Just got my KAQ New River UQ-First Impression
I'd been looking for my first UQ for a while and was going back and forth between synthetic & down, full vs 3/4 etc and finally decided on the KAQ New River (3 season regular length) after learning more about it in the forums and knowing that it's good below 30 (plus being in my budget). So, right after Valentines Day, I went ahead and ordered it. I got the shipping confirmation on 2-21 and USPS delivered it to me on the 26th. Came in house after work and there it was waiting for me on the counter. Carefully I opened it and let it be free from the confines of the shipping box. It lofted up immediately and I checked out the quality workmanship and attention to detail. Also came with all the hanging hardware so it was good to go.
I had to do a quick test, so I headed out to my backyard (35 degrees in Michigan yesterday) with my eno single and did a quick setup. Unrelated note: I just added a whoopee ridgeline and it made for an easy setup. With the two included caribiners, I clipped it on, made some adjustments with the shock cords to cinch it in a bit, tossed in a down sleepng bag as a topquilt (next on the purchase list), made a few more adjustments and hopped in. This might have taken me less than 2 minutes tops. Once in, everything felt good and fit well...could even feel the heat trapped between the bottom of the hammock and the UQ. I did see that having the additional loops on the side of it are handy for cinching it up even more to the bottom and I actually used a temporary shock cord to do that. I'll have to rig up something more permanent eventually.
Packing size: I knew it wouldn't pack down as a small as a comparable down UQ, but I was surprised about how small it would pack. I used a kelty medium compression bag and got it around football size. I'm not real comfortable about keeping it compressed for an extended period, but I think it would be ok for a typical backpacking day. I also just packed it loose, along with my kelty noahs 12, rei radiant 20 down, eno single, jetboil, katydyn water filter in my REI Flash 62 pack and it barely filled half of it when I shoved everything in haphazardly. My thought is that loose and stuffed in is the way to go with this TQ.
About the temp rating: The one I bought is the standard UQ (no apex or 4 season). Most of my backpacking is 3 season, with very few winter trips. Michigan weather varies I've always gotten along with a 20 or 30 degree synthetic or down bag during my March to November season. In reading the forums, I know this will get me below 30 and I'm sure 20 is very doable. This weekend we've got projected lows of 16 degrees Saturday night, so if I can't get out to the woods, I'll go with plan B and do a backyard hang. Update will follow after proper testing. Nothing like some new gear to really get you looking forward to spring. Thanks to Paul and everyone at Arrowhead for making a great piece of gear Pics of the KAQ New River UQ attached.
The new UQ....priceless
Setup view (yes, that's a playhouse in the background but it makes a great winter storage shed)
Last edited by michigandave; 02-26-2013 at 12:46.
Looks good! Enjoy your purchase. I just got one too...same color and everything...and used it last weeked with good results.
I just recieved my new UQ this past weekend and was able to get it out for a couple of 30 degree nights. My UQ is rated for 40 but 30 felt great. Enjoy it sure did make a difference.
Just got in the house after feeling the urge for a backyard hang last night. Temp got down to 21 degrees and I felt pretty good all night. Heres how I prepared for it: KAQ new river 30, REI radiant 20 down bag for TQ, 1 pair wool socks, fleece sweat pants, tshirt, underarmour synthetic medium pullover, Eddie Bauer down/fur hat, hot water bottle, and no sleeping pad. This was the bare minimum for the conditions and I just wanted to gain the confidence in my backyard and not out I the woods 10 miles from my car. Woke up for the call of nature at 3, felt a little cold on the feet and converted my down puffy from a pillow to a foot warmer.
I'm very confident in the abilities of this quilt for low temps. Normally I'd be in long underwear top/bottom, fleece top/bottom, double socks, plus extra clothes stuffed around my feet. I'd also be using a thermarest pad for extra insulation. For my normal michigan 3 season use and the occassional winter trip, this quilt is perfect. I also added niteeyze figure 9 to help cinch it up to my ridge line as suggested in the forums.
Thanks for the detailed report. I am eagerly awaiting my New River and this is great info to keep me stoked!
Great post! Really helpful for me as I am considering a New River. Did you consider the Jarbidge and if so, why did you ultimately pick the New River? I am purchasing my first UQ and I have an ENO doublenest.
Advantages of the New River seem to be: full length size, specifically made for gathered end hammocks
Advantages of the Jarbidge: packs smaller?, less expensive, easier to adjust?
I am considering switching from a Jarbidge to a New River for the additional width.
Selected the Jarbidge over the New River because of weight, price, 3 season use, packing size and I don't have an issue keeping feet warm.
The Jarbidge works great when properly adjusted, I did add triangle thingies. I will be able to useit most of the year and add a pad for winter as needed. Was concerned the New River would be too warm during the summer.
My only issue has been the UQ slips off my left shoulder when moving around in the Wbbb.
Will probably try some dutchware first as I am not missing the extra length (I use the footbox in a mummy bag unzipped as a TQ to keep feet warm).
The dutchware will likely solve the issue but I am very reluctant to modify a stock wbbb in any way.
I have the same problem. I think the shoulder slip is best handled by suspension adjustments, not necessarily the dutch quilt hooks. I tried them and couldn't figure out what difference they made. I have dialed it in pretty good now with the triangle thingies, and sleep great.
Originally Posted by Ratdog
I have the long version of the New River and have taken it into the low 20's more than a few times. I wear heavy polypro bottoms and top, heavy socks, fleece gloves and a wool hat. No problem staying warm. I use a pair of the Dutch quilt clips that sort of redirect the suspension to pull it "up" more. (The ones that are an inverted "V" shape with a clip for the UQ suspension on each leg.)
Originally Posted by michigandave
Congrats on your new UQ!
Take it easy,
I just want to keep this thread going. Its all I have until I order my UQ in June. Keep talking guys!
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