Reading mny posts on UQs and I remain confused. I used my long warm fiberfill coat as an underquilt on our last campout. It worked pretty well but will not stuff very small and it really didn't get below 35. Bob used an underquilt that he made from a thrift store duvet. It worked for him as well but it has cotten outing so will not be good for the AT. We both had to be pretty well dressed as we slept and it would be nice to find something a bit warmer.
Problem. We currently have ENOs but are thinking that we will be wanting to get something else for our AT hike and trial hikes to prepare. Are UQs designed for particular hammocks or if we choose a good UQ will it work on any hammock we get?
We both sleep cold -in a Hammock anyway. Should we plan on full UQs despite the extra weight since part of our hiking will be in freezing and below freezing conditions? If we send them back during the summer months, will we regret it when we are atop of a mountain in August?
The majority of quilts will work with the majority of hammocks, if that makes sense. When you get your choices in hammocks a little more narrowed down, the community can probably be a better help with that. But, for example, pretty much any quilt can be used with a Warbonnet Ridgerunner (a bridge hammock) even though they were probably designed for use with a gathered end hammock. Sometimes things require a little bit of creative engineering, but you can typically get things to work out.
Regarding whether or not you'll regret sending the quilts back and regretting it in August... very possible. Most people need something under them in a hammock once the temperatures start hitting mid to low 70s. Whether you'll need an underquilt is another matter. You can try stringing up a jacket under it, and that may well suffice. Again, creative engineering.
One of the things that most hangers seem to love about it is the fiddle factor - others don't like it. I, for one, quite enjoy the versatility and ingenuity that hammocking affords. With some creativity and maybe a bit of stubbornness, things can usually be made to work.
I'm sure others will chime in with much better advice, but there's my two cents, lol.
EDIT: Couple more things. No, you don't need a full length quilt for sub-freezing temperatures. Just a few days ago I laid out in the hammock in the backyard with my Yeti (a torso-length quilt) to watch the meteor shower. Next thing I knew, I was waking up 3 hours later a hair on the sweaty side. It was 23°. Your legs require much less insulation than your torso, and you'll find you can get away with some pretty MacGyver'd stuff. Most that don't use full-length quilts use a small section of a CCF pad, or a sit pad of some sort. Shove it in the footbox of your topquilt or sleeping bag, and that seems to keep condensation under control.
Finally: test, test, test. String your hammock up in the backyard, if you can, and practice setting things up, taking them down, putting them back up. Try sleeping outside on nights the weather is similar to what you'll be expecting. This way, you not only have a safe escape should something not work out, but an easy one. Just get up and go to bed inside. It's MUCH better to discover you've got a hole in your plans in your backyard than miles from the trailhead.
This may give a bit of UQ isight. I like a 3/4 as it takes a wee less space in the backpack.
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I Hope Heaven has a Bakery!!!!
A 3 season UQ that's 2/3 to 3/4 length will probably fit the bill for a thru hike. With some fiddling (coat under your feet), it should be warm enough. They will be lighter than a full length too.
As far as your hammock, you'll probably want to re-think that one. Some of the trail can get pretty buggy in the summer (I've never been on it, but elsewhere out east), so you'll probably want to get a hammock with an integrated bug net. The UQ will keep the blood suckers off your back too.