 hours below freezing with no body heat to warm them. So I got a down quilt that was inside overnight, to replace the Cat's Meow. When I got outside, I found quite a mess. Thick frost had formed on both inner and outer layers of the tarp, the bag and every where inside the hammock not covered by the sleeping bag, and all over the MW quilt. It was about as bad a case of condensation I have ever seen. Not exactly a fair way to test, though I don't know how much, if any, moisture got inside the UQ.
Anyway, I crawled in after removing the frost covered Cat's Meow and replacing with a down TQ, the Golite Ultra 20. I had on Capilene bottoms, and my BMW PG jacket so I could use it's hood, and pulled the TQ up over me to upper chest level. At first my back was a bit cool, not surprising. But after about 10-15 minutes, I was pretty comfortable. I certainly had no more trouble worrying that my back might sweat like during the previous mid 40s in the afternoon. But I was definitely comfortable, and again the longer I lay there the warmer I seemed to get. It is probably better to NOT start with your UQ and hammock covered with thick frost after 8 hours near or mostly below freezing, but it worked out real nice anyway.
Here is a shot after I had spent about a couple of hours in the hammock, and decided to get up at about 0730. Most of the frost had melted from body heat I suppose ( it was still 29*F), but some is still evident inside the hammock.
So even though I was not super warm at 27*F, I still think those were good results. Considering that everything was covered with frost, and well chilled from hanging overnight with none in the hammock. I have no idea if any moisture got inside the UQ or not.
But I was very comfortable. It was great to have my feet well covered by the full length under quilt. And there was no hint of cold feet, a problem I have had with some other set ups. Best of all, if I put my hands behind my head when on my back or side, they were quite warm. I could do this with a small pad, but this is much easier to deal with by keeping my head/elbows/hands warm.
There is a lot of testing to be done yet with this UQ, but the forecast is for a good bit warmer and wet. I will be posting more as I gain experience with the UQ with this hammock and others. So far, so great!