Pad Sleeve for WBBB 1.1 double layer?
After decades of backpacking with tents I just acquired my first hammock -- a Blackbird 1.1 double layer. I have 4 nights of hanging experience in this model, having borrowed one from a very generous & trusting forum member. I will be using pads for the forseeable future. In my first trip (October 2012 in Kentucky's Red River Gorge) I used my old Thermarest self-inflator with half a Z-Lite crossways under my upper torso, both placed between the double layers of the Blackbird. I had difficulty keeping the partially-inflated Thermarest positioned under me, and fortunately the overnight temps didn't dip below 40 degrees. For top insulation I used my 32* UL Mont-Bell superstretch down SB as a TQ with the bottom third zipped up.
I'm looking for a method of securing the position of these pads under me while I sleep. I'm a back-sleeper and don't move around much. I'm open to any ideas including an SPE, though I want to keep additional purchases (and additional weight) to a minimum. I started this thread to focus on the possibility of sewing a pad sleeve for holding my pads in place.
What are the advanatges/drawbacks to sewing a pad sleeve into the hammock?
With a double layer hammock, would you simply sew through both layers?
If the pad sleeve involves sewing on additional material, to what surface should it be sewn? I assume it would be the inner layer, but would that be the top side (where I reside) or the bottom side (keeping the pads between the layers)?
I know a guy who did it with an exped downmat 7 and LOVES it. Personally I'd be afraid of going after that thin fabric with a needle, but have mulled over putting a ~8" piece of fabric repair tape "wing" to attach something similar.
FWIW I've also put fabric repair tape loops on the edges of my BA pad and have some ideas for attaching 'wings' off of that should the need arise. Right now husby is having the cold arm problems, I've spent a couple nights in various hammocks and haven't experienced it so this may be a non-issue for me.
Personally I think this concept for getting a pad to stay put is WAY overlooked in gathered end hammocks. The only 'wrinkle' is that people tend to find their sweet spot someplace different, so I can see testing things out for a while before committing to a pad in one position. You look at some of the new pads coming out, how small/light they are packed, the R value, the durability and resistance to water in the field, and the fact that they can still be used if forced to ground... a lot to like.
Last edited by DigitalJanitor; 03-03-2013 at 11:46.
Re: Pad Sleeve for WBBB 1.1 double layer?
I used one of these in my WBBB 1.0 double and it worked great! No shifting at all and warm to around 35-40°.
Could you expand a little on what's involved with the fabric repair tape loops? I don't exactly know what those are and can't visualize the mechanics of that system.
Originally Posted by DigitalJanitor
Thanks for the suggestion, but I'd like to use my Thermarest (or my Exped Downmat 9) because both have chair sleeves and will come in handy if I have to go to ground. If I think there's a chance of that I'll likely bring my Exped, because I need considerable cushion to sleep on the ground. As for the chair sleeves I know the hammock makes a comfy chair, but I don't plan on cooking my meals from the hammock and I like to be able to place a comfy chair anywhere around camp as well as a mid-day break at a scenic spot along the trail.
Originally Posted by OBOZ
Those are among the reasons (along with cost) I haven't (yet) decided to acquire an UQ.
On the fabric repair tape for the hammock: I was thinking instead of sewing a pad pocket, I'd run a ~12" piece of the tape down the hammock with an equally long strip of fabric attached, then attach some elastic mesh.
On the fabric repair tape loops on the pad: I got the idea from here: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-...=537532#537532
The holes punched in the tape frankly sounded like a 'weak link', so instead I stuck a somewhat shorter bit of the repair tape to a longer piece and tacked both ends down to the side of the pad so I could run a bit of string through there. I'm also playing with the notion of lashing up attached pockets off either side of the pad using material from an SOL thermal bivy that I can cram extra clothing into.... but so far I haven't had problems w/ cold shoulders myself, so for now it's on hold.
Funny, I have no problems keeping my 25 inch wide pad in place under me, and I sleep on my back also. I do not inflate the pad all the way, in fact only about 1/2 way. I then place it as far down into the footbox as possible, allowing the upper portion to extend to the zipper so that it protects my shoulder there. I do use my sit pad, which is a 12 x 20 inch wide section of CCF, to keep the zipper area off my shoulder. I just tuck the sit pad under my shoulder as I settle in for the night.
Learning just what is your own sweet spot is the key. Some experimentation is necessary. I do find that keeping the foot end in the footbox helps.
If I was going to sew anything onto the layers, it might only be a strap at 2 ends to keep the pad from shifting. Maybe a foot or so from each end. Might look into some wide elastic.
FWIW I slept Sunday night on the back porch with the SOL thermal bivy I've ripped apart/re-taped as a blanket/emergency ground pad spread out between the layers, BA insulated pad fully inflated + Marmot Helium bag just loaded into the top. Very minimal fussing beyond just getting in and everything zipped up, and slept fine until 3AM when I woke up comfortable but too cold to sleep... the moon was beautiful and I contemplated just staying there watching it for a while, but I had to go to work in a few hours so I retreated back to the house.
I was a little surprised then to note the thermometer said 26F! The EN women's comfort rating on the Helium is 27F, so with just a mid-weight smartwool base layer, wool socks, and a couple buffs for my head/neck I'd taken the bag right to it's stated limit in the hammock without any extraordinary maneuvers. If I had been in the back country on a night that cold I'd probably climb in with another pants layer and my nanopuff jacket anyway.
DJ, your post reminded me that I have an old Adventure Medical Kits ultralight bivy. I haven't used it in nearly 10 years, but it's like new and I think it could add some good R value between the layers of my Blackbird. Thanks!
Also, that fabric repair tape looks like a great option for anchoring my inflatable pad in position. I'm not sure if I'll use a toggle or some extra-strong velcro my wife has, but I'll definitely pick up some of that tape.